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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts ma'am
I want to second Mr. Martin's review. As a former USAF historian, I am not ashamed to say I have had an interest in UFOs but the literature on the subject is almost entirely nonsense and paranoid. The authors here have done a terrific job summarizing the history of UK government involvement in the phenomenon. They strip away the nonsense and present realistic scenarios...
Published on 24 Sep 2004 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good on the MOD, but...
I bought this book on the strength of the 5 star reviews here, but I'm afraid to say the book did not live up to my expectations. The authors are very good on the MOD and British Government - I found the Farnham sightings of 1952 fascinating - but overall the book is boringly written and somewhat tedious. While the book sheds some light on the history of UFOs in...
Published on 19 Nov 2005 by Paracelsus1966


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the facts ma'am, 24 Sep 2004
By 
Amazon Customer "fact275" (California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
I want to second Mr. Martin's review. As a former USAF historian, I am not ashamed to say I have had an interest in UFOs but the literature on the subject is almost entirely nonsense and paranoid. The authors here have done a terrific job summarizing the history of UK government involvement in the phenomenon. They strip away the nonsense and present realistic scenarios. For instance, they make the strong point that most radar UFO sightings occurred at a time when the natural phenomenon of inversion layers and radar limitations were not well-known. Think about that: when is the last time that a major UFO sighting occurred that was solely by radar? UFO true believers might not want to read such an explanation but it makes sense. Now that said, the authors are not strict skeptics. Two early 1950s UFO sightings over an RAF base in southern England--involving "falling leaf" UFOs are completely puzzling and would challenge even the most hardest skeptic to explain. If more books would concentrate on the small percentage of truly puzzling sightings and leave alone the stuff known to be a hoax or misidentification, then perhaps we might get to the truth on this subject.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Research, 6 May 2003
By 
Mark P Martin (Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
Roberts and Clarke are refreshingly different; they diligently excavated Top Secret documents from the bowels of the Ministry of Defence and Public Record Office. They have tracked down and quizzed original witnesses, including RAF Wing Commanders, Test Pilots and Intelligence agents
Over the decades several notorious UFO incidents have been offered as evidence of Alien intrusion. The authors examined such cases. They argue strongly and concisely that their new material, found in the original roots of cases, turns many mysteries mundane. However, supporters of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis will appreciate that some episodes defy prosaic rationalisation. Some events recorded in official files by utterly credible witnesses must be regarded as truly paranormal.
In 1992 the British Government stated it wished dispel its aura of secrecy and become more open. The Freedom of Information Act 2000, drafted in November of that year, will be fully implemented in 2005. As a forerunner its policy now, is of increased co-operation towards people who wish to see official files. Andy and Dave benefited from this; such files were crucial to their research. However, their search for evidence and information was not easy. Years were spent hunting through musty archives. Perseverance produced results, the discovery of a Ufological “Holy Grail”; documentry proof the British Government has conducted Top Secret UFO research. They unearthed a document entitled “Flying Saucer Working Party”. In 1950 a small team of senior military and intelligence specialists assembled to study hundreds of real X-Files.
The book runs chronologically, from World War Two when RAF pilots had “Screaming dogfights” with “things” and mystery “lights” (this was several years before people used the terms UFO and Flying Saucer.). As you would expect the mythical Rendalsham incident is analysed. The writers score another first here. In May 2001 they discovered the Governments official file on the events that unfolded in that dark, frozen East Anglian forest
My only criticism: a few minor mistakes, such as the names and technical details of aircraft being wrong. These slight mishaps don’t affect the books' great strength.
Many UFO books lean towards the melodramatic and sinister. This one does not. Rather it is absorbing, intriguing and intellectually nutritious. Stimulating, not titillating. The UFO research community and general readers should value this.
The tome is a 282-page hardback; well illustrated, with a bibliography, thoroughly referenced and indexed.
“Out of the Shadows” is a fine piece of writing of craft. A superb example of proper UFO research. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time, 16 July 2002
By 
L. N. Nixon "nlnxn" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
A superb book and long overdue high profile for two authors who were always more concerned with the realities of UFOs than spectacular myths. From the sense talked about many well known cases to the ideas and clear thinking that inform a few lesser stories this is a benchmark for other books. Packed with facts and delivered with clarity. A great book lads, keep 'em coming.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most intriguing UFO book I have ever read!, 21 Aug 2002
By 
Ms. H M W Evans (Connah`s Quay, Flintshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
Most UFO books tends to be highly biased in favour of either the extraterrestrial hypothesis or pure scepticism. Out of the Shadows takes a different view, looking at the subject of UFsOs through the eyes of witnesses *and* the Ministry of Defence. Whatever your viewpoint on the matter you'll find genuinely new material in this book from WWII foo fighter records through to the amazing case of a US airman actually told to open fire on a UFO over East Anglia. The best birthday present so far!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UFOs - No Defence Significance ?, 11 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
"Out of the Shadows" is the latest offering from Dr David Clarke and Andy Roberts, two of Britain's most respected UFO authors (Dr Clarke has a PhD in folklore studies from the University of Sheffield, both authors are members of the nationwide UFO Investigations Network (UFOIN)). Following on from their previous books "Phantoms of the Skies" and "The UFOs that Never Were" Clarke and Roberts present the results of their three year search for the truth behind the alleged cover-up of UFO reality by the British Government since the Second World War. In this reviewer's opinion this book is a must read for any serious student of the subject as Clarke and Roberts reveal reams of formerly top secret documents that expose for the first time how and why the UK Government tried to keep their growing concerns over UFOs from the public.
