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UFO Mysteries: a Reporter Seeks the Truth

By Curt Sutherly

Llevelyn publisher, 2001.

The author is a U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran and a professional journalist who has had a thirty years long interest - with interrupts - in the UFO and Fortean phenomenon in general and has authored many magazine articles on these topics. He is an admirer of Charles Fort, John Keel, Ivan Sanderson, and other fortean journalists and researchers.

The books derives in part of his previous book "Strange Encounters". It is written in vivid journalistic style and is easy and pleasant to read. An index comes on handy to easily retrieve a topic.

The opening is rather classic. In the context of various aeronautics stories and mention of the Roswell incident, Kenneth Arnold's sighting and the Maury Island saga are told in details - Sutherly managed to interview Arnold - events are narrated, and despite the author's obvious fascination in such mysteries it appears quite clearly how the entire Crisman and Dahl story was a sham with a complexity that had more to do with the weird personalities of the hoaxers - and likely the usual dramatization by John Keel - than a real mystery.

The author illustrates that "something odd is going on" by summaries of famous UFO events from the 1952 UFO sightings to the Lonnie Zamora close encounter and his own experience of what appears to be only mildly strange at a 1967 campsite.

A chapter deals with the infamous Majectic-12 documents, the author is found wondering who is behind such disinformation and why, offering his opinion that someone wants us to believe in aliens for some obscure reason. We then go deeply into the development of the SR-71 spy-plane and up to the space program, Face on Mars stuff, and back to black helicopters and shaped-changing UFO stories. A UFO convention is narrated in a rather humorous manner.

An appendix provides an interesting catalog of triangular-shaped UFO sightings from 1990 to 2000 mostly from British newspapers accounts.

I generally enjoyed the reading. I really had to smile at the author's own campsite nocturnal fright, I do not think the book offers a suitably balanced and complete perspective on UFO matters to the novice reader, as it covers too much ground in a series of chapters that seem like a series of journalist articles on this or that topic. However, the book is of interest to the ufologists for the pieces of information and personal anecdotes that the author gathered himself from his own ventures in the UFO world.

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