Mirage Men

A Journey into Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs.

Mirage Men

Seeking the truth about UFOs in America, Mark Pilkington and John Lundberg uncover a 60 year-old story stranger than any conspiracy thriller. Through the fascinating account of their quest Mark Pilkington reveals the long history of UFOria and its parallels in little known tales from the murky worlds of espionage, psychological warfare and advanced military technology. Along the way he discovers that the truth about flying saucers is stranger and more complex than either the ufologists or debunkers would have us believe. As he crossed the US meeting intelligence agents, disinformation specialists and UFO hunters Pilkington was confronted with a dizzying array of ever more outrageous claims and counter claims. As a result he began to suspect that, instead of covering up stories of crashed flying saucers, alien contacts and secret underground bases, the US intelligence agencies had actually been promoting them all along. Meanwhile he has to deal with his own uncertainties, the suspicions of the UFO community and a partner who is starting to believe that conspiracy theorists might be right after all. With a fresh, funny and objective approach, Pilkington is the ideal guide to steer us through these strange territories, where nothing is quite as it seems and reality is just a matter of managing perceptions.

The Mirage Man

Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War

The Mirage Man

For the first time, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Willman tells the whole gripping story of the hunt for the anthrax killer who terrorized the country in the dark days that followed the September 11th attacks. Letters sent surreptitiously from a mailbox in New Jersey to media and political figures in New York, Florida, and Washington D.C. killed five people and infected seventeen others. For years, the case remained officially unsolved—and it consumed the FBI and became a rallying point for launching the Iraq War. Far from Baghdad, at Fort Detrick, Maryland, stood Bruce Ivins: an accomplished microbiologist at work on patenting a next-generation anthrax vaccine. Ivins, it turned out, also was a man the FBI consulted frequently to learn the science behind the attacks. The Mirage Man reveals how this seemingly harmless if eccentric scientist hid a sinister secret life from his closest associates and family, and how the trail of genetic and circumstantial evidence led inexorably to him. Along the way, Willman exposes the faulty investigative work that led to the public smearing of the wrong man, Steven Hatfill, a scientist specializing in biowarfare preparedness whose life was upended by media stakeouts and op-ed-page witch hunts. Engrossing and unsparing, The Mirage Man is a portrait of a deeply troubled scientist who for more than twenty years had unlimited access to the U.S. Army’s stocks of deadly anthrax. It is also the story of a struggle for control within the FBI investigation, the missteps of an overzealous press, and how a cadre of government officials disregarded scientific data while spinning the letter attacks into a basis for war. As The Mirage Man makes clear, America must, at last, come to terms with the lessons to be learned from what Bruce Ivins wrought. The nation’s security depends on it. From the Hardcover edition.

Rockets and Ray Guns: The Sci-Fi Science of the Cold War

Rockets and Ray Guns: The Sci-Fi Science of the Cold War

The Cold War saw scientists in East and West racing to create amazing new technologies, the like of which the world had never seen. Yet not everyone was taken by surprise. From super-powerful atomic weapons to rockets and space travel, readers of science fiction (SF) had seen it all before. Sometimes reality lived up to the SF vision, at other times it didn’t. The hydrogen bomb was as terrifyingly destructive as anything in fiction, while real-world lasers didn't come close to the promise of the classic SF ray gun. Nevertheless, when the scientific Cold War culminated in the Strategic Defence Initiative of the 1980s, it was so science-fictional in its aspirations that the media dubbed it “Star Wars”. This entertaining account, offering a plethora of little known facts and insights from previously classified military projects, shows how the real-world science of the Cold War followed in the footsteps of SF – and how the two together changed our perception of both science and scientists, and paved the way to the world we live in today.

