Before Roswell: The Secret History of UFOs

Before Roswell: The Secret History of UFOs by Barbara M. DeLong & Ken Goudsward

Before Roswell BookBefore Roswell: The Secret History of UFOs, by Barbara M. DeLong and Ken Goudsward takes us on a journey back in time to witness the sightings of UFOs throughout history.

"The famous Roswell incident is, in the perspective of many, the origin of what we have come to know as the UFO phenomenon, or in recent times, “the UAP threat”. Roswell was indeed a major turning point in terms of public awareness as well as government involvement, at least in the USA. But it didn’t start at Roswell. The public view of UFOs beginning in 1947 is merely a continuation of longstanding phenomenological patterns. An abundance of historical UFO sightings exists, from long before Roswell, working back through the centuries into antiquity and beyond. Citing 364 separate cases, DeLong and Goudsward show that anomalous phenomena is as enduring through the ages, more witnessed and reported, or more discussed and debated than the UFO phenomenon.

Authors Barbara Delong and Ken Goudsward have taken the time to remind us that UFO visitations to this planet have occurred for millennia, while we as a culture have been conditioned to focus simply on the past 70 plus years. Join them on a journey back in time to witness along with many countless others, the sightings of otherworldly craft in our skies. I promise you that after this journey, you will never be the same... keep looking up!"

~ Rev. Michael J Carter: Unitarian Universalist Minister & Consultant on The History Channel's hit TV Series, Ancient Aliens

Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2023

Joey Madia

An essential guide to the history of UFO sightings

"At 108 pages, this slim but indispensable guide documents UFO sightings from Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, working backward by century and then historical epoch to 270,000 BCE (yes, you read that right). The authors present considerable proof that UFO sightings and encounters with interdimensional beings are not just tricks of the eye, Jupiter, Venus, swamp gas, weather inversions, crash test dummies, and all of the other bunk that the USAF and the rest of the military-industrial-intelligence complex (MIIC) historically spent incalculable time and money to make everyone believe.

That is, until a few years ago when the MIIC decided it was a much stronger strategy to hawk their insidious brand of false disclosure to build up—on the heels of creating the U.S. Space Force—the idea of an alien threat (and the defense budget)—which Nazi loyalist Werner von Braun warned us not to trust. Their shills in and out of the Beltway—including some UFO documentarians and radio personalities—get lots of screen time and conference slots to distort the truth of alien contact and spread an unsubstantiated message of fear.

Ken Goudsward and Barbara M. DeLong—whose credentials are extensive and impeccable—pull no punches regarding the damage that skewed and outright false narratives have done throughout the centuries. Although most of the book is devoted to timelines, the commentary they provide is essential to both their zeitgeist as well as their reasons for writing this extensively researched compendium.

The book begins with that watershed year, 1947, covering Roswell and Kenneth Arnold’s Mt. Ranier sighting, and thirty-one other sightings, mostly in the US, but some in Europe. The timeline then moves to 1946 and ends, as I said, in 270,000 BCE.

Those readers familiar with my work know that I am also creating timelines in a variety of areas to illuminate parallels and patterns, so their strategy is one I applaud. This is the primary value of this book—all of these cases are laid out in short entries that allow a careful researcher to identify how sightings and what was sighted changed with the times, paralleling our own technological advances and scientific understanding. It also shows how mythology and reality intertwine to produce the enduring stories often grouped under Ancient Astronaut Theory. For the rest of this review, I will point out some of the more striking of the parallels and patterns and what they might mean.

In a section called “The War Years,” the authors cover World War II, including the “Operation Highjump” mission to Antarctica under Admiral Byrd that some believe came under Nazi and/or alien attack. The authors also include, among dozens of other entries, the 1942 Battle of Los Angeles and the 1941 Cape Girardeau, Missouri, crash. Most ufologists are aware of these “marquee” events but seeing them nested with many others allows for new data as far as parallels and patterns. The section closes with a report on the “foo fighters” witnessed by hundreds of pilots on both sides of World War II.

