Project Blue Book Episode 4 Review: Operation Paperclip
Alejandro Rojas January 30, 2019 (denofgeek.com)
• Episode 4 of the History Channel series, Project Blue Book, is entitled “Operation Paperclip” and delves into the events in Huntsville, Alabama in the late 1950’s, when the former Nazi rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, was heading up the US military’s development of its own rocket weaponry. The show’s protagonist, J Allen Hynek, is led to Huntsville after he sees a UFO darting around his commercial airplane and his partner, Air Force Captain Michael Quinn, feels certain that it was a rocket from the Huntsville base. While there, they are introduced to Von Braun and other Germans that were brought here under Operation Paperclip to assimilate into American society and work on the rocket program. They see a humanoid alien floating on a vat of liquid, and a UFO or replica that disappears when a force-field is activated around it.
• Operation Paperclip was real, and Wernher von Braun was a real rocket scientist brought to the U.S. The German rocket scientists were first brought to Fort Bliss, Texas, but in the ‘50s, von Braun and his team were moved to Huntsville, Alabama. The Americans wanted the Germans to create the world’s first ballistic missiles for them.
• During WWII, the Nazi’s communicated with aliens (Draco Reptilians) and were able to develop technologies based on alien technology. There are pictures online of saucer-shaped craft with Nazi symbols and guns mounted on them, although firing the weapons disrupted the propulsion systems and would not work. The Germans were able to develop rudimentary anti-gravity propulsion with a “Nazi Bell” craft. The propulsion system consisted of two cylinders filled with a mercury-like substance that spun in opposite directions.
• In 1943, the USS Eldridge, a 300 ft long Navy destroyer, was used to experiment with cloaking technology. When the invisibility machine was enabled, the ship disappeared. When it reappeared crewmen reported feeling sick, and some were killed by somehow being embedded into the bulkhead of the vessel. Known as “The Philadelphia Experiment”, this is the technology alluded to in this episode of Operation Blue Book when the prototype spaceship disappears at the end of the show.
• This Project Blue Book episode seems to suggest UFO sightings are actually due to civilian sightings of our own experimental aircraft, or in this case, experimental rockets. This is a ruse that the CIA has often used. The problem is that the U.S. Air Force began investigating UFO sightings in 1947 with Project Sign and Project Blue Book began in 1952. The U.S. did not conduct test flights of the U-2 spy plane until the mid to late 50s. So it is not possible for the U-2 test flights to have been the UFOs that caused the creation of Project Blue Book.
• Project Blue Book, the TV show, is getting more exciting. This particular journey into conspiratorial sci-fi is intelligent in that it is expertly incorporating the UFO and conspiracy mythologies while making the viewers think about alternate explanations to the UFO mystery.
Project Blue Book episode 4 takes a nosedive into the rabbit hole, but the wild storylines follow real conspiracy and UFO mythologies that are popular on the web. It also presents an intriguing alternate theory to the idea that UFOs have anything to do with aliens at all.
Take an odd part of history, add a bit of conspiracy mythology, then sprinkle with magic Hollywood dust and up sprouts a huge, beautiful tree of fantasy. That would sum up my feelings on “Operation Paperclip.” I am a student of history, so I relish in historical accuracy. However, I am also a sci-fi buff, and this latest episode frustrated the history buff in me while exciting my sci-fi side.
Let’s get into it. The show begins with Hynek on an airplane. The first mystery presented was that the passenger cabin of the aircraft looked more like a train with curtains over the windows and seats that faced one another. However, in a tweet, show creator and writer David O’Leary wrote: “Yes, these old 1950s planes really did have train-like booths that faced each other. And lots more leg room!” Score one for historical accuracy! Granted, it’s one of the few points that I will award in this category for this particular episode.
Hynek then sees a UFO flying around the airplane. We are lead to believe Hynek is experiencing this sighting, but then he wakes from a dream. He was dreaming about his most recent UFO case – a sighting by the passengers and crew of a commercial aircraft near Huntsville, Alabama.
Quinn feels certain he knows who is responsible for this UFO incident and he is not very happy about it. Quinn explains that after World War II, German scientists were snatched up by the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip. He says Huntsville was set up to house German scientists working on rocket technology, led by Wernher von Braun. Having fought in World War II, Quinn is with the situation.
Hynek and Quinn travel to Huntsville to find out what the Germans are up to. Quinn is convinced that the UFO that buzzed the airplane was a rocket built by the former German scientists, who he believes were not concerned with endangering the lives of the passengers.
Security denies Hynek and Quinn access to the base, but Quinn crashes through the barricades anyway. This does allow them an audience with Von Braun but also lands Quinn a suspension. Von Braun says he is familiar with Hynek’s work, shows them a secret rocket launch and offers Hynek a job. He admits it was one of his rockets that buzzed the airplane, but Hynek doesn’t believe him.
To make a long story short, after leaving, Hyenk and Quinn break into the base again. This time they sneak around and find a body floating in a suspended animation container. It looks like an alien. The base alarms sound, so the two race off, only to be caught. Von Braun tells them what they saw was a monkey that had been sent into space and was undergoing testing as to the effects of space on its body. Hynek tells him he is suspicious of their project because the rocket explanation for the UFO sighting did not fit the witness testimony. There is something von Braun is hiding.
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Ballistic Missiles, Fort Bliss, History Channel, Huntsville Alabama, J. Allen Hynek, Michael Quinn, Nazi Bell, Operation Paperclip, Project Blue Book, The Philadelphia Experiment, USS Eldridge, Werner von Braun