This is the third post in my series taking a look at James E McDonald, as viewed through the eyes of Jacques Vallee's diaries.
Chicago. Sunday 23 July 1966.
Speaking of Hynek's forward to his book "Challenge."
"Why should he be defensive before McDonald? It is to the public that he owes an explanation. McDonald, who is fast becoming the darling of the ufologists, is only another demagogue." (p.198.)
Chicago. Sunday 24 July 1966.
"I am finishing the study of the Air Force files for 1951. I find landings and large cigar-shaped objects, just as in Aime Michel's classic work. I am beginning to think like McDonald: how could Hynek have missed this?" (p.199.)
Chicago. Tuesday 26 July 1966.
Speaking of Hynek. "He is still worried about McDonald, who gives orders at Wright Field as if he owned the base." (p.200.)
Chicago. Friday 7 October 1966.
"In the midst of all this Jim McDonald is trying hard to recapture the attention of the media, which is slipping away from him. He is now telling the press what he secretly believed all along: Flying saucers are extraterrestrial spacecraft. Big deal. He does not have any evidence to support his statement, so he has very little impact except among the small circle of the ufologists, who were already convinced. In the scientific world he carries far less weight now than he did last spring. Besides, the gossip in Arizonia academic circles is that his wife doesn't believe in UFOs." (p.223.)
Chicago. Tuesday 17 October 1966.
"Jim McDonald was going through O'Hare tonight. He took the time to call me, at the end of a gray cold day. He seemed much more calm than last time, perhaps because his personal position is now a matter of public record. He wanted to know what was happening behind the scenes in France. I gave him a vague answer, without mentioning how high our contacts went. He told me he felt good about the Colorado team, given Condon's reputation as an intellectually independent man...McDonald only regrets seeing no field experienced scientist on the team..." (p.223.)
Chicago. Wednesday 29 March 1967.
"This evening, McDonald called me to say he was coming to Chicago in three weeks. he wanted to meet with me to discuss the results of my last trip to France. he is still trying to bring me into his team...The man is sure of himself as ever, he keeps telling everybody what to do. He has lost nothing of his arrogance." (p.249.)
Chicago. Sunday 16 April 1967.
Vallee was sorting papers at Hynek's house. "...I stumbled on something I felt was important. I found it among the relics of Project Henry. It was a simple letter dated 1954.
It came from a cloud physicist at the University of Chicago who was studying for a doctorate at the time. Together with three other physicists he had seen a bright unidentified object in the sky above Arizona. The letter gave precise details and calculations. It was signed James McDonald." (p.255.)
Chicago. Tuesday 18 April 1967.
"At lunch today I brought Bill Powers up to date. He told me he placed no trust in McDonald. "All his views are negatively oriented," he observed. "He doesn't propose anything concrete, otherwise he would just do it and move forward. All he does is to complain and criticize." (p.256.)
Chicago. Saturday 22 April 1967.
"Jim speaks today before the annual meeting of American newspaper editors. He has sent me the advance text of his remarks. This time all the cards are on the table. He repeats loudly what we have been saying in private about the Air Force, which he accuses of negligence, and about Menzel whom he practically calls incompetent. he also comes close to calling Hynek a coward...he accuses Menzel of not conducting a proper quantitative study, but he is guilty of the same thing. One minute he makes a big show of blowing up the doors that we have already forced open, the next he rushes forward crazily and hits his head against solid brick walls." (p.257.)
Chicago. Sunday 23 April 1967.
"In the evening Jim McDonald came over to Bryn Mawr...I hadn't seen McDonald in a year or so. I thought he looked much older, and he seemed to have lost some weight. He told us frankly that his press conference, without being a complete fiasco, had not led to the major fight he had been hoping for. Menzel had skilfully avoided him. Klass had wasted his time. Quintilla had not contradicted him. Reporters in the audience had asked questions that were too limited in scope...." (p.258.)