The book begins with a full analysis of British wartime "foo fighter" reports, revealing in detail how British Intelligence secretly investigated accounts of silver disks and rocket-like phenomena that chased bombers over occupied Europe. Setting the scene for the next fifty years no conclusion was reached about the phenomena and the reports gradually tailed away.
Chapter 2 examines the "ghost rocket" scare over post war Scandinavia. Fears that the Soviets were launching missiles as an act of provocation against the West led the British Government to secretly send two military officers to assist the Swedish investigation. Drawing on contemporary newspaper reports, fragmentary documentation found at Britain's Public Record Office and previously published material by UFO Sweden Clarke and Roberts show how the lack of physical evidence hindered a full resolution of the problem until the arrival of Dr R.V.Jones, head of Britain's Scientific Intelligence Service during WWII.
Chapter 3 deals with "The coming of the Saucers" - Britain's earliest UFO post-war reports - and those reported in the USA. Many of these involved military pilots and the phenomena were often tracked on radar. They went largely unreported to the public but were never properly identified. It was not until 1950 that the popular press in Britain latched onto flying saucers and the public became aware - (primed according to these two authors) - to see strange aerial phenomena and report them as possible interplanetary devices.
Chapter 4 deals with Lord Louis Mountbatten's role in triggering public interest in UFOs. Mountbatten's own experiences with UFO witnesses and believers makes for enlightening reading. The interest of the Royal Family has been a recurring theme in many UFO books over the years. In "Out of the Shadows" we see how Mounbatten's interest in the subject grew and was shared amongst other members of the Royal Family, but we also learn how and why Mountbatten became deeply disillusioned with the subject.
Chapter 5 contains one of the book's great successes - the first public discussion of Britain's top secret "Flying Saucer Working Party". This was a committee that met in secret for the first time in 1950. All branches of Britain's military authorities were involved and - as in the U.S.A. - military intelligence played a major role in the committee's work. Clarke and Roberts spent many months trying to convince the Ministry of Defence that this previously top secret document existed - only to be told on several occasions that no trace of the document could be found. It is a real breakthrough that this report is summarised here as it allows researchers for the first time to understand how military intelligence on both sides of the Atlantic dealt with the subject at the height of the cold war.
Chapter 6 deals with the major radar-visual sightings over Washington DC in 1952, Winston Churchill's brief involvement with the subject, UFO sightings during major military exercises and the high level exchange of UFO data between Britain and the USA. This chapter highlights a common theme throughout Clarke and Roberts' book -that the Cold War played a major role in both triggering sightings and shaping how the military dealt with the problem.
Chapter 7 really gets to the hub of military concerns that UFOs - whatever they were - might have the capability of accidentally triggering nuclear war when detected on radar. Clarke and Roberts examine several such cases before moving onto the fallibility of post war UK radar systems, a discussion of radar "angels" and their likely role in the infamous Lakenheath-Bentwaters case from 1956. Clarke and Roberts have tracked down further aircrew involved in this case and their discussion of the major anomalies this new evidence raises is a highlight of the book. The 1969 Condon Committe touted this case as "...the most puzzling and unusual case in the radar-visual files ...". Clarke and Roberts take this conclusion to task with a proper scientific manner.
Chapter 8 deals with the well known radar visual incident at West Frough in 1957 in which two radar systems independently detected a fast moving UFO at vast height over the Irish Sea. Clarke and Roberts claim that media interest in the case raised considerable fears in Whitehall that military secrets might be compromised. The case led to embarrassing questions in Parliament and a review of official policy behind the scenes.
Chapter 9 deals with the massive wave of UFO sightings in 1967. Almost 400 reports were made to the Ministry of Defence, including reports by retired pilots and multiple sightings by serving police officers. The MoD found itself overwhelmed with UFO reports at a time when world affairs were causing increased tension and their attention was really focussed elsewhere. Documentary evidence uncovered at the PRO shows how Britain's military authorities struggled to deal with the situation. Eventually they managed to send investigation teams to interview civilian witnesses - the results of these official investigations make fascinating reading. Chapter 10 follows in the same vein, exposing a number of classic cases as likely hoaxes or misperceptions.
