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Mimi, you don't know me, but this is for both of you.
I felt I owed him this.
Mr. Oberg has stated that Dr. Hynek wasn't careful in the data
he selected to be used in several of his books. To the best of my
awareness and research, no one that worked with Hynek on an
ongoing basis ever accused him of anything of this sort. If
anything, he was considered an extremely competent, cautious
scientist. To discover Dr. Hynek's competence and importance to
the field of UFOlogy, one must take a brief look at his life. I
had noticed several discussions on "alt.paranet.ufo" in which Dr.
Hynek had been referred to as a "failed scientist." I responded
with the information in the essay below.
As will be obvious to the reader, I had an emotional involvement
with this particular essay when I wrote it. I apologize for this.
It was due to two of my own UFO "experience(s)" back in 1967
which left me trying to reconcile what my eyes saw but the main
scientific establishment and the Air Force were saying was
impossible. This is the reason for the in-depth research I have
performed all these years. Dr. Hynek's stand concerning the
subject was the only thing that allowed me to have some modicum
of peace throughout that search and not give up and begin to doubt
what my own eyes told me back then I would eventually find if I
looked long and hard enough.
The reason I am not going straight to the cases I originally
mentioned to present my argument concerning Gordon Cooper
is because even with the evidence staring one straight in the face,
almost any human being will still attempt to mentally discard it,
for to accept it is the opening of a very scary Pandora's box
indeed; a box that, once opened, can never be closed. However,
Dr. Hynek's revelations concerning the Air Force are extremely
important and allow one to more fully realize the incredible
strength of what I'm going to present. Many people today have
forgotten these revelations or are simply ignorant of their
existence. Therefore, a brief look at Hynek's life and
accomplishments MUST preface the evidence I've compiled.
First, let's see what this man set out to do with his life, whether
or not he accomplished it and also see how a combination of
fate and events caused him to eventually arrive at some
startling conclusions which the world has not yet fully absorbed
Dr. Hynek - from Skeptic to "Qualified Believer":
J. Allen Hynek majored in astronomy and became a Professor
of Astronomy at Ohio State University. 1 No failure there...x
years of college and then got the job at Ohio State.
He must have done it well because he was invited by Fred
Whipple at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)
to join him so that Hynek could be "in charge of the Optical Satellite
Tracking Program (STP)", a new program which was to be part of the
67 nation scientific effort known as the International Geophysical
Year (IGY) to occur in 1957/58. As part of his responsibilities,
SAO was going to design & build 12 special tracking cameras to
be installed at optical tracking stations around the world to
specifically follow the U.S.' first artificial satellites. 2
The observatory also set up Operation Moonwatch, a global network
of volunteer observing teams. Moonwatch was to make the first
visual observations of the new satellites. "From this preliminary
information, STP in Cambridge would prepare orbit predictions for
the Baker-Nunn tracking stations so that the camera-telescopes
could be properly aimed to take precision photographs of the
artificial "moons." The photos were then returned to STP
headquarters at Cambridge, for reduction and analysis. 3
Hmmmn, very interesting. Of course, just about anyone could
have headed this project, but I guess they just had to be satisfied
with Dr. Hynek. P.S. We never heard any complaints from Fred
Whipple or the sponsors of the project. (NASA?)
Let's see....what else did he set out to accomplish? The Air
Force came to him and asked him to be their scientific consultant
on UFOs. He readily accepted this challenge and sought to perform
it to the best of his ability. His involvement with the Air
Force. dates back to 1948 when Project Bluebook was then called
Project Sign. 4 Again, THEY could have picked a lot of other
people, but, they didn't...they picked him. Did the Air Force
want to have everyone believing in UFOs? We all know the
answer to that one. I'm certain they stayed with him for the
life of Bluebook, at least partly, because he was a skeptic and
incidentally, an excellent scientist with an excellent "track
record." He set out to prove that UFOs were basically figments
of people's imagination. 5 Ooops! Guess what? I think we've
finally found something at which he did FAIL. He COULDN'T do it.
He couldn't prove that UFOs were figments of people's imagination.
Dr. Hynek discovered for himself that, no matter how hard he
tried, and for how long, there seemed to be a certain residual
number of UFO cases he could not totally dismiss. 6 Incidentally,
how long WAS he connected with this incoming data to the military?
