With deep sadness we received the news that Jim McDonald, author of the UFO case study on page 66, has taken his life.
The history of the UFO problem has been full of unusual and tragic events. Men of highest scientific achievements have seen themselves involved in strongly opposing views. Others have become victims of vitriolic attacks or, perhaps worse, of ridicule. McDonald was one of them.
As is well known, McDonald believed UFO observations, especially those by professionals, cannot be ignored and that the extraterrestrial hypothesis cannot be ruled out. The members of the AIAA UFO Subcommittee have concluded that the question is unsettled.
It is too early to know if McDonald was right or wrong. It is our hope, however, that his article in this issue will be read by scientists and engineers with the attention and impartiality that McDonald—and the observing aircraft crew—deserve.
Joachim P. Kuettner
Chairman, UFO Subcommittee, AIAA