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

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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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Researching UFO’s? You Can Start With a New Display at the National Archives Museum

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Article by Amanda Horowitz                           December 6, 2019                            (wjla.com)

• In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the end of Project Blue Book in 1969, from December 5th through January 8th the National Archives Museum will display a sampling of the Air Force’s declassified UFO investigation program in the East Rotunda Gallery in Washington, D.C. The bulk of the thousands of pages of Project Blue Book records remain at the National Archives College Park, Maryland location. These include home movies that people from all over the United States shot between 1952 and 1967.

• But these Archives may only be the tip of the iceberg. According to UFO historian Richard Dolan, “Serious research must also include the many thousands of pages of documents released over the years via the Freedom of Information Act.” Dolan pointed to criticism of Blue Book, “Frankly, (Project Blue Book) was designed to explain UFO reports away, rather than actually explain them.”

• According to an Air Force website, the conclusions of Project Blue Book were: “No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security; There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as “unidentified” represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and there was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as “unidentified” were extraterrestrial vehicles.”

• However, a representative for the National Archives said “Our mission is to make records accessible, not to draw conclusions.” Ryan Faith, space and defense policy expert said, “At the end of the day, it’s kind of immaterial what UFOs are until we can somehow, of our own initiative, interact with them.”

 

Washington, D.C. — You can become a UFO researcher starting with a new display at the National Archives Museum.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the end of Project Blue Book, the code name for the Air Force program that investigated UFO sightings, the National Archives Museum started displaying a selection of Project Blue Book records Thursday.

The records are a just sample from thousands of pages of unclassified records and items related to Project Blue Book that the National Archives has in its possession. Including things like unedited, unaltered home movies used in the investigation that people from all over the United States shot between 1952 and 1967.

You can access the bulk of the Archives Project Blue Book documents at its College Park location. But if you want to reach full-on ufologist status, what the Archives has may only be the tip of the iceberg.

“Serious research much also include the many thousands of pages of documents released over the years via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), UFO historian and author Richard Dolan said. “One can learn much more by studying the declassified literature on this matter via a number of public sources and websites.”

Dolan said the Project Blue Book archives are a good resource. He also pointed to criticism of Blue Book. “Frankly, it was designed (especially after 1952) to explain UFO reports away, rather than actually explain them,” he said.

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Season Two of Project Blue Book Premieres on History Channel in January

 

Article by TV News Desk                              November 19, 2019                             (broadwayworld.com)

• HISTORY’s hit drama series “Project Blue Book” from A+E Studios and executive produced by Robert Zemeckis returns for season two on January 21, 2020 (10pm ET). The historical UFO series emerged as the #1 new drama series on cable, averaging over 3.2 million total viewers during season one. “Project Blue Book” is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant college professor recruited by the US Air Force to spearhead this clandestine program to research thousands of cases.

• The ten-episode sophomore season will delve deeper into themes of global conspiracy and how UFOs have impacted the evolution of our nation’s military practices and technology. It will kick off with a deep dive into the UFO wreckage found in Roswell, New Mexico, and the top secret government facility at ‘Area 51’ – a magnet for paranormal events and UFO-related activity. Ensuing episodes involve the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter in Kentucky, CIA mind-control experiments. One episode will follow Hynek as he serves as expert consultant to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

• Based on the true, top secret investigations into UFOs and related phenomena conducted by the US Air Force from 1952-1969, each episode draws from actual case files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events. Says Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HISTORY, “Our drama series delves into infamous cases like Roswell and Area 51 and offers a retrospective look at the rich history behind UFO phenomena. Through this season’s entertaining and compelling storytelling, viewers will become immersed in these strange occurrences that are inspired by real events.” Over 700 of these cases remain unsolved to this day.

 

HISTORY’s hit drama series “Project Blue Book” from A+E Studios and executive produced by Academy Award and Golden Globe(R) winner Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Contact) returns for season two on Tuesday, January 21 at 10PM ET/PT.

At a time when UFOs and related phenomena have piqued worldwide attention and public intrigue, season two will take a dramatic look back at where the UFO conspiracy first began and highlight real cases that ignited America’s fascination around the topic. Based on the true, top secret investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and related phenomena conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952-1969, each episode will draw from the actual case files blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history.

“UFOs have sparked a cultural conversation that has infiltrated recent news cycles, but the truth is, the allure with this topic goes back decades since the creation of Project Blue Book,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HISTORY. “Our drama series delves into infamous cases like Roswell and Area 51 and offers a retrospective look at the rich history behind UFO phenomena. Through this season’s entertaining and compelling storytelling, viewers will become immersed in these strange occurrences that are inspired by real events.”

“Project Blue Book” is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead this clandestine operation (Project Blue Book) that researched thousands of cases, over 700 of which remain unsolved to this day. The ten-episode sophomore season will find Dr. Hynek and Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) on a dangerous quest for the truth and delve deeper into themes of global conspiracy, touch on how UFOs have impacted the evolution of our nation’s military practices and technology and lean into the nostalgia of the 1950s. It will also kick-off with a deep dive into two of the most well-known UFO cases in US history: Roswell, New Mexico where a rancher claimed to have found mysterious wreckage on his property thought to be a UFO and Area 51, a government run location in Nevada historically rumored to be a magnet for paranormal events and UFO-related activity.

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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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