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Science and the UFO phenomenon:

Abou the extraterrestrial hypothesis:

This is the abstract of: Wood, R., "The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis is Not That Bad," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1991, pp. 103-112. The full text can be ordered as back issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. After the abstracts, there is information about the author. These personal information are of high interest in my opinion, particularly the work experience for year 1946 which rings my bell.

The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis Is Not That Bad

Robert M. Wood, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Huntington Beach, CA 92647


The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) explanation of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) has not been attractive to many scientists because of the apparent requirement to exceed the speed of light in making such trips. It is postulated that if the basis of gravity control systems were discovered, and that if the speed of light can either be raised or exceeded using such devices, then the pattern of UFO reports is consistent with the ETH. Recently, five arguments against the ETH have been advanced by Vallee in this Journal (1990). Each argument can be countered as follows: (1) thousands of visiting civilizations account for the wide variety and large number of reports; (2) the frequently reported similarity to Homo Sapiens shape may be due to historical interactions, or due to biological optimization; (3) the primitive treatment during reported abductions may be the exception from some less ethical civilizations; (4) the historical extension of the UFO phenomenon is to be expected; and (5) the near-magical reports of time, space, and light manipulation is due to high technology. Travel distance and travel time for constant acceleration and deceleration trips are displayed graphically, based on the feasibility of hyperoptic gravity control transportation systems. Convenient astronomical distance reference points are noted.

Dr. Robert M. Wood


1945-49 University of Colorado, B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering

1949-53 Cornell University, Ph.D. in Physics

Work Experience:

1946 summer and fall: General Electric, plotting data from V-2 firings at White Sands

1947 summer: General Electric, fabrication and test of a prototype ignitron-driven control system for naval guns

1948 summer: General Electric, fabrication of a prototype air-driven pneumatic gyroscope

1949 summer: Douglas Aircraft, analysis of aerodynamic data for the Nike Ajax missile

1950 summer: Douglas Aircraft, analysis of aerodynamics for the Honest John missile

1949-1951 academic years, Cornell University, teaching physics to freshmen

1953-1954: Douglas Aircraft, Automatic Controls, analysis of advanced concepts

1955: Flight Refueling, Inc., consultant in flight refueling systems

1954-1956: Aberdeen Proving Ground, U. S. Army, aerodynamic analysis of ballistic range data

1956-1993: Douglas Aircraft and McDonnell Douglas, varied assignments in research and development management

MDC Career summary (Employee No. 05325)

In 1956 I was asked to solve the problem of keeping the Nike Zeus missile, which was to be made of aluminum, from overheating. I helped set up a Thermodynamics Group and solved the problem with an early use of computers that showed that a layer of Teflon would keep the missile cool for the short flight times involved. This was used on the successful development program. (Bosses: Jim Gunkel, Ray Hallet, Max Hunter, Ned Weiler)

In 1962 I was asked to improve our company use of IRAD (Independent Research and Development) funds, and this led to the creation of a Research and Development Department to focus on technology critical to our future business. This group captured nearly all the CRAD they bid on. (Bosses: Bob Johnson, Ray Hallet, Joe Waisman)

In 1970 I was asked to learn enough about radar so that we could select and manage a radar contractor for the Hardsite system, a defensive weapon system designed to protect critical U. S. installations. We won the job with General Electric-Syracuse as our subcontractor. Later, I was asked to take over from Bell Labs the highly specialized radar detection and discrimination of warheads from decoys. With a small group, our digital simulations of radar responses solved the problems and we were given the sole responsibility for this function. (Bosses: Jack Bromberg, Don Black, John Gardner)

In 1976 I was asked to manage the IRAD program. We decentralized the control, and helped the principal investigators to perform like talented salesmen. As a result our scores became the highest in the MDC and matched the best in industry. (Bosses: Jim Dorrenbacher, Ade O'Neal, Fred Sanders, Ken Francis)

In 1983 based on my continuing expertise in radar, I was asked to manage a highly classified intelligence program

In 1984 I was asked to help the company win the Space Station project. We won, and I was put in charge of the Advanced Development Projects on Space Station. Our customer was very well-satisfied during the competitive Phase B. On the final winning proposal I was responsible for the "Other Factors" volume, including information in both technical and non-technical areas. (Bosses: Bob Thompson, Dave Wensley, Tom Parkinson)

In 1987 I assisted in writing the executive summary of the MLV-II proposal. This proposal won, became Delta II and is the basis of a major portion of our business now. (Proposal boss: Don Magill)

In 1990 I was named as the proposal manager of the "Mobile Remote Manipulator Development Facility" bid at Houston. I orchestrated the proposal, dealt with all the interfaces, got the price as low as possible, and we won the job. (Bosses: Monty Ratcliff, Bob Thompson)

In 1991 I was selected to be a key member of the Malcolm Baldrige application for quality. This challenge resulted in an excellent submission for evaluation. Our application's excellence compared better than most in the Corporation. (Boss: Bonnie Soodik)

In 1992 I was asked to write the executive summary for the Centrifuge Facility, a device that would go in the Space Station and spin plants and animals. This proposal also won, although there were two bidders and two winners. This project is still not decided, with the various redesigns of Space Station influencing the authorization of the money. Our last proposal named me as the Chief Scientist for this project. (Bosses: Dave Richman, Dave Wensley, George Butler, Wayne Marcus)

On October 8, 1993, I retired from McDonnell Douglas after 43 years of service.

Major Strengths

Ability to take complex ideas and explain them in simple words, oral and written
Knowledge of a wide variety of technical areas of both science and engineering
Appreciation for the skills to make hardware as well as those for analysis
Excellent knowledge of the proposal process, inherent to winning new business
Great team leadership ability and willingness to be on teams
High productivity, especially flexible in taking advantage of computer efficiencies
High creativity
Marvelous record at getting along with nearly everybody
Good at view graph presentations
Started two Toastmaster Clubs for the company
Recognized set of high ethical standards
Familiarity with the strategic planning process

Current professional memberships and publications:

American Association for the Advancement of Science (Science)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA Journal)
American Physical Society (Physics Today)
American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR Journal)
Ancient Astronaut Society
Center for UFO Studies (International UFO Reporter, or IUR)
Electric Spacecraft Journal
Fund for UFO Research (appointed to Board of Directors)
Infinite Energy
Journal of Galilean Electrodynamics
Mutual UFO Network (appointed to Board of Directors, MUFON Journal)
Rotary International (The Rotarian)
Scientific American
Sigma Xi (American Scientist)
Society for Scientific Exploration (elected to Council, Journal of Scientific Exploration)
Toastmasters International (The Toastmaster)

External Publications of Robert M. Wood

The ETH and the 5 reasons by Vallée:

See also:

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This page was last updated on May 22, 2002.