Richard M. Dolan
Richard Dolan is a historian whose study of the Cold War led him into the broader context of secrecy and national security, and finally into the study of UFOs. His book, UFOs and the National Security State, is the first volume of a two-part historical narrative detailing the national security dimensions of the UFO phenomenon from the 1940s to the present. Working from hundreds of declassified records and other primary and secondary sources, Dolan centers his investigation on the American military and intelligence communities, demonstrating that they take UFOs very seriously indeed.
Included in volume one are the records of more than 50 military bases
relating to the innumerable violations of sensitive airspace by unknown craft, and analyses of the Roswell controversy, the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel, and the Condon Committee Reports.
Richard Dolan studied at Alfred University and Oxford University, and was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. He completed his graduate work in history at the University of Rochester where he focused on U.S. Cold War strategy, Soviet history and culture, and international diplomacy. He lives in Rochester, New York, where he is at work on volume two of his study.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1962, the son of a police officer and nurse. I grew up on Long Island, where I read books and played baseball. As an undergraduate student at Alfred University, I studied History, English, and Philosophy, and discovered a deep passion for the discipline of history. I was fortunate to earn a scholarship to study at Oxford University, then closely missed receiving a Rhodes Scholarship. In retrospect, I clearly see that I lacked the maturity for such a distinction, but even then showed the good instincts of alienating the selection committee.
I did my graduate work at the University of Rochester, where I focused on German and Soviet studies before moving on to American Cold War diplomacy. I left academia when I realized I was tired of the life and unexcited about begging for adjunct instructorships. So I earned my living as a self-employed business writer.
Around 1994, the UFO problem began to interest me. I had always possessed an average level of interest in the subject. I owned exactly one book on it, and caught an occasional documentary on television. In other words, I knew nothing of value whatsoever about the problem of UFOs, very much like most people.
I don't know precisely why I became interested in this field. I am not, for example, a great fan of science fiction, as many UFO "fans" seem to be. I am not so much hostile as merely indifferent to the likes of Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. Fundamentally, I am a history and politics sort, and it was from this angle of approach that I reached the UFO problem. The thing that intrigued me was the cultural schizophrenia involved in the entire matter. The fact that mainstream and academic culture (what I refer to as "official culture") continues to treat UFOs as amusement, but that so many intelligent people privately take it seriously. I also knew that many people claimed the UFO problem was treated with great secrecy by the military. Where was the truth?, I wanted to know.
Throughout 1995, 1996, and 1997, I spent most of my spare time conducting a fairly systematic bibliographic search, hunting down the many out-of-print books and UFO documents released over the years through the Freedom of Information Act. Once I began to delve, I found the amount of information nearly overwhelming. I was methodical, however, and eventually prepared a detailed chronology of relevant events, and realized it was more than enough for a useful text on the subject. So I set out to write it.
And now I am finished. I had no intention of writing a 500 page book, but am pleased with how it has come out. While undertaking my project, it became clear to me just how necessary this book is. Crazy as it may seem, you can't find anything like it at Border's or Barnes & Noble. There are many fine works on the subject of UFOs, and none of them provide the crucial foundation everyone needs: a clear, comprehensive, but concise historical narrative of the problem. This is exactly what I have tried to do. In addition, I have worked hard to make this book a good read. I expended much time and effort into gaining my reader's interest, and am pleased to announce that my early readers all seem to agree that my book is a page-turner. This is important to me: I want this book to be as easy to use as possible.
I have been encouraged by the extremely positive response from my readers, starting from well before the book's publication. I fully expected this book to generate good feedback. What I did not expect was the intensity of this response. The information in the book, combined with its manner of presentation, seems to have struck a resonant chord with many readers in a way that has exceeded my best expectations.
In the near future, I will be working on this study's second volume, which will take the story through the remainder of the 20th century. At this point, I am unsure how best to tackle the project, but I have little doubt that it will be ready within a couple of years. Meanwhile, I will continue to work on a variety of smaller projects, which in all likelihood will end up on this website. They will reflect the ongoing evolution of my interests, not all of which are related to UFOs.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter of UFOs, conspiracy theories, the fate of the earth, or anything else you feel to be of relevance. Humanity may, in the end, be powerless to prevent itself from self-annihilation in its quest to trash the planet. But we only have a chance to prevent this when informed and intelligent citizens make it their business to organize for a better future. Personally, I am doubtful this can be sufficiently achieved, but must we not fight the good fight despite the likelihood of failure?