Emphasis On Myth
For those struggling to sort out the complex subject of UFOs, this book’s harsh treatment of the UFO will contribute almost nothing toward increasing your understanding of what people continue to see in the skies, video-record and photograph around the world, encounter in their bedrooms, whistle-blow concerning their first-person involvement with, and report 100’s of times each month to the National UFO Reporting Center (excuse me – 1056 NUFORC UFO reports in July, 2014). Apparently, according to Dr. Bullard, it’s mostly, if not entirely, just a bunch of myth and folklore flying around up there. Or maybe kites with lights, or “Hags”. As the book unfolds Bullard cautions us, relentlessly, to adopt his cynical and egoistic view that human beings are notoriously poor observers, and that the vast majority of UFO accounts are not to be trusted. Who knew that myth and/or folklore could actually shut down international airports, turn off moving vehicles, play cat-and-mouse games with experienced commercial and military pilots, be recorded on radar, or fry the guidance systems of nuclear missiles? Certainly one cannot escape noting Bullard’s perseveration in his use of the words “myth” and “folklore” that crop up throughout the book, and that is the construct of the UFO that Bullard apparently hopes to embed in the reader’s impression of the UFO. To be fair, Bullard does, at times, especially in the first and final chapters, come across as an apologist of the UFO, conceding that there may in fact be something here worthy of your attention. But, that message becomes so deeply buried under other tedious chapters of discouraging words that I predict few if any readers will come to that conclusion. Perhaps that is Bullard’s intention. Bullard’s “it’s mostly myth” premise oozes from many pages, and teasing out any inference that the UFO does have a basis in fact from the book’s difficult-to-read micro text becomes an exercise in perseverance. In my opinion, here we find good reason to suspect that Bullard may be one of the “men behind the curtain”, those who insidiously coax the unwary away from the notion that there can, by now, be no doubt that some UFOs are real, engineered, technologically advanced, intelligently managed, non-human craft of unknown origin.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that a book about UFOs written by a man with a PhD in the study of folklore would approach this topic from the apparent viewpoint that the majority (excepting perhaps a teeny, tiny residual) of reported UFO sightings, and even close-up encounters, can be “explained” (away) as figments of the human mind’s alleged predilection toward fabricating myth and folklore. This brings to mind Maslow’s adage “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it was a nail”. Never mind that mankind’s very survival has been, for millennia, intimately dependent upon our ability to parse fact from fiction. An approach that would have given this book clout, being written by a folklorist, would have been a clearly written, concise explanation of all of the reasons why the UFO, seen in its present light, cannot be simply waved on as myth and/or folklore, and excoriating those who continue to follow this line of thinking. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t go there.
That Bullard is a board member of the Center for UFO Studies and the Fund for UFO Research may help to partially explain why we remain mired in an unending debate about the reality of the UFO, and the validity of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis as the leading contender to explain it. Bullard’s obviously detailed acquaintance with what he categorizes as myth and folklore comprising what is known about the UFO phenomenon reveal the depth of disdain with which he regards the reported first-person experiences of the UFO “believers” – Bullard’s subtle but derogatory characterization of those who have become convinced, through study, that the UFO phenomenon is real and it is important. Although in the book’s introduction Bullard includes himself in this category of “believers”, do not underestimate the psychological “tricks of the trade” employed and intended to put the reader at ease before setting about the book’s real task of destroying any previously held notion that the UFO merits your continued attention. This book will handily help you put the UFO on your back burner – hopefully indefinitely!
If you are looking for a book that will substantially contribute to your understanding of the UFO, read Leslie Kean’s book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record. Bullard’s book is only for those who have studied the UFO for some time, those who have overcome their naiveté concerning the lengths to which those who have covered up this legitimate topic will go to discourage further inquiry, and those who have become acutely aware of the wide variety of psychological ploys utilized and intended to dissuade the curious from any possible conclusion that UFOs are real – and that we are not alone.
Richard O’Connor, M.D.