Customer Reviews: UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-Up Exposed, 1973-1991
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When the author spoke to me in Washington DC in April 2009 about this, the then-unpublished middle-volume of his planned three-volume history of the UFO phenomenon and its management by the "National Security State", he was pleased with the result. This second book, he felt, was a more coherent narrative than the first in presenting a clearly argued and compelling case for the existence of the worldwide cover-up and also in exploring the real nature of the "black world", what might be going on behind the scenes with deconstructing ET-derived technology and where it might all be leading. His tentative conclusions for the consequences of secrecy and for the future are as radical as they are intriguing.

Readers may be aware that Dolan originally planned to write a two-volume history of "UFOs and the National Security State." The first volume covered the years 1947-73 and has become a minor classic. However, he soon discovered that the quantity of pertinent material and documentation from 1973 onwards was too great to accommodate into a single book, so has divided the narrative into two further volumes. This is to be the middle one of the series, covering 1973-91 and concluding with the geo-political changes following the end of the Cold War with the dissolution of the USSR in 1989-91 and its impact on how the ET-UFO issue was subsequently managed.

The book follows a broadly chronological narrative from 1973 to 1991 and is on one level an excellent summary of the open history of the UFO phenomenon in this period. Dolan takes a global perspective and explores major encounters and the interactions of UFOs with the air forces and military of different nations, particularly the Soviet Union, and how effectively these events were media-managed. The efforts of Grenada's Prime Minister Eric Gairy to bring the UFO issue to the UN and a detailed examination of the Belgian black-triangle wave are particularly noteworthy examples.

The development of UFOlogy through the period is analyzed with just the right amount of detail. Leonard Stringfield's original revelations about the alleged crash-retrieval and cover-up of alien artefacts, the disinformation campaign behind the MJ-12 documents and the professional debunking campaigns of Philip Klass are some examples. The extravagant and unsubstantiated claims of Cooper and Lear are placed in historical context; the Hudson Valley and Gulf Breeze waves, LMH's exposure of the cattle mutilations and the parts played by Budd Hopkins, Whitley Strieber and others in this period in exposing the abduction phenomenon for the first time are all written in a factual, informed and non-judgmental style which makes for absorbing reading. Dolan makes a convincing case that the birth of the internet had the most enormous and significant impact ever on UFOlogy, and changed it permanently.

Dolan has been criticised by more skeptical commentators for some of his methodology - the citing of a few "dead" references, use of uncorroborated (i.e. evidentially weaker) sightings and of course, his "Grand Conspiracy" narrative. There is some small merit in these criticisms, but Dolan always makes clear when he is reporting factually and when he is cautiously speculating.

The "Grand Conspiracy" narrative comes from the author's attempt to tie together the 60-year UFO cover-up, the evidence of appropriation of trillions of dollars by the "black world" to develop radical new aero-technologies derived from retrieved alien vehicles (possibly with assistance from actual Earth-based extraterrestrials), and the various informal international organizations promoting globalization. It is the author's view that during this period, evidence of the manufacture and deployment of new technologies derived from ET sources emerged: the goings-on at Area 51/Groom Lake/Dreamland initially reported by Bob Lazar and multiply-witnessed flights over the Nevada desert of vehicles with extraordinary flight characteristics; consistent reports of "Alien Reproduction Vehicles," the legends about the "Aurora" and the use of revolutionary anti-gravity technology in new aircraft like the B2 bomber. There's a lot of stuff on this, from many sources, and if not conclusive then it's certainly compelling. Less compelling is the speculation that organizations broadly promoting globalization and international co-operation such as the Bilderburgers might be party to the ET secret, and be involved in the cover-up in some way. This reviewer finds little compelling evidence presented to support this speculation, and the Rockerfeller Initiative would seem to argue that many "old-money" people know little of what is happening in the "black world" unless directly involved in the development of these new technologies. But the truth is, we just don't know.

In the concluding chapter, the author writes:

"Secrecy relating to UFOs was a logical course of action initially that became an addiction the longer it continued. The longer maintained, the harder to reveal, and the greater the gap between official and black world societies. One might therefore think that this secrecy, which continues to this day, is bound to last indefinitely."

This line of reasoning, together with evidence for the secret development and deployment of ET-derived technology so advanced that it has little relationship to that known in open society, Dolan claims argues for the possible existence of a "breakaway civilization" grown in secret, whose understanding of concepts such as time, matter, advanced physics, gravity, human consciousness and mind control may now be decades ahead of the mainstream culture and its current academic paradigms. Different civilizations with different levels of scientific understanding have, he argues, existed simultaneously on this planet in the past and had few or no points of contact. No doubt the author will develop this hypothesis in his third book, which will take the history up to the present day and to which we should look forward with interest.

