Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base and census-designated place just east of Dayton, Ohio, in Greene and Montgomery counties. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is 10 miles northeast of Dayton; the host unit at Wright-Patterson AFB is the 88th Air Base Wing, assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Air Force Materiel Command. The 88 ABW operates the airfield, maintains all infrastructure and provides security, medical, personnel, finance, air traffic control, weather forecasting, public affairs and chaplain services for more than 60 associate units; the base's origins begin with the establishment of Wilbur Wright Field on 22 May and McCook Field in November 1917, both established by the Army Air Service as World War I installations. McCook was used for aviation experiments. Wright was used as a flying field. McCook's functions were transferred to Wright Field when it was closed in October 1927.
Wright-Patterson AFB was established in 1948 as a merger of Wright Fields. In 1995, negotiations to end the Bosnian War were held at the base, resulting in the Dayton Agreement that ended the war; the 88th Air Base Wing is commanded by Col. John M. Devillier Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant John M. Mazza; the base had a total of 27,406 military and contract employees in 2010. The Greene County portion of the base is a census-designated place, with a resident population of 1,821 at the 2010 census. Wright-Patterson AFB is "one of the largest, most diverse, organizationally complex bases in the Air Force" with a long history of flight tests spanning from the Wright Brothers into the Space Age, it is the headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command, one of the major commands of the Air Force. "Wright-Patt" is the location of a major USAF Medical Center, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the National Museum of the United States Air Force known as the U. S. Air Force Museum.
It is the home base of the 445th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command, an Air Mobility Command-gained unit which flies the C-17 Globemaster heavy airlifter. Wright-Patterson is the headquarters of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Wright-Patterson is the host of the annual United States Air Force Marathon which occurs the weekend closest to the Air Force's anniversary. 88th Air Base WingThe 88 ABW consists of more than 5,000 officers, enlisted Air Force and contractor employees responsible for three primary mission areas: operating the installation. The Wing reports to the Aeronautical Systems Center, a major development and acquisition product center of Air Force Materiel Command, it consists of the following organizations: 88th Civil Engineer Squadron 88th Communications Group 88th Medical Group – Wright-Patterson Medical Center 88th Mission Support Group 88th Comptroller Squadron 88th Security Forces Squadron 88th Air Base Wing Staff AgenciesTenant unitsAir Force Materiel Command Air Force Life Cycle Management Center 77th Aeronautical Systems Wing 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing 326th Aeronautical Systems Wing 478th Aeronautical Systems Wing 516th Aeronautical Systems Wing Air Force Security Assistance Center Air Force Research Laboratory known as Wright Labs Air Force Institute of Technology National Air and Space Intelligence Center National Museum of the U.
S. Air Force 445th Airlift Wing 554th Electronic Systems Group Prehistoric Indian mounds of the Adena culture at Wright-Patterson are along P Street and, at the Wright Brothers Memorial, a hilltop mound group. Aircraft operations on land now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base began in 1904–1905 when Wilbur and Orville Wright used an 84-acre plot of Huffman Prairie for experimental test flights with the Wright Flyer III, their flight exhibition company and the Wright Company School of Aviation returned 1910–1916 to use the flying field. World War I transfers of land that became WPAFB include 2,075-acre along the Mad River leased to the Army by the Miami Conservancy District, the adjacent 40 acres purchased by the Army from the District for the Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot, a 254-acre complex for McCook Field just north of downtown Dayton between Keowee Street and the Great Miami River. In 1918, Wilbur Wright Field agreed to let McCook Field use hangar and shop space as well as its enlisted mechanics to assemble and maintain airplanes and engines.
