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Project Blue Book Looks for New Home After Cancellation

Article by Dan Selcke                              May 14, 2020                               (winteriscoming.net)

History (Channel) has announced that it will not be renewing the popular UFO series, Project Blue Book after two highly successful seasons. Project Blue Book is a drama based upon the US government’s real-life investigation into UFOs in the 1950s and 60s. The ratings for the show averaged 2.5 million per week, which is very good for a cable television drama.

Project Blue Book follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a real-life scientist who began work on the project as a UFO skeptic but then became a believer. Hynek is played by Game of Thrones veteran Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger). Hynek is paired with Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), an amalgamation of several military figures from the story. The second season ended with Quinn missing, presumably at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

• It seems that History wants to replace its scripted series, such as Project Blue Book, Knightfall (about the medieval Crusades), and Vikings, with several mini-series about US Presidents. The popular Vikings series is moving to Netflix. The creators of Project Blue Book have already outlined new shows for seasons 3 and 4, and are shopping the show to other outlets as well. “We feel it’s unfinished,” said Executive Producer David O’Leary. “[E]verybody involved remains committed to trying to find our show a second home, and to continue,”

Project Blue Book’s fan feel it’s unfinished as well. There’s a Change.org petition to save the show, and the creators are encouraging people to use the #SAVEBLUEBOOK hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to let networks know that there is interest. “[W]e want to thank the fans and say how grateful we are,” said showrunner Sean Jablonski. “Honestly, the greatest joy of the whole thing was just watching fans have these great [online] reactions to what we were hoping would be big, dramatic moments, whether it’s the Susie (Ksenia Solo) reveal, or somebody getting killed, or major plot turns that we were always trying to build.”

• Jablonski said that the show’s “characters are so great’; they’ve already laid out ten new episodes, and have the third season all planned out. So even if the show can’t find a new home on television, they will pursue a book, graphic novel, or even a mobile video platform such as Quibi. “[I]’d just be such a shame for our fans to not know where it’s going and where we can continue it to go because we’ve already done all that heavy lifting,” says O’Leary.

• “Obviously, we’re gonna bring Quinn back in early on,” Jablonski revealed. “He’s an integral part of the show.” The great thing about this show is that the subject matter and what it tackles is bigger than just writing a television script. We have the opportunity to tell great stories based on real-life stuff, and it’s still provocative today – 70 years later.

 

          David O’Leary

Last week, History announced that it wouldn’t be renewing any of its ongoing scripted series for new seasons, namely Knightfall — a medieval drama about the Crusades — and Project Blue Book, about the U.S. government’s real-life investigation into UFOs in the 1950s and 60s. The cancellation of Project Blue Book hit especially hard, because was actually doing pretty good in the ratings, averaging 1.3 million viewers a day after each new episode aired and 2.49 million a week after. Among cable dramas, that’s pretty respectable, and I imagine a show like Project Blue Book was less expensive to produce than something like Knightfall, at least.

So why the cancellation? Well, History seems to be pivoting towards more miniseries — it has at least three

             Sean Jablonski

miniseries about American presidents on the way — and is just doing away with all of its scripted shows; the popular Vikings ends this year, too, with the follow-up show going to Netflix. The good news is that the success of Project Blue Book gives the creators some leverage when shopping it around to other outlets. “We’re fortunate in that everybody involved remains committed to trying to find our show a second home, and to continue,” executive producer executive producer David O’Leary told SyFy Wire. “We feel it’s unfinished. And I’m sure our fans feel it’s unfinished.”

Indeed, the fans have been making their voices heard. There’s a Change.org petition to save the show up and running, and the creators are encouraging people to use the #SAVEBLUEBOOK hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to let networks know that there’s interest. “First and foremost, I think we want to thank the fans and say how grateful we are,” said showrunner Sean Jablonski. “Honestly, the greatest joy of the whole thing was just watching fans have these great [online] reactions to what we were hoping would be big, dramatic moments, whether it’s the Susie (Ksenia Solo) reveal, or somebody getting killed, or major plot turns that we were always trying to build.”

