Sprinkle, Ronald Leo (1930-)

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Sprinkle, Ronald Leo (1930-)

R. Leo Sprinkle, psychologist and researcher of UFO contactee experiences, was born on August 31, 1930, in Rocky Ford, Colorado. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Colorado and in 1961 completed his doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Missouri. After three years in the administrative department at the University of North Dakota, he moved to the University of Wyoming, where he remained until his retirement in 1989.

Sprinkle has traced his interest in UFOs to a sighting he had in 1949. He and his wife also had a sighting in 1956. During the years immediately following the completion of his formal education, he conducted several studies, including an early survey of the members of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena and an initial study of people who had experienced extraterrestrial encounters, both contactees and abductees. He served as a psychological consultant for the Condon Report (1969) on UFOs, which led to further work on several abduction cases through the 1970s.

Sprinkle is best known, however, for the annual conferences he has organized for UFO contactees each summer since in 1980. For a number of years, Sprinkle had corresponded with people who had claimed friendly contact with the entities who drove the flying saucers. Unlike most ufologists, he had not dismissed them; in contrast, he had responded to them sympathetically. The conferences, sponsored by the Institute for UFO Contactee Studies, brought contactees to the university and provided an open forum for them to tell their stories in a nonjudgmental environment. As the number of abduction reports increased in the late 1980s, abductees were welcomed to the summer conferences and it was in these conferences that the sharp distinction between the two groups began to disappear.

Eventually, Sprinkle identified himself as a contactee. He also concluded that UFO activity was part of a larger program of what he termed "cosmic consciousness conditioning." The UFO entities, whether one thinks of them as being from outer space or another dimension, are attempting to move humanity into an understanding of themselves as cosmic citizens.


Clark, Jerome. "Psychologist-Researcher Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle; Exclusive UFO Report Interview." UFO Report 3, no.2 (June 1976): 30-32, 72-76, 78.

Parnell, June O., and R. Leo Sprinkle. "Personality Characteristics of Persons Who Claim UFO Experiences." Journal of UFO Studies 2 [new series, 1990]: 45-58.

Sprinkle, R. Leo. "The Significance of UFO Experiences." In David Pursglove, ed. Zen in the Art of Close Encounter. Berkeley, Calif.: New Being Project, 1995.

, ed. Proceedings of the Rocky Mountain Conference on UFO Investigation. Laramie: School of Extended Studies, 1980.