This week we lead off with news about artificial intelligence, and the passing of an influential NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, before turning our attention to Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force study of UFOs, and its scientific consultant J. Allen Hynek.
During the early years of the Air Force’s UFO investigations, Hynek, a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University, was tasked with lending his scientific knowledge as the astronomical consultant to programs like Project Blue Book.
As noted at the website of the Center for UFO Studies (which Hynek founded in 1973), “At first, Dr. Hynek was skeptical of the whole UFO business, but after examining hundreds of UFO reports by credible witnesses, he became convinced UFOs were worthy of serious study.” Even for years after the close of Project Blue Book, Hynek would continue to pursue answers to the UFO mystery, instituting a system of classification comprising Nocturnal Lights, Daylight Discs, Radar Cases, and three different levels of “Close Encounter,” the most rare and controversial of all the UFO sighting types. We explore all of these, as well as what Hynek had to say about Project Blue Book and his participation with it, on this edition of the podcast.
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Below are links to stories and other content featured in this episode:
- Artificial intelligence yields new antibiotic
- Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician depicted in ‘Hidden Figures,’ dies at 101
- Interview with NASA Pioneer and “Computer” Katherine Johnson
- The Hynek UFO Report at Internet Archive
- The Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS)
- Project Blue Book resources at the National Archives
- FBI Files related to Project Blue Book
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Music featured on The Micah Hanks Program includes songs composed by Caleb Hanks (The Clerk Chronicles), Decepticons (Dreamland, Start the Machine) and Micah Hanks. All songs are either in the public domain, Royalty Free, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, or are used with permission of the creators.