UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens
What Science Says
Published by: Indiana University Press
UFOs. Aliens. Strange crop circles. Giant figures scratched in the desert surface along the coast of Peru. The amazing alignment of the pyramids. Strange lines of clouds in the sky. The paranormal is alive and well in the American cultural landscape. In UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens, Donald R. Prothero and Tim Callahan explore why such demonstrably false beliefs thrive despite decades of education and scientific debunking. Employing the ground rules of science and the standards of scientific evidence, Prothero and Callahan discuss a wide range of topics including the reliability of eyewitness testimony, psychological research into why people want to believe in aliens and UFOs, and the role conspiratorial thinking plays in UFO culture. They examine a variety of UFO sightings and describe the standards of evidence used to determine whether UFOs are actual alien spacecraft. Finally, they consider our views of aliens and the strong cultural signals that provide the shapes and behaviors of these beings. While their approach is firmly based in science, Prothero and Callahan also share their personal experiences of Area 51, Roswell, and other legendary sites, creating a narrative that is sure to engross both skeptics and believers.
Prologue: Consider the Following
1. Science and the Paranormal
2. The Believing Brain
3. Area 51: What is Really Going on in There?
4. The Roswell Incident: What Really Happened?
5. Close Encounters of the Second Kind: Physical Evidence of Alien Contact
6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Direct Encounters with Aliens
7. Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction
8. The Mythos of Ancient Aliens
9. Praying to Aliens
10. Ancient Myths and Modern Media
11. Cloud's Illusions
12. Are They Out There?
13. Why Do People Believe in UFOs and Aliens?
14. The Verdict
"UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens is a model of scientific reasoning, rational analysis, and elegant prose that reveals a phenomenon every bit as interesting as the possibility of alien life landing here on Earth or existing somewhere out there in the cosmos—the fact that we can conceive of such a concept, study it scientifically, and understand that we are part of the universe as evolved sentient beings capable of such sublime thought. "~Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine