Stranger than fiction: The search for evidence of extraterrestrial sightings.

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Date: Nov. 5, 2021
From: TLS. Times Literary Supplement(Issue 6188)
Publisher: NI Syndication Limited
Document Type: Book review
Length: 832 words
Lexile Measure: 1410L

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IN PLAIN SIGHT An investigation into UFOs and impossible science ROSS COULTHART 352pp. HarperCollins. Paperback, 16.99 [pounds sterling] .

Mysterious entities in the sky are not a new phenomenon. When describing an episode of the Third Mithridatic War, between the Roman Republic and Pontus, for example, Plutarch writes that "the sky burst asunder and a huge, flame-like body was seen to fall between the two armies. In shape it was most like a wine-jar, and in colour like molten silver". In the sky over Nuremberg at dawn on April 14, 1561, as several eyewitnesses attested, vivid shapes such as orbs, blood-red crosses and a large black arrow fought each other before crash-landing outside the city. Only in the past few hundred years have such sightings been assigned scientific origins, reflecting our own preoccupations. What we observe is unavoidably influenced by what we want to see, as well as what other people claim they see. It is also increasingly mediated by technology: the American astronomer Percival Lowell's observations in the 1920s of what he believed to be canals on Mars are now known to have been at least partly a result of inadequate telescope optics.

In his book In Plain Sight: An investigation into UFOs and impossible science, the...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A683229310