Re-Reading J. Allen Hynek’s The UFO Experience, published in 1972
This is going to be a slightly longer post. Since the release of the government report, there is too large an audience who believe that the first legitimate UFOs were sighted in 2004, the inception of the study period in the June 25th 2021 Preliminary Assessment Report. We believe it is crucially important to inform those new to the examination of UFO reports, that legitimate sightings have gone back decades, and US Government agency denials go back just as far.
In his chapter on Nocturnal Lights, Dr. Hynek describes a report submitted by a 27-year veteran airport tower operator (air traffic controller) in Bismarck, ND on November 26th, 1968 who saw the following:
The two objects [in a deep blue twilight sky, moon present but stars not yet visible] were just bright points of white light and could have been taken for satellites except for the sudden maneuvers, change in direction, and speed of disappearance…one was headed north at 45 degrees above the horizon, the other south at about 30 degrees. The southbound light executed a sudden 180 degree turn, rose, joined the other object, hovered in what appeared to be a formation, and then flew off to the southeast.
He notes that there were four other witnesses, and two of them had contacted Great Falls radar and that the presence of the erratic target had been confirmed telephonically. Dr. Hynek notes, “This statement was officially denied the next day, thus adding to the host of reported air force and Federal Aviation Administration denials made a day or so after a reported radar confirmation.”
We have to hand it to the government for its consistent denials over the decades. In our new issue of UFO Magazine, we reprint an article from February 2007 that covered the November 2006 sighting of a UFO by ground operations at O’Hare’s United Concourse C. The FAA and United initially denied that one also, until Jon Hilkevitch and the Chicago Tribune filed FOIA requests that forced the agency and the airline to walk back their initial denials. If you are interested in reading more, you can buy the magazine here.