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5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and very readable UFO history, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991: 2 (Paperback)
This scholarly and very readable 637-page book is the second of a three-part series by Richard Dolan. It deals with the years 1973-91. The first volume covered the years 1941-73. The third volume is still in the pipeline. The author gives a detailed history of the UFO phenomenon, interweaving it with fascinating commentary on concurrent historical and political events. There's a particular focus on what Dolan believes to be a major and long-running cover-up by the US government and its agencies regarding UFO matters.


The book cites a mass of case material from around the world. Given the encyclopaedic nature of his endeavour, the author has drawn on numerous sources. No doubt some of them are more reliable than others. Correctly, in my view, Dolan regards the UFO phenomenon as being very real, and one that often has a physical aspect (i.e. it's certainly not just a matter of misperception, misreporting, hoaxing, or imagination).

Dolan appears to believe that many UFOs are exotic craft, operated or controlled by aliens. Arguably, though, some of the cases mentioned in the book don't fit well with that interpretation. Take, for example, an incident that reportedly occurred in the Canary Islands on the night of 22nd June 1976 (pp. 121-4). There were various witnesses, including a Dr Francisco Julio Padron and his driver, Francisco Estevez. Padron and Estevez were heading to Galdar, on the north-west coast of Grand Canary Island, when they saw a large spherical object hovering just above the ground, some 60 yards off the road. Estevez brought the car to a sharp halt. According to Padron, the object was perfectly round and about the size of a three-storey building. It was transparent enough for stars to be seen through it, and it contained two human-like figures, which were reportedly well over six feet tall, and were wearing bright red garments and cloth-like helmets or turbans of some sort. They appeared to be studying a control panel, and their heads seemed to glow. Estevez reported that they had very bright, large eyes. The car's radio went dead, and the men experienced a feeling of intense cold. The object began to rise, and expanded to an incredible size, comparable to that of a 20-storey building. It then assumed the shape of a spindle, surrounded by a halo, and shot off at an amazing speed.

Now, to my mind, this sounds more like a STAGED PERFORMANCE - a theatrical paranormal display, orchestrated by a higher intelligence - than an encounter with alien visitors from a remote planet or from 'another dimension'. If the UFO was an exotic space ship, it's surprising that its occupants were so human-like! On the other hand, if humans have incorporated alien technology in advanced flying craft (as has been suggested - see below), it may be that some UFOs are indeed exotic space ships.


Dolan's book contains interesting commentary on the behaviour of US administrations. For example, in respect of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in early August 1990, he explains (pp. 544-5) that several days before the invasion, Saddam Hussein discussed Kuwait with April Glaspie, the US ambassador to Iraq. By that time, thousands of Iraqi troops were massed at the border with Kuwait. He explained that he wanted to "keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be." (Oil-rich Kuwait had been split off from the rest of Iraq years earlier, by the British.) But Glaspie reportedly told him that the US had no opinion on the matter, which could be interpreted as meaning that the USA would be neutral if Iraq invaded Kuwait. But when it did, the US president, George H. W. Bush, condemned Saddam as a new Hitler and mobilized a UN force against him!

Dolan contends that the UFO phenomenon has been covered up by elements of the US government over the years. In fact, he goes further, suggesting that international groups and corporations are becoming more dominant than nation states, and that much 'black budget' finance in the USA is in the hands of private or semi-private organizations, with little or no public accountability. He appears to believe that secret military and aerospace programmes have incorporated advanced alien technology, and that those privy to this cutting-edge science and technology are keeping the rest of humanity in the dark, denying it access to vastly cheaper and more efficient energy and propulsion methods.

On pp. 457-61, Dolan reports a story that an aviation designer, Brad Sorensen, related to Mark McCandlish, an aviation illustrator, about something that Sorensen had supposedly witnessed in November 1988 at the Lockheed Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California. According to Sorensen, he was with someone who'd formerly been senior in the USA's Department of Defense. They saw some advanced aircraft in a hangar, including three flying saucers. The latter were floating off the floor. A general, addressing some people nearby, reportedly described the saucers as "Alien Reproduction Vehicles" (ARVs), and claimed, among other things, that the ARV could operate at "light speed or better"!

Dolan explains that when Sorensen first told McCandlish and others about this, he said that he'd seen the ARVs at Norton Air Force Base (California) rather than at the Lockheed facility. Of course, his changing his story could be seen as diminishing its credibility. But Dolan states that, in 1992, McCandlish met a man called Kent Sellen, who, in 1973, at Edwards Air Force Base (also in California), reportedly saw a craft exactly matching Sorensen's description of the ARV. Furthermore, Dolan notes (p. 8) that by the end of the 1980s, aerial objects with unusual flight characteristics had been seen in California's Antelope Valley (home to many of the USA's leading aviation and aerospace companies), and at Nevada's Area 51. They were, he surmises, "surely made by the U.S. defense industry"; and he adds that in the judgement of observers, including aviation and aerospace experts, they seemed to be using a form of field propulsion (anti-gravity).

These views make Dolan a conspiracy theorist. But I don't mean that in a pejorative sense, since it's an established fact that governments, government agencies, corporations and people in positions of power have sometimes perpetrated conspiracies. (Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair readily spring to mind.) Furthermore, whether or not he's entirely right, there's nothing inherently unreasonable or paranoid in Dolan's analysis. Indeed, it's undeniable that there's been officially-sponsored disinformation regarding UFO-related matters in the USA. For example, in 1947, in respect of the so-called Roswell incident, the United States Army Air Force (as it was then called) quickly retracted its initial claim - that it had recovered a crashed disc - and falsely stated that the object was a weather balloon.


There are minor flaws in the book (grammatical errors, typos, etc.), although that's probably inevitable with a major work of this size and scope. In places, there are footnotes, linked to the main text with asterisks. Unfortunately, however, in the main text, the asterisks are tiny, and hence very easy to miss! Overall, though, I regard this as an excellent book, well deserving of five stars.

At the back of the book, there's a page giving information about the author, including his website address. I tried to communicate with him, using the e-mail address given there; disappointingly, though, he didn't reply.
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