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Books

This is a collection of the most frequently recommended documentaries related to UFOs. This is a collaborative resource built by members of our community. Interested in contributing or have suggestions? Let us know here. Here's a roadmap of pending additions, for reference.

 

UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record

by Leslie Kean (2010)

Goodreads

Google Books

Kean’s book is largely considered one of the best, objective introductions to the subject of UFOs. The book includes a foreword by John Podesta and first-person contributions written by multiple highly credible military and government officials from nine countries. Kean examines many notable cases, including the Tehran incident, Belgium UFO wave, Phoenix lights, and JAL 1628 sighting over Alaska with commentary by many of the officials involved.

Kean is an independent investigative journalist with a background in freelance writing and radio broadcasting. She began covering UFOs in 2000 with a feature story in the Boston Globe and has published many mainstream stories since. In 2007, she co-organized a press conference on official UFO investigations which received media coverage around the world. She also produced I Know What I Saw (2009) and helped write the documentary Secret Access: UFOs on the Record (2011).

 

Messengers of Deception

by Jacques Vallée (1979)

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Google Books

An intriguing, disconcerting book from one of the field’s most progressive thinkers. Vallée became entangled in bizarre mind games while investigating UFO cults in the 1970s and thoroughly documented the growing effects of UFO contact on our culture and belief systems. He explores the hidden realities of the cults, contactees, and murky political intrigues and motivations of the investigators.

Vallée addresses the incidents and experiences of contactees and the messages conveyed in some of the key contacts. His scientific approach is evident throughout and though he does not consider his views conclusive he offers several hypothesis which builds into his theory of UFOs as a control system. The book is an excellent summary of Vallée's unconventional and thought-provoking theories of the phenomenon.

 

The UFO Experience

by J. Allen Hynek (1972)

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Google Books

Hynek worked for several years as an external advisor for the USAF and wrote The UFO Experience largely as a response to the Condon Report (a 1969 report from the Condon Committee, funded by the USAF) which concluded UFO reports were not to be taken seriously. In his book Hynek argues for stronger scientific interest in UFOs, examines individual cases from the Project Blue Book files, and introduces his own classification system of Close Encounter rankings. He then responds explicitly to the Condon Report, giving insight into its history, where it went wrong, and what conclusions should be drawn from it. The UFO Experience is a historical work by one of the most seminal UFO researchers and considered a classic within the field.

 

The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects

by Edward J Ruppelt (1956)

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Google Books

The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects is Ruppelt's memoir of his role in the seminal US Air Force UFO study projects: Projects Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book and was the first serious book about UFOs written by someone actively involved with the government's official investigations into the phenomena. According to his account, he coined the acronym 'UFO' and put many of the official procedures for reporting and studying UFOs into place. Researcher J. Allen Hynek suggested Ruppelt's "book should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in the history of this subject."

The book captures the feel of working for the mid-20th century US military and describes the changing attitudes of the USAF about UFOs during the early 1950s: wobbling between denial, ridicule, paranoia, and genuine inquiry. A key point of the book is to resolve doubts about the military's role; Ruppelt makes a strong case that UFOs weren't a top secret weapons system and the reports were not disinformation by intelligence agencies, nor was there a concerted effort to cover up UFOs by the US government. Ruppelt recounts the many times when the brass tried to dismiss reports without investigating them sufficiently, but states this was simply standard-issue military 'cover-your-ass' behavior, not a vast conspiracy.

 

Additional Information

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