Sunday, 9 June 2013

Book review: "A.D. After Disclosure" by Richard M. Dolan and Bryce Zabel

Front Cover of the book
What can I say? Life got in the way of blogging again for a while so - sorry for the absence of posts since early April.

Anyway, whilst routing through one my local bookstores months ago I came across "A.D. After Disclosure" which was amongst the (frankly abysmally) tiny selection of books devoted to the UFO/UAP subject.

For my own reasons, and probably like millions of other people around the world, I'm still effectively at 'first base' when it comes to the subject. I believe the whole UFO/UAP subject deserves much more attention than it gets and less ridicule than it deserves - especially when thousands of professionals in the armed forces and other state services around the globe have been reporting inexplicable things in our skies for at least seventy years. Despite the hard line taken by debunkers and the ridicule the subject attracts, the phenomenon isn't about to go away and - like one well known UK skeptic and self-proclaimed 'expert' on the subject would otherwise like to suggest (whom I won't name here) - it seems a little arrogant to explain all of it away on just wish-fulfilment, mythology, cultural influence or some form of mass-hallucination.

However, I wouldn't go as far as saying that extraterrestrials (in the traditional sense of intelligent species from other planets) are necessarily behind the most compelling of UFO/UAP cases either. So you can begin to see why the central core of this book requires a 'leap of faith' for me - and for many other people I would imagine - by reading it.

First impressions


Whilst I doubted the wisdom of having an endorsement by none other than Stan Lee* (of Marvel Comics fame) on the front cover, after having looked into the (quite impressive) credentials of the two authors Richard M. Dolan and Bryce Zabel, I decided to give the book a go - and can honestly say I was not disappointed.

[*Don't get me wrong - I've nothing against Stan Lee and Marvel Comics. I just don't think he's necessarily the best person to be cited endorsing something that appears to be a serious attempt to address the issue of 'Disclosure'.]

What first struck me was that, as far as I'm aware, nobody - outside the various works of science fiction - has made a serious and in-depth effort to tackle the questions arising from what would happen were it to be publicly proven beyond doubt that: a) intelligent extraterrestrials exist; and b) they have been engaging with humanity for some time albeit in apparent secrecy.

So the authors have set a publishing precedent in this at least - but I'm happy to be corrected if there is another similar such book out there that predates this one.

I mentioned making the 'leap of faith' above by reading this book and would point out that it is a necessary one in order to properly appreciate its content.

Re: its overall content, it makes for an accessible and engaging - if sometimes slightly cliched and overly dramatic - read but I can understand that such a writing style would be necessary to retain many readers' attention.

At its Core


The central aim of the book is to give informed speculation about the likely consequences of - and a suggested timeline of likely events - in the face of proven intelligent ET contact and this the book does really well. In my view, it effectively leaves no stone unturned in terms of how a significant event leading to Disclosure would affect, amongst other things:-

  • initial Governments' responses to the event and how this would be managed; 
  • the public's reaction and their subsequent treatment of those in authority especially if certain Governments were proven to be complicit in some sort of cover-up; 
  • how this might to a lesser or greater extent lead to political or civil instability; 
  • the collateral damage and unintended consequences as a result of such instability; 
  • how the mainstream media would cover the developments; 
  • how the world would re-examine the phenomenon of UFOs and its history and how this might impact on education; 
  • how the entertainment industry might deal with developments; 
  • how the economies and stock markets of the world might be affected and whether this might cause another financial crisis; 
  • how legal systems might have to change to incorporate previously unforseen legal complexities (something I'd honestly never considered until I read this book); 
  • how religions, their followers and leaders might react and how this might affect religious views; 
  • how aspects of mainstream science might have to re-evaluate certain theories; 
  • how advances in technology might be affected especially in terms of how the world's energy supplies and linked economies might potentially change;
  • how different generations might react to such developments; and
  • how this might all impact on daily life.

Each of the above (and some other elements I haven't listed) have separate passages devoted to each topic and make a good fist of suggesting what likely consequences might be. One I hadn't expected was in terms of religion (which is backed up by some actual research into public opinion on the question). I won't spoil things by saying why here - I would suggest one reads the book to find out - but suffice to say most people's expectations in this area may be turned on their head after reading this book.

The Breakaway Group


Another interesting thread running through the book is the theory concerning the 'Breakaway Group' which - the authors suggest - is a super secret organisation which has supposedly been coordinating events behind the scenes ever since apparent contact with intelligent non-humans in the post-war period.  The authors attempt to speculate why the Group came about, how it has been involved with many of the issues listed in the bullets above and how it would seek to manage developments following an unprecedented event which leads to Disclosure might bring.

Conspiracy theorists will of course lap up this aspect of the book. Throughout Ufology in general there are frequent references to 'Cabals' or secret societies trying to clandestinely impose a (mostly unwelcome) 'New World Order' on a largely unsuspecting world.

Thankfully the authors do not sink to regurgitating many of the extreme ideas espoused by many theorists on the web and elsewhere. They do however attempt to take a hard look at how such a body not only could have come into existence (with the possible emergence of the 'military industrial complex' warned about by President Eisenhower in his now famous farewell address) but also just how it might be operating across geographical and legal boundaries and with technological resources quite possibly at least 60 years ahead of that available in the public domain.

The authors readily cite examples of how such secrecy could be effectively maintained and how clever manipulation of the media and national security agencies - amongst other bodies - could confound any serious attempts to reveal such a Breakaway Group to the world.  Even more compelling is the authors' suggestion that such a Group might, given their possible advanced resources, have developed its own 'infrastructure' and society 'off the grid' as it were which is operating under the noses of the unsuspecting billions around the world.

Concerning this thread, one only has to look at bodies like the Bildeberg Group (featured in the press only this week for their clandestine 2013 meeting in Watford of all places!) to see real examples of secretive bodies dabbling in world affairs, and as the authors discuss, impressively large scale undertakings like the Manhattan Project, which apparently employed 130,000 people in total secrecy in its time and was effectively kept secret until necessity required that it be revealed to the world with the infamous (and horrific) bombing of the Japanese. Given that nearly 70 years have passed since that chapter in history, one can begin to understand how mind-boggling subsequent projects could be with greater funding and more advanced technology at their disposal.

The Others


Of course no such book would be complete without discussing the non-terrestrial intelligences (NTIs) that are the source of an event that leads to Disclosure. Rather than dwelling much on what such NTIs or ET might actually be (given there could be a number of possible explanations), the authors do examine what might be their likely motivations.
Whilst some interesting points are made, for me this tends to be the weakest element of the book. Whilst it can be an interesting thought experiment to ponder what moves such non-human entities to apparently only indirectly interact with humanity (until the Disclosure event described), one could argue that there is no direct evidence at all to draw on for this. Conversely, the human experience and human history provides a wealth of material for speculation in terms of the likely impact of Disclosure and the likelihood of the existence of a Breakaway Group, which I think this book does really well.


This is a thoroughly engaging, sometimes complex and thought-provoking book which examines - as far as I'm aware - a relatively unexplored territory (outside the realms of science fiction). I would encourage any serious reader to add this to their library. What would be truly fascinating would be to see how accurate some of the authors' predictions would be if the world did indeed one day suddenly find itself facing actual public Disclosure concerning ET contact...


Neither of the authors of this book are personally known to me and I have not received any incentive from them, financial or otherwise, in writing this review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this thorough and very useful review!