By Larry W. Bryant
A phone call to me this afternoon (July 17, 2009) from UFO researcher Dan Pinchas of Germantown, Md., brought news of the death of one of
ufology's giants: Richard H. Hall, 78, of Brentwood, Md.
For at least a year, I'd known that Dick had been recovering from colon-cancer surgery, but he counseled me not to spread that knowledge. By e-mail several months ago, he'd told me he was doing okay. Now, I learn that he'd been undergoing chemotherapy. He apparently died in his sleep this morning.
Seemingly right up to his last moments, Dick was pursuing his ufological calling, for it's been only several weeks since my receipt of the latest issue of his bi-monthly newsletter Journal of UFO History.
My association and friendship with this consummate scholar date back to November 1957, when I met him for the first time at the Washington, D. C., headquarters of the now-defunct National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). There, as I sauntered into the front office, I spied him with his head down and
eyes focused on a piece of correspondence he intently was typing upon a manual typewriter.
Eventually, Dick became a role model for my own baby steps as a UFO researcher-activist. He not only wrote well and fluently; he also had a keen hand at line drawing. Noted mostly for his seminal two-volume work The UFO Evidence, he also had edited the NICAP newsletter (The UFO Investigator) and some of the organization's special reports. His two books on the subject matter (The Challenge of Unidentified Flying Objects (with Prof. Charles A. Maney - 1961); and Uninvited Guests (1988)) remain collector's items.
His other major contributions to the field derived from his service on the board of directors for the Fund for UFO Research, Inc. At separate periods, he also served as editor of the monthly journal of the Mutual UFO Network, Inc., and as a columnist for the monthly newsstand periodical UFO Magazine. (See my essay about his career at this blog's Item 3.2.)
Besides his UFOlit products, Dick managed to publish a small handbook on raising house plants, plus an overview of the role of women in America's civil war.
Dick Hall's commitment to serious UFO research and his high standard of personal achievement in the field began during his student days at Tulane University, where he majored in philosophy. I take delight in possessing copies of his self-published newsletter from that early period - the UFO Critical Bulletin. Critical thinking (and action), you see, became the hallmark of his scholarship. If anyone deserved
an honorary doctorate in ufology, it certainly was he.
I never could've asked for a better mentor, friend, and colleague in this field. Thank you, again, Sir Richard, for the enriching part you played in this long journey of inquiry, networking, and enlightenment.
Note: At this writing, Dick's blog remains accessible at