100 books like Passport to Magonia

By Jacques Vallee,

Here are 100 books that Passport to Magonia fans have personally recommended if you like Passport to Magonia. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Communion

Matthew Bowman Author Of The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill: Alien Encounters, Civil Rights, and the New Age in America

From my list on understanding the UFO phenomenon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember as a child reading all sorts of books about spooky things like UFOs. When, as an adult, a scholar of religion, and academic I decided I wanted to write something about how technology and science and the Cold War impacted how Americans believed things, and what they believed in outside the boundaries of traditional religion, I remembered those books. I began poking around in the world of UFO sightings, reading both believers and academics like me fascinated by how this particular network of stories and beliefs have gotten such a chokehold on American popular culture. And I’ve found the rabbit hole just keeps going. 

Matthew's book list on understanding the UFO phenomenon

Matthew Bowman Why did Matthew love this book?

Over the thirty-odd years since its publication, Strieber’s haunting story of his own encounters with strange creatures—perhaps from outer space, perhaps from another layer of reality, perhaps from his own mind—has become the most popular and profound first-person account of alien encounters in modern American culture. 

This is in part due to Strieber’s prose, both fevered and fiercely precise. He was a successful horror novelist before producing this book, and whether one believes he is simply continuing his trade here or not, his story is compelling, terrifying, philosophical, and deeply disorienting.

By Whitley Strieber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Communion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Communion is the iconic classic in which Whitley Strieber describes his 1985 close encounter experiences. This book, which fundamentally changed the way we understand close encounters and alien abductions, is presented here with a new introduction by the author.


The message of Communion, that something unknown is really happening to people but that we have not studied it enough to understand it, remains as timely now as it was in 1987 when the book was first published. And Whitley Strieber's riveting account of what he experienced, along with his relentless and expert pursuit of the reality behind the experience, is…


Book cover of The Resonance of Unseen Things: Poetics, Power, Captivity, and UFOs in the American Uncanny

Susan Crane Author Of Nothing Happened: A History

From my list on books about Nothing, in particular: because Nothing always means Something.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by how we remember the past and why some things get written into histories and other things don’t. I realized that Nothing happens all the time but no one has thought to ask how we remember it. Once I started looking for how Nothing was being remembered, I found it all around me. Books I read as a kid, movies I’d seen, songs I’d heard – these were my sources. So when I started working, Nothing got done (yes, I love puns!).

Susan's book list on books about Nothing, in particular: because Nothing always means Something

Susan Crane Why did Susan love this book?

UFOs? Really? That’s not normally something I would want to read. But Lepselter embedded herself in a New Mexico community of people who believe they were abducted by aliens and makes it feel, well, real.

Do You think Nothing happened to those people? Lepselter shows how they know you’re skeptical, but they’re also traumatized and need that community of people who get it. Is the Truth out there? Did she become a believer? The ending is a stunner.

By Susan Lepselter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Resonance of Unseen Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Resonance of Unseen Things offers an ethnographic meditation on the "uncanny" persistence and cultural freight of conspiracy theory. The project is a reading of conspiracy theory as an index of a certain strain of late 20th-century American despondency and malaise, especially as understood by people experiencing downward social mobility. Written by a cultural anthropologist with a literary background, this deeply interdisciplinary book focuses on the enduring American preoccupation with captivity in a rapidly transforming world. Captivity is a trope that appears in both ordinary and fantastic iterations here, and Susan Lepselter shows how multiple troubled histories-of race, class, gender,…


Book cover of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology

Darren Campo Author Of Alex Detail's Revolution

From my list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love people who are totally lost because they are on the brink of their greatest discovery–their true nature. Even as a little boy I remember seeing that everyone has a purpose in life, but that is hidden to them. I have always felt that every step of the way, life seems to be a little off-track. But through authentic stories, I came to an understanding that right now, everyone is doing great things with their lives, even if they can’t see it.

Darren's book list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death

Darren Campo Why did Darren love this book?

This is the real-life account of a professor who gets caught up in “The Phenomena,” a term used to describe the appearance and interaction with extraterrestrial activity and encounters.

