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The UFO phenomenon in the daily Press:

The article is from the daily newspaper The New York Time, July 30th, 1968.

Six scientists recommend flying saucers study:


At a hearing yesterday before the House Committee on Space and Astronautics, several witnesses urged Federal support for a huge program to collect information aimed at finally settling the decades old debate on UFOs. The committee chairman, Representative J. Edward Roush of Indiana, urged 3 months ago that Congress take over the saucer investigation being conducted by USAF after challenging the objectivity of the study.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Northwestern University said the USA should seek UN cooperation in setting up "an international clearing house" for UFO information "because there is almost a total lack of quantitative data" on the subject. Dr. James E. McDonald, a University of Arizona meteorologist, said that the scientific community tended to discount saucer reports because there was no scientific data, and yet these same scientists would not support the collection of such data. He also contended that the news media, including one New York City newspaper, was refusing to print news of UFO sightings. Dr. Hynek and Dr. McDonald were supported by Dr. Robert L. Hall, a University of Illinois sociology professor; Dr. Robert M. L. Baker Jr. of the Computer Sciences Corporation, El Segundo, CA; and Dr. James A. Harder, an associate professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University, author of Intelligent Life in the Universe, took the least positive stand on the existence of UFOs. Instead of an expensive UFO data gathering program which has a high risk of achieving positive results, he advocated instead an attempt to contact other civilizations with radio astronomy coupled with unmanned planetary space flights. Dr. Sagan added facetiously that "it may be that things are so bad here that someone up there will come to save us from ourselves."

It is unfortunate that the article develops more on the mockings of Carl Sagan than on the declarations of other scientists.

Here is the full text of scientist Dr. James McDonald at these hearings, by far more interesting in my opinion than the Carl Sagan jokes.

Much more to read about this theme in the science section of my website.

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This page was last updated on March 15, 2002.