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The good folks at Magonia don’t usually view books that treat UFOs as genuine physical phenomena with much kindness, but Peter Rogerson has some remarkably nice things to say about Grassroots UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael Swords (based on interviews conducted by John TImmerman). “This is raw, unmediated ufology,” writes Rogerson, “and what strikes me is how unlike the sanitized product this often is…What Timmerman has assembled is not some set of scientific or quasiscientific documents, and it would be a fools errand for someone to try and treat them as such, but a great, and very important, collection of late 20th century North American folklore…Much of what is reported here would in past times be interpreted in terms of religious experience, folk spiritualism, fairy lore or witchcraft. Only a minority really have a technological feel to them; many more are haunting stories which tell of the mysterious otherness of wild nature.” But Jerome Clark, in his review of the book in Fate magazine, would argue with Rogerson’s insistence that these reports are just folklore: “Let us make clear that these sorts of narratives are not ‘folklore.’ mere rumors, legends, fables…These are individuals’ direct experiences of what appear to be otherworldly forces. Usually assuming they happened more or less as told, they are beyond ordinary understanding.” Clark concludes his review with these words: “Grassroots UFOs is one of a kind, unlike any other UFO book you’re going to find out there. It’s definitely worth your time and attention. However you interpret its contents, it makes for thrilling reading and generates renewed wonder at exactly what’s out there and, yet more unsettlingly, what it’s doing to us.”

grufosAnomalist Books is proud to announce the republication of a book originally produced by the Fund for UFO Research in cooperation with the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies: GRASSROOTS UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFO Studies by Michael D. Swords. The material for the book was gathered over a period of a dozen years, when John Timmerman ran a traveling UFO exhibit for CUFOS that appeared in malls from Seattle to Dallas to Nova Scotia, and from Guam to Puerto Rico. In the process he spoke to hundreds of people from around the world who came in off the street and described their own UFO sightings and experiences. Timmerman ended up with nearly 1,200 taped interviews, firsthand testimony with the lingering taste of truth. Realizing that these stories present the UFO phenomenon in all its raw glory, Michael Swords decided to summarize and analyze this independent trove of evidence for the reality of the phenomenon, and subsequently wrote and illustrated the present volume, which until now has not been available to the general public. If you’re familiar with the writings of Michael Swords, you know you’re in for a treat. If not, prepare to be amazed.