UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiryby Michael Swords
Governments around the world have had to deal with the UFO phenomenon for a good part of a century. How and why they did so is the subject of UFOs and Government, a history that for the first time tells the story from the perspective of the governments themselves. It's a perspective that reveals a great deal about what we citizens have seen, and puzzled over, from the "outside" for so many years.
The story, which is unmasked by the governments' own documents, explains much that is new, or at least not commonly known, about the seriousness with which the military and intelligence communities approached the UFO problem internally. Those approaches were not taken lightly. In fact, they were considered matters of national security. At the same time, the story reveals how a subject with such apparent depth of experience and interest became treated as if it were a triviality. And it explains why one government, the United States government, deemed it wise, and perhaps even necessary, to treat it so. Though the book focuses primarily on the U. S. government's response to the UFO phenomenon, also included is the treatment of the subject by the governments of Sweden, Australia, France, Spain, and other countries.
This large-format, fully illustrated book is the result of a team effort that called itself "The UFO History Group," a collection of veteran UFO historians and researchers who spent more than four years researching, consulting, writing, and editing to present a work of historical scholarship on government response to the UFO phenomenon. Michael Swords was the primary author of the United States chapters. The work was coordinated and edited by Robert Powell. Clas Svahn, Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, Bill Chalker, and Robert Powell contributed country chapters. Jan Aldrich was the primary content consultant, with additional content consultation and writing coming from Barry Greenwood and Richard Thieme. Steve Purcell was the primary photo illustration editor.
From the foreword by Jerome Clark: "While UFOs and Government revisits an often unhappy history, the reading of it is far from an unhappy experience. The authors, eloquent, intelligent, sophisticated, and conscientious, provide us with the first credible, comprehensive overview of official UFO history in many years... Most of the current volume deals with U.S. military and intelligence responses to the UFO phenomenon, but it also features richly informative chapters that expand the story across the international arena. If you're looking for an example of a nation that dealt productively with the UFO reports that came its official way, you will take heart in the chapter on the French projects... From here on, every responsible treatment of UFOs and government will have to cite UFOs and Government prominently among its sources... this is the real story as accurately as it can be reconstructed in the second decade of the new century. I expect to keep my copy close at hand and to return to it often. While it cannot be said of many books, UFO-themed or otherwise, this is among the essential ones. Stray from it at your peril."
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Meet the Author
Michael Swords was the primary author of the United States chapters. The work was coordinated and edited by Robert Powell. Clas Svahn, Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, Bill Chalker, and Robert Powell contributed country chapters. Jan Aldrich was the primary content consultant, with additional content consultation and writing coming from Barry Greenwood and Richard Thieme. Steve Purcell was the primary photo illustration editor.
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Don't be intimidated by UFOs and Government's formidable length. This is the justifiably indignant narrative about the modern equivalent of Galileo's 17th-century heresy conviction for daring to present the evidence for heliocentric reality. The history of America's hapless response to the great intellectual challenge of our time should offend everyone who subscribes to science as the great referee for settling competing opinions. In an ideal world, UFOs and Government would provide the foundation for an honest debate on this real and persistent drama unfolding in our atmosphere. Alas. But at least now, we have a richer comprehension of how our government -- and perhaps our species -- turned away.
This is the work of academics, not by hobbyists, nor self-styled experts, nor by extremists of any stripe. Many years of serious research have gone into a large, none-too-easy-to-read analysis of the efforts of the U.S. and other Governments to deal with matters far beyond their understanding. While freely admitting anything approaching proof of any conclusion, the authors dig deeply into the confusing and often self-contradicting efforts of bureaucrats to conceal their ignorance of a mystery that refuses to go away. Scientists and others who are interested in the UFO subject should gain confidence that an admission of such interest may not be career-ending.
Okay, so you're browsing books on the UFO phenomenon. Such an undertaking can be a little unsettling if you have your wits about you. Some of these books have fantastic and unbelievable conclusions. You want to find something that is more "meat and potatoes", as one of my mentors used to say. Well this is it, look no further. Instead of producing reams of information about sightings or wandering off into never-never land with preposterous conclusions the authors have done something that is actually very clever. They have carefully and meticulously researched official government response to the "UFO problem". There is a story to be told here that gets all of us away from needless speculation. You will not find belief or opinion, just the facts. And they are quite remarkable. If you never read any other book on the subject this is the one you want to tackle. Over many years I've probably read more than forty books on UFO's, going back to Keyhoe's first work from the 1950s. Some of them were awful, as in poorly written. Many of them were written to propagate a pet theory unsupported by any real evidence. This one makes my top 5. There is no requirement for belief or opinion. Governments, plural, took this issue very seriously and responded to it. This is the story of what happened and when. It should be required reading for anyone with the least interest in the subject. My highest personal recommendation.