1. Book Reviews:
    Politics of the Imagination and Flying Saucers over The White House
    By Colin Bennett

    Anomalist Book Award 2002 -- Best Biography, September 21, 2004
    By The Anomalist
    This review is from: Politics of the Imagination: The Life, Work and Ideas of Charles Fort (Critical Vision, Cosimo Books) (Paperback)
    If Thomas Pynchon had any interest in Charles Fort, this is the kind of book that might result. It's far more than a biography (Damon Knight already did that), but a literary study of Fort the writer, as well as a postmodern rant on the illusory nature of facts and reality in the light of Fort's philosophy. Bennett, like Fort, sees "explanations," especially those provided by science, as a superficial means of understanding. Even more than in his previous book, Looking for Orthon, Bennett does battle with modern skepticism, which he sees as a debilitating contemporary illness. This is a great, big, heady stew of a book full of references to literature, arts, philosophy and more-much, much more. Bennett takes Fort and runs for the goalposts--I don't think anyone else could have done him justice. This book is a monster, a raised fist at the orthodox prison of the mind that is contemporary culture.

    Heady and masterfully conceived, January 10, 2003
    By Mac Tonnies (Kansas City, MO USA) - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME) 
    This review is from: Politics of the Imagination: The Life, Work and Ideas of Charles Fort (Critical Vision) (Paperback)
    In a world of books about anomalies, very seldom does one come across a title that is, itself, an anomaly in its aptitude and outspokenness. Colin Bennett's "Politics of the Imagination," a heady examination of the life, work, and ideas of paranormal heavyweight Charles Fort, is a rich and singular book in which Bennett's postmodern sensibilities are brought to bear on one of the 20th century's most radical thinkers. Fort, an intellectual outcast who viewed science as so much socio-mythological advertising, has become synonymous with the unexplained. Bennett argues that "Fortean" phenomena such as UFOs, inexplicable artifacts, and falls of live fish reveal cracks in the buttresses of Big Science's illusory (and ever-fashionable) rationalism.
    Bennett, like Fort, views reality itself as an anomaly to be held in constant question; "explanations," if available at all, are only a superficial means of understanding. Bennett grabs hold of the enigma that is Fort's iconoclasm and doesn't let go. Summoning a mass of scientific and literary esoterica, he writes with impeccable wit, pursuing his quarry with impressive dexterity. "Politics of the Imagination" is a high-calorie intellectual banquet of a book: challenging, learned, and incredibly fun. As long as Bennett is writing, Western empiricism can run, but it can't hide. With a foreword by John Keel, author of "The Mothman Prophecies."
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Expedition, December 18, 2004
    By New Paradigm Books "John Chambers" (Boca Raton, Florida) - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME) 
    This review is from: Politics of the Imagination: The Life, Work and Ideas of Charles Fort (Critical Vision) (Paperback)
    Charles Fort seems to have regarded all events as morally neutral, or at least morally equal, and so he might have regarded this altogether admiring and swashbucklingly wide-ranging account of his life and thought as excessive. Still, I think Fort would have ended up loving Colin Bennett's book, which explicates with wonderful, pan-dimensional clarity Fort's notion that, in the words of the author, "science was a new form of social control whose object was to conceal the fantastical nature of the universe by means of editing out paradoxes, contradictions, miracles, paranormal events--anything that was unusual or which did not fit into a set scheme of things." Recommended to all the universes.

    Flying Saucers Over the White House

    This is is the story of Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, a US Air Force officer who researched UFO sightings in the 1950s and made a concentrated effort to convince the United States Air Force that UFOs exist. Ruppelt, who coined the term 'UFO', headed "Project Blue Book," an assignment designed by the United States government to investigate and report on the existence of unidentified flying objects and their link to extraterrestrial beings. Ruppelt dissected the evidence, separating chance sightings of ordinary objects from true UFO sightings. He eventually wrote The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, summarizing his findings. In Flying Saucers Over the White House, Bennett examines the life of this "founding father" of ufology, analyzing the evidence and the U.S. government's reporting of this phenomenon for a new generation of readers. COLIN BENNETT has written several books, including The Entertainment Bomb, *Looking for Orthon*, and Politics of the Imagination, which won the Anomalist Award for Best Biography in 2002. After leaving school to become a professional musician, Bennett returned to college to study English at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. He wrote several plays that were performed in London before reinventing himself as an electronics engineer and founding a consulting agency. Bennett currently resides in London where he continues to write and discover new interests.

    Looking For Orthon

    On November 20, 1952, George Adamski first made contact with extraterrestrials-including along-haired youth from Venus named Orthon-in the California desert. or so he claimed. He offered photographic proof. He wrote books about his encounters, including the sensational bestseller Flying Saucers Have Landed. He never stopped advocating the truth of his claims even as he came under extraordinary ridicule. And in the process, however inadvertently, Adamski invented the modern mass counterculture. This new edition of Colin Bennett's modern classic posits, in the author's uniquely engaging style, Adamski as a kind of unwitting performance artist who "structured one of the most blatant acts of visionary cheek of the twentieth century," introducing the jittery postwar Western world to the image of the UFO, which confounded and tweaked authority while also fully embodying Cold War neuroses. Whether Adamski was telling the truth or not is almost irrelevant-though Bennett has his own ideas about Adamski's veracity. What remains compelling about Adamski's bizarre and compelling tale of alien visitations is the transformative power of stories, even if they're false, to warp our culture on a grand scale. In the course of a delightfully misspent youth, COLIN BENNETT was employed as both a musician and as a mercenary soldier. He was far better at the second than at the first. Educated at Balliol College, Oxford, he is the author of the novels Infantryman and The Entertainment Bomb, and paranormal nonfiction including Politics of the Imagination, a biography of Charles Fort; and An American Demonology, about the head of the 1950s UFO-hunting agency Project Blue Book.