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Alien Investigation Series ‘Project Blue Book’ Promises More Weird Encounters in Season 2

 

Article by Elizabeth Howell                        January 28, 2020                         (space.com)

The History Channel’s hit television series, “Project Blue Book”, is back for Season 2. The show, which airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST and PST, follows the U.S. Air Force “investigation” into UFOs during the 1950s and 60s. Under Blue Book, Air Force officer Edward J. Ruppelt and astronomer J. Allen Hynek and their successors examined over 12,000 UFO sightings. The HISTORY show delves into some of the 700 still-unexplained encounters.

• Series creator and executive producer David O’Leary said that he became convinced that UFOs really existed through his research on Project Blue Book. He is quick to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are extraterrestrial. O’Leary says that in the end, both Ruppelt and Hynek themselves became convinced that UFOs were real and represented a true mystery worthy of scientific study. “Something clicked for me,” said O’Leary, “This is unbelievable (to me). So this ….series … examines this (UFO) program through the eyes of these two men.”

• O’Leary has spent many hours reading the first-hand research from both Blue Book, via the declassified documents found in Hynek’s book The UFO Experience, and from independent UFO historians. O’Leary interviewed the last living director of Blue Book — Robert J. Friend, who died in June 2019 at age 99. Friend provided not only details of the investigations, but advised them on what the Blue Book offices looked like and details of the show’s set.

• The ten episodes of Season 1 of Project Blue Book ran between January and March 2019. Last year’s show topics included a “dogfight” with a UFO over Fargo, N.D. in 1948; “foo fighters” during World War II (Friend was a WWII fighter pilot himself); and UFOs buzzing Washington DC in the summer of 1952. O’Leary says he likes to mix it up and explore scenarios beyond traditional UFO sightings in the sky, such as chasing aliens through the forest, making telepathic connections with aliens, and a Kentucky family that reported an alien home invasion.

• Anything beyond Season 2 has not been confirmed. But O’Leary and his team say they “have a lot of new ideas and areas to explore” and would be interested in producing more episodes.

 

“Project Blue Book,” the hit television docudrama about the U.S. military’s investigations into aliens more than 50 years ago, is back for Season 2.
The History Channel series runs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST and PST — check your local listings to confirm the time in your viewing area. The next episode is tonight (Jan. 28).

                    David O’Leary

The series shares the same name as the real-life U.S. Air Force investigation into unidentified flying objects (UFOs), which was called Project Blue Book. That investigation launched in 1952 and continued until 1969. Experts examined more than 12,000 UFO sightings (of which more than 700 are still unexplained), according to series creator and executive producer David O’Leary.

“For me, UFOs have been a lifelong obsession,” he told Space.com. “I have always been fascinated by the question [of] ‘Are we alone in the universe? And I never felt you could honestly answer that question without examining the UFO issue.”

O’Leary said through his research on Project Blue Book, he became convinced that there “really is a phenomenon” of UFOs, even though experts often debunk the purported sightings, or say that the existence of UFOs doesn’t necessarily mean that aliens are in our airspace.

“Once I learned the chief of scientific consultants for the U.S. Air Force [J. Allen Hynek] and the first director of that program [Edward J. Ruppelt] both became convinced through this program that UFOs are real and represent a true scientific mystery and worthy of true scientific study, something clicked for me. This is unbelievable. So this is a drama series that examines this program through the eyes of these two men.”

O’Leary has spent many hours reading the first-hand research from both Blue Book, via the declassified documents in Hynek’s book “The UFO Experience” (Regnery, 1972), and from independent UFO historians. The producer also interviewed the last living director of Blue Book — Robert J. Friend, who died in June 2019 at age 99. Friend not only provided details of the investigations, but also discussed matters such as what the project’s offices looked like. His testimony helped with the sets on the show, O’Leary said.

2:14 minute trailer for Season Two of ‘Project Blue Book’ (HISTORY YouTube)

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50 Years Ago, the Air Force Tried to Make UFOs Go Away. But It Didn’t Work.

Listen to “E205 50 Years Ago, the Air Force Tried to Make UFOs Go Away. But It Didn’t Work.” on Spreaker.

Article by MJ Banias                           December 17, 2019                            (popularmechanics.com)

• Fifty years ago, the U.S. Air Force closed its UFO investigation program, Project Blue Book. Its initial predecessor was Project Sign, created in 1947 (after Roswell). The problem with Sign was that it allowed for the notion that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin. So the Air Force replaced it with Project Grudge in 1949. It was shut down in 1951 as it labeled all UFOs as hoaxes, although they couldn’t explain 25% of them.

