Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times

Overview

One of the most ambitious works of paranormal investigation of our time, here is an unprecedented compendium of pre-twentieth-century UFO accounts, written with rigor and color by two of today's leading investigators of unexplained phenomena.

In the past century, individuals, newspapers, and military agencies have recorded thousands of UFO incidents, giving rise to much speculation about flying saucers, visitors from other planets, and alien abductions. Yet the extraterrestrial ...

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Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times

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Overview

One of the most ambitious works of paranormal investigation of our time, here is an unprecedented compendium of pre-twentieth-century UFO accounts, written with rigor and color by two of today's leading investigators of unexplained phenomena.

In the past century, individuals, newspapers, and military agencies have recorded thousands of UFO incidents, giving rise to much speculation about flying saucers, visitors from other planets, and alien abductions. Yet the extraterrestrial phenomenon did not begin in the present era. Far from it. The authors of Wonders in the Sky reveal a thread of vividly rendered-and sometimes strikingly similar- reports of mysterious aerial phenomena from antiquity through the modern age. These accounts often share definite physical features- such as the heat felt and described by witnesses-that have not changed much over the centuries. Indeed, such similarities between ancient and modern sightings are the rule rather than the exception.

In Wonders in the Sky, respected researchers Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck examine more than 500 selected reports of sightings from biblical-age antiquity through the year 1879-the point at which the Industrial Revolution deeply changed the nature of human society, and the skies began to open to airplanes, dirigibles, rockets, and other opportunities for misinterpretation represented by military prototypes. Using vivid and engaging case studies, and more than seventy-five illustrations, they reveal that unidentified flying objects have had a major impact not only on popular culture but on our history, on our religion, and on the models of the world humanity has formed from deepest antiquity.

Sure to become a classic among UFO enthusiasts and other followers of unexplained phenomena, Wonders in the Sky is the most ambitious, broad-reaching, and intelligent analysis ever written on premodern aerial mysteries.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
French-born UFOlogist Vallee, who has advanced degrees in astrophysics and computer science (Passport to Magonia), and UFOlogist Aubeck, who lives in Madrid and has compiled the world's largest collection of pre-1947 unexplained aerial sightings, team to produce this engrossing catalogue of pre–20th-century UFO accounts. They've selected more than 500 reports of sightings from antiquity to 1879, noting, "Every epoch has interpreted the phenomena in its own terms, often in a specific religious or political context." Attributions and sources are given for each entry. Most are several paragraphs long, but some are brief, such as, "27 September 1477, Japan.... A luminous object crossed the sky. A cotton-like substance fell for the next six hours." To show the impact of such sightings on culture, Part Two relates myths, legends, religious visions, optical illusions, and hoaxes, such as airships, angel apparitions, dragons, fiery discs and fireballs, "mock moons" and pyramids in the sky. The 75 illustrations have been chosen from a variety of ancient and arcane sources. Charles Fort, the famed writer on unexplained phenomena, would have been dazzled by this monumental compendium of curiosities. (Oct. 28)
Library Journal
Vallee and Aubeck bring scientific perspective to the much maligned field of UFO study. Vallee, an astronomer-turned-computer scientist, has written many respected books on UFOs. Aubeck is well known for his work with the Magonia Project, the world's largest compilation of pre-1947 unexplained aerial cases. Here, they look at what they contend are UFO sightings from ancient times through 1879. This new study lists 500 accounts of sightings that are both vivid and amazingly similar. The authors picked these cases because they feel they're neither hoaxes nor misunderstood phenomena but actual events. It is obvious that a tremendous amount of research went into this work, and the accounts are fascinating. Vallee believes that the UFO phenomenon is real and has been a part of our society throughout human history, but the evidence indicates that more serious research is needed. VERDICT This well-researched and well-written work will be of interest to anyone fascinated by UFOs. Definitely recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries.—Mary E. Jones, Los Angeles P.L., CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428205
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2010
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 628,733
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacques Vallee is one of today's most widely respected researchers of unexplained aerial phenomena. He earned a master's degree in astrophysics while living in France and holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern University. Vallee is the author of several books about high technology and unidentified phenomena, including the seminal work Passport to Magonia, published in 1969. He lives in San Francisco.

Chris Aubeck has compiled the largest collection of pre-1947 unexplained aerial cases in the world. In 2003, he cofounded the Magonia Project, a remarkable network of librarians, students, and scholars of paranormal history on the Internet. The group has accumulated thousands of references, searched media archives in several languages, and scanned hundreds of hard-to-find books, scholarly journals, and magazines. Aubeck lives in Madrid, Spain.

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Table of Contents

Foreword David Hufford 1

Introduction 7

Part I A Chronology of Wonders 25

A Chronology to 1000 AD 27

B Chronology: 1000 to 1500 AD 83

C Sixteenth-Century Chronology 137

D Seventeenth-Century Chronology 177

E Eighteenth-Century Chronology 243

F Nineteenth-Century Chronology 279

Part II Myths, Legends, and Chariots of the Gods 353

Part III Sources and Methods 451

Classical sources 453

Screening 458

Rules for inclusion 460

Hoaxes 462

Explanations 462

The special problem of crashed saucers 464

The special problem of ?dragons? 465

Entities 466

Biblical accounts 467

Aerial phenomena in classical art 470

For further research ... 474

Conclusion 477

Acknowledgments 489

Index of Cases 493

List of Illustrations 503

Bibliography 507

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    I have always found UFO sightings intriguing and Wonders in the Sky just magnified my curiosity. Paranormal investigation must be an exciting field of work and reading this book made me feel like I was experiencing the unexplainable. It's very well written and makes you wonder about what exactly is in the sky.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Interesting book with interesting premise

    A worthy look at the resemblance of UFO Sightings to classical folklore. They note that the phenomena has some constants. Lights in the sky, contact/communication, etc. have been occurring throughout recorded history. This book reminded me to keep my mind open, and that it may not be a solid metal spaceship after all. Think of it this way: remove “spaceship” / “flying saucer” from an example sighting as part of the cultural background and compare to historical sightings and folklore. Recommended and the introductions and explanations are probably more important than the listed sightings in antiquity are. The data crunching at the end is even better. Did you know that the number of sightings at specific hours of the day has not changed through recorded history? New ideas shouldn’t be ignored even if you think they are wrong.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book really makes you think!

    Its packed full of research (and leaves room for the reader to dig deeper)

    for why folks study UFO'S past and present.

    Its here in the pages of this book !!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 4, 2011

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    Posted November 6, 2010

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