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Alien Dawn: An Investigation into the Contact Experience Paperback – 2001
From Publishers Weekly
In over 80 books, Wilson (From Atlantis to the Sphinx) has reported on a wide variety of alternate realities involving crime, sex and the occult, all based on the underlying premise that our everyday consciousness is meager compared with powers potentially available to us. This attempt at a synthesis of the alien/UFO phenomenon shows Wilson's encyclopedic strength to be also his weakness. In his zeal for inclusiveness, he reports not only on the history of UFOs from mythology through Kenneth Arnold to Philip Corso (The Day After Roswell), but also writes about Uri Geller, LSD research, crop circles, ley lines, the Loch Ness monster, remote viewing, Jung, hypnotism, poltergeists, Ouspensky, out-of-body experiences, quantum physics and a great deal more. There is little new here: much of the book is composed of unfootnoted second- and third-hand accounts of UFOs, alien encounters and (perhaps) related phenomena drawn from other sources, resulting in an unfocused catalogue of anecdotes, the larger import of which is rarely assessed. Periodically Wilson asks, as if talking to himself: "What, then, are we to make of it all?" At times he finds unbelievability a plus: after all, if someone were simply fabricating a story, wouldn't they make it more plausible? By the time readers reach the chapter titled "Oh no, not again!" the phrase has an unintended inflection. In the end, Wilson seems to regard aliensAwhatever they areAas agents in the transformation of human consciousness, but he provides little solid support for, or elucidation of, such a hypothesis. Eight pages of photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Anyone attempting to work their way through the literature would find ample reward in beginning with Alien Dawn..." -- Rain Taxi
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If you are new to UFO abduction and the possible psychic connection, or if you have not ever heard of any explanation for ufo/abduction other than the visitors from planets in spaceships theory, then this book will really open your eyes to a side of ufo/abduction that makes lots of sense but is not so often talked about by mainstream ufo people who prefer to think of metallic craft from other planets or dimensions travelling to our universe.
Colin Wilson writes in an easy to read manner and does not fall prey to the weakness of making assertions that rule out other evidence. IN fact, he is a generous person when dealing with other individuals and their experiences, and is good at bringing up aspects of cases or unknown cases that get overlooked in other places.
This is especially a gem given the price of used copies. I recommend this highly.
The reader's first clue that this book is over the top comes early when Wilson devotes 10 pages to Uri Geller, the self-proclaimed mentalist, bender of spoons, and teleporter. Though Geller is now widely acknowledged as a fraud who employed classic magician's tricks, that does not deter Wilson from according him a pivotal place in setting the foundation for his book. And what, the reader might ask, does Geller have to do with UFOs and contact experience? Nothing. Unless, of course, you are Colin Wilson, who has not only met Geller (first hand experience!) but has also been unwittingly duped by him (first hand paranormal experience!!).
But, if Alien Dawn is to be read at all, then it is for the final chapter -- aptly titled, The Way Outside. Goethe, Toynbee, Newton, Heisenberg, Van Gogh -- the list goes on -- just about anyone the reader studied at school fills in pieces of the grand puzzle. And, should the reader be short on implausible theories to explain the cosmos, Wilson does not disappoint. He offers up a good half dozen of his own, leading the reader to conclude that coming up with such theories is not really much harder than poaching an egg. One of the better parts, which Wilson offers up off-handedly, deals with synchroncity. While writing the book Wilson frequently looks at his digital clock to see it reading 1:11, 1:22, 3:33...and so on. Mere coincidence? For the average person, perhaps. But not Colin Wilson for whom, the reader is left to conclude, even hockey pucks must have some cosmic significance.
There are much, much better books available. Alien Agenda, by Jim Marrs, though far from perfect, is a good starting point for any reader interested in the subject.
Wilson is renowned for deeply researching his source material prior to pulling it all together into a tentative hypothesis, and for this project he read more than 200 books on the subjects under scrutiny and conducted a number of interviews. The pervasive and very physical UFO phenomenon with all its attendant strangeness; the evidence for the reality of alien abduction (substantial and compulsive, according to the author); cattle mutilations; 'Bigfoot' and crypto-zoology; crop circles; out-of-body experiences; quantum physics, new ideas of inter-dimensionality and the nature of time; the complexity of human consciousness and spiritual awareness are investigated and examined with knowledge and insight.
The author seems particularly impressed with Jacques Vallee's unorthodox theories, formed over several decades of careful field investigation and the application of scientific methodology. Between 1965 and 1995 Vallee wrote an impressive series of books detailing his evolving ideas on the UFO issue, all of which Wilson has obviously read and studied.
The result is a mostly interesting book of commentary and analysis which invites the reader to expand his/her paradigm of what constitutes 'reality'. Ultimately no hard-and-fast conclusions about the meaning of these diverse phenomena encroaching into our lives is offered, beyond acknowledging that they are mostly real and should not be dismissed because they do not fit the conventional paradigm of reality. Wilson once again returns to expounding his ideas about low-pressure and high-pressure human consciousness, and the possibility we are living in an 'information universe' where everything is interconnected (not dissimilar to Michael Talbot's 'Holographic Universe' model - though Talbot's work is not cited in the text, his book is quoted in the bibliography). In this respect, Wilson is more focussed on the spiritual and experiential aspects of the whole alien-contact issue and its meaning, rather than the reductionist preoccupation about whether they are objectively real or not, in a nuts-and-bolts way.
Colin Wilson is a very good writer - one of the best. His prose is intelligent, literate, racy and informative, and very easy to read; his books are always enjoyable and usually page-turners. This one would be a good starting point for someone in no way familiar with the subject matter, or conversely for someone who has read so much on the subject that they feel they now can't see the wood for the trees and might benefit from an informed, knowledgeable summary which tries to bring the diverse and complex strands together into a more coherent narrative. The book's content and concluding ideas are in fact much wider and more encompassing than the slightly new-agey title might suggest, and indeed a better title for the book might have been chosen by the publisher - so don't be put off by it. It's good, and worth reading.