It's important to state that the author ends the book on a broadly optimistic note, and sees the cover-up to be impossible to maintain indefinitely as for example a spectacular mass sighting witnessed by thousands of people might be undeniable in the internet age of instant global information-sharing, and that will be the end of it. The human race as a whole will then need to confront its future with new paradigms, whether ready or not.

Meanwhile, if you have not read "...The Cover-up Exposed", it's time you did. At 583 densely-written pages (excluding the extensive bibliographies and index) it can be intimidating, but don't be put off. It's beautifully written by an intelligent, informed and literate writer, it's worth the effort and time, and if you're interested at all in the most important subject of the age, you should read it.
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on February 22, 2013
Let me start by saying that I have the Kindle version which may be different than the print version.

I downloaded this one though i dont own the first in the series. I thought this one was a little more relevant to where i am at in my study since we have all heard a lot about the early sightings and crashes. After this reading, I do look forward to when the third is released, and plan to add book one to my collection.


The book itself is an overview of many sightings around the world during the time frame presented in the title. It covers US, Soviet, British, Australian, and even sightings in Africa. So it's pretty comprehensive and gives a short overview of each event, and in some cases testimony or overview of statements and reports made at the time (many of course which go classified or disappear). There is also a healthy dose of historical reference, mentioning particular events or political actions at the time to put the event into perspective or allude to disinformation purposes.


First, much of that historical context seems ill placed, or slows the momentum of the writing. While the information and opinion presented does add to the book, i found that it took some sections off onto a tangent. In fact, I found that in some cases i learned much from the historical stories and plan to read more about them, such as the Iran Contra Affair.

The book though comprehensive, lacks in some details. I think this was a bit of oversight given that many of the occurrences probably dont warrant their own book, or are not common knowledge. The writer could have done a great service by making this into a more comprehensive compendium or reference for sightings during the period. Instead it reads like a quick guide, but there are limited sources to explore further. I get it that it was not his intent to write a laborious reference, but the book seems to waver between being a full reference bible and a political dissertation on disinformation along the lines of "After Disclosure: When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth About Alien Contact".

So my main gripe would be the organization and lack of focus. Many of the passages repeat themselves, or in the middle of discussing one event we are suddenly swung back and going over a previously reviewed case. So the overall feeling is that the book was written in sections and then pieced together into a book, in which the writer used his political theories and historical context to make it all come together and "work". I think if you took out the repeated information you would lose a good 10% or more of the content. While Dolan proves he is an excellent researcher,a good editor would have added a little to the book and made it more fluid.

A smaller gripe is the references; everything is annotated or referenced but its not in any form that i recognize. I have done my fair share of papers in my college studies, and dont recognize the format used. Not a big deal unless you actually look at the bibliography and look for new things to read which i do. The footnotes are at the end of the book, which at least in the kindle version is a mess. When you click to go and see the explanation of a passage, you lose your place in the book. The bibliography section comprises another 10% or so of the page count, yet most of it is repeats. The author references many of the same sources (Nick Redfern for example) through out the book, and each mention gets its own spot at the end. It would have made more sense to list or see each book referenced once, then use the footnotes to provide page numbers. This may have been the lack of an editor, or an attempt to build the page count.

Between the bibliography and repeats, the book could have been pared down a good 10-20%.

Overall, i dont regret buying it and like i said i will buy the others in the series. This book isn't probably the best choice for those who have little background on the subject, but would be a great choice for a second book as you delve into the world of UFO's. It expands on what all you have read and heard elsewhere- providing more details and context for research.
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on July 3, 2010
So here's the second volume of this huge undertaking. Mr. Dolan continues to provide lots of great documentation of events that aren't supposed to have happened. He is more prone to speculation in this volume, something I've also noticed in his recent presentations on the topic. He maintains that interpretation of the facts is part of a historian's job. I would suggest that this is true in most areas, but with a topic this controversial, I'd say its better to play it safe. Nonetheless, it's a great book and clearly well thought out. There's a huge amount of time and energy represented here.
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on March 29, 2016
Richard Dolan's work here - as in his previous volume - is almost above reproach, and these books are without question the most comprehensive chronology of UFO related phenomena from a "just the facts" standpoint any author or investigator has ever produced.

