MacCabee received a B.S. in physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., and then at American University, Washington, DC, (M.S. and Ph. D. in physics). In 1972 he began his career at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Silver Spring, Maryland; which later became the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. Dr. MacCabee retired from government service in 2008. He has worked on optical data processing, generation of underwater sound with lasers and various aspects of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) using high power lasers.
Maccabee has been an active ufologist since the late 1960s when he joined the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and was active in research and investigation for NICAP until its demise in 1980. He became a member of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) in 1975 and was subsequently appointed to the position of state Director for Maryland, a position he still holds. In 1979 he was instrumental in establishing the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR) and was the chairman for about 13 years. He presently serves on the National Board of the Fund.
His UFO research and investigations (which, he often stresses, are completely unrelated to his Navy work) have included the Kenneth Arnold sighting (June 24, 1947), the McMinnville, Oregon (Trent) photos of 1950, the Gemini 11 astronaut photos of September, 1966, the New Zealand sightings of December, 1978, the Japan Airlines (JAL1628) sighting of November 1986, the numerous sightings of Ed Walters and others in Gulf Breeze, Florida, 1987 - 1988, the "red bubba" sightings, 1990-1992 (including his own sighting in September, 1991), the Mexico City video of August, 1997 (which he deemed a hoax), the Phoenix lights sightings of March 13, 1997, and many others.
He has also done historical research and was the first to obtain the secret "flying disc file" of the FBI (what he calls "the REAL X-Files"). In addition, he has collected documents from the CIA, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, and other government agencies.
Maccabee is the author or coauthor of about three dozen technical articles and more than a hundred UFO articles over the last 30 years, including many which appeared in the MUFON UFO Journal and MUFON Symposium proceedings. Among his papers was a reanalysis of the statistics and results of the famed Battelle Memorial Institute Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14, a massive analysis of 3200 Air Force cases through the mid 1950s. (See Identified Flying Objects ). Another was a reanalysis of the results of the Condon Committee UFO study from 1969. (Like many others, Maccabee concluded that Edward Condon lied about the results.)
In addition, he has also written or contributed to half a dozen books on the subject of UFOs and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows and documentaries (some given below) as an authority on the subject.
Maccabee is also an accomplished pianist who performed at the 1997 and 1999 MUFON symposia. He lives in Allen County, Ohio.
"Immediate High Alert: The Mystery of December 6, 1960," Proceedings of the 1999 MUFON International Symposium. (this latter is the 100th published research paper on UFOs)
"Optical Power Output of an Unidentified High Altitude Light Source," published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 13, #2, 1999 article
"Atmosphere or UFO," Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 13, #3, 1999 abstract article
"Prosaic Explanations, the Failure of UFO Skepticism," Infinite Energy Magazine, Issue #29, 2000; complete version in the Proceedings of the International MUFON Symposium, 2000; Updated version in UFO Magazine November and December, 2007
"UFO detected by thermal imager," MUFON UFO Journal, January, 2007
"Skylab 3 UFO Sighting and Photo Analysis," at  December, 2007
Dr. Maccabee has been interviewed by print, radio and TV media numerous times since 1978. He has also appeared in a number of documentaries. Here are some of the more recent:
A Current Affair TV show, April 1992
Unsolved Mysteries (Guardian case), Feb. 1993
Fred Fiske Radio Show on National Public Radio (Feb. 93 repeated twice during the year)
Sonya Live on CNN, July, 1993
WHAG Radio in Hagerstown (12 appearances as of summer 1996)
Area 2000 Radio Show (Art Bell) in Las Vegas (summer 1993)
WHPK in Chicago (Oct., 1993)
Encounters TV Show (Feb. 1994)
Dreamland Radio Show (June, 1994)
Central TV in London (interviewed, summer, 1994)
Sightings (Sep. 1994)
Kiviat-Green productions - Aug., 1995
Italian TV interview in San Marino (Sept., 1995)
A&E TV documentary, Where are all the UFOs , shown April, 1996
Four Point Productions for The Learning Channel
Fox TV Special on Aliens landing (Independence Day movie tie-in)
Nightline TV show, July 16, 1996
Transmedia Productions of Paramount House, London, first shown in the fall 1996
London Weekend Television , shown in the fall,1996
Discovery Channel, UFOs Down to Earth, Dec. 1996
Discovery Channel, UFO - Reason to Believe, 1996 (video)
Sightings, January, 1997
Fox TV Best Video Evidence, August, 1997
The "Zoh Show" and 20th Century Radio with Zoh and Bob Heironimus on WCBM radio in Baltimore numerous times, 1997-1998
The John Koon Radio Show, Radio South Africa, Dec. 1997
Twentieth Century Radio with Bob Heironimus, March, 1999
Top Ten Unexplained Mysteries, The Learning Channel, Jan. 2000
The Julie Briggs Show on WMTR Radio, January, 2000
The Tex-Files TV show of Fox4 News, February, 2000