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on 6 April 2011
The core of this recent book by Philip Imbrogno is a series of intriguing reports from people who claim to have had encounters with other-worldly beings. They add to the weight of testimony suggesting that alien contact of one form or another is not only a real phenomenon, but also quite widespread. Imbrogno (p. 61) states that cases are becoming more complex and puzzling, and that he's convinced that more than one alien race is interested in our planet.

The phenomenon may be 'real', but its origin isn't clear. In relation to sightings of triangular-shaped UFOs in the vicinity of reservoirs, Imbrogno speculates that they may "come from another dimension parallel to our own", and "[i]t might be that the magnetic anomalies over the reservoirs are enhanced to curve space and allow the strange aircraft to slide back to their own reality" (p. 59).

Maybe aliens do come from some sort of 'parallel' or interpenetrating reality, but I think we should be wary about using the term 'dimension' in this context, since its literal and figurative meanings can be confused. Indeed, in literal terms, the notion of 'another dimension parallel to our own' is a contradiction in terms: if two lines are parallel to each other, they share the same dimension! Furthermore, taken literally, the expression 'our dimension' implies that we experience our physical world as one-dimensional, which clearly isn't the case.

Hyper-sceptics are inclined to dismiss accounts of alien contact in terms such as hallucination and fantasy-proneness. However, some reports mention intriguing physical effects. Take, for example, a case described on pp. 133-137 of Imbrogno's book. In late November 1981, a couple reportedly had a UFO close encounter as they were driving in Colorado. Then, suddenly, they found themselves on the opposite (eastern) side of the Rocky Mountains. They'd apparently experienced at least four hours of 'missing time'. According to their car's mileage indicator, they'd travelled only 18 miles since the close encounter. But the actual distance was over 150 miles, and their fuel tank was reportedly almost three quarters full. (It's worth noting that there are also reports of aircraft pilots experiencing strange spatial displacements.)

Some people experience recurrent alien contact, and different generations within a family may be targeted. Such encounters are often unwelcome and traumatic. But that doesn't always seem to be the case. For example, Imbrogno refers (pp. 202-205) to a woman called Rosemary Ellen Guiley, who has described encounters (mainly in her dreams) with a figure she calls the "Silver Lady". Imbrogno notes that, "Reflecting on her dreams, Rosemary believes they were an introduction to the multidimensional nature of consciousness, and to the creative power of thought" (p. 203).

Imbrogno believes that a secret element of the US government knows more about the UFO/alien phenomenon than is publicly acknowledged, and that it's engaged in a cover-up. He refers to pressure being put on him by the authorities, and to evidence suggesting that his mail has been intercepted.

In connection with the Hudson Valley UFO sightings, which began at the end of 1982, Imbrogno refers to planes being seen flying in tight formation in the area. He reports that he and some fellow investigators personally saw them. They were being flown from a part of Stewart International Airport (formerly a USAF Strategic Air Command base) at Newburgh, New York. The suggestion is that the flights were part of some sort of government-approved mission. "It was apparent", Imbrogno writes, "that the pilots were trying to fake a UFO, possibly attempting to discredit the real sightings that had recently taken place" (p. 248). Along with J. Allen Hynek and Bob Pratt (both now deceased), Imbrogno was the co-author of 'Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings'. The second edition of the book was published in 1998 by Llewellyn Publications of St Paul, Minnesota. On p. 135, it mentions that, on several occasions, someone had reportedly seen small, black planes taking off at night, in formation, from Stewart airport. Strangely, though, it doesn't mention that Imbrogno and some of his colleagues had seen these aircraft!

'Ultraterrestrial Contact' contains a few typographical errors and one or two badly constructed sentences. But generally, it reads well. The content is certainly interesting, and fortunately it has an index.
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