David Jacobs, PH.D.
Associate Professor of History at Temple University

Jacob's The UFO Controversy in America 1975 was a result of a thesis paper in college.  Jacobs has an interest in the abduction phenomena and has written Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions 1992 and The Threat - 1998.  His latest book, UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge was published in September of 2000 and be found at his website below.

He has a website: ICAR - International Center for Abduction Research, an organization devoted to the dissemination of trustworthy information about UFO abductions.  It can be found at  the following URL; http://www.ufoabduction.com

Jim and Coral Lorenzen

Husband and wife team of Ufologists who founded APRO, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in 1952.  Throughout the 1950s and 1960s that organization and Keyhoe's NICAP were the leading ??? UFO groups.  APRO was the first organization to take seriously UFO landing reports and entity or humanoid sightings.
APRO declined in membership in the 1970s while MUFON rose in membership.  Jim Lorenzen died of cancer in 1986 while his wife Coral died in 1988.  The Lorenzens wrote several books including UFOs Over the Americas in 1968.

John Keel

American journalist, best known for his 1975 book, The Mothman Prophecies about weird happenings in West Virginia and southern Ohio in 1966 including UFO sightings and Men in Black (M.I.B.)  His other books include The Eighth Tower, Our Haunted Planet - 1971, UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse - 1970, and Disneyland of the Gods - 1988.  Keel tends to view UFOs as "Ultraterrestrial" in origin and that they are basically the same phenomenon as the ancient pagan gods and the Medieval demons except in a high tech disguise.
The Mothman Prophecies was made into a film starring Richard Gere.
Keel has expressed skepticism of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and has claimed what crashed at Roswell was nothing but a World War II Japanese Fugo balloon.

Jacques Vallee

French born computer scientist with a PH.D.  Vallee in the early 1960s was associated with Dr. J. Allen Hynek.  Vallee's Anatomy of a Phenomenon was one of the first pro-UFO books by a real scientist.  His other books include The Invisible College - 1975, Messengers of Deception - 1979, and Confrontations: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact - 1990.  Vallee drifted from the extraterrestrial hypothesis on UFOs to a theory that UFOs are a paranormal phenomenon like medieval fairies and angelic and demonic visitations.  Vallee and journalist John Keel are the leading exponents of this occult view of UFO origins.  Ironically, fundamentalist Christians view on UFOs are mainly based on Vallee's and Keel's writings.  Neither Vallee or Keel is religious.

The French Ufologist in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind is based on Dr. Vallee.

Budd Hopkins New York artist and hypnotist who after seeing a UFO became interested in the subject.  He specializes in researching the Abduction Phenomenon.  Missing Time, published in 1981 was a bestseller.  Later books are Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods and Sight Unseen - 2003 co-authored by his wife Carol Rainey.  Hopkins has often appeared in TV shows and documentaries on UFOs.  The PBS show "NOVA" in the 1990s did a debunking of alien abductions and was critical of Hopkins' scientific methodology.  However Stanton Friedman and others have defended Hopkins as a brave researcher.

John Mack
Born 1929- Died 2004

Pulitzer Prize winning psychiatrist and UFO abduction researcher.  He won the Pulitzer for his biography of Lawrence of Arabia.  Later he became interested in UFOs and abductions while at Harvard University.  His 1994 book Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens caused much controversy.  Some tried to get him removed from teaching a Harvard.  In 1949 Mack wrote Passport to the Cosmos.  In that book he compared abductions to the shamanic visions primitive people like Native Americans had.  Mack said we live in a multi-dimensional world.  Thus he didn't think UFOs were from another planet in a far away solar system.

Mack founded the PEER group; Program for Extraordinary Experience Research.  Tragically, Mack was killed by a drunk driver in London, England in 2004.  Ironically he was doing research for a book on life after death.

Philip J. Klass
Born 1919-Died 2005

Klass graduated in 1941 with a degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.  For a while he worked for General Electric.  Later he worked for 34 years for Aristian Week and Space Technology magazine.  Klass was best know as a debunker of UFOs.  He wrote several books including UFOs: The Public Deceived, Prometheus Books 1983 and The Real Roswell Crashed??? Saucer Cover-up - 1977.  he also had a Skeptics UFO Newsletter.  His view on UFOs can be summed up in this sentence by him; "In nearly 30 years of searching, investigating famous UFO cases I have yet to find one that cannot be explained in down-to-Earth prosaic terms".

Carl Sagan
Cornell educated astronomer, Carl Sagan, was the great popularizer of Astronomy in the 1970s and 1980s.

Several times he appeared on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.