Aberration in the Heartland of the Real

The Secret Lives of Timothy McVeigh

Aberration in the Heartland of the Real

Presenting startling new biographical details about Timothy McVeigh and exposing stark contradictions and errors contained in previous depictions of the "All-American Terrorist," this book traces McVeigh's life from childhood to the Army, throughout the plot to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the period after his 1995 arrest until his 2001 execution. McVeigh's life, as Dr. Wendy Painting describes it, offers a backdrop for her discussion of not only several intimate and previously unknown details about him, but a number of episodes and circumstances in American History as well. In Aberration in the Heartland, Painting explores Cold War popular culture, all-American apocalyptic fervor, organized racism, contentious politics, militarism, warfare, conspiracy theories, bioethical controversies, mind control, the media's construction of villains and demons, and institutional secrecy and cover-ups. All these stories are examined, compared, and tested in Aberration in the Heartland of the Real, making this book a much closer examination into the personality and life of Timothy McVeigh than has been provided by any other biographical work about him

Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity ... are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavours that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience – in this case, people who “want to believe”. This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on “real” pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF – the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this. This engagingly written, well researched and richly illustrated text explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF. Andrew May has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in astrophysics from Manchester University. After many years in academia and the private sector, he now works as a freelance writer and scientific consultant. He has written pocket biographies of Newton and Einstein, as well as contributing to a number of popular science books. He has a lifelong interest in science fiction, and has had several articles published in Fortean Times magazine

The Many-Coloured Land

The Many-Coloured Land

In the 22nd Century, a group of misfits and mavericks are preparing to leave behind everything they have known. Advanced technology has created a one-way time portal to Earth’s Pliocene Era – six million years ago. Those seeking a better life are drawn to the promise of a simple utopia, far from the civilised Galactic Mileu. But no one could have predicted the dangers on the other side. For the group will enter the battleground of two warring alien races, exiled from a distant planet. And these races not only have potent mind powers, but seek to exploit and enslave humans for their own needs. The travellers are about to discover that their unspoilt paradise is far from Eden. Winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. ‘Julian May has woven a many-coloured tapestry of exotic adventure’ Roger Zelazny, ‘I was captivated by its glamorous, sinister movement through the misty forests of Earth’s true past’ Fritz Leiber

Land of Mirage

The Story of Men, Cattle and Camels on the Birdsville Track

Land of Mirage

References to Aborigines throughout book; story of mission under Vogelsang and Uley a Dieri Aborigine; Effect of white settlement on the natives.

Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country

Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country

Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country offers a fresh interpretation of the history of Navajo (Din�) pastoralism. The dramatic reduction of livestock on the Navajo Reservation in the 1930s -- when hundreds of thousands of sheep, goats, and horses were killed -- was an ambitious attempt by the federal government to eliminate overgrazing on an arid landscape and to better the lives of the people who lived there. Instead, the policy was a disaster, resulting in the loss of livelihood for Navajos -- especially women, the primary owners and tenders of the animals -- without significant improvement of the grazing lands. Livestock on the reservation increased exponentially after the late 1860s as more and more people and animals, hemmed in on all sides by Anglo and Hispanic ranchers, tried to feed themselves on an increasingly barren landscape. At the beginning of the twentieth century, grazing lands were showing signs of distress. As soil conditions worsened, weeds unpalatable for livestock pushed out nutritious native grasses, until by the 1930s federal officials believed conditions had reached a critical point. Well-intentioned New Dealers made serious errors in anticipating the human and environmental consequences of removing or killing tens of thousands of animals. Environmental historian Marsha Weisiger examines the factors that led to the poor condition of the range and explains how the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Navajos, and climate change contributed to it. Using archival sources and oral accounts, she describes the importance of land and stock animals in Navajo culture. By positioning women at the center of the story, she demonstrates the place they hold as significant actors in Native American and environmental history. Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country is a compelling and important story that looks at the people and conditions that contributed to a botched policy whose legacy is still felt by the Navajos and their lands today.

Masters and Men

The Human Story in the Mahatma Letters (a Fictionalized Account)

Masters and Men

A fictionalized version of the story of the Mahatma letters.