Cover Image: UFOs


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Member Reviews

An interesting look at the investigation of UFOs and interlaced with some good stories. I found parts of the book to be slow and tedious though. But for the most part, UFO enthusiasts will enjoy the read.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Whilst this is undoubtedly a well researched addition to UFO literature, and the 'science' is well explained, it is clearly written from the perspective of a believer in the phenomenon. I am in the same camp as Powell as a believer but although his enthusiasm for his subject has to be applauded, it makes the book rather unbalanced in its arguments. Powell's writing style is very readable, and the science is clear on the whole. However, there are No other potential explanations for UFOs than alien life are considered.

The book tries to take a different approach to the majority of other books on the subject, but the author needs to be more open to other interpretations of sightings. Some assertions are made without any supporting evidence, such as saying that Neil deGrasse Tyson 'probably' never studied UFOlogy and stating that some UFO sightings are "reports of objects that were built by an intelligence far in advance of our own'. This is not, to the best of my understanding, following the scientific method, it is just expressing an opinion. Whilst it is of course fine to express an opinion, in a book that bases its whole pitch on being a scientific exploration, it's not what I would really have expected to see.

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My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers for an advance copy of this book on looks at unexplained phenomena with the eyes of a veteran scientist, along with a ideas on how to make these investigations more useful and science based.

As a guy who loves science fiction, of course I believe there is life on other planets. As a guy who reads a lot of books, these life forms might not be anything we would consider life, nor be tooling around the galaxy and messing with species that lack their technology. Such as all the cases of zooming by planes, floating over army bases all over the world. Kidnapping people, and mutilating cattle also seem odd to travel trillions of miles to do. However our government has done weirder things to us. And conservationists are always moving species around to keep it out of human way, or to grow stronger. Tranquilizing a bear and moving it might not be that different from probing a human to something not of this Earth. Unfortunately a lot of studies into alien phenomena are not as credible as one would like. For those who seek the truth, there are alot of conspiracy books, written by grifters or just oddities looking for attention or bring their manifestos to the public. UFOs: A Scientist Explains What We Know (And Don’t Know) by Robert Powell is a serious look at what is happening in our skies, a history of encounters, the science involved, and ideas and thoughts about making these investigations more reality based.

Robert Powell had a long career in the scientific and business world, owner of a few patents and helped to develop many of the microprocessors we use today. Powell, though, had always had an interest in UFO's starting in his childhood, and after retirement joined on the largest volunteer groups investing UFO's MUFON the Mutual UFO Networks as Director of Research. Later Powell formed another group the Scientific Coalition for Unexplained Aerial Phenomena Studies. In this book Powell begins at the beginning looking at UFO's in the distant past, the rise of the giant balloon sightings that happened all over the west, the "foo fighters" that appeared in World War II, and the mass of UFO sightings that began as the Cold War was starting to heat up, and continue to this day. Powell looks at government groups, sightings, and goes in the science involved both in the investigations, and the technology the ships might have. Powell also looks at the future of investigations looking at how things can be changed to a more fact based investigation, and what surprises might be released soon.

A book that is not large, but really is weighty in both the science covered, the ideas offered and the history. Powell is a very good writer, one that is able to make complex science writing interesting, and understandable. Powell covers a lot of the history, at least in the United States about UFO"s the confusion in government from what they were seeing on their own radars, the pressure they were getting for answers, and how not liking the answers, kind of pushed it away. Powell looks at some investigations pointing out where things went right and wrong. and how these can be fixed to make them more credible. As I stated a lot is going on in this book, which raises a lot of questions and quite a few possible scenarios.

Recommended for Ufologists as this book is so their jam. There is a lot of interesting information and lots of ideas that many fans of aliens and why they are on Earth will find interesting. Also science fiction readers will like this book as it offers a lot of ideas and science that can be included in their own works.

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This book provides an overview of current and historical perception on the subject of UFOs. This overview is, by necessity, not totally inclusive of all sightings but applies a focus on those incidents recorded since 1942 that have credible witnesses and in some cases evidence. Most of this available evidence is provided through military sources as they have the equipment – mainly fighter aircraft with tactical radar and visual recording capability.
The discussion continues by postulating the possibilities of ‘alien’ life on other planets and the chances of whether we, or they, may reach out to investigate each other. The practicalities of either of those options is in itself an interesting proposition, and the theories put to the reader make this a fascinating read and well recommended to anyone who has an interest in the UFO subject. The book concludes with a fascinating link from the 60s/70s/80s/9os TV series Star Trek and the technologies they employ, when those technologies are now part of our daily lives in the 21st Century.

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If you don't want to learn then this book is not for you. Powell has delved deeply for this one and comprehensively explains and elaborates on all aspects of UFO sightings, encounters, and even hypothesis on who, where, and how. This was by no means boring, but it's dense with scientific information which is a welcomed and fresh addition to whay already exists on UFOs.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book on UFOs as the author, with a solid background in engineering, UFO research, and advocacy, looks at historical and modern UFO accounts. Powell provides a comprehensive account of the subject and also explores various non-human intelligence hypotheses while emphasizing the importance of a scientific approach. It also raises questions about how our current scientific advancements can help uncover extraterrestrial life.

Overall, this was a thought-provoking read and is a well-researched contribution to the field. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in UFOs or scientific advancement as a whole.

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