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UFOs, JFK & Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe
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UFOs, JFK & Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  460 ratings  ·  41 reviews
"I'm not asking you to believe every conspiracy theory you'll find in this book. . . . I didn't write this book to give you all the answers. The Warren Commission did that, and the answers were all wrong. I wrote this book to inspire you to do what the powers that be wish you wouldn't:to question authority . . . and to keep an eye out for Elvis."

Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 9th 2009 by Ballantine Books (NY) (first published May 18th 1999)
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I have to say that this is the real thing when it comes to books on conspiracy theories. And I have the evidence in my hot little hands. I checked this book out from our local public library. A regular bastion of information for the public. Well as I was reading I observed that two pages had been carefully removed, as in cut out, from this book. One page was missing in the area where Belzer was discussing the JFK assassination and the other was during the discussion of the Roswell incident. I be ...more
Erik Graff
Dec 18, 2010 Erik Graff rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: conspiracy & pop culture fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Having dropped off a knapsack worth of books at the local cafe, I righteously picked up this one, intrigued by its title. A comic take on conspiracy theories! Surely, some of my friends would find this amusing.

As it happens, the book is not very funny. Indeed, the fact that its author disbelieves the government both as regards the JFK assassination and as regards UFOs works against the possibility of humor. The jokes are strained, out of place in what is basically a serious effort.

The greatest v
Rich Meyer
Great primer for the conspiracy aficionado, centered on two of the more popular ones: the JFK assassination and UFOs. I've read the book a few times and just listened to the audiobook version (narrated by Richard Belzer himself) and it's a great overview for a subject that can be touchy in "polite" company. Belzer covers most of the high (well, more like low) points in the Kennedy Assassination rigmarole, and delves into flying saucers, the Moon landing hoax, the face on Mars and many other topi ...more
Okay. It was not as funny as I would have hoped.

The first half of the book focuses entirely on the JFK assassination. At times, it felt like I was reading a high school term paper, lots of referencing what other people have said/written without providing any really new insight. The one interesting part of this section was Belzer's analysis of why some of the conspiracies are more implausible (ie how would the KGB or a Cuban hit squad been able to pull of such a conspiracy in the US).

The remain
While I think almost every conspiracy is totally nuts, I think Belzer has a great sense of humor and I enjoyed reading this book as just a look into that world.
Jan 17, 2013 Stacia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This is not my normal reading fare, but I picked it up as part of a Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge (000s). So far, I'm finding it to be an entertaining look at conspiracy theories around the JFK assassination. I saw Oliver Stone's JFK movie so long ago (& don't remember many specific details about it), but this book somehow reminds me of the Stone movie....

Update: I finished the book & found it somewhat funny & entertaining. The JFK conspiracy stuff was mostly nothing new to me; I'm
Scottie Binions
Not very funny or insightful. More like a nagging overview of conspiracy theory that tries too hard. Many of the jokes are one step above fart joke type humor. I thought it would be funny or interesting, maybe thought provoking, but it was none of those. The writing style is disjointed, with blurbs and sidebars appearing everywhere in these 3-4 page chapters.

Final verdict? Take a pass if you come across this book.
Sadly, there are not actually any conspiracies about Elvis in this book. If you're going to read it, I recommend getting the audiobook read by Belzer - his dry humour really shines through!
Brian Murphy
This is one of my favorite books. I really love conspiracy theories and this book makes for a really smooth read. It gives you some additional info in the side bars which I also found great. Ex. Websites to see alien structures and background info about the JFK conspiracies. I would suggest this book to anyone that likes a good conspiracy theory and doesn't want to read a 1000 page book filled with 500 pages of additional info you'll never remember.
Matthew Hopewell
Could have used more Elvis. Other than that it was a fun ride.
Laura Ketterman
It was a fun book to read.
Danny Volt
The most effective way to read this book is to imagine it's a transcript of Belzer in a stand-up routine, bebunking and poking fun at "party line" against conspiracy theories.

I say "most effective" because it doesn't consider any counter-counter-arguments to JFK/UFO conspiracies — All of it is hogwash. It makes me think he's doing a send-up/satire of anti-Warren Commission/Roswell-coverup material.

If so, I'm not sure if I like that more, or less.

