decent, non-nutty writing on UFO's, Ghosts, Cryptozoology?

If there’s one area of study that’s absolutely, hopelessly given over to wackos and nuts, it’s paranormal phenomena.

What books out there on these subjects are informative, realistic, serious, and yet are surprisingly un-nutty? It’s driving me nuts, because I’ve always had a huge interest in these fields, but there’s such a dearth of non-Fortean Times material.

You already know of the Fortean Times; do you subscribe?

They always have a lot of web links and book reviews etc.

(as you probably already know).

Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World.

I really like and recomend Travels by Michael Crichton.

amazon link

Doesn’t have UFOs or cyrptozoology but some stuff on ghosts and other psy-type phenomenon.

A book on UFO’s I heartily recommend is Keith Thompson’s Angels and Aliens: Ufo’s and the Mythic Imagination. Thompson delves mostly into the psychology of myth and archetypes, and explains how UFO sightings and abductions might plant themselves firmly into people’s experiences without actually being real or taking place.

Another good read: Weird Science, by Michael White, covers a wide variety of topics, from near-death and out-of-body experiences to ghosts, telepathy, and voodoo rituals. White is actually pretty open minded to quasi-scientific explanations for such phenomena, but he is highly critical of any overtly supernatural explanations.

Reviews for both books are at the links provided above.

What’s wrong with Fortean Times? Those guys are frickin great.

Seriously, though, here are some good, very serious resources (that, while serious, are not in line with Sagan’s Demon Haunted World):

  • The Missing Times by Terry Hansen ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0738836125 ), which documents apparent instances of newspapers (particularly national ones) ignoring/spiking UFO stories or slanting them to make the witnesses look like fools.

  • UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973 by Richard Dolan ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1571743170 ) is a fantastic, exhaustive (and exhausting) history of the UFO phenomenon in the US, and how the govt. has warred with itself in efforts to cover up or disclose the phenomenon. If you’re some uber-skeptic that can’t buy that our trustworthy govt. would ever lie to its people or cover anything up, this book at least proves that the fallacy that “UFO sightings only happen to dumb farmers in the sticks” is pure bullshit. Nearly every sighting mentioned here–several hundred–was made by an experienced observer, usually in the military, and in some cases from several different locations with actual measuring equipment (for example, two teams of high-ranking military officers out to formally observe a missile test on one of the proving grounds in the Southwest, both of whom observe the unexpected object from different locations and with theodolites). Personally, I can’t wait for the next installment (1974-?).

  • Gray Highway: An American UFO Journey by Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follett ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966604407 ), is some light reading that looks at the social phenomenon of UFOs in America. I highly recommend it. But then, I wrote it.

I suggest The Demonologist by Gerald Brittle for more ghost & demon stuff.

Jeff, is Brittle at all critical of the Warrens in that book, or does he seem to be mainly complimentary? I would hope it’s the former, but the Warrens are interesting either way.

I’ve added it to my wish list.

I haven’t read it since high school but I don’t remember Brittle being very far in either direction. Pretty much just a concise account of their investigations.

Judging by the consumer reviews, I suggest finding the hardcover edition instead. That’s what I found in the public library all those years ago.

Cool. Thanks, Jeff.