Vance Pratt died Monday, November 21, 2005 at a local
hospital following a brief illness. He was born August
12, 1926. He was 79 years old. A
journalist and UFO researcher,
he retired in April 1999 after 48 years as a newspaper
and magazine reporter and editor, writing under
the byline of "Bob Pratt".
studied at the University of California-Berkeley and American
University. During the first 22 years of his career, he
worked in various reporting and editing positions on the
Gazette, the Charlottesville
(Va.) Daily Progress,
the Evansville (Ind.)
Courier, the Buffalo
(N.Y.) Evening News,
the Miami (Fla.) News,
the Philadelphia (Pa.)
Inquirer, the Louisville
(Ky.) Times and Courier-Journal.
worked for the Charlottesville newspaper three different
times for a total of 10 years, twice
as a reporter and the third time as managing editor,
for seven years. After leaving the Louisville
Times and Courier-Journal, where he
had been executive assistant to the editor and publisher,
he worked for eight and a half years as
a writer and reporter for the National
Enquirer. The last 17 years of his career,
he worked in computer page design and production for three
other tabloid magazines, the National
and the Sun.
his newspaper days, he was a skeptic on the subject of
UFOs, but in May 1975 as a reporter
for the National Enquirer,
he came to believe UFOs are real after interviewing more
than 60 people in one week who had seen UFOs.
From that moment on, UFOs became a major interest in his
life, and since then, he has interviewed more than 2,000
people who had UFO experiences. He traveled all over the
United States and Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Peru, Uruguay, the Philippines
and Japan, looking into reports of UFO sightings.
the six years he worked as a UFO reporter for the Enquirer,
he traveled to Brazil four times.
He found that UFO encounters
there were often more hostile and harmful than anywhere
else in the world. As a result, after leaving
the Enquirer in 1981, he began investigating UFO reports
on his own and traveled to Brazil ten more times, most
recently in 2003.
wrote the book UFO DANGER ZONE:
Terror and Death in Brazil Where Next?
(Horus House Press 1996). An updated version in Portuguese
was published in Brazil in July 2003.
recognition of his research in Brazil, on May 3, 2003
at a conference in the city of Curitiba in southern Brazil,
he was given a diploma
naming him an "Ufólogo Brasileiro Honorário"
or Honorary Brazilian Ufologist. Seventy-eight
Brazilian ufologists signed the diploma.
also co-authored (with Dr.
J. Allen Hynek and Philip
Imbrogno) NIGHT SIEGE:
The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings (Ballantine
1987) and the NIGHT SIEGE
Second Edition Expanded & Revised (Llewellyn 1998).
He was also editor of the MUFON
UFO Journal in 1983-84.
more than 28 years as a UFO researcher, he never saw a
was a veteran of World War II,
serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.
a New Years Eve party in Charlottesville, Virginia,
he met Faith Collins. They were married October 22, 1955.
She and their son, Alan Collins Pratt of New York City,
survive him. Another son, Robert Scott Pratt, died in
1975 at the age of 17. A cousin, Richard Taylor of Boca
Raton, and numerous nieces and nephews in California also
Pratt's personal webpage: http://www.mufon.com/bob_pratt/index.html