by Robert Girard
in the Arcturus Book Catalog (July 2000)
Dolan, Richard. UFOs and the National Security State: An Unclassified History. Volume One: 1941 to 1973. Keyhole Publishing, 2000. Trade softcover. 499 pages, extensive notes, bibliog. index. First of a projected 2-volume set (second volume a long way off). If you are old enough (as is your cataloguer) to have been fascinated by flying saucers almost from Day One, then you must surely long for the innocent early days of ufology, days when strange glowing craft zoomed through our skies, easily out-performing any kind of human pursuit craft. No landings (to speak of), no UFOnauts or greys (until 1954), no abductions (yet), and most mercifully, none of the sociopathic paranoia which has today truly killed off whatever public interest there may once have been in ufology. Interest in the early UFO titles is probably higher today than it was at the time their publishers had to reprint the popular books time and again to satisfy the reading public's demand. But apart from public fascination, and despite government assurances to the contrary, there was much serious concern at the highest levels of the U.S. government over national security. It was evident immediately that whatever the flying discs were, they were first and foremost incredibly advanced over any military aircraft of the time. Furthermore, the cold war was raging then, and nobody could rest easy when the possibility of a Soviet or Chinese origin for the saucers could not be dismissed out of hand. UFOS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE is both a history of the "life and times" of early saucering, and a critical study of how the U.S. government (and others) reacted to the challenge of an unidentified aerial presence in Earthly skies, with respect to the potential threat to our national security implicit in the saucers' capabilities. It will surprise no one at all today to be told that the U.S. government was certainly far more worried about UFOs than they let on to the public -- after all, we expect that of desk-trapped government bureaucrats. But the History involved here -- that's the real beauty of this book. If you weren't there at Day One--if your own interest in ufology dates only from the abduction period beginning in the 1970s, you really must read this book!! We've said it a zillion times in these catalogs: You will not comprehend the UFO scene today unless you acquire a solid knowledge of the beginnings of the modern UFO Age. Whether or not you agree with the author's version of UFO history is irrelevant (somebody somewhere will immediately start to nit-pick something in these pages). The important thing is to get that history under your belt. It will surely cause you to re-think your present opinions about ufology--and any time you re-think something, you have improved upon it.
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