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Watch the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth
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Watch the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  4 reviews
On 6/24/47, Ken Arnold flew from Chehalis, WA, on his way to Yakima. Headed toward Mt Rainier, he saw nine peculiarly shaped craft flying in formation at incredible speed. His attempts to contact authorities resulted in front-page news stories that referred for the 1st time to "flying saucers." Watch the Skies! chronicles the arrival & invasion of the UFO myth in popul ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 17th 1994 by Smithsonian Books (DC)
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Erik Graff
Feb 04, 2015 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: UFO fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sciences
I've read so many books about the UFO phenomena that I've considered putting them under a separate rubric rather than placing them, rather questionably, under 'Science'. Most of these books have been written by authors who take the extraterrestrial hypotheses seriously, though I've also read several books by skeptics. Peebles, an aerospece writer, is one of the latter.

Much of the skeptical literature--Philip Klass comes to mind as typical--is on the level of the material one finds in The Sceptic
Sir Michael Röhm
Peebles is an aviation historian. Because of this, is uniquely skilled at writing about the subject of UFOs, as the subject comes under the jurisdiction of the Air Force, the US space program, and commercial and private planes.

Taking a skeptical look at the world of UFOs, Peebles sees them not as alien aircraft, but as a mythology of paranoia and fear, born out of the Cold War and spurred on by social changes in America; the 60s revolutions, the failed war in Vietnam, the murder of President Ken
The subtitle should really read 'A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth IN AMERICA', since he barely touches on the saucers as a cultural trope elsewhere in the world. But hey - an American journo named 'em so we should claim 'em, not to mention that li'l dickens Ray Palmer and his priming of the belief pump with the Shaver Mystery.
An excellent review of why the myth has evolved over time and how the myth fits the needs of the time. Very well researched.
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