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Like the fictional Fox Mulder of THE X FILES, I want to believe. Since I was a kid I would eat up all the writings of J. Allen Hyneck and Erich von Daniken. It didn't hurt that it was the heyday of Stephen Spielberg's wildly successful CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and the television film adaptation of Barney and Betty Hill.

So I've read just about everything that could possibly be interesting about UFOs. Not.

Because now David J. Hogan has released the UFO FAQ through Backbeat Books, and it lives up to its subtitle: All That's Left to Know About Roswell, Aliens, Whirling Discs, and Flying Saucers.

Now, the title is something of a misnomer. FAQ is an acronym that stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and the book is simply not set up in that manner. FAQ has sort of evolved into its phonetic equivalent, "fact," and so this is more of a "fact book," a compilation of eyewitness accounts, conspiracy theories, and historical articles. It's thick, it's dense, it dwarfs all the things I had read before on the phenomenon, and it's a wholly engrossing black hole for attention. It's the kind of thing that can lead you on journeys where you will experience the 'time loss' so many abductees have documented. For instance, I was reading a passage on Sergeant Penniston and his handwritten binary code, that more recently got translated into English text. The next thing I knew, I was Googling "ORIGIN YEAR 8100" and reading about time travelers. An hour later I was watching videos on how to make a homunculus and wondering, "How did I get here?"

The book isn't just old history, either. This thing is as up to date as you can get, including references to Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (E.T.s for Hillary, Mother Jones) and her supposed interest in the phenomenon, including a reference to a photo taken of Clinton years earlier with Laurance Rockefeller while she carried a copy of Paul Davies' exploratory book, Are We Alone.

UFO FAQ is something you can read from beginning to end, something you can pick up and start in a random place, or something you can approach from either the table of contents or the index, and still end up in a place of total fascination.

4.0 / 5.0