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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappointing..., August 5, 2008
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This review is from: Flying Saucers and Science: A Scientist Investigates the Mysteries of UFOs: Interstellar Travel, Crashes, and Government Cover-Ups (Paperback)
Let me begin by saying that I have the utmost respect and admiration for Stanton Friedman and his pursuit of the truth regarding flying saucers. That is why I have entitled my review "Sadly disappointing"....because it is, indeed, sad that with this book what could and should have been Mr. Friedman's magnum opus, his life-time summation of the most direct and irrefutable evidence out there, we have - instead - a relatively slim volume coming out relatively fast on the heels of "Captured" (his wonderful book about Betty and Barney Hill, albeit co-authored)...almost as if it were done on-the-run and for reasons other than offering the public a supreme summation of the ongoing situation.

Why do I say this? For one, if a reader knows little about UFOs, this book would merely confuse and baffle him. It hints at many things and skirts around several issues, but other than the still-dubious Majestic-12 controversy, goes into detail about very few. Instead, we are referred to other books if we want to know more - one of which is Mr. Friedman's own "Crash at Corona" which we are referred to several, several times throughout the text. Hint, hint: buy the other book! There is talk of UFOs shooting down aircraft - yet no instances are elaborated. There is no discussion of note regarding the Phoenix Lights sightings and the more recent flap in Texas. There is nothing about the daytime pilot sighting over the English Channel not so long ago. A variety of truly startling NASA footage that I have seen is not even discussed, nor is Astronaut Gordon Cooper's incredible admission in his autobiography that he personally knew people who had filmed a landed UFO and its occupants and that he - Cooper - had seen UFOs during his World War Two pilotting. Philip Corso - whether whistle-blower or fraud - is not addressed. Mention is made of two saucer crashes near Roswell - but no details are given. (And many of the witnesses to Roswell that Mr. Friedman still puts stock in have, in my estimation, been discredited rather convincingly elsewhere: among them, mortician Glenn Dennis and Barney Barnett.)

What is offered are things most people already, sadly, know of: that the Government blacks out (or whites out) many, many documents released regarding UFOs; that interstellar space travel is possible (although faster-than-light travel or worm-holes or other dimensions are not given there due here as matters of comprehensive interest); the reasons why governments keep UFOs secrets; SETI's silliness, etc. These are issues that are of vast interest, yes, but there is no balancing these with powerful descriptions of the powerful evidence of UFOs!of We are told of soil samples where saucers have landed - but not of what they reveal. The most current and intense cases of UFO sightings are brushed over - and we are instead directed back to Project Blue Book and other investigations of the '50s and 60's that are, well, quite honestly old news. The abduction question is hardly addressed; no mention made of the work done on alien implants. There is no review of the best photographic evidence (except briefly for the old Trinidade pictures). And to be totally comprehensive and holisitic in an approach to flying saucers and alien visitation, some mention could and should have been made of the anomalies on the moon and Mars - even if they are just tricks of light.

And, though mentioned in one sentence, the crop circle and cattle mutilation enigmas - which very well may have much to do with alien intelligence - are not discussed. No, this book attacks alot and attacks well - but it doesn't counterbalance the attacks with totally convincing arguments that some UFOs are, indeed, extraterrestrial in origin....which I believe!

