Richard Dolan. UFOs for the 21st Century Mind: A Fresh Guide to an Ancient Mystery. Richard Dolan Press, 2014.
The title of this book would suggest that either the author is going to come up with some radical new approach or that it will contain large numbers of new and impressive 21st century UFO cases. It does neither, rather it is just another potted history of largely US ufology, with many of the same old stories that we have read countless times before. As seems standard with US UFO books the ETH or some variation thereon is taken for granted as is belief in the grand cover-up. Large portions of the text are taken up with speculation as to what might happen when “the government” “discloses” “the truth” about UFOs (i.e. they tell Dolan and like ufologists what they want to hear). Far from the panic and general mayhem that Dolan imagines, I would suspect most people would just assume it was some sort of stunt to take peoples’ minds off government failures.
Dolan is quite critical of America’s main UFO organisations, which are now all but moribund. According to Dolan his is not, as you might imagine, because these groups became infested with abductees, contactees, crashed flying saucer proponents, promoters of faked photographs, New-Agers and general wafflers, but rather because they were all infiltrated by “intelligence agents”, a term now extended to include anyone who was ever drafted into the US military, such as the late Richard Hall (a member of that well known CIA front organisation the American Civil Liberties Union). Given that world view it is not surprising to learn that Dolan thinks 9/11 was an inside job.
It seems reasonable to assume that the reason that proponents of the ETH do not present new very well researched and still puzzling cases, rather than engage in all this speculation and conspiracy theory is that such material does not exist and they know it.
At least, whether you agree with him or not Dolan can express himself clearly and is a literate writer, something that is certainly not always the case in these subjects.

Nigel Mortimer. UFOs, Portals and Gateways. Wisdom Books, 2013
Ilkley Moor is probably best known for the song On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at but according to Yorkshire ufologist and earth mysteries researcher Nigel Mortimer it is one of at least three areas in Yorkshire, the others being Judy Woods near Bradford and Castlebeg in Settle, which are portals to another dimension.
In my young day such areas were known as flap areas, then John Keel popularised the term window area, now, thanks to cinema and TV the name portal seems to taking over as the description of places where people experience all sorts of spooky and anomalous things. Explanations of this differ, Nigel Mortimer takes the word literally and assumes these are places where inter-dimensional break through; others will look for explanations either in terms of environmental or psychosocial factors.
It is hard to know whether such areas really do generate more anomalous experiences than others, or whether the interest of a particular researcher generates more stories. Perhaps if Nigel Mortimer had given a comprehensive account of experiences in these places we might be better able to judge, but like so many self or semi-self-published books, this one lacks discipline and jumps all over the place, spending pages on the Bible, Annunaki, New Age speculation and the like. -- Peter Rogerson

1 comment:

  1. Richard Dolan should realise that we had a "fresh guide to an ancient mystery" back in 1950 with Gerald Heard's book, re-reviewed here a few days ago. Or at least a fresh analysis at the time. This was the 'intelligent bees from Mars' idea, the truth of which has been known to the CIA ever since.