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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

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  30 Ratings  ·  7 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 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jaime
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
James
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this among some other stuff that was buried in the basement, and I realized that I had never read it. I casually started it; I couldn't put it down.

This is probably the best overview of the UFO phenomenon I've come across - balanced, informative, and refreshingly unhysterical. Peebles, an aviation historian, has no personal axe to grind about whether or not "the truth is out there" ; he states clearly that , while he is a skeptic, he is not out to debunk the UFO phenomenon. His pur
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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
...more
Joshua Buhs
A valuable reference on the topic.

This is one of the best surveys of UFO history that I have read, in terms of lining up the facts. Peebles is relatively light on framing-which is good, given when he does try for it, it tends to be kind of weak. (People were especially afraid during the beginning and end of the Cold War, accounting for the outbreaks then--but not explaining intervening ones; a myth is a set of interrelated ideas--but necessarily false.)

The reader should be aware that there are s
...more
Martin
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good skeptical review of the sociological evolution of the UFO mythos from the 1940s to the 1990s era of abductions and the X-Files. A lot of information about various sightings and events, well-written with reasonable arguments. Most interesting is how it traces in specific ways how the common perception of UFOs evolved step-by-step over the years.
Roy
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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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