I, myself, had a daytime sighting of a slow-moving cigar-shaped object several years back at a time when there were many people in my hometown seeing things in the night sky. I live in the Hudson Valley - and the famous flap of the '80s-'90s is also absent from this book. But this book alone would not have convinced me as to the extraterrestrial reality of some UFOs. And, as I say, that is sad...because Mr. Friedman is a wonderful man with a brilliant mind whom I respect highly. I just wish this book had been equally brilliant. Perhaps, hopefully, this was just a primer for his multi-volume, magnum opus which I hope he will one day write.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 7, 2008 11:18:25 AM PDT
I think it's probably a good thing that Friedman didn't discuss crop circles and cattle mutilations as both are more than likely red herrings when it comes to proving the existance of an alien presence.
Literally every single crop circle photographed on record contains overlap tracks which are a tell-tale sign that it is a man-made crop circle created using a stomping board approximately a meter in length. Not a single photo exists of a crop circle that does not show this evidence, that I'm aware of at least.
As for cattle mutilations, the jury is still out, however the fact that Linda Moulton Howe (who is more than likely either a disinformation agent of the government, a con-artist or an unwilling dupe of government disinformationists) has done so much work on cattle mutilations, puts the entire phenomena into question.
Also, you have to remember that Friedman's expertise has never been in the peripheral fields of crop circles or cattle mutilations, he's a physicist and archives hunter/investigator, and shouldn't be expected to comment at length on CC's or CM's.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2008 2:37:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2008 7:49:14 PM PDT
Hello, Adam. Thanks for your post. Crop circles are far from being proven as all man-made, and "genuine" ones can be readily identified by the experts in this field. There is also alot of research done of the effects on the plant growth in the allegedly "real" circles that just doesn't happen in the obviously man-made ones. As for cattle mutilations, they were happening long before Ms. Howe happened on the scene - and as revealed now for the first-time, cattle mutilation was involved in the famous Exeter, NH flap of the mid-sixties - and should be addressed by anyone looking at the UFO mystery in totality. But your point is well taken as to Friedman's areas of expertise: but when dealing with something that involves the entire Universe - as alien flying saucers practically and potentially would! - a more "universal" approach seems necessitated. With the enigma of UFOs there literally should be no "peripheral fields." Crop circles and animal mutilations aside, though, what about all of the other un-addressed issues listed in my main review? Currently I'm 100 pages into Philip Imbrogno's "Interdimensional Universe" and can add to my above list of undiscussed matters in Friedman's book: the Exeter flap, the Belgium sightings, the Hudson Valley 'Night Siege', J. Edgar Hoover's hand-written memo referring to recovered discs being "grabbed" by the Army before the FBI could investigate it, Gulf Breeze, and an incredible case I am just learning about in Imbrogno's book involving a priest in New Guinea in '59 (from the late Dr. Hynek's papers), the German Horten flying wing, etc. Thus far, 100 pages in, Imbrogno's book is much more all-inclusive and compelling and convincing than the whole of Friedman's book. Give it a read! Anyway - thanks again for your feedback. Best, Richard

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 6:02:49 AM PDT
I'll definitely check that book out.
I do however, have to disagree with you on whether or not there should be peripheral fields in investigations into the UFO phenomena. With as much effort that those with knowledge of the truth have taken to keep what they know a secret (I believe they've managed to successfully create the so-called "giggle factor" that surrounds the subject of UFOS and alien visitation) I think it's important to question every bit of evidence that pops up, I imagine it would be relatively easy to marry a completely unrelated phenomena (such as crop circles, I believe) one that is provably false, with UFOS just to encourage widespread disbelief and discreditation.
One great example of UFO believers latching onto potential evidence too quickly was with much of the NASA UFO footage. Much of that footage was recreated in a lab on the television show UFO Hunters, and was proven to be a case of mistaken identity. So now David Sereda, one of the biggest champions of that footage as proof, looks foolish and few will believe anything he comes up with in the future.
As for crop circles, the genetic changes in the crop remains the only bit of evidence to suggest that some might be unexplained, however, it isn't entirely convincing unless circle experts were to make their own crop circles and to see if they couldn't recreate the change in the plant's growth. Furthermore, why would a so-called authentic crop circle display the same visual evidence (stomp track lines) that man-made circles do? An authentic circle would contain no tracks whatsoever if the growth of the plant were changed in order to create the circle. Doesn't make since to me. If there is some actual evidence that some crop circles are not man-made, I haven't seen anyone put forth a convincing case yet.
Believe me, I'd like to believe that some crop circles are real, and am willing to, I just need more convincing evidence, I'm sure the experiment I mentioned above would be relatively easy to conduct, maybe a researcher already has and can give me an answer, but I'm unaware of it and simply believe that all investigators into the UFO phenomena should tread very carefully when mounting a case for proof, for an example of what happens when they don't, just look to Sereda and Benewitz.
Thanks again for the recommendation.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 11:34:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 8, 2008 11:52:43 AM PDT
Hello Adam. Thanks once more for your insights. Have you read Lucy Pringle's book on Crop Circles? It's one of the better ones that addresses all aspects of the mystery. In investigating ANY mystery, I just go by one of Sherlock Holmes' axioms that NOTHING is unimportant when you are dealing with the unknown. Something like that. The Devil is, afterall, in the details. And, as I believe, if we are dealing with a Universal mystery, we whould follow every road - even if it ends at a Dead End. Copernicus was put on trial and condemned - and his judge and jury wouldn't even look through the telescope for themselves! Modern day physics cannot even agree as to the number of dimensions in our universe. From bubble universes to string theory to parallel worlds, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy - to paraphrase the Bard. I am curious, Adam, as to what book you've read that says all crop circles show stomp track lines? Maybe I'm missing something. One of the identifying traits of the so-called authentic circles is a lack of such lines - and, again, the plant well as strange electromagnetic effects and animal reactions to the circles mentioned in the Pringle book and others. As for the Imbrogno book, I am another 50 pages into it and find it highly compelling - though sadly not foot-noted! Still worth a read. Best - Richard

