Dr. J. Allen Hynek Writes Letter About Infamous Ghost Experiment
This release from the Henry McKay UFO Archives is a letter from Dr. J. Allen Hynek to Iris Owen, dated August 24, 1977. It is significant to not only the UFO research community, but also to the ghost research community. Hynek was the astronomy consultant to the U.S. Air Force’s UFO projects, including Project Bluebook.
In this two-page letter, located above, Hynek mentions the upcoming release of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (directed by Steven Spielberg), which Hynek was the consultant for, and anticipates that the movie “will yield a large number of ancient sightings”.
Hynek then goes on to express his thoughts on physical evidence of UFOs, and that some UFO reports should not be dismissed as mere “hallucinations”.
Even more interesting is when he writes, “Your work at the Foundation has certainly shown that the mind can influence physical matter — Phillip, table-tipping, poltergeist phenomena — all attest to this.”
Iris Owen, whom Hynek wrote this letter to, was the wife of Dr. George Owen. The Owens ran the TSPR (Toronto Society for Psychical Research), which led the infamous Philip Experiment — which is what Hynek was referring to when he mentioned “Phillip” in the letter. The Owens’ goal with the experiment was to see if the mind could actually “create” a ghost.
Hynek also mentions his opinion regarding correlations between ghost research (in particular ‘psychic research’) and UFO research, and the need for both organizations to “keep in close touch on really significant cases”.
Most interesting is when he says, “I am being driven, somewhat reluctantly to the feeling that many UFOs are caused by our own psychic energy somehow interacting with matter”.
As a side note, Henry McKay ran the UFO research department for the group that ran the Philip Experiment. This experiment also inspired the movie, The Quiet Ones.