He always expressed skepticism of UFOs and the paranormal.  His The Demon-Haunted World is a debunking of belief in the supernatural.  He also co-wrote the novel Contact made into a science fiction film with Julie Foster.  His PBS mini-series "Cosmos" was widely acclaimed.  Many other scientists were jealous of his success in the popular media and criticized his lack of scholarly, scientific research.  Sagan was also an advocate of marijuana smoking and a unilateral dismantling of America's nuclear arsenal.  He felt a nuclear war was unwinnable and would instead immense the world in a nuclear winter.

Donald Keyhoe
Born 1897 - Died 1988

Born in _______ and ______ at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Keyhoe became a Marine Corps major. He retired in 1923 after suffering an injury.

In 1927 he was an aide to aviator Charles Lindburgh.

He is best known as a popular free-lance writer in magazines and books.  His book The Flying Saucers Are Real was a bestseller in the 1950s.  Some of his other books are Flying Saucers from Outer Space - 1953 and Aliens from Space - 1973.

In 1953 Keyhoe became head of the civilian UFO group NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.  It declined in membership and Keyhoe resigned.  Keyhoe was probably the first noted person to accuse the U.S. government of covering up the secret of UFOs from the American people.

Leonard Stringfield
Born 1920 - Died 1994

Ohio native Stringfield served in Counter Intelligence in World War II.  It was while in a plane in August 1945 over the Pacific that he saw a UFO.  For 31 years he worked for Dubois Chemicals.  In the 1940s he worked with Air Defense Command, he was  also director of CRIFO, Civilian Research Interplanetary (Flying???) Objects.

Stringfield was a crash retrieval specialist.  He had sources whose names he kept confidential who told him of crashed saucers and alien bodies.  Most of his writings called Status Reports were self-published.

His book Situation Red: The UFO Siege was published in 1977.

Stanton Friedman

After receiving his Master of Science degree from the University of Chicago Friedman was employed for 14 years as a nuclear physicist.  Since the mid 1960s he has been a fulltime lecturer, researcher and writer on UFOs.

Friedman feels that some UFOs are alien spacecraft.  He coined the term, "Cosmic Watergate" to describe the UFO cover-up.  Currently he lives in New Brunwich, Canada.  He has a monthly column in the MUFON Journal.  Two of his books are Crash at Corona on Roswell, co-authored by Don Berliner and Top Secret Magic published in 1996.

Friedman is one of the few people who actually makes a career in UFOs.  He lectures throughout the world at UFO conventions.  He is probably the best known living Ufologist.

Whitley Strieber

American novelist of paranormal science fiction books like Warday? and Wolfen.  In the late 1980s his non-fiction book Communion became a surprise bestseller.  Communion was based on Strieber's own UFO abduction experiences in upstate New York.  Later it was made into a film with Christopher Walken.  Other books include Transformation and Majestic, a novel on Roswell.  He has also been a talk show host.  Many Ufologists, jealous of his financial success, have expressed skepticism of some of his claims.  His book Communion has caused many alleged abductees to seek the help of a hypno-therapist.

J. Allen Hynek

Born 1910 - Died 1986

He is probably the most famous Ufologist of his day.  An astronomer at both Ohio State University and Northwestern, he helped start CUFOS, the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Illinois.  Hynek began his career as a skeptic and debunker of UFOs for the government during the Air Force's Project Blue Book.  Gradually Hynek changed his thoughts about the reality of UFOs and finally accepted the fact that some UFOs probably do have an exotic origin, possibly from another planet or another dimension.

Two famous cases are associated with Dr. Hynek.  The 1964 Soccoro, New Mexico landing of a craft seen by police officer Lonnie Zamora which left physical traces and the 1966 sightings in Michigan.  Hynek made the mistake of saying perhaps what was seen was "swamp gas".  This caused much ridicule in the press and then Congressman Gerald Ford called for an investigation.  Hynek coined the term "Close Encounters of the First, Second, and Third Kind".  His writings include The UFO Experience - 1972 and The Hynek UFO Report - 1977.

With his goatee and pipe clenched in his hand, Hynek looked like the typical scientist.

Charles Hoy Fort
Born 1874 - Died 1932

Born in Albany, New York, journalist Fort has been called "The First Ufologist" even though he died two decades before the term UFO was coined.
Fort collected tens of thousands of articles from newspapers and scientific journals on anomalous phenomena such as mysterious lights in the sky, strange disappearances and unusual animals.  He collected this information into four books, The Book of the Damned - 1919, New Lands - 1923, LO! - 1931 and Wild Talents.

The word "Fortean" that describes any scholar of the unexplained is derived from his name.  Fort was the first to speculate that aliens may be experimenting on our planet.  He wrote "I think we are property".

Fort lived much of his life in poverty.  He practically lived in libraries.  The British Fortean Times magazine is named in his honor.

Who’s Who in Ufology by Jon Fry RUFOS Home Home

Websites with Who’s Who information


NICAP - National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomenon http://www.nicap.org  

NOUFORS - Northern Ontario UFO Research and Study