Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The 37th Parallel

The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich
Atria Books: 9/6/16
eBook review copy; 272 pages
ISBN-13: 9781501135521

The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America's UFO Highway by Ben Mezrich is recommended for UFO believers and fans of The X-Files.

Chuck Zukowski has been interested in UFOs for years and has investigated reports and areas of activity in his own time for years. Mezrich follows Zukowski's beginnings as an UFO hobbyist whose interest turns him into an investigator. He began with an abiding interest in UFOs. He had telescopes to scan the night skies and visited tourist spots like Area 51, Taos, N.M  (the hum) and Roswell. Then he began to look into animal mutilations. He and his family moved from California to Colorado so Zukowski could be closer to where activities are being reported. While a sheriff's deputy in Colorado, he assembled a kit to assist in investigating any reported animal mutilations that defied normal explanations (predators, hunters).

According to Zukowski there are 10,000  unexplained animal mutilations every year. The book looks into several of these cases that Zukowski personally investigated. Mezrich also covers Zukowski's investigations conducted with his sister, who is a member of MUFON. There is one incident that seems like a direct X-Files episode, with men in black and everything. Mezrich follows the evolution of Zukowski's interest in UFOs over the years to his realization that the thing that ties most cases together is that they have occurred in the 37th parallel. 

Mezrich presents Zukowski's search in a serious, factual manner and includes photographs, a bibliography and an index. The whole book leads up to the revelation about the 37th parallel and then... that's it, which is more than a little disappointing considering it is in the title of the book. I'm not sure if Mezrich coverage of Zukowski's investigations turn up any definite answers, but this is a quick read and interesting enough to hold your attention.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.

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