Vallee, a California astrophysicist, here analyzes UFO sightings that he has investigated personally and concludes that UFOs are real, but that, far from being the emissaries of extraterrestrial civilizations, they represent ``a yet unrecognized level of consciousness, independent of man but closely linked to the earth.'' He argues that we will understand the UFO phenomenon only when we expand our view of the physical universe beyond four dimensions, and he urges scientists to take a greater interest in the subject because certain sightings that he has researched, particularly in Brazil, show that UFOs offer both a complex technology (probably microwave) and a hostile potential. Vallee's ( Dimensions ) theories will doubtless upset conventional ufologists, while nonbelievers will preserve their skepticism. (Apr.)
The audience for books on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) remains strong--the 1989-90 edition of Books in Print lists over 100 adult titles. Vallee's Anatomy of a Phenomenon ( LJ 6/1/65) helped provide scientific respectability to the study of UFOs. While Vallee stresses the need to maintain scientific objectivity and a critical attitude, he is not afraid to offer theories which go beyond traditional extraterrestrial hypotheses. Among the 100 cases reported here are some in which observers were harmed or died as a result of viewing a UFO. For each case, Vallee visited the actual site, spoke to witnesses, and concludes that ``something happened.'' The Walters' book is a frightening account of 20 UFO encounters occurring near their Florida home. Their position in the community, the collaboration of over 100 other area witnesses, and the authenticated photographs and videotape they took make this account more trustworthy than most. The phenomenon of missing time, described in Budd Hopkins's Intruders ( LJ 6/1/87), is part of this story as well. While neither of the books under review provides firm answers about the reality or intent of UFOs, both can be recommended as above-average entries in the genre. Academic libraries should have the Vallee book, while public libraries will want both.-- Gary D. Barber, SUNY at Fredonia Lib.