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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Kean makes a convincing case as to the physical reality of UFOs, the fact that they have been and are seen treated as of the utmost importance by governments all over the world (including the US, which routinely denies it), that they pose real safety concerns (e.g., in restricted airspace), and that a serious scientific study of the phenomenon is called for (including taking seriously the ET and interdimensional hypotheses). The book is very conservative in nature, focusing solely on highly documented reports, what can be considered the 'best evidence'. This is understandable, given Kean's motives of appealing to scientists, academics, and the otherwise unconvinced (i.e., 'What? Everyone knows UFOs are kooky! Aren't they?'). So there are no mentions of alien abductions, 'greys', or any other such 'high strangeness'. Secretive government conspiracies are considered but not argued for, and the material presented pretty much sticks to the hard facts: military sightings, radar cases, high-profile sightings (e.g., the Belgian wave, the O'Hare Airport sighting, famous dogfights), official investigations, FOIA releases, etc., all of which put the lie to the standard government denials.

The book includes numerous contributions from military witnesses, researchers, politicians, and scholars. Many of these are first-hand accounts of well-documented encounters, of military and government investigations. The best, in my opinion, is Drs. Wendt and Duvall's study of the the UFO taboo, where they hypothesize that the almost universal taboo is inspired and reinforced by the threefold threat implied by acceptance of UFOs' reality: 1) the potentially extreme physical threat posed by such a technology and intelligence, 2) the perceived pressure such a disclosure would have for a global democracy, 3) the delegitimizing effect such an understanding would have on modern nation states and governments, with their reliance on an anthropocentric justification of power.

Unfortunately, presenting only the 'best evidence' has the effect of ironing out the phenomena and making them see more homogeneous than they are. Another recent book, Michael Swords's Grassroots UFOs, a collection of firsthand accounts from over a thousand 'regular people', gives an idea of just how expansive this topic really is. So overall, Kean plays it safe. It makes for a solid, well-argued book, but leaves much unsaid. Best to go elsewhere for a more comprehensive treatment (e.g., Richard Dolan's books, John Keel's, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's). With that said, UFOs (***1/2) is a solid introduction, the kind of book you might recommend to an open-minded newbie to the subject, with a few worthwhile insights and more recent cases for those more familiar with the already existing literature.
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I am not well-read in the UFO literature department. In fact, I've been more of a distant fence sitter on the subject - somewhere in between those who claim to see UFOs everywhere and those who would never acknowledge their existence even if one bumped into them. After reading this book, I find myself in agreement with the author that 1) UFOs are a real phenomenon, 2) we have no idea what they are or where they come from, and 3) they should be taken seriously by our governments and carefully studied within the limits of what is possible.

The book contains 28 chapters, 15 of which (about half the book) have been written by various high-ranking officials from different countries, most of whom have had major UFO encounters. The result is prose that is very even-tempered, logical, composed and, when describing UFO encounters, very detailed.

Something that particularly stands out in this book is the different approaches on the UFO issue taken by different governments in countries where major UFO incidents have been reported. It seems that European countries and South American ones are more accepting of the existence of the UFO phenomenon, whereas in North America, particularly the USA, UFOs are the subject of ridicule. The author provides a wealth of fascinating information on the history of how this unfortunate situation came about.

