The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room 2318, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. J. Edward Roush (chairman of the symposium) presiding.
Mr. Roush. The committee will be in order.
Today the House Committee on Science and Astronautics conducts a very special session, a symposium on the subject of unidentified flying objects; the name of which is a reminder to us of our ignorance on this subject and a challenge to acquire more knowledge thereof. We approach the question of unidentified flying objects as purely a scientific problem, one of unanswered questions. Certainly the rigid and exacting discipline of science should be marshaled to explore the nature of phenomena which reliable citizens continue to report. A significant part of the problem has been that the sightings reported have not been accompanied by so-called hardware or materials that could be investigated and analyzed. So we are left with hypotheses about the nature of UFO's. These hypotheses range from the conclusion that they are purely psychological phenomena, that is, some kind of hallucinatory phenomena; to that of some kind of natural physical phenomena; to that of advanced technological machinery manned by some kind of intelligence, that is, the extraterrestrial hypotheses.
With the range in mind, then, we have invited six outstanding scientists to address us today, men who deal with the physical, the psychological, the sociological, and the technological data relevant to the issues involved. We welcome them and look forward to their remarks. Additionally we have requested several other scientists to make their presentations in the form of papers to be added to these when published by the committee.
We take no stand on these matters. Indeed, we are here today to listen to their assessment of the nature of the problem; to any tentative conclusions or suggestions they might offer, so that our judgments and our actions might be based on reliable and expert information. We are here to listen and to learn.
Events of the last half century certainly verify the American philosopher, John Dewey's conclusion that "Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination." With an open and inquiring attitude, then, we now turn to our speakers for the day.
They will include:
Gentlemen, we welcome your presentations. We ask you to speak first, Dr. Hynek, followed by Dr. McDonald, and then Dr. Sagan. This afternoon Dr. Hall will commence our session, followed by Dr. Harder and then Dr. Baker. The subject matter of the presentations determines the order in which you speak. We hope at the end of the day to allow the six of you to discuss the material presented among yourselves and with the committee in a kind of roundtable discussion.
Mr. Chairman -- the chairman of our full committee, Mr. George Miller.
Chairman Miller. I want to join in welcoming you here. I want to point out that your presence here is not a challenge to the work that is being done by the Air Force, a particular agency that has to deal with this subject.
Unfortunately there are those who are highly critical of the Air Force, saying that the Air Force has not approached this problem properly. I want you to know that we are in no way trying to go into the field that is theirs by law, and thus we are not critical of what the Air Force is doing.
We should look at the problem from every angle, and we are here in that respect. I just want to point out we are not here to criticize the actions of the Air Force.
Mr. Roush. I think it is only appropriate that Dr. Hynek be introduced by our colleague, Mr. Rumsfeld.
Mr. Rumsfeld. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to welcome all the members of this distinguished panel, and particularly to welcome Dr. Allen Hynek, who is a son of Illinois, and presently serves in the Department of Astronomy and Director of the Lindheimer Astronomical Research Center. Dr. Hynek is a member of a number of scientific societies, and has served in the Government service as well as in the academic community. As his Congressman I am delighted he has been invited to appear on this panel, and we certainly look forward to his comments.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Roush. Dr. Hynek, the floor is yours.