The UFO enigma A new review of the physical evidence

Peter A. Sturrock

Book - 1999

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Warner Books c1999.
Language
English
Item Description
"The first major scientific inquiry since the Condon report"--Cover.
"Commissioned by Laurance S. Rockefeller and implemented by the Society for Scientific Exploration"--P. [4] of cover.
"With a foreword by Laurance S. Rockefeller"--P. [4] of cover.
Physical Description
xii, 404 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. [373]-386) and index.
ISBN
0446525650
Main Author
Peter A. Sturrock (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Anyone who doubts that the UFO phenomenon deserves a scientific evaluation should read this book. Sturrock, an astrophysicist at Stanford University, selected a panel of eight scientists in various fields and brought them together in Tarrytown, New York, September 30^-October 3, 1997, to review the evidence for UFOs presented by eight UFO investigators (all but one with doctorates themselves) from four different countries. The result, unlike the much-criticized negative conclusion of the U.S. Air Force^-sponsored Condon Committee in 1969, was a recommendation that the scientific community set up a project to examine physical evidence related to UFO sightings. Sturrock reports on the panel's conclusions and summarizes the case studies they looked at, from UFO photographs and radar returns to interference with the electrical systems of cars and airplanes, ground traces, and debris analysis. In short, this is a sound professional study that contrasts sharply with the unauthenticated anecdotes and rank speculation that pass for UFO literature these days. ((Reviewed November 15, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

If the truth is out there, why haven't we found it? A 1997 conference at the Pocantico center in Tarrytown, N.Y., assembled UFO researchers and distinguished air and space scientists to review theories and evidence concerning inexplicable lights, big disks and other odd, exciting stuff in the sky. If they produced no new conclusions, their work certainly makes informative reading. A professor emeritus of Space Science and Astrophysics at Stanford, Sturrock synthesizes the conference reports and deliberations into 120 carefully considered pages. One presentation (in Sturrock's summary) shows why some UFOs can be explained as weather-related phenomena. Another shows why UFO investigators and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) radio astronomers don't get along. Sturrock calls for more, and more widely available, research into UFOs; he notes that physical scientists, while not trained to evaluate witness reports, can analyze material evidence. Most of the rest of the book is comprised of essays ("Post-Pocantico Reflections") and "Case Material" (about specific UFO reports) by a variety of hands. Richard Haines considers a Frisbee-shaped aerial object in a vacationer's photo; Jennie Zeidman reports on "A Helicopter-UFO Encounter Over Ohio." The ongoing French study called GEPAN or SEPRA emerges as a leader in recent studies of UFOs, decidedly on the back burner in the United States. All the contributors write in the impersonal, precise, deliberately colorless language proper to scientific journal articles. If the results are less than thrilling, they represent a hoard of raw information, and some admirably cautious reasoning, from which any reader who already cares about UFOs might be glad to learn. Photos, charts and diagrams not seen by PW. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

If the truth is out there, why haven't we found it? A 1997 conference at the Pocantico center in Tarrytown, N.Y., assembled UFO researchers and distinguished air and space scientists to review theories and evidence concerning inexplicable lights, big disks and other odd, exciting stuff in the sky. If they produced no new conclusions, their work certainly makes informative reading. A professor emeritus of Space Science and Astrophysics at Stanford, Sturrock synthesizes the conference reports and deliberations into 120 carefully considered pages. One presentation (in Sturrock's summary) shows why some UFOs can be explained as weather-related phenomena. Another shows why UFO investigators and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) radio astronomers don't get along. Sturrock calls for more, and more widely available, research into UFOs; he notes that physical scientists, while not trained to evaluate witness reports, can analyze material evidence. Most of the rest of the book is comprised of essays ("Post-Pocantico Reflections") and "Case Material" (about specific UFO reports) by a variety of hands. Richard Haines considers a Frisbee-shaped aerial object in a vacationer's photo; Jennie Zeidman reports on "A Helicopter-UFO Encounter Over Ohio." The ongoing French study called GEPAN or SEPRA emerges as a leader in recent studies of UFOs, decidedly on the back burner in the United States. All the contributors write in the impersonal, precise, deliberately colorless language proper to scientific journal articles. If the results are less than thrilling, they represent a hoard of raw information, and some admirably cautious reasoning, from which any reader who already cares about UFOs might be glad to learn. Photos, charts and diagrams not seen by PW. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. Copyright 1999 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A comprehensive study of the UFO phenomenon takes a close-up look at hundreds of unexplained incidents that have tantalized investigators and have stumped scientists seeking to rationalize them. 40,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A comprehensive study of the UFO phenomenon takes a close-up look at hundreds of unexplained incidents that have tantalized investigators and have stumped scientists seeking to rationalize them

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Most reports of UFOs are cases of error or merely hoaxes. However a certain percentage defy all rational explanation. This study examines a number of cases that have been well documented and corroborated, yet remain unexplained.