When it comes to UFO research, Josef Allen Hynek must be included in the list of top enthusiasts and professors of the subject. His opinion and knowledge was so respected that the United States Army and other government agencies came to him for answers and assistance when UFO studies were needed. In this article, we will deal with some of the aspects of his life that you may or may not already know.
Born on May 1st, 1910, Josef Allen Hynek started life out in Chicago with his Czech parents. Hynek’s early studies took place at the University of Chicago, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in 1931. By 1935, he had completed his doctorate studies in astrophysics at the Yerkes Observatory. In 1936, Hynek joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy and began to share his knowledge with others. It was stellar evolution and the identification of spectroscopic binaries that he specialized in.
When World War II rolled around, Hynek served as a civilian scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he completed work on the Navy’s radio systems. When the war end, Hynek returned to take a position within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, this time at Ohio State. In 1950, he was deemed a full professor.
From 1947 to 1969, Hynek was called upon to advise on some of the scientific questions that arose in a variety of UFO studies that the US Air Force headed. From 1947-1949, he became part of Project Sign, where from 1949-1952, he went on to lend a hand with Project Grudge. Lastly, he also helped out on the Project Blue Book, which continued from 1952 to 1969.
Throughout the years, Hynek would shift his opinion regarding UFO topics as he encountered new and varying evidence, first-person accounts, and other pieces of information. He was known to sometimes denounce the reports of some witnesses as being quite unreliable. He often held the opinion that the objects they spoke of came from nature or were made by man. He was constantly trying to find new and challenging scientific ways to prove or disprove popular theories.
Over time, Hynek appeared at numerous functions, held various speeches, and headed many different organizations and explorations into the UFO phenomenon. In 1973, he became the founder and head of the Center for UFO Studies (also known as CUFOS). This organization was established in Chicago and held true to the scientific approach towards analyzing the data surrounding UFO cases. The coming years allowed the group to accumulate and share many important files and documents. Their archives were well respected. In 1978, Hynek showcased a speech regarding UFOs in front of the United Nations General Assembly. The recognition of such unexplainable objects was starting to take more of a public presence.
Since a vast amount of UFO reports existed, all of the information and categorizing of cases could be confusing. Therefore, Hynek decided to help out the world by creating a scale that allowed others to better describe and present their close encounter. This also landed Hynek the gig of consulting Steven Spielberg as he filmed the UFO-related movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977.
In the coming days, a handful of articles will be written that will better explain what Close Encounters of the Third Kind entails, as well as other categories of encounters.