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The UFO Phenomenon: Fact, Fantasy and Disinformation Paperback – 1 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S. (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738713198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738713199
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,302,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

John Michael Greer is an occult scholar and the award-winning author of more than a dozen books on esoteric topics. A practitioner of magic and the Western mystery traditions for more than thirty years, he has a varied background that combines academic study with training and initiation in several occult and Druid orders.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 29 Oct. 2012
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John Michael Greer is something as unusual as an archdruid, more specifically the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). He is also a prolific writer on a wide variety of issues, from peak oil and UFOs to the Golden Dawn and the occult.

I had expected "The UFO phenomenon" to be a spooky book about inter-dimensional aliens hobnobbing with Bigfoot, but it turned out to be a relatively sceptical and almost scholarly look at the UFO phenomenon. In fact, if you are a "true believer" in aliens and government conspiracies, this book might really anger you! But then, it might also act as a reality check or antidote against too much UFOTV watching. Open-minded sceptics are perhaps the most natural category of readers for this particular Greer forte. The book is obviously based on scholarly studies of UFO beliefs, and similar studies about the sociology and history of science. The material is admirably summarized and easy to read - with the exception of one chapter dealing with UFO beliefs as they evolved during the 1980's and 1990's, when the phenomenon became too unwieldy for an easy summary.

Greer rejects both the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) and the Null Hypothesis (NH). The ETH doesn't need a closer introduction. The NH is the idea that *all* UFOs are really misunderstood natural phenomena, hallucinations, etc. In other words, the position of the debunkers (Menzel, CSICOP, etc.) The ETH and NH are the two most prominent attempts at an explanation of the UFO phenomenon, at least in the United States. The author has a field day pointing out how absurd the debunking-at-any-cost really is. It seems everything can be blamed on Venus! The poor planet has been dragooned into service more than once by overeager sceptics.
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Item reviewed: Llewellyn Worldwide paperback, 2009.

This is a very interesting and well-written book on UFOs. The first five chapters are exceptionally good. Why is that astonishing? Because the author is an occultist and Grand Archdruid, and not a scientist. In fact, this book gives an insight into the potentialities and limitations of non-scientists tackling scientific subjects.

Greer does not indicate, anywhere in the book, that there is any extramental (outside the mind) reality to occult phenomena. He is always clear, logical and scholarly.

In the Introduction plus first 4 chapters, the author traces the history of our perceptions of UFOs. He points out their iconic nature in contemporary culture, and documents the stalemate of UFO believers, who believe anything, versus UFO deniers. The latter call themselves "skeptics" and will believe any - absolutely any - explanation that "explains" a sighting. There is, of course, a more intellectual and scientific wing of the highly amorphous body of ufologists, which includes for example Jenny Randles, but Greer lumps all ufologists together under the lowest common denominator.

His history of the UFO phenomenon includes the non-investigation that was the Condon Report. Also the formation of "skeptical" CSICOP, the quick ejection of any real sceptics, and the dissemination, ever since, of a party line on UFOs which avoids real research in favour of dogma. Although the book was published in 2009, its history of UFOs peters out in the 1990's.
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Binary Thinking: A UFO case study. This is a marvelous book, but if you are a UFO seeker or a UFO denier this isn't the book for you. If on the other hand you are interested in the history of UFOs, why human beings think the way they do, and how binary thinking in human beings comes about, then it's most definitely for you. Greer steers us through both sides of the argument with a critical and clear mind and shows us why neither side has any credibility in an argument that should be really quite one sided. Excellent book for those interested in how to think rather than what to think.
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Having read quite a few ufo related books, i find this offering a little perplexing as it seems to be written by an Occult biased writer who seems to have gathered all his UFO material from a Library Reference section and not actually gone out to the Big Wide World to gather first hand information. He may have written quite a few books in the past on his known subject Occultism but i think he should leave the UFO stuff to those who Know.
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This book by John Michael Greer gives a new and fresh theory to explain the UFO phenomenon. Although I do not agree fully on all of the theory (it leaves something unexplained), I fully appreciate the author's efforts.

Markku S.
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