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UFOs for the 21st Century Mind

The Definitive Guide to the UFO Mystery
New and Expanded Edition


By Richard M. Dolan


With a Foreword by George Noory, host of Coast to Coast AM.

543 p. Illustrated

Publication Date: Jan 21 2014 and Dec 21 2022

ISBN/EAN13: 9781495291609


UFOs for the 21st Century Mind_frontcover.jpg

Richard's single volume classic study of the UFO phenomenon has now been expanded to cover events through the end of 2022, certainly one of the most tumultuous period in UFO history. 

For beginners and experienced researchers alike, historian Richard Dolan covers the full range of this incredibly complex topic in his uniquely engaging style. 


He offers fresh insights on everything connected to UFOs: ancient aliens, modern encounters, abductions, channelers, the politics and cover-up, the black budget world, the bizarre science, the social dimensions (read YouTube and Facebook), the future, and much more.


Toward that end, Dolan gives practical insights on how to distinguish and investigate UFOs in today’s world, where we are flooded with claims and videos and data of all types.


In addition, as one of ufology’s pioneers in the deep analysis of the cover-up, he offers an original perspective on how it all works and why the cover-up, despite being so entrenched and insidious, is nevertheless bound to end. He also writes on the nature of contact, speculating on who these “Others” might be. Finally, Dolan takes the reader through the “weird science” of UFOs, covering everything from propulsion to spacetime to consciousness and more.


UFOs for the 21st Century Mind is a roadmap pointing the way forward in a field filled with uncertainty and obfuscation. In so doing, it is set to reposition an ancient phenomenon into a contemporary state of mind, reminding you just why the greatest mystery of our time is also one of the most important.



1. What Are UFOs?
2. Theories of Ancient Visitation
3. Into Modernity: Airships, Foo Fighters, and Flying Saucers, 1896 to 1969
4. UFO Secrecy and Those Who Fought It
5. Digging Deeper-The Breakaway Civilization
6. High Strangeness-UFOs from 1970 to 1990
7. UFOs, 1991 to the Present
8. Contact and Abduction
9. The Growth of Ufology
10. Who Are They? What Do They Want?
11. Weird Science: Propulsion, Energy, Spacetime, and Consciousness
12. Into the Future, Into Ourselves

13. Ufology Amid the Global Revolution




In a field that can be so confusing, so complex, Richard Dolan has taken his many years of thinking about UFOs and written a completely fresh overview of the entire subject. . . . This is an ambitious work that truly ties the many different aspects of the subject together. It’s rare to find something like this, especially considering the care and thoroughness that went into it.
– George Noory, host of Coast to Coast AM.


As a follow-up to his previous books exploring the relationship between UFOs and the National Security State, historian Richard Dolan widens his perspective to explore all aspects of this provocative phenomenon. In this role, he takes us on a journey that brings to life the subtlety and depth of this rich subject, a truly captivating read.
–H. E. Puthoff, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin


UFOs For the 21st Century Mind represents a new kind of book – one that clearly and intelligently addresses literally every aspect and implication of the most maligned, misunderstood and compelling subject in human history. Richard Dolan’s newest work is perfect reading for serious students of ufology as well as the absolute beginner. Inspired, particularly well written, and the product of a first class mind for this or any other century.
–Peter Robbins, coauthor of the U.K. bestseller, Left At East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-up and Investigation


This is an invaluable treatment of the known facets and seemingly endless implications regarding UFOs, with a much-appreciated focus on the human experience. A job well done, Richard.
– Sam Maranto, Investigative Researcher


*   *   *


to UFOs for the 21st Century Mind

by Richard M. Dolan


As long as we have had eyes, we have observed inexplicable wonders in the skies, in the oceans, and all around us. Finally, during the last few generations, we have sat up and noticed. Now we face the most impenetrable of mysteries.


It is not merely that unidentified flying objects have been traversing our world. Nor that they do things that are supposed to be impossible. Nor that they look unlike any known aircraft, or that they violate the principles of aerodynamics. All of this has been and is true, and all of it is certainly a problem. But the problem goes deeper.


After all these years, we still don’t know who precisely is operating these objects. We may have ideas, but in fact we don’t know. More puzzling still is the logic of their behavior. Why buzz our aircraft? Why play cat and mouse games? Why the bizarre (apparent) interactions with people around the world? We are dealing with an unknown phenomenon that behaves inexplicably, and apparently does not want to reveal itself to us.


It is easy for a person to go through life without thinking about any of this. We have other priorities, and the official powers of our society dismiss the topic. Even most of the anti-establishment, alternative researchers know this topic is a third rail: touch it at your peril. It’s not from a lack of curiosity. I’ve spoken with many of these researchers. Most of them are fascinated by UFOs but fear the ridicule. You can only fight so many battles—why wear yet another albatross that only makes your life more difficult? It is hard enough to research things like government spying, financial corruption, 9/11 conspiracies, chemtrails, or many other important subjects that require our attention.


For my part, I have spent the last twenty years researching UFOs. In that time, I have found that this phenomenon intersects with many of the above key subjects. In fact, I would go further and say that a proper study of UFOs is a revolutionary experience. It shatters old belief systems and forces us to look at our world in a completely new way. Everything is affected: history, politics, economics, science, religion, culture, and our ultimate vision of who and what we are as human beings.


Yet, looking back on the history of UFO research, it turns out that surprisingly little work has been done to describe the big picture. There have been many good books written, for sure. Many have focused on key sightings that have defied our understanding. Others have discussed military and government policy on UFOs. Several have focused on abductions and other forms of contact with these other beings. Others still have described different scientific aspects of the phenomenon. There are also a smaller number of books that deal with the challenges of investigating UFOs, certainly an important topic. Only the smallest handful have ever tried to be anything like a comprehensive guide, and none have really pulled it off. Talk about a gaping hole in the field.


Even worse, much of the earlier thinking on the subject feels antiquated. Up until roughly the end of the Cold War, that is around 1990 or so, the field was still something of an old boys club. A lot of good work was done but, in general, less was known or appreciated about the phenomenon itself. Archival research was rudimentary, as was overall historical knowledge. There was scant familiarity with worldwide sightings, little appreciation of abductions until nearly 1980, and a number of sciences connected to UFOs were a complete mystery—propulsion technology being one obvious example of many.


Cultural beliefs of earlier decades didn’t help, either. Political insights were naive, with a strong dose of old-fashioned patriotism and trust in government, and a belief that government secrets could not be kept for very long. Scientific attitudes were equally conservative. The dominant approach was “nuts and bolts” ufology, rather like Victorian materialism that denied (or ignored) the truly strange sciences of quantum mechanics, entanglement, and non-locality, all of which now seem relevant to UFOs.


Since the 1990s, however, the field has exploded. Many more people from around the world are now engaged in it, with a greater diversity of beliefs and philosophies. Ufology is now a wide-open ball game, replete with generational divides, cultural wars, new ideas, new arguments, and little agreement as to priorities. This trend strengthened after 9/11, an event that radicalized many people around the world into permanent suspicion against global political elites, and certainly against the U.S. national security state.


The people are different, the attitudes are different, and so is our technology, which has buried us in data. Prior to the 1990s, simply getting access to good UFO reports was a problem that nearly every researcher faced. Today, we can sift through more than ten thousand raw reports that are filed online every year in North America alone. Added to this overabundance are hundreds of new UFO videos posted each year to YouTube. And then there are thousands more stories and rumors that come our way via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In other words, ufology is splintered and overwhelmed.


What we need is an up-to-date assessment of where we are at in this incredible field. That is why I wrote this book. This is a comprehensive overview of the UFO phenomenon for people of the 21st century.


