I only recently caught up with Nigel Watson's 2013 book, "UFO Investigations Manual: UFO Investigations from 1892 to the present day," published by Haynes Publishers, Sparkford, Yeovill, UK. ISBN 978-0-85733-400-8 (click here.) My copy was courtesy of the publishers.
The introduction to the book opens with an excellent insight into UFO research, "Ufology - the study of UFOs - is equally exciting, educational, exhilarating, enlightening, exasperating, exhausting and embarrassing." The rest of the introduction provides a concise and balanced overview of the current state of play of Ufology.
Chapters one through three cover the 'waves' of sightings between 1892 and 1947; details of official UFO studies; "hotspots," and patterns in the data. Here the reader gets a look at statistics; expert studies which have been conducted, and locations where UFOs pop up with greater regularity than at other places on earth.
Chapters four through six cover "classifying and identifying UFOs;" "identifying type 1 cases;" and "physical evidence." Here we learn of classification systems which have been introduced; and some of the evidence for the physical nature of the phenomenon.
Chapters seven through ten cover close encounters of the third kind; reported retrievals of 'crashed UFOs,' abductions; contactees, and finally a discussion of potential explanations for the phenomenon.
Something for everyone:
Even as a seasoned field investigator and researcher, in this book I found information about specific cases and personalities, which was new to me.
The book does touch on a few Australian cases, e.g. a sketch of the July 1965 Vaucluse Beach CE1; a mystery aircraft in 1942, and the January 1966 Tully 'swirled reeds in a lagoon' case.
I particularly liked that Watson provides a list of references at the end of each chapter. I also found the numerous photographs and illustrations, of interest.
I found that Watson presents a balanced viewpoint, providing pros and cons on a variety of aspects; e.g. should a witness put their name to their sighting; or on potential mundane explanations for some sightings. Many books written by UFO 'believers' tend to overlook the latter.
The book's appendices feature useful information to anyone looking to conduct their own investigations; selected web site resources, and a glossary, plus index.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it to both the beginner or the more advanced researcher.
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