'The Interrupted Journey' book review

When it comes to the topic of UFOs, there is a marked difference between many peoples' casual impression of the whole field and how the subject appears when you make an effort to investigate it. The casual impression is that it's a fringe topic with only a few really meaningful events and that most of it is silly people saying daft things to get in the papers. I don't say this to sound elitist because I've had that view myself for many years. It is only recently, when I've had the time and energy to investigate the subject, that I've realised how different the issue of UFOs is when one does a in-depth study.

If one properly investigates the subject of UFOs, then a very different world comes into sharp focus. As Timothy Good has explained in many books, there is an enormous amount of evidence all around our planet of human encounters with UFOs. It's certainly true that many of those encounters have little physical evidence and rely for a large part on eye-witness testimony. Such reports can therefore be dismissed as too thin for serious analysis, but there are also a very large number of reports that have many respectable witnesses and a host of supporting evidence, for example the UFO encounter in Rendlesham Forest. It is also clear that military forces around the world are grabbing as much of the physical evidence as they can and censoring reports before they reach the mainstream media. This is especially true of the United States military who have soldiers in more than 150 countries around the world (considering there are only officially 196 countries in total, this is a huge slice). If we also consider the simple fact that most Western media outlets will not publish anything that is marked classified, for sensible reasons, It is hardly surprising that if the U.S. military decides to put a lid on the UFO phenomena, it would become a fringe and murky subject.

Fortunately, it is still possible to read about significant encounters between humans and UFOs. One especially important encounter was the abduction of an American couple, Betty and Barney Hill, by an alien craft. I had heard about the Hills' abduction years ago and I remembered it vaguely as a hysterical, attention grabbing couple talking about Nazis in a UFO kidnapping them while they were camping. Not surprisingly, I didn't try and investigate further. In fact, as 'the Interrupted Journey' book shows, this is a grossly negative summing up of their story. It is true that Barney Hill describes the senior person on the alien craft as being 'a Nazi' but it is clear in the book that he's saying this because the alien concerned in human in appearance, tall, fair-skinned and has an air of calm, cool, possibly clinical authority. Neither are the Hills a pair of hysterical attention-grabbers. In fact, they had respectable jobs and wanted to avoid media attention once they discovered clearly what had happened to them; they only gave public interviews when a journalist attended a private event, then went behind their backs and published the story.

What makes the Hills' abduction so credible, I think, is that the Hills' testimony was not given through a normal interview, but gained through hypnosis by an experienced and well-regarded doctor who personally had no interest in the UFO subject. What's more, the Hills only underwent a course of hypnosis to try and alleviate problems of sleepless-ness and anxiety that persisted after that memorable night. This aspect of the story trashes the idea that the Hills 'just made it all up'. It is certainly still possible that someone implanted the story in their heads so that it would come out through hypnosis, or that the doctor concocted the story and fed it to the Hills during the hypnosis sessions, but believing that to be true seems to be a far more bizarre and implausible view than anything the Hills actually reported.

The Hills' abduction itself is not particularly freaky but I think its relatively mundane elements only make it more intriguing and convincing as a story. The Hills were tracked by a UFO, which landed near their car. Individuals from the ship flagged the car down and took the Hills on board. They spent time on the ship, talked with its 'captain', underwent medical tests that were not harrowing and were then returned to their car, with a hypnotic block placed on them so they wouldn't consciously remember the event. I won't go into further details of what they experienced in this review but I do recommend the book to anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon.

I've reviewed quite a lot of UFO books recently. To be honest, the more I read, the more I want to read. Enrico Fermi, the brilliant atomic physicist, once remarked; 'Considering the number of stars out there and the ago of the universe, surely there must be advanced races zipping around all over the galaxy by now? If that's so, why is there no evidence for their existence?' This became known as Fermi's Paradox and is often used as a basis for believing that we are alone in the universe. In truth, as mentioned earlier, there is another way to explain the conundrum of Fermi's Paradox since the Second World War. The U.S. military has forces in nearly 80% of the countries of the Earth. The media corporations of the U.S. and their affiliates control the vast majority of the news and publications and the internet is a U.S. military creation (originally ARPANET). It's therefore hardly surprising that if the power elite in the U.S. want Fermi's Paradox to continue, at least in the eyes of most people, they can very much make it happen.