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Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey Into the Unknown Paperback – October 23, 2018
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“[Cooper] draws on his background as an astronaut to bolster his persuasively argued position that, whatever UFO’s may actually be, a policy of cover-up and obfuscation isn’t going to help turn them into IFO’s—identified flying objects. Full of tasty nuggets for space and ufology buffs.” —Booklist
About the Author
After leaving NASA, Cooper served on numerous corporate boards and was a technical consultant in such fields as high-performance boat design, construction, and energy. He also worked for the Walt Disney Company as vice president of research and development for Epcot. His hobbies included deep-sea salvaging and designing aircraft inspired by the UFOs he observed and studied during his career as a pilot and astronaut.
A former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, private investigator, and field producer for television news, Henderson has taught reporting and writing courses at Stanford University and USC School of Journalism. He lives outside San Francisco, California.
- Publisher : Open Road Media; Reprint edition (October 23, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 276 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1504054245
- ISBN-13 : 978-1504054249
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.24 x 0.63 x 7.99 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #771,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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i worked off and on with him in Downey 1n 1966 when I was a technician on the Apollo command module in Downey bldg.290 performing integrated checkout on the bird. he was an interesting fellow and I decided to read book. He was One of the former Mercury Astronaut. the other astronauns had an agreement with a publisher not to discus their space experiences. Cooper was different he did talk about it.There was a newspaper article that Gordon Cooper “had seen a glowing, greenish object ahead of him quickly approaching his capsule” in space. Gordon Cooper the astronaut told me he did saw some object in space and it scared him. The mercury spacecraft could only carried one Astronaut into space and he was alone with that thing. I asked him for how long. He said the object came right next to the mercury spacecraft a few yards away and stayed there for about a day (20 plus hours) then it left quickly. He was sweating when he told me the tale. I asked him if it was saucer shape. He said no but it was a larger than the mercury spacecraft and he said it was bell shaped, more cylinder than bell and it was not greenish glowing, it was metallic. He wouldn’t give me any more details and dropped the subject. Gordon cooper was a back up crew member for Apollo One and 10, and then he left NASA. I guess because he would not keep quiet about the UFO he saw. Cooper spent 222 hours in space on Mercury Freedom 7 and Gemini 6 Missions
I was surprised because this conversation just came out of the blue and it was totally unexpected. I know he slipped and told me this story in confidence. I did not tell anybody about this conversation, because I did not want to discredit myself or this astronaut. This is not a common believable topic. I also thought that I would lose my security clearances if anyone found out. I tried not to remember and or think about it. I had forgotten the name of the Astronaut because I have a hard time remembering people’s name. But I remember and found the newspaper article about the green object seen by the astronaut in the mercury capsule in the internet-it jog my memory. It refers to Gordon Cooper and I am now positive it was Cooper. In Gordon Cooper’s book “Leap of Faith” he denied it happened. I guess somebody got to him or he was pulling my leg. LOL
Anyway the book is very interesting with tales he hear about of the v1 and v2 and ufo's. That being said the book really shines with his actual experience with the Mercury program. The book starts there then jumps around a bit. It is easy to read and is a must for somebody interested in the beginning of the space program.
The first half of the book provides an interesting, if relatively basic account of Gordo’s time as an astronaut.
The second half just falls off the rails. It starts with a number of brow raising and questionable little aspects. And then it really starts with his account of Wendell Welling’s homemade flying saucer.
That is shortly followed by his account of Valerie Ransone, the spoon bending telepath.
I did a bit of googling on Gordo. He got himself involved in a series of shady business deals that swindled a lot of people out of a lot of money. And it seemed that poor old Gordo pursued those deals because he genuinely believed in what he was selling.
So here I was reading about a great All American Hero and then I find that he seems to have lost his marbles. I wanted to throw up a little.
I felt very much saddened by it all.
Top reviews from other countries
What does strike me is the professionalism and gravitas of the man who has always had(in the public mind anyway)the reputation of one of the more happy go lucky astronauts, not helped, in my view by his almost buffoon-like portrayal by Dennis Quaid in Philip Kaufman's film version of Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff'
Other reviewers have really covered much of the ground of this very readable work. Beyond the usual history of Cooper's flying days with the USAF, subsequent astronaut career with NASA and fragmentary details post-NASA, the most controversial area of his life, ie interest and experience of UFOs etc has drawn the most comment, and indeed criticism. Some 25% of the book is concerned with not only UFOs and extra-terrestrial life, but with what we might generally call the paranormal. His interest in the work of inventor Nikola Tesla and association with the controversial Valerie Ransone seems to have inspired scorn and shudders, but littte admiration. He comes across as disarmingly honest about his explorations and beliefs in these rather difficult areas, and whilst some allege he has spiced things up to sell more books, and others consider him gullible, it should perhaps be taken at face value. Spicing things up to sell books doesn't make sense;at his age and with the celebrity attached to his name, he would have no need to compromise his credibility. As to credulity, if he has been led up the garden path by what seem outlandish ideas about alien encounters then that is as much a part of his story as anything else. It's certainly different.
Perhaps his judgement isn't all it could be as he paints a rosy picture of rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun as a nonparticipant in the appalling treatment of slave labour at the Nazi rocket research establishment at Peenemunde, flying in the face of many other opinions. We'll never know the whole truth, of course, but at least Gordon Cooper's loyalty as a friend can't be faulted.
All in all, this is yet another fascinating account of one whose life encompassed those heady days of early manned space exploration, when, in hindsight at least, it appears there were those who believed we could reach beyond the pettiness of an earthbound existence.
An easy read for fans of the genre. The book seems to be out of print, but as usual, patient searching should find a copy at a reasonable price. Well worth a look.