J. Allen Hynek : biography

01 May 1910 - 27 April 1986

By his own admission, the soft-spoken Hynek was cautious and conservative by nature. He speculated that his personality was a factor in the Air Force keeping him on as a consultant for over two decades.

Some other ufologists thought that Hynek was being disingenuous or even duplicitous in his turnaround. Physicist Dr. James E. McDonald, for example, wrote to Hynek in 1970, castigating him for what McDonald saw as his lapses, and suggesting that, when evaluated by later generations, retired Marine Corps Major Donald E. Keyhoe would be regarded as a more objective, honest, and scientific ufologist.

It was during the late stages of Blue Book in the 1960s that Hynek began speaking openly about his disagreements and disappointments with the Air Force. Among the cases where he openly dissented with the Air Force were the highly publicized Portage County UFO chase (where several police officers chased a UFO for half an hour), and the encounter of Lonnie Zamora. A police officer, Zamora reported an encounter with a metallic, egg-shaped aircraft near Socorro, New Mexico.

In late March 1966, in Michigan, two days of mass UFO sightings were reported, and received significant publicity. After studying the reports, Hynek offered a provisional hypothesis for some of the sightings: a few of about 100 witnesses had mistaken swamp gas for something more spectacular. At the press conference where he made his announcement, Hynek repeatedly and strenuously made the qualification that swamp gas was a plausible explanation for only a portion of the Michigan UFO reports, and certainly not for UFO reports in general. But much to his chagrin, Hynek's qualifications were largely overlooked, and the words "swamp gas" were repeated ad infinitum in relation to UFO reports. The explanation was subject to national derision.

Speech before the United Nations

In November 1978, a statement on UFOs was presented by Dr. Allen Hynek, in the name of himself, of Dr. Jacques Vallée, and of Dr. Claude Poher. This speech was prepared and approved by the three authors, before the United Nations General Assembly. The objective was to initiate a centralized United Nations UFO authority.

Steven Spielberg movie

Hynek developed in his first book the close encounter scale to better catalogue various UFO reports. Dr. Hynek was also the consultant to Columbia Pictures and Steven Spielberg on the popular 1977 UFO movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and made a brief, non-speaking appearance in the film (after the aliens disembark from the 'mother ship' at the end of the film, he can be seen, bearded and with pipe in mouth, stepping forward to view the spectacle).

UFO origin hypotheses

In 1973, at the MUFON annual symposium, held in Akron, Ohio, Hynek began to express his doubts regarding the extraterrestrial (formerly "interplanetary" or "intergalactic") hypothesis. His main point led him to the title of his speech: "The Embarrassment of the Riches." He was aware that the quantity of UFO sightings was much higher than the Project Blue Book statistics. Just this puzzled him. "A few good sightings a year, over the world, would bolster the extraterrestrial hypothesis—but many thousands every year? From remote regions of space? And to what purpose? To scare us by stopping cars, and disturbing animals, and puzzling us with their seemingly pointless antics?"Stringfield, 1977, pp. 40–42

In 1975, in a paper presented to the Joint Symposium of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics in Los Angeles, he wrote, "If you object, I ask you to explain – quantitatively, not qualitatively – the reported phenomena of materialization and dematerialization, of shape changes, of the noiseless hovering in the Earth's gravitational field, accelerations that – for an appreciable mass – require energy sources far beyond present capabilities – even theoretical capabilities, the well-known and often reported E-M (sc. electro-magnetic interference) effect, the psychic effects on percipients, including purported telepathic communications."Stringfield, 1977, p. 44

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine