- AP: Hynek Obituary PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) - J. Allen Hynek, a leading authority on unidenti

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- AP: Hynek Obituary PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) -- J. Allen Hynek, a leading authority on unidentified flying objects and former director of the Air Force's Project Blue Book that investigated UFOs, has died at age 75. Hynek, a professor of astronomy who died Sunday at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, directed Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1948 to 1969. He eventually became disenchanted with the Air Force's approach to the study, contending the service was not conducting a scientific experiment. The Air Force concluded there was no evidence of extraterrestrial craft. In a 1974 interview, Hynek said he stayed with the program so he would have access to the Air Force data and to avoid being marked a "UFO nut." He founded the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Ill., in 1973, and moved to Scottsdale a year ago, bringing the center with him. Hynek coined the phrase, "close encounters of the third kind," in his 1972 book, "The UFO Experience." The phrase, meaning experiences in which alien beings were encountered, became the title of the 1977 Steven Speilberg movie. Hynek, who was born in Chicago, did undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Chicago from which he received his Ph.D. He was head of the Department of Astronomy at Northwestern University for 18 years until his retirement in 1978. He resigned from the Center for UFO Research after he became ill and was not active in the studies for the past several months, said Tina Choate, administrative director of the center. Survivors include his wife, Miriam; a daughter, four sons and five grandchildren.


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