Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: The Secret History of Extraterrestrials, by Len Kasten

The Secret History of Extraterrestrials: Advanced Technology and the Coming New Race
Len Kasten
Trade Paperback,328 pages
Bear & Co., Nov. 11, 2010
Aliens & UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, Nonfiction
Source: Purchased at Barnes & Noble

Book Synopsis Explores the role of ETs in the military, government, technology, history, and the coming new age. Surveys contact with ETs, abductions, alien technology and exopolitics, genetic tampering by ETs, and the history behind the Nazis and UFOs.
The extraterrestrial presence on Earth is widening and, as we enter the Aquarian Age, will be admitted officially, causing shock and an urgent universal need to understand the social and technological changes derived from our space brothers. A primer for the explosive advances humanity will experience scientifically and spiritually in the coming years, this compendium explores the ET phenomenon and its influence on humanity past and present.

The book surveys contact with ETs and abduction accounts, unexplained public and undisclosed military technology from aliens including anti-gravity devices, exopolitics (the influence of ETs in human affairs), the Iraqi Stargate, the Hybrid Project of alien interbreeding by abduction, Nazi ties to UFOS and their secret underground base in Antarctica, government cover-ups of alien interactions including Roswell, and the transformation triggered by the Hale-Bopp comet. Based on interviews with people who are witnessing the coming changes as well as those visionaries who are actually bringing them about--including John Mack, Major Jesse Marcel, Paul LaViolette, Robert Bauval, Michael Salla, and Helen Wambach--this book sketches out a breathtaking vision of the planetary revolution just around the corner.

 My Review

As an avid science fiction fan, I've always been fascinated by the concept of aliens and their different cultures. This interest of mine has also led me to the logical question: Do extraterrestrials and flying saucers (now mostly known as "UFOs") really exist?

Of course, in order to answer this question, conclusive proof is needed. After all, it's one thing to enjoy science fiction, and quite another to affirm that it's science FACT.

The evidence in Kasten's book does seem very compelling indeed. But is it really? In order to judge with an open mind, it's actually necessary to do outside research about the various topics presented and discussed in this book, which is really an overview of a supposedly 'secret' history of ETs, gathered from the works of other writers. These are listed in separate bibliographies for each chapter.

Writers such as George Adamski are mentioned. Adamski claimed to have been contacted by a very human-looking alien named "Orthon", in the Colorado Desert (USA), in 1952.  Kasten then goes on to discuss the 1947 Roswell incident, in which an alien craft allegedly crashed in New Mexico. He also mentions the work of Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy-award-winning TV producer who became a UFO investigator, crop circles (Kasten admits that at least one of them was most likely created by humans), exopolitics (alien interference in human affairs), the work of T. Townsend Brown, Stanton T. Friedman, and space-age science. This last, according to Kasten, is mostly the direct result of reverse engineering of alien spacecraft, resulting in such things as anti-gravity propulsion. Then there's the construction of biospheres, which are self-contained human environments being tested on Earth for use on the planet Mars.

In spite of my doubts, I found this book fascinating to read. However, I do think it's a rather uneven mix of fact and what looks very much like fiction. Also, I thought the author would start his 'history' from the time of the alleged ancient astronauts. Instead, he begins it with the Adamski sightings, and then jumps back to the Roswell incident. From there, he moves forward. 

For instance, from the Wikipedia article about Adamski, it seems pretty clear that the man was a superb con artist, with a coterie of blindly devoted followers.

Other things mentioned in the book sound so outrageous as to be totally unbelievable, such as Kasten's assertion that "....twelve astronauts left Earth in July, 1965 and were taken to the planet Serpo in the binary star system Zeta Reticuli aboard an alien spaceship as part of an exchange program." (pg. 77) He also states that the 1977 movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", may have been inspired by Project Serpo. 

Also outrageously unbelievable is the explanation, put forth by one Michael Salla, former researcher-in-residence at the Center for Global Peace at American University in Washington, D.C., that the real reason for the war in Iraq was to keep a stargate located in Uruk, Iraq, from falling into the hands of the French, Germans, and Russians, which would have meant the end of American hegemony!

