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Ufo Sightings: The Evidence Hardcover – August 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 327 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573922137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573922135
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,907,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Sheaffer (San Jose, CA), a leading skeptical investigator of UFOs, and a contributor to Astronomy and the Skeptical Inquirer, is a fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

Customer Reviews

The brain has left and right sides and you don't have to use the left side exclusively!!!
Margaret C. Jacob
'Classic' cases are shown to be selectively reported and straightforward explanations are presented in this book.
Scorpion de Rooftrouser
If you want to take a more balanced view of UFO phenomenon, this should be among the books you read.
Jeffrey Leeper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Sheaffer's "UFO Sightings: The Evidence" has one major flaw: it tends only to look at the evidence which supports Sheaffer's anti-UFO conclusions. Sheaffer is a leading member of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry; it was previously called CSICOP), a hard-line debunking group. CSI was created in the 1970's to debunk "New Age" and "pseudoscientific" beliefs which, it claims, threaten the very existence of civilization. Among other things, CSI has complained about adults encouraging children to believe in Santa Claus, and it has publicly criticized the "X-Files" TV series for promoting disbelief in science!

According to CSI and Sheaffer, one of the major "threats to science" are those people who believe that UFOs might represent something beyond the understanding of mainstream science. Although Sheaffer does do a credible job of proving that some of the UFO incidents in his book have a conventional explanation (such as the famous sighting that future President Jimmy Carter had in Georgia in the late sixties, which Sheaffer convincingly shows to have been Venus), some of his other "explanations" often ignore or twist the evidence to come to the conclusion Sheaffer wants.

For example, Sheaffer describes in detail the famous UFO chase in Portage County, Ohio in 1966 in which a respected policeman, Dale Spaur, and his deputy chased an extremely large and bright object across the county and into Pennsylvania before the strange object "flew straight up" and vanished. Sheaffer argues that this UFO was clearly the planet Venus, and even uses a map to show that the path Spaur followed as he chased the UFO was actually the path he would have taken if he were following Venus setting on the eastern horizon.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leeper on July 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Robert Scheaffer is not a proponent of UFOlogy. Instead, he is a skeptic who is trying to point out some of the irrationalities in the beliefs in UFOs and other related phenomenon.
Using different scientific laws and principles, like Occam's Razor, Schaeffer debunks the "proof" of UFOs in our world today. In each chapter, he walks through many of the classic UFO sightings and shows you how all the "facts" don't fit together or are changing as the story gets older.
At first, I read this as a believer who was calling for more rigid investigation so that we can focus our attention on what we believe to be actual unidentified flying objects. As you read, you will see that he feels that the believers, of whom he is not one, should adopt a more rigid standard in their investigations just as science does. In science, open forum is welcomed to search for truth whereas many UFO studies refuse to scrutinized and result to ad hominem attacks to protect their copyrighted property.
Scheaffer does bring in a strong argument. He does have a chapter on witchcraft in the Middle Ages to help support his argument. After reflection, it does help, but it is not immediately apparent in the writing.
If you are a believer or UFOlogist, you will not want to read this book. If you want to take a more balanced view of UFO phenomenon, this should be among the books you read.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Reading Robert Sheaffer's barbed skepticism requires a little fortitude, for a subject as controversial as UFOlogy is bound to awaken a faint sympathy for the targets of his criticism. But, this is not a book just slamming the UFO movement out of spite or even a critique of the major players, but an examination of the EVIDENCE that we have been visited by extraterrestrials.
So this book dwells at great length on the facts, not theories, not speculation, but facts that surround some of the best known UFO contacts. And the result? Null, nada, nothing.
The extraordinary claim of extraterrestrial contact should be matched by extraordinary evidence. And the evidence is....anything but extraordinary. Judge for yourself. Covered is the UFO report of a certain Jimmy Carter, as well as the New Zealand UFO contact, Roswell (my word, has that non-story persisted for such a long time!) as well as certain other fairly well known UFO stories. Also covered: close encounters of the fairy kind, the physics of space travel and the fallibility of human perceptions and memories. Like most of us who take a good interest in astronomy, Robert is faintly disappointed that the evidence does not justify the extraordinary claim. Like most skeptics, he tends to be pendantic and to hammer a point home all too heavily.
But the question remains: Are we alone? Robert Sheaffer would say: We just don't know. And the "evidence" present by UFO fanatics today is so poor that you can only call it a religion, faith based on the unreliable and the unprovable.
Definitely worth reading.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scorpion de Rooftrouser on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I checked our local library all the books on UFOs had one thing in common: they rejected non-mysterious solutions. Robert Sheaffer is concerned with nothing but the truth and he sets forth an examination of Ufology that looks at the subject's most cherished evidence and finds it wanting. 'Classic' cases are shown to be selectively reported and straightforward explanations are presented in this book. If there really was good evidence Sheaffer would be eager to learn of it and present it. Ufologists need this book to find out how strong the opposition is and the open-minded need it to see the other side from hysterical media hype. A very enjoyable and entertaining read!
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