Somewhere in the Skies
Episode Summary: Ryan speaks with Mark O'Connell, author of the recently released book, The Close Encounters Man: How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs. The book chronicles the life and career of J. Allen Hynek, who was hired by the Air Force to debunk Unidentified Flying Object sightings reported across the country. But after years of denials, Hynek made a shocking pronouncement: UFOs are real. With unprecedented access to Hynek’s personal and professional files, Mark O’Connell smashes conventional wisdom to reveal the intriguing man and scientist beneath the legend. Tracing Hynek’s career, O'Connell examines Hynek’s often-ignored work as a professional astronomer to create a complete portrait of a groundbreaking enthusiast who became an American cult icon and transformed the way we see our world and our universe.
Guest Bio: Mark O’Connell is a screenwriter, teacher, and blogger. He's written episodes for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and has developed feature film projects with major studios, including Walt Disney and DreamWorks Animation. He is a former MUFON investigator and also the founder of the UFO blog High Strangeness. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Monica, and teaches screenwriting at DePaul University in Chicago. His work can be found at: www.highstrangenessufo.com