Are We Alone? J. Allen Hynek & UFOs

Original Source:

Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and Sherman J. Larson. Listen to Part 1 and 2 of the radio show below. Image above: J. Allen Hynek in Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation (2019) [Source]

It was 1966 and I was living a dream working at my high school 10-watt FM radio station. Radio was a childhood passion and finally I had my own show; I was even the board operator recording shows like the monthly 15-minute update, Your Congressman Speaks, with our local congressional rep, a fellow named Donald Rumsfeld. I also was enraptured by astronomy and space and created an hourlong radio special called Are We Alone?, a look at the question of extra-terrestrial life and UFOs.

In March of that year Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Chair of Astronomy at Northwestern, came to national prominence as a lead investigator of mysterious sightings in Michigan when he introduced the notion that swamp gas could be the culprit for the illusion. Hynek had a storied career as the globally respected UFOlogist, consulting the famed Project Blue Book, the US Air Force and NASA, and founded CUFOS, The Center for UFO Studies. While he was very much sought after then, Hynek granted this 17 year-old an hour plus with himself and cohort Fred Beckman, a renowned University of Chicago photo analyst, to dig into this subject.

The show also includes a discussion with Sherman J. Larson, the President of the Chicago affiliate of NICAP—the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

Now after 50+ years, this historic content has been restored from badly deteriorating reel to reel tapes. It was originally broadcast on the high school station WNTH and later re-aired on Denver radio.