After World War I, 347 German aircraft were brought to the United States—some were incorporated into the Army Aeronautical Museum. The training school at Wilbur Wright Field was discontinued. Wilbur Wright Field and the depot merged; the Patterson family formed the Dayton Air Service Committee, Inc which held a campaign that raised $425,000 in two days and purchased 4,520.47 acres northeast of Dayton, including Wilbur Wright Field and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. In 1924, the Comm
Unidentified flying object
An unidentified flying object is an object observed in the sky, not identified. Most UFOs are identified as conventional objects or phenomena; the term is used for claimed observations of extraterrestrial spacecraft. The term "UFO" was coined in 1953 by the United States Air Force to serve as a catch-all for all such reports. In its initial definition, the USAF stated that a "UFOB" was "any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object." Accordingly, the term was restricted to that fraction of cases which remained unidentified after investigation, as the USAF was interested in potential national security reasons and/or "technical aspects". During the late 1940s and through the 1950s, UFOs were referred to popularly as "flying saucers" or "flying discs"; the term UFO became more widespread during the 1950s, at first in technical literature, but in popular use.
UFOs garnered considerable interest during the Cold War, an era associated with a heightened concern for national security, more in the 2010s, for unexplained reasons. Various studies have concluded that the phenomenon does not represent a threat to national security, nor does it contain anything worthy of scientific pursuit; the Oxford English Dictionary defines a UFO. The first published book to use the word was authored by Donald E. Keyhoe; the acronym "UFO" was coined by Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, who headed Project Blue Book the USAF's official investigation of UFOs, he wrote, "Obviously the term'flying saucer' is misleading when applied to objects of every conceivable shape and performance. For this reason the military prefers the more general, if less colorful, name: unidentified flying objects. UFO for short." Other phrases that were used and that predate the UFO acronym include "flying flapjack", "flying disc", "unexplained flying discs", "unidentifiable object". The phrase "flying saucer" had gained widespread attention after the summer of 1947.
On June 24, a civilian pilot named Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects flying in formation near Mount Rainier. Arnold estimated the speed of discs to be over 1,200 mph. At the time, he claimed he described the objects flying in a saucer-like fashion, leading to newspaper accounts of "flying saucers" and "flying discs". Ufo's were referred to colloquially, as a "Bogey" by military personal and pilots during the cold war; the term "bogey" was used to report anomalies in radar blips, to indicate possible hostile forces that might be roaming in the area. In popular usage, the term UFO came to be used to refer to claims of alien spacecraft, because of the public and media ridicule associated with the topic, some ufologists and investigators prefer to use terms such as "unidentified aerial phenomenon" or "anomalous phenomena", as in the title of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena. "Anomalous aerial vehicle" or "unidentified aerial system" are sometimes used in a military aviation context to describe unidentified targets.
Studies have established that the majority of UFO observations are misidentified conventional objects or natural phenomena—most aircraft, noctilucent clouds, nacreous clouds, or astronomical objects such as meteors or bright planets with a small percentage being hoaxes. Between 5% and 20% of reported sightings are not explained, therefore can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense. While proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis suggest that these unexplained reports are of alien spacecraft, the null hypothesis cannot be excluded that these reports are other more prosaic phenomena that cannot be identified due to lack of complete information or due to the necessary subjectivity of the reports. Instead of accepting the null hypothesis, UFO enthusiasts tend to engage in special pleading by offering outlandish, untested explanations for the validity of the ETH; these violate Occam's razor. No scientific papers about UFOs have been published in peer-reviewed journals. There was, in the past, some debate in the scientific community about whether any scientific investigation into UFO sightings is warranted with the general conclusion being that the phenomenon was not worthy of serious investigation except as a cultural artifact.