"But don't go by me."
M. Shannon
The title of this book is a little misleading, Belzer makes no mention of Elvis. What he does do is a wonderful job of taking readers through all the various conspiracies surrounding the assassination of JFK and whether UFOs have made contact. As an added bonus I listened to the audio version where Belzer reads and even breaks out into song on occasion. An absolute must read/listen for anyone interested in the JFK assassination and/or UFOs.
I enjoyed this conspiracy theory book. Listening to the audio book adds something fun since I love Mr. Belzer on Law and Order SVU. I wouldn't say I completely believe him, but he's well read, and researched. He weaves a compelling case about JFK, but I can't believe it entirely without corroborating and I choose not to as I listened to this more for entertainment than to take as the new gospel on what he speaks about.
Adam Watson
Very good if you appreciate Belzer's wit and want a quick introduction to major conspiracy UFO and JFK conspiracies. It would be interesting to see him take on other conspiracy / cryptozoologist topics. Thin in content, but even so, I learned some new facts. I was irritated by the layout -- the text is constantly interrupted by sidebars that sometimes go on for two or three pages before coming back.
Extremely entertaining book about conspiracies near and dear to Richard Belzer's heart. The speculation and facts go down well, thanks to his comedic ability. I was hooked by this book and couldn't put it down. His penchant for research definitely shows, and you can easily tell he's a well-read intellectual. (My kind of guy!) I enjoyed this so much, I went to and bought the audiobook.
Eric Layton
Belz is a funny guy! :)
Who knew that Richard Belzer was a conspiracy theorist? I certainly didn't, until I read this book. I ordered it via library loan not knowing who Belzer was and then I was incredibly excited when I got the book and realized it was Detective Munch.

Like all conspiracy theorists, he doesn't exactly back up his facts like any proof. But it is an entertaining read, most definitely.
I think I might have missed the last few chapters, or maybe the entire book is 75% JFK-obsessed. I like weird conspiracy stuff, and I"m pretty sure Richard Belzer was the inspiration for the X-files' lone gunmen. Not sure if it translates very well to audio format, but it spiced up my day at the office a bit and even had me laughing at some points. Not an entire waste of a few hours.
Funny, but also true, Belzer knows what he's talking about. Anyone, such as UFO researchers, etc. will recognize that Belzer is not just a funny man making light of these subjects. If you're expecting Belzer to mock the conspiracy-paranormal-UFO field, you're going to be disappointed. I appreciate that Belzer isn't afraid to come out with his opinions on these subjects.
Contains a great expose of the inconsitencies and outright fiction tales that the American people are told to swallow by the powers that be... I if was to get this book again though, I would go for the written kind and not the audiobook. The sound effects were totally distracting and totally unnecessary.
Good for a laugh. It's nice finding someone more cynical than I am, but, although I never believed that JFK was killed by a lone gunman, I still don't buy that the moon landings were faked and that UFO's are abducting people to probe them.
Tom Schulte
I am rating it as 2.5 judging this zany conspiracy smorgasborg as entertainment. I think this may be the work imagined as "Conspiracy A-Go-Go" in the movie Slacker...

As investigative journalism, I'd have to give it a 0.5
I have not read this book in years, but I have read it way too many times as it is. I don't buy into conspiracies outside of JFK but some of the stuff in this book I have not seen anywhere else and I have read too much on this subject.
ugh ~~ I only liked ONE page of this book: page 92, "Conspiracy or Coincidence?", and I don't even think it's an original work. I had seen it before. It's about the similarities of JFK and Lincoln; absolutely mind-numbing.
Stupid epic fun. Ridiculous hilarity and wacky fun insight. Good times and fun facts to bewilder your friends and surely make them groan because you have officially became one of "THOSE" wackos.
The book is a real hoot! It is worthless for serious investigators of these "mysteries," but it is a scream for those (like me) who love Belzer and appreciate his sense of humor.
I listened to this book because I really like Richard Belzer. I found it quite entertaining and it made me chuckle several times.
Nov 06, 2012 Tim added it
he doesn't poo poo the topics, yet is funny. so far so good.

it got old by the end. good for skimming through, funny, not great.
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Belzer is the author of four books, the last two of which were a crime fiction series co-written with Michael Black that featured Belzer as the mystery-solving protagonist. I’m Not a Cop, the first of the two, was published in 2008, followed by the sequel, I’m Not a Psychic, in 2009. Belzer penned UFOs, JFK and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe in 2000, and co-authored How ...more
More about Richard Belzer...
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