These are the most frequently recommended books, podcast, and documentaries related to UFOs. We’ve compiled these items with community input from our Common Question Series on r/UFOs, through past threads, and through direct surveys of ufologists.
These lists are not inclusive of every recommendation, only the most frequent suggestions. Some of these posts may be of interest to those looking for additional recommendations.
UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record
by Leslie Kean (2010)
Kean’s book is largely considered one of the best, objective introductions to the subject of UFOs. The book includes a foreword by John Podesta and first-person contributions written by multiple highly credible military and government officials from nine countries. Kean examines many notable cases, including the Tehran incident, Belgium UFO wave, Phoenix lights, and JAL 1628 sighting over Alaska with commentary by many of the officials involved.
Kean is an independent investigative journalist with a background in freelance writing and radio broadcasting. She began covering UFOs in 2000 with a feature story in the Boston Globe and has published many mainstream stories since. In 2007, she co-organized a press conference on official UFO investigations which received media coverage around the world. She also produced I Know What I Saw (2009) and helped write the documentary Secret Access: UFOs on the Record (2011).
Messengers of Deception
by Jacques Vallée (1979)
An intriguing, disconcerting book from one of the field’s most progressive thinkers. Vallée became entangled in bizarre mind games while investigating UFO cults in the 1970s and thoroughly documented the growing effects of UFO contact on our culture and belief systems. He explores the hidden realities of the cults, contactees, and murky political intrigues and motivations of the investigators.
Vallée addresses the incidents and experiences of contactees and the messages conveyed in some of the key contacts. His scientific approach is evident throughout and though he does not consider his views conclusive he offers several hypothesis which builds into his theory of UFOs as a control system. The book is an excellent summary of Vallée’s unconventional and thought-provoking theories of the phenomenon.
The UFO Experience
by J. Allen Hynek (1972)
Hynek worked for several years as an external advisor for the USAF and wrote The UFO Experience largely as a response to the Condon Report (a 1969 report from the Condon Committee, funded by the USAF) which concluded UFO reports were not to be taken seriously. In his book Hynek argues for stronger scientific interest in UFOs, examines individual cases from the Project Blue Book files, and introduces his own classification system of Close Encounter rankings. He then responds explicitly to the Condon Report, giving insight into its history, where it went wrong, and what conclusions should be drawn from it. The UFO Experience is a historical work by one of the most seminal UFO researchers and considered a classic within the field.
The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects
by Edward J Ruppelt (1956)
The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects is Ruppelt’s memoir of his role in the seminal US Air Force UFO study projects: Projects Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book and was the first serious book about UFOs written by someone actively involved with the government’s official investigations into the phenomena. According to his account, he coined the acronym ‘UFO’ and put many of the official procedures for reporting and studying UFOs into place. Researcher J. Allen Hynek suggested Ruppelt’s “book should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in the history of this subject.”
The book captures the feel of working for the mid-20th century US military and describes the changing attitudes of the USAF about UFOs during the early 1950s: wobbling between denial, ridicule, paranoia, and genuine inquiry. A key point of the book is to resolve doubts about the military’s role; Ruppelt makes a strong case that UFOs weren’t a top secret weapons system and the reports were not disinformation by intelligence agencies, nor was there a concerted effort to cover up UFOs by the US government. Ruppelt recounts the many times when the brass tried to dismiss reports without investigating them sufficiently, but states this was simply standard-issue military ‘cover-your-ass’ behavior, not a vast conspiracy.
Somewhere in the Skies
Hosted by Ryan Sprague / Started in 2017
Somewhere in the Skies is a US-based podcast discussing UFOs, the paranormal, and the weird. Hosted by author and UFO journalist, Ryan Sprague, the show features current UFO events from around the world, audio docs, and special guests. Join Ryan as he asks new questions, and perhaps even finds some answers to the mysteries that lay somewhere in the skies.
