Hynek, Dr. J. Allen
Josef Allen Hynek was born in Chicago, IL in 1910. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Batchelors degree in Physics/Astronomy in 1931, and achieved his PhD there in 1935. He hired on as an Instructor at Ohio State in 1936 and by WWII was an assistant professor. During the War he worked on the vitally important proximity fuse at the Applied Physics program at Johns-Hopkins. When the War ended he returned to OSU, as a typical underpaid astronomy teacher, looking for extra work from the government. In 1948, the UFO Project SIGN was looking for a consultant to eliminate reports having an astronomical cause. They asked University of Cincinnati professor, Paul Herget, and frequent USAF consultant Lincoln LaPaz. Neither wanted it, but both recommended Hynek. He got the job, and delivered his infamous appendix to the Grudge Report. After that he was not associated with the project until the Ruppelt era, when he was hired back as a semi-permanent consultant.
In that same period, he attended the Robertson Panel, as a naive expert witness, childishly thinking that his attempts to aid some sort of scientific evaluation were relevant. By 1956, interest in earth-orbiting satellites caused Harvard's Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory to establish a satellite-tracking program, lead by Fred Whipple and seconded by Allen Hynek. By 1960, this program de-intensified and Hynek got back to more regular assistance to Blue Book in the Robert Friend era. At this time Hynek moved to Northwestern's department, and ended up chairman of the department there. The 1964 Socorro case re-kindled his interest in UFOs, and this continued for the rest of his life. His role in the "Swamp Gas Fiasco" in 1966 was one of the most significant moments in UFOlogical history as it led directly to the demise of Blue Book due to the Colorado Project, and Hynek's ultimate founding of the Center for UFO Studies. In the 70s and 80s, he was involved in many important events in UFO history, too many to mention. In many ways, despite often contradictory starts and stops, he has more claim to the title of "Father of UFOlogy" than any other person. Hynek died in 1986, symbolically flying out of our existence on that same Halley's Comet that entered our space at the year of his birth. (Swords)