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A Delicious Book

June 6, 2017

grufosRich Reynolds, whose often thoughtful blog posts on UFOs are worth reading by anyone seriously interested in the subject, had some very nice things to say recently about Grassroots UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael Swords in a post entitled “UFOs: There’s something to it, but what?” He writes: “I’d like to instill UFOs as phenomena, rather than a phenomenon…that UFOs are not just one thing but many things. That’s what’s so delicious about Professor Swords’ listing of CUFOS reports: they tell us that UFOs have a reality, not just an ephemeral existence in the minds of people, and that the UFO reality is multi-faceted…The CUFOS gathering, presented by Michael Swords, contains every kind of UFO sighting we UFO buffs are familiar with or have read/heard about: disks, cigar-shaped craft, weird lights, triangle-shaped vehicles, amorphous entities, et cetera. What intrigues is that the reports cited come from regular, normal folks, not ‘wackos’ or psychotics…at the core of UFO reports rests a mystery, one that belies mental illness or criminal intent; people don’t usually lie about what they’ve seen or think they’ve seen. Even misperception can be set aside. No group of human beings can misperceive within the quantity that UFO sightings supply. The odds are against it. Get the Swords book… and indulge yourself in a swelter of UFO sightings that indicate there’s something to UFOs, something real, unknown but tangibly real.”

The good folks at Magonia don’t usually view books that treat UFOs as genuine physical phenomena with much kindness, but Peter Rogerson has some remarkably nice things to say about Grassroots UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael Swords (based on interviews conducted by John TImmerman). “This is raw, unmediated ufology,” writes Rogerson, “and what strikes me is how unlike the sanitized product this often is…What Timmerman has assembled is not some set of scientific or quasiscientific documents, and it would be a fools errand for someone to try and treat them as such, but a great, and very important, collection of late 20th century North American folklore…Much of what is reported here would in past times be interpreted in terms of religious experience, folk spiritualism, fairy lore or witchcraft. Only a minority really have a technological feel to them; many more are haunting stories which tell of the mysterious otherness of wild nature.” But Jerome Clark, in his review of the book in Fate magazine, would argue with Rogerson’s insistence that these reports are just folklore: “Let us make clear that these sorts of narratives are not ‘folklore.’ mere rumors, legends, fables…These are individuals’ direct experiences of what appear to be otherworldly forces. Usually assuming they happened more or less as told, they are beyond ordinary understanding.” Clark concludes his review with these words: “Grassroots UFOs is one of a kind, unlike any other UFO book you’re going to find out there. It’s definitely worth your time and attention. However you interpret its contents, it makes for thrilling reading and generates renewed wonder at exactly what’s out there and, yet more unsettlingly, what it’s doing to us.”

grufosAnomalist Books is proud to announce the republication of a book originally produced by the Fund for UFO Research in cooperation with the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies: GRASSROOTS UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael D. Swords. The material for the book was gathered over a period of a dozen years, when John Timmerman ran a traveling UFO exhibit for CUFOS that appeared in malls from Seattle to Dallas to Nova Scotia, and from Guam to Puerto Rico. In the process he spoke to hundreds of people from around the world who came in off the street and described their own UFO sightings and experiences. Timmerman ended up with nearly 1,200 taped interviews, firsthand testimony with the lingering taste of truth. Realizing that these stories present the UFO phenomenon in all its raw glory, Michael Swords decided to summarize and analyze this independent trove of evidence for the reality of the phenomenon, and subsequently wrote and illustrated the present volume, which until now has not been available to the general public. If you’re familiar with the writings of Michael Swords, you know you’re in for a treat. If not, prepare to be amazed.