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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Nov > Nov 2

Re: UFO/ET Book For Children - Strickland

From: Sue Strickland <strick@h2net.net>
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 12:09:39 -0700
Fwd Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 16:11:14 -0500
Subject: Re: UFO/ET Book For Children - Strickland

 >From: Sue Strickland <strick@h2net.net>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@home.com>
 >Subject: Re: UFO/ET Book For Children
 >Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 10:49:07 -0600

 >>Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 23:51:10 -0700 (PDT)
 >>From: Jeff Westover <frequentflier66@yahoo.com>
 >>Subject: Re: UFO/ET Book For Children
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@home.com>

 >>>Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 13:07:39 -0400
 >>>To: ufoupdates@home.com
 >>>From: John Velez <johnvelez.aic@verizon.net>
 >>>Subject: Re: UFO/ET Book For Children

 >>>>Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 09:58:53 -0700 (PDT)
 >>>>From: Jeff Westover <frequentflier66@yahoo.com>
 >>>>Subject: UFO/ET Book For Children
 >>>>To: UFO UpDates <ufoupdates@home.com>

I wrote:


 >I ordered the book yesterday. It should be here in a week or so.
 >I intend to review it carefully as an abductee of 50+ years,
 >ever mindful of other children who believe themselves to be
 >abductees, whose mindset may be so immature that they believe
 >"if it's in the book, it must be true." We shall see.

Dear Listers,

I am enclosing a copy of my mail to Jeff Westover, illustrator
for the children's book 'Almanac of Alien Encounters' (2001),
authored by Eric Elfman, as well as my current opinions of the
book, as requested by Dwight Connelly, an editor with MUFON. In
writing this "review," I have taken the liberty to extract
quoted excerpts from the book to illustrate my opinions.

As you will see, I am not unbiased about _how_ the UFO and
abduction scenarios should be presented to children. I do
believe there are positive outcomes possible, in that some
children may be encouraged to learn more about all aspects of
these phenomena and our place in the cosmos based on our past,
current and future scientific theories and goals. This little
book does not address this need sufficiently. Historically
speaking, and as this little book illustrates, we have proven
ourselves unable to master our fear, paranoia and disbelief in
something that has remained a mystery far beyond our control for
hundreds of years. We are just now beginning to take the
initiative to do so. Therefore, it serves no positive purpose to
terrify children with specific ET medical procedures which they
may or may not experience during an abduction.

It might be advantageous for all those interested to buy a copy
and study it. It is $5.00 (U.S) in paperback, and well spent to
decide for yourselves how this book might be improved upon in
the future. It has potential.



Dear Jeff,

October 28th (2 days after receiving your note to me about the
book), I received an email from Dwight Connelly, an editor at
MUFON, requesting that I do a review of the Almanac of Alien
Encounters. I wrote him back saying that after I received the
book, studied it and had more than 2 sentences to say about it,
I would write such a review. I've read the book twice and
studied it. I have a number of concerns about it, speaking from
an abductee's point of view, and thought you and Eric Elfman
should be made aware of these concerns. I doubt that MUFON will
choose to publish the letter, simply because I have made some
very pointed and negative remarks about their organization's
stance on involvement in the abduction issues, which are part
and parcel of the total UFO phenomena.

I was hopeful, Jeff, after receiving your letter, that the book
would be an insightful, impartial history of _all_ aspects of
the UFO/ET mystery. What is presented is the reality of the
smallness of human-kind's mindset, from the past to the present
in our failed attempts to deal with the issues. It does not
leave the reader (especially a child experiencing abduction) to
have much hope for his/her future in solving the issues within
his/her lifetime. Nor does the book expand the child's
scientific understanding of the universe.

It might be wise to include a chapter on our newly and daily
expanding knowledge of our solar system (i.e., the addition of 9
new planets, as well as 1 planet just discovered, beyond Pluto,
as well as information on the new Lifter3 anti-gravity
technology, which you can find at www.tdimension.com . By adding
a couple of semi-scientific books, along with those already
included in the "Far Out: A UFO Reading List" chapter, the
Almanac may provide a more positive, forward-looking, scientific
and hopeful approach to finding answers to some of the UFO/ET
related questions. Two books which are age appropriate (10-12
year olds), and though their titles sound intellectually
intimidating, are actually easily read and understood. They are:
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes,
Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension (1994) by Michio Kaku and
Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe
(1995), by Michio Kaku and Jennifer Thompson.

