Major Book Examines Ufologists

An author and freelance journalist named Sarah Scoles has published a book “They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers”. Scoles is a science writer who has written for many top notch newspapers and journals. She has one previous book published in 2017: “Making Contact: Jill Tarter And the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”.

Like Jill Tarter, Scoles is completely dismissive of the idea that this search could bear fruit by looking at the evident signs in the sliver of well-documented ufo events that could reasonably suggest extraterrestrial visitation to our planet is happening.

This book is a well-written and vivid portrait of a side to ufology which I have given reference to at this site, but without a fixated lingering on the personas and their issues and beliefs in the quarters of ufology where belief-centered social (religious and political) movements have been bred on social media and at sites (real-life places) now major magnets for holy pilgramages.

She jumped into an examination of the ufology culture due to the the December 2017 NY Times story:

“In the New York Times story, on screens belonging to both wackos and skeptics, a video began to autoplay…By mid-day the next Monday, I was deeper into the ufological internet than I thought I would ever venture. I spent the first few months researching AATIP, but those months compelled me to try to understand how UFOs are bound up with the cultural, sociological, economic, political, and religious environments of whatever spot they inhabit in spacetime. This book is my attempt to figure that out, for a few key programs, places, people, and times”.

Assisting her most directly were not the body of those she would come to study, those she references as “wackos” (which likely includes me, lol), but in particular two grounded ufologists noted for their cautious and skeptical bent: Jack Brewer and Christopher Rutkowski. For matters related to the government AATIP effort, she approached long-time FOIA filer and researcher John Greenewald. And she notes the good works of Keith Basterfield, Robbie Graham, Issac Koi, and Cheryl Costa.

Aside from a couple of chapters generated from an armchair base, most of her material here was gathered on the road, taking the same pilgramages as so many have to such holy sites like the International UFO Comference, Area 51 and Rachel, Nevada, and Roswell. She appears to have done this with a conscious effort to be respectful as she observed and interacted closely with the people absorbed in the ufo subject.

Jack Brewer, at his The UFO Trail site, details a little that journeying in his review of this book:

A Real Page Turner

It is important to note that while this book is well-written, and stirs up vivid pictures, it does not in itself actually cover in any real and comprehensive depth either UFO events or the the small contigent of people following good academic, scientific and journalistic examination-standards.

“[I]…came to be writing this book because what intrigued me most was not the UFOs themselves: It was the people obsessed with UFOs”.

Our most beloved Obsesser-in-Chief, appreciated by most of us for what he has accomplished, is covered in this book and emerges from it as if Sarah had put him through a paper shredder (with some help from a former Blink-182 band mate). But, seeing how Tom DeLonge’s online postings—TO THIS VERY DAY—are so out there that many of us are pulling out our hair on a regular basis, it is hard to take Ms. Scoles to the woodshed for that.

It is likewise difficult to fault her for her dismissive-of-ET hypothesis thread woven in her writing. The reason, from my pov, for that is because in her vividly detailed picture of things she includes here a high resolution and honest picture of her own psychology as it relates to addressing this subject.

Like so many millions, she is a victim of a long-cultivated atmosphere of ridicule and denial.

Yes, the ufo community itself has done much to add to the occluding power of that atmosphere and that is why so many of us often get burned out, disheartened and at the least take temporary breaks from the subject.