Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.97 shipping
Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times Paperback – October 28, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Jacques Vallee holds a master’s degree in astrophysics from France and a PhD in computer science from Northwestern University. He is the author of several books about high technology and unidentified phenomena, a subject that first attracted his attention as an astronomer in Paris. While analyzing observations from many parts of the world, Vallee became intrigued by the similarities in every culture in patterns between modern sightings and historical reports of encounters with flying objects and their occupants. After a career as an information scientist with Stanford Research Institute and the Institute for the Future, where he served as a principal investigator for the groupware project on the ARPANET, the prototype of the Internet, Vallee cofounded a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. He lives in San Francisco.
Chris Aubeck was born in London. He moved to Spain at age 19, and after teaching in Cáceres and Madrid for 24 years, he now lives in Granada. His interest in the historical and sociological aspects of unexplained aerial phenomena began at an early age. A student of language and folklore, he has helped compile the largest collection of pre-1947 UFO cases in the world. He has spoken on his research in many articles and on public radio. In 2008 he was awarded a prize for his contributions to the field by the Spanish organization Fundación Anomalía.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book is well-formatted, well-written, and easy to browse by time period. Although, if I were you, I'd buy a hundred new bookmarks so that you can keep track of the most significant events in history.
Something weird is going on. No denying that. This book confirms it well. Even if you accept a small portion of these sightings, you've got a weird new paradigm to accept.
Highly recommended! Also you might want to check out other works on Aliens by Vallee, Richard Dolan, Jim Marrs, Nick Redfern, John Mack--to name a few. :)
Some of the reports relate to objects witnessed spreading a "mist" over populated areas, only to have plagues & diseases come on the heels of that "seeding". This book is sprinkled with nearly 70 illustrations & works of art purportedly of objects spied in the skies.
This is an extensive compilation and the authors readily admit that many of the reports are EXTREMELY sketchy, or the information was published relatively recently with no mention of the original source. As with any compilation of reports, after awhile it does get a bit boring. But it is not intended to be REPRESENTATIVE of particular types of phenomena, it is intended to provide ALL available information that is at least modestly credible.
The authors admit that many of the reports need better source information and ask that anyone with relevant information publish it.
This book isn't really for folks who just want some general information on the UFO phenomenon, it's really for people who are already familiar with the literature covering Ken Arnold forward and want more depth and background.
Such a review is possible because of the Internet, which makes available many old documents, records and books for perusal by scholars and researchers. Vallee and Aubeck selected what they regard as the most credible sightings from a much larger pool. At first, I was a bit disappointed to see the book is mainly a list of mostly small paragraphs describing an item, with date, place and source, arranged by century. But once I started reading, I found the descriptions fascinating and could begin to see some patterns in the listings, which come from all over the world, but with a preponderance from the UK.
The authors confined themselves to mainly objects (some just balls of fire or lights) in the sky, with a smaller number of listings that include entities. It becomes clear as you read that people see things consistent with their cultural environment including how they interpret entities. During some periods, the entities are angels or messengers from God, other times they are fairies and "little people" and at other times they are devils and demons. In our own times, they are aliens from other planets, but this book does not cover the so-called modern UFO era dating from Kenneth Arnold's sighting of flying saucers in 1947.
The objects too have various descriptions. The Chinese describe most aerial phenomena as "dragons." Prior to the 18th century, objects were often described as ships sailing through the air. Witnesses describe ships consistent with their era and often with people on them. In ancient times, witnesses saw armies fighting each other in the sky. The "fighting armies" descriptions are especially puzzling. Did they really see people with swords and shields up in the air, or were these weather phenomena that looked like armies?
Speaking of shields, in historical times, witnesses often said the objects were "flying shields." In all times, witnesses describe both the appearance and the duration of the sighting in terms of their every day experiences. For instance, a sighting lasted as long as it takes to "say two Te Deums" or the time to sing "six sharakans" or the object was the color of "heated iron" or it looked like "a big man's hat." Their comparisons are often to things we today do not use or know anything about. Is "shield" a similar description to "saucer?" Is a "flying hat" similar to a "flying triangle?"
The authors do not accept the standard reply of scientists that all aerial phenomena can be explained in a rational way as natural events. In the Introduction, Vallee takes a poke at Stephen Hawking, who has expressed his disdain for UFO research and has asked why UFOs only appear to "cranks and weirdoes." Vallee refutes this with evidence that many sightings are from very reliable witnesses, often pilots and military people, and further, that these unexplained events have actually played a major role in the history of humanity. Clearly, he feels the scientific community is only displaying arrogance in ignoring this phenomenon. The conclusion to the book states that "...the so-called `rational' explanations proposed by academic experts are often as delusionary as the most fanciful reports, and they fail to account for the observed facts in the same way."
However, Vallee himself is careful to keep separate his two big interests: his role in computer networking history and his role as a UFO researcher. He is currently a Silicon Valley investment capitalist and in that role, he does not promote his UFO books. I have recently read and reviewed his book (which I discovered by chance), The Heart of the Internet, and found it an excellent first-person account of early work at SRI that led to the Internet, and a fascinating other side of the man, Jacques Vallee. He wears both hats very well, but is even he afraid of being thought of as a "nut" for his work on UFOs?
The authors do not offer a theory contradicting the usual "aliens from outer space" explanation, but do have a short section at the end of the book that provides some minimal conclusions. The best we get from them in terms of what they think these sightings are is "We suspect that the data we have compiled in our Chronology indicates the presence of a previously unknown physical element." I guess we'll have to content ourselves with that for now.