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2008 2:54:21 PM PDT
Ok, I've done more research into it and now I'm at the point where I'm 99.9% positive that crop circles are all entirely man made, even the knuckle bends and supposed microwave burns that have been claimed to distinguish "real" circles from fake ones are have an entirely mundane explanation. I'd much rather continue this discourse outside of amazon though as I'm pretty sure that it's not entirely appropriate to carry on such a lengthy conversation in the comment boards. My email is

Posted on Sep 23, 2008 5:24:01 AM PDT
Manu says:
Good points, but paragraphs would make your review alot more readable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2009 11:57:18 AM PST
Carry on your conversation elsewhere if you like, but do drop in to this comment board once in a while and let the rest of us know how it's going. Kind of interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2009 12:18:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2009 12:20:27 PM PDT

I'm in harmony with S. Daedalus here, I think. When you said: "I'm pretty sure that it's not entirely appropriate to carry on such a lengthy conversation in the comment boards" -- I was puzzled. I'd be curious to know why you thought/think that.

Your discussion is interesting, and I kind of wish you and Richard continued it here. It's not every day an intelligent conversation about this stuff turns up at these review posts.

You guys probably know of the article "Anatomical anomalies in crop formation plants" by Levengood, a biophysicist. It was in Physiologia Plantarum, vol. 92, pp. 356-363. In case not, see:

His results supported the suggestion of something anomalous in the crop circle he studied (although explanation-wise, he doesn't go for any "alien intelligence" factor involved).

The only flaw I see in this study lies with its experimental controls. Levengood rightly used plants from outside the formation as controls, for comparison with plants in the formation. Better if he had also hired some circle artists to make one of their phoney crop circles, and then taken plants from that formation to use as experimental controls of a different kind. If they had shown the same kinds of anomalies as the plants from the circle he investigated, it would shed a completely different light on the results from the study he did. Failing that ... inconclusive, I should think.

Oh well, can't have it all. You sure its not "appropriate" to extend the discussion here though?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2009 6:30:54 AM PDT
Argonaut says:
I agree with P. Akers regarding the ongoing discussion. After all this is a discussion board. Granted the topic began as a discussion of Mr. Friedman's book, but the connection is valid I feel. I too have wondered about the connection between UFO's and crop circles. Are we in danger of making a connection where none exists? I am not implying I know somehow that there is no connection, merely suggesting that we may confuse an already confusred issue-UFO's-with another confusing issue.
Question for Adam Stapleton: Do you have any evidence for Linda Moulton Howe being a disinformation agent? Just curious.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010 12:15:20 PM PDT
Once again, criticisms of criticisms degenerate into tangential discussions of this case or that counterargument. Let's stick to the point, ladies and gentlemen! We never see a balanced scientific treatment of anything--and, if we do, it is pooh-poohed. Remeber the "Bible code" flap of some years ago? Professor X dismissed everything stated by Professor Y because he wasn't "a statistician--a trained, Ph.D. statistician." I see, I guess a Ph.D. mathematician with much background in statistics--or a Ph.D. nuclear engineer with much background therein--is useless. Scientists seem to have nothing better to do than to urinate on one another, and, God forbid you should come up with any truly fresh material, your primary concern had better be POLITICAL ACCEPTABILITY lest you end up risking your tenure by publishing controversial material: once again, the almighty Clam rules the roost (sorry for my mixed metaphors, now aquatic, now avian).
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