Diana Pasulka is a professor of religious studies who is researching the similarities between encounters with angels and demons, which are very similar in description to encounters with aliens and UFOs. Professor Pasulka is blindfolded and driven by a NASA scientist to a desert in New Mexico, where she is shown a secret  “UFO crash site.”  She doesn’t believe any of it. She says the ground is covered for miles by deteriorating aluminum cans that the government placed there over fifty years ago to obscure the UFO crash site and hide it. Later, her friend, Dr. Gary Nolan, a Stanford University scientist, verifies the objects from the crash site are not from this “universe.” 

I love this book because it is…

By D. W. Pasulka,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked American Cosmic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half of American adults and more than seventy-five percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. American Cosmic examines the mechanisms at work behind the thriving belief system in extraterrestrial life, a system that is changing and even supplanting traditional religions.

Over the course of a six-year ethnographic study, D.W. Pasulka interviewed successful and influential scientists, professionals, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, thereby disproving the common misconception that only fringe members of society believe in UFOs. She argues that widespread belief in aliens…


Book cover of The Myth and Mystery of UFOs

Matthew Bowman Author Of The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill: Alien Encounters, Civil Rights, and the New Age in America

From my list on understanding the UFO phenomenon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember as a child reading all sorts of books about spooky things like UFOs. When, as an adult, a scholar of religion, and academic I decided I wanted to write something about how technology and science and the Cold War impacted how Americans believed things, and what they believed in outside the boundaries of traditional religion, I remembered those books. I began poking around in the world of UFO sightings, reading both believers and academics like me fascinated by how this particular network of stories and beliefs have gotten such a chokehold on American popular culture. And I’ve found the rabbit hole just keeps going. 

Matthew's book list on understanding the UFO phenomenon

Matthew Bowman Why did Matthew love this book?

Bullard, a scholar of literature and folklore, has exhaustively catalogued more UFO encounters than a casual reader might imagine have ever occurred.

The book delves into dozens of cases, from well-known stories like the supposed UFO crash at Roswell to popularly overlooked events like the Chicago sightings of 2006.

He then distills this myriad of stories down to their mythic bones, trying to understand how the strange raw material of a sighting—somebody seeing an odd light in the sky—is translated again and again through the narratives of film and television, popular culture and academic analysis, and how the UFO becomes a myth: a story that means something to people in our time, and perhaps tells us something about ourselves too. 

By Thomas E. Bullard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myth and Mystery of UFOs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When United Airlines workers reported a UFO at O'Hare Airport in November 2006, it was met with the typical denials and hush-up that usually accompany such sightings. But when a related story broke the record for hits at the Chicago Tribune's website, it was clear that such unexplained objects continued to occupy the minds of fascinated readers. Why, wonders Thomas Bullard, don't such persistent sightings command more urgent attention from scientists, scholars, and mainstream journalists?

The answer, in part, lies in Bullard's wide-ranging magisterial survey of the mysterious, frustrating, and ever-evolving phenomenon that refuses to go away and our collective…


Book cover of Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers

Neil Nixon Author Of UFOs, Aliens and the Battle for the Truth: A Short History of UFOlogy

From my list on making you an expert on UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for publication since I was a student, crudely the writing has been a way of medicating the fact I’m incurably curious about a range of things and I’ve also suffered from an over-production of ideas my whole life. Wrestling this under control into writing and live speaking where the subjects must fit within a title, word limit, or running time for a talk has been helpful, beyond which the whole writing career has been a trade off between things I’ve chosen to do because they matter a lot to me, and the occasional accepting of an offer I thought too good to refuse.

Neil's book list on making you an expert on UFOs

Neil Nixon Why did Neil love this book?

Many books on this subject have dated, this title, first published in 1969 remains a classic and highly influential.

It argues that twentieth-century claims of UFO sightings and meetings with aliens fit a wider pattern taking in folklore and our history of strange encounters of all kinds.

A hugely influential book that has influenced a library’s worth of other writing but still an ideal beginners guide to anyone seeking to understand where the strangest modern-day claims might fit into the bizarre stories humans have been telling each other throughout history.

By Jacques Vallee,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Passport to Magonia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our age has generated, and continues to generate, mythical material almost unparalleled in quantity and quality in the rich records of human imagination. More precisely, people have very frequently reported the observation of wonderful aerial objects, variously designated as flying saucers, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), and so on. But investigators have neglected to recognize one important perspective of the phenomenon: the fact that beliefs identical to those held today have recurred throughout recorded history and under forms best adapted to the believer's country, race, and social regime.

