United States Air Force UFO Project Blue Book

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J. Allen Hynek
J. Allen Hynek
Project Blue Book and predecessors investigated 12,618 UFO reports; 701 remained unidentified.

The roots of Project Sign began on June 24, 1947 when pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine flat disc-like aircraft flying at a high rate of speed near Mt. Rainer, Washington. Many similar reports followed.

Some UFOlogists theorize that researchers labeled mysterious sightings as misidentified phenomena because members of the organization were pressured to identify UFO sightings to ease public apprehension.

This been supported by the CIA releasing documents with information about the project. It appears that Blue Book was a collection of covering up investigations into aliens visiting earth.

Dr. Kevin Randle’s Study of Project Blue Book

After investigating the operation’s files, journalist Randel found 4,000 unexplained cases. A retired Air Force Captain, he has been studying the UFO phenomenon for more than twenty-five years.

Randle admits that many sightings are hoaxes or otherwise explainable as natural phenomena, such as stars, ball lightning and atmospheric conditions. The Air Force claimed that its investigation revealed that UFOs were hoaxes or natural phenomena and that UFOs weren’t from outer space, posing no threat to national security.

Randle believes that the testimony of thousands of competent, reliable, and often expert witnesses can’t be ignored. He found dozens of unexplained cases in Blue Book’s files and that pressure on Blue Book’s staff to explain sightings led to the staff making up explanations for sightings without an investigation or interviews with eyewitnesses.

Some of the Air Force’s explanations of various UFO sightings were implausible or was contrary to evidence contained in the files.

Roswell NM and Kecksburg, PA UFO Incidents and Cover Ups

Many people witnessed the nose-dive of a strange aircraft on a night in July 1947. The Roswell Incident began when Mac Brazel came into town, bringing pieces of debris to Sheriff George Wilcox.

The strong metal had unusual properties, including the ability to revert to its original shape when bent. Wilcox called the Roswell Army Air Field 509th to see if it lost any planes. It didn’t.

The 509th sent out Major Jesse Marcel and Sheridan Cavett, a Counter Intelligence officer, who had already been assigned to the case. They accompanied Brazel to the debris field. Truckloads of rubble were taken to Hangar 84, along with bodies.

As Roswell came to international attention, the debris and bodies were flown to other military bases, including Wright-Patterson AFB, UFO investigation headquarters. All evidence was confiscated, and orders were given to remain silent. The Air Force maintained that it was a weather balloon.

On December 9, 1965, many people in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio saw a brilliant vapor trail streak through the sky before crashing and starting a fire in Kecksburg. The military and NASA arrived on the scene. Military trucks carried something hidden to Wright-Patterson AFB. Like the people in Roswell, they were warned to keep silent.

Project Blue Book’s Demise

Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, who had been part of Project Sign, the first USAF UFO operation, was made the director of the operation. He started by coining the term Unidentified Flying Object, UFO.

He streamlined the reporting process for UFOs and hired Battelle Memorial Institute to create a standard form that applied statistical methods. Of the 3200 reports included in the study, 22% were considered to be UFOs.

Astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio Sate, was also on the project. He had been a skeptic. A rash of UFO reports in 1952 caused the CIA to convene a panel of scientists under the direction of physicist Howard Percy Robertson to study UFOs.

The panel recommended that the government start a public relations campaign designed to debunk UFOs and recommended monitoring civilian UFO groups. After Ruppelt left, Blue Book continued to debunk UFO reports. Between 1958 and 1963, when Major Robert J. Friend ran the project, there was an effort to reverse this trend and become more scientific about these investigations.

In 1966 the Condon Committee, under the direction of physicist Dr. Edward U. Condon reviewed the work of Blue Book and recommended it be closed. In the final report he stated that the project added nothing to scientific knowledge and further study was probably unnecessary.

Hynek began to have his own doubts after investigating a number of cases that had no explanation. He and other scientists established the Center for UFO Studies, CUFOS in 1973. They investigated thousands of UFO reports.



About 20% remain a mystery. After Project Blue Book ended, its files were declassified and made available to the public in the National Archives. Other UFO-related documents not kept by Blue Book have remained classified.

The Air Force continues to secretly investigate certain UFO sightings if it considers the objects to be threats to national security.

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