As you make your way through the thirties and twenties, note the amount of physical evidence and even encounters of the second and third kind. By the time of H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds radio show, there was plenty of recent material on which he and the Mercury Theater could draw.

The early twentieth century had abundant reports of cigar- and disc-shaped craft and an eyewitness report from the famous “Red Baron” in Germany. There was also the 1917 incident in Fatima, Portugal, where some saw the Virgin Mary and others saw a UFO. Reports from schoolchildren began to appear, foreshadowing famous cases in Melbourne (1966), Pembrokeshire (1977), and Zimbabwe (1994).

I was pleased to see a section devoted to the “Great Airship Flap of 1897.” Often overlooked in discussions of close encounters, these sightings of cigar-shaped craft equipped with searchlights and anchors and carrying upward of six strangely dressed occupants speaking unknown languages (but later switching to English when they needed repairs and supplies) occurred in a dozen US states. Reading these accounts, one can see where Steampunk has its roots.

The 1897 entry ends with the crash of a UFO into a windmill in Aurora, Texas, on April 17, and the alleged burial of its pilot in the local cemetery. A newspaper article detailing the incident accompanies the entry. There is also a provocative map plotting the prior sightings of airships that could indicate that the ship that crashed in Aurora was the very same seen elsewhere—or at least a part of the fleet.

Moving backward in the 1800s, we read of contact with “little men” and other beings and see a wide variety of craft. Even the future King George V and his brother had a sighting in Australia in 1881 when he was Prince of Wales. It is also in the 1800s that descriptions sound less like nuts and bolts craft, with descriptions like “glowing wheels,” “shooting stars,” “pillars of fire” (possible portals from interviews I have done with witnesses), and “globes,” although craft with wings as large as battleships are also reported. Vice President Thomas Jefferson had an encounter in 1800 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a “bright red object the size of a house.”

The 1700s featured many reports of fireballs or similar descriptions and, in 1789, John Adams postulated that comets were inhabited by intelligent beings. Six years earlier, during the celebration of the birth of the fifteenth child of King George III and Queen Charlotte, a bright object appeared above the guests, disappearing “with a terrific explosion.” Edmond Halley and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were two other notable names who witnessed strange craft in the sky.

Fireballs, “dragons,” and other anomalies were reported throughout the Renaissance and Middle Ages. The authors address the four years of the Black Plague in the mid-1300s and records of hooded figures wielding mist-spraying scythes and a “column of fire” above the pope’s palace. There are numerous reports from monasteries. Curiously, between 1078 and 1332, all of the reports are from England and Japan. By the 800s, reports include sightings of phantom armies and battles in the sky.

During the Classical, Pre-Classical, and Ancient periods, the reports describe sightings in terms of stars and moons, and we start to see the seeds and roots of Ancient Astronaut Theory. There are descriptions of “fleets” and “flying shields.” The authors include reports from the Bible and other classical texts and the Roman Empire is geographically prevalent. This is also the time of the visions of a number of prophets—Ezekiel, Zechariah, Isaiah—as well as emperors and conquerors. Sightings from 4,000-plus years ago come from the advanced civilizations of China, Peru, and Sumer.

The Summary is worth a careful read, multiple times. The authors tackle the ufology/mythology line, the role of fiction writers in all of the mystery, misinformation, and disinformation, and revisit the 1897 airship sightings and the case of Rendlesham in December 1980. They then consider the possibility of some sightings involving time travelers from Earth and the famous Mayan “astronaut” tomb carving.

In closing, there is much to consider in this slim, efficient volume, which hardcore ufologists will no doubt frequently return to in their research and fieldwork."
Michael L. Saxon
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2023
Verified Purchase

Excellent list of UFO sightings

This book reminds me of Jacques Valle book which sightings back to BC time. Makes me wonder what did these people actually see. I would recommend it for those trying to use a scientific approach. Last page, the last three or four lines present the most important questions of the book.

Book Information

Before Roswell: The Secret History of UFOs (Ancient Aliens)
by Barbara DeLong & Ken Goudsward

Paperback: 114 pages

Publisher: Dimensionfold Publishing (February 16, 2023)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1989940587
ISBN-13: 978-1989940587

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