Review by: KEN KORCZAK
Greg Bishop is an aging UFO warrior who got sucked into the bizarre vortex of ufology when still a young boy – and now all these decades later he bears the psychic scars that only UFO investigation can inflict upon the eager seeker who just wants to know the truth – but where finding any truth may be impossible.
His efforts have been persistent and bordering on heroic. In this book Mr. Bishop takes us on a breezy sojourn through his thoughts and experiences gleaned from his persistent pursuit for understanding of the UFO phenomenon. In these pages, he often veers from one extreme to another – from the brutal realization that much about UFOs is depressing bunk, while at the same time, acknowledging there remains tantalizing evidence that something “nonhuman” has been interacting with mankind for thousands of years.
But just what is it? That’s the question that torments Greg Bishop. That’s what makes him the kind of UFO junkie I can appreciate. Bishop has learned to live gracefully with uncertainty. He knows that just when you think you’ve found some solid footing about who or what UFOs are, the game changes suddenly and quixotically. Fact becomes fallacy, truth becomes fraud – but just when you’re ready to chuck it all and give up, guess what?
Something happens to suggest that: “They’re he-e-e-r-e!” And so the devotee is off and running again on the universe’s most mercurial quest.
His journey has sent Bishop reaching for answers and grappling to suggest new models. For example, he suggests that the 1950s contactee era, ala the likes of George Adamski, Howard Menger, et.al., might be viewed (or explained) as a kind of post-modern art movement – an attempt to inject radical new ideas into the collective consciousness of humanity leveraging the benign space visitor motif. Was this “art movement” a conscious creation of the various Adamskis and Mengers? Were they blatant bunko artists — or perhaps they were unwilling pawns of actual alien influences, meddling with the mind of humanity for a planetary social engineering project?
While Bishop conjures new paradigms, he also decries our penchant to latch on to pre-packaged explanations for what UFOs are, especially the long-dominant belief that, “They are alien beings from other planets visiting the Earth in nuts-and-bolts spacecraft.” He says a statement like this is “so loaded with semantic baggage … it is meaningless.” He writes:
“Belief implies a lack of critical thinking. UFOs are automatically assumed by most to be structures vehicles piloted by intelligent being from other planets. They don’t need to be … there are many reasons that a skeptical mindset and lack of assumptions make the subject more interesting and worthy of consideration. To settle on one explanation is to shut down serious inquiry …”
That goes for all the theories and models floated in the past 50 or 60 years – that UFOs are interdimensional beings/craft, time travelers, ancient ‘gods’ or exotic but indigenous races that co-evolved with humanity right here on earth, or that the UFO phenomenon is a manifestation of consciousness evolution of the psyche of mankind itself.
Maybe it’s all of the above – but ultimately – the brutal fact is that we still find ourselves mired in a radical state of: “We just don’t know.” That does not mean that we should stop clawing at our intellects to eke out some measure of understanding, Bishop suggests.
So this is a pretty good read – and that goes for both the extremely experienced UFO enthusiasts (guys like me who have read thousands of books and articles and done actual investigations) to the casual reader who likes to browse a UFO book occasionally to scratch a UFO itch.
Be aware that this is one of those books that has been cobbled together from a collection of the author’s blog posts and other published articles from over the years – these kinds of books tend to suffer a bit from lack of focus or a certain unevenness in the quality of what’s included and what probably should have been cut.
However, for the most part, IT DEFIES LANGUAGE challenges, entertains and invites us to stretch our minds. Greg Bishop urges us to think outside the box, shake off our preconceived notions, guard against getting rutted in outmoded models, avoid fallacies and traps – and beseech our Higher Power of choice for the wisdom to know the difference.
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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