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Review of a Review

I haven't yet read J. Allen Danelek's book UFOs: The Great Debate, so to review it would be supreme UFO smuggery. So this is nothing about Danelek at all. I haven't read his book, and so I can't say anything about it. What this is about is what the blurb in my LLwellyn catalog (New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit) that came in the mail today had to say about Danelek's book.

The ad promoting the book tells us that the book "examines some of the most intriguing questions on this [UFOs] subject" like the following question that drives me crazy every time: "Do UFOs really exist?" Of course they exist, that's the wrong question. Along with "Do you believe in UFOs?" that has to be the dumbest question about the phenomena ever asked.

The ad presents Danelek as a "true skeptic" which may or not be true, remember, I haven't read the book. But if he is a "true skeptic"-- and even if he isn't -- why leap to the following astounding announcement?

"You'll also discover the truth about crop circles, alien abductions, cattle mutilations, and more."

Anytime anyone tells me they have "the truth" about just about anything, but particularly UFOs, crop circles and cattle mutilations, I know right off that they have anything but.

I know it's just about selling products and books and the ad people got carried away in promoting a title, but really. "The truth. . . ?" .

This is aimed at the ad copy people who are promoting the book, not Danelek himself. So far, he's innocent, since I haven't read his book. We could say this about anyone in the field of UFOlogy; if you say have "the truth" you're a liar. Arrogant, smug, deluded, -- all could apply, but the "truth" is, about having "the truth," is that no one has the truth.

This is such an obvious given that I feel silly saying such a cliché thing, yet we come across this bold statement about "the truth" frequently in UFOlogy. It comes from all kinds of people. Witnesses, who have truly experienced something fantastic but interpreted it in rigid ways. The liars and hucksters, who know better but don't care. And a few researchers who just really believe that they have the truth, out of arrogance, possibly, or because they've chosen to believe their sources. Whatever the reasons, we just can't say something is "the truth" with such finality.

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