It offers up-to-date information and analysis relating to the full history of UFOs, from ancient times to our own era. This alone is an incredibly rich aspect of the phenomenon, and the sheer quantity of good reports is astonishing. Trying to make sense of the whole leads us to wonder if humanity has been someone’s pet project for quite some time. However, it also appears that activity has been heating up considerably for the past several decades. Does this mean we on the brink of something big?


There is much more than history for us to consider, however. There are important political issues, such as the relationship of the U.S. government and military/intelligence community to UFOs. That is, the cover-up. In analyzing this, we find that UFOs pose a serious problem to that community, one that its members may not be handling as well as they would like. It also strongly appears that at least some of the UFOs people are seeing are probably made by “us.” Moreover, we find that the suppression of open, public information about UFOs has created serious distortions in our political culture and our economics. A key reason for this is creation of an expansive national security apparatus and black-budget society, a portion of which was created to hide the UFO reality. This apparatus has taken over much of what remains of traditional republican institutions around the world, certainly within the United States.


But there is more to a full understanding of UFOs than history and politics. The subject raises important philosophical and investigative issues, including how ordinary objects and events might fool us, and how they differ from “true UFOs.” Moreover, in an age of Google, Facebook, and Youtube, when information practically overwhelms us, we might want to know how to separate fact from fiction, and legitimate issues from fear-mongering or fantasy-peddling.


Then there are issues pertaining to science and technology. To the extent that these objects are craft, how do they operate? How might interstellar travel be possible? How is it that these beings often seem to have a mind-to-mind communication with us? What does that mean about human consciousness? What can a study of UFOs teach us about physics, dimensions, and the structure of our reality?


Nor must we forget the beings behind the phenomenon, whoever and whatever they are. In understanding UFOs, it is crucial that we assess the history and claims of contact, that we try to understand the nature of that contact, and perhaps puzzle out just who and what we are dealing with. There is a great deal of information from individuals who strongly appear to have had interactions with some of these beings, as incredible as that may sound.


Finally, to understand the UFO phenomenon with a fresh perspective, we ought to try peering into the future. That includes what has become a pervasive topic in the field: whether or not there will be, or can be, any kind of true “disclosure” of the UFO reality. That is, an official recognition, one that includes government and all the associated institutions that dominate our world. Because this can only be speculative by its very nature, we need to be careful in forming our judgments. Yet, the matter is important enough that it demands our attention, since we are fools if we assume the future will be the same as today. Our civilization is rapidly changing, and with it our once-solid beliefs in what is possible and what is not. It seems likely that disclosure, whether by design, accident, or necessity, will be the ultimate revolutionary experience.


Any subject that provokes so many profound ideas and can take us to so many amazing destinations is worthy of our time and consideration. But we should not expect easy answers. I first entered the field of ufology after having studied history for many years, in particular U.S. diplomacy and modern Europe. When I initially became intrigued by UFOs during the early 1990s, I thought I might be able to take a detour of a few months to find out once and for all if there was anything to it. I discovered that there was indeed something to it, and I have spent the last twenty years exploring a field that has never once released its grip on me. More than once, it has prompted me to reevaluate the world and my place in it.


Recall in The Matrix, when Morpheus offers Neo the choice of a red pill or blue pill. The blue pill allows him to return to his ordinary conventional world, while the red pill offers him truth. If only it were so easy: one simple red pill and all is revealed. In reality, we must take red pills on a regular basis, since the illusions of our world are in many layers. We realize something new, something important, and that gives us clarity for a little while. Soon we notice other oddities and discrepancies, and we realize we need to go further. And so it goes.


Ufology is a perfect example of such complexity. I started out years ago with one simple question. It was not are UFOs real? or are aliens real? I wanted to know only one thing: were UFOs ever important to the U.S. national security community? One simple question with one simple answer (yes). However, that simple answer led to endless more questions. I still do not have all the answers I am looking for, and probably never will. But that is no reason for despair, for this is a subject in which it can truly be said that the journey is the reward.


I now invite you to take that journey with me.


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