#Review of The Day After Roswell

#Readers and fans of #UFO, alien, and #ancientaliens theories will find this a very interesting book. Col. Philip J. Corso (Ret.) offers the story of what transpired (his facts) from the point of the “alien vehicle” crash near Roswell, NM in July 1947 up through the mid-1980’s.

There is tremendous detail of the U.S. Army and the Foreign Technology unit that the author worked within, as well as many tangents from that. At times, the timeline and narrative facts get lost in the tangents and self-congratulatory prose.

Sadly, other than his word, Corso does not present any tangible evidence (for the doubters). In fact, the U.S. Army purposely chose to hide the advanced technology harvested at the Roswell crash site by sending it to tech companies, such as Hughes and Bell Laboratories, whereby these companies incorporated the alien technology into their ongoing projects. Thus, the true source of their innovations was hidden forever. All of this was orchestrated by the Army’s Foreign Technology unit, which was run by the author in the early 1960’s.

Another peculiar aspect about Corso’s story comes in the form of strong statements that aliens were threatening the U.S., especially military installations, as well as Earth and its inhabitants. However, the only evidence offered is reference to cattle mutilations and human abductions, along with what sound like alien recon activities. (To my mind, if the aliens wanted to attack or destroy us, then wouldn’t they have done it by now, certainly with their superior technology, especially prior to 1960.)

Much of what he relates about aliens visiting Earth matches what I’ve seen from other credible sources-some secret.

One extremely interesting tidbit Corso relates pertains to the development of the transistor. For details on this:

http://rense.com/ufo/amcompgift.htm

or

http://beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/belllabs_transistor1.html

Overall, I am glad I read the book. 4 Stars.

#Review of Contact

#Readers of #sci-fi will most likely enjoy this novel by esteemed scientist Carl Sagan, even if it is a bit dated by current standards. Written in the mid-1980s, the story revolves around Dr. Ellie Arroway and her connection to mathematics and the stars. These interests lead to a career in radio astronomy, especially working with the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), a field that the author worked in as well.

When a signal is received from the Vega star system by Ellie and her team, the forces for and against the revelation of more intelligent life forms in the galaxy shape up quickly and intensely. Some of the story parallels the 1997 movie version and parts of it were dropped or altered in the film. Overall, it offers a good exploration of the human reaction to such a discovery (assuming that this has not happened already, but is kept secret).

However, I found the book’s ending/resolution to be somewhat weak. Also, I am divided on whether I like the book or the movie better. Enjoy! 3 Stars.

 

#Review of The Cairo Affair

#Readers of #thrillers, this stand alone novel by award-winning author Olen Steinhauer takes place a few months after the Arab Spring. An American embassy official is murdered in Budapest and may figure into a CIA plan to meddle in Libya’s growing revolution. The wife of the murdered official, Sophie Kohl, wants to know who killed him, despite not being the most faithful spouse. Sophie and four other characters, mostly in the intelligence circles of the U.S. and Egypt, each tell their version of the events leading up to the murder. Then, there is betrayal, the devilish element that runs rampant throughout the story, which makes it a character in and of itself. Presenting a story from different points of view makes it harder to follow, at times, but is entirely effective in spinning an intriguing espionage tale. Certainly in the vein of Graham Greene, but falls a little short. 3.5 Stars.

#Review of The Templars: The Secret History Revealed

#Readers, this is a must read for anyone that has delved into the myths and mysteries of the Knights Templar. The author, Barbara Frale, Ph.D, is a Vatican Archive historian. In the course of her work she discovered an important lost text relating to the Templars. The Chinon Parchment had been lost for 700 years amidst the vast holdings of the Vatican Secret Archives. Earlier this year I was privileged to view and examine in depth a replica of the original lost texts, held in Czech Republic. I bought Frale’s book after that and she does a superb and concise job on the history of the Knights Templar development and on the context in which they lived, as well as clearly de-mystifying the legends about them, such as how they became so wealthy.

The Chinon Parchment reveals several important aspects: 1) the Knights Templar were falsely accused of heresy. These fabrications were part of a larger scheme of duplicity orchestrated for years by King Philip (the Fair) of France.

2) Some of the perversions that the Knights Templar were accused of were true. However, these were taken out of context in regard to initiation into the order.

3) Most important, all of the Knights Templar were forgiven of all charges in an official Papal Bull (Granting Forgiveness) issued by Clement V, the Pope. Furthermore, the order was abolished by papal decree. Nevertheless, King Philip managed to twist the false charges into witchcraft and thus burnt some of the Knights Templar, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, at the stake.

This book, at long last, lays to rest all of the myths and lies about the fate of an extraordinary order–Knights Templar.  5 Stars

#Review of The Complete Sherlock Holmes

#Readers and lovers of #mysteries should certainly enjoy all the stories of the famed detective penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Most are narrated by Dr. Watson, the faithful sidekick of Sherlock, and provide insights to the detective’s methods of detection and resolution. I like the longer stories better, as they offer more character development, more action, and better plot points. My favorite story is The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of four “novels” that feature Holmes and Watson. 4 Stars.