... from 1949-1969, a total of 20 years! As far as I am aware,
the only civilian scientist to be in this unique position. 7
Hynek made the following comments in his 1972 book "
The UFO Experience." He found the following things to be true
after interviewing hundreds of people and/or reading and
analyzing God knows how many reports: The first...
"the most coherent and articulate UFO reports come
from people who have not given much thought to the
subject and generally who are surprised and shocked
by their experience."
Secondly, and as stated in a previous post,
"some of the very best reports have come from
scientifically trained people..... These reports are
usually rarely published however, because the person
usually requests anonymity." 8
So then, how did Dr. Hynek handle this "failure" of his to
prove UFOs were figments of people's imagination? Did he try
to hide it by pretending that he had explained all the cases?
That certainly would have been easily accepted by the scientific
establishment. They could have all had a big chuckle together.
He would have been a hero to both the scientific establishment
and to the Air Force. He could have even easily taken the same
approach that Drs. Condon & Low took when handling the Colorado
Study. The road was already paved for a nice, safe exit from his
dilemma. The NAS (National Academy of Sciences) acceptance
of the Condon Study could have easily been Hynek's road map to
safety. But his own honesty and conscience prevented this. First
of all, he had a large number of cases he just couldn't explain;
Secondly, I'm sure history buffs will remember the cryptic memo
that Robert Low had written before the University of Colorado took
the project. Do we ALL remember what was in that memo that got
two scientists fired from the project for leaking it publicly?
As Walter Sullivan, New York Times Science Editor wrote in
his preface to the paperback version of "The Condon Report:" 9
"His (Low's) memo, to University officials, sought to analyze
the pros and cons of the Air Force proposal" (J.C. Do we also
remember, the Air Force was paying for the "Study"?)
"Could the University (of Colorado) undertake the project in
a manner that would satisfy public concern, yet not subject the
University to ridicule by the academic community? He argued
that the study would perforce be done almost entirely by non-
believers and, and while the project could never "prove" that
no UFOs have ever come from another world, it could
contribute impressive evidence for such a conclusion."
'The trick,' he wrote, 'would be, I think, to describe the
project so that, to the public, it would appear a totally
objective study but, to the scientific community, would
present the image of a group of non believers trying their
best to be objective, but having an almost zero expectation
of finding a saucer."
Afraid of what the scientific community would think? Hand
picking the committee to skew the results? Skeptics who are
honest with yourselves, after reading this, do you truly think the
Colorado Study was given a fair chance to be objective?
Hardly.... The ONLY major university study of UFOs was a sham.
Hynek knew it. Instead of following the party line, Hynek stood
up and said firmly, Gentlemen, this is wrong! It needs studying
and no one has yet done a serious study on it.--> 10 For
a scientist to do this, it could have been the "kiss of death." He
was trying to "blow the whistle" but it was such a "way out"
subject in people's minds, almost no scientist in political power
The ironic part is that Low botched the job and got caught.
Scientists, LOW hired, found and leaked the memo he wrote. 11
With all its mismanagement, the "Study" still found
approximately 15% unknowns whereas the Air Force
had its unknowns listed as low as 6% in 1966. 12
Scientists like Dr. James McDonald, senior physicist and professor
of meteorology at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University
of Arizona disputed the project's findings stating correctly that its
conclusions did not fit its data. However, although the Study
actually had more unknowns than the Air Force had claimed
in the first place and Condon who was named in the Air Force
contract as principal investigator did not make a single field
investigation of his own (whereas Hynek HAD on many occasions),
the National Academy of Sciences still accepted his conclusion,
most certainly because of his previously fine reputation. Project
Bluebook was closed and the sponsor of the project, the Air Force
was happy because it no longer had to deal publicly with the UFO
problem. It closed Project Bluebook in 1969. 13
Continuing our glimpse at Dr. Hynek's career....
