Opposite Ends of the Reading Spectrum

These are two very different books that I read at the beginning of my Christmas/New Year break.

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon


Subhi is a refugee who has never known life outside of the detention centre where he was born. His only experience of anything beyond the fences is in the stories he’s heard and the hope they give of the return of the father he’s never known. Until Jimmie, a young local girl living nearby finds a way into the camp and befriends him, bringing new stories and a glimpse of life outside.

Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow is fiction, but based on true reports of Australian refugee detention centres. It doesn’t hide the despair and brutality, but unlike the ongoing experience of those currently interred in the camps, Fraillon’s story maintains the potential of hope while avoiding the glibness of an unlikely happy ending.


How UFOs Conquered the World by David Clark

9781781313039I was once a sucker for some of the worst, most manipulative writings on the subject of flying saucers and other “unexplained” phenomena. Now I find the majority of that kind of thing unreadable.

David Clark’s work is one of the few exceptions in UFO publications. Avoiding unfounded sensationalism, Clarke addresses the topic with rationality, not as a  believer in alien visitation or as  a debunker resorting to snide quips to ridicule those who do believe,  but as a genuine sceptic interested in what the facts actually reveal.

His interest in UFOs began in childhood (as did mine) and he started out with a naively undiscerning sense of wonder (as did I) that put beyond doubt the fact that earth was being regularly visited by visitors from space.


Clarke now sees UFOs as part of a modern day folklore that is heavily influence by the media, and his argument and the evidence presented are far more convincing than most of the alternatives others have promoted.

Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington

Mirage MenMirage Men is one of the most informative and readable books about UFOs that I’ve come across.  

Over the years I’ve had a considerable library of UFO related writing – but found far too much of it was poorly researched, lacked objectivity and  bordered on the fraudulent in claiming to be non-fiction.

I’ve never been in any doubt that there is some kind of reality behind UFO phenomena; or maybe I should say realities –  it is a complex subject where a single answer isn’t sufficient to explain everything.

Pilkington’s book gives strong evidence for one of the most contentious parts of the UFO puzzle, the role of the US military and Security services. While there have been many claims of a US Government coverup of UFO truths – Pilkington shows that the opposite is likely to be true. Rather than covering up what is known about aliens and their spacecraft, US authorities seem to be creating and disseminating some of the most sensational UFO information that UFO buffs are lapping up. And its been going on for decades.

I recall a TV special screened back in the 1980s, in which whistleblowers associated with US security services, faces obscured and voices disguised,  gave their accounts of captured aliens and alien technology. (including the revelation that the aliens liked strawberry ice cream).

 One of those whistleblowers, identified as Falcon, was in fact Richard Doty. A lot of Pilkington’s book involves interaction with Doty, (now a “private citizen” ) and his continued involvement with the sharing of unverified UFO claims and his unfulfilled promises of verification.  And it seems that a lot of the most impressive political “evidence” about UFOs made public over the last couple of decades has involved Doty in some way.

Pilkington presents a very convincing case that UFO disinformation has been the US governments game instead of the commonly claimed UFO coverup. Dramatic UFO claims have been a useful sleight of hand tool to distract from genuine military activities and the testing of new technologies.

And yet despite the very clear evidence found by Pilkington the die-hard believers prefer to continue swallowing the lies that have been fed to them. Pilkington sums up that problem towards the end of chapter 11:

The believers don’t want to know the truth, they only want to have their pre-existing beliefs confirmed and elaborated upon


The evidence discussed in Mirage Men is also being presented in a recently released film of the same name.




also see here on my other blog  http://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/2414/