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ENCOUNTERS WITH STAR PEOPLE: Untold Stories of American Indians Paperback – November 26, 2012
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Be advised that this book relates almost exclusively incidents from the post-WWII to early-2000 period collected by the author while she apparently coffee-klatched her way around the reservations while on holiday from the Univ. of Montana. The only "mythic" material presented here are some vague allusions to how "Our Elders once knew the Star People" and similar off-hand generalizations.
People already familiar with published UFO lore will find nothing new in this book. In fact, much of the material seems to be merely so much rehash of classic cases, like the Betty and Barney Hill "missing time" incident of 1961 (better told in INTERRUPTED JOURNEY), and stories that quite frankly appear to be thinly disguised reiterations of certain plot elements from TWILIGHT ZONE and OUTER LIMITS episodes, films like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and other well-circulated science-fiction stories in the wider public domain. Even the book's title ("ENCOUNTERS...") seems frankly derivative.
After reading the first three or four chapters, the monotonous regularity of the presentation, plodding quality of the prose style, and lack of memorable details in many of the recounted stories made the book a real effort to endure. (The author assures us she has at least a couple more books-worth of such collected material...onerous news at best.) Sadly, only one or two of the recounted incidents exhibit the uncanny hallmark of "high strangeness" which [the late] Dr. J. Allen Hynek identified as typifying the best "authentic" UFO encounters. In short, the presented material here is so bland that it actually becomes quite boring to read.
The book's back cover bio identifies the author as "a noted researcher" (a quick Google check revealed she is primarily a children's book author). Not surprisingly, the author's data gathering methodology, which involved presenting gift bags of groceries and/or cartons of cigarettes to her interview subjects and/or meeting them for lunch(!) doesn't strike the proper tone for how a real "noted researcher" conducts serious field interviews (..."Hey, aren't you the lady collecting stories for a book?"). Researcher bias, as you might expect under such circumstances, becomes a significant issue that contaminates the data.
Most significantly, there is no serious discussion of the reliability of her witnesses (some of whom even leave the distinct impression of having enjoyed putting-one-over on the Professor). The fact that so many of her interviews end with the note that "only [n]-months following this interview the subject unexpectedly passed-away" does nothing to inspire confidence in the data. Nor is there any examination of competing/prevailing scholarly interpretations of the phenomena; Six-Killer Clarke simply hasn't done her homework. At one point the author even makes the embarrassing mistake of confusing "psychopath" with "sociopath", an error that any undergrad Psych-major would know enough to avoid. Most laughably, one female subject [supposedly a former Air Force tech] who claimed to be a half-alien hybrid, lifted her blouse to show the author that her navel was missing. One can only ponder how that subject managed to sneak that one past the USAF's DOdMERB examiners during her service physicals!
In my opinion this book contributes virtually nothing of substantive research value to the serious study of UFO-related mythical lore as recounted by Native American persons from different tribal/language groups (i.e., diverse American Indians). Some readers (mostly younger, I suspect) may find the book has some minimal entertainment value. For that reason I gave the book two stars, mainly out of pity.
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I had no idea the contact was so prevalent.