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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.

   the real Wernher von Braun

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.

          the real J. Allen Hynek

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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New History Channel Show Tells of Pilot’s 1948 ‘Dogfight’ With UFO Above Fargo

by Kim Hyatt                       January 9, 2019                      (westfargopioneer.com)

• The first episode of “Project Blue Book” premiered on the History Channel Tuesday, January 8th. It focuses on a 25-year-old National Guard lieutenant’s encounter with an UFO in the skies above Fargo, North Dakota.

• In October 1948, the local Fargo newspaper interviewed Lieutenant George Gorman, a B-25 fighter pilot in World War II. He told ‘The Forum’ that his “dogfight” with the UFO was “the weirdest experience I’ve had in my life.”

• The Fargo newspaper ran an account of the incident at the time. Flying at night in a P-51 over what is now North Dakota State University during a football game, Gorman saw a “flying disk”. It was round with well-defined edges, brilliantly lit and circling over the city. Gorman decided to investigate and a 27-minute chase ensued. Gorman tried crashing into it, but the disk dodged him at speeds of 600 mph. His P-51 aircraft’s top speed was 400 mph. As he approached the disk, it lit up and, with a burst of speed, outdistanced him.

• “Once, when the object was coming head on, I held my plane pointed right at it,” Gorman reported. “The object came so close that I involuntarily ducked my head because I thought a crash was inevitable. But the object zoomed over my head.”

• His story was corroborated by another pilot flying over Fargo that night, and two air traffic controllers to whom Gorman relayed information regarding the disk. Maj. D. C. Jones, commander of the 178th fighter squadron at Hector airport, said Gorman was so shaken by the experience that Gorman had difficulty landing that night.

• The Air Force investigated the incident through Project Blue Book, as depicted in the television show. According to the National Archives, there were more than 12,500 sightings reported to Project Blue Book in the 1950’s and 60’s, but the investigations officially found no evidence that UFOs were “extraterrestrial vehicles” or a security threat, including this one. Air Force investigators noted that Gorman was a credible, sincere witness “who was considerably puzzled by his experience and made no attempt to blow his story up.” But the Air Force ultimately ruled it an encounter with a weather balloon.

• According to ‘The Forum’ newspaper clippings from 1947 to 1995, UFO sightings were a dime a dozen back then. “A flurry of reports of unidentified flying objects were made in North Dakota,” says an article from August 1965. Countless columns aimed to disprove the sightings, claiming that “flying saucers aren’t for real,” said one article from August 1963. A March 1950 article tried to downplay the UFO hype, saying UFOs aren’t anything new and that, in fact, sightings in North Dakota dated back to 1897.

• Nevertheless, the Fargo-Moorhead area has welcomed “ufologists” for lectures over the years. Officials investigated reports made by children, adults and law enforcement alike.

• As for Gorman, he carried out his career in the Guard quietly, never again speaking publicly about his UFO experience. He denied Life magazine an interview in 1952. Gorman told friends that “he was never convinced that he had been dueling with a lighted balloon for 27 minutes.”

 

A new History Channel series exploring U.S. investigations into UFOs has a strong Fargo tie.

The first episode of “Project Blue Book” premiered Tuesday, Jan. 8. It focuses on a 25-year-old National Guard lieutenant’s encounter with an unidentified flying object in the skies above Fargo.

The lieutenant, George Gorman, a B-25 fighter pilot in World War II, told The Forum in October 1948 that the “dogfight” with the UFO was “the weirdest experience I’ve had in my life.”

              Lieutenant George Gorman

According to the archived Forum article: Flying in a P-51 over what is now North Dakota State University during a football game, Gorman saw the “flying disk,” according to the archived Forum article. It was round with well-defined edges, brilliantly lit and circling over the city.

After Gorman decided to investigate the disk, a 27-minute chase ensued in the Fargo night sky.

Gorman tried crashing into it, but the disk dodged him at speeds of 600 mph, he recalled. His aircraft was going at a top speed of 400 mph, and as he approached the disk, it lit up and, with a burst of speed, outdistanced him.

“Once, when the object was coming head on, I held my plane pointed right at it,” Gorman said. “The object came so close that I involuntarily ducked my head because I thought a crash was inevitable. But the object zoomed over my head.”

His story was corroborated by another pilot flying in Fargo that night and two air traffic controllers who Gorman relayed information to regarding the disk’s antics.

Maj. D. C. Jones, commander of the 178th fighter squadron at Hector airport, said Gorman was so shaken by the experience that Gorman had difficulty landing that night.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Aliens and Cold War Paranoia Collide in ‘Project Blue Book’

by Judy Berman                    January 3, 2019                      (time.com)

• Based on the true story of J. Allen Hynek’s evolution from UFO skeptic as the head astronomer for Project Blue Book, to a believer suspicious of a government cover-up, premiered on January 8th on the History Channel. Project Blue Book was an Air Force project to ‘study’ and ultimately debunk all UFO reports, which existed from 1952 to 1969.

• The show, entitled “Project Blue Book” is executive produced by Robert Zemeckis. Aidan Gillen, Game of Thrones’ “Littlefinger”, portrays the brilliant but arrogant J. Allen Hynek. Set in the simpler times of the 1950’s and 60’s, the historical drama brings forth the underlying paranoia of government agendas and Soviet espionage that was brewing just below the surface.

Project Blue Book works as a paranormal procedural in the X-Files mold; the story moves quickly, the performances elevate the scripts and episodes strike the right balance between the character’s relationships and a darker scenario that drives the season-long arc of a ‘very watchable’ show.

 

After World War II, as tensions with the Soviet Union fueled both the space race and fears of nuclear apocalypse, the U.S. Air Force started investigating UFOs. For help debunking the strange reports flowing in from across the country, the military enlisted J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer later known for developing the “close encounter” classification system. But over the years, Hynek grew less skeptical about UFOs and more suspicious of his bosses’ agenda, even as he remained instrumental to the 17-year study Project Blue Book.

His story is so obviously the stuff of prestige TV that it’s surprising it has taken so long to reach cable, in the form of a sci-fi drama from executive producer Robert Zemeckis that premieres on Jan. 8 on History. Project Blue Book smartly casts Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones‘ Littlefinger) as the brilliant but arrogant Hynek. Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) is the grounded Scully to his obsessive Mulder, a World War II hero charged with overseeing Allen–and ensuring that he toes the Air Force line. Above Quinn’s pay grade, a cover-up is brewing. And at home, Allen’s long absences have primed his wife Mimi (Laura Mennell) for a friendship with a mysterious new woman in town (Ksenia Solo).

Many great historical dramas–Mad Men, Halt and Catch Fire, The Knick–have been built on similar setups, following difficult visionaries who struggle against contemporary mores and authorities to shape the future we inhabit. Project Blue Book calls back to The Americans too, with Soviet spies sniffing around Allen’s classified research.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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