Jeff, the illustrations are marvelous, especially of the various
"beings" depicted. I have seen _all_ of the various beings, and
enjoyed making "mental corrections" to the illustrations shown.
However, it is too bad that the publisher recommended the pulpy,
"comic book" paper on which it was printed. It was probably
suggested as a means to counter printing costs, especially since
there are so many illustrations. The paper definitely detracts
from the serious nature of the contents of the book.

I know how hard you and Eric have worked on this book. I know
what it takes to research, write, illustrate and coordinate
publication. I have not written any books, only helped others in
editing and publication. I am hopeful that with corrections, The
Almanac of Alien Encounters will get _at least_ an Honorable
Mention in both the Caldecot and Newberry Awards for 2003.
Please don't give up. Your publisher would also be foolish to
give up on this book. It could be a viable addition to
children's literature, and mark the way for future such books.

With that in mind, please read the attached copy of the review I
wrote to Dwight Connelly at MUFON. There is hope for this book,
despite my current scathing opinions. I reserve the right to
change my opinion in the future, should you decide to pursue and
implement said needed improvements. And, remember, these are
only my opinions...one reader, one ex-abductee. Though I know
you will be offended, try not to take it personally. It is not
meant to be a denigration of your's and Eric's abilities. Try
another recipe, is all.

Very sincerely,



Dear Dwight,

I have several comments to make about Eric Elfman's Almanac of
Alien Encounters. I was going to list the positive and
negatives, but upon closer examination have found counter
reasoning for inclusion of every one of my original suggestions
for improvement. I may contact Jeff Westover and Eric Elfman on
these issues below. These are only my personal opinions.

Overall the book is an informative, concise little history of
our lack of understanding about the UFO phenomena (mystery) and
to date illustrates well our inability to deal with it in a
mature, open-minded, scientific manner. It is age-appropriate
reading material (in most instances) for children 12 and above,
but _only_ for those children who have _not_ experienced
abduction. Familial reoccurrence of UFO/ET experiences is not
addressed in any format in this book.

It is further evident that the author and illustrator have
chosen to treat the phenomena as a generalized mystery, no
further along toward answers to the phenomena than when they
were first investigated. The author attempts to present both the
"True Believer's" and "Skeptic's" viewpoint in an apparent
effort to avoid "contamination" of the child's mind. But, by
"leaving out" specific quotes made by important persons and/or
place names, specific dates, newspaper photographs of specific
incidents corroborating the reality of the events (1942 Los
Angles Air Raid, 1947 Roswell aerial view of debris field; 1952
Washington, D.C. fly-overs), the child is left with making
possibly erroneous deductions and generalizations as to whether
or not the "UFO Flaps" actually occurred as reported.

The book may be easily read by an 8 or 9 year old, but the
material in some cases, is too mature (e.g., p. 60, description
of amniocentesis procedure done on Betty Hill: "A needle was
inserted into Betty Hill's navel"; and, p. 105, description of
an implant procedure during abduction: "The ball is on the end
of a long, thin needle, which is inserted up your nostril until
it breaks through the membrane of your nasal cavity. The pain
will be intense.") Sorry. This is not appropriate reading for a
9 year old, whether an abductee or not. This is not a medical

For a child who may already be experiencing "visits" without
total conscious recall, having only vague "dream-like"
recollections, unsure of whether or not their "dreams" are real
or fantasy, this kind of description of the implant procedure is
_exactly_ what I do not wish my children or grandchildren to
have to fear _before_ they experience it. It's bad enough when
it happens without knowing what's going to happen. If I had read
this _before_ the implant was placed in my ear, my terror would
have been compounded 100 fold.

Furthermore, the common events which many people have claimed to
experience are under-emphasized (apart from an in-passing
mention of "missing time," the terror with physical
examinations). What is missing is the common description of: the
"stare," the "scanning," the "environmental warnings," nor is
the fact that upon being "dropped off," the ETs give a
hypnotizing command using the "stare" technique that instructs
the abductee that he/she "will not talk to anyone nor remember
anything that has happened." That command is _always_ given to
_all_ abductees before being returned to our reality, be it
bedroom, playground or boonies. I think it is more appropriate
to teach "blocking techniques" for these kinds of mental
commands than it is to discuss amniocentesis to 9-12 year olds.

