- The subject of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and
close encounters with extraterrestrial beings never fails to create a lot
of interest and controversy. Believers and sceptics are equally passionate,
with each having their own references to either advocate or contradict
a given cause - with neutrals in between not knowing who or what to believe.
- With the advent of the Internet, even more material is
now made available for everyone to analyse in the hope of gaining a better
understanding of the subject. But there is a problem: The researcher is
usually left dazed and confused with so much raw information swamping him.
A guide is needed to show him the way through the complicated world of
the UFO phenomenon.
- The World Internet UFO Directory(ISBN 89-5563-057-3)
might do just that.
- Published by South Korea-based Lingua Franca (e-mail:email@example.com),
it is the product of a project team that spent countless hours sifting
through and evaluating the resources available. Those selected were then
compiled to provide a concise and convenient reference to several hundred
reference points for the phenomenon.
- Project leader David Ritchie, from the United States,
said the large amount of new information about UFOs was the main reason
for producing the book. Despite the enormous task of sifting through all
the material, the team decided to take up the challenge. "We thought
there was a real need for an overview of this information and to show Internet
users where to find it," he said.
- Getting an overview does not mean simply selecting anything
that sounds interesting. Hoaxes are plenty when it comes to UFOs and anyone
can put up just about anything on the Internet.
- Ritchie said the information had to be authenticated
with different sources before being selected. However, he readily agreed
it was not a bulletproof method in the hotly-debated subject.
- "Itís a challenge to compile a factual reference
about a mysterious phenomenon where the difference between information
and misinformation may be impossible to establish," he said.
- The best that the team could do was to try.
- The book was also compiled to counteract a perceived
bias toward reports and case studies from a small number of countries such
as the United States and Canada as well as west European nations. In many
UFO compilations, the rest of the world apparently does not exist. UFO
Directory plans to change that, with reports coming from all over the world,
- Readers here might be flattered to know that Malaysia
is regarded as "outstanding in the field of UFO studies..."
- This comes about due to the activities of the little-known
Centre for Malaysian UFO Studies (CENMYOFUS, www.geocities.com/cenmyufos),
which is highly regarded by its peers.
- The book also points out something interesting and unique
about Malaysia - the high number of sightings involving tiny humanoids
of around 15cm since 1953. The descriptions of these Awang Kenit are also
consistent despite coming from different locations.
- The case in Kampung Gobek, Kelantan, is also mentioned.
It is of significance due to the statements of multiple witnesses and the
physical evidence from an alleged UFO landing site in 2000.
- The topics covered in UFO Directory are certainly wide-ranging.
The reference points are convenient and helpful for different audiences,
whether they are dedicated students of the UFO phenomenon or a general
audience seeking leisure reading.
- For example, under Humanoids, it is explained that this
term refers to alleged aliens having the same basic bodily structure as
humans (head, trunk, legs and arms) but different in other respects, such
as the length of limbs and proportion of head size to body size. Descriptions
of close encounters follow, with discussions and speculations of what they
are, where they came from and why they came here.
- Other relevant reference points like the Adamski Case,
Men In Black, Montauk Project, Malaysia, Hallucinations and Hoaxes are
highlighted for further followup for readers to gain a deeper understanding.
- UFO Directory is not limited to just sightings of UFOs
and extraterrestrial life forms. It excels by also providing articles and
bibliographic references that introduce readers to other facets of the
phenomenon which were previously unknown to many. Readers will feel a sense
of breadth and complexity where the book also involves subjects that include
astronomy and astrophysics, physiology, religion, psychology, history and
- And the entertainment world is not given a miss either
as the book looks at the material on radio, television and in the movies
that were inspired by the phenomenon over the years. Among them are 2001:
A Space Odyssey, The X-Files and Independence Day, to name just a few.
For many people, the entertainment world has been their main source of
influence when it comes to interest in the UFO phenomenon.
- UFO Directory is certainly not a one-sided sympathiser
aiming to convince readers of the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial
life forms, as one might suspect at first. Although the book is heavy with
accounts of UFO and encounters with humanoids and such, it comes with its
fair share of UFO critiques too. Hoaxes and fakeries are revealed and articles
expressing scepticism and suspicions of some sightings and encounters are
also included to provide balance.
- Ritchie said the editors had avoided taking sides in
specific controversies and have attempted to include a broad range of opinions.
- He is well aware that different groups and individuals
have different beliefs and can be passionate and emotional about them.
Debates can sometimes get acrimonious as a result. This he blames on individuals
having a poor understanding of the UFO phenomenon.
- According to Ritchie, this will only change when people
get more acquainted with the different viewpoints, which the book attempts
to do by providing a diverse range of topics and opinions.
- Closet UFO buffs who have kept their interest hidden
for fear of being mocked and ridiculed will be encouraged to know that
it is now accepted as a legitimate field of study. Ritchie said the phenomenon
of UFOs runs deeper than simply being the exclusive domain of people who
are generally regarded as weird.
- "It is no longer viewed entirely as a preoccupation
of eccentrics and fantasists. Ufology has become part of mainstream culture
and is acceptable to millions," he said.
- And with UFO Directory serving as a guide, their search
for the truth - which is said to be "out there" - might yield
an encounter which is out of this world.
- Sample links from UFO Directory:
- UFO Cults religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/ nrms/ufos.html
- UFO/Aliens: Malaysia ufos.about.com/library/bldata/bl5mala.
- Humanoid Encounters In Malaysia www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1038.htm
- Kidnapped by UFOs? - Interview with Carl Sagan www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc19.htm
- Copyright © 1995-2004 Star Publications (Malaysia)