Emissaries from these supernatural abodes come to earth, sometimes under human form and…


Book cover of How UFOs Conquered the World: The History of a Modern Myth

Neil Nixon Author Of UFOs, Aliens and the Battle for the Truth: A Short History of UFOlogy

From my list on making you an expert on UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing for publication since I was a student, crudely the writing has been a way of medicating the fact I’m incurably curious about a range of things and I’ve also suffered from an over-production of ideas my whole life. Wrestling this under control into writing and live speaking where the subjects must fit within a title, word limit, or running time for a talk has been helpful, beyond which the whole writing career has been a trade off between things I’ve chosen to do because they matter a lot to me, and the occasional accepting of an offer I thought too good to refuse.

Neil's book list on making you an expert on UFOs

Neil Nixon Why did Neil love this book?

A clear and well-argued account of how the planet became obsessed with stories of alien encounters and what they might mean to us.

An essential read for anyone curious about the subject largely because it considers the whole planet, not just the truly UFO-obsessed United States. It frequently presents the best and most challenging UFO cases with a clarity that gets to the heart of each claim, and never forgets that one thing driving the enduring popularity of the subject is that – whatever the truth behind each claim – we’re dealing with incredible claims that make for great stories.

By David Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How UFOs Conquered the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A history of the various manifestations and shifting meaning of the Twentieth Century's single great contribution to mythology: the UFO.

Neither a credulous work of conspiracy theory nor a sceptical debunking of belief in 'flying saucers', How UFOs Conquered the World explores the origins of UFOs in the build-up to the First World War and how reports of them have changed in tandem with world events, science and culture. The book will also explore the overlaps between UFO belief and religion and superstition.


Book cover of The White Sands Incident: An Extraterrestrial Statement

Marc Hartzman Author Of We Are Not Alone: The Extraordinary History of UFOs and Aliens Invading Our Hopes, Fears, and Fantasies

From my list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by UFOs since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I met a Martian in 2016 that I started writing about them. To be more specific, I stumbled across a bizarre 1926 article about a man in telepathic communication with a Martian named Oomaruru. I then delved deeper into the beliefs about intelligent Martians at that time. It led to my writing The Big Book of Mars, which touched on the UFO phenomena in the 1940s and ‘50s. But knowing there was so much more to explore, I began writing We Are Not Alone, which is now my 8th book. 

Marc's book list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not

Marc Hartzman Why did Marc love this book?

This was the first 1950s “contactee” book I read while researching my book. And it’s a fun one.

Contactees were a group of people in the fifties and sixties claiming to have been in contact with aliens—usually Venusians. Fry gives his account of stumbling upon a flying saucer in New Mexico in 1950 and flying to New York and back in 30 minutes. He flew alone, guided remotely from an alien far above.

In his conversations with the extraterrestrial being, he learned that they were visiting our planet to warn us about the dangers of the atomic age and the possible destruction of earth. It’s entertaining, and regardless of your beliefs, the alien makes a fair point.

By Daniel Fry, Rolf Telano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Sands Incident as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dr. Daniel Fry, an engineer at White Sands Proving Ground near Las Cruces, New Mexico, is whisked away on a 8,000 mile UFO ride from White Sands to New York City and back. Thus begins his instruction by the extraterrestrial A-lan who wants everyone in this world to understand the truth about our existence and how we can spiritually profit from the beneficence of extraterrestrial contact.


Book cover of UFO Sightings: The Evidence

Ian Ridpath Author Of Star Tales

From my list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, editor, lecturer, and sometime broadcaster on astronomy and space. My early interest in the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and interstellar communication led me to write my first books, Worlds Beyond (1975) and Messages from the Stars (1978). This interest also led me to investigate UFO sightings, but I soon realized that their explanation lies in human misperception and not ETs. My investigation and explanation of the famous Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980, widely regarded as one of the top-ten cases worldwide and sometimes known as Britain's Roswell, can be found hereIn conjunction with the outstanding Dutch celestial cartographer Wil Tirion, I have produced two standard observing guides for amateur astronomers. 

Ian's book list on that have inspired my writings on astronomy and space

Ian Ridpath Why did Ian love this book?

