Dr. Hynek’s Record of UFO Encounters – The Saucers that Time Forgot

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Dr. Hynek’s Record of UFO Encounters – The Saucers that Time Forgot

There’s a
strange relationship between fact and fiction in the UFO business. J. Allen
Hynek consulted for the film
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, had a
cameo role, and he also wrote the epilogue for the novelization. The publisher,
Dell, also issued the non-fiction The Hynek UFO Report, which is
regarded as a classic. Without Hynek, there might not have been a
CE3K, and if not for the film, the Hynek book might not exist. Or some
other commercial products.

 

Panama City News, March 28, 1966 


Dr. Hynek
began working for a consultant for the Air Force in 1948, providing them with
explanations for UFO sightings based on his knowledge of astronomy, but did so
in relative obscurity. At the Detroit Press Club, on March 26, 1966 Hynek was propelled
into the public spotlight, initially unfavorably, due to his remarks about “swamp
gas.” Nevertheless, he became the top authority on the UFO topic, and in demand,
and in a heel/face turn, he went from being the Air Force’s senior debunker to bring
the most famous UFO advocate. Jacques Vallee, from
Forbidden Science Vol. I,
his entry for 11 April 1967:

“I
miss the days when he was not such a celebrity… The topic has become
fashionable entertainment, not serious science. Media men hire Allen as they
would hire a guitar player. He rushes wherever he sees a spotlight, and if the
spotlight moves he moves with it.”

 

Jacques Vallee described Hynek’s gig
as a consultant for Stephen Spielberg’s
UFO movie in Forbidden Science Vol. II, in his entry for Friday 27
August 1976:

“Allen called me last night, cheerful…
Dell is sending two writers to help him with a hurriedly-compiled paperback
about Project Blue Book. As for the Spielberg movie, he will indeed have a
silent role in it, making his way to the front of a crowd of technical people
who surround the first landed saucer. I’d love to see the out-takes: They shot
a sequence where Aliens surrounded him, pulled on his beard, took his pipe and
poked it into their nose.”

 

Hynek took
an active role in helping promote the film and appeared in the theatrical trailer
for it.


The book he and the ghost writers
cranked out was
The Hynek UFO Report, which hit the market in
late 1977 to cash in on
Close Encounters
of the Third Kind
, and his
epilogue for the movie novelization closed with a plug for his Center for UFO
Studies (CUFOS) and their magazine,
International
UFO Reporter
.  

UFO Encounters: The Record Album

 

Dr. J. Allen Hynek and his Center for UFOs Studies were partners in
the production of a double LP audio documentary, Factual Eyewitness
Testimony of: UFO Encounters
. A news story in The Chicago Tribune,
Jan. 14, 1979, told how the project began when Investigative Research Associates
approached Hynek at a UFO convention in 1977. Hynek was initially reluctant,
fearing it would be “schlocky,” but IRA convinced him of their sincerity, so together
they set out to cover the most significant cases and record first-hand
testimony about them.

The Chicago Tribune, Jan. 14, 1979


Factual Eyewitness Testimony of: UFO Encounters was a two-disc LP, also released on cassette and 8-track tape. It was released in 1978 on the IRA label.

 

It was reviewed in UFO publications such as the A.P.R.O. Bulletin, but the most
comprehensive review was in the MUFON UFO Journal, Feb. 1980,“In Others’
Words” by Lucius Farish:

 

“A new 2-album
record set, “UFO Encounters,” presents an interesting selection of
testimonies and opinions by UFO witnesses and researchers. Contributors to the
album include Kenneth Arnold, Colonel Robert Friend (former Project Blue Book
Director), Bill Pecha, Ted Phillips, Travis Walton, Father William Gill,
Herbert Schirmer, former Air Force Major Paul A. Duich,

Louise Smith,
Leonard Stringfield, Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, Betty Hill, Marjorie Fish, Stanton
Friedman, former astronaut Gordon Cooper, Jacques Vallee, David Saunders, and
others. An additional bonus is President Carter’s personal recounting of his
1969 UFO sighting. A special section inside the album cover contains 6 pages of
UFO photographs, plus photos of most of the persons heard in the records. Some
of the material relating to “crashed saucer” stories seem
questionable, but all in all, this is a good selection of recorded UFO
material. Available from: Investigative Research Associates, Inc., Suite W, 430
West Diversey Parkway, Chicago, Illinois 60614; the price is $8.95.”

 

 Crashed Saucer Investigation

 The red banner across the cover of the album touted “Crashed Saucer Investigation,” and the interior, a described the track:

“Since the 1940s, rumors have circulated indicating the possibility that extraterrestrial spacecraft have crashed on Earth and have been recovered by the American military. Investigative Research Associates decided to pursue these reports…”

The segment is interesting in that it documents the
marketability of crashed UFO stories even before the revival of the Roswell
incident. I had begun when Robert Spencer Carr rekindled interest in a
discredited aspect of ufology in 1974 by reviving the story of little men found
in a saucer in Aztec, New Mexico. Leonard Stringfield was the chief crashed UFO
researcher, but for the album, even Dr. Hynek got in on the act.

