cover image The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway

The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway

Ben Mezrich. Atria, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5011-3552-1

Mezrich (Once Upon a Time in Russia) pieces together a fascinating, if ultimately disappointing, account of a UFO investigator’s quest to find evidence meretricious enough to convince his skeptical wife and the world at large that UFO’s exist. Chuck Zukowski takes up UFO investigations as a hobby, but it slowly turns into something more. He travels widely, often with his family, to museums, UFO “hot spots,” and locations of sightings and strange phenomena. As he develops tools and connections to investigate further, he finds himself risking his job and safety to find the truth. Each firsthand account fills in a little more of the unfolding puzzle, and Zukowski’s personality and close observations bring the investigations to life. Mezrich approaches the material seriously, preserving the human element but taking care to present the facts. Zukowski’s realization that many sightings and events line up along the 37th parallel is the culmination of years of investigations, and after thrilling stories of lights in the sky, screams in the night, and mysterious dark helicopters, readers will be more than ready for the exciting revelation. However, perhaps in a misguided attempt to preserve a sense of mystery, Mezrich artfully censors Zukowski’s final discovery. What is the promised secret of the 37th parallel? If Zukowski said, Mezrich isn’t telling. (Sept.)