2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Read For The Newbie But Lacks Depth And Unbias Analysis,
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This review is from: Encounter in Rendlesham Forest: The Inside Story of the World's Best-Documented UFO Incident (Hardcover)
While this is an excellent read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, in some ways it was actually too easy to read because it never really delivered on the hype. It's not challenging and forensic enough. I wanted to give Nick Pope's book 4 stars, but 3 seems fair. It's great as an introductory to the Rendlesham case of 1980, but it lacks the depth I've read with other books, particularly Jenny Randle books and articles.
Pope makes much of the fact early on in the intro that this is a colaborative work with Burroughs and Penniston. I wanted for the first time to get some flavour of Pope's personal and working interaction with his co-writers on this case, and yet, so often, what I got was a dry removed and factual account of information already widely available elsewhere. I think the author's style and approach to the case sometimes got in the way of expressing all the experiences and traumas both direct witnesses went through. Pope's style, at times, is like hearing a surgeon talk about a completed medical operation. Fine in some context, but this was an opportunity to place on record a more personal view of both men's experience of Rendlesham and the lasting effects on their lives.
From p140 to p211, Pope diverges, almost parks his two colaborators and winds a journey through the case rumour mill, defense strategy and practices, Project Condign and external perceptions and recounts of the case over the subsequent years. I felt at times reading these sections that I was just reading editorial padding.
For me, Pope's style and approach in presenting Rendlesham really shone in the sections where he deal with the way it was ultimated leaked and reported in the media and how myths and misinformation were created by those seeking notoriaty, or bit-players trying to assign a greater role to their involvement over those three nights in December 1980.
Throughout the book, I wanted to get closer to these two gentlemen, who have been closest to one of the most fascinating cases of UFO encounters, and yet Pope is always standing between the reader and the real two people we want to hear.
As far as new information, the full publication of Jim Pennniston's binary code (the full 16 pages from his notebook) is perhaps what this book does deliver into the public domain, as well as bringing much of the up-to-date information into one place, but even then Pope takes something of a backward seat on this, almost excusing himself from any kind of analysis. Oaths and government secrets acts are alerted to early on, but I didn't read too much in this book that would have sent either the US or UK establishment into any spin on the 'new' information available.
Again, an excellent read for those not too familiar with Rendlesham, but there is limited new insight for those readers who have been fascinated by this UFO case for many years.