BOOK REVIEW by JOHN SCHUESSLER


BOOK REVIEW 
by John Schuessler
MUFON founder and Board member

UFOs over Pennsylvania
Publisher: Lang Publication
TXu1-791-136 Jan 15, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9883606-0-0
562 Pages, 
$25.00
Author: John J. Ventre

This is a unique book in many ways, but perhaps most importantly, it dares to show the breadth of the UFO mystery as it has unfolded over the state of Pennsylvania.  Some pretty eerie events have accompanied the sighting of UFOs there and have affected authors and investigators alike. 

The author, John J. Ventre, is the current MUFON State Director and a member of the Board of Directors.  He is a MUFON Benefactor and holds a lifetime membership in the organization.  He is known for his thoroughness in research projects and in field investigations.  Prior to his retirement, he served his employer as Director of Security and Public Affairs and he has applied those skills to his role in MUFON. 
Ventre points out that Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania has had the most UFO sightings in the United States over the past 50 years.  During the past five years, Bucks County has had the most UFO sightings in the United States.  To get the full flavor of the work going on in there, he invited other authors and investigators to provide chapters for the book. 

The book weighs just over two pounds and it is loaded with more detailed information than anyone can consume in a single reading.  One of the contributing authors explained the high strangeness of the UFO situation as follows:  "The UFO phenomenon represents evidence for other dimensions beyond space-time; the UFOs may not come from ordinary space but from a multi-verse (a belief held by more scientists every day).  The phenomenon constitutes a multifaceted continuum of experience with and belief in fairies, demons, angels, ghosts, apparitions, and unmarked helicopters in association with unknown aerial phenomena."  You will find documented examples of this throughout the book.

To set the stage for the book's intriguing content, Researcher Stan Gordon, best known for his work on the Kecksburg incident provides a history of his involvement in the Pennsylvania UFO work dating back to 1959.  That is followed by Ventre's chapter entitled "The Case for UFOs."  Then Ventre lists the many hard-hitting facts about the Kecksburg incident, leaving no room for doubt whether or not the crash really happened.

After an extensive listing of positive statements about UFOs by prominent, highly qualified individuals, the book gets down to the meat of UFO cases such as the Erie-Presque Island incident, Thomas Carey's experience with UFOs over Carbondale, Ventre's catalog of UFOs over Pittsburgh, Altoona, Shamokin, and York, followed by a fascinating chronology of the many Buck's County incidents replete with radar plots, detailed drawings and laboratory reports.

One of the more highly strange, but very intriguing incidents involved the death of a Northumberland County resident named Todd Sees.  The Sees case was presented as a part of a chapter on "mummification" of living things found near where UFOs were reported.  Sees disappeared on his four-wheeler while going up to look over some potential hunting sites.  He was found two days later in dense brush, unclothed and emaciated.  One of his boots was found in a tree a mile from where his four-wheeler was located.  The FBI took over the case and found three dairy farmers that saw a large, silent, bright UFO hovering over the area where Sees was found.  Much of the Sees material was provided by Peter Davenport.

Readers that may get exposed to TV News show hosts need to read the chapter on Ventre's experiences in the taping of the Anderson Cooper Show in April 2012.  What sounded like an excellent opportunity to share the nitty-gritty details of UFO investigations didn't end up that way.  After the show's staff edited out a lot of the best evidence, the person getting the most time on the show was an avowed debunker that never investigated any of the cases.

It would have been nice if Ventre had given more details on the underground bases listed in Chapter 19 and how they play into the UFO situation in Pennsylvania.  However, the brief descriptions of the bases do provide clues for anyone doing independent research on the subject.  For example, I was able to use Google to find a treasure trove of information about the "Raven Rock" ("Site R") facility listed by Ventre.
Sightings by police officers are often the most credible and detailed of cases that are reported and this is no exception for the state of Pennsylvania.  Almost 4 percent of the Pennsylvania reports came from police officers.
To wrap-up the book, Ventre devoted 145 pages to "Related Topics" each of which are written by noted authors and deserving of a book-length treatment themselves.  Tantalizing information related to U.S. Unidentified Submersible Objects (USOs) by Carl Feindt, Russian USOs by Paul Stonehill and Philip Mantle, Anti-physical Aspects of UFOs by Richard Lang and Position Statements by current UFO researchers.