For those familiar with the subject of Ufology (the study of UFOs and aliens visiting our little blue marble), British researcher Timothy Good stands out from the rest of the pack. Good's 1988 book Above Top Secret is widely regarded as one of, if not the definitive volume on a subject where because of its very nature, the crackpots, hoaxsters, and new-age devotees of the world often occupy space right alongside those who take a more serious approach at the bookstore.
The research involved was exactly what made Above Top Secret such a classic. In addition to Good's determination at going after facts and documenting his evidence, the book provides pages and pages of actual government documents to back it up. This is a guy who knows how to dot his "i's" and cross his "t's."
In fact, pretty much the entire back section of Above Top Secret is devoted to these eye-opening documents. The storytelling and anecdotal evidence which characterizes most UFO research is of course here as well. But whenever possible, Good corroborates the stories with multiple witness accounts and just plain facts.
And then there are those juicy documents. We're not just talking questionable pieces of paper like the so-called Majestic-12 briefing documents. Above Top Secret in fact devotes roughly 100 pages (in the appendix section) to official documents coming from everyone from J. Edgar Hoover to Harry Truman. When taken together, the combined documents seem to suggest that our government (as well as those of other countries) have, at the very least, been a lot more interested in the subject than they have let on.
Need to Know: UFOs, the Military, and Intelligence is basically an update on Above Top Secret, and it is no less impressive. Once again, Good loads the volume with documents designed to back up his assertion that not only are UFOs real, but that the government has known about them dating at least back to the Roswell incident in 1947.
Roswell is covered of course, and updated with new information and sworn affidavits from some of the key witnesses. The book itself is divided into three sections, going into the pre-Roswell era of the thirties and early forties (did you know for example that Benito Mussolini was a UFO believer?), the post Roswell-era of the fifties (which is where many believe government knowledge and the subsequent cover-up began), and the modern era from the sixties to the present day.
In addition to the usual stuff about Roswell and Area 51 however, Good reveals lesser-known details about other cases. The Ghost Rockets and so-called Foo Fighters of the pre-Roswell era are a particularly interesting, though not often covered, area where both governments were concerned and military men were apparently often engaged.
More recently, Good digs into the story of a "Brazillian Roswell" in the town of Varginha that happened in the nineties. In the story, a UFO is alleged to have crashed in the town, followed by reports of "strange beings" roaming the streets, and even receiving medical attention. This book includes extensive interviews with witnesses, including a doctor said to have treated one of the extraterrestrial patients. In every case, the often fantastic stories are backed with corroborating witnesses and evidence.
Best of all, Good includes more of those juicy government documents that seem to suggest more than the officials are letting on. As fantastic as all of it sounds, Good actually makes a very convincing case here that not only are we not alone, but the government has been in on the world's best kept secret for a very long time. In other words, you can stop thinking you're paranoid. They really are out to get you (okay, maybe that's overstating it a bit).
With Need to Know: UFOs, the Military, and Intelligence, Timothy Good has once again distinguished himself with another classic that lets the facts speak for themselves, and allows the reader to render their own judgment. At the very least, whether or not you are a believer, it is also a provocative and fascinating read.