UFOs have been the subject of investigations by various governments who have provided extensive records related to the subject. Many of the most involved government-sponsored investigations ended after agencies concluded that there was no benefit to continued investigation; the void left by the lack of institutional or scientific study has given rise to independent researchers and fringe groups, including the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena in the mid-20th century and, more the Mutual UFO Network and the Center for UFO Studies. The term "Ufology" is used to describe the collective efforts of those who study reports and associated evidence of unidentified flying objects. UFOs have become a prevalent theme in modern culture, the social phenomena have been the subject of academic research in sociology and psychology. Unexplained aerial observations have been reported throughout history; some were undoubtedly astronomical in nature: comets, bright meteors, one or more of the five planets that can be readily
John A. Samford
John Alexander Samford was a United States Air Force lieutenant general and a director of the National Security Agency. Samford was born at Hagerman, New Mexico, in 1905, he graduated from high school in 1922 and spent one year at Columbia University in New York City. In 1924, he received a senatorial appointment to the United States Military Academy, he graduated in 1928, 131st in a class of 260. Second Lieutenant Samford's first assignment was that of a student officer at Texas. In 1929, he received his pilot wings at Kelly Field and was rated a command pilot. Lieutenant Samford's first assignment after Kelly Field was Fort Crockett located at Galveston, Texas. In 1930, he returned to Kelly Field. In 1934, he was ordered to an Armament School at Chanute Field, Illinois. From 1935 until 1942, he held various assignments in Panama, Virginia and Florida. Colonel Samford was assistant chief of staff, G-1, Headquarters Third Air Force, in Tampa, when appointed chief of staff of the VIII Air Force Composite Command located in Northern Ireland.
In 1943, Colonel Samford was appointed deputy chief of staff of the Eighth Air Force, chief of staff of the VIII Bomber Command. In 1944, Colonel Samford was promoted to brigadier general and appointed chief of staff of the Eighth Air Force. In October 1944 he was appointed deputy assistant chief of staff, A-2, Headquarters U. S. Army Air Forces. In January 1947, Brigadier General Samford was appointed commander, 24th Composite Wing which soon thereafter became the Antilles Air Division of the Caribbean Air Command. In May 1949, Brigadier General Samford was appointed commandant of the Air Staff School, he was promoted to major general in 1950 and held a brief appointment as commandant of the Air War College before being appointed director of intelligence of the U. S. Air Force, it was during Samford's tenure as director of Air Force intelligence that Project Blue Book, which investigated unidentified flying objects was started. On July 29, 1952 General Stamford conducted a press conference at the Pentagon related to UFOs.
In December 1954, General Samford went to Russia. General Samford was mentioned at the beginning of the 1956 film UFO which examined the phenomena of unidentified flying objects, he served as Vice Director of the National Security Agency from June to August 1956. In November 1956, Major General Samford was appointed director of the National Security Agency and promoted to lieutenant general, he held this post until his retirement on November 23, 1960. His successor as NSA director was Admiral Laurence H. Frost, he died on November 20, 1968 in Washington, DC. Command Pilot Wings Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster Air Medal American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal Officer, Legion of Honor Air Force biography at Archive.today Gen. John Samford Announces Project Blue Book Findings on YouTube
Distinguished Flying Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Flying Cross is a military decoration awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918." The first award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was made by President Calvin Coolidge on May 2, 1927, to ten aviators of the U. S. Army Air Corps who had participated in the Army Pan American Flight which took place from December 21, 1926, to May 2, 1927. Two of the airmen died in a mid-air collision trying to land at Buenos Aires on February 26, 1927, received their awards posthumously; the award had only been authorized by Congress the previous year and no medals had yet been struck, so the Pan American airmen received only certificates. Among the ten airmen were Major Herbert Dargue, Captains Ira C. Eaker and Muir S. Fairchild, 1st Lt. Ennis C. Whitehead. Charles Lindbergh received the first presentation of the actual medal about a month from Coolidge during the Washington, D.
C. homecoming reception on June 1927, from his trans-Atlantic flight. The medal had hurriedly been readied just for that occasion; the 1927 War Department General Order authorizing Lindbergh's DFC states that it was awarded by the President, while the General Order for the Pan American Flyers' DFC citation notes that the War Department awarded it "by direction of the President." The first Distinguished Flying Cross to be awarded to a Naval aviator was received by Commander Richard E. Byrd, USN for his trans-Atlantic flight from June 29 to July 1, 1927, from New York City to the coast of France. Byrd and his pilot Machinist Floyd Bennett had received the Medal of Honor for their historic flight to the North Pole on May 9, 1926. Numerous recipients of the medal earned greater fame in other occupations. DFC awards can be retroactive to cover notable achievements back to the beginning of World War I. On February 23, 1929, Congress passed special legislation to allow the award of the DFC to the Wright brothers for their December 17, 1903, flight.
