2 out of 4 stars
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Dino's World by Shawn Taverner is one man's account of his real-life experiences with UFOs and extraterrestrial beings. Shawn grew up with a keen interest in both aliens and the flying machines of Nikola Tesla. He spent much of his life star-gazing, and now, "when everyone lives life with their eyes trained on their phones, my eyes are always on the skies." He started making videos and taking photographs of whatever caught his eye in the sky. One day, he managed to capture his first ever video of a UFO. From there, things only got weirder...
This book captured my imagination. My favourite TV series in my younger days was The X-Files, and I don't believe humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. Regardless of whether Taverner's tale is true or not, I found myself wanting to believe it. Taverner claims his UFO photographs, taken at night, are as bright as daytime photos. He believes this is due to the electromagnetic field generated by a UFO which makes it "shine". Scientifically, this makes sense, with the photoelectric effect well-documented online.
Taverner's writing style is straightforward, almost conversational, but unfortunately not well-edited. One example of repetitive English is: "The UFO was hovering in one place and rapidly changing colors. And then from hovering and spinning in one place, it suddenly began to fly around..." The second sentence could simply start: "Then it suddenly began to fly around..." Another sentence: "I was shocked beyond words when I played the video again and found - just as I expected - UFO" is contradictory, with "shocked beyond words" contrary to "just as I expected". Taverner also describes "invisible ships" as being "in the direct line of my vision", which makes no sense.
Though I wanted to believe, I became skeptical of the narrative in several places. Taverner talks about holograms in the night sky which went "unnoticed by everyone else but me", which seems a bit too convenient. He also claims to have photographed an "amusement park on a star", which I initially thought was just one of these holograms, until I read this: "About a week later of that amusement park star sighting, the first ever hologram appeared in the night sky..." No camera on Earth could photograph even the nearest star in such detail to make out this "amusement park", even if it could exist on a continuously combusting ball of fiery gas - which it couldn't.
Every picture in the book claiming to be a UFO or alien is so fuzzed and blurred that it is literally impossible to see anything that conforms to his claims. For example: "Alien with triangle eyes and a smile looking out of the main window on the first ship" is a blurred shot in shades of blue with the lighter outline of something resembling the window on a passenger plane. I couldn't make out anything at all within this outline, let alone a smiling alien with triangle eyes. At one point, he refers to his photography of alien faces as "so distinct that I could even see the whites of their eyes". But I see no evidence of this clarity in the published photographs.
Later in the book, he reveals that he took all the pictures on his cell phone because he didn't have the money for high-definition photographic equipment. That's fine, except if you're publishing a book to convince skeptics that aliens are real. The only two photographs in the book which are crystal clear are: "Evening sky while I was waiting for them to show up" and: "The Side of My Neighbor's House". There is nothing extraordinary or extraterrestrial in either of these photos.
As I said earlier, I wanted to believe the story in this book. However, based on the "evidence" presented, I cannot draw any worthwhile conclusion as to its veracity. I'm not saying Taverner's experiences aren't real, just that his book has not convinced me they are. I am going to deduct one star for the editing and one for the book's failure to provide decent evidence, giving Dino's World 2 out of 4 stars. Those with a keen interest in space and alien life will probably still like this book, but be aware that it needs editing and some more convincing photographs if Taverner wants it to be taken seriously as non-fiction.
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