In Alien Heat
The Warminster Mystery Revisited
by Steve Dewey and John Ries
Trade Paperback, 328 Pages, 3 Illustrations
$17.95, ISBN: 1933665025
There has probably never been anything like it in UFO history, but the UFO fever that gripped the small British town of Warminster for about a decade is now largely forgotten. It was one of the largest UFO flaps ever to occur. Thousands of witnesses reported seeing the "Warminster Thing." The hilltops around the town attracted a loyal band of followers, all waiting for the magic sighting, the landing, the contact. The authors were themselves among the skywatchers and spent nights on Cradle Hill, the center of the phenomenon, watching and waiting for UFOs.
IN ALIEN HEAT introduces the Warminster phenomenon to a new generation of readers. It contains a short history of the phenomenon, places it in its social and historical context, and examines the possible mechanisms that initiated and sustained this remarkable UFO flap.
About the Author:
Steve Dewey grew up in Warminster. He has a bachelor's degree in Society and Technology and a master's in Popular Culture. He is a technical author by trade.
John Ries also grew-up in Warminster (insofar as he ever managed it). He is a computer programmer specializing in databases: he cannot, however, program his video recorder.
FROM THE PREFACE:
This was not a book waiting to be written. The ufological phenomena that occurred in the small town of Warminster, in Wiltshire, are, if not forgotten, at least an embarrassment to modern-day ufologists. The Warminster “Thing” is almost completely unknown outside of the UK. Nobody is embarrassed about the Banbury wave. Nobody appears to be embarrassed about Bonnybridge, despite its almost exact replication of the Warminster phenomenon. Sightings of the Warminster Thing grew slowly, and then reached a tipping point, after which Warminster became the center of a full-scale UFO flap. However, once the Thing had produced a flap, researchers and writers almost immediately dismissed it. For the best part of a decade, in the face of this disdain, the phenomenon stumbled along, with new sightings now and then that sustained the mythos. For that decade, however, the power of that mythos was enough to tempt a loyal band of followers to the hilltops around Warminster, waiting for the magic sighting, the landing, the contact.
When we first visited Cradle Hill on one of those cold dark nights, we wanted to see and believe, and we looked very hard. We had read Arthur Shuttlewood’s books about the Thing, and lapped up other books in the genre. We were quickly seduced into the whole occult weltbild. As burgeoning adolescent would-be intellectuals, a whole stew was put on to boil, a farrago that included Daniken and Tomas, Wheatley and Crowley, Marx and Freud, Jung and Reich, Conway and Wilson, Keel and Vallee. . .
1. The Apparent Beginning
2. The Start of Things
3. To Begin at the Very Beginning
4. The British Context
5. Reacting to Things
6. Warminster Revisited
7. This Charming Man
8. The Thing Trilogy
9. The Hoaxes, the Hoaxers, and the Hoaxed
10. Reading Warminster
11. Seeing Things
12. Becoming Hysterical
13. Believing in Things
14. The Guru
15. Where Are We?
16. Summing Up Things
Appendix I: Oh My God, It’s Full of Stars!
Appendix II: Unwarranted Conclusions and Dubious Data
What they're saying:
"Dewey and Reis have done a public service in dragging the Warminster Thing and the Warminster phenomenon back into view...this book is a gem, not just for having resurrected the 'case,' but for the relentless dissections the authors put it through...The story of the Warminster phenomenon as Dewey and Reis tell it is at once singular and weird – not least in its initial manifestation as a still-unattributed series of alarming noises – and archetypical. This book should be read with care, patience, and reflection, but most of all it should be read." — Peter Brookesmith, Journal of Scientific Exploration
"[The authors] introduce a new generation of readers to the remarkable story of Britain's biggest UFO flap. .. In Alien Heat is an impressive and scholarly tome that should be added to the library of every ufologist and fortean." — David Clarke, Fortean Times, which awarded the book a rare 9 on a 10 point scale
"A remarkable new book...a riveting social document, objectively placing the phenomenon in its cultural and historical context...highly engaging." — The Western Daily Press
"Dewey and Reis are not concerned with 'explaining' the Warminster mystery. This is no catalogue of UFO sightings, no attempt to promote an ET or a 'skeptical' viewpoint on what happened all those years ago. It is, in the very best sense, 'literary criticism'...taking a story - the history and development of the Warminster phenomenon, and examining how it grew and fitted together as a narrative, how that narrative was influenced by other stories and contexts, and how in turn it affected them...This book is a remarkable achievement, meticulously researched and documented, well-written, often humorous account of a fascinating piece of not just ufological history, but British social history. Perhaps it will help recover Warminster from the historical black-hole it seems to have fallen into. Buy it. Read it." — John Rimmer, Magonia
"[The authors] grew up in Warminster, and their book provides an interesting and critical analysis of the story...Dewey and Reis make a good case...this is a well-researched and interesting book..." — Peter McCue, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research
"Some of the dullest books ever published have flying saucers on their cover. This book isn't one of them. Since 1947 UFO related beliefs have spread across the world like a modern legend. Stories about objects in the sky and alien contacts have become part of popular culture. But virtually all discussion about UFOs has been confined to either belief in 'alien visitors' or debunking ET claims. IN ALIEN HEAT takes a fresh approach to the subject. Steve Dewey and John Ries take a microcosm of the UFO phenomenon - the Warminster Mystery - and examine it as a social and cultural phenomenon akin to modern folklore. This is a fascinating and absorbing book which should be read by everyone who wants to know 'the truth' behind the UFO mystery." — Dr. David Clarke, National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield
"An excellent and unique account of the Warminster UFO phenomenon." —David Simpson, author of Conclusions from Controlled UFO Hoaxes