Sunday, 17 March 2013

Paperback Perusalings


Mark Pilkington has penned a highly interesting, mildly amusing study of 60 years of Ufology entitled Mirage Men. The central thesis, essentially, is that a variety of American agencies have quite actively fostered and encouraged the mythos of flying saucery as a handy cover for the development ant testing of experimental craft and as an unusual conduit for espionage. Pilkington carefully reinterprets most of the main historical ‘occurrences’ showing how key players have been closely linked to Psyops groups started in WW2 and how their disinformation was spread to focus and refocus the attention of the curious and/or nutty. A remarkably lucid, rather convincing read that’s only slightly mired by the author’s occasional dips into credulousness.


A Time before Genesis is a po-faced little pot boiler that weaves millenarian ramblings into some batshit global demonic/alien conspiracy capering, which, given it was written by the late comedian Les Dawson, really is quite a surprise. The plot is pretty standard stuff with a journalist stumbling into the murky mire but finding respite with a motley band of Crusaders fight together to thwart the evil that pervades the modern world. The writing is fairly terrible, characters paper thin and the plot well, it’s at least as barmy as it is derivative though it does have a nicely downbeat ending. I’m left wondering sadly if the late, great comic was a closet loon, a frustrated author or just trying to cash in on his renown, all in all a puzzling curio that probably isn’t worth the effort in hunting out.

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