Chapter 11 examines the Angus Brooks case (one of my personal favourites !), close encounter cases from the late 1960s, the official investigation into the wave of "phantom helicopters" over Britain in the mid 1970s, and the notorious Berwyn Mountains "UFO crash". In the view of these authors the role of witness psychology and cultural expectation play a significant role in shaping these events.
Chapter 12 gives an authorative account of the 1980 Rendlesham Forest saga, Britain's answer to the Roswell "crashed saucer" claim. For me this is the highlight of the book, as it gives a very compelling account of how a series of inter-related misperceptions led to a highly complex close encounter of the 2nd or 3rd kind (depending on whose eye witness testimony you believe). This verdict will doubtless upset countless UFO believers, as will Clarke and Roberts' conclusions in chapter 13, but it is refreshing to see an alternative to the incredibly popular ET interpretation of UFO phenomena set against such an impressive array of previously unseen official documentation. It is indeed ironic that despite admitting that a number of cases in "Out of the Shadows" remain unexplained and challenging one UFO discussion list has loudly branded/dismissed Clarke and Roberts' as "skeptics" and "debunkers" (IMO a highly convenient defence mechanism against unpalatable evidence). This reviewer disagrees. In depth unbiased work like this deserves the highest praise.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all UFOlogists, 16 Oct 2002
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
With so many bewildering claims, counter claims and theories dogging UFOlogy this book serves as a valuable yardstick of the more solid, less sensational core of the subject. Namely unidentified flying phenomenon and the questions that such a mystery poses to any official body.
Focused purely on the official UK position on UFOs, the authors clearly show how the MoD has struggled to come to terms with the impact of this puzzling subject. Well written and concise, 'Out of The Shadows' is essential reading for anyone who wants to cut through the fog of hysteria that plagues UFOlogy.
Don't expect loads of world changing revelations; just be quietly disturbed by the case histories and the frequently bizarre behaviour of an official body struggling to find answers to something it can't (and won't?) comprehend.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UFOs in Britain - NO DEFENCE SIGNIFICANCE!?!?, 14 July 2002
By 
Mr. Paul J. Stephen (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
This is a very readable account of the Governments 'cover-up' of the UFO phenomena.
Previous reviews have given an excellant overview of what to find in this book ... I would just like to add that this is probably one of the best UFO books of the last few years. After the flux of very ordinary releases that heralded the Roswell 50 years in '97, this title should be read with the likes of Timothy Good and Nick Redfern. This book is the ying to the previous authors yang.
Very sceptical in places, this one tries to be as objective as possible -- and I reckon it does a fine job.
Certainly a must for all info hungry ufologists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars X-files its not, 13 May 2010
By 
Seamus Keating (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
Great book, if you are looking for x-files type case studies, you wont find it here. A great job is done at explaining and disproofing so many myths..... I like it. A pity that not more was made about the Aurora plane that apparantly causes a lot of mistaken sightings. A very readable book and decent research. Some spooky pics and stuff...check out the Solway Spaceman....
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For sceptics and believers, a great book on the UFO cover-up, 30 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
I bought Out of the Shadows expecting it to be another exercise in UFO debunking. I was amazed to find that the book is far from a debunker's charter and is probably the most significant book to be written about the UFO cover-up since Tim Good's Above Top Secret. The author's clearly know their stuff and have gone right back to the early days of WWII and unearthed some staggering UFO cases. Taking a historical look at the UFO phenomenon they trace it through WWII, through the ghost rocket sightings of 1946 and then spend page after page untangling the Ministry of Defence's UFO policies and attempts to keep saucer stories from leaking out to the public. If you think I'm overexagerrating, take a look at page 101 where an extract from a pilot's log book actually mentions the words 'flying saucers'- incredible, but not nearly as incredible as the sighting which prompted the log entry.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good on the MOD, but..., 19 Nov 2005
By 
Paracelsus1966 (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out Of The Shadows: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover Up: UFOs, the Establishment and Official Cover Up (Hardcover)
I bought this book on the strength of the 5 star reviews here, but I'm afraid to say the book did not live up to my expectations. The authors are very good on the MOD and British Government - I found the Farnham sightings of 1952 fascinating - but overall the book is boringly written and somewhat tedious. While the book sheds some light on the history of UFOs in Britain, it is fairly one dimensional and its skepticism seems to me to be blinkered. Whatever the UFO phenomena actually is, I'm fairly sure it can't be entirely explained as radar errors or people mistaking weather balloons for Adamski Scout Ships, which is what the authors would have us believe.
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