Science, Skeptics, and UFOs: A Reluctant Scientist Explores the World of UFOs
List Price: 19.95
Category: Prof. Reference & Textbooks
Available: January 2014
On a farm in central Mississippi in the 1970s, the author and his family were surprised to find themselves in the middle of a hotbed of UFO activity. In 1977 the author, a scientist, turned to the book UFOs Explained by Philip J. Klass looking for answers, but found the explanations did not really fit. For years he drifted in indecision unable to fully come to grips with what he and his family had experienced. Knowing that UFOs were a taboo subject to most mainstream scientists, he was quite reluctant to come forward on the subject of UFOs during his career. Abandoning his concerns after retirement, the author takes the reader on a journey of full disclosure and discovery. During this journey, the author discovered that his family sightings and a number of well-known Mississippi sightings were clearly related phenomena. Further findings ultimately led the author to explore the wider world of UFOs and to discover some insights never brought to light before. The author and his family reacted initially with bewilderment, denial, and great curiosity about the unexplained phenomena unfolding before them. Because of the demands of being an R & D chemist, the author did not feel up to the task of trying to make sense of the situation during his career. There was always a nagging concern about the family sightings in the back of his mind because it seemed intellectually dishonest not to disclose to the world what had been observed. Coming to peace with himself two years after retirement, the quest to document the family sightings began. He soon realized that he had only been aware of a fraction of the total experiences. Almost immediately there were some shocking revelations that threatened to derail the project, but, regaining his composure, the author continued gathering and evaluating information until it encompassed most of the world of UFOs. Using logic honed by 30 years of survival in the chaotic Chemical Industry, B. Timothy Pennington evaluates the multi-layered tapestry of the world of UFOs. Hypothesis testing, an essential part of the scientific method, is employed to test his own hypotheses and a number of hypotheses put forward over the years from various sources to explain UFOs. The book is directed at the mindset of the science establishment and skeptics as well as at anyone interested in the subject of UFOs. Warning: The resulting work contains a number of elementary discussions in the areas of acoustics, optics, geology, magnetism, general physics, and statistics & probability. Reading it might actually lead to being exposed to some of the tools of the scientific method.
B. Timothy Pennington was born in Jackson, Mississippi on September 2, 1948, the second of three children. He grew up in Polkville and Morton in central Mississippi and attended East Central Community College in Decatur before entering the University of Southern Mississippi where he went on to earn a Ph. D. in chemistry in 1974. He completed two years of postdoctoral research at the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center near Philadelphia, PA as a National Research Council Research Associate and one year as a Robert A. Welsh postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas at Arlington before accepting a teaching position at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX. After teaching and writing scripts for chemistry videotapes for two years as part of a National Science Foundation grant, he joined the chemical industry in the Lake Charles, LA area in 1979 and stayed in the industry for 30 years. A member of the American Chemical Society for over 35 years, he has seven publications in refereed scientific journals, two trade industry publications, and 21 US patents as inventor or co-inventor. In 1970, he married the former Esther Kennedy of Forest, MS and has three adult daughters.
B. Timothy Pennington grew up on a farm in the heavily forested, gently rolling hills of central Mississippi enjoying fishing in the numerous ponds and streams, hiking the woods around the family farm, and searching for arrowheads laying on the surface of the ground throughout the area. Willing to work hard and earning his own spending money from the age of 12, the author was of an independent nature and was interested in math and science from a young age. Although he entered college intending to become an engineer, his interest in chemistry sent him in another direction. His dissertation research involving metallic catalysts-aluminum alkyl systems eventually led to an industrial position as a catalyst chemist. However, shortly thereafter, the chemical industry began a phase of plant closures, mergers, and acquisitions in the early 1980s that has continued on nearly unabated to the present day. The author survived the industry turmoil by being able to deliver sound technical advice based upon thorough research and data evaluation of many diverse areas of information, something he brings to this book as well.