Crash from Outer Space: Unraveling the Mystery of Flying Saucers, Alien Beings, and Roswell

Crash from Outer Space: Unraveling the Mystery of Flying Saucers, Alien Beings, and Roswell
by Candace Fleming
Intermediate, Middle School    Focus/Scholastic    288 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-338-82946-4    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-82948-8    $12.99

Fleming deftly explores the enigmatic history of UFOs, extraterrestrials, and conspiracy theories related to the infamous events during the summer of 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico. Brisk chapters (with such evocative headings as “What’s That in the Sky?” and “Could It Really Be a Flying Saucer?”) cogently weave together how the now-ubiquitous story of a UFO crash-landing in the desert came to be. Yes, mysterious debris really was discovered by a sheep rancher near Roswell; however, a growing post-WWII fear of nuclear war combined with a highly publicized “flying saucer” sighting near Mount Rainier caught the public’s imagination, spiraling into a convoluted tale of secret alien autopsies and interplanetary spacecraft. With four distinct parts spanning the last seventy years, Fleming documents the willingness of many well-known ufologists to accept unconfirmed evidence and hearsay (“saucer logic”) as truth in the face of consistent discreditation. Notably, readers are provided with several “basic principles of critical thinking” to evaluate such extraordinary claims, including the Sagan Standard, burden of proof, and Occam’s razor. A variety of visuals, including declassified government documents, photographs, and original illustrations, are effectively incorporated throughout. Fleming concludes with a brief overview of current-day perspectives on UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), including the U.S. government’s public acknowledgment of documented sightings. Back matter includes an author’s note, bibliography, source notes, and an index.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Patrick Gall
Patrick Gall works as a librarian for children in preschool through eighth grade at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.

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