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Science and the UFO phenomenon:

Dr. James E. McDonald:


An excellent biography of Dr. James E. McDonald was written by ufologist Ann Druffel: "Firestorm - Dr. James E. McDonald's fight of UFO science", Wild Flower Press, 2003.

James E. McDonald received his Ph.D. in physics from Iowa State University in 1951, then worked there as an assistant professor in meteorology. He then worked as a research physicist in the University of Chicago's department of meteorology from 1953 to 1954, when he 1954 he joined the University of Arizona faculty, first as an associate professor from 1954-1956, then as a full professor in the department of meteorology from 1956 to 1971. McDonald was also a senior physicist in the University's Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and served as both associate director (1954-56) and scientific director (1956-57). He also advised numerous federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, The Office of Naval Research, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Environmental Science Service Administration.

During the mid-late 1960s, McDonald became intensively involved in UFO research, interviewing hundreds of UFO witnesses and lecturing widely on the subject to professional societies. His talks emphasized the need for a serious scientific study, adding that he considered the best reports to be evidence of extraterrestrial visitations. He also played an important role in Congressional UFO hearings in 1968.

Privately, McDonald analyzed a huge number of the Project Blue Book case files, convincing him that the Air Force had performed an entirely inadequate to have been more concerned with internal politics rather than real science. He also reviewed the cases dealt with by the Colorado Project which resulted in the Condon report and concluded that several of their explanations were incorrect or ill-conceived. McDonald left no book but privately published many monographs based on his lecture presentations, some of which are available on my webiste in the science section or from the listing underneath.

Here is a non-exhaustive listing of writings and talks by Dr. James E. McDonald about the UFO issue.

Note: James McDonald obviously also wrote books and papers that are references in the field of atmospheric physics, but here I only intended to provide a bibliography of his ufological writings.

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This page was last updated on April 21, 2007.