What was Dr. Hynek's goal regarding UFOs at this point? It
was to somehow get the data he had accumulated from Project
Bluebook into the public spotlight in any way he could. He could
have run from the whole thing but he didn't. He was the only
civilian person that had the data and any ability to disseminate
it. He felt that the responsibility was on his shoulders. Since
Condon had said that nothing could be learned from studying
UFOs, the major scientific journals would not take Hynek's data
seriously. People had their mental "out." They didn't have to
think about it any more. But the UFO problem didn't just go
away. Good cases kept coming in and Dr. Hynek finally turned
to publishing his own books, risking scientific, political ostracism
in the process. One of those books was "The UFO Experience,"
from which a small portion of the material for this article was
gleaned. It is must reading for those interested in the
facts concerning the history of this controversial topic, 14
especially his 1968 letter to Colonel Raymond Sleeper in
appendix 4, which exposes the total lack of applied scientific
methodology in Project Bluebook, ignoring of Hynek's scientific
recommendations and Bluebook's low place on the military totem
Not too long after an incident known as the Pascogoula
"Hickson & Parker" case, Sherman Larsen came to him in 1973
and suggested that he form, what turned out to be, a "Center for UFO
Studies" (CUFOS) which would be the first "serious" UFO study group
"led by a scientist" and "dedicated to research and analysis." 16
To quote Dr. David Jacobs, the Center
"quickly became a dominant force in UFO research, drawing upon
the investigative capabilities of the other UFO organizations. With
the editorial direction of Mimi Hynek, CUFOS published monographs
& research materials that could not be published elsewhere because
commercial and academic presses were fearful that the subject would
not sell or was too 'fringy'." 17
So, if skeptics wish to think Dr. Hynek was a "failed"
scientist, so be it. The facts speak otherwise. Nothing that
he did in the UFO field took away from his credibility as a fine
scientist and, he was brave enough to tread where others had
mortal fear. He still accumulated more prestigious
accomplishments than 99% of the critics that disagreed with
what he was saying. After reading the obituaries written in CUFOS
International UFO Reporter (May/June 1986), I realized that the
majority of people he worked with in virtually every facet of his
life respected him as an honest, intelligent, kind person, fine
teacher and conscientious scientist, including his wife Mimi,
who was his partner in life and knew him best. He had followed
his intellect and heart on this matter and in his death, certainly
deserves not to be maligned by ignorant comments.
Thanks to him, people who have had a legitimate UFO experience
can hold their heads up and say:
"THANK YOU DR. HYNEK FOR GIVING US BACK OUR SANITY
AND RESPECT WHEN OTHERS, WHO ARE IGNORANT OF THE
SIMPLEST HISTORY REGARDING THE UFO TOPIC, HAVE MADE
PRONOUNCEMENTS CONCERNING SAME, BUT ABOUT WHICH
'THEY' HAVE EXTREMELY MINUTE KNOWLEDGE.
YOU HAD COURAGE WHERE OTHERS HAD FEAR ..
PLACED SCIENCE FIRST WHEN OTHERS CHOSE POLITICS.
"SOME" OF US HAVE SEEN EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE REPORTED
AND OUR REPORTS WERE ACCURATE AND HONESTLY GIVEN.
AS YOU DISCOVERED, THEY WERE NOT MISINTERPRETATIONS
OF ANY NATURAL KNOWN PHENOMENA, NOR DRAWN FROM
ANY PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM US
AND... THEY (the reports) CERTAINLY DESERVE TO BE STUDIED
IN DEPTH IN A PROPER, SCIENTIFIC MANNER. WE ARE POSITIVE
THAT FURTHER STUDY OF UFOs WILL YIELD DISCOVERIES THAT
MAN HAS ONLY HITHERTO IMAGINED, AND POSSIBLY, SOME HE
THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITH IN US AS INTELLIGENT, OBSERVANT
HUMAN BEINGS. THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THE COURAGE TO
STAND FAST IN WHAT WE HAVE REPORTED. ONE DAY THE WORLD
WILL REALIZE WE SAW EXACTLY WHAT WE CLAIMED AND WE WILL
BE TOTALLY VINDICATED.
1 Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" (hard cover - jacket)
Henry Regnery Company 1972
2 Webb, Walter N . (Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston) .
Center for UFO Studies "International Reporter" 1/93 . "Allen
Hynek as I Knew Him". p4 "Tracking Satellites"
3 Ibid : p4 . ¶4
4 Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" (hard cover) Henry
Regnery Company 1972 . p1 . ¶1 . "The UFO Phenomenon ...
