At first, Hynek described the UFO phenomenon as “utterly ridiculous” and “a fad that would soon pass.”  His opinion would change, however, with his study of hundreds of reports over the decades.  He concluded that reports made by credible witnesses like airline pilots, law enforcement and military personnel represented empirical observations.  He was later quoted as saying, “As a scientist I must be mindful of the past; all too often it has happened that matters of great value to science were overlooked because the new phenomenon did not fit the accepted scientific outlook of the time.”
Dr. J. Allen Hynek
Astrophysicist J. Allen Hynek founded the Center For UFO Studies (CUFOS) in 1973
Kenneth Arnold

Kenneth Arnold first assumed the flying craft he was seeing were military jets because of their speed, which, judging the distance between two peaks and noting time it took for them to pass from one to the other, he calculated as more than 1,500 miles an hour. But they were weird looking, somewhat like flat pie pans and did not seem to have tails.


Cat's Eye Nebula


Why You Should Knoiw
What others think
What this means
What you can do

Although accounts that can be interpreted as UFO sightings go back thousands of years, the phenomenon as we know it today started with the story of Kenneth Arnold, who said he spotted nine crescent-shaped objects while he was flying his plane over Mount Rainer, Washington in 1947.  His was the first widely reported sighting and many more like it have followed, even by commercial and military pilots, some with radar confirmation.  In 1952, the US Air Force initiated Project Blue Book to investigate various UFO reports and hired Dr. J. Allen Hynek as their scientific consultant.