80 books like The Myth and Mystery of UFOs

By Thomas E. Bullard,

Here are 80 books that The Myth and Mystery of UFOs fans have personally recommended if you like The Myth and Mystery of UFOs. 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 Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds

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?

Vallee is perhaps the most respected researcher in the UFO community.

Holder of a PhD and a successful computer scientist, he began writing about UFOs while in graduate school, and has produced a string of books that have transformed conversations about UFOs among believers. He is perhaps the most influential opponent of the so-called “extraterrestrial hypothesis,” the common assumption that UFOs are spacecraft that have made the trip across the stars.

Rather, in this groundbreaking book Vallee draws comparisons between contemporary stories of UFOs and the reams of accounts of encounters with small otherworldly beings, glowing lights, and strange bendings in time and space that have permeated human folklore and religion for centuries.

Perhaps, Vallee suggests, UFOs are simply the most contemporary manifestation of a much stranger and older phenomenon than simply little green men from another planet.

By Jacques Vallee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over two decades ago, eminent scientist Vallee wrote a provocative book about alleged UFO landings, folklore, and certain unexplained phenomena. That long-out-of-print book--which discussed the most interesting reports of more than 1,000 apparently reliable witnessess--has become an underground classic and is now being reissued.


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 Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Amberrose Hammond Author Of Mysterious Michigan: The Lonely Ghost of Minnie Quay, the Marvelous Manifestations of Farmer Riley, the Devil in Detroit & More

From my list on the strange, unusual, and paranormal from Michigan.

Why am I passionate about this?

I got my start in paranormal investigation when it was a popular fad around 2000 and joined a ghost-hunting group. I became obsessed with the history behind hauntings and why ghost stories and legends persist over time. This love of the ghostly combined with my love of books and literature led me down the path of writing. I enjoy sharing strange and spooky history because it puts people in touch with their state's history in a fun and interesting way. So many people think history is boring facts and dates, but share a ghost story or a true crime mystery, and you have people’s attention. When that story happened close to home? Even better!

Amberrose's book list on the strange, unusual, and paranormal from Michigan

Amberrose Hammond Why did Amberrose love this book?

If you love the strange and unusual in Michigan, this book is a wonderful addition to your book self for all ages. Linda Godfrey delivers a lively and fun collection of ghosts, UFOs, monsters, and other oddities. Plus, many fellow Michiganders lent their own experiences and spooky encounters with the paranormal to the book making it much more personal than just a list of paranormal locations.

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Is it weird that the Wolverine State may never have had any wolverines in it? We think so, and that suits us fine. The weirder the better, we say, and Michigan falls perfectly into that category. Oh, sure, big-time heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Madonna hail from here, and so does President Gerald Ford, but do they compare to superhero Captain Jackson, who strolls around town in a purple cape doing good deeds? Well, yes, maybe they do, but the captain, in our opinion, is more representative of our fine state. Because, let's face it, Michigan has a great big…


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 King of Morning, Queen of Day

Joshua Cutchin Author Of Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

From my list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua Cutchin has written seven books. If you find yourself beside him on an airplane and ask what he writes about, he’ll say, “Speculative non-fiction.” If he warms up, he’ll explain that he writes about supernatural mysteries—UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, etc.—all through the lens of folklore. A suspicion that all these phenomena are connected undergirds his writing. In addition to his books, Joshua regularly contributes to essay collections and, in 2019, appeared on the hit History Channel series Ancient Aliens. Joshua has appeared on countless paranormal programs, including Coast to Coast AM. He regularly speaks at events nationwide, most recently Rice University’s 2023 Archives of the Impossible conference.

Joshua's book list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal

Joshua Cutchin Why did Joshua love this book?

If the paranormal is somewhat interiorized and subject to the fluid expectations of culture—as many of the above books argue—then can fiction further our understanding?

Enter King of Morning, Queen of Day, perhaps the best fictional representation of fairies ever written. Ian McDonald follows three generations interacting with these intelligences, who are just as slippery and ineffable as their real-life counterparts. Slight misgivings regarding the third act notwithstanding, McDonald’s execution is practically flawless, weaving together actual folklore with contemporary speculation.

Yet the core of his book is decidedly human, reminding us that—no matter how much we talk of UFOs from outer space or fairies at the bottom of the garden—their importance derives entirely from what their existence says about us.

By Ian McDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked King of Morning, Queen of Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three generations of Irish women--Emily, Jessica, and Enye--struggle to tame the ancient magical powers that imbue the countryside and themselves, each with varying degrees of success


Book cover of The Trickster and the Paranormal

Joshua Cutchin Author Of Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

From my list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua Cutchin has written seven books. If you find yourself beside him on an airplane and ask what he writes about, he’ll say, “Speculative non-fiction.” If he warms up, he’ll explain that he writes about supernatural mysteries—UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, etc.—all through the lens of folklore. A suspicion that all these phenomena are connected undergirds his writing. In addition to his books, Joshua regularly contributes to essay collections and, in 2019, appeared on the hit History Channel series Ancient Aliens. Joshua has appeared on countless paranormal programs, including Coast to Coast AM. He regularly speaks at events nationwide, most recently Rice University’s 2023 Archives of the Impossible conference.

