Robert Sheaffer has published several books on the UFO phenomenon and Ufology, from a skeptical viewpoint. His latest book, Bad UFOs: Critical Thinking About UFO Claims, addresses Jacobs’ questionable research practices, among other topics.
Sheaffer is an American free-lance writer and skeptic, with a lifelong interest in astronomy and the question of life on other worlds. He has researched many UFO sightings and written critiques of the hypothesis that UFOs are alien spacecraft. In addition, his writings cover topics such as Christianity, academic feminism, the scientific theory of evolution, and creationism. He was a founding member of the UFO Subcommittee of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and he writes for Skeptical Inquirer, Fate Magazine, and Spaceflight..His writings and reviews have appeared in such diverse publications as OMNI, Scientific American, Spaceflight, Astronomy, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, and Reason, and he has appeared on many radio and TV programs. Sheaffer is a graduate of Northwestern University, and is a member of Mensa. He has worked as a data communications engineer in the Silicon Valley, and sings in professional opera productions. Keep up with him through his website, The Debunker’s Domain, and his blog, Bad UFOs: Skepticism, UFOs, and The Universe.
Bad UFOs: Critical Thinking About UFO Claims
“What explains the human fascination with UFOs? The first reported sighting of what was then called “flying saucers” was by private pilot Kenneth Arnold on June 24, 1947. Within a few weeks, an entire “wave” of saucer sightings swept across the U.S., and soon across the world. And within a few years this had expanded to give us UFO crashes, the Men In Black, UFO bases, military and intelligence agency conspiracies, NASA conspiracies, alien abductions, crop circles, alien autopsies, alien-human hybrids, cattle mutilations, and the list just continues to grow.
“Do the “saucers” (later renamed “UFOs”) represent visitors from some other planet, or possibly even something more bizarre? How have they evaded unambiguous detection for about seventy years? Is this because the methods of science cannot capture them? Or do reports of UFOs have much in common with reports of ghosts, witches, Bigfoot, and other creatures that are widely discussed and widely believed, but exist only in the imaginations of those who pursue them?”
UFO Sightings: The Evidence
“Engaging and entertaining, UFO Sightings: The Evidence is the most up-to-date overview of the UFO phenomenon, a controversy that gains strength with each new report of strange happenings in the sky. Written from the skeptical perspective, and applying the scientific method to the cases explored, this book differs greatly from the proparanormal tomes widely available today.”
The UFO Verdict: Examining the Evidence (1980)
Review by Ronald A. Schorn in Sky and Telescope Magazine (Nov. 1981):
“The author has produced a useful, informative, interesting, and well-written work. … The UFO “movement” has had a long, complex, raucous history, and the author threads his way neatly through the tangle of acronyms that litter the organizational UFO scene. … All in all, Sheaffer sees UFOlogy as a powerful social movement which, fundamentally, is a reaction against science and reason. He blends this view with specific cases and general background in this dandy work, always providing references so the reader can check up on him. If you’re only going to have one book on UFO’s, this is the one….”