But as is the case of all UFOlogists, as time passes, frustration with the lack of any final resolution grows, and the weariness of rigor sets in, it's possible to allow our conclusions to drift a bit toward one scenario versus others, if only because suspending judgment and persisting in perpetual cognitive dissonance is so damned unpleasant. I do sense some of that here in Dolan's second volume, and readers should be prepared - despite the comprehensiveness and otherwise indispensableness of this tome - to take a few things with a grain of salt. Bias is a difficult beast to tame. None of us is free of it. We all have a lens through which we view reality. The best we can do is clean it as often and thoroughly as possible.

This book picks up where the last left off, and takes us from the 1970s to the early 1990s, complete with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the famous Belgian triangles, the MJ-12 and Aviary controversies, and the morphing state of UFO study throughout those periods in general. No stone is left unturned it seems in Dolan's pursuit of making a very compelling case - once again - that SOMETHING ... even if we can't assert with any authority what that might be ... tangibly real and undeniably substantive is going on. The book is rich with references, and I strongly encourage readers to use them. Delve into these cases for yourselves, and discover as others have that many - MANY! - of these cases truly are genuinely defiant of mundane explanation, and have strong supporting evidence.

The problem with Dolan's second outing is that he seems to have slackened his skepticism and dedication purely to reporting the facts ever so slightly, and embraced more of an out and out slant towards largely unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. Not the theory that government and other forces have conspired to conceal much of the data pertaining to UFOs from the public - that much is an established matter of public fact at this point. But there are other things he seems to take as fact which, upon scrutiny, I feel require a bit more incredulity if we're to be rigorous.

Some examples:

I'm no fan of Donald Rumsfeld, however the famous Rumsfeld claim that 2.3 trillion of defense funds could not be tracked a day before 9-11 has been pretty thoroughly debunked in terms of its relevance to black budgets. It has been grossly misconstrued many times, especially online. In actuality, the statement was merely about accounting, and the modernization thereof. It was about the Pentagon bureaucracy being antiquated, incapable of internally sharing pertinent data with agility or efficiency, and blind spots forming as a result. And it wasn't referring to an active amount of "missing" money, so much as decades of untrackable funding due to these organizational pitfalls. Now, this doesn't mean that there is nothing mysterious happening with Pentagon black budgets. But 2.3 trillion was more than the entire federal budget. So it seems if such a secret, black, unaccounted for sum existed, it wouldn't be publicly noted by the Secretary of Defense on live television.

Eric Laithwaithe's claims about gyroscopic antigravity. Those claims have long since been debunked, and he himself even conceded that gyroscopes in fact do conform to known laws of motion. Laithwaithe was given to unrigorous flights of fancy at times, including clinging to a theory of electromagnetic communication by moths even after their pheremones had been proven to exist and were available for study quite accessibly. In short, there is little to suggest Laithwaithe's gyroscopes secretly formed the basis for antigravity technology.

Vito Saccheri's moon claims? Thoroughly and undeniably debunked to my satisfaction, but Dolan doesn't seem to think so at least in this book.

The Tehran UFO account provided herein lacks some clarifying details that call into question its validity as a UFO encounter. (Satellite reentry detected by dsp-1 which could well account for much of the event, mechanical failures being frequent - including radio and radar - in the specific intercepting fighters, etc.) None of this discounts the possibility of a legitimate encounter, and certainly there are many others in this book which are well documented and defy non-exotic explanations. But the omission of that information (though to be fair, and I may be wrong, but I don't think the dsp-1 data was known at time of publishing) renders the account incomplete, and biased in favor of a UFO where one might not have existed potentially.

While Dolan does detail much of the Doty/Moore et al affair with respect to MJ-12 and The Aviary, pointing out many inconsistencies and reasons for skepticism, I didn't feel he went far enough in making it abundantly clear that both the MJ-12 documents and The Aviary myth have been thoroughly, thoroughly debunked. (If you're a believer and reading this... I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you. I believed for a decade or more myself, but if we're to get anywhere with this, we must be honest both with ourselves and others, and if you do some looking, you'll see what I'm talking about. I was disillusioned and disappointed too but... the search goes on, my friends.)

Then there are the cases in the book which are not satisfactorily explainable by ordinary means in my opinion, but which are worthy of some skepticism nevertheless. An excellent example is the 1976 Spanish Canary Islands UFO. Although a plausible explanation of a missile test is a good one, and there is some documentation to support it, Dolan does not fully address that here. But with that said, there is also substantial eyewitness testimony by reliable witnesses casting that explanation in considerable doubt, and features that, if true, would defy this explanation. Which is why I say that although this case is one requiring skepticism, it's also not one that can be fully discounted. That nuanced distinction isn't necessarily made by Dolan here either.

