Amazon’s Fake Book Problem With Upcoming UFO Tome ‘Imminent’

The former senior leader of a Pentagon unit that studied UFOs is releasing a highly anticipated book this August — and some have already mistakenly ordered from deceptive Amazon listings and received superficially convincing fakes of the book.

Luis Elizondo led the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a U.S. governmental unit that looked into UFOs before he resigned in 2017.

In late May, Elizondo announced a book called Imminent: Inside the Pentagon’s Hunt for UFOs, stating that the book “underwent a 9-month U.S. Government security review.” Imminent is slated for release on August 20 and has already jumped to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list in the military aviation history, UFOs, and unexplained mysteries categories — but some who pre-ordered the book on Amazon have already received fakes.

One Amazon shopper who pre-ordered Imminent received a book last week with a cover as expected. When they opened it up, though, it was full of blank pages.

I asked my wife to add/pre-order @LueElizondo book to our Amazon list. I was shocked when she said it arrived two days later lol.

Needless to say we were scammed.

Read the Amazon description everyone!!#ufotwitter #ufoX

— Joe (@shock_then_awe) May 27, 2024

A post from another X user shows that a fake copy of the book existed on Amazon under a different author name (Didier Alarie) but with the same book cover. The fake was listed at a cheaper price.

Just fyi, there’s a non-@LueElizondo version of Imminent on Amazon – please be aware ?? and…maybe check the release date/author before buying anything ?

Assuming that this is NOT associated with you, Mr. Elizondo and would like to confirm when you get a moment – thanks!! ?

— Kaleen (@lucyskye318) May 27, 2024

Though Elizondo clarified that he was the only author behind the book, the problem of scam book postings on Amazon extends beyond Imminent.

“Scam books on Amazon have been a problem for years,” Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, told NPR in March.

Every new book seems to spawn others that try “to steal sales,” according to Rasenberger.

Related: How a Self-Published Author Sold 500,000 Copies of Her Book

With ChatGPT, the problem multiplies. AI-generated summaries masquerading as ebooks are currently oversaturating Amazon, per a January Wired report, especially ahead of major book releases.

The issue persists even though Amazon currently allows sellers to upload a maximum of three books per day.

Copyrighted books are also allegedly being used to train AI.

Author and comedian Sarah Silverman filed a lawsuit against ChatGPT-maker OpenAI last year, along with authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, alleging that ChatGPT was trained on their copyrighted books.

Related: Authors Are Suing OpenAI Because ChatGPT Is Too ‘Accurate’ — Here’s What That Means

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