Flying Saucers In The Bible?

The Bible and Flying Saucers, by Barry H. Downing (Lippincott, 1968, 221 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Albert L. Hedrich, assistant director of research and development, Page Communications Engineers, Washington, D. C.

The credibility of the Bible and the authenticity of flying saucers are both subjects of controversy today. The Bible has successfully withstood attack for centuries and continues to be accepted as the authority for Christianity. During the past several years, flying saucers have been the subject of several books and many articles, both pro and some con; today there is little unanimity of opinion on their origin or even their existence. Therefore it seems strange indeed to find a defense of the Scriptures based on the existence of flying saucers.

The Bible and Flying Saucers could be judged worthless but harmless were it not for the distortions it contains and the credentials of the author. He holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Edinburgh.

Downing’s purpose seems to be to show that introducing the idea of flying saucers or unidentified flying objects (UFOs) makes certain events described in the Bible more “realistic” or believable. Some of the events to which he links UFOs are:

1. the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night during the Exodus;

2. the parting of the Red Sea (here the UFO uses an “anti-gravity” beam);

3. the taking up of Elijah;

4. the bright cloud at the transfiguration of Christ;

5. the Spirit’s descending on Jesus at his baptism;

6. the ascension of Christ;

7. the bright light at the conversion of Paul.

One finds it hard to imagine how the author expected to accomplish his purpose, for he himself doubts the existence of flying saucers. He asks ...

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