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  Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey Into the Unknown (Gordon Cooper)

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Author Topic:   Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey Into the Unknown (Gordon Cooper)
p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-03-2013 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading "Leap of Faith: An Astronaut's Journey Into the Unknown" by Gordon Cooper.

Man, what a horrible book! The first half is decent, but it descends into utter madness, talking about UFOs, remote viewing, ESP and all manners of lunacy.

I wish someone had warned me about this book.

canyon42
Member

Posts: 170
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 04-03-2013 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is not regarded as the zenith of astronaut autobiographies, that much is certain.

randy
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Posts: 1287
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 04-03-2013 11:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with P51. The first half of the book is decent, then when it started in about UFOs and such, I stopped reading it.

jvertrees
Member

Posts: 94
From: Crestwood, MO
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 04-04-2013 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you didn’t like “Leap of Faith” you may want to avoid Ed Mitchell’s “The Way of the Explorer” as well. He doesn’t go into paranormal to much or UFO’s and aliens as I recall. It’s been years since I’ve read it but he does spend a tremendous amount of time discussing his study into consciousness and ESP which is almost as far out there.

There are some interesting parts in the book and some nice pick ups regarding his Apollo 14 mission but overall I found much of the book tough treading. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Ed Mitchell a few times and personally find him very personable and interesting. I like his a lot. I just wish much more of that got into his book.

Purely personal and not a professional review of his book at all.

Fra Mauro
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Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 04-04-2013 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A very disappointing book from such an intelligent man. There are several glaring mistakes — one of which said the Apollo 1 fire happened just a few weeks before it was scheduled to be sent back to Calif., to get a quick-opening hatch installed.

Sadly, the best memory of the book was getting it signed by Cooper.

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 639
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 04-04-2013 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tend to agree about the book, but I remember seeing an interview on the Merv Griffin show where Cooper mentioned UFOs. He said that when he was flying Air Force routine missions they encountered several UFOs and followed them for quite some time. He never had an explanation as to what they were. I guess an experience like that can make you question a lot of things.

bwhite1976
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Posts: 145
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-04-2013 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I always saw the UFO material in the book as partly an attempt to make a sensational story that would sell more books, and partly Gordon Cooper telling his story his own way and to heck with what people thought about him.

micropooz
Member

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 04-04-2013 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember when the book first came out and Cooper came to a local bookstore on his book tour. After listening to his talk about the book, I decided that it wasn't worth fighting the assembled crowd to get a copy and get it signed.

I bought a used (and unsigned) copy some time later, and reading it just validated my earlier decision...

p51
Member

Posts: 771
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-04-2013 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by micropooz:
After listening to his talk about the book, I decided that it wasn't worth fighting the assembled crowd to get a copy and get it signed.
Yeah, I can imagine that!

I wish I could find a really good space book to counter this effect, the problem is I've read just about all of them now. Maybe I'll pull down my copy of "Riding Rockets" and read it again to get this awful crazy taste out of my head...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-04-2013 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ultimately, it's Gordon Cooper's name on the cover, so he holds responsibility, but Cooper told me at the time of the book's release that he had handed over boxes of his files and documents to his co-writer, Bruce Henderson, who then chose what to include in "Leap of Faith."

Cooper also said that he didn't expect readers to believe all the stories, and that he hoped he had conveyed a sense of his own skepticism as well. I'm not sure he was successful on that latter point, but the book does not do justice to the man, who in-person was much more cautious about his assertions.

Still, there is no escaping that Cooper held beliefs that fall outside those that can be supported scientifically.

Chariot412
Member

Posts: 90
From: Lockport, NY, 14094
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-04-2013 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
P51, listen to Walt Cunningham read All American Boys. That will help.

Henry Heatherbank
Member

Posts: 146
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 04-05-2013 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with p51 about Leap of Faith and jvertrees about The Way of the Explorer.

As people will know from my other posts, I am avid reader of the astro-biographies (and I have re-read many of them a number of times), and although I read Leap of Faith when first published, I really wish I hadn't bothered. Although I have begun The Way of the Explorer a few times, it has defeated me every time. That one is really tough going. The last time I attempted to read it, it sat on my bedside table for over a year, as other books came and went around it.

All times are CT (US)

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