Despite the many contributors to this book, the writing styles are all very similar: very clear, often lively and always quite captivating. I found the book to be very hard to put down and believe that it can be enjoyed by everyone - from hard-nosed sceptics to true believers.
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on September 5, 2013
I would have to say that I am a skeptic when it comes to the subject matter of UFO and "aliens". I had little faith that this book would present the topic in a logical and well researched manner. However, Leslie Kean delivers in an impressive fashion. The evidence and testimony she cites is compelling. It is clear she did not want to muddy the waters by including material that could be easily refuted or explained away, and the book is impressive in its presentation and conclusions. It is easy to argue philosophy or opinions but when it comes to credible testimony and empirical facts (all smothered in logic), i have to say she has given me many reasons to rethink my position. I will not say to the "skeptic" that this read will suddenly result in a paradigm shift for you but it will certainly make you think a bit before discussing the topic. it has certainly made me less dismissive of the subject. To the rabid UFO/alien hunters, I believe the book will give them some feeling of redemption and I fear will be quoted to further the causes of those who see UFO everywhere. But the book itself is neutral in presentation and logical in conclusion. If you are looking for a book that is filled with accounts of grey aliens, abductions, and tales from sci-if mags you will probably find the read a tad boring. For anyone curious and skeptical about this topic i would highly recommend it.
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on August 26, 2011
This is an excellent book, with some parts being written by highly credible military witnesses. Reports include radar-confirmed sightings by multiple witnesses including ground personnel and pilots. The author was involved in the earlier DVD, "I Know What I Saw", and the book goes further into depth on some of those cases. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that the last part of the book goes on and on about how the government should set up an organization where people can report UFOs, and it goes into great detail about how this might be done. That is a different topic from the issue of convincing the reader that UFOs are not all hoaxes and hallucinations, and should maybe be in an appendix. Also, I don't agree with replacing the acronym UFO with UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon). Overall, though, it's the best book. Most other books have at least one weak case that detracts from the credibility. This book has no weak cases.
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on December 25, 2015
Kean reviews some of the best and key UFO cases with more journalistic integrity than most pro-UFO authors. But I can't give it a 5, because there are still errors in here. Some of the photos in the centre pages are obvious fakes (one of them appears to be a flashlight reflector), and she does not make an effort to correct certain errors that have come to light prior to publication (e.g. Callahan's testimony about the CIA meeting). Probably because it doesn't help her case. Furthermore, someone like Penniston, with his mysterious well-after-the-fact notebook full of hieroglyphs, should've never been allowed to write a chapter in this book.

Nonetheless, this book contains pretty much all of the interesting cases that have occurred since people stopped writing legit books about UFOs almost 20 years ago, so it is a key resource.
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on February 5, 2012
I found this book an interesting addition to the literature of modern day UFO sitings. What is of particular interest is the first person testimonies of high profile witnesses who were contributers to the book. It is a good addition to what is already out there such as the publications of Steven Greer and Marc Jacobs and others. However, it only covers sightings and only briefly, in some of the chapters gets into the physical evidence which is found in other sources. The proposal of a US agency to take up where Project Blue Book left off seems reasonable, but only if the upper echelons in the super secret black projects are ready to open up about what they know. The polititians have already tried and failed. I suggest that any one who is interested in this topic also look into The Disclosure Project for a lot more information.
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on February 5, 2011
Well we have always been intrigued by UFOs and are we really alone in the universe. Many people have come forward and told their story about what they saw and for the most part people have written them off as kooks. Leslie Kean as taken a different approach. She is telling the story of high profile, very intelligent people around the world of what they saw and experienced. High ranking military personnel, commercial pilots, and politicians have risked their careers to tell their stories. After reading this book its hard to say that UFOs are not real, now for me the question is "If they are real...where do they come from and how do they get here"? Since we pretty much know that besides earth we are alone in our solar system, how do they cover such great distances? Or are they already here? Que the twilight zone theme.
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on December 7, 2015
Excellent Book. Well written. Beginners will find easy to read and understand. Mesmerizing and gripping. You will look forward to reading each new chapter it's so informative and a tad scary. If you didn't think UFO's exist, you will after reading this book. This is one of those books you won't soon forget. I recommend you read it more than once, because there is some much truthful information, you won't be able to digest all the facts reading it one time. A definite page turner. If I were teaching "101 UFO's for Beginners" this book would be mandatory reading for all my students. This is the kind of book one puts on the UFO collection book shelf and you never lend it to anyone, because you'll never get it returned to you. It's a keeper.
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on April 6, 2011
Absolutely one of the best factual accounts I have read.Sources are the best of the best and cannot be refuted. Loved it and if somehow the public could become aware of just these accountings there should be a real outcry for full disclosure from particularly the US government.The testifiers in this book should be awarded medals for bravery!! Loved it and hope more books like this are forthcoming in the future!!
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on December 1, 2015
Great book! Really fascinating to see the body of evidence collected by Leslie over her 10-year research. Amazing and jaw-dropping cases of UFO encounters by military officials the world over. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer— this is the book to read if you want to know what evidence currently exists to support the idea that we are being visited by something.
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