Friday, May 4, 2012

Vallee on McDonald - part two

Dear readers,

This post will continue from my previous one (click here) which started taking a look at what Jacques Vallee's diaries told us about James E McDonald, as seen from Vallee's perspective.

"Chicago. Thursday 9 June 1966.
...Afterwards Hynek bought me lunch...Naturally we compared notes about McDonald, and we discovered we had the same impression: extremely positive and enthusiastic at first, then a certain feeling of mistrust towards the man, an uneasy reaction that was hard to define." (p.188.)

"Chicago. Sunday 12 June 1966.
Tomorrow Hynek goes to Wright Field to meet with the Base Commander, General Cruikshanks. He wants to find out just how impressed he was with McDonald's arguements...In his answer the Secretary of the Air Force says he has "Carefully studied" his ideas: indeed the Air Force will go ahead with university-based investigations, which McDonald wanted to scratch as  academic, worthless and irrelevant." (p.188.)

"Chicago. Thursday 16 June 1966.
...Hynek seems more preoccupied and tense than ever. The source of his worries is McDonald's abrasive, insulting ways, so diametrically opposed to his own gentle and witty personality. I pointed out that McDonald's radicalism would in fact make the way smoother for him. He is preparing a lecture before the American Optical Society in which he will argue that a serious, sober study is needed. In contrast, McDonald now advocates throwing everything overboard." (pp188-9.)

"Chicago. Thursday 23 June 1966.
Hynek can't sleep anymore, caught as he is between McDonald's vitriolic attacks and the Air Force's desertion...Finally he picked up the phone and woke up the Lorenzens to share his distress with them. They told him that Jim McDonald had had a strong interest in UFOs for the last four years. So, why is he pretending to have suddenly "discovered" a scandal? Why has he picked Hynek as his primary target?"  (p.192.)

"Chicago. Sunday 26 June 1966.
Jim McDonald called me yesterday from Tucson to get more data about power failure cases. We ended up spending an hour on the phone talking about the general situation of the field. He confessed to me that his radical campaign bore little fruit so far. He acknowledged he had not succeeded in convincing Kuiper either. Even his friend Brian O'Brien, with whom he had another meeting last Friday, remains skeptical. One would think he would learn something from this. Yet he continues to claim that the lack of interest in the subject among scientists is all Hynek's fault. He has clearly been indoctrinated by the folks at NICAP especially Keyhoe and Hall. In a conversation with McDonald, Hall has even insinuated that Hynek doesn't really know much about the UFO problem, and that he had only done research on "five or six cases," which is patently false. Hyneck's only interest in the whole thing, Hall told McDonald, is the money he gets from the Air Force!...Jim tries to recruit me for his camp.

"If it wasn't for your influence, and all the research you brought over from France, Hynek would still be arguing that ninety-nine percent of those reports are due to Venus or to marsh-gas!" he said. "It's time for you to move on."

Yet I don't see what good McDonald's approach will do, if he keeps behaving like a bull in a china shop." (p.195.)

"Chicago. Sunday 10 July 1966.
...when I think about the coming year it seems probable that the UFO scene will now be narrowed to two main groups...On one side will be the university group that will be funded by the Air Force, and on the other side NICAP which will find a strong supporter in McDonald. I think he has enough ambition to see the UFO problem as a springboard that can send him to the foremost echelon in American science.

The other day he told me on the phone that "Hynek's hesitation demonstrated he wasn't the man of the situation." The implication was that he Jim McDonald was the one who should lead ufology to its ultimate victory and that I should rally under his banner. He certainly is a true man of action, capable of organizing a vast campaign, leaving no detail uncovered. He does not have Hynek's subservient attitude towards power, his obsequiousness towards the military. For example, McDonald has clearly seen through Hynek's harmless pleasure at having a jeep and a driver at his disposal in Michigan. What he fails to recognize in Hynek are the other important and subtle traits in his character...Where was McDonald all these years?" (p.197.)

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