Book Details

Harper Collins Logo

The Close Encounters Man

How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs

About the Book

The wildly entertaining and eye-opening biography of J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who invented the concept of "Close Encounters" with alien life, inspired Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster classic science fiction epic film, and made a nation want to believe in UFOs.

In June 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold looked out his cockpit window and saw a group of nine silvery crescents weaving between the peaks of the Cascade Mountains at an estimated 1,200 miles an hour. The media, the military, and the scientific community—led by J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer hired by the Air Force—debunked this and many other Unidentified Flying Object sightings reported across the country. But after years of denials, Hynek made a shocking pronouncement: UFOs are real.

Thirty years after his death, Hynek’s agonizing transformation from skepticism to true believer remains one of the great misunderstood stories of science. In this definitive biography, Mark O'Connell reveals for the first time how Hynek’s work both as a celebrated astronomer and as the U. S. Air Force’s go-to UFO expert for nearly twenty years stretched the boundaries of modern science, laid the groundwork for acceptance of the possibility of UFOs, and was the basis of the hit film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. With unprecedented access to Hynek’s personal and professional files, 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

Mark O’Connell’s compelling biography of lone wolf Air Force investigator J. Allen Hynek is a testimony to the complex nature of belief and its effect on the human condition.” -Leslie Kean, bestselling author of Surviving Death and UFOs. —Leslie Kean, bestselling author of Surviving Death and UFOs

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062484178
  • ISBN 10: 0062484176
  • Imprint: Dey Street Books
  • On Sale: 06/13/2017
  • Pages: 416
  • List Price: 21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / UFOs & Extraterrestrials
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Science & Technology
  • BISAC3: SCIENCE / Space Science

The Close Encounters Man by Mark O'Connell

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.

SELECT:

International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.

HarperCollins Reader

We created the HC Reader App to be a simple way to read our e-books. Our App is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

We strongly encourage using the HarperCollins reader application since it supports the type of file we are using. You may experience some technical difficulties using a different reader application.

Instructions

  1. You need a HarperCollins Account. If you purchase/have purchased an e-book from HarperCollins, this is your account login and password. If not, please click here to register.
  2. Download the HC Reader App on iOS or Android. Enter your HarperCollins account username and password. Please note that your username is an e-mail address.
  3. Download your e-book and enjoy!