Monday, April 18, 2016

UFO Sociologist Robert L. Hall, Brother of Ufologist Richard, Died in 2013

The news sometimes takes a long time to reach a speciality community, especially if the local obituaries do not list that someone rather accomplished also did unusual research, such as on UFOs. This is the case in learning that Robert L. Hall has passed away on September 19, 2013.

"This news did not make the rounds of ufology," at the time of his death, noted one* ufologist to others, yesterday. Allow me to fill in the picture of Robert's life, in ufology and outside of it.

Robert Hall, a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Psychology, working in his last position for 22 years at the University of Illinois in Chicago, found himself testifying before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Astronautics - Symposium on UFOs, in 1968. (The complete statement by Dr. Robert L. Hall at the 1968 hearings can be found here.)

Hall contributed and saw his paper, “Sociological Perspectives on UFO Reports,” published in Carl Sagan and Thornton Page, eds., UFO's: A Scientific Debate (New York: Norton, 1972: 213-222).

Robert Hall's paper, therefore, was read widely, as it appeared in various editions of that anthology (as shown above and below):

Robert L. Hall was also the brother of famed ufologist Richard Hall, who worked for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, from 1958 to 1969.

In 1964 Hall researched, edited, and wrote much of The UFO Evidence, a compendium of the best UFO sightings and incidents of the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. A copy of The UFO Evidence was sent to every member of Congress in 1964, and the book is still regarded by many UFO researchers and historians as one of the best UFO books ever published. 

On the morning of July 17, 2009, Richard Hall passed away due to a long battle with cancer. (See my obit on Richard Hall here.)

Richard's brother, Robert L. Hall's formal obituary is posted below. It does not mention his links to UFOs, nor is that connection noted in his more formal resume, also shown below.

Our condolences to the Hall family and friends, for their dual losses.

Vitae (prepared for Congress in 1968)

Born February 25, 1924, at Atlanta, Georgia. Married; 3 children.

Yale University, 1941-42. B.A. 1947.

University of Stockholm, Sweden, 1947-48.

University of Minnesota, 1949-52. M.A., 1950. Ph.D., 1953.

1. Instructor, Extension Division, University of Stockholm, Sweden, 1948.

2. Research Assistant, University of Minnesota, 1950-52.

3. Social Psychologist in the Air Force Personnel & Training Research Center, 1952-1957. Engaged in research on performance of bomber crews, the role of the aircraft commander, and processes of evaluation of small teams.

4. Assistant Professor (1957-1960) and Associate Professor (1960-62) of Sociology. Teaching social psychology, especially the processes of mass communication and opinion change. Conducting research on social psychological aspects of higher education and effects of social interaction on the learning process.

5. Program Director for Sociology and Social Psychology, National Science Foundation, 1962-1965. Administered a program of research grants and related activities to strengthen Sociology and Social Psychology in universities in the United States and to bolster understanding in these fields through basic research.

6. Associate Professor of Sociology and Psychology (1965-66) and Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology (since 1966), University of Illinois at Chicago Circle.

A number of articles in Sociological and Psychological journals and chapters in professional books. A few selected publications are listed below:

Social influence on the Aircraft Commander's role, "American Sociological Review" 1955,20,292-299.

Military Sociology, 1945-1955. "Chapter in Sociology in the United States of America," ed. by Hans Zetterberg, Paris: UNESCO, 1966.

Group performance under feedback that confounds responses of group members. "Sociometry," 1957,20,297-305.

The informal control of everyday behavior. Chapter in "Controlling Human Behavior," ed. by Roy Francis, Social Science Research Center, University of Minnesota; 1959.

Two alternative learning in interdependent dyads. Chapter 12 in "Mathematical Methods in Small Group Processes," ed. by Joan Criswell, H. Solomon, and P. Suppes, Stanford Univ. Press: 1962.

The educational influence of dormitory roommates. "Sociometry," 1963,26,294-318 (with Ben Willerman).

The effects of different social feedback conditions upon performance in dyadic teams. Chapter in "Communication and Culture," ed. by A. G. Smith, 1966, 353-364.


My thanks to the following people for discovering this news and informing me, via the informal network of informants: Patrick Huyghe, Walt Webb, and *Rob Swaitek.


Other ufologists’ obituaries for 2016.

1 comment:

Dennis/87 said...

Lot's of funerals, time for others filling the shoes of these avatars. Shine forth brave souls. Dennis