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Record Type: Review   ID: 119

UFOs & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery

Bartholomew, Robert E., & Howard, George S.

 An Australian sociologist (Bartholomew) and a Notre Dame psychologist (Howard) have written a social history of UFO sightings/abductions, concentrating on the 19th and 20th centuries. Their analyses are based primarily on newspaper accounts. They begin with a rash of phantom airships, including encounters, and point out similarities with waves of UFO and flying saucer sightings. They progress through ghost balloons, airship hoaxes, a British UFO prank, phantom German air raids, Swedish ghost rockets, flying saucers, to a chapter on UFOs as a collective delusion: "exaggerated beliefs that gain credibility within a particular social and cultural context" (p. 215). Whereas Part I dealt with sightings, Part II is on "Strange Experiences: Real or Fantasized." They prefer to think of UFO abductees/contactees "as fantasy prone rather than as severely disturbed individuals" (p. 276). Appendix A is a valuable chronology of annotated cases titled "A Chronological Listing of Over Two Hundred Cases of Reported Communication Between Aliens and Humans" (p. 285).
Publisher Information:Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 1998. 408p. Appendix A:The UFO Contact Catalogue: 285-383; Chapnotes; 5 figs; 14 illus; Ind: 395-408; 2 tables
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