In 1969, Boing Boing contributor Jacques Vallee published Passport To Magonia, a timeless cultural history of UFO sightings, the first study of how modern UFO sightings are just the latest interpretation of weird “visitation” experiences people have had throughout history in different forms: angels, demons, fairies, devils, Our Lady of Fatima, and on and on. (No, Jacques doesn’t think any of the above are extraterrestrials who traveled here in spaceships.) This folkloristic study of UFOs has become a Fortean classic. Now, Jacques and co-author Chris Aubeck have written a terrific companion volume to Passport To Magonia. Wonders In The Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times catalogs 500 reports of mysterious aerial phenomena dating back all the way to ancient Egypt. Guess what? People have seen strange lights in the sky since way before Roswell, Communion, and the X-Files. They just described them using the language and metaphors of their time, instead of calling them flying saucers or gray aliens. Wonders In The Sky is an engaging, well-researched compendium of those weird reports. (No, Jacques still doesn’t think UFOs are spaceships flown here by extraterrestrials.) Jacques was recently a guest on Coast To Coast AM talking about the book, and the interview has been uploaded to YouTube in multiple parts.
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