THE UFO EXPERIENCE: A Scientific Inquiry by J. Allen Hynek

THE UFO EXPERIENCE: A Scientific Inquiry

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Prof. Hynek, chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern and former associate director of the Smithsonian Institute also served as an official scientific consultant on the Air Force's Project Blue Book which investigated UFOs for 22 years from 1947 to 1969 and this book is to tell you that they did one helluva lousy ""pseudo-scientific"" job. Not everything that twinkles is a star, says Hynek. . . or a high altitude aircraft, or a balloon or a meteorite, or even a hallucination. Testimonials by boy scouts, pilots, college professors, policemen and other ""stable"" and ""reputable"" citizens (Hynek supplies hundreds of plaintive cases) deserve credence but are explained away via the ""ridicule gauntlet"" and the ""militantly negative"" attitude of the Scientific Establishment. Releasing 20 years of stored up frustration, Hynek presents a torrent of ""data"" seasoned with accusations against Air Force investigators, all classified and evaluated according to their SR (strangeness rating) and PR (probability rating) -- which goes up with the number of creditable witnesses. No one saw little green men but there were nocturnal lights and meandering discoidal shapes (""a stunted pickle""; ""a silvery hamburger sandwich"") -- everything in fact right on up to Close Encounters of the Third Kind where people actually communicated with fluorescent humanoids. He concludes with a fervent plea for an international institute, funds, and scientifically trained investigators and the obligatory reminder that science has always resisted admitting new empirical observations -- look what they did to Galileo, etc. Heaping scorn on those who scorn, Hynek argues in a heated, truculent fashion which doesn't help his eerie case but might rekindle the -- lately dormant -- interest in extraterrestial interlopers.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Regnery