In 1989-90 I had the opportunity to work as the sole librarian for the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona, where I first came across the legacy of scientific accomplishments of one of the former professors, Dr. James E. McDonald. I was immediately impressed by McDonald's contributions to scientific literature and set out to compile an annotated bibliography of his writings. Coming from a "regular" scientific background myself, I was typically unfamiliar with certain subjects normally "rejected" by scientific establishment, and was astounded to discover McDonald's "other life," his serious study of UFOs.
By probing and investigating the Institute's locked rooms and cabinets to which McDonald's UFO writings had been banished, I followed a trail that gradually opened up a whole territory of "hidden" knowledge. The pursuit to find and catalog everything McDonald had written led me into contact with his devoted former secretary and his wife Betsy, both of whom had saved original documents that might have otherwise succumbed to the Institute's attempt to cleanse its eighteen-year connection with McDonald and the associated 'taint' of UFOlogy.
In 1990 I produced Science and Conscience, an annotated bibliography of McDonald's writings, but was still unaware of the full extent of his influence in the UFO community 25 years earlier. The publication of this modest bibliographic attempt drew me into contact with experts such as Richard Hall who had been researching UFOs for decades, and I began to realize the historical importance of McDonald and his efforts to bring the UFO problem into a wider, more serious and scientific context of the human quest for knowledge.
From the writings collected through the Institute's library and McDonald's wife, and Richard Hall's personal collection McDonald's letters and transcribed lectures, I have compiled what I believe is a representative sampling of the work of this prolific writer. This collection is by no means complete, for the total volume of McDonald's writings and research on UFOs fills many file cabinets. This book is presented simply as an introduction to the extensive and incomparable contribution of James E. McDonald to the Science of UFOlogy.