I’ve just finished reading: How UFOs Conquered the World by David Clarke (2015)

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I saw this reviewed in the Fortean Times a few issues ago and was intrigued enough to put it on my Xmas wishlist. As ever,  Q could be depended upon to enable my book habit and he duly got me it for xmas.

If you’re expecting it to be an investigation into UFOs you’ll be disappointed. It’s an investigation into what’s referred to as “the UFO Syndrome” and it’s fascinating.

The book delves into the murky world of ufologists, “experiencers”,  conspiracy theorists, and the near global obsession with UFOs and little green men. It examines the origins of that obsession,  the key theorists,  and is full of interesting snippets (eg the concept of cognitive dissonance was formulated from a study involving ufo believers). It’s written with humour, good grace and manages not to take the mickey out of people who stubbornly believe that the world has been visited by aliens.

This cognitive dissonance is particularly unsettling when you read of the stubborn refusal some ufologists/believers have, of accepting the mundane as an explanation. I can almost understand it. If you’ve ever seen something in the night sky,  that you can’t explain,  having a rational explanation almost steals the experience away. But I  like to think that I’d never be in the situation where I dismiss logic in favour of believing I’ve seen something paranormal. Some of the characters in this book really do raise any eyebrow however.

This book examines the obsession and desperate need to believe and even if you just have a passing,  fleeting interest in the subject,  this book won’t disappoint. It’s a fascinating if slightly disturbing subject.

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