On the UFO Beat

Tony Dodd. Alien Investigator: The Case Files of Britain's Leading UFO Detective, Headline, London, 1999. 
It all began on a night in January 1978, when Sergeant Tony Dodd of the North Yorkshire Police had a close encounter with a UFO when driving across the moors with a colleague. When he eventually retired from the police force, Dodd began to devote himself full time to UFO research. He claims to use his police experience "to tackle the subject in a hard-headed, disciplined manner". Presumably this means not believing everything that one would like to believe and being able to distinguish between facts and fantasies, as well as demanding sound evidence to back up extraordinary claims.

It is all too obvious, though, that if Dodd had conducted his police work in the same way that he pursues his UFO research, his career would have not lasted long. He believes that people who have close encounters are specially chosen and that the aliens communicate with him telepathically. These are the good aliens, of course. There are also the bad aliens who mutilate animals. In fact, there are several different lots of aliens buzzing around the Earth, and Dodd obviously has a hard time trying to sort out which lot is which.

Being so active in ferreting out UFO secrets, Dodd is plagued by the activities of secret agents who tap his telephone, follow him around, and generally hassle him. One would think that an experienced police officer would have ways of dealing with this sort of treatment, but Dodd never takes the obvious actions. For example, he is followed around by a car and uses his knowledge of the local roads to get on its tail. This is where he can get its registration number and have it checked out. But he makes no mention of attempting to identify its owner. At a UFO conference in Tucson, Arizona, he was approached by "two dark-suited men" who told him they were from the US government, and proceeded to warn him about the line of research he was pursuing. Strangely, he makes no mention of asking for evidence of their authority to question him.

Perhaps the most amusing stories concern Dodd's interest in alleged UFO incidents in Iceland. His contacts there gave his phone number to Icelandic trawlermen who took to ringing him up and telling him fantastic stories about UFOs going in and out of the sea. Dodd apparently takes all these reports at face value, apparently blind to the probability that they are pulling his leg. -- John Harney, from Magonia Monthly Supplement, number 13, March 1999.

1 comment:

Terry the Censor said...

Looks like one of those fun reads where I wouldn't have to worry about checking claims or taking notes. Just let myself get immersed in the madness.