Neil Arnold. Shadows in the Sky: The Haunted Airways of Britain. Stroud: The History Press, 2012. A compilation of, mostly, strange things seen in the sky over Britain. Everything from dragons, fish, battles, and UFOs to, naturally, phantom airships (and ghost aircraft, as in actual ghosts). Lots of interesting details but not much in the way of references.

David Clarke. The UFO Files: The Inside Story of Real-life Sightings. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. Second edition. By contrast, though this is also aimed at a popular audience it's well-referenced, mostly to files held by the National Archives. Indeed, it's published in association with and on behalf of the National Archives, with which Clarke, who lectures in journalism at Sheffield Hallam, has been working closely to secure the release of formerly classified UFO files. Aaand there's good coverage of phantom airships, which is not surprising since Clarke was one of the first people to investigate them seriously.

Paul Dickson. Sputnik: The Shock of the Century. New York: Walker & Company, 2001. As the title suggests, this focuses on the psychological responses to Sputnik in America, more than the technological and political ones (though those are covered too). I remember hearing good things about this book when it first came out but never got around to getting it; today I found it in a bargain bookshop so it wasn't a hard purchase to justify.

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5 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. Oh, we have it all right. It's just having a desperate medieval negotiation with the autumnal spirits of darkness in spring is remarkably pointless.

    Also the modern American version is as popular /not popular here with the usual groups as most other American cultural exports.

    Seeing kids parade as witches etc. loses something in broad daylight, too.

  2. Post author


    Ha, Halloween is so not a thing where I live (inner city Melbourne) that it didn't even occur to me to make the connection! As JDK says, it doesn't really fit our seasons or our climate. It might be more popular in the outer suburbs, where there are more small children to drive the sugar frenzy; I seem to recall my younger brothers doing it a few years when we lived in a satellite town. Or I could just be remembering all the times I've seen it in US movies and television…

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