23.12.10

INVESTIGATOR'S CASEBOOKS

Chris A Rutkowski. The Big Book of UFOs. Dundurn Press, 2010.

Stan Gordon. Really Mysterious Pennsylvania: UFOs, Bigfoot and Other Weird Encounters, Casebook One, edited by John David Kudrick. Bulldog Design, 2010.


Clearly marketed as an introductory account, rather than a book for the seasoned ufologist, Rutkowski's book does that task admirably. It is mainly a chronological account with representative reports from the various decades, including old favourites and the less well known, interspersed with first-hand eyewitness accounts. There are also sections on abductions, crop circles and cattle mutilations, the latter two being treated with the appropriate scepticism.

Unlike many other writers in this field, Rutkowski is very willing to discuss the numerous complexities associated with many of these cases, and to present the multiple sides, rather than indulging in breathless promotion of the ETH or knee-jerk debunking.

One thing which discerning readers will detect from the various cases is the absence of anything like a unitary UFO phenomena, rather the term UFO has become a sort of cover term for lots of different experiences, and the probability that even the most puzzling cases are generated by many different things.

Stan Gordon's little book gives accounts of some old-fashioned UFO reports, of the sort which were common in the days before the crashed saucer and abduction manias, along with accounts of Bigfoot, mystery cats and other general weirdness.

As with many of these accounts it is difficult to know what to make of them. While some of the reports are no doubt caused by misidentifications and misperceptions of various kinds, others, if reported accurately, would seem be very difficult to explain, and that goes for classical explanations in terms of ET craft or paws-and-pelts animals, as well as more mundane explanations. This is particularly true of stories which seem to link Bigfoot with strange lights in the sky. It seems even in the suburbs of cities there is a sort of enchanted landscape in which anything can happen. -- Peter Rogerson

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous26.12.10

    i enjoyed stan gordon's book, but felt it could have used a little more organization, with the stories organized either by type, location or year.

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  2. > sections on abductions, crop circles and cattle mutilations, the latter two being treated with the appropriate scepticism.

    Rutkowski has written an excellent book on abductions, relating the usual cases but also engaging several theories and drawing on his personal experience with self-described abductees.

    As stated above, in his abduction book, "Rutkowski is very willing to discuss the numerous complexities associated with many of these cases..."

    Very Canadian skepticism: thorough and fair.

    http://www.amazon.com/Abductions-Aliens-Whats-Really-Going/dp/0888822103

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