Page 21 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - May/June 2022 Edition
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Meet J. Allen Hynek                                                                               21






          Meet J. Allen Hynek, the

            Astronomer Who First

             Classified UFO 'Close

                     Encounters'



                 Continued from Page 20




        After Blue Book, a new chapter


        The end of Blue Book proved a turning point for
        Hynek. As O'Connell writes, he “found himself
        suddenly liberated from the frustrations,
        compromises and bullying of the U.S. Air Force.
        He was a free man.”

        Meanwhile, sightings continued around the
        world—UFOs,        Hynek      later   quipped,   everything there is to know about the universe… subsurface in areas where temperatures could be
        “apparently did not read the Condon Report”—     There could be aspects of physics that we more moderate, the overlying rocks shield the
        and he went on with his research.                haven’t come upon yet.’” []                      environment from much of the radiation, and
                                                                                                          liquid water could exist, we have not found any
        In 1972, he published his first book, The UFO                                                     evidence to date of extant life of any form on
        Experience. Among its contributions to the field,   Fact Check: Did NASA                          Mars," Schulte said.
        it introduced Hynek’s classifications of UFO
        incidents he called Close Encounters.              Rover Photograph Alien                         Alana Johnson, senior communications
                                                                                                          specialist at NASA's Planetary Science
        Close Encounters of the First Kind meant UFOs      Lying on Martian Rock?                         Division, told Newsweek: "Space enthusiasts
        seen at a close enough range to make out some                                                     and other image processors are often excited
        details. In a Close Encounter of the Second               Continued from Page 16                  about raw Mars imagery downlinked from
        Kind, the UFO had a physical effect, such as                                                      NASA spacecraft. Sometimes it is interpreted,
        scorching trees, frightening animals or causing                                                   used, or altered to create fan-made works shared
        car motors to suddenly conk out. In Close
                                                         The cropped photo shared by Waring is part of a  online."
        Encounters of the  Third Kind, witnesses
                                                         panorama taken by the Perseverance rover in
        reported seeing occupants in or near a UFO.                                                       Neither of the NASA representatives Newsweek
                                                         April, 2021. Tens of thousands of raw images of
                                                         the Martian surface have been taken by the rover  spoke to said what the shape on the rock seen in
        Though less remembered now, Hynek also                                                            the photo actually is. However, the space agency
                                                         since it landed there in 2021.
        provided three classifications for more distant                                                   has collected an extensive list of alleged alien
        encounters. Those involved UFOs seen at night
                                                         The panorama can be seen here while the          sightings on Mars in an article titled Space
        (“nocturnal lights”) during the day (“daylight                                                    Oddities: NASA Sorts Fact From Fantasy and
                                                         individual image apparently showing the alien
        discs”) or on radar screens (“radar/visual”).
                                                         can be found on the Perseverance rover website   states that unusual shapes on the planet's surface
                                                         here. Below, Newsweek has cropped the photo      are often the result of wind erosion.
        The most dramatic of Hynek’s classifications,
                                                         and added a red circle to show the section of the
        Close Encounters of the Third Kind, would, of
                                                         image that UFO Sightings Daily claims shows      In a response to a request for comment from
        course, become the title of a Steven Spielberg                                                    Newsweek, Waring called himself a "hard core
                                                         an alien.
        movie released in 1977. O'Connell reports that                                                    researcher" that seeks "truth about existence of
        Hynek was paid $1,000 for the use of the title,                                                   intelligent life."
                                                         The figure on the rock could be interpreted as
        another $1,000 for the rights to use stories from
                                                         someone lying down, though the image gets
        the book and $1,500 for three days of technical
                                                         fuzzy and indistinct the closer one zooms in.    "We assume that every detail about Mars is 100
        consulting—hardly a windfall by Hollywood                                                         percent true, but...has the US government ever
        standards. He also had a brief cameo in the film,
                                                         However, scientists reiterate that the surface of  lied?  Yes, of course they have," he wrote,
        playing an awestruck scientist when the alien                                                     without offering any specific evidence for the
                                                         Mars is completely inhospitable to life as we
        craft comes into close view.
                                                         know it—even for microbial life, let alone for   claim.
                                                         humanoid figures capable of walking.
        In 1978, Hynek retired from teaching, but he
        continued to collect and evaluate UFO reports
                                                         There are many reasons why this is the case.
        under the auspices of the Center for UFO
                                                         Mitch Schulte, Mars 2020 program scientist at
        Studies, which he had founded in 1973.  The
                                                         NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., told
        organization continues to this day.
                                                         Newsweek that the main issues for potential life
                                                         on Mars are the lack of liquid water, as well as
        Hynek died in 1986 at age 75, the result of a
                                                         high levels of radiation, and generally low
        brain tumor. He hadn’t solved the riddle of
                                                         temperatures and atmospheric pressure.
        UFOs but, perhaps more than anyone else, he
        had made trying to solve that riddle a legitimate
                                                         There are also only trace amounts of oxygen in
        scientific pursuit.
                                                         Mars' atmosphere. This would pose an issue for
                                                         multicellular life, as it is understood on Earth,
        “The main thing I got from my father in this     because it uses oxygen as a metabolic energy False.
        whole thing was how important it was to keep an
                                                         source.
        open mind,” says his son, Joel Hynek, who as a
                                                                                                          NASA's Perseverance rover did not spot an alien
        young ham-radio operator used to record many
                                                         "While it is conceivable that microscopic forms  relaxing on a Martian rock. The surface of Mars
        of his father’s witness interviews. “He kept
                                                         of life could exist, probably deep in the        is completely inhospitable to life as we know it.
        saying, ‘You know, we don’t know still
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