Introduction: An Innocent in UFO Land"
5 Webb, Walter N . (Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston) .
Center for UFO Studies "International Reporter" 1/93 . "Allen
Hynek as I Knew Him". p4 . ¶6
6 Newsweek 10/10/66 . p70 . "UFOs for Real?" : Saturday
Evening Post 12/17/66 . Hynek, J. Allen . "Are Flying Saucers
Real?" pp. 17-21
7 Fox, Jack V. UPI New York . "Flying Saucers" . Look
Magazine . Cowles Communications, Inc. 1967 . p3 (picture &
information top-right corner) : Washington Post . 3/25/66 Fri .
UPI "New Flying Object Seen in Michigan" : Ibid 3/26/66 . Simmons,
Howard . "Flying Objects Identified as College Pranks and Swamp
Gas" : Ibid 4/6/66 Drummond, Roscoe . "UFOs--Real or Myth"
8 Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" (hard cover) Henry
Regnery Company 1972 . pp. 9&10
9 Sullivan, Walter (Preface to) Condon, Dr. Edward U. :
Scientific Study of UFOs, New York: Bantam Books 1969 (A New
York Times Book) also... Hynek, J. Allen: "The UFO Experience",
Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1972 . p 210 bottom and 211 . hard
cover . "Science is not Always what Scientists Do"
10 Newsweek 10/10/66 . p70 . "UFOs for Real?" : Saturday Even
Post 12/17/66 . Hynek, J. Allen . "Are Flying Saucers Real?" pp.
17-21 : (4/29/05) HISTORICAL information which explains why
Hynek reversed his stance, please see "Was Dr. Hynek a Mole for
the CIA?" (he wasn't); please click here.
11 Hynek, J. Allen: "The UFO Experience", Chicago: Henry
Regnery Co., 1972 . p 210 bottom and 211 . hard cover . "Science
is not Always what Scientists Do"
12 "The U.F.O. Investigator", National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) publication, May/June 1968,
pp. 1/4-5 : Evening Star 3/23/66 . "UFO Manifestation on Rise
Since July" . col 3 . ¶6 "Quintanilla reported much more precise
data in the Air Force's files.....Project Blue Book had received
10,147 reports since its inception in 1947. Of these 646 remain
resolved." : McDonald, Dr. James E., NICAP UFO Investigator,
Feb/Mar 1969, "A Scientist's Critique" (Excerpts from 2/12/69 talk
to the DuPont Chapter of the Scientific Research Society of
13 Newsweek Magazine 12/29/69 "Closing the Blue Book"
14 Hynek, J. Allen: The UFO Experience, Chicago: Henry
Regnery Co., 1972
15 Ibid: appendix 4 (Excerpt of a Letter from J. Allen Hynek
to Colonel Raymond S. Sleeper)
16 Larsen, Sherman . CUFOS International UFO Reporter .
May/June 1986 . pp 13/14 . "The Founding of CUFOS"
17 Jacobs, David M., CUFOS International Reporter . May/June
1986, "J. Allen Hynek and the UFO phenomenon"
End: Oberg/Cooper rebuttal.3a
To: O/C rebut.3b for quotes by
Walter Webb & J. Allen Hynek
DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK-
His life and a few of his accomplishments
O/C rebut.1a - Introduction
O/C rebut.1b - Intro. (continued)
O/C rebut.2 - "Skything 1960"
O/C rebut.3a - Hynek, from skeptic to "qualified
O/C rebut.3b - Hynek, from skeptic to ... (continued)
O/C rebut.4a - UFOs, a synopsis of.... history
O/C rebut.4b - UFOs, a synopsis of.... history
O/C rebut.5a - Hynek takes us inside Blue Book
O/C rebut.5b - Hynek takes us inside..... (continued)
O/C rebut.6 - Who is, and isn't studying the UFO Phenomenon & Why
O/C rebut.7a - Sebago & Stokes
O/C rebut.7b - Kirtland
O/C rebut.7c - Krtlnd conclusion, B. B. &
Condon errors, summation
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