The “Crashed Saucer Investigation” was the next to last track
on the album. It opened with former astronaut Col. Gordon Cooper vaguely discussing
second-hand rumors he’d heard about saucer crashes:

“There were some accident involving a UFO, and from there it
varies greatly. There were occupants and in each of the rumors that I’ve heard,
but from there on, it varies greatly as to whether they were all alive, or some
alive, or what the extent of damage was to them, and then as to what happened
to them is quite variable. The particular rumors aren’t necessarily from people
who’ve been involved, but they come from so many different sources, that it
would lead you to believe that it certainly is worth investigating a little
further.”

Dr. Hynek shared his view:

“Over the years, these rumors have persisted. Hardly a week
goes by without my being asked about the ‘crashed saucer’ stories. My response
to these rumors has always been complete skepticism. Recently however, some of
my colleagues, Investigative Research Associates, have probed into these
stories and some intriguing information has surfaced. I believe it is quite
worthwhile to let listeners to this record have the benefit of some preliminary
findings.”

Hynek went on to introduce the (now-discredited) story of Robert B. Willingham and his recovery of a piece of a crashed UFO at Del Rio,
NM, in 1948.

Next, Herbert Coyer told about a story he heard from an aide
to an Army general about a 1951 saucer crash at White Sands where alien bodies were
recovered and an autopsy was performed. Both Willingham and Coyer’s stories
featured metal from the UFO that was incredibly tough and could not be burned
or cut, a detail we’d see hear again when the Roswell crash was resurrected.

The Final Track: Summaries and Theories 

The final segment was “Summaries and Theories,” which
featured comments from Stanton Friedman, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Dr.  Jacques Vallee, and Dr. David Saunders. Hynek
suggested that UFOs might be from another dimension or a parallel reality rather
than being something from another faraway planet. He was the researcher given
the last word on the album and drifted a bit into mystic concepts:

“The idea of other intelligences in space is not so radical or new. It’s in both the ancient Eastern religions and the more modern faiths. The prophets in the Bible and many philosophers have been telling us for centuries that there are other planes of existence. So why do we find it so difficult to acknowledge that there might be other highly developed life forms or forms of consciousness that might surpass our own? In fact, it is now widely accepted that the universe may well be teeming with life.”

Factual Eyewitness Testimony of: UFO Encounters is worth a listen, for the chance to
hear rare recordings with witness and researchers, and for a look at the state
of serious ufology at the time it was recorded. 
The full album is available via YouTube. 

 Another version features each track individually. Factual Eyewitness Testimony of: UFO Encounters

UFOs and science
fiction have a complicated history together, and there’s no doubt there has
been a mutual exploitative relationship. That’s show business, and it makes for
some strange bedfellows. 

Dr. Hynek with characters from Star Wars, and with Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame. 

Track Listing and Credits

Below are the track titles and lengths to Factual Eyewitness Testimony of: UFO Encounters, followed by the album’s credits.

Introduction 4:24

Foo Fighters 2:08

Kenneth Arnold Sighting 3:40

Government Involvement 2:04

Simi Valley Sighting (CE-I) 5:08

Pecha Case (CE-I) 5:44

James Richard Case (CE-II) 6:59

Travis Walton Abduction (CE-III) 15:44

Father William Gill Sighting (CE-III) 4:51

Officer Herbert Schirmer Abduction (CE-III) 8:29

Louise Smith / Kentucky Women Abduction (CE-III) 7:20

Charles R McQuiston PSE Evaluation Summary 1:14

Betty and Barney Hill Abduction (CE-III) 7:42

Crashed Saucer Investigation 10:09

Summaries and Theories 4:46

 Credits, as listed on the back cover:

Produced by: Investigative Research Associates, Inc., Chicago, Illinois. 

Producer: Steve Cronen. Exec. Prod.: Ben Christ.
Scientific Consultants: Center for UFO Studies, Evanston Illinois, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Sherman
J. Larsen.
Investigation, Research, Writing: Peter Bordwell, Steve [Thom].
Narration: Walt Peters.
Music: DeWolfe Music, Inc. 
Music Coordination: Walt Peters. 
Musical Effects: Ron Figura.
Recorded at: Starbeat Recording Studios, Deerfield, Illinois. 
Engineering, Editing & Mix: Steve Cronen.
Album Design: Steve Schaul.
Album Cover Trifid Nebula Photo: Copyright by the California Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Reproduced by permission from the Hale Observatories UFO Photos & Documents: Center For UFO Studies.

 .
. .

Close Encounters: The Slide Show

Dr. Hynek had been involved in some
other commercial enterprises before the Spielberg movie. In 1976 he had
produced a set of UFO slides and audiotapes for Edmund Scientific, but with release of 
CE3K,
it was a hotter item.

It was advertised in Popular Science and was featured in an article in the
April 1978 debut issue of
Future magazine (the companion to Starlog). Below is a YouTube video of the Hynek audio, sadly without the accompanying slides shown.

Source: The Anomalist

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