The UFO Phenomenon: Fact, Fantasy and Disinformation Paperback – 1 Apr 2009
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›