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Casual Space

Dec 27, 2018

In this episode, Beth and Mark discuss:

  • What MUFON is and Mark’s years as a “certified” field investigator for MUFON.
  • Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Mark’s book The Close Encounters Man.
  • The 1966 Michigan Swamp Gas Case, how it affected Hynek, the UFO community, and Hynek’s career.
  • Close encounters of the first, second, and third kind.
  • IGY, the global tracking network, and Sputnik.



Key Takeaways:

  • Most people report their sightings because they want to know what it was and if anybody else has ever seen the same thing to connect with them.
  • There was no one moment where Dr. Hynek changed his mind about UFOs.
  • A good scientist just wants to find out more.
  • “Ridicule is not part of the scientific method, and the American public should not be taught that it is.” -Dr. J. Allen Hynek.


The great thing about writing for Star Trek, is Star Trek is forever.  — Mark O’Connell



Connect with Mark O’Connell:


Book: The Close Encounters Man: How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs

Blog: High Strangeness

Book Recommendation: The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry by J. Allen Hynek


About Beth Mund:


Beth’s love for space started as a Space Camp attendee at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where she would return years later as an instructor.  After grad school, Beth worked as a journalist, a technical writer for Motorola, and then went on to serve as a Public Affairs Officer for the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In addition, Beth worked to support the International Space Station program as a communication specialist. In Chicago, Beth worked as a corporate communication advisor to Fortune 50 companies including Allstate and United Airlines. She’s worked as a college instructor, a political advisor, and public relations manager for her hometown city. Beth recently founded Stellar Communications, LLC and travels the country as a keynote speaker- inspiring audiences with her lessons learned from our nation’s space program.  She’s the host of the Casual Space Podcast, and a self-proclaimed space geek.


Connect with Beth Mund:


Email: &


Facebook: @BethMund


Show notes by show producer/podcastologist: Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie