Hilary Evans and Dennis Stacy (editors) Fortean Times Book of UFOs 1947-1997. John Brown, 1997.
Fortean Times's contribution to ufology's 50th birthday is this collection of essays from ufologists around the world. The international scope is welcome, with many contributions from outside the familiar US-UK ufological axis. Many of the essays hove a constructively sceptical tone: Eric Maillot's analysis of the
Trans-en-Provence case goes back to basics and reveals the legend which has been built around a simple misidentification and a joking remark. It reveals also the naivete of quasi-governmental organisations when they become involved in areas outside their expertise. It would seem that most 'government conspiracies' are a case of covering backs rather than covering evidence.
Not all contributions are hard-headed demolitions of classic cases, but serve to give a good review of the development of ufology over the past fifty years. Personal reminiscences of the early days of ufology in America from Jim Mosely, and Marc Hallet's insider's account of Adamski's followers in Europe are valuable reminders of an almost forgotten era.
The real value of this collection is that each contributor writes from personal experience about an aspect of ufology that he or she has dealt with directly, and this gives an immediacy to each essay. My only criticism is with the format and price: a hardback with just a few black-and-white illustrations retailing at £17.00 is not going to get the mass market it deserves. A large-format paperback would have been a better idea. -- John Rimmer, from Magonia 60, August 1997