Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Well researched, but not well proofread
on 9 August 2013
The majority of UFO sightings entail unidentified lights in the sky, many of which may have entirely prosaic explanations. But with regard to UFOs of a recognizable shape, there's been a significant change over recent decades. Back in the 1940s, when the term 'flying saucer' came into vogue, there were comparatively few reports of triangular-shaped UFOs, although judging from statistics provided by the US-based National UFO Reporting Centre (NUFORC), this is now one of the commonest shapes seen. (NUFORC's data relate primarily to North America.) Indeed, according to David Marler's book, if one categorizes UFOs in terms of shape, leaving aside the ambiguous category of 'light', triangular UFOs now make up the largest group. However, a researcher called John Nelson presents statistics (from the USA) that slightly contradict this claim (http://uxblog.idvsolutions.com/2015/06/sightings.html). His figures suggest that UFOs appearing as 'lights', 'fireballs' or 'flashes', or having a circular or spherical appearance, are being reported more often than triangular UFOs. Of course, a witness seeing a 'flash' or a 'light' might be unable to discern a definite shape. But setting those cases aside, it appears (from Nelson’s figures) that circular or spherical UFOs have been seen more often than triangular UFOs in the USA in recent years.
Some triangular UFOs have been described as enormous. They've reportedly been seen flying slowly, at low altitudes, over populous areas. In many cases, witnesses haven't noticed any sound coming from them. Marler provides the first book-length treatment of this subject of triangular UFOs, and his research appears to have been thorough. He's well-qualified for the task, since he has a long history of involvement in UFO research, and he formerly served as the state director of the Mutual UFO Network in Illinois. (He now lives in New Mexico.)
The final chapter of Marler's book (Chapter 12) presents commentary from five other UFO researchers: Richard Dolan, Mark Rodeghier, George Wingfield, Omar Fowler, and Peter Davenport. They concur with Marler's view that the triangular UFO phenomenon can't be simply explained away in terms of supposed 'black budget' terrestrial aircraft. An important consideration here is that although they were relatively infrequent decades ago, sightings of triangular UFOs do go back many years. However, they might not be interpreted the same way by everyone. For example, Marler refers (pp. 68-71) to unusual aerial phenomena that were witnessed by crew members and passengers of a commercial airliner over Labrador, Canada, in late June, 1954. He states that the case "will remain one of the great UFO events of all time" (p. 71). But in an analysis that isn't referenced by Marler, a British ufologist called Martin Shough concludes that, "In most respects it seems possible to explain this sighting satisfactorily - if not conclusively - as an unusual mirage" (http://www.caelestia.be/BOAC5.html).
On p. 12, Marler emphasizes that his book's focus is "triangular UFO sighting reports". He contends that whether they're connected with matters such as alien abductions and cattle mutilations "remains to be seen". He states that in his research, of over a decade, he hasn't seen evidence of a relationship! That surprises me a little, since many reports suggest a considerable overlap between UFO sightings and other anomalies, such as amnesia ('missing time'), abduction experiences, and cattle mutilations. (In Chapter 12, Omar Fowler describes a sighting of a triangular UFO in North Yorkshire, England, in 1996. In conjunction with it, the female witness reportedly had an abduction experience, involving 'missing time'.) Indeed, in many cases, it could be argued that there's no essential difference between UFO sightings and apparitional experiences featuring human figures, animal forms or phantom vehicles.
In line with his conservative stance on the relation between UFO sightings and other anomalies, Marler doesn't spend much time theorizing about the nature of triangular UFOs or of UFOs in general. As noted, though, he doesn't believe that the sightings can be satisfactorily accounted for in terms of secret military aircraft.
The chapters of the book would have benefited from the use of subheadings. Where Marler has quoted other people and made editorial insertions, he's used round brackets. But square brackets would have made it clearer that the words in question were his, not those of the person quoted.
Referring to the United Kingdom (UK), Marler makes a few errors: (1) On p. 123, he wrongly equates an MP with a "local government official". In the UK, the latter term refers to a council employee with an administrative role, or possibly a councillor with such a role. (2) Also on p. 123, he gives the meaning of MP as "Minister of Parliament", but it's MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT. (3) On p. 128, he wrongly substitutes "England" (which is just one part of the UK) for the UK as a whole. (Interestingly, that error is often made by people living in England itself.) (3) On p. 140, he refers to the "Pennine Mountains", which the British would normally describe as the PENNINE HILLS or simply as the PENNINES. (4) On p. 166, he refers to Radnorshire as being in England, although it's actually the name of a former county in WALES.
Chapter 8 contains a transcript of an interview that Marler conducted on 14th April 2013. Evidently, at that point, he hadn't quite finished writing his book, although it was published just weeks later - in June 2013. Arguably, publication should have been delayed slightly, to give more time for proofreading, because the text is sprinkled with grammatical and punctuation errors, and contains some badly constructed sentences. (An example of missing punctuation can be found on p. 206, where Marler quotes a witness as saying, "It didn't appear to rush off it didn't appear to change direction drastically or anything.") On the plus side, Marler's writing isn't affectedly convoluted. Therefore, despite the problems with grammar and punctuation, his intended meaning is mostly clear. Of course, if the book goes to a second edition, there'll be an opportunity to rectify these unfortunate errors, which detract from what's otherwise a good piece of work.