Title: True UFO Accounts from the Vaults of FATE Magazine
Author(s): David Godwin
Published 2011 by Llewellyn
ISBN: 0738725757
ISBN-13: 978-0738725758
Paperback, 276 pages
List: $15.95
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

Mr. Godwin has assembled a selection of stories regarding UFOs from the vaults of Fate Magazine. From its earliest days, UFOs have been a staple of Fate (although this has fallen off in recent years). The stories presented within the covers of this book represent the evolving belief in, and perceptions of, alien visitors to this planet. Many of the stories reflect the time in which they occurred (fortunately each of the accounts is identified by the year in which it was published) and some of them may seem na´ve at this point in time.

A few of the "classics" are presented - Roswell, New Mexico; Socorro, New Mexico; and various other locations and events. Most of the stories, however, are not the material which captured national interest, and that makes them all the easier to relate to. If I wanted to explore the "major" stories from the world of UFOs, there are many books devoted to them. Books which relate everyday encounters are less common, however.

The book is divided into five distinct groupings: "Prehistory" (prior to 1947's Roswell incident); "Roswell" (and other events in the same time frame); "Close Encounters and Contactees" (which may be the most problematic for those who are not 'true believers'); "Speculation"; and "You Make the Call". Each of these sections presents a slightly differing approach to the events recounted, which makes for a interesting book. Most of the articles are presented by the "average person on the street", although there are some contributions from specialists and other "authorities" of various types.

In the section on "Close Encounters and Contactees" mention is made of both anomalous animals (including Sasquatch-like creatures) and the often popular MIB (Men In Black). These things run in cycles and sometimes years pass without mention of them in current literature. Nonetheless, these are some of the events which tend to get the entire UFO phenomenon dismissed in the mind of the average person on the street.

"You Make the Call" consists of articles by individuals who present various interpretations of the phenomena associated with the UFO experiences. It is the intention of these individuals to challenge the "accepted wisdom" which prevails throughout society. The ideas they put forth are, by no means, uniform. They run the spectrum from nuts and bolts vehicles to fallen angels/aliens to psychic phenomena. It is truly up to the reader to determine what they perceive the reality/ truth to be.

This book covers a period of more than 60 years. With such a large span of time (relatively speaking, of course) to cover it is not surprising that there is little space dedicated to in-depth analysis. There is also the fact that over the years, the majority of letters and articles in "Fate" were simply dedicated to telling the stories of the encounters and those who experience them, not to trying to explain them. If you want analysis, a simple net search will turn up dozens of books devoted to doing so; if on the other hand, you simply want to see how the UFO phenomenon has evolved and changed since the "first" publicly reported incident in 1947, this is an excellent overview, and well worth the price.


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