That quote comes from a 1955 newspaper column written by Hynek. In that column, Hynek held out special scorn for people like author Frank Scully, whose 1950 book "Behind the Flying Saucers" told the wild tale of a crashed flying saucer and some recovered alien corpses...
I've written about this before, but it keeps coming up as I work on this chapter of the book, and it has direct relevance to a very strange experience I had a while back... Here are highlights of my account from the Hynek book:
|Funny, I imagined it would look different, somehow...|
Weird, or what...?By the time Frank Scully’s book was discredited, the story of the 'Aztec crash,' as it came to be known, had taken on a life of its own—a very maddening, illogical, inexplicable life, as it turns out. Case in point: In a private letter shared with this author by an acquaintance in 2013, a family friend had written to my acquaintance on March 24, 1952 about an unusual experience he had had earlier that month at the Air Force aviation research plant in Palmdale, California. The Air Force serviceman revealed in the letter that, after a day of routine training, he and his fellow airmen were shown three flying saucers by “Dr. Ria and Knudsen (scientists under Einstein).”“Then we really had a surprise,” the letter went on. “They showed us the men that flew them. They were normal in every way, features normal, etc. Only they all had a perfect set of teeth.” The three creatures, who had apparently died of suffocation in the earth’s atmosphere, were dressed in a fashion that “resembled the 1890’s.” They ranged in height “from 39 to 42 inches,” although they “were not midgets, but perfectly proportional.”The man and his comrades were then left for an extended time to study the saucers and occupants. “It just held me so dumbfounded that I walked around with my mouth open for the two weeks,” he wrote. When the two Doctors finally returned, they showed the servicemen how to disassemble and re-assemble the alien craft: “The Doc’s each took a side of it and leaned on it. There was a light snap and it fell conveniently into two pieces… Inside was little seats (sic), big enough to take care of the 16, that were originally in the ship (the rest are at Wright Field, Columbus, Ohio).”This stupefying letter, still in its original mailing envelope postmarked March 25th, 2 PM, 1952, Glendale, CA, had been filed away by its puzzled recipient for over 60 years, but its very existence defies all reason. For six pages the man went on, describing the saucers and their occupants in the exact same words and numbers used by Frank Scully two years earlier in his book, but why would the Air Force have co-opted such a ridiculous story?Even if that could be explained, there are so many other unanswered questions that the entire affair threatens to collapse under its own weight: If the saucers and occupants had been spirited away to Dayton, Ohio (not Columbus, as the letter states) in 1948, why would some of them be in Palmdale, California, in 1952? Palmdale was an aviation research center, so even if it could be argued that captured saucers were there to be reverse engineered, why would the alien bodies have been shipped west with them? Why would the existence of flying saucers and aliens in the custody of the U. S. Air Force, something that would undoubtedly rank as the world’s most explosive secret, be so casually revealed to a group of anonymous serviceman, who were then allowed to write home about it? Why would the servicemen have been repeatedly inundated with incomprehensible information and then left in isolation for days or weeks at a time? Was the dumbfounded airman being hoaxed himself, or was he in on a much bigger, much more misguided hoax directed at the recipient of the letter, a hoax designed to subtly condition Americans for the possible discovery of extraterrestrial life?