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Swamp Gas Times
My Two Decades on the UFO Beat

by Patrick Huyghe

Trade Paperback, 350 Pages

$19.95, ISBN: 1933665459

Genre(s): UFOs

Where UFOs and journalism intersect...

SWAMP GAS TIMES is a revealing memoir by a journalist who covered the UFO field for more than twenty years. This honest, behind-the-scenes look at how the media handle UFO stories also examines the dramatic events and major players that transformed UFO research for a quarter century.

About the Author:

PATRICK HUYGHE was a freelance science journalist for more than two decades. During this time he wrote articles on UFOs for such publications as the New York Times, Science Digest, Newsweek, and Omni, many of which are reprinted in this book along with commentaries and updates. Today he is the editor of Anomalist Books.

The Times Aren't A-Changin'

The Observer Magazine August 11, 2022

In the era before “that UFO article in the New York Times” meant the 2017 write-up by Cooper, Blumenthal, and Keane, there was the 1979 report by journalist Patrick Huyghe. His piece for the New York Times Magazine (“UFO Files: The Untold Story”) revealed the existence of previously unknown UFO research projects, reports of unidentified craft violating military airspace, and an official attempt to downplay the whole thing—the same elements that made the 2017 NYT articles such a paradigm- changer. Four decades prior to the world learning about AAWSAP, AATIP, or Luis Elizondo, Huyghe concluded that the government’s formal interest in aerial anomalies never diminished: “Despite official denials to the contrary, Federal agencies continue to monitor the phenomenon to this day.”



Introduction / 8 

Chapter 1 The “Raid” Over Washington D.C. / 20 

Chapter 2 A Close Encounter with J. Allen Hynek / 29 

Chapter 3 The Great UFO Paper Chase / 37 

Chapter 4 UFOs and the CIA’s Photo Analysis Unit / 55 

Chapter 5 Who Cares About Unexplained Cases? / 64 

Chapter 6 Scientists Who Have Seen UFOs / 69 

Chapter 7 Writ of Habeas Corpus Extraterrestrial / 78 

Chapter 8 The Hudson Valley UFO / 84 

Chapter 9 Aliens ‘R’Us / 87 

Chapter 10 A UFO Carjacking in Australia / 90 

Chapter 11 NASA’s Role in UFO Research / 93 

Chapter 12 First Communion / 96 

Chapter 13 Enfant Terrible / 98 

Chapter 14 Cancer and UFOs / 104 

Chapter 15 Past-Life Aliens / 106 

Chapter 16 B-2 or Not 2-B? / 107 

Chapter 17 Fly that Saucer / 109 

Chapter 18 UFOs Framed / 112 

Chapter 19 AWOL in UFO Heaven / 114 

Chapter 20 Superquali?ed Observers / 118 

Chapter 21 What the Government Knows / 121 

Chapter 22 What the Dolphins Know / 127 

Chapter 23 A Curious Hypersensitivity / 129 

Chapter 24 Blaming the Japanese for Roswell / 132 

Chapter 25 On the Russian UFO Scene / 135 

Chapter 26 On the Mars UFO Scene / 138 

Chapter 27 The Dark Side / 141 

Chapter 28 Alien Writing / 157 

Chapter 29 Manhattan Transfer / 160 

Chapter 30 Extraterrestrial Transfer / 179 

Chapter 31 Secret Agent Man / 181 

Chapter 32 Would Someone Please Tell the President? / 184 

Chapter 33 Fast Walkers / 191 

Chapter 34 The Devil’s Design / 201 

Chapter 35 Anatomy of an Investigation / 203 

Chapter 36 Alien Implant / 219 

Chapter 37 UFO Crime Lab / 224 

Chapter 38 The Secret Invasion / 228 

Chapter 39 An Un?ltered Abduction Tale / 242 

Chapter 40 The Strieber Show / 248 

Chapter 41 Paradigm Shift / 252 

Chapter 42 Dick and Jane Meet ET / 258 

Chapter 43 Against All Odds / 262 

Chapter 44 Extraterrestrial Trash / 264 

Chapter 45 On Horse Mutilation Mysteries / 266 

Chapter 46 Military Abductions / 268 

Chapter 47 Sagan’s Scintillating Evidence / 270 

Chapter 48 UFO Home Videos / 273 

Chapter 49 An Insider’s Account of Alien Contact / 280 

Chapter 50 Those Top Secret NSA Documents / 288 

Chapter 51 A New Day for UFO Research / 293 

Chapter 52 Taking the Cause to Court / 298 

Chapter 53 Are UFOs an Air Safety Hazard? / 304 

Chapter 54 The Best UFO Case Ever? / 309 

Afterword / 334 

Acknowledgments / 341 

Index / 342

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What they're saying:

"The feeling of deja vu was a constant companion during a recent reading of Swamp Gas Times, a collection of Patrick Huyghe's UFO-related work from the waning years of the 20th century. In fact, the book had us double-checking the copyright page more than once, since many of the topics covered parallel the UFO situation as it stands today...Swamp Gas Times amounts to more than a portfolio of UFO articles. The book contains snapshots documenting moments in time that add important context to current events. The same challenges and storylines surrounding the phenomenon 40 years ago are still around today." — The Observer, August 2022

“The UFO Beat, as Huyghe calls it, is a drama of many scenes based upon a puzzling complex of physical, physiological, and psychological phenomena...The personalities involved are fascinating; and Huyghe has confronted many of them in his many articles...His interviews and oversight give him an unrivaled vantage point from which to sketch out one of the most fascinating social phenomena of our time...It's an insider's view well told.” — William Corliss, Science Frontiers

“Having removed himself from the 'gutter-roots' of UFO group controversy, Huyghe is able to combine an outsider's objectivity - being in thrall to no group or partisan publication - with an insider's knowledge of the complexities of the subject and of the politics and personalities involved...each of the pieces in this book is a model of literate UFO journalism...An essential book for anyone who wants a rational guide through the UFO jungle...” —  John Rimmer, Fortean Times

“H.G. Wells once wrote An Experiment in Autobiography, and this title is a good description of Swamp Gas Times by Patrick Huyghe. There are very few books about UFOs that put the phenomenon in a setting of the character and atmosphere of a workaday journalistic world…[Huyghe's] vision raises the sheer thrill of our dawning realization that we are indeed living within domains of high strangeness…What makes this remarkable book special is that it relates all these matters to American journalism as it evolved over two decades. Both journalism and the UFO inhabit unstable worlds; magazines, newspapers and staff are shown as being in an almost constant state of change. Editors, private financiers, policies, all can change within a matter of months… Thus his UFO reporting is against a professional background of varying levels of ever-changing technology, the whims of rich proprietors, and a rapidly changing print and media culture, changing again in turn as regards content and style, taste, fashion, and evolving social history. We see in Swamp Gas Times the UFO as a live cryptozoological animal, grazing on information flow as it moves through many different dimensions and interpretations of media, opinion, and changing forms of fashionable taste and expression… These stories are of a world full of hairline cracks and fissures, a world constantly crumbling at the edges of the discursive investigational eye like an M.C. Escher drawing of possible impossibilities... In the face of such things, [Huyghe] manages to combine a vigorous analytic logic with a brave ability to face the utterly absurd elements in many of the experiences he describes… Here is great insight, as well as the irresistible thrill of UFOlogy…”  — Colin Bennett, Phenomena Magazine


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