J. Allen Hynek & UFOs/ Disclosure & Secrecy

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Date Host George Knapp
Guests Mark O'Connell, Grant Cameron

In the first half, researcher, author and professor, Mark O'Connell (who also wrote numerous episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine") joined George Knapp to talk about how astronomer J. Allen Hynek went from being a UFO skeptic to a true believer, in what remains one of the great misunderstood stories of science. Working with files from CUFOS (J. Allen Hynek's Center for UFO Studies), O'Connell pieced together the definitive account of Hynek's career. After the 1947 Kenneth Arnold UFO sightings, the Air Force was perplexed on how to handle the issue, which seemed to indicate they lacked control over their own airspace. So they brought in Hynek, an established astronomer, who debunked various sightings, suggesting they were mostly misidentifications of astronomical or man-made objects.

While investigating a mass UFO sighting in 1966 in Michigan, Hynek proffered his infamous "swamp gas" explanation, saying "although I could not prove it in a court of law, all the evidence suggests that these people may have been looking at swamp gas." Hynek was widely ridiculed for his conclusion, and considered it as a low point in his career. Yet, this proved to be a turning point for him as a UFO researcher, in which he decided he would no longer cover for the Air Force, O'Connell cited. Hynek went on to create a UFO classification system, with the 'Close Encounter' scale, which Steven Spielberg used for his film, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (referring to contact with aliens). Dr. Hynek's great accomplishment, O'Connell noted, was that he made the discussion of UFOs socially acceptable, and scientifically acceptable.


Many think the government is about to disclose what it knows about UFOs and others think the government is doing everything in its power to keep the UFO reality a secret. In the latter half, UFO researcher Grant Cameron argued that the "secret keepers" are gradually revealing this information, via an acclimatization process, that is more about "confirmation" than disclosure. He has determined there are some 64 reasons why US presidents have decided to maintain UFO secrecy, and these include panic by segments of the public, as well as the UFO connection to nuclear weapons and bases, and disturbing demonstrations that UFOs can easily seize control of them from the military.

There is a long history of leaks regarding UFOs, and one of them dates back to the 1940s, when then Sec. of State, Cordell Hull, allegedly took a Minister to the sub-basement of the Capitol building, where he showed him three alien creatures in glass jars, and a lightweight spaceship, Cameron recounted. Ron Pandolfi, said by some to be the CIA's real-life Fox Mulder, has briefed six presidents on UFOs since the 1980s, Cameron reported. He also traced the connections and differences of some of the players in the UFO secrecy and disclosure movement including Steven Greer, Tom DeLonge, Dan Smith, Steve Bassett, Bob Lazar, and Robert Bigelow.

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