NEW UFO BREAKTHROUGH: ALLENDE LETTERS an Exclusive Report on the Mysterious Correspondence That Triggered a Special Naval Research Study!
I've just downgraded my rating on this book from 3 to 2, based on having read it again after 30-odd years. Really, it should be a 1 star, but I've succumbed to a nostalgic leniency.On its own terms, and if you subscribe to the authors' beliefs in UFOs as highly advanced flying craft of a super-intelligent race, then it probably rates 4 stars. And, on its own terms, it is an enjoyable read. However, as it purports to be "the truth" I don't see how anybody with a reasonable degree of the critical faculty could accept it as such (which I did when I was 10 years old, but not now), hence my low rating.An example of the authors' incredulity, whether simply naïve or wilful, is that of the "Eltanin Antenna": the Eltanin was an Antarctic research vessel that in 1964 was surveying the ocean floor by dragging along the sea-bed a camera which periodically took photographs. One of those photographs was of an object (the authors call it "a device" from the outset) estimated to be about 2 feet tall with a number of evenly-spaced spokes radiating along its length, each terminating in a small globe. The Eltanin scientists were not immediately able to identify the object, when ufologists stepped in and proclaimed it be non-human-technology: an antennae made to study the earth's seismic activity and transmit the data to its unknown creators for unknown (but impliedly sinister) reasons. In fact, the "antenna" had been scientifically described decades earlier from examples dredged from the sea-floor. It was a type of sponge, scientific name Cladorhiza concrescens. It had never before been photographed in its natural setting, hence the initial difficulty in identifying it. A quick internet search found this article in the Fortean Times and this article on the Treehugger website, with more recent and better quality photos of the sponge in its habitat.Now, hindsight is a marvellous thing and its easy to mock the theories of those past commentators who did not have access to our store of knowledge. However, in the face of the unknown you can either theorise within the realm of the possible, even if improbable, based upon the foundation of what is known to science, or let your fancy take flight and indulge yourself in unfounded speculation. The authors and their ilk do the latter, hammering together ill-fitting pieces of various enigmas to create a collage of the picture they already have in their minds.In the face of scientific advance, it seems there are a range of possible responses:1. Accept the new findings and abandon your previous theory;2. Ignore the new findings and continue with your previous theory as if nothing new had been found;3. Accept the new findings but remove your theoretical construct to another area in which science has yet to form a definite view;4. Denounce the new findings as a cover-up and use them as evidence of a conspiracy designed to silence the "true believers".Sadly, despite their belief in "advanced science" and therefore, presumably, the scientific method, many ufologists seem reluctant to adopt response 1 and all too ready to adopt the other responses.It was interesting for me, personally, to revisit these haunts of my youth, but I don't think it will be a trip I need to make again.