Harold “Hal” Povenmire was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1939, and spent many of his early years as an amateur astronomer. In 1948, he began serious meteor observation and has observed the Perseids for 66 consecutive years. During this time he has photographed over 2000 meteors and discovered the Upsilon Pegasid Meteor Shower.Realizing that the Georgia tektites were very rare and that the strewn field had not been mapped out, he undertook this effort starting in 1970. To date, the size of the known strewn field has been expanded from approximately 500 square miles to over 12,500 square miles and the number of Georgia tektites has been increased from about 200 to 3000.
Povenmire authored the books, Fireballs, Meteors and Tektites: A Cosmic Puzzle, which deal with Georgia tektites. The study of the Moon has dominated Povenmire’s life so the study of astronautics and space technology has been of prime importance. He worked on the Baker-Nunn Satellite Tracking Cameras for Project Moonwatch and Project Mercury while getting his B.S. at Ohio State. After receiving his Master Degree from Ohio University he worked on Project Apollo. Some of his engineering work is sitting on the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon from the Apollo 11 Mission. He later worked on the Space Shuttle.
Asteroids (12753) Povenmire and (15146) HalPov honor Hal and Katie Povenmire for their contributions to planetary astronomy.
In May 1954, there was a Transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. I was a member of the Columbus Astronomical Society and met Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He invited me to be his observing assistant and we observed this scientific event from the MacMillan Observatory from the campus of Ohio State University. This started a longtime friendship with him that lasted until his death in 1986.
In the meantime, he was my astronomy professor and I worked with him on Project Moonwatch, tracking artificial satellites. Later I worked for him as a photo technician on the Baker-Nunn satellite tracking cameras and was his observing assistant for the June 30, 1970 7m30s Total Solar Eclipse from off Kakar, Senegal, Africa.
When the UFO events came to government attention, Dr. J. Allen Hynek. became the director of Project Blue Book as a scientific advisor for the US Air Force. While finishing up my degrees at Ohio State, we joined forces as debunkers of some of the controversial UFO cases. At this time, we both had severe doubts as to the authenticity of some of the UFO and Alien Abduction Phenomena. He would ask me to go out covertly to investigate cases which sounded genuine but needed more investigation. All this work was done part time and unpaid, but we had much time together and developed a strong trust in our work. After finishing my BS and MS degrees at Ohio State University, I started working in the space program with Convair and North American Rockwell at Cape Canaveral on Project Apollo and worked as the assistant to the lead mechanical engineer fro Apollos 8, 9, 10 and 11.
During this time, I had collected a very large file of UFO cases. I could do nothing with it as it would put me in conflict with the U.S. government's position which denied UFO existence and publishing anything about UFO's would have endangered my security clearances. For many years after I did extensive research on lunar grazing occultations, and also meteorite and tektite work for NASA.
In 1985, I enrolled at the Florida Institute of Technology with the goal of Ph.D work in the fields of Astronomy, Space Science and Space technology for the next 6 years. When these efforts peaked out, I looked to a more relaxed period to write and publish much of the material learned on the program. I had always had the plan that if I finally decided there was enough good scientific material to prove the reality of the UFO and Alien Abduction Phenomena, I would compose a very good scientific book on the subject. To do this, I had to read over 4,000 published cases which were very well authenticated. I also began to look up persons who had experienced an abduction and get to know them well. Some of them have become some of my closest friends. UFO's and the Alien Abduction Phenomena, was difficult to write, taking about seven years, but I am glad I saw it through as it has gone through seven editions in about four years.