Dimensions of Enchantment: The Mystery of UFO Abductions, Close Encounters and Aliens

by Manfred Cassire
Breese Books Ltd., London, England, 1994, 208 pp., paperback, $10.00.

This is a most rare UFO book, not only for being a thoughtful analysis, but also that it approaches the phenomenon from a parapsychological perspective. Although there are some minor factual errors, including more than the usual grammatical flubs (even Fort's name is misspelled), this is not the work of a sloppy thinker.

In Dimensions of Enchantment , Manfred Cassirer operates very much in the tradition of Charles Fort. That is, Cassirer presents and uses case data in the pursuit of larger game, as Fort used the strange and inexplicable to formulate a philosophy of an indeterminate universe. And like Fort (although perhaps more workmanlike and certainly less humorous), Cassirer has provided cases of strange phenomena that can be enjoyed all by themselves. But to simply get a kick from reading one case after another and going no further would be missing the point. Thus, while one can read the many stories of UFO percipients and derive pleasure from their unusual and enchanting essence, one can also see that these cases are being employed to extrapolate common features which may begin to suggest certain possibilities as to their origin and nature.

Nonetheless, Cassirer doesn't make an effective case for UFOs as parapsychological so much as he demonstrates that the extraterrestrial hypothesis, based on the data, is absurd. The thrust of the book is not what these phenomena are, or even a serious attempt at an explication. Rather, it is shown that whatever is behind UFO events operates at a frequency beyond our current comprehension. That is not to say that all of its manifestations are incapable of being understood, as the undeniable physical aspects of UFO encounters are noted.

What Cassirer seemingly reveals, but never fully exploits, is that percipients are interacting with an intelligent, oscillating energy. An examination as to the origin and purpose of this energy certainly seems within the scope of this work. One can hope that, in the future, Cassirer will focus his attention more directly on the nature of these phenomena and attack the mystery and not merely acknowledge that these dimensions have an ineffable quality.

There is much to praise within these pages; Cassirer has formed his opinion after looking at the parameters of these events, and he is not averse to challenging the conclusions of others in the field. A theme running throughout the book is the slamming (correctly, I believe) of American ufology. One can only conclude that he is quite knowledgeable in this regard. Therefore it is intriguing that he states that "hoaxes are comparatively few and far between." Knowing the state of affairs in the United States should have led to the conclusion that hoaxes are commonplace. If they aren't, then we have wrongly denigrated a legion of authentic photographs of otherworldly vehicles!

Dimensions of Enchantment may break little new ground for European ufologists, but it is practically revelatory for an American ufology stuck in a rut, an American ufology unwilling to break the bonds of the nuts and bolts position. For those adventurous souls willing to cut through Cassirer's often dense prose and to drop all pretense of "knowing" the UFO phenomenon, Dimensions of Enchantment should earn a permanent spot on the UFO bookshelf.

Return to Book Reviews Index  |   strangemag HOME