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Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II (英語) ペーパーバック – 2007/5/30
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Mankind had reached a threshold in the forth decade of the twentieth century. There were unprecedented scientific and technological achievements, but despite such progress, humanity was entering one of its darkest chapters. World War II would grip the world with terror for six years. During that time military personnel reported seeing numerous highly unconventional aircraft in all theaters of operation. These objects had extraordinary flight performance capabilities, came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and were able to travel at extraordinary speeds and avoid radar detection. "Strange Company" is the first in-depth account of unconventional aircraft observed and reported by the military during World War II. It includes the reactions by military commands, their viewpoints, and theories as they struggled to make sense of the observations. Strange Company presents one of the greatest wartime mysteries, one that has been shrouded in ignorance for more than sixty years. And it suggests that while an immense twentieth century war was raging on Earth, there appeared to be someone, or something, from somewhere else, watching us.
The reference sources he lists from official documents at NARA is amazing.
The author actually opens his book pre-WWII when mystery aircraft were being reported the world over, but hits his stride early on with the telling of the story of the February 1942 "Battle of Los Angeles". From that point on, Chester relates sighting after sighting of unknown phenomena by aircrew and other military personnel throughout most, if not all, operational theaters of WWII. Inter-spliced with the sightings narratives, the author reviews numerous studies and investigations of the phenomena by some of the best and brightest in the fields of science and military intelligence from the US and UK. Admittedly there is a degree of speculation on Chester's part as to the level of involvement of some of these experts, but for the most part those speculations do not seem unreasonable based on the information presented.
While a good read overall, "Strange Company" does have some warts. WWII buffs, especially those with an in-depth knowledge of military aviation history and flying, will note the odd gaffe. Chester has a tendency to wander a bit geographically at times, done primarily to tell his story chronologically I assume. With a few exceptions, the photos/illustrations included in the book add little, and his readers would probably have been better served with the inclusion of even basic maps to show where the various sightings occurred. I personally referred to my trusty copy of "The Historical Atlas of World War II" multiple times while reading the book. I would also like to have seen a copy of the questionnaire the author asked those who'd reported sightings to complete while conducting his research.
To me, it's what I didn't see in the book I find most credible. Missing are the more outrageous conspiracy theories, lunatic fringe ideas, and psychobabble/pseudoscientific favored by many in this field. I think the author is both honest and fairly objective. When he speculates, he makes that clear. When he cites less than official sources, such as other UFO authors/lecturers, they are identified as such. Chester did allow late in the book be believes some of the UFOs he discusses are of extraterrestrial origin, he also points out many could be explained away as anti-aircraft weapons, jet/rocket powered aircraft, radar malfunctions, weather anomalies, and even combat-related stress of aircrews. Chester never claims he has solved the mystery of the aerial phenomena of which he writes, but he does chronicle it well. Whether you be a believer or a skeptic, the story is a fascinating one.
The author has done a great service in filling in some of the big blanks that still exist in America's story. I highly recommend this book to those who want to understand our complete history, free from CIA and Air Force disinformation and dirty tricks.