Coast to Coast AM
Hosted by Gene Steinberg & Christopher O’Brien / Started in 2006
Coast to Coast AM is the most-listened-to overnight radio program in North America and broadcasts live seven nights a week from 1-5AM EST. It focuses on news and current events, conspiracy theories, paranormal phenomena, time travel, alien abduction, and all things unexplained. Hosts George Noory (weekdays, first Sunday of the month) and George Knapp (weekends) welcome guests and callers from all walks of life, while providing a judgment-free forum for ideas beyond the mainstream. Listeners can subscribe to become a Coast Insider, allowing them access to full shows, live or on-demand, transcripts, and exclusive chats with guests.
Hosted by Benjamin Grundy & Aaron Wright / Started in 2006
Mysterious Universe is an Australian podcast covering the paranormal, technology, reality, aliens, and anything mysterious. It covers the strange, extraordinary, weird, wonderful and everything in between with a balance of healthy skepticism and entertainment, while maintaining a sense of humor. Memberships to Mysterious Universe Plus+ gives members access extended editions of shows, exclusive shows, without ads, and better audio quality.
Open Minds UFO Radio
Hosted by Alejandro Rojas / Started in 2010
Open Minds UFO Radio features interviews and discussions with UFO researchers, authors, witnesses, scientists, and others related to the phenomenon. Host Alejandro Rojas has been a UFO investigator/researcher for many years and served as the Director of Public Education for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) for several years. Alejandro has worked with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, the History Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN, and others throughout his career.
Theories of Everything
Hosted by Curt Jaimungal / Started in 2020
Curt focused on topics such as theoretical physics, consciousness, God, free will, and UFOs. He decided to pursue filmmaking while studying Mathematical Physics at the University of Toronto. He is currently working on a documentary related to these topics, but is uncertain what form the final project will take. During the exploratory phase he has engaged in a wide range of interviews with many intellectuals, including ufologists.
Hosted by Gene Steinberg & Christopher O’Brien / Started in 2006
The Paracast is a paranormal radio show focused on UFOs and other strange phenomena. It seeks to shed light on the mysteries and complexities of our Universe and secrets which surround us in our everyday lives. The show has a standard version which includes ads and Paracast+, a paid version with ads removed. The core content of both remains the same.
Host Gene Steinberg is a journalist, writer, and researcher with a strong interest in UFOs and has written a number of commentaries on the subject. He has also written over thirty books on computers and the Internet, plus hundreds of articles for publications such as MacAddict, MacHome, MacUser, and Macworld. His computer news and support Web site, The Tech Night Owl, has its own radio show as well.
Co-host Christopher O’Brien is a researcher with a passion for UFOs and has investigated hundreds of events reported in the San Luis Valley. His ten-plus years of investigation have resulted in the three books, The Mysterious Valley, Enter the Valley, and Secrets of the Mysterious Valley.
Steinberg has been regularly criticised for using the Paracast and his other platforms for repeatedly soliciting personal donations from his listeners under the context of financial woes, distress, or medical crises. Chris O’Brien discussed his opinions on the matter on the End of Days podcast with Michael Decon in 2017.
Hosted by Howard Hughes / Started in 2006
Howard Hughes is a British broadcaster and journalist with a long history in broadcasting. He has received one of the UK’s most notable radio accolades, the IRN Special Award for Contribution to Commercial Radio. Hughes started the The Unexplained in 2006, and has had conversations with some of the most renowned mediums, paranormal investigators, and independent researchers in the world. Hughes continues to work for the BBC as a newscaster and presenter.
Hosted by Alex Tsakiris / Started in 2007
Skeptics focuses on the science of human consciousness, including near-death experiences, parapsychology, spirituality, and close encounters. The show features interviews with leading consciousness researchers, scholars and thinkers. Host Alex Tsakiris is an entrepreneur turned podcaster and author of Why Science is Wrong…About Almost Everything (2014). Alex has appeared on many syndicated radio talk shows and podcasts both in the US and the UK and is well-know within the parapsychology and near-death experience research communities.
