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Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times Paperback – October 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Original edition (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585428205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585428205
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacques Vallee is one of today's most widely respected researchers of unexplained aerial phenomena. He earned a master's degree in astrophysics while living in France and holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern University. Vallee is the author of several books about high technology and unidentified phenomena, including the seminal work Passport to Magonia, published in 1969. He lives in San Francisco.

Chris Aubeck has built the largest collection of pre-1947 unexplained aerial cases in the world. In 2003, he co-founded The Magonia Project, a remarkable network of librarians, students, and scholars of paranormal history on the Internet. The group has accumulated thousands of references, searched media archives in several languages, and collected hundreds of rare documents, scientific reports, and newspaper clippings. Aubeck lives in Madrid, Spain. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book, man is full of UFO sightings.
Hey Man Jesus Saves
While "Passport to Magonia" made many open-minded people think a different way and opened a window, this book goes through this window and explores what's behind.
Daniel Guenther
Authors Vallee and Aubeck have compiled an analysis of sighting reports throughout most of human history and have done a magnificent job!
L. Massingill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By John H. Macdonald on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since Vallee's seminal Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds...I've long anticipated Jacques Vallee's latest book, and I do recommend it highly. That said, it is only fair to let readers know that this is much less of Vallee himself than I had hoped, the authors devoting most of the book to a chronology of 500 reports of strange events reported from ancient times to 1879, complete with sources and notes for each (Readers familiar with Vallee's Magonia Database will instantly recognize the format). The chronology ends in 1879, as this is the point at which manmade objects appeared in the sky for the first time. Vallee devotes much of his commentary to sections the precede and follow the cases, presenting his criteria for inclusion and standards of credibility, as well as a summary of his approach and mindset. This is a valuable introduction to the complex framework through which he views these "anomalies". Those unfamiliar with Vallee's thought will be brought up to speed quickly. The brief discussion of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as it pertains to "anomalies" was very interesting.

The main thrust of the book is that these unexplained phenomenon did not appear suddenly with Kenneth Arnold's "flying saucer" sighting on June 24th, 1947, but have been with us since the dawn of recorded history. His thesis is that each generation views these events through it's own cultural filter and frames them in a context that is peculiar to its time and place.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It's a nice change from the usual UFO history book that typically starts in 1947 and illuminates subsequent sightings. The book contains about 500 sightings that most people do not hear or read about in most UFO books. Sure, there is scant information on many of them, and most of them do not fit into the normal UFO report schema in that there are numerous accounts of armies in the sky, crosses in the sky, and other what appear to be other symbolic interpretations of what people witness that they cannot explain. It's interesting to see how witness accounts go from the Age of Reason to the Age of Enlightenment where such interpretations change with increased scientific knowledge. This book is one that all interested in the subject should read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Greg J. Lovern on January 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this as a follow-up to Leslie Kean's "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record". Until reading that, I had not paid much attention to UFO books, because there are so many lunatics and hoaxsters that it's hard to know who to take seriously.

I found this book partly fascinating and partly disappointing.

After a brief introduction, the bulk of the book is 500 short descriptions of accounts of observations of strange things in the sky, starting thousands of years ago and ending in 1879. Some of them are very well documented by people who were prestigious in their society at the time. It's fascinating how many of them are quite similar to today's UFO accounts.

But I was also annoyed by the inclusion of many accounts that I thought seemed obviously made up by the original sources. Accounts of UFOs coming to a king's coronation, or to a saint when he died, or to hover over a saint's grave or other church relics, just made me roll my eyes.

Even worse were the accounts of UFOs pointing out some "miracle", such as a nicely carved sculpture of the Virgin Mary in a cave, where a chapel was then built, attracting throngs of visitors who want to see the miracle for themselves while boosting the local economy. I don't understand why even uneducated people believe such obvious hoaxes.

Less annoying, but so common as to be wearying, were accounts that started out with a straightforward observation, then went on to interpret it in elaborate religious terms. For many people back then, it seems every unusual observation had to be a very specific "sign" from God.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Massingill on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent and well-researched compendium of weird historical reports of aerial phenomena. Authors Vallee and Aubeck have compiled an analysis of sighting reports throughout most of human history and have done a magnificent job! Their intelligent analysis of the sightings and their impact on human culture and beliefs is enlightening. After reading book and after book of UFO dribble it is refreshing to read authors like Jacques Vallee, Edward Ashpole and Paul Hill. I hope more books come from this partnership! This book is on my top 5 list as of today!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Guenther on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jacques Vallee is usually regarded as the "brilliant mind" of ufology or as some kind of "ufological" rebel after publishing his critically acclaimed Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds where he for the first time showcased parallels between folklore and so-called "Ufo reports" to a big audience. This was in 1969. Times have changed and things developed. Now, 40 years later, we have a great reference book which goes further.

Not only has Vallee an equally gifted, young researcher, Chris Aubeck, at his side. Now, this new book has a treasure of detailed and contemporary sources for each case it has collected. While "Passport to Magonia" made many open-minded people think a different way and opened a window, this book goes through this window and explores what's behind.

Aubeck, who according to Vallee "did the most work" for this book, stars as a great contributor with witty remarks, precision and historical awareness. You won't find any "personal research" or "anonymous source" remarks in this book. Every case is well founded as much as it was possible in regard to the many years which have passed by.

Those, who prefer to think Ufos are extraterrestrial visitors in their space ships, and those who prefer to think they are a representation of cultural, social, psychological and folkloristic influences of their current times, are both welcome to cut their teeth into the hundreds of cases and facts we get from this milestone of research.

Last not least this book received help by a network of international researchers, loosely connected through the internet, and led by Chris Aubeck, who added their wisdom to some of the cases. A highly recommended and welcomed book. Well done!
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