High Strangeness: "Mad Men" with UFOs

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

"Mad Men" with UFOs

So, I see this morning that History Channel's Project Blue Book series finally went too far for many of its fans in this week's Roswell, Part 2 episode. I myself have not watched the episode, and don't plan to, but from what I gather the producers decided to "explain" the Roswell incident with the bizarre story introduced by author Annie Jacobsen in her 2011 book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base. In the final chapter of that book, Jacobsen quoted a former Area 51 employee who claimed that the alleged Roswell saucer crash of 1947 was an evil plot hatched by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and Nazi scientist Josef "Angel of Death" Mengele. In this story, Mengele surgically altered deformed children to make them look like aliens, and Stalin provided a functioning flying disc that these ersatz "aliens" deliberately "crashed" into the New Mexico desert to scare the USA so badly that it would be easy work for the Soviets to invade our country and take over. That story didn't go over too well in Jacobsen's case, and from the tweets I'm reading this morning it's not going over too well with a lot of Project Blue Book fans.
Did Mengele and Stalin fake this saucer crash?

All I can say is, what do you expect from a show that bills itself as "Mad Men with UFOs"?

I don't have a whole lot to contribute to the conversation, but I know someone who does, and I think his voice needs to be heard at this moment. In one of the last interviews he did before his death in 1986, Dr. J. Allen Hynek had something to say on this very topic. The interview, which ran in the February 1985 issue of OMNI magazine, is well worth a read if you can find a copy. The scope and depth of Hynek's knowledge and understanding of the UFO phenomenon is a thing to behold. This guy knew his shit, backwards and forwards, inside and out.

So, when the interviewer brought up the topic of saucer crashes, Hynek didn't hold back. Here's what he had to say:

"To be honest, I don't like to talk about crashed saucers because I am in a position to mobilize public belief. If I came out and held a press conference to say that a saucer has landed and the creatures were in deep freeze at Wright Field, quite a few people would believe me. But it wouldn't necessarily be true, and it certainly wouldn't be science. I'm the interpreter, the monitor, the elder statesman in this field, and I won't jeopardize my reputation for the sake of the story."

Although he doesn't say it here, one big reason Hynek shied away from saucer crash stories was that if you claim that a flying saucer has crashed, then you are assuming that that saucer is/was a physical, manufactured, "nuts and bolts" object, and that's a big assumption. Hynek never embraced the "nuts and bolts" view, for that very reason.

The simple truth is that Allen Hynek never investigated the alleged Roswell incident, and he rarely, if ever, talked about it. He didn't start working for Project Sign until early 1948, over 6 months after the alleged Roswell crash, which by then was all but forgotten. So if you want to be upset about misinformation in the latest episode of Project Blue Book, you can start with the misrepresentation of Hynek's "involvement" with the case.

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