by Chris Aubeck & Jacques Vallée.
Published by Tarcher Penguin. 2010.
An excellent and well-researched compendium of weird historical reports of aerial phenomena. Authors Vallée and Aubeck have compiled an analysis of sighting reports throughout most of human history and have done a magnificent job!
Vallée will be known to everyone reading this review, most notably for such classic UFO books as ‘Anatomy of a Phenomena’, ‘Passport to Magonia’ and ‘Messengers of Deception’. However, in mainstream science, Vallée is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and for his work at SRI International in creating ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet.
What this book does is put transient aerial phenomena in a proper historical context. So for example, in the seventeenth century, we have reports of sky battles and in the medieval period we have encounters with fairies and the Blessed Virgin Mary who descend from luminous objects. This book is a delight to read, for both the ‘paranormal’ investigator and the historian, as it gives insight into the social beliefs of the periods when these experiences were reported.
The approach of both Vallée and Aubeck leads to an intelligent analysis of the sightings and their impact on human culture and beliefs, which is enlightening. For those who believe that UFOs have no place in the realm of psychical research - this book will show you how very wrong you are. UFOs are central to a whole tradition of transformative psychic experience throughout the ages. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by David Taylor