Sunday, September 1, 2019

Book cover: "The Case of the Ancient Astronauts"

Because, in the 1970s, it was never too early to introduce the little ones to the theories of Erich von Däniken...

  • Title: The Case of the Ancient Astronauts
  • Author: I.J. Gallagher (full name: Ida Jane Gallagher)
  • Cover illustrator: Lynn Sweat
  • Publication date: 1977
  • Publisher: A Contemporary Perspectives Inc. (CPI) book distributed by Raintree Children's Books, Milwaukee
  • Pages: 48
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Chapter titles: (1) Were There Ancient Astronauts? (2) Ancient Maps: Where Did They Come From? (3) The Lines of Nazca (4) Mayan Mysteries (5) Land of the Bird Men (6) The Sky People
  • First paragraph: Do you think that unidentified flying objects (UFO's) are something new? When newspapers report stories of unknown shapes and lights in the sky, do you think it is some miracle of the modern age? If you do, think again.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how unhappy does "UFO's" with an apostrophe make Otto? 11
  • Last paragraph: The Case of the Ancient Astronauts is an unfinished story. The detective work is incomplete. We are still uncertain if there were ancient astronauts and who they were. Maybe someday you will be the scientist who finds evidence that they once did live — and may still be living now.
  • Random sentence from the middle: UFO watcher Gavin Gibbons believes that space beings come from a tenth planet that exploded.
  • Goodreads rating: 3.00 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Goodreads review excerpt: In 2018, Colleen wrote: "It says it is a children's book which I found surprising. Got at a book sale. That History Channel show Ancient Aliens deals with a lot of this stuff. It is interesting. Do I believe it all? Probably not. Will I read more and watch the show? Absolutely haha It's so funny sometimes."
  • Not everyone loved this book: In his books column for the September 8, 1985, edition of The Clarion-Ledger/Jackson Daily News in Mississippi, Jim Scafidel discusses censorship and notes: "And here's one that hits close to home: I.J. Gallagher's The Case of the Ancient Astronauts was scuttled in Florida because it claims Ezekiel saw a UFO. Gosh. I had the old prophet doing that myself right here in this column, not two months ago."
  • So, how should we feel about UFOs these days? In a May commentary piece for The Washington Post titled "UFOs exist and everyone needs to adjust to that fact," Daniel W. Drezner wrote:
    "A UFO is not necessarily an alien from another planet. It is simply a flying object that cannot be explained away through conventional means. Because UFOs are usually brought up only to crack jokes, however, they have been dismissed for decades. ...

    "What appears to be happening is that official organs of the state are now acknowledging that UFOs exist, even if they are not literally using the term. They are doing so because enough pilots are reporting UFOs and near-air collisions so as to warrant better record-keeping. They are not saying that these UFOs are extraterrestrials, but they are trying to destigmatize the reporting of a UFO."
    The next step in this process will be seeing what we learn at the Area 51 shindig later this month. As Vice's MJ Banias writes, "What could possibly go wrong?"

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But wait, there's more?
Check out that typography on the title page.

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