Albert Harder, Ph.D.,
(19262006) was born in Fullerton, California in
1926. He received his
B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the California
Institute of Technology (1948), his
M.S. in Civil Engineering (1953), and Ph.D.
in Fluid Mechanics (1957) both
from the University of California. In 1994,
he had retired as a professor
of Hydraulic Engineering with responsibilities in Bioengineering,
from the University of California at Berkeley.
Harder's research activities had been in the field of
applied mathematics, sediment transport mechanics, analogue
and digital simulation, and feedback control systems.
His bioengineering interests were in the design of artificial
Harder was perhaps best known as a prominent UFO researcher
who has studied the subject for over 50 years, first becoming
interested in 1952. He was Director of Research for the
Phenomena Research Organization (APRO)
from 1969-1982. APRO
was one of the first civilian organizations to study the
UFO phenomenon. When the U.S.
House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics
held hearings on UFOs in 1968, he was one of six scientists
asked to testify on UFOs before the committee.
In a 1998 interview, Harder said the subject was generally
treated with disdain by the scientific community, but
he was still one of about 300 academics who were actively
investigating the phenomenon.
was the primary investigator on a number of classical
UFO cases, mainly related to alien abductions, including
Pascagoula Abduction and the 1975
Travis Walton case. He also took over the
Betty and Barney Hill abduction investigation and continued
it for many years. According to Harder, in about 95% of
abduction cases he's studied, abductees report the encounter
as positive, benevolent, and/or enlightening. He also
investigated the claims of legendary CIA
remote viewer Pat Price (who allegedly died under suspicious
circumstances in 1975). Based on his remote viewing, Price
believed aliens had underground bases at four locations
and theories on UFOs and aliens
had long been a strong advocate of extraterrestrial origins
for UFOs, or the Extraterrestrial hypothesis. He also
firmly believeed that the subject has been covered up
by the U.S. government, which he thought was extremely
worried about what is happening.
of his more controversial statements, based primarily
on hypnotic regressions on alien abductees, is that there
is a "Galactic Federation" of aliens
similar to our United Nations. There are perhaps as
many as 57 alien species in this Federation
(a number, he says, which frequently pops up in abductee
recollections). Some have been visiting Earth and studying
humans for a very long time, and are generally benevolent,
he believes (though not always). Many communicate through
telepathy, and, said Harder, can sometimes be channeled
through subjects while they are hypnotized.
had also applied his physical
sciences and engineering background to the study of UFOs.
In his Congressional testimony of 1968, Harder mentioned
physical analysis of magnesium
fragments found in 1957 near Ubatuba,
said to have come from an exploded flying saucer.
The magnesium was of very high purity. Harder conjectured
that the lightweight metal, normally very brittle, might
become exceptionally hard and strong if purified and made
free from crystalline defects. If that were the case,
it would be a very good metal for the construction of
a flying device. Construction of such high-strength metals
is now thought possible with insights gained from the
emerging field of nanotechnology.
theory advanced by Harder arose from a sighting of an
oval UFO by a chemist named Wells Allen Webb near Phoenix.
Webb was wearing Polaroid glasses and noticed three concentric
dark rings around the object. Harder thought the observation
might be explained by a very powerful magnetic field surrounding
the object causing polarized light from the sun to be
rotated, or the Faraday effect.
Exactly how this magnetic field might explain the object's
propulsion was unclear, but he thought it might be connected
with gravitomagnetism, an analog of electromagnetism,
predicted from general relativity. Theoretically, a gravity-like
field can be generated by a moving mass, but the effect
is normally minuscule. Harder was again unsure how a practical
gravitomagnetic force might be produced.
California Institute of Technology
M.S., Civil Engineering,
1952, UC Berkeley
Ph.D., Fluid Mechanics,
1957, UC Berkeley
U.S. Navy, 1944-45 (electronics technician)
Design Engineer, soil conservation service, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, 194850
UC Berkeley, Resident Engineer, 195257
UC Berkeley, Assistant Professor, Hydraulic Engineering,
UC Berkeley, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering,
UC Berkeley, Professor of Civil Engineering, 197091
UC Berkeley, Professor Emeritus (1991)
fields of interest: Hydraulic systems analysis; surface
water hydrology; analog simulation.
Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow of the American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Founding member, Society
for Scientific Exploration
biography and 1968 congressional statement
MUFON 1994 International UFO Symposium