Joshua's book list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal

Joshua Cutchin Why did Joshua love this book?

Paranormal literature contains both entry-level texts and advanced reading.

George P. Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal firmly occupies the latter category; it is best digested a paragraph at a time. Anyone taking the plunge is rewarded with an erudite argument for understanding the paranormal, one yielding ever-increasing dividends the more it is applied: everything supernatural, from the phenomenon itself to those who study it, is subject to the influence of a subversive Jungian archetype known as The Trickster.

This is not an entity but rather a set of pervasive characteristics manifesting independently: transgressive, self-negating, liminal, playful, and, dare it be said, dangerous. Hansen’s speculation makes a little more sense of the insensible, including why irrefutable evidence of the paranormal yet eludes the scientific establishment.

By George P Hansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trickster and the Paranormal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Hansen, George P


Book cover of Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld

Joshua Cutchin Author Of Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

From my list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua Cutchin has written seven books. If you find yourself beside him on an airplane and ask what he writes about, he’ll say, “Speculative non-fiction.” If he warms up, he’ll explain that he writes about supernatural mysteries—UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, etc.—all through the lens of folklore. A suspicion that all these phenomena are connected undergirds his writing. In addition to his books, Joshua regularly contributes to essay collections and, in 2019, appeared on the hit History Channel series Ancient Aliens. Joshua has appeared on countless paranormal programs, including Coast to Coast AM. He regularly speaks at events nationwide, most recently Rice University’s 2023 Archives of the Impossible conference.

Joshua's book list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal

Joshua Cutchin Why did Joshua love this book?

Contemporary thought surrounding the supernatural has become rigid, mired in demands for “proof” like photographs and video recordings.

These phenomena rarely offer anything so compelling. Their genesis lies more in imagination than the material world, straddling the line between both. To better understand what might be going on, this rigid thinking must be broken.

Few books do that as elegantly as Patrick Harpur’s Daimonic Reality. Drawing upon Classical philosophy and Jungian psychology, Harpur obliterates the usual traps of distinction we rely upon: internal versus external, objective versus subjective.

While Harpur’s interpretation remains speculative, anyone with an open mind will find themselves liberated by the ideas he proposes. Daimonic Reality offers supernatural phenomena a foothold into the realm of the possible simply by acknowledging their impossibility.

By Patrick Harpur,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Lake monsters, Yetis, UFOs, crop circles, guardian angels and visions of the Virgin Mary can all be described as apparitions, and this book weaves together an account of them. It argues that only in the last three centuries or so, and only in Western culture, they're as lively as ever. But, the author suggests, they can be made intelligible again by appealing to a different world-view. Three of the chief models for understanding mind and world are Jung's "Collective World", which is used to illuminate the links between the apparently disparate experiences being dealt with.


Book cover of The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained

Joshua Cutchin Author Of Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

From my list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joshua Cutchin has written seven books. If you find yourself beside him on an airplane and ask what he writes about, he’ll say, “Speculative non-fiction.” If he warms up, he’ll explain that he writes about supernatural mysteries—UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, etc.—all through the lens of folklore. A suspicion that all these phenomena are connected undergirds his writing. In addition to his books, Joshua regularly contributes to essay collections and, in 2019, appeared on the hit History Channel series Ancient Aliens. Joshua has appeared on countless paranormal programs, including Coast to Coast AM. He regularly speaks at events nationwide, most recently Rice University’s 2023 Archives of the Impossible conference.

Joshua's book list on rethinking UFOs and the paranormal

Joshua Cutchin Why did Joshua love this book?

1987’s Communion made Whitley Strieber the world’s most famous alien abductee. Since then, many have derided him as a fantasist or even a charlatan.

Most attacks stem from his critics’ insistence on viewing Strieber’s experiences literally. Few stop to consider whether or not that approach may be misguided. In this collaboration with Rice University professor Dr. Jeffrey Kripal, Strieber’s firsthand accounts are placed in dialogue with religious scholarship, providing a useful framework for navigating the treacherous waters between the objective and subjective.

The Super Natural acknowledges that these things are—at least partially—"real" in a sense that modern culture would recognize. Their meaning, however, may well be something else entirely, best apprehended through our never-ending attempt to make sense of our place in the cosmos.

By Whitley Strieber, Jeffrey J. Kripal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two of today's maverick authors on anomalous experience present a perception-altering and intellectually thrilling analysis of why the paranormal is real, but radically different from what is conventionally
understood.

Whitley Strieber (Communion) and Jeffrey J. Kripal (J. Newton Rayzor professor of religion at Rice University) team up on this unprecedented and intellectually vibrant new framing of inexplicable events and experiences.

Rather than merely document the anomalous, these authors--one the man who popularized alien abduction and the other a renowned scholar and "renegade advocate for including the paranormal in religious studies" (The New York Times)--deliver a fast-paced and exhilarating study of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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