Other civilians who have received the award include Wiley Post, Jacqueline Cochran, Roscoe Turner, Amelia Earhart, Glenn H. Curtiss, Eugene Ely, it was limited to military personnel by an Executive Order. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to receive the DFC on July 29, 1932, when it was presented to her by Vice President Charles Curtis in Los Angeles for her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean earlier that year. During World War II, the medal's award criteria varied depending on the theater of operations, aerial combat, engaged in, the missions that were accomplished. In the Pacific, commissioned officers were awarded the DFC, while enlisted men were given the Air Medal. In Europe, some crews received it for their overall performance through a tour of duty; the criteria used was however not consistent over time. The Distinguished Flying Cross was authorized by Section 12 of the United States Army Air Corps Act enacted by Congress on July 2, 1926, as amended by Executive Order 7786 on January 8, 1938.
This act provided for award to any person who distinguishes himself "by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight" while serving in any capacity with the Air Corps. The Distinguished Flying Cross was designed by Arthur E. DuBois; the medal is a bronze cross pattee, on whose obverse is superimposed a four-bladed propeller, 1 11/16 inches in width. Five rays extend from the reentrant angles; the reverse is blank. The cross is suspended from a rectangular bar; the suspension and service ribbon of the medal is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/32 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118. DevicesAdditional awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross are shown with bronze or silver Oak Leaf Clusters for the Army and Air Force, gold and silver 5⁄16 Inch Stars for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Air Force and Marine Corps may authorize the "V" device for wear on the DFC to denote valor in combat. The Army does not authorize the "V" device to be worn on the DFC.
The other services can award the DFC for extraordinary achievement without the "V" device. In July 2014, the United States Senate passed the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial Act; the act was sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer, to designate the Distinguished Flying Cross Memorial at March Field Air Museum adjacent to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California as a national memorial to recognize members of United States Armed Forces who have distinguished themselves by heroism in aerial flight. The act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 25, 2014. Note: the rank indicated is the highest held by the individual. Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford, USAF: Flew to the Moon on Apollo 10, commander of the Apollo-Soyuz mission. Major General Michael Collins, USAF: Command module pilot for Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. Major General Joe Engle, USAF: X-15 and Space Shuttle pilot. Rear Admiral Alan Shepard, USN: One of the original seven American astronauts, firs
National Air and Space Intelligence Center
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center is the United States Air Force unit for analyzing military intelligence on foreign air and space forces and systems. NASIC assessments of aerospace performance characteristics and vulnerabilities are used to shape national security and defense policies and supports weapons treaty negotiations and verification. In 1917 the Foreign Data Section of the Army Signal Corps’ Airplane Engineering Department was established at McCook Field, a NASIC predecessor operated the Army Aeronautical Museum of the Material Division, August 22, 1935; the Office of the Chief of Air Corps's Information Division had become the OCAC Intelligence Division by 1939, which transferred into the USAAF as AC/AS, Intelligence and was known as A-2 The United States Army Air Forces evaluated foreign aircraft during World War II with the "T-2 Intelligence Department at Wright Field and Freeman Field, Indiana". In July 1944, Wright Field analysts fired. Post-war, Operation Lusty recruited German technology experts who were interrogated prior to working in the United States, e.g. Dr. Herbert Wagner at a Point Mugu USMC detachment and Walter Dornberger at Bell Aircraft.
