James McDonald

Dr. James McDonald was a prominent figure in the UFO research community during the mid-20th century. He was born on May 7th, 1920, in Duluth, Minnesota, and grew up in a family of scientists. His father was a physicist, and his mother was a mathematician.

McDonald’s educational background was extensive, and he held multiple degrees from prestigious universities. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Wyoming in 1941, and his Master of Science degree in Meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1948. He also earned a Doctor of Science degree in Meteorology from MIT in 1954.

McDonald’s employment background included several positions in academia and government. He served as a professor of meteorology at the University of Arizona from 1954 until his death in 1971. Additionally, he worked as a consultant for various government agencies, including the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the United States Air Force.

James E. McDonald, an American atmospheric physicist and a prominent UFO researcher, died on June 13, 1971. His death was ruled a suicide. McDonald was found in the Tucson desert with a gunshot wound to the head, and a pistol was discovered near his body.

McDonald’s interest in UFOs began in the mid-1950s when he witnessed a UFO while on a research trip in Arizona. After this encounter, he became dedicated to the scientific study of UFOs and began collecting data and analyzing reports from around the world.

One of McDonald’s most significant contributions to the UFO research community was his advocacy for the scientific study of UFOs. He argued that UFO sightings were a legitimate scientific problem that required investigation, and he called for the establishment of a government-funded UFO research program.

McDonald was a vocal critic of the Air Force’s UFO investigation program, known as Project Blue Book, and he accused the program of covering up evidence of extraterrestrial visitation. He also criticized the government’s policy of debunking UFO sightings and argued that this approach was counterproductive to scientific inquiry.

Three unique facts about James McDonald are:

  1. McDonald was the first scientist to testify before Congress about the need for a scientific investigation of UFOs. In 1968, he appeared before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics to present evidence of UFO sightings and argue for the establishment of a government-funded UFO research program.
  2. McDonald was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious organization that recognizes outstanding contributions to scientific research. His membership in this organization highlights his stature as a respected scientist in his field.
  3. McDonald’s collection of UFO-related materials, including photographs, films, and documents, is now housed at the University of Arizona’s Special Collections Library. This collection includes over 20,000 pages of documents related to McDonald’s UFO research and is considered one of the most extensive archives of UFO-related material in the world.

One example of an expert who has praised McDonald’s work is Dr. J. Allen Hynek, another prominent figure in the UFO research community. Hynek described McDonald as a “scientist of impeccable credentials” and credited him with bringing “serious scientific attention to the UFO phenomenon.”

One claim associated with McDonald’s work is that he believed UFO sightings were evidence of extraterrestrial visitation. While McDonald was certainly open to this possibility, he was careful not to jump to conclusions and argued that more scientific research was needed to understand the phenomenon fully.

McDonald authored several books and articles related to UFOs and UFO research. One of his most significant works is the book “UFOs: A Scientific Debate,” which he co-authored with Carl Sagan and Thornton Page. In this book, the authors present a collection of papers and debates from a 1969 symposium on UFOs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The book is considered a seminal work in the field of UFO research and features contributions from a range of experts in various fields, including astronomy, physics, and psychology.

Another significant work by McDonald is the book “Science in Default,” in which he critiques the scientific establishment’s reluctance to investigate UFO sightings and argues that this reluctance is due to an unwarranted bias against the subject.

McDonald’s work has also been the subject of several books written by other authors. One example is “Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science,” written by UFO researcher Ann Druffel. This book chronicles McDonald’s life and career, including his advocacy for UFO research and his battles with government officials and skeptics.

McDonald was also a popular speaker on the subject of UFOs and frequently gave lectures and interviews on the topic. He appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” where he discussed his research and advocated for scientific investigation of UFO sightings.