It feels as though Dolan is reaching for data to support the hypothesis of a breakaway civilization technologically far in advance of our avowed avionic and military capabilities. While that premise itself is worth entertaining, and one of many which COULD potentially account for the handful of truly inexplicable and as yet unexplained UFO related phenomena. the above examples are not necessarily good evidence of it, and a researcher of Dolan's caliber, frankly, should know better. That said, there are enough great cases in that rhetorical "handful" that just dismissing them out of hand is NOT an option for the truly rigorous and rational. Skepticism demands that we set some cases aside... but it should also FORCE us to look at the others, and be honest: they are not explainable by conventional means. Period. Something real is happening.

And, the above instances of overeager credulousness are the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of this book is well researched, factual, and supported by thorough references. Again, I encourage you to fact check all of them for yourself. Never take one person's opinion (not mine, and not Dolan's) at face value. Do the work. That's what he suggests on his own website as well, and I agree.

All in all: this book is a must-own. Buy it. Read it. Follow up with thorough research. Be amazed how much bizarre stuff really is going on in our skies for which there is no good explanation, and how much official obfuscation of this really does go on, even as you also have to toss a few cases aside for lack of substance. Throwing the bathwater out doesn't mean the baby has to go, too.
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on February 13, 2013
I would recommend this to anyone of interest to this subject matter. The only reason for not giving it five stars was the long detailed matter concerning more or less the political views behind the scenes but the reason is my disinterest of politics of any kind anymore. Loved the book and looking forward to buying the second edition in the future.
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on February 15, 2014
Richard Dolans book "The Cover Up Exposed" sets the standard for classic UFO research. Very well researched, intelligently written and loaded full of information. I would recommend this book to any UFO enthusiast. Especially a newcomer to the topic. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was my own personal opinion due to the fact that many of the cases discussed in this book are cases that I have long since been familiar with. I do however read a vast amount of books on the subject. If you are just getting into the subject, or are interested in historical UFO cases however, this book is a must have.
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on August 27, 2016
Mr. Dolan's prose is a bit dry, but he presents the documented facts and events for hundreds of incidents, as well as telling the overall story of this subject as he sees it. The point is: It's not a small or insignificant part of our history; it has simply been kept secret. Should it be kept secret? Read the book and see what you think.
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on July 24, 2014
Sometimes,when you mention UFOs to people, they might roll their eyes with the intended "crackpot" subtext implied. But there are now decades of research and investigation that have created massive amounts of data. Said data is so extensive there is little doubt of the reality of the phenomenon. It is extensive to the degree that a high level curriculum can be built around it. This could easily be a text book used to teach that curriculum.

Here's the scoop. As in Richard Dolan's previous book he compiles data by year (1973 to 1991) and gives an overall of what was happening in the field in the U.S. and around the world. He also writes about what was happening in the UFO community and the government's and intelligence community's efforts to keep everything under wraps. He also covers some of the more spectacular cases of each year.

This is a monumental work. The mere collecting and correlating of the data must have been a formidable task in and of itself. But his spin on the data is not to be undervalued. He links things together in such a way as to give them greater relevance in the overall scheme of things. Noteworthy is his coverage of the Freedom of Information Act and how it became a huge boon to the UFO community and the efforts made by the government/ intelligence community to stop it (or it least slow it down to a crawl). He visits the larger flaps such as the Hudson Valley sightings and Gulf Breeze. I knew of these but only heard a few details here and there. He brings them into focus in a glorious whole. I very much liked his handling of Moore and the MJ12 debacle. This was something that evolved over a long period of time. If you weren't tied into the pipeline you might not be aware of all it entailed. Again, he encapsulates it nicely.

My only criticism is that some of the sightings he covers don't add much to the whole. Other than that this is an invaluable work.

Between this and his previous outing, covering 1947 to 1973, these books are about all someone needs to to read to get a good handle on modern day UFOlogy.
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on September 14, 2013
Dolan lines his ducks up and presents his arguments with names, dates and places. Information I have not read or seen before makes a compelling read.
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on April 25, 2012
Valuable resource for the veteran researcher and wonderful opportunity for the new student to get into this complicated and arcane topic.

In this book he finally mentions Renata Vesco's seminal work, Intercept - But Don't Shoot!, but in the short coverage he gives it he neglects to mention what is truly important about this work. Vesco makes an excellent case for an early British and Canadian headstart in the post-WWII race for Nazi secret antigravity technology. No mention is made of author William Lyne.

See Joseph Farrell, but particularly Henry Stevens for the other side of the story, the Nazi UFO connection. Read Renata Vesco's book!
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