The "capability…anticipated for Soviet intercontinental jet bombers" determined a Radar Fence was needed for sufficient U. S. warning and that the "1954 Interceptor" was needed: "the appearance of a Soviet jet bomber 1954…May Day parade"."By 1944, it had become obvious that German aeronautical technology was superior in many ways, to that of this country, we needed to obtain this technology and make use of it," said P-47 and Messerschmitt ME-262 pilot Army Air Forces Lieutenant Roy Brown during a speech at NASIC in 2014. To accomplish this task Col Harold E. Watson was sent from Wright Field to Europe in 1944, to locate German aircraft of advanced design. Watson would become an integral part of forming the intelligence unit that would become NASIC. On May 21, 1951, the Air Technical Intelligence Center was established as a USAF field activity of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence under the direct command of the Air Materiel Control Department. ATIC analyzed engine parts and the tail section of a Korean War Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 and in July, the center received a complete MiG-15 that had crashed.
ATIC obtained IL-10 and Yak-9 aircraft in operational condition, ATIC analysts monitored the flight test program at Kadena Air Base of a MiG-15 flown to Kimpo Air Base in September 1953 by a North Korean defector. ATIC awarded a contract to Battelle Memorial Institute for translation and analysis of materiel and documents gathered during the Korean War. ATIC/Battelle analysis allowed FEAF to develop engagement tactics for F-86 fighters. In 1958 ATIC had a Readix Computer in Building 828, 1 of 6 WPAFB buildings used by the unit prior to the center built in 1976. After Discoverer 29 photographed the "first Soviet ICBM offensive launch complex" at Plesetsk. In 1961 ATIC became the Foreign Technology Division, reassigned to Air Force Systems Command, FTD intelligence estimates were subsequently provided to the National Security Council through the 1962 United States Intelligence Board. FTD's additional location at the Tonopah Test Range Airport conducted test and evaluation of captured Soviet fighter aircraft.
The aircraft of the 1966 Iraqi Air Force MiG-21 defection was transferred to Nevada within a month of the flight, the 1968 US Air Force and Navy HAVE DOUGHNUT project flew the aircraft at Area 51 for simulated air combat training. U. S. casualties flying foreign aircraft included those in the 1979 Tonopah MiG-17 crash during training versus a Northrop F-5 and the 1984 Little Skull Mountain MiG-23 crash which killed a USAF general. FTD detachments were located in Virginia, Germany and Det 5—first in Massachusetts and Colorado. By 1968 FTD had an "Aerial Phenomenon Office" and in 1983, FTD/OLAI at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex published the Analysis of Cosmos 1220 and Cosmos 1306 Fragments. In October 1993 at the end of the Cold War, FTD became the National Air Intelligence Center as "a component of the Air Intelligence Agency", by 2005 had a Signals Exploitation Division after being renamed the National Air and Space Intelligence Center on February 15, 2003. NASIC's Defense Intelligence Space Threat Committee coordinates "a wide variety of complex space/counterspace analytical activities."
The Center includes a library with interlibrary loan to Air University, etc. Established and organized as Foreign Technology Division on 1 July 1961Redesignated: Air Force Foreign Technology Center on 1 October 1991 Redesignated: Foreign Aerospace Science and Technology Center on 1 January 1992 Redesignated: National Air Intelligence Center on 1 October 1993 Redesignated: National Air and Space Intelligence Center on 20 February 2003 Air Force Systems Command, 1 July 1961 – 30 September 1991 Air Force Intelligence Command, 1 October
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border; as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U. S. forces dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, cut off many North Korean troops; those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war; the surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951. In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel; the war in the air, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was signed, according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War. In South Korea, the war is referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval", reflecting the date of its commencement on June 25. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" or alternatively the "Chosǒn War". In China, the war is called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", although the term "Chaoxian War" is used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Hán War" more used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. In the U. S. the war was described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War, ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Many Korean nationalists fled the country; the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, had a fractious relationship with its U. S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign; the communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Manchuria. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, the United Kingdom, the United States all decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war o
J. Allen Hynek
Josef Allen Hynek was an American astronomer and ufologist. He is best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific advisor to UFO studies undertaken by the U. S. Air Force under three consecutive projects: Project Sign, Project Grudge, Project Blue Book. In years he conducted his own independent UFO research, developing the "Close Encounter" classification system, he was among the first people to conduct scientific analysis of reports and of trace evidence purportedly left by UFOs. Hynek was born in Chicago to Czech parents. In 1931, Hynek received a B. S. from the University of Chicago. In 1935, he completed his Ph. D. in astrophysics at Yerkes Observatory. He joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio State University in 1936, he specialized in the study of stellar evolution and in the identification of spectroscopic binary stars. During World War II, Hynek was a civilian scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he helped to develop the United States Navy's radio proximity fuze.
