Evans Above!

Hilary Evans. From Other Worlds: The Truth About Aliens, Abductions, UFOs and the Paranormal. Carlton, 1998.

A beautifully illustrated coffee table book, full of evocative images, most from the Mary Evans Picture Library, with the balanced, sensible text we have come to expect from Hilary Evans. Hilary traces the idea of visitors from all sorts of elsewheres through history, blending imagery from traditional religions, science fiction and the modern folklore. He doesn't just cover UFO entities, but also ghosts and religious visions.

His thesis, that these experience are psychodramas projected by the unconscious mind will be familiar to readers of his earlier books; Visions, Apparitions and Alien Visitors and Gods, Spirits and Cosmic Guardians, but these are now becoming very scarce, and there are new generations to whom this will be less familiar. He writes from the perspective of a social historian, and this approach clearly will not be to the liking of those who argue for the literal existence of visitors of various kinds, by selecting superficially plausible scientific sounding exerts from the canon, and censoring out the awkward bits.

Not that Hilary is a sceptic in the CSICOP tradition; he is quite willing to be open minded about far more possibilities than say myself for example, including the possibility of telepathic communications from the dead, or the existence of at least quasi-intelligent Balls of Light. -- Reviewed by Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 66, March 1999.

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