‘The Gods Never Left Us’ by Erich von Däniken
2018, New Page Books
It’s tricky to remark on how amazing it is that Erich von Däniken is still writing prolifically in his 80s, without sounding just a bit patronising. Nowadays, his books feel like extended letters sent from his mountain home in Switzerland. He’s still analysing, arguing, questioning, probing. He bangs the same old drum, of course, but brings into the mix the newest scientific research, and the latest progress on the long, tortuous path towards disclosure. This helps to keep his newer books fresh and up-to-date. Erich von Daniken’s early work has spawned a media phenomenon in the form of the successful ‘Ancient Aliens’ TV series. By comparison, books must seem a quaint anachronism from the point of view of the newer generations. But I appreciate them, being a bit of an old hand myself, and I’m glad he’s still writing them!
This particular instalment kicks off with a fictional short story involving CERN and time travel, and the desire to be listened to by the gatekeepers of Knowledge. It would be too easy to psychoanalyse this short story and place von Däniken in the role of the central protagonist. It’s a curious thing to include in a non-fiction book, but, as with all von Daniken’s writing, it is enjoyable to read and engaging.
If there is a theme running through the book, it is signs from above. The Fatima sightings set the scene, dealt with briefly here. I suppose that the October 2017 event near Fátima, Portugal, which is held dear by the Roman Catholic Church, would be interpreted as a Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind by modern ufologists, in the sense of being a pro-active, human-initiated event involving a UFO-related phenomenon.
“Fact, Fiction and Flying Saucers” by Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden
Subtitled “The Truth Behind the Misinformation, Distortion, and Derision by Debunkers, Government Agencies, and Conspiracy Conmen”
New Page Books, 2016
One of the running themes of this book is that governments can keep secrets, and that it is rather naïve to think otherwise. That may fly in the face of the impression we sometimes get of the impact organisations like Wikileaks can have, as they release thousands of classified documents onto the Internet.
But consider this: Stanton Friedman has long paraded a basketful of heavily redacted declassified government agency files about UFOs as evidence that freedom of information simply does not apply to this subject, and that Western governments continue to keep a cupola-shaped lid on it. To my knowledge, Wikileaks et al have not managed to acquire, or publish, the full versions of said files – even though knowledge of their existence is already in the public domain. Given the kinds of other sensitive materials they have sourced and released down the years, I find this surprising – and also illuminating. This kind of material is clearly buried very deeply, and remains highly sensitive despite the passing of many decades. Why is that?
There is a misperception generally of the efficacy of government secrecy, which this book goes some way to address. In the light of this consideration, the fact that this book (like so many UFO books) tends to concentrate upon the events in the decades following the Second World War is both a strength and a weakness. A strength because the history of the UFO subject is now so old that there seems very little reason why any kind of information restriction should still be applied to it by government. Sensitive intelligence sources are now dead, their gathering methods well known, the technology of the time is now obsolete, and the politics forgotten. A weakness because we’ve heard it all before, many times. Yes, diligent researchers like Friedman and Marden continue to unearth new materials from archives, but really the story has remained largely the same for many years.
It is well known that Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager, John Podesta, has more than a passing interest in Ufology (1). He has gone on record calling for UFO disclosure, and arguing that the American people can handle the truth (2). in the run-up to the U.S. Presidential election, WikiLeaks has made public thousands of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, including emails from Mr Podesta. Some of these emails contain references to UFOs and/or aliens, although it has been noted that some of these are simply chance references by association, or to make a point (3). Nevertheless, given John Podesta’s clear interest in the subject, some of these emails likely genuinely reflect his interest in UFOs and the possible existence of extra-terrestrial life. As we shall see, Hillary Clinton appears to share this unusual passion, and so arguably is likely to be ‘in the loop’ with her campaign manager’s personal interest in UFOs and related subjects.
One of the emails from Mr Podesta to Mrs Clinton, sent 7th September 2014, originated from a correspondent, named Don Smalter, arguing that global warming could be attributable to Planet X/Nibiru (4), and warning of a possible “near-term worldwide cataclysm ahead” (5). This appears to have been a generic email routinely sent out by campaigner Mr Smalter, which ended up in Hillary Clinton’s inbox (5). Read More…
I’m a big fan of these two authors. Their no-nonsense approach to research is refreshing, and has undoubtedly been one of a number of factors which have placed the Roswell incident at the fore of UFO reality. Carey and Schmitt have written several books about Roswell down the years, each essentially an update on their on-going research over a 25 year period.
This particular book begins with a wise and thought-provoking overview of why the stasis of non-disclosure persists, despite the well-documented evidence compelling the need for answers from government and the armed forces, which took firm control of this incredible event back in July 1947. Given the probable nature of what actually crashed on the desert floor at that time, it’s hardly surprising that the event was buried beneath an Orwellian edifice for so many years, before witnesses finally felt safe enough to come forward… helped no doubt by safety in numbers, and a changing climate towards the rights of the individual before government power post post-war.
“The Aztec UFO Incident” by Scott Ramsey, Suzanne Ramsey and Frank Thayer
I, like many readers of UFO lore, had always assumed that the widespread condemnation of the 1948 Aztec UFO crash as a hoax probably meant that it was just that – a hoax. After all, what better way to muddy the Roswell waters than create additional UFO crash stories that later turn out to be fictitious? Some of the top researchers in the field have dismissed this case in the past, mostly on the basis of a court case which brought into question the honour and integrity of some of the key ‘expert witnesses’ of the case. A domino effect has killed this story across five decades.
But not anymore…