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The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial Paperback – September, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


Jerome Clark is the former editor of the UFO magazine Fate and former vice-president and current board member of the J. Allen Hyneck Center for UFO Studies as well as the editor of their quarterly publication The International UFO Reporter. He has published several books and a three-volume UFO Encyclopedia encompassing every conceivable aspect of UFOs possible. In short, Clark has spent the past four decades researching, analyzing and bringing to light anything remotely connected to what the world identifies as UFO's and extraterrestrial life. The UFO Book is actually an abridgment of the much larger, two volume work, The UFO Encyclopedia (2nd Edition) published in the fall of 1997. Clark makes it very clear in the introduction that, "Except in those instances where good reason exists to doubt an informant's sincerity, The UFO Book operates on the assumption that intellectual agnosticism...". True to his word, The UFO Book is clear, in-depth, cross-referenced and user friendly and goes to extremes to stand above any hint of opinion regarding the wealth of information contained in this book. The UFO Book includes a historical overview of UFO phenomenon, an overview of its terminology roots, and in-depth information regarding resources in print an other forms of media. Every subject, whether a discussion of a specific topic or a specific incident is organized alphabetically with painstakingly clear cross referencing throughout. The UFO Book is engrossing reading that can fill a few minutes, an hour, or more. It has the authoritative backbone that brings this incredibly diverse and far reaching subject to light in a meticulously objective manner. Clark has put into one volume an incredible amount of research that is a must read for anyone mildly curious about UFO's and extra- terrestrials. -- From Independent Publisher

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 734 pages
  • Publisher: Visible Ink Press (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578590299
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578590292
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Contrary to what a previous reviewer wrote, Jerome Clark's "UFO Book" is neither biased nor too "thin" to be a superb reference source for someone who wants to learn more about the UFO phenomenon. While Clark is a "believer" in the sense that he believes that not every UFO sighting can be be dismissed as swamp gas, stars, weather balloons, or (failing all else) hoaxes, he is fair to the skeptics and debunkers and does include the explanations they have given for each of the sightings he discusses. And, given the negative publicity that this topic constantly recieves, it is refreshing to read a thoroughly-researched, well-written account of UFOs that at least tries (and usually succeeds) to be fair and balanced. Unlike many UFO books which are written by "true believers" who do little research and who see every UFO sighting as "proof" that we are being visited by aliens, or books by so-called UFO "skeptics" who actually twist or ignore the evidence in order to debunk every UFO sighting and dismiss the topic as "nonsense", Clark openly states in the prologue that both sides need to adopt a little-used three word phrase when dealing with the UFO phenomenon: "We don't know". This book is actually an abridged version of his much longer and more in-depth "UFO Encyclopedia". The "Encyclopedia", which has 273 entries, comes in two volumes, and costs about $(...), is designed for the more serious researcher or ufologist. The "UFO Book" contains some 90 entries from the "UFO Encyclopedia", yet it still covers, alphabetically, almost every major UFO sighting in America since the UFO phenomenon started in the summer of 1947. It also looks at the major theories used to explain UFO sightings and has brief biographies of most of the leading ufologists AND skeptics in the field.Read more ›
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Commander Adama on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Apparently, defending Jerome Clark's "UFO Book" and pointing out his critic's flaws is "evidence" that I'm a UFO zealot. Amusingly, I'm accused of "mudslinging", yet the previous reviewer does plenty of mudslinging himself, calling Clark a "crackpot" who only uses sources from other "crackpots", and this reviewer "lazy". He also didn't respond to many of the points in my other post, but for those that he did, here goes: 1) at no point in his chapter on the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction case does Clark say he believes that the Hills were abducted by a UFO. Instead, he simply gives their side of the story, the claims of their critics, and the claims of their defenders. That sounds like a balanced approach to me - you present one side, then the other, and then let the reader decide the truth. In fact, Clark writes in the "UFO Book" that the Hill case is "unprovable" and is indeed based on circumstantial evidence! Yet this is ignored by the previous reviewer, who claims that Clark's "UFO Book" omits anything negative about UFOs. This statement can easily be proven false merely by reading the chapter on the Hill case, in which Clark discusses both Klass AND Kottmeyer's criticisms of the Hill's story. Of course, the real problem here is that Clark doesn't agree with their criticisms, and thus must be a "crackpot."

2) Phil Klass didn't create his excuse for why he criticized the University of Nebraska for holding a UFO Conference until AFTER his claims had been publicized. In a memo written by the administrator who took Klass's bizarre phone call, Klass charged that he "has a personal feeling that...these {UFO} organizations, by publicly questioning the government, lend support to the Communist movement".
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Commander Adama on July 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
I don't usually write rebuttals, but in this case I thought I'd make an exception. Jerome Clark (and it's Clark, not Clarke) is no "conspiracy theorist". The "UFO Book" is an abridged version of Clark's two-volume, in-depth "UFO Encyclopedia". In that book Clark does mention Phil Klass, Robert Sheaffer, and other prominent debunkers, sometimes at considerable length. He even includes separate bios of Klass and Donald Menzel, the "original" UFO debunker. It IS rare for Klass to do any field investigations or to talk directly to the UFO witnesses. Instead, most of his "research" was done over the phone. As for the "rational thinking" of Klass & Company, in 1983 Klass tried to shut down a UFO conference at the University of Nebraska by privately telling a school administrator that people who studied UFOs were supporting Communism, and that for the university to sponsor a conference of ufologists would be the same as if they sponsored one held by Nazis! When he discovered that the administrator had released a written account of his absurd claim, an infuriated Klass threatened legal action (which never materialized).

Robert Sheaffer, another CSICOP debunker, uses dubious sources such as the "National Enquirer" on his website (The Debunker's Domain), wherein he attacks not just UFOs, but Christianity, poor people (whose poverty is "an inevitable consequence of their achievement-hating values"), and "radical feminists" (and Sheaffer seems to think nearly all women are radical feminists). Sheaffer claims that American women have "bamboozled" their men into making "life-destroying exertions" to keep them living in style.
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