Another controversial aspect of the UFO movement mentioned by Kasten is the hotly debated existence of "Operation Majestic-12" (also known as "MJ-12"), which is a secret government project purportedly set up by President Truman in 1947, in order to investigate UFO phenomena. The authenticity of the  documents associated with this group is strongly defended by nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, who is now a full-time UFO researcher. However, the topic does remain controversial.

There are other aspects of the book, such as the chapter on T. Townsend Brown, as well as the one on  the B-2 bomber, which do sound more credible. As for the Roswell incident, I'm not quite sure whether or not it's credible, in spite of all the evidence in support of the alleged facts.

The book also reports on extremely fascinating scientific theories, such as the nature of time and space, as well as delving into more mystical topics, and a favorite New Age staple, the advent of the superhuman race.

Of course, alien abductions are included. Accounts of such abductions are only available through hypnotizing abductees, since most of the memories are too traumatic to be recalled consciously.  They usually involve bizarre 'scientific' experimentation on human subjects by aliens.

While I feel that something is undoubtedly going on, I'm not sure to what extent the various aspects of the UFO phenomenon are real. Certainly, lights have often been seen in the sky throughout the centuries, by different observers. The book, Alien Encounters, by Chuck Missler, reports many such incidents, and this can also be easily verified on the Internet. Also, there have been many, many reports, worldwide, by people claiming to have been abducted by aliens. However, these experiences are simply not within the scope of what most of us would consider saneness and reality. Perhaps there are psychological factors involved.

After finishing this review, I decided to go to Amazon to see what other reviewers thought of this book. I was shocked that one of them, Michael F. Burdick, reported that a photo included in this book is an actual hoax! A building that Kasten hints might be "an astronaut habitat" on the planet Serpo (pg. 83), is really the back side of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico! I knew this photo looked familiar. In fact, it reminded me of a painting by the famous American artist Georgia O'Keeffe!  There are photos of this church on Wikipedia, so that readers of Kasten's book can easily verify that the photo is indeed a hoax. I then decided to incorporate the above information into my own review.

In short, although this book is indeed very interesting, as well as very well-written, some of the events being related sound more like fiction than fact. I think the author should have been more careful to  verify certain things, because they might almost certainly be taken as fraudulent. The inclusion of the photo that turned out to be a hoax is a serious drawback, for instance.  I found the book fascinating simply because of the subject matter, so I might read parts of it again so as to do some research on these topics, while at the same time being alert for more flaws.




  1. Your commentary on what is a very controversial book is very fair and reasoned Maria.

    One problem for me, is that when an author makes outrageous claims that are not backed up, to some degree it puts their credibility for the non outrageous claims in doubt.

    As you are interested in the subject, I highly recommend nely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life by David Grinspoon. Grinsppon is a serious scientist and his speculations are science based. He does give a very fair shake and shows respect to those who believe in alien visitations. His writing style is also relaxed and fun (Lots of Star Trek references too!)

    1. Hey, Brian!

      I knew you would be interested in my thoughts on this book, as you're an avowed SF fan, as well, and therefore, intrigued by this topic. Thank you so much for the compliment on my review!

      You're absolutely right that an author's credibility is severely damaged when s/he makes such outrageously unbelievable claims, and doubt is then cast on the things that do sound more credible.

      Would you believe that I found yet another flaw in this book? When I went to Amazon to read reviews of it there, I discovered that there's a photo hoax in the book!!! I therefore went back and edited my review so as to include this. I also added a link to this Amazon review to my list titled "For Further Information"..

      I remember reading and commenting on your review of "Lonely Planets", so I went ahead and ordered this book, which I received some time ago. I haven't read it yet, though. It would be interesting to compare it with Kasten's book. Of course, based on your commentary, I know I will greatly enjoy Grinspoon's book! (Especially more so because of the "Star Trek" references!!)

      I'm now thinking of downgrading Kasten's book to two stars, but am hesitating because I found some of the chapters entirely fascinating, in spite of my doubts.

      Thanks so much for such a thought-provoking comment!! : )


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