Challenging the Borders of Knowledge

David Jacobs (Editor)


Cover image Whether interplanetary tourists, interlopers from a parallel universe, or mere misfirings in the brain, UFOs and "aliens" permeate popular culture. They've made the covers of Time, Life, and the New York Times Book Review; garnered CNN coverage; turned up on Larry King Live and other high-profile talk shows. They have attracted large audiences for TV's X-Files, Roswell, and Third Rock from the Sun, and for films like ET, Independence Day, Men in Black, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And they have swamped the Internet with thousands of websites and discussion groups dedicated to the topic.

Despite this pervasive presence, few scholars have been willing to study the perplexing phenomena behind these cultural signifiers. Wary of a field that seems tainted by suspect methods, outlandish theories, and zero government funding, as well as a disturbing array of cults, charlatans, debunkers, and self-promoters, many have logically stayed away. Meanwhile, the phenomenon continues to grow and evolve in the public awareness.

In UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge, historian David Jacobs and his coauthors offer a kind of primer for scholars, skeptics, and others uneasy about investigating this field. Although not all in agreement concerning the elusive, complex, and compelling subject of UFO and abduction phenomena, they have come together to highlight key events, issues, themes, and theories. The authors cover the nature of UFO "evidence;" reactions of the government and military from the Cold War to the present; the methodological debates; and the use of research from science, history, mythology, and psychology in the study of UFOs and abductions.

UFOs and Abductions also brings together for the first time in one book three bestselling authors-Jacobs, Budd Hopkins, and Pulitzer Prize winner John Mack-widely known for their writings on the highly controversial "alien abduction" phenomenon.

Motivated by the same simple curiosity that has always fueled humanity's great discoveries, the authors of UFOs and Abductions hope that their efforts will help to encourage a fundamental shift in the academy's view of such research, ultimately leading to a better understanding of the phenomena, ourselves, and our place in the cosmos.

About the editor:
David M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at Temple University, has been at the forefront of UFO research since the publication of The UFO Controversy in America in 1975. His other books include Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of Abductions and, most recently, The Threat.

Publication Date: September 7, 2000
392 pages, 3 illustrations
Cloth, $34.95 (ISBN 0-7006-1032-4)

Contact: Jessica M. Pigza, Publicity Manager
               Voice 785-864-9170 / Fax 785-864-4586
               jpigza@ukans.edu / www.kansaspress.ku.edu


UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge
is available from
Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk


Stuart Appelle, SUNY-Brockport

Thomas E. Bullard

Jerome Clark

Don C. Donderi

Budd Hopkins

David Jacobs

John E. Mack

Michael A. Persinger

Michael D. Swords

Ron Westrum



"A timely, fascinating, and very important book." -Fred Alan Wolfe, author of The Dreaming Universe and Taking the Quantum Leap

"A provocative volume on a controversial subject that should invite much debate from a wide range of scholars." -David H. Devorkin, Curator, Department of Space History, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

"I do not agree with everything said in this book, but I applaud its goal of encouraging serious study of the UFO phenomenon. While the scientific aspects of the problem remain controversial, the historical and cultural impact of the idea of UFOs is indisputable. Indeed, the UFO debate bears on the question of ultimate concern as we enter the new millennium: What is our place in the universe?" -Stephen J. Dick, astronomer, U.S. Naval Observatory, author of Life on Other Worlds

"A valuable source for members of academe who wish to take on the challenges posed by the UFO phenomenon." -Peter A. Sturrock, emeritus director of the Center for Space Science and Astrophysics, Stanford University, author of The UFO Enigma and Plasma Physics

"This impressive book should make academics think twice before simply dismissing or ignoring the subject and, indeed, should help legitimize this controversial field of inquiry." -Bernard Haisch, California Institute of Physics and Astrophysics, science editor for The Astrophysical Journal

"At last, a sensible and serious look at the UFO and abduction phenomena. A must-read primer for anyone who would confront head-on the claims made in this controversial field." -H. E. Puthoff, director, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, Texas, coauthor of Fundamentals of Quantum Electronics


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