Meet My New Book — Urban Legends From Space

The cover of my new book Urban Legends from Space will be published by Page Street Publishing on Oct. 15. Page Street Publishing

Are you tired about hearing how we never went to the moon? Or that contrails made by commercial aircraft are really chemicals sprayed on us hapless humans staring up from below? Then I’ve got the book for you.

This winter and spring I was hard at work writing my latest book. It’s about astronomy — my favorite subject — but with a twist. Instead of a guide to the universe per se it’s my attempt to clarify some common misunderstandings we have about the sky and its celestial inhabitants. For instance, there is no dark side of the moon. All sides see sunlight, and I explain why. Or why the most common form of matter in the universe isn’t solid, liquid or gas but something you can find at almost any bar … and we’re not talking craft beer.

Is that really Bigfoot on Mars? My book has answers! NASA / JPL-Caltech

Besides misconceptions I also examine some of the crazy “theories” bounding around the internet like electrically-charged comets, alien moon bases and provide a definitive answer to the burning question of whether Bigfoot has been sighted on Mars. I also address doomsday asteroids and the amazing penchant we humans have to assume that because something happened at the same time as another something the two must be related. Want to buy land on the moon from one of the many vendors selling lunar real estate? Please read my book first.

The book is about science and the scientific method, one of the best ways we have of questioning the world for answers we can agree on. Yes, science is full of imperfections and always a work in progress, but the understanding it has provided of the world, however imperfect, excites and motivates me every day.

A convincing UFO over Lake Superior near Grand Marais, Minn. is really a mirage of Five-Mile-Rock. Jaye White / Cascade Vacation Rentals

Sometimes we think science is remote, something that scientists do. But we are all scientists. We all know how to observe our environment with our eyes, ears and fingers. With practice we become better observers and are less likely to seize upon a supernatural explanation (or aliens) for a phenomenon when nature, always rich and surprising, is likely to provide an answer. Increased awareness also helps us make better sense of the world and lessens the chance we’ll fall victim to junk science and conspiracy theories. To that end I provide a quick list of 10 proofs we did go to the moon — in case you run into a moon hoaxer — and a similar list of likely UFO suspects.

I wrote the book with a minimum of finger-wagging. I certainly don’t have all the answers. The world’s a big place full of mysteries that beckon our curiousity  to explore and explain. We can’t help it. We started when we were kids and the journey never stops.

Urban Legends from Space will sell for $16.99 and be available in bookstores and on Amazon. Matter of fact you can pre-order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble right now at a discounted price (!) The tome is  224 pages long — I wanted to squeeze in more stuff but my editor drew the line 😉 The book even has funny parts, making it worth the price even if you disagree with everything I write. No, I think you’ll enjoy it and I hope you’ll want to get a signed copy. I’ll post the dates of book signings and speaking engagements here and on Facebook in September.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing strange tales!