Ufos And Popular Culture

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Is the human race the result of a breeding experiment carried out by ancient astronauts? Are satanists, extraterrestrials—or both—mutilating cattle? Whimsical and fascinating, UFOs and Popular Culture explores a rich facet of Americana and its impact on contemporary society. The UFO phenomenon is put into folkloric and psychological perspective, revealing much about our collective psyche.

From religious beliefs and legends to movies and TV shows; from advertising and celebrities to Internet sites and photo ops; this illustrated A–Z encyclopedia is your first stop resource for understanding UFO beliefs and their impact on contemporary America. Topics explored include Music and UFOs, Naked Aliens, Reincarnation, Roswell, Brad Steiger, Heaven's Gate, War of the Worlds, and UFO Conventions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sure to entice casual readers. . . . Should be included in all UFO collections, for its alphabetical table of contents makes it easy to locate each topic, and the opportunities for further research assure its timeliness."


Library Journal

"A worthwhile investment for X-Files fans and other enthusiasts who will seek it out for pleasure. The video fan looking for classic science fiction and the student writing a first report on unidentified flying objects also will find it a useful source."



Although not a comprehensive encyclopedia of ufology, this volume concentrates on UFOs in popular world culture. An overwhelming number of the short, descriptive entries cover films and other media but not many books. Topics range from the famous radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, B films such as Earth Versus the Flying Saucers, and the television series the X-Files to Disney's The Cat from Outer Space. Medium-length entries discuss famous encounters and ufologists. Multipage entries are reserved for analytical essays on major subjects, such as nineteenth-century airship tales, the Roswell incident, and scientology. These longer entries, along with the introductory essays and appendixes, provide the bulk of the evaluative information. They are written in a scholarly manner that might prompt researchers to run for a dictionary—or at least to flip frequently to the encyclopedia's own shorter entries. What is included, however, is informative and balanced, attempting to identify known hoaxes, facts, and the unproven, and giving each equal time. Cross-references and sources provide further resources for interested readers. Most entries are signed by the authors, whose biographies are included at the front of the volume. Whether viewed as a reference for UFOs in popular media or as a more scholarly introduction to ufology, this book is a worthwhile investment for X-Files fans and other enthusiasts who will seek it out for pleasure. The video fan looking for classic science fiction and the student writing a first report on unidentified flying objects also will find it a useful source. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. Appendix. 2000, ABC-CLIO, 393p. PLB $75. Ages12 to Adult. Reviewer: Beth Karpas SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
Library Journal
Written by experienced authors who rely on in-depth research and draw careful conclusions, these works compellingly highlight key events, issues, themes, and theories concerning UFOs and myriad other unsolved mysteries. Wilson revises and updates material he has already presented in such works as The Encyclopedia of the Unsolved Mysteries (1988) and From Atlantis to the Sphinx (LJ 6/15/97), dividing his investigation into 75 enduring mysteries, from crop circles to poltergeists to Atlantis. For example, he probes the history of the curse of the Hope Diamond, bringing to light the possibility that the diamond, like other crystals, is sensitive to the vibrations of the mind and that a curse could therefore be imprinted on it. Though not all entries are of equal depth, they include enough information to make this work helpful. Lewis (The Astrology Encyclopedia; Angels A to Z; religion, Univ. of Wisconsin, Stevens Point) here highlights UFO religions, folklore, and mythology, and the details seem to flow like water. In addition to articles from 20 contributors, the book contains an extensive bibliography, a chronology of UFO sightings from 1837 to 1998, and, as an example of UFO spirituality, a document from the Heaven's Gate cult, whose members committed mass suicide in 1997 in expectation of arriving UFOs. A listing of UFO-related organizations, periodicals, and web sites enable readers to pursue the subject as interest dictates. Good primers for those first exploring this territory, both works are sure to entice casual readers. Lewis's, perhaps better suited than Wilson's to the reference shelf, should also be included in all UFO collections, for its alphabetical table of contents makes it easy to locate each topic, and the opportunities for further research assure its timeliness.--Leroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L. Dist., FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Lewis (religious studies, U. of Wisconsin) has compiled an encyclopedia (with 21 contributing authors) that is an accessible guide to the UFO craze, covering both the notoriously humorous pop culture aspects of the subject, as well as the sinister side. The editor's introduction differentiates this encyclopedia from others on the topic in its coverage of the abduction phenomenon (earlier encyclopedias downplay this aspect) and its coverage of religious meanings and imaginative works related to ufology. The foreword by folklorist Thomas E. Bullard places the topic in its context in relation to myth, New Age Religion, and humanity's archetypal need to encounter the super-natural. Each entry includes bibliographic references. Appendices include documents related to Heaven's Gate, and lists of organizations and resources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576072653
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Pages: 436
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

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