Anyone who wants to check out the current state of UFO research could do worse than surf one of the Web's better collections of UFO links.

But to get a fix on the polar ends of current UFO literature, you begin with Bud Hopkins. In his books Missing Time (Marek Publishers, 1981) and Intruders (Random House, 1987), Hopkins argues that aliens are abducting humans to genetically engineer a crossbreed of the two. Some UFO researchers say Hopkins has uncovered an astonishing truth central to UFOs—others say he's koo-koo for cocoa-puffs and is ruining the credibility of dispassionate UFO investigators. Whether or not he's on the ball, Intruders is deeply weird reading, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone with an active imagination who lives in an isolated, rural area.

Timothy Good is at the polar opposite of Hopkins—he also believes governments have made "contact", but as an access-to-information pencilneck, he relies on government documents that he scavenges, rather than breathless personal interviews with supposed abductees. This tends to produce astonishingly dull, but plausible reading—trudging through a Good book (like Above Top Secret (MacMillan, 1988)) won't keep you at the edge of your seat, but you'll come away for it with the ability to truly hold your own when arguing with UFO skeptics: "Well, according to recently-declassified U.S. navy Admiral's report file in 1976 ..."