How UFOs Conquered the World

David Clarke. How UFOs Conquered the World (London: Aurum Press, 2015)

In How UFOs Conquered the World, David Clarke provides a clear-headed, even-handed, and critical overview of every major motif associated with the flying saucer phenomenon.

Foo fighters, crashed spacecraft, alien abduction—you name it, Clarke deconstructs it, revealing that, in most cases, the truth is rather more mundane than self-identified ufologists would have us believe.

A respected journalist and academic who has spent the best part of a lifetime elbow deep in UFO folklore, Clarke displays a keen attention to detail often lacking in similar studies. He is careful to put the opinions of sceptics and believers in context, while his in-depth knowledge of the aerospace and defence bureaucracy in the United Kingdom is ultimately both enlightening and impressive.

It is worth noting, however, that Clarke displays a pronounced Anglo-centrism. This is not necessarily a problem in and of itself, but I would like to have read a bit more about the United States Air Force’s Project Blue Book, which strikes me as a fascinating chapter in the history of strange things in the sky.

All in all, though, Clarke has written a very good book, one which I would recommend to anybody with a passing interest in the subject—even those X-Files enthusiasts who “want to believe.”

Image by Kecko How UFOs Conquered the World

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James A. Chisem is an editor at British Online Archives. He has previously written for the BBC, The Times, and Reuters. He has also appeared on the Sunday Politics, Sky Sports, and BBC Radio 5 Live. ...more →

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6 thoughts on “How UFOs Conquered the World

  1. I enjoy visiting The Anomalist from time to time.

    My take on a lot of the articles is some variant of “the amount of competence required to pull off something like that strikes me as being improbable to the point where the only reasonable explanation is that the guy who made these claims was high.”

    But I do enjoy reading the articles anyway.

    It’s sometimes nice to daydream about that level of competence existing.

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    • I clicked on the link and saw an article about the eclipse. It made me think immediately of a blog post I read wherein the guy was at Walmart checking out:

      “Wal-Mart Cashier: “Do you have glasses for the eclipse?” *Points to eclipse glasses*

      Me: “I have everything I need. Glasses, stone basin, cold iron knife.”

      Wal-Mart Cashier: “What?”

      Me: (Completely deadpan) “You know. For the human sacrifice, to summon the Elder Gods and hasten the apocalypse.”

      Wal-Mart Cashier: “Excuse me.”

      Me: (A little louder) “All praise the Dark Ones.”

      Wal-Mart Cashier: *Hands me receipt*

      Me: “Thank you.”

      Wal-Mart Cashier: (To my back) “He needs to find Jesus.””

      Wish I had the balls to say this.

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  2. Given what we think we know about physics and the size of the universe, there are two possibilities: (1) we’re alone, and (2) we’re not alone, but we’ll never know. I’m not sure which is more depressing.

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