X-Conference Report #4: Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science

Ann Druffel has just published an important book Firestorm, a biography of scientist and extraterrestrial phenomena researcher Dr. James E. McDonald, which will be the focus of her presentation. She began investigating sighting reports in the Southern California area in April 1957 with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which was directed by research pioneer Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC (Ret.). She became acquainted with Dr. James E. McDonald through his contacts with the Los Angeles NICAP Subcommittee from 1966 to 1971. After NICAP's demise in 1970, she joined the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and the then newly-formed Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS.)

She has researched over 2,000 Los Angeles Basin reports, including alleged landings, photo cases, close encounters with physical effects on witnesses and terrain, alleged "abduction" reports and other extraterrestrial related phenomena. A prolific writer, Druffel has contributed over 180 articles to numerous journals and magazines. She wrote the book How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abductions and co-authored Tujunga Canyon Contacts with parapsychologist, D. Scott Rogo.

Druffel also free-lances in various aspects of psychic research. From 1986 to 1991 she worked as research assistant/consultant/researcher with the Mobius Society, the Los Angeles-based parapsychology lab. She has written numerous articles on disparate psychic phenomena and authored books with famed psychic Arrnand Marcotte.

Ann lives in Pasadena, California with her husband Charles.

Published Books
Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science (2003)
How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction (1998)
The Psychic and the Detective (1995)
The Tujunga Canyon Contracts (1989)


Ann expands on her new book, Firestorm, which tells the important story of Dr. James McDonald. Her book and presentation powerfully demonstrate what researchers have gone through to bring a truth to the public which the public's elected and appointed officials did not want acknowledged.

Of all the researchers who intersected with the process and prospects of governmental public disclosure, none was more intellectually suited and had collected more scientifically valid data than Dr. James E. McDonald, a prominent scientist and professor with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and the University of Arizona at Tucson. He had unprecedented high-level contacts, and during his scientific career introduced numerous groundbreaking projects in meteorology and climatology under ONR contracts and with top scientific organizations. Between 1958-1971 he worked closely with science-oriented UFO groups nationwide and in several foreign countries. He gave hundreds of talks on UFOs before top scientific organizations, influencing numerous scientists to take the UFO question seriously and in 1968 was instrumental in bringing about one of only two public Congressional hearing, thus far, on the UFO subject. He influenced numerous government and military officials to accept the reality of the UFO phenomenon and received multiple, personal sighting reports from them. His premature death, a suicide, at age 51 stands as a warning to researchers, for McDonald was under surveillance by unknown sources. The attacks against him included contact with persons "at the highest level" who promised imminent government disclosure, which never came. McDonald had the right methodology, adequate empirical data, and always presented his facts in strictly scientific terms. In seeking disclosure, we must follow his lead, for those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.


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