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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 28

Re: J. Allen Hynek & James McDonald

From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 19:27:01 EST
Archived: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 06:53:52 -0500
Subject: Re: J. Allen Hynek & James McDonald

>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 09:04:23 -0600
>Subject: J. Allen Hynek & James McDonald [was: Ann Eller...]

>>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 21:21:42 EST
>>Subject: Re: Ann Eller A Phenomenal Lady

>>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 11:32:16 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: Ann Eller a Phenomenal Lady

>>>>From: Robert Salas <rsalas.nul>
>>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 08:56:50 -0800
>>>>Subject: Re: Ann Eller a Phenomenal Lady

>>>I also know that Allen was deeply troubled by James McDonald's
>>>bluntly stated criticisms of his slowness to act on the UFO
>>>evidence he was seeing as scientific advisor to Blue Book. In
>>>conversation Allen would come back to McDonald's complaints as
>>>he sought to defend himself long after McDonald himself was

>>This whole schism between Hynek and McDonald was crafted by ex-
>>AAF officer Charles B. Moore. Moore lied to McDonald in a
>>meeting on April 28, 1966, claiming that Hynek wanted to
>>confront the AF over its UFO policies.

>>McDonald did not know this was a lie, assumed it was true....

>Another huge difference between McDonald and Hynek is that the
>former did not hesitate to confront adversaries in a bold, in-
>your-face posture. Hynek, on the other hand, recoiled from such
>encounters. Not that he lacked core conviction -- his ideas
>about Blue Book and Condon are made unambiguously clear in his
>enduring classic The UFO Experience (1972), a work of genuine
>intellectual courage -- but he did not relish or enjoy the sort
>of social tension face-to-face confrontation entails.

>If McDonald expected Hynek to confront the Air Force and Blue
>Book in the McDonald sense, he did not know Allen well. Perhaps
>their differing personalities decreed, sadly, that they would
>not function well as the allies they ought to have been. You
>might say that one was the warrior, the other the diplomat.

I like the warrior vs. diplomat comparison, but maybe Hynek was
more forceful than we give him credit for. He seemed to like
people to think he was shy, retiring and/or diplomatic but the
reality seems rather different. Hynek liked to downplay his role
in the CIA Robertson Panel as a mere staffer who stayed in the
back of the room and didn't interact with the big-shot
scientists except when spoken to. But Durant's report indicates
Hynek had an active role on a par with the other Panel members,
even as an 'Associate Member'.

Navy photo interpreter Harry Woo remembered that Hynek went to
bat for him when the panelists started nitpicking his analysis
of the Tremonton film. Woo seemed eternally grateful that Hynek
did that for him. Hynek never mentioned this in his various
accounts of the Tremonton film handling by the Robertson Panel.

Hynek was constantly pissing off Blue Book chief Quintanilla,
who claims in his memoirs that Hynek wanted to just hobnob with
the generals and not do any "work", by which Colonel Q meant
helping him get rid of sightings as astronomical IFO's. Hynek's
view of his own role was rather different, and that was that he
was a full scale "scientific" consultant, not some astronomical
ephemeris machine for dispatching IFO's from BB's statistics.
Hynek didn't want to be fed selected astro IFO cases but wanted
access to the good UFO Unknowns. In this tug-o-war Hynek did not

Hynek got his BB contract (via McGraw-Hill) rewritten and
approved with various terms insulating himself from Colonel Q,
and protecting his own independent role as a scientist
consultant. Hynek didn't do this by confronting Colonel Q to his
face but by going around him and over his head, seemingly
violating military protocol and hardly what one might call

Moreover Hynek seemed to go on a public offensive in various
articles in Saturday Evening Post and Playboy to push for
recognition of the UFO phenomenon, somewhat unlike McDonald who
was not quite as public in his representations. The AF did not
like Hynek's high visibility role.

Though McDonald was gratified by Hynek's public posture it did
not seem to be able to heal the schism between them that had
been engineered by C B Moore leading to McDonald's table-
pounding blowup at Hynek on June 8, 1966. McDonald seemed ever
afterward to be critical of Hynek's scientific errors and
seeming unfamiliarity with the astonishing cases in the BB files
which McDonald felt Hynek should have known about or made some
effort to uncover for himself without goading from McDonald.

Hynek kept his most blunt criticism of BB internal, as with his
scathing indictment sent to the FTD Commander Raymond Sleeper
Oct 7, 1968, until his BB contract was terminated in June 1969.
Then Hynek seemed to feel he was free to go public with his book
The UFO Experience.

Brad Sparks

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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