Journal: Before we get into the serious part of the interview, I’d like to discuss an experiment you did as a kid. On the phone, you mentioned that growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, you were a self-professed “science geek” with heroes like Jacques Cousteau, J. Allen Hynek and Wernher Von Braun. Your hobbies included building rockets and studying space exploration. In fact, at age 11, you tried to build a UFO detector from a magazine article written by Jacques Vallee…how did that turn out?
Lang: Actually, it turned out to be hilarious (looking back on it now). It detected my cat wonderfully. As a kid in 5th grade, I saw the design in an article by Jacques Vallee in the magazine Flying Saucers and UFO Reports. This would have been in 1966 or 1967. The detector was actually a magnet suspended on a thin length of bare wire, with a loop of wire surrounding it, so that if something attracted the magnet, the wires would touch. This would complete a circuit and ring a buzzer. I built it and placed it under my bed. At about 3 a.m., I discovered that kittens love to play with pendulums, and the magnet hanging on a thin wire would fit the bill very nicely. So at 3 a.m. the buzzer rang, sending both my kitten and myself into a very sudden and very rude awakening.