After the war, Hynek returned to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio State, rising to full professor in 1950. In 1953, Hynek submitted a report on the fluctuations in the brightness and color of starlight and daylight, with an emphasis on daytime observations. In 1956, he left to join Professor Fred Whipple, the Harvard astronomer, at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, which had combined with the Harvard Observatory at Harvard. Hynek had the assignment of directing the tracking of an American space satellite, a project for the International Geophysical Year in 1956 and thereafter. In addition to over 200 teams of amateur scientists around the world that were part of Operation Moonwatch, there were 12 photographic Baker-Nunn stations. A special camera was devised for the task and a prototype was built and tested and stripped apart again when, on Oct. 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched its first satellite, Sputnik 1. After completing his work on the satellite program, Hynek went back to teaching, taking the position of professor and chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern University in 1960.
In response to numerous reports of "flying saucers", the United States Air Force established Project Sign in 1948 to examine sightings of unidentified flying objects. Hynek was contacted to act as a scientific consultant to Project Sign, he studied UFO reports and decided whether the phenomena described therein suggested known astronomical objects. When Project Sign hired Hynek, he was skeptical of UFO reports. Hynek suspected that they were made by unreliable witnesses, or by persons who had misidentified man-made or natural objects. In 1948, Hynek said that "the whole subject seems utterly ridiculous," and described it as a fad that would soon pass. In his 1977 book, Hynek said, he said that debunking was what the Air Force expected of him. Hynek's opinions about UFOs changed. After examining hundreds of UFO reports over the decades, he concluded that some of the evidence was empirical. Another shift in Hynek's opinions came after conducting an informal poll of his astronomer colleagues in the early 1950s.
Among those he queried was Clyde Tombaugh. Furthermore, the astronomers were more knowledgeable about observing and evaluating the skies than the general public, so their observations were arguably more significant. Hynek was distressed by what he regarded as the dismissive or arrogant attitude of many mainstream scientists towards UFO reports and witnesses. In April 1953, Hynek wrote a report for the Journal of the Optical Society of America titled "Unusual Aerial Phenomena," which contained one of his best-known statements: Ridicule is not part of the scientific method, people should not be taught that it is; the steady flow of reports made in concert by reliable observers, raises questions of scientific obligation and responsibility. Is there... any residue, worthy of scientific attention? Or, if there isn't, does not an obligation exist to say so to the public—not in words of open ridicule but to keep faith with the trust the public places in science and scientists? In 1953, Hynek was an associate member of the Robertson Panel, which concluded that there was nothing anomalous about UFOs, that a public relations campaign should be undertaken to debunk the subject and reduce public interest.
Hynek would lament that the Robertson Panel had helped make UFOs a disreputable field of study. When the UFO reports continued at a steady pace, Hynek devoted some time to studying the reports and determined that some were puzzling after considerable study, he once said, "As a scientist I must be mindful of the lessons of the past. One was the negative and unyielding attitude of the Air Force, they wouldn't give UFOs the chance of existing if they were flying up and down the street in broad daylight. Everything had to have an explanation. I began to resent that though I felt the same way, because I still thought they weren't going about it in the right way. You can't assume. Secondly, the caliber of the witnesses began to trouble me. Quite a few instances were reported by military pilots, for example, I knew them to be well-trai