Dr. J. Allen Hynek was an American astronomer and ufologist known for his work as the scientific advisor to the United States Air Force’s studies on UFOs from 1948 to 1969, including Project Blue Book. He is also known for coining the term “Close Encounter” to describe UFO sightings.
Hynek’s role in the making of Close Encounters was significant. He worked closely with the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, to ensure that the portrayal of UFO sightings and encounters was scientifically accurate and credible. Hynek also suggested using the musical motif central to the film’s plot, the five-note sequence that humans use to communicate with the aliens.
In many ways, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was a tribute to Hynek’s life’s work. The film portrays the scientific investigation of UFO sightings as a serious and legitimate field of study, something that Hynek had been advocating for throughout his career.
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