Richard Dolan (born 1962) is a respected researcher into the history of ufology and the role the government has played in the topic.
Dolan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up on Long Island. Always interested in history, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford University, closely missing out on receiving a Rhodes Scholarship. He did his graduate work at the University of Rochester, focusing on German and Soviet studies before moving on to American Cold War diplomacy.
Dolan says that his interest in ufology was piqued around 1994, although he always had an "average level of interest in the subject.":
"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."
For three years, from 1995 to 1997, Dolan devoted much of his spare time to researching the history and theories of ufology. The result was his acclaimed book UFOs and the National Security State which provides a clear but concise historical narrative of the UFO mystery. Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell called the book "a thorough and monumental undertaking," while Whitley Strieber described it as "the best history ever written about UFOs."
- UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973 (Amazon US and UK)
- UFOs and the National Security State: Volume 2 (in progress)