The name “flying saucers” arose from the first description a pilot made in 1947 after seeing Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO).
A historian John Greenewald has given 2 decades requesting de-restricted information from the United States government on unidentified flying objects, better known as UFOs.
He recently published over 100,000 pages of US Air Force internal UFO investigation documents.
We tell you what are the 5 interesting things to understand about the Project Blue Book.
1. Project Blue Book – An important mission:
The origins of this ambitious project were conducted in June 1947, ufologist Alejandro Rojas informs the BBC.
The editor of Open Minds magazine says that highly esteemed businessman and pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying over Washington state when he spotted quite a few unidentified flying objects.
He later described the event as “jumping saucers”, so the media started calling them “flying saucers.”
Such high-profile incident, and many others, including a suspected UFO touchdown in Roswell, New Mexico, the same year, prompted the Air Force department to create an investigation body.
Called Project Blue Book, the program included just a few people. However, this group explored 12,618 Unidentified Flying Objects sightings in a period of two decades.
2. The project was created at a time of public uncertainty
Founded after World War II, the project was projected to stop the expanse of public concern about an increasing number of testified UFO sights, including some over the White House or the US Capitol.
“There was a lot of hysteria among the public and at that time that was a threat to the military and the government,” Greenewald says. “It didn’t matter if the UFOs were aliens or not, they were causing panic, so the government had to calm everyone’s nerves.
The issue of UFOs became a matter of national security and was an issue addressed by the high government during the 1940s and 1950s.
Although today the subject of UFOs is a source of frequent jokes, in the year 1940s and ‘50s they were the subject of discussion at the highest levels of the US government.
“It was taken very seriously at the time,” explains Rojas, “with the heads of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), publicly stating that it was a real phenomenon and even then, Congressman Gerard Ford said they should be considered.
In 1966 an independent committee of the Air Force was created to deepen some of the Project Blue Bookcases. The group later published a report in which they claimed that there was no evidence of any UFO activity. And so, the project was officially closed in the year 1969.
Some of the Project Blue Bookcases are not so easy to explain
According to Rojas and Greenewald, over 700 of the cases recorded in the project cannot be ultimately justified by investigators. Many of them had insufficient information.
But also, many of the closed cases surely raise more questions than it answers.
In one example, in 1964 a police general in the USA went on a chase after seeing a bizarre aircraft flying in the sky. The police officer goes along the ship – which he stated as having a strange red-colored insignia, saw it lands, and saw two beings the size of a child emerges from it. He left burn marks and indications on the ground.
“The Blue Book labeled them inexplicable, even after all these decades they still can’t explain,” Greenewald says.
Many of the cases seem open and then closed
Although many reliable sources, from navy persons to civilian and military pilots, started seeing some UFOs. Many of such cases inspected by the project were considered caused by swamp gases, weather balloons, meteorological events, and even temperature reversals.
In Seattle, in the state of Washington, in the Northwest of the USA, in April 1956, an eyewitness described seeing a “round-shaped white-colored object, half the size of the Moon, going round and round,” according to the documents. Investigators accomplished, it was a meteorite and did not draw the case.
In Newark, January 1961, a person reported seeing a dark gray object “the size of a jet without wings.” That object was later considered a plane flying in that area.
There is still some information to discover about the activity of UFO
Although Greenewald has accumulated a large number of administration documents, he says still there are many that he and the public have not accessed.
A petition to the National Security Agency (NSA) released thousands of pages of information, but only a few words were readable on each page, he explains.
Other U.S. government entities – including the CIA and the DIA have also conducted unpublished UFO investigations, Greenewald notes.
“I believe that Project Blue Book is simply the tip of the iceberg,” he says, adding that he will continue to request more information from the US government. “There are secrets, behind conspiracies, and behind there are scandals yet to come out,” concludes Greenewald. “There is always something to go behind.”