American astronomer J. Allen Hynek is best known for investigations of unidentified flying objects and efforts to promote “ufology” as a legitimate scientific pursuit.
|J. Allen Hynek (May 1, 1910 – April 27, 1986) studied astronomy at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at Ohio State University. In the late 1940s, he analyzed reports of unidentified aircraft sightings as a consultant to the U.S. Air Force’s “Project Sign.” The following decade, he began conducting more thorough investigations under the umbrella of||
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the renamed “Project Blue Book,” with his discoveries fueling a quest to turn the study of UFOs into a legitimate scientific practice. Hynek later founded the Center for UFO Studies and published multiple books on the subject. One of them introduced the “Close Encounter” classification of sightings, inspiring the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.