High Strangeness: UFO Truth vs. UFO Legend

Friday, November 13, 2015

UFO Truth vs. UFO Legend

Boy, for a few minutes I thought I had uncovered an honest-to-God UFO conspiracy, and it was pretty exciting while it lasted!

It all started when I saw an email alert that someone had posted a very provocative question in a Facebook UFO group called "Global Aerial Phenomena Studies," and someone else had mentioned me in relation to the question. How about that?

The question was, "Did Dr. Hynek ever write or say anything about Roswell?" A provocative thought indeed. Is it possible that any UFO figure active in the field between 1947 and the present day could have avoided saying or writing anything about Roswell for the duration of his or her public life?

The questioner, Curt Collins, went on to say, "I'm sure he must have, but the only thing I've found is 2nd hand from disgraced Phil Imbrogno in 'Interdimensional Universe.' There's an article that seems like a good possibility, 'A Cosmic Watergate?' by Hynek in International UFO Reporter, vol. 9 Jan-Feb, 1984. Does he discuss Roswell there or anywhere else?"

Another group member, Jeremiah D, replied with the following: "I don't know, but I have been eagerly awaiting Mark O'Connell's forthcoming Hynek biography, 'Close Encounters Man' ( for better or worse)."

That's where I come into the story, obviously. Was I annoyed by Jeremiah's "for better or worse" comment? Heck no. I, like many other UFO chroniclers, subscribe to the Oscar Wilde school of publicity: 
"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."  
Anyway, Jeremiah quickly added this comment:  "'(for better or worse)' was a jab at UFO literature in general and my own seeming inability to not buy every single thing I come across on the subject, regardless of thesis or theory; not Mark or his book."

Thanks, J!

Back to our story: I thought it was a good question Curt had asked, so I went to the library of old issues of  International UFO Reporter that I have saved to my hard drive to read the article in question. It was then I found, to my terror, that all of Vol. 9 was a "corrupted file" and couldn't be opened!

CONSPIRACY! 

At least that's what I thought until I tried to read the file from the original CD, and there it was, good as new. *whew* 

Conspiracy averted, I read Hynek's article about "A Cosmic Watergate" and was not surprised that he didn't mention Roswell in the story. So I posted a comment to Curt and Jeremiah: "I can't say with 100% certainty that Hynek NEVER wrote or said anything about Roswell, but I think I can safely say that if he ever had it would have been brief and derisive. He was generally disdainful of saucer crash stories, and was never committed to a 'nuts and bolts' explanation for UFOs." And that's where it ends for me.
 
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"

Well, then Curt posted some information that Hynek had spoken at the 1981 and '82 MUFON Symposiums, and that Stanton Friedman has also appeared at both events to talk about his Roswell research. Curt naturally wondered whether Hynek and Friedman could have crossed paths and talked about Roswell at those gatherings. I guess it's possible, but it's just as possible that Hynek appeared on Saturday and Friedman appeared on Sunday, or that they were there at the same time but Hynek spent the whole weekend avoiding Friedman. Or maybe they did have a talk but Roswell never came up. 
  
But... even if they had talked Roswell, that's not the same thing as Hynek making a public statement about Roswell, as just about anyone's public statements on such a volatile subject are bound to be different from their private statements.

So, unless I turn up any definitive proof either way, I'll have to file Curt's questions away as an interesting thought exercise. Which is not to say that there won't be any saucer crash stories in my Hynek bio, "The Close Encounters Man," they just might not be the ones you're expecting.
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