The Saucer Fleet

For lovers of both sci-fi *and* flying saucers, this one looks good: The Saucer Fleet (Amazon US and UK), by Jack Hagerty and Jon Rogers, authors of the cult-favourite Spaceship Handbook.

An ideal companion for any sci-fi fan, space buff, or alien aficionado, this movie guidebook discusses six of the most famous and significant science fiction films ever produced. Each film’s backstory and production histories along with plot synopses and detailed analyses of the featured flying saucers are included.

…This book offers a detailed in-depth look at real flying saucers created right here on Earth. By examining the social history of flying saucers in this way, it may help you understand the UFO phenomenon in a different light, but our main mission is to help you discover some new facts about real flying saucers and the cause of their continuing presence in our society.

Though, considering that the book’s foreword is contributed by Phil ‘Bad Astronomy’ Plait, you can take a fair guess as to exactly how the book will “help you understand the UFO phenomenon in a different light.” You might be able to get a better understanding of one of the authors’ angle, in this recent article written by Jon Rogers (‘co-author’/illustrator for the book):

Could today’s widespread belief that flying saucers are extraterrestrial spaceships be the result of an unintentional, civilian conspiracy? One that created real flying saucers in order to achieve its end?

… What we discovered was that the desire to make money from a current news event led several major entertainment corporations, perhaps the entire industry, into individually promoting the same sensational, but unproven theory with all their persuasive power.

Thus they effectively became co-conspirators in the greatest public deception of the 20th century! It is a phenomenon that today, having existed for so long, is taken as indisputable fact.

… In this way, “The Saucer Fleet” contains many fascinating facts that reveal a different explanation of where flying saucers came from and why they are here. As we state early in the book, “We want to give you a new appreciation for the tremendous human effort that went into creating these popular media events [real flying saucers].”

I say “one of the authors” because in the comments to this BA entry, the other author (Jack Hagerty) says of this summary…

[It] was written by my co-author without telling me first. If he had, I would have encouraged him not to do it, or at least change the tone. The way it’s written it completely distorts the purpose of the book. It is NOT some sort of expose of the movie industry creating the appearance of “real” flying saucers in the ’50s. It’s a modelers’ guide to give some background and social impact of the famous saucers found in film and TV during that decade and the ’60s along with some other references.

Actually, I’m pretty miffed about it. The book is actually a serious work on a fun subject, but this undermines its credibility

Either way, sounds like some good fun.