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Dr. John H. Altshuler

Dr. John H. Altshuler (November 11, 1930 - January 27, 2004), received his B.S. degree in 1955 and both a M.D. and C.M. in 1959, all from McGill University. In addition, he was Specialty Board Certified in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology and Immunohematology. Since 1971, he had been in the private practice of Hematology and Pathology in Denver, Colorado, and served as a Consultant in Hematology to seven Colorado hospitals. Dr. Altshuler was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medecine (Hematology) and Pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, starting in 1966. John served in the United States Army, actively from 1951-1953 and as a reserve officer from 1953-1959.

He first became interested in cattle mutilations when he was directly involved with the Snippy the Horse Case (Lady), a three year old Appaloosa horse near Alamosa, Colorado on September 7, 1967. He was enticed by Linda Moulton Howe to provide consulting and laboratory services in her important work. Dr. Altshuler had shared the podium with Linda at numerous UFO conferences and symposia, starting in 1988.

Dr. Altshuler joined MUFON on June 9, 1989 as a Consultant in Hematology, Clinical and Anatomic Pathology.

John, who used private aviation to bring state-of-the-art medicine to rural Colorado and New Mexico and co-wrote the first clinical report to connect smoking to health problems, died January 27 of a stroke resulting from a spinal cord injury after a bicycle accident.

As a child, John had always wanted to fly, but he was told that his vision was inadequate. Then, in 1973, while driving back from a cross-country trip where he had been lecturing at a rural hospital, he looked up to see a small airplane landing at Centennial Airport near Denver, CO. He drove to the FBO and inquired about flight lessons and vision requirements. Within three months, John had passed his class II medical, completed his private pilot certificate and purchased his first airplane - a Piper Cherokee 6. For the next 31 years, Dr. Altshuler commuted to various small communities in southern Colorado and New Mexico providing "big-city" medicine to towns as small as 6,000.

"Dr. John loved flying and, unlike too many doctors, was deeply dedicated to keeping current and retraining," said Dr. Glenn Endsley, a friend of Dr. Altshuler's and his regular CFI. Owning a series of heavy singles, Dr. Altshuler amassed over 5,000 hours and was an active member of the Flying Physicians Association. In addition to flying and his clinical medicine practice, Dr. Altshuler also was the co-researcher of the 1957 "Joint Report of Study Group on Smoking and Health", the first official document identifying smoking as a health hazard and the precursor to the 1964 Surgeon General's report on smoking. Dr. Altshuler was an early anti-smoking activist.

Dr. Altshuler was also a prolific inventor with eight patents for medical devices that were commercialized by a series of different companies from Johnson & Johnson to Applied Medical Devices, and Hemotech. One of his inventions, the Hemotensiometer changed the way cardiac surgery was done in the 1970s and received an Industrial Research IR-100 award as "one of the 100 most significant contributions in applied research during 1973." John had presented papers at professional society symposia and published over eighteen papers in medical magazines.

Dr. Altshuler's last plane, a Piper Turbo Arrow had recently completed its annual and he was in the process of redesigning the avionics panel to equip the plane with all of the latest capabilities.

Dr. Altshuler was 73. He is survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren and his brother, Thomas.



MUFON 1991 International UFO Symposium Proceedings
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