Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott – Book Review

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott - Book Review

By Dominic Picksley

Roswell and Rendlesham Forest remain two of the most famous UFO cases of all time, incidents from 1947 and 1980 that are revered by followers of the phenomena.

They are rightly talked about in great depth, although both remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue, with various theories and accounts about what happened supported and frowned upon in equal measure.

And then there’s the Pascagoula alien abduction case from 1973, which for some reason flounders in the wake of the ‘two Rs’, but which surely should be placed upon the same pedestal that it’s more illustrious cousins occupy.

It’s the story of two workmates from Mississippi, Charlie Hickson and Calvin Parker, who not only witnessed a huge space craft while fishing by the Pascagoula River, but were also taken aboard and examined by ‘strange beings who had grey wrinkly skin, like an elephant’s’ while being observed by a ‘giant eye’.

While Hickson wasn’t shy about recounting details of what allegedly occurred until his death in 2011, the younger Parker kept the matter to himself for many years, before eventually being persuaded to tell his version of what happened, aided by one of the UK’s leading UFO researchers Philip Mantle.

Parker, who sadly recently passed away in late August, wrote a couple of books on the subject, giving graphic accounts of that night on October 11, 1973, which was to change his and Hickson’s lives forever.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott - Book Review

“Incredibly in-depth”

And as we near the 50th anniversary of what should now be formally recognised as one of the most famous UFO events ever, Mantle has teamed up with American Dr Irena McCammon Scott to produce an incredibly in-depth tome on the subject.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt is rammed with reports, interviews, testimonies, pictures, drawings, newspaper cuttings, police reports, transcripts, letters, exclusive artwork, you name it… over 400 pages of anything and everything associated with the Pascagoula incident.

The research undertaken by Mantle and Scott while producing this book is astounding and the amount of people they have tracked down is the stuff of legend, and as Mantle himself proudly boasts, this is one of the best books ever written on a UFO case, without a doubt.

Although Hickson and Parker are the chief protagonists in the story, their accounts make for brief (ish) reading in the book as they have been told before, but what makes this publication stand out and give further credence to the two men’s abduction reports, are the amount of witnesses who also either saw the strange-looking craft, witnessed unusual lights or heard things. And not only that, two more people who were in the area that evening have also come forward and revealed they were also abducted.

Could it be that Jerry and Maria Blair were also ‘taken’ that night and by the same beings, who were described as ‘floating across the ground’? It would seem so. An extraordinary double abduction.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott - Book Review

“Warts and all”

People from all walks of life – including police officers – caught sight of the craft, not only on that night but a few other nights in mid-October, as well as in other nearby states, and their recollections are detailed… sometimes you feel there’s too much detail as every little morsel seems to have been included – and indeed some of it could have been left on the ‘cutting-room’ floor, but the warts and all have been left in Beyond Reasonable Doubt, to just highlight what a bunch of normal people experienced on an abnormal night.

These were not UFO hunters, people obsessed with chasing aliens, these were ordinary, hard-working folk going about their daily lives who saw something they, and others, cannot explain.

Mantle has explained in various interviews just how much leg work and research was involved in getting the plethora of observations and recollections from so many people and this book is definitely a must for anyone interested in the subject, or even those with a passing interest.

He and Scott have dug very deep to fill the publication with as much information as possible, raiding various archives to flesh out the narrative… to such an extent that this incident/s cannot just be passed off as some random occurrence.

They even struck lucky in some instances, such as the pictures of puncture marks received by the Hickson and Parker while they were being examined on board the craft. The images, taken two days after the incident and conveniently put away never to be seen again, were accidentally found by a colleague and they have been published in the book for the first-ever time.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott - Book Review

“Incredible opus”

The introduction of this incredible opus to the UFO book catalogue is a momentous occasion and no-one should be in any doubt after thumbing through all 400-odd pages, that something truly extraordinary happened on the night of October 11, 1973.

In the press release for the new book, Mantle says: “We believe that the evidence provided in this book, if it was taken to court, could prove BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT that something truly extraordinary took place that October night in 1973 in the Pascagoula area. 2023 will be the 50th anniversary of this encounter and we have provided all of the evidence we have. All we ask is for you to take an objective look at this evidence and see if you agree with us or not.”

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Philip Mantle and Irena McCammon Scott is available from


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