The illustrations and accompanying descriptions may trigger
memories the abducted child is not emotionally ready to handle,
and the "reality" of those experiences may strike home after
reading corroborating evidence to support those memories. The
illustrations are "just enough off-kilter" to force the abducted
child to make "corrections" to those illustrations. I found
myself doing just exactly that.

Subtle leads are given to the reader throughout the book as to
what may be considered by others (family, friends, community
members, investigators) as to what may be considered
inappropriate behavior when reporting a sighting or an abduction
experience. For the most part, these subtleties are distinctly
negative. In only 1 case study presented was a "positive"
(albeit skewed) role model provided the reader (e.g., p. 63,
describing the 1964 Zamora encounter: "According to one official
investigator, the Air Force was hoping to find flaws in Zamora's
story, or to brand him an unreliable witness. They couldn't do
either. Zamora, a longtime police officer, respected member of
the community, and regular churchgoer, was interviewed for
hours. All who spoke to Zamora were convinced of his sincerity."
So, if you are 9 or 10 and you read this, you may interpret this
to mean: If I see a UFO or have an ET experience, no one will
believe me unless: 1) I have a very respected and steady job, 2)
participate in community activities, 3) go to church regularly,
4) am known to be a sincere person. How's that for a defining
"skewed bias" by the author?

Many of the people and incidents the author uses to illustrate
possible UFO/ET sightings and/or experiences which were reported
(some investigated) are viewed by researchers as "hoaxes" or
presented in a negative light (e.g., "Miracle" at Fatima,"
"George Adamski and the Man from Venus," The Flatwoods Monster,"
"The Kelly, Kentucky Drunken Hillbillies," etc.) What is
stressed is what the skeptics believe. "They maintained that
people who reported seeing occupants were hoaxers (or the
victims of hoaxers), mistaken, or deluded." Oftentimes, specific
details as to dates, place names, specific quotes are not
included. Where actual newspaper photographs could be used to
illustrate the "reality" of a particular incident (as the 1952
Washington, D.C. fly-overs), a pencil illustration is used
instead. BTW, the Roswell debris photo (not used) shows a much
larger area than 1 sq. mile, as indicated in verbal statement
only, in reference to the Mogul balloon incident. No mention of
the latest USAF "dummy drop" explanation was made, verbally or

Therefore, critical thinking skills are _not_ being encouraged.
What is being "taught" to the child is that: 1) you better be
careful who you report to or: a) no one will believe you; or b)
the MIB's will come get you and may kill you [p. 36 describes
Bender's and Barker's paranoia; p. 86 Condon's paranoia in his
personal burning of all of the Condon Committee's thousands of
reports, etc. in his home fireplace] or c) you'll be considered
"delusional," or a liar, "seeking attention" if you report to
the _wrong_ people. 2) It is better to not to report anything to
anyone. Therefore, negative contamination of the child's mind is
_not_ avoided, but encouraged throughout the book.

The fact that MUFON is listed as one of several organizations to
contact in case of a sighting is slightly mis-leading. It is
well-known that MUFON members have nothing to do with persons
reporting abductions. Just how do your members address such
questions? Do you pass the buck off onto local psychologists?
That will do nothing to engender self-assurance nor confidence,
nor advance the scientific investigation into this phenomena. I
can assure you, if that is the way MUFON is prepared to handle
such a call, the issue will go no farther.

No one likes being labeled a "crazy," whether you're 13, 33 or
53. That is the bottom line, as long as the government contends
there are no UFOs, ETs. They are the liars, deluding only
themselves. There are more and more children and adults be
abducted daily world-wide, with accompanying videos of these
alien spacecraft. How many more generations do you think it will
take before "the light bulb comes on?" My children trust their
senses and are teaching my grandchildren to trust theirs.

If we continue on the tact we have been taking for 50+ years,
trying to delude the general public into non-belief of what is
happening beneath our noses, knowing full-well we are only
deceiving ourselves, life on this Earth will be more divisive,
less harmonious, less peaceful. I do not sense that to be a
positive outcome. This book, as it is presented, does nothing to
help that process.


Sue Strickland

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