• So in 1952, in the wake of UFOs being spotted over Washington D.C., the Air Force initiated Project Blue Book which investigated up to 15,000 UFO cases, up to one-third of which couldn’t be explained. According to author Mark O’Connell, when it became evident that the project was unable to determine whether these UFOs were a threat to the nation, Blue Book’s mission became one of ‘making the UFOs go away’.

• In 1953, the government formed the Robertson Panel to look at UFO reports. The panel of academics and scientists concluded : 1) UFOs posed no national security risk; 2) the National Security Council should actively debunk UFO reports and make them the subject of ridicule; and 3) UFO investigative and research groups be monitored by intelligence agencies for subversive activity.

• In 1968, the Air Force and the University of Colorado’s ‘Condon Report’ determined that all UFO incidents were delusion, hoaxes or natural phenomenon. “The committee recommended that the Air Force get out of the UFO business,” O’Connell says. And the Air Force was more than happy to do so. Project Blue Book was shut down.

• Australian UFO researcher Paul Dean told Popular Mechanics “… the other three branches of the armed forces, continued to accept UFO reports,” predominantly from military personnel. These UFO reports were secretly investigated.

• Today, the political and academic stigma surrounding UFOs created so many years ago by the Robertson Panel is beginning to erode. Rational UFO discourse is on the uptick as organizations begin to muster support to engage in actual scientific studies of aerial anomalies.

• David O’Leary, creator of HISTORY Channel’s Project Blue Book, says that on a cultural level, there now seems to be a positive shift in how UFOs are viewed by the mainstream public. O’Leary told Popular Mechanics, “I think that for the first time, there’s sort of a conscious awakening to what’s happening.” Says O’Leary, “… privately, the U.S. government wants to study this (UFO) phenomenon, and it takes it very seriously.” O’Connell agrees, noting that this creates the general impression that “… if it’s okay for the government to be interested in the phenomenon, then it ought to be okay for the average Joe to be interested as well.”

 

Fifty years ago today, the U.S. Air Force announced the closing of its most famous UFO investigation program, Project Blue Book. While the government’s goal was to “make UFOs go away,” it forced a community to take matters into its own hands. And it worked: If the events of this year alone are any indication, UFOs remain as hot of a topic in the general conscience than ever. But we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Blue Book.
In 1947, due to a string of “flying saucer sightings,” the Air Force began its campaign to understand the UFO phenomenon. Quietly, it put together a project, known as Sign, to investigate reports of UFOs. According to some researchers, one of Sign’s alleged final reports, commonly known as the “Estimate of the Situation,” openly favored the notion that flying saucers were extraterrestrial in origin.

While the report has never been released to the public, and is probably more mythological than real, many within UFO circles believe that Sign’s closure and replacement with the short-lived Project Grudge in 1949 attempted to engage in the active debunking of UFO incidents. The Air Force also eventually shut Grudge down in 1951, declaring that UFOs were hoaxes and misidentification—yet admitted that roughly 23 percent of the cases it investigated were unexplainable.

In 1952, the Air Force initiated its final UFO investigation, the now-famous Project Blue Book. Initially led by Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, in nearly two decades, it collected between 12,000 and 15,000 cases and was designed to be a fair and honest look at the UFO situation, succeeding where Sign and Grudge had failed. But while initial intentions may have been good, the project quickly went bad.

Blue Book Breaks Down

In 1953, a year into Blue Book’s run, the government formed the Robertson Panel to look at UFO reports, in the wake of a string of odd aerial objects being spotted over Washington, D.C. the previous year. Comprised of academics and scientists, the panel concluded in its classified report that UFOs posed no risk to national security, and proposed that the National Security Council actively debunk UFO reports to ensure UFOs become the subject of ridicule. It also recommended that UFO investigative and research groups be monitored by intelligence agencies for subversive activity.

“Strictly speaking, Project Blue Book was formed to determine whether UFOs represented a threat to our nation,” Mark O’Connell, author of The Close Encounters Man: How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs, tells Popular Mechanics. “Over time, when it was evident that Blue Book was utterly incapable of answering that question, its mission became one of ‘making the UFOs go away.’”

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