to James Oberg's:
"..... GORDON COOPER'S UFOs"
by Jerry Cohen
DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK: a Brief Biography - continued
continued from 3a
Some additional comments by:
Walter Webb, astronomer, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston
To input some data concerning the question I mentioned earlier; "Are there any other respected scientists that analyzed UFOs and became seriously interested in them?" Here is another scientist who's interest in UFOs began the same year my own interest was sparked...1957. (I discovered I was incorrect here.
He wrote me to say his interest actually began in 1951, after
his own personal sighting.) The following information was written for CUFOS International UFO Reporter (1/93), approximately 6 years after Hynek's death. The article was titled "Allen Hynek As I Knew Him." Its author, Walter Webb, an astronomer at Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston. Webb had worked for Dr.Hynek beginning in February 1957 when Dr. Hynek was setting up tracking stations for the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory. Hynek had hired Webb as a kid out of college sometime that February. ---------- His job was to generally assist the STP staff at the Smithsonian. After Sputnick II went up, the rush was on to get observers to their tracking stations. Webb got an assignment on a station atop 10,000 ft. Mount Haleakala on Maui, Hawaii. Their station became the first one overseas to be equipped and staffed. Webb saw Hynek almost every day during that time. Webb said that he realized there was a core of difficult UFO cases that couldn't easily be explained when he was at Hynek's house one evening in 1957 and Hynek, who was cheerfully explaining away some sighting reports to students, etc. came to the following case:
"an object approached a pilot on a collision course, veered, paralleled the plane and then shot upward, joined another object, and streaked away."
Webb jotted this case in his diary. It turned out to be another spur
to Webb's own curiosity regarding the topic. Webb eventually became a scientific advisor to NICAP and good friend of Richard Hall, editor of "The UFO Evidence"; former Assistant Director and Acting Director of NICAP. As previously mentioned, "The UFO Evidence was a 200,000 word documentary report which contained approximately 746 documented sightings by Air Force, Army, Navy & Marine people, pilots and aviation experts, other military personnel, observations by professional scientists and engineers, including astronomers and aeronautical engineers, which had been presented to congress in 1964." Hall now contributes to every major UFO organization in the United
States. Webb's name appeared on the inside front cover of "The UFO Evidence" as one of a group of Special Advisors (Science & Technology)
to NICAP. ---------- This is what Webb said, in his own words. (jc: bolding both here and below inserted by me to highlight that particular statement.)
"....occasional anomalous trails showed up on later photos in the Baker-Nunn network. Bud (Ledwith) started to examine both tracking station film and Moonwatch reports for UFO traces. Hynek did comment on 'oddities' that appeared on both the tracking photos and Moonwatch observations." jc 2/23/2007: Slight correction here: Walt recently wrote me and mentioned the above paragraph was his, but the next two paragraphs are from Dr. Hynek. Therefore, Hynek's comments were: "I certainly know that in the satellite tracking mission we got a number of things that appeared on the films that were never tracked down; they weren't part of the mission!
A person who says that the Baker_Nunn cameras never picked up anything is just dead wrong because I know they did .. I was in charge of the project! We just didn't bother about it. It would have been too much work to investigate some strange lights; it would have diverted men from the job they were supposed to do. . . . " "We received many reports from our Moonwatch stations concerning the strange lights that certainly weren't satellites. Many of these witnesses were amateur astronomers and generally well acquainted with the skies."
---------- So one can see that UFO oddities _had_ been causing at least _some_ scientists to express an interest in them. Something out of the ordinary was definitely being seen and was arousing people's curiosity. It is highly interesting to note that more astronomers believe the UFO topic is a subject worthy of study then one might realize.
7/24/2009: Please click HERE to see an important 1977 video (for as long as it remains at this address) of Dr. Hynek testifying concerning a study regarding same. ------------------------------------------------------------------ As evidence of how the many years Dr. J. Allen Hynek studied the UFO topic eventually changed his thinking, here are some of his quotes taken from various sources: Hynek quote from "The UFO Experience"
"Before I began my association with the air force, I had joined my scientific colleagues in many a hearty guffaw at the "psychological postwar craze" for flying saucers that seemed to be sweeping the country and at the naivete and gullibility of our fellow human beings who were being taken in by such obvious "nonsense." It was almost in a sense of sport that I accepted the invitation to have a look at the flying saucer reports....."
Hynek, J. Allen: The UFO Experience, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1972 . Part 1 The UFO Phenomenon . Introduction: An Innocent in UFO Land . paragraph 4 ---------- Hynek quote from 1st page of "The Hynek UFO Report"
"I had started out as an outright 'debunker,' taking great joy in cracking what seemed at first to be puzzling cases. I was the arch enemy of those 'flying saucer groups and enthusiasts' who very dearly wanted UFOs to be interplanetary. My own knowledge of those groups came almost entirely from what I heard from Blue Book personnel; they were all "crackpots and visionaries.'"
Hynek, J. Allen . "The Hynek UFO Report" . Dell Publishing Co. 1977
------------------------------------------------------------------ Here are some quotes from his foreward to Fawcett and Greenwood's "The UFO Cover-Up." (Fireside books, Simon & Schuster 1984), two years before his death
"Experienced UFO investigators have, over the years, been the recipients of many tales and undocumented statements, generally from former military pilots and crew members about having their aircraft "scrambled" (launched in immediate response to an alarm) to pursue a UFO, of UFOs encroaching on high-sensitivity areas on military bases, of malfunctions of defense equipment in the presence of UFOs, of planes lost while pursuing UFOs, and, yes, even tales of crashed saucers and of alien beings kept in the deep freeze." ...... "Now, however, documentation which puts the UFO- U.S. government controversy in quite a new light has become available. The authors have made revealing use of documents released through the mechanism of the Freedom of Information Act and other data which have been made available to them, often through private sources, which show that the CIA and NSA protestations of innocence and lack of interest in UFOs are nothing short of prevarication." "The reader must judge for himself or herself just how far these implications extend, but certainly no one can deny any longer that various intelligence agencies of our government were long cognizant of UFOs and the global extent of this phenomenon. Official dispatches from our embassies and air bases in other countries to these agencies, to the State Department, and even, on occasion, to the White House, bear incontrovertible witness to this." "For the government to continue to maintain that UFOs are nonexistent in the face of the documents already released and of other cogent evidence presented in this book is puerile and in a sense an insult to the American people."
From the quotations I have presented to this point, we can note the dramatic change in Hynek from skeptic to qualified believer. However he did not always believe the Air Force and government was purposely hiding information. Certain specific things Hynek discovered along the way in his research precipitated this change. At this point we need to examine UFO history as a background to some of the discoveries he made concerning UFOs and the Air Force. Oberg/Cooper rebuttals 4 & 5 will cover this and more in depth.
Respectfully submitted, Jerry CohenEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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