Skeptical books about UFOs are rare, and this one is a particular treasure. Sheaffer, a Silicon Valley engineer, and amateur astronomer, has been documenting the UFO field since the 1970s, and continues to report on developments via his blog Bad UFOs. This book is an updated and expanded edition of his earlier work called The UFO Verdict of 1981 in which he concluded that "UFOs as real and distinct entities simply do not exist." Forty years on, nothing has emerged to change that conclusion. If you have ever wondered whether UFOs are worth taking seriously (and why scientists do not), then this thoughtful book will provide your answer.

By Robert Sheaffer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked UFO Sightings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Engaging and entertaining, UFO Sightings: The Evidence is the most up-to-date overview of the UFO phenomenon, a controversy that gains strength with each new report of strange happenings in the sky. Written from the skeptical perspective, and applying the scientific method to the cases explored, this book differs greatly from the proparanormal tomes widely available today.

"Most broad survey UFO books contain absolutely uncritical presentations of sensational claims," says author Robert Sheaffer. "Typically, pro-UFO books deliberately omit all facts that tend to discredit the cases."

UFO Sightings is unique because it gives the reader a broad overview of the world…


Book cover of The Flying Saucers Are Real

Michael Brein Author Of The Road to Strange: UFOs, Aliens and High Strangeness

From my list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Michael Brein earned a Ph.D. in social psychology and titles himself a “UFOlogist” as well as “The Travel Psychologist.” For a time, he has been the State Director for Hawaii for the MUFON UFO research organization, the largest investigative group in the U.S. to investigate UFOs (or UAP). He was also appointed Ambassador-at-Large for MUFON. As such, Michael Brein publishes books in two noteworthy series: 1) The Road to Strange (important books on UFOs and the paranormal) and 2) True Travel Tales (books on the psychology of travel emphasizing safety and security).

Michael's book list on bringing you up to speed on the subject of UFOs

Michael Brein Why did Michael love this book?

This book provides an early history of the modern UFO era by a credible U.S. Military Officer. Read this book or another book you can find by Donald E. Keyhoe.

I recommend Major Donald E. Keyhoe’s book on flying saucers because of the personal passion he has exhibited for the subject, especially for the reality and importance of it. I recall viewing in a video showing how he was on TV telling viewers how important the subject of flying saucers was, while at the same time his TV broadcast was right then and there being censored off the air. Someone like Keyhoe… right in the act of being censored, well, I think, it doesn’t get more emotionally moving than that!

Major Kehoe investigated many of the earliest encounters allegedly between U.S. Air Force pilots and UFOs (so-called “flying saucers”). Keyhoe believed the Air Force was actively investigating these close encounters,…

By Donald Keyhoe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flying Saucers Are Real as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard a UFO: The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill

Marc Hartzman Author Of We Are Not Alone: The Extraordinary History of UFOs and Aliens Invading Our Hopes, Fears, and Fantasies

From my list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by UFOs since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I met a Martian in 2016 that I started writing about them. To be more specific, I stumbled across a bizarre 1926 article about a man in telepathic communication with a Martian named Oomaruru. I then delved deeper into the beliefs about intelligent Martians at that time. It led to my writing The Big Book of Mars, which touched on the UFO phenomena in the 1940s and ‘50s. But knowing there was so much more to explore, I began writing We Are Not Alone, which is now my 8th book. 

Marc's book list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not

Marc Hartzman Why did Marc love this book?

Fuller’s book captures the story of Betty and Barney Hill, who became the first nationally covered case of an alien abduction.

The book tells their tale and shares the hypnosis sessions they underwent to recall the many bizarre details of their experience. Fuller’s interviews with the Hills, along with the documented transcripts, make for a remarkable read. 

By John G. Fuller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Interrupted Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

TWO LOST HOURS ABOARD A UFO—THE ABDUCTION OF BETTY AND BARNEY HILL • One of the most extraordinary UFO tales of our time—a thrilling, otherworldly, and wildly entertaining adventure that enraptured America and stands as the quintessential extraterrestrial encounter

"True believers will see this as further evidence of the reality of UFOs" —The New York Times
 
On a summer night in 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were driving home through New Hampshire when a bright object appeared in the sky and began following them. When the couple finally pulled over to get a better look, the object vanished before their…


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