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Open Skies, Closed Minds Hardcover – March 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879519169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879519162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,939,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If Pope is correct, Earth is currently in the middle of an interplanetary war. He claims that while he was stationed at the "UFO Desk" of Britain's Ministry of Defense, he studied UFO sightings as well as crop circles and cattle mutilations--all of which led him to the conclusion that the aliens are here, and they aren't friendly. He believes it is time the British government and the world in general rally to confront the invaders. The author openly compares himself to Fox Mulder of TV's X-Files in his struggles to bring forth the hidden evidence of the security danger to planet Earth. This work, which originally was published in England and was a best-seller there, is one for the true believers. Although numerous incidents are cited, actual evidence is lacking, and logic is often absent from the author's arguments. Nevertheless, the topic is perennially popular, and Pope's belief in UFOs will attract attention. Eric Robbins

From Kirkus Reviews

As a career civil servant with Britain's Ministry of Defence, Pope served a three-year stint in the early 1990s as chief investigator of UFO sightings in the United Kingdom. He began as a skeptic and ended up a true believer. This book, a bestseller in Britain, attempts to explain his conversion but does a poor job of it. Fully a third of the book is spent discussing what is by now a familiar litany of UFO-related phenomena: Roswell, Area 51, the US Air Force ``Blue Book'' of UFO investigations, etc. Pope's own work consisted mainly of investigating alleged sightings of UFOs, crop circles (huge, symmetrical designs mysteriously created in open fields), and cattle slaughters (aliens apparently like hamburgers). Slim as this investigative work is, and even though, as he himself admits, there is no proof of the existence of UFOs, Pope still insists that ``there is a war going on'' with aliens. To make matters worse, he contends, we aren't even aware that this war is happening. He also assures us that 95 percent of UFO sightings go unreported, though his only evidence for this is that private UFO groups have said so. Still, the book is blessedly free of the paranoia found in so much of the UFO writing done in the US. For Pope, the government of Britain is not engaged in a conspiracy to cover up the existence of UFOs (as some believe about the US government); it just hasn't bothered to do much investigating. He can also be lyrical, such as when describing the joy and wonder of visitors within a crop circle. But he can also turn around and be facile and trite. On the connection between aliens and ghosts he concludes, ``The spirit world is highly complicated.'' One would suppose this to be true. An odd, unconvincing statement of belief from a government official. (8 pages b&w photos) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Author, journalist and TV personality Nick Pope used to run the British Government's UFO project and is now recognized as one of the world's leading experts on UFOs, the unexplained, conspiracy theories, fringe science and sci-fi.

Nick Pope is a best-selling author who has written non-fiction books about UFOs and alien abductions, and science fiction novels about alien invasion. He works with various Hollywood film companies on PR campaigns to promote sci-fi movies.

Nick Pope contributes regularly to various TV chat shows and documentaries, with appearances including Good Morning America, Nightline, Larry King Live, Geraldo at Large, The Joy Behar Show, Campbell Brown, and Ancient Aliens. He's been interviewed on TV news shows on ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and numerous other networks all around the world.

Nick Pope lives in America.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book should be required reading for anyone even mildly interested in UFOs. In this book, Pope tells us the story of what he himself calls his three year "voyage of discovery" during which he came to the conclusion that the "Extraterrestrial Hypothesis" was the best (and, possibly, the only) explanation for the twenty percent or so of cases that could not be explained otherwise.
To come to this conclusion, however, Pope had to start with an "open mind." Given the title, the reader should be instantly aware that this is not the way most of officialdom approaches this topic. But, Pope does something most Civil Servants would never do: he takes his new responsibility as the Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) UFO Desk Officer SERIOUSLY! He reads into the topic (which shows up clearly in his knowledge of the history of the phenomenon). To extend his capability to investigate sightings, He develops good relations with civilian UFO investigation groups like the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) and QUEST International, and actually shares data with them. Not only that, but Pope actually tries to help and comfort witnesses and abductees. When he says "I'm with the Ministry and I'm here to help you," he actually means it!
So, what we have thus far is an MoD Civil Servant who, after three years of dealing with civilian and military close encounters, has come to the conclusion that some significant percentage of these events involve extraterrestrial craft piloted by some form of extraterrestrial intelligence. I cannot stress how important this publically stated conclusion is. It has, insofar as I can tell, happened only once before and that was in the first edition of Edward Ruppelt's book "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Despite what some people would like you to believe, Nick Pope's book, Open Skies, Closed Minds is obviously one of the best UFO and paranormal activity books ever written. It presents his years of research in a clear and analytical way that is easy to understand and use. Though it is not a story book or a "conspiracy thriller, it reads just as well if not better than most novels I have read. If you're into UFOs and want a good resource book that you will be able to read the whole way through, then Open Skies, Closed Minds if definitely the best book to buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Baltok on June 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Pope is one of the extremelly well-informed ufologists who spent years on researching, cataloging and assessing extraterrestrial phoenomena.
While working for the British Crown at the Ministry of Defense in England, Mr. Pope examined a considerable number of extraterrestrial occurances that froze the world of ufology. His guest appearences on world television enlightened viewers around the globe.

His candor, honesty and open mind shed lights on areas that were totally ignored by the media and mainstream ufology. Although, Mr. Pope is cautious in his statements and press releases, Mr. Pope always told the truth to the best of his abilities.

This book is a strong example. American readers should look at the UFO phenomena from an European perspective. Sometimes it is quite different and even astonishing.

This book is written to serve this purpose. It is an open invitation to the serious Ufology authors and inquisitive minds. I highly recommend Mr. Pope's present work, a man you can really trust.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cutter on March 7, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book if you want to practice speed reading. I scanned through the book looking for something exciting, interesting. No luck. The first part of his book Nick talks about the theory of UFOs and of a few who have encountered them. The book eventually tells of his experience with UFO reports, and his vague investigations. He adds throughout the book quick blurbs about other theories and random information. This must have been his way of spicing it up, but I found it irritating. There are no exciting stories of his days as a UFO investigator. Instead we are led along page after page, hoping to read something exciting and enlightening and never finding it. I'm sure there's a plethora of information and activity going on but you wont find it here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 25, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First published in 1996 shortly after Nick Pope left his three-year posting as head of the UFO desk but whilst still employed by the Ministry of Defence, "Open Skies, Closed Minds" is a thoughtful, literate and occasionally amusing summary of the author's tenure as a full-time, government-paid researcher into the UFO phenomenon. He turns out to be a good writer, and although there may be few new revelations here for the serious student of the subject, Nick's unique official position and his fair-minded, diligent approach make for an original and valuable contribution to the field. It's the impartiality, the outsider parachuted into the job with no previous interest and no preconceptions who then undergoes gradual conversion to realize there is real substance to the UFO issue that makes for a compelling read. The level of commercial success and subsequent publicity for the UFO phenomenon gained by this book in the UK has only to date been equaled by the best work of Tim Good.

This review is of the original hardback edition, which has a good 8-page monochrome photo section in the middle and a comprehensive index.

Quote from the author: "One of the first things I did on taking up the UFO post was to read into the subject...there were also things called `close encounters'...where people saw a UFO and then arrived home much later than expected unable to account for a lost period...I had responsibilities both to the MOD and to the public as a whole to investigate all sightings and experiences in a totally impartial way, irrespective of my own views about a witness...

...many in the world of UFOlogy regarded me as just `the man from the ministry' as likely as not up to my eyeballs in crashed UFOs, dead aliens and cosmic cover-ups.
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