The Phenomenon (2020)
James Fox’s explosive documentary is hailed as the most credible and revealing film ever made about the long-standing global cover-up and mystery involving unidentified aerial phenomenon. Featuring testimony from high-ranking government and military officials, NASA Astronauts, and riveting footage, the film includes reveals about UAP incursions at nuclear weapon facilities and the monumental events behind the NY Times’ recent disclosure of UFO videos and The Pentagon’s classified UFO Program.
Former Senior CIA Officer Jim Semivan, calls it “The most important documentary of the year and the most accurate examination of the world’s greatest mystery.” Dr. Jacques Vallee says “70 years of secrecy has led to this. The most credible documentary ever made about UFOs.” Lue Elizondo, Former Director of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), says “The Phenomenon sets a new benchmark for disclosure and is the most accurate and informative documentary ever made about UAPs.”
UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed (2016)
UFOs and Nukes: The Secret Link Revealed rigorously examines the officially-still-hidden history of UFO activity at nuclear weapons laboratories, test areas, storage depots, and missile sites using authenticated files and the testimony of vetted military eyewitnesses. Based on Robert Hasting’s research, the film focuses on the long history of UFO interaction with USAF and Russian missile bases as told through interviews with former officers and declassified documents.
Secret Access: UFOs on the Record (2011)
Secret Access: UFOs on the Record is a History Channel Special based on Leslie Kean’s book UFO’s: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record (2010). It features Air Force and commercial pilots, investigators, military Generals, and NASA officials sharing personal testimonies regarding UFOs and investigations. The film introduces witnesses not included in the book, as well as audio tapes from air traffic and ground control involved in specific sightings.
I Know What I Saw (2009)
I Know What I Saw is a sequel to director James Fox’s documentary Out of the Blue (2003) and compiles new interviews with UFO witnesses around the world and investigations conducted by analysts and government officials. The film examines reasons behind government secrecy and reluctance for disclosure.
Out of the Blue (2003)
Considered one of the best UFO documentary films, Out of the Blue aims to show some UFOs may be of extraterrestrial origin and secrecy and ridicule are regularly employed to keep the truth about them hidden. It features interviews with many high-ranking and notable figures such as governor Fife Symington, astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Russian general Leonid Aleviev, President Jimmy Carter, Cosmonaut Major General Pavel Popovich, UK Admiral Lord Hill Norton, Physics Professor Dr. Brian Greene, President Gerald Ford, Astronaut Colonel Gordon Cooper, and White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.
UFOs: It Has Begun (1974)
Originally titled UFOs: Past, Present, and Future, the film examines several prominent UFO sightings from the post-war to contemporary era and is based on the book UFOs: Past, Present, and Future by Robert Emenegger. The film was re-released under the title UFOs: It has Begun in 1976 for television and 1979 with an additional 30 minutes of content. It is narrated by Rod Serling, Dr. Jacques Vallée, Burgess Meredith, and José Ferrer. The film uses dramatizations, interviews with government officials and scientists, and examines sightings such as the Lubbock lights (1967), Washington D.C. sightings (1952), and Ann Arbor sightings (1966).
Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers (1956)
Mixing fictional characters with real life witnesses and military personnel, Unidentified Flying Objects: The True Story of Flying Saucers is part fictional re-enactment and documentary. Starting in 1947, it follows a fictionalized government UFO investigator and press liaison, Al Chop, going from base to base, speaking to experts on radar and aviation, and reporting his findings to government officials.
The film includes recreations of the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting, the Mantell UFO incident, Gorman Dogfight, and Washington D.C. incident. It traces the development of UFOs as both a popular fad and a serious concern for the US Air Force, starting with Project Sign and Grudge before moving on to Project Bluebook. It may cover familiar territory for the ufologist of today, but coming just nine years after the first official sighting (Kenneth Arnold’s) of the modern age of ufology, gives a sense of the history and movement before the momentum of the phenomenon had even reached the decade mark. Before Hollywood and popular culture at large expanded the surrounding lore to include abductions, greys, and missing time, the story of UFOs was as simple as seeing an unidentified light and struggling with the unknown.