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Re: Hynek and 'Swamp Gas'

From: " Jerry Cohen" <rjcohen@li.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 08:54:50 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 10:20:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Hynek and 'Swamp Gas'


The following is an exchange between James Diss and myself. I thought
it important and felt it would be informative for some on the list.
That's why I'm posting it. It deals with some UFO history, people's
views on J. Allen Hynek's role in that history and research one can perform
to form their own conclusions regarding Hynek.    J.C.

                                    +++

>>Date: 09 Aug 97 09:05 EDT
>>To: James A Diss <76710.234@CompuServe.COM>
>>From: " Jerry Cohen" <rjcohen@li.net>
>>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: .....Reducing Government Secrecy 1997

>Date: 09 Aug 97 15:13:02 EDT
>From: James A Diss <76710.234@CompuServe.COM>
>To: "\" Jerry Cohen\"" <rjcohen@li.net>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: .....Reducing Government Secrecy 1997

James .. I wrote and you answered concerning Hynek & "Swamp Gas"

>> It sounded as though you believed Hynek
>>was responsible for the PR explanations given by the Air Force.

>That's interesting, as Hector Quintilla suggests that the Swamp
>Gas explanation was something that Hynek researched off his own
>back, and they didn't think that it would be in the best interests
>of the Air Force to give him headroom to do his own press conference.
>This is mentioned in 'Fifty years of UFOlogy', Stacy and Evans,
>Fortean Times press.

JC:   I think somewhere in Hynek's "The UFO Experience," (Henry
Regnery Co., 1972) he mentions that the press was really hot for an
answer to the Michigan sightings and others that had occurred
worldwide prior to that, and that they were fed up with several
dubious explanations put forth by the Air Force, which had preceded
that particular case. One of them had to do with the Oklahoma
sightings around "late July/early August 1965" that the Air Force
tried to explain away as "twinkles from the planet Jupiter or stars
Rigel, Capella, Betelgeuse or Aldeberan. Robert Riser, director of the
Oklahoma City Kirkpatrick Planetarium said "Somebody made a mistake"
... "many of those objects mentioned by the Air Force are not visible
until just before dawn in Oklahoma and others aren't visible at all."
(Newsday, respected L.I. newspaper, Aug. 4, 1965  Also, N.B. other
newspapers probably carried it within the same general time period.)

The "swamp gas" explanation originally emanated from the "Frank Mannor
case" (written up in Life Magazine Vol 60 #13, 4/1/66  "A
Well-witnessed 'Invasion' by Something" ) Mannor and his son had
tracked and seen a UFO in the swamp near their home in Dexter
Township, Michigan. "It wasn't no 'hullabillusion,' said the farmer,
and 52 agreed." Hynek went to investigate. The press accosted him as
he came off the plane. When pressed by them for an answer, before he
had even had a chance to look at the evidence at hand, he speculated
that it might possibly be "swamp gas." The press jumped all over this.
( jc 2/5/2009: Immediate above is not completely accurate. Please
see Hynek's own words regarding this from Sat. Eve. Post Article 12/17/66)
The accumulation of the preceding and other sightings in Michigan and elsewhere eventually led to Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill (Washington Post 3/28/66 "UFO's Revenge") which led to the eventual formation of the University of Colorado infamous "study," which was funded by none other than, you guessed it, the Air Force. 1 Hynek, in a letter he wrote to his boss Colonel Sleeper, denied he had anything to do with the scientific explanation given regarding the Oklahoma case. He mentions a few other interesting things regarding Project Blue Book as well. All of this and more can be found at Dr. Hynek's page in Glenn Campbell's UFOMind data base. The address is.. http://www.ufomind.com/ufo/people/h/hynek/ Located there, amongst other things, is the letter I wrote to Ed Komarek. Its heading at the database; "Was Dr. Hynek an Intelligence Mole?". In it I stated all the reasons I believe Hynek was not a "mole," but rather a dedicated scientist trying to find the answer to an extremely perplexing phenomenon; merely working in the political climate of his time trying to remain respected while pursuing a topic that, at the time, engendered laughter from many of his colleagues. Jerry E-mail: " Jerry Cohen" <rjcohen@li.net> FOOTNOTE: 1 "Scientific Study of UFOs, New York: Bantam Books 1969: Also New York Times . 8/14/66 . Sullivan, Walter . "Air Force Selecting University to Study 'Flying Saucer' Data": Look Magazine . 3/21/67 . pp 76-80 . Rogers, Warren "Flying Saucers .. Why the Pentagon was forced to call for scientific help" P.S. With your permission, I'd like to post this to the list. Let me know if this is O.K. Thanks. - J.C. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The following was James reply: Date: 11 Aug 97 16:58:55 EDT From: James A Diss <76710.234@CompuServe.COM> To: "\" Jerry Cohen\"" <rjcohen@li.net> Subject: Re: Hynek and "Swamp Gas" Jerry, > In it I stated all the reasons I believe Hynek was not a "mole," >but rather a dedicated scientist trying to find the answer to an >extremely perplexing phenomenon; merely working in the political >climate of his time trying to remain respected while pursuing a >topic that engendered laughter from many of his colleagues. << Nice to meet some rationality in all this craziness. I agree wholeheartedly, and in my first message was trying to draw the dichotomy between 'good' government sources and those that are lying. Critical reasoning appears to be alien to some, but I'm pleased to note that _some_ out there do their homework. ....snip.... James A Diss
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