Project Blue Book series mixes truth and fiction; UFO mysteries remain

A United States Coast Guard photographer, Shell R. Alpert, took a photograph that allegedly shows unidentified flying objects flying in a “V” formation at the Salem, Massachusetts, air station at 9:35 a.m. on 16 July 1952, through a window screen. (Official U.S. Coast Guard photograph: 5554. Library of Congress Control Number: 2007680837
A United States Coast Guard photographer, Shell R. Alpert, took a photograph that allegedly shows unidentified flying objects flying in a “V” formation at the Salem, Massachusetts, air station at 9:35 a.m. on 16 July 1952, through a window screen. (Official U.S. Coast Guard photograph: 5554. Library of Congress Control Number: 2007680837

If you’re interested in unidentified flying objects, the History channel series Project Blue Book will definitely entertain you. The series is based on actual events, but admittedly, quite a bit of fiction is thrown in with the evidence. If you’re a skeptic, you may deride the series. If you’re a proponent of the theory alien creatures could try to visit Planet Earth, you may deride the government. As with all theories investigated by the government, the truth lies somewhere between.

We can come to at least two definite conclusions about Project Blue Book, an investigative program begun by the US government in 1952.

A UFO incident in Socorro, New Mexico, in 1964 remains unexplained. (US Government photo)
A UFO incident in Socorro, New Mexico, in 1964 remains unexplained. (US Government photo)

The first substantiated conclusion is that the government wanted to avoid alarming the public and prevent media from spreading “alarmist” stories. The CIA confirmed this approach with a 1952 memo now available online.

The second substantiated conclusion is that the government downplayed reports that couldn’t be explained by conventional means.

One of the most high profile cases involved a policeman who witnessed an event in 1964 in Socorro, New Mexico. The policeman’s name was Lonnie Zamora, and after being inundated with media and government interest, he eventually shut down his own input about the matter.

The Socorro case, however, is well known and well documented. A photo of the site is even posted on the CIA’s official website.  Numerous stories about the incident have been published, but what’s interesting is that the CIA also published a fairly detailed account of what this officer saw that day, and the intel agency concluded:

“Hector Quintanilla, the last chief officer of the US Air Force’s famous UFO investigation program, Project BLUE BOOK, was in charge of the Zamora case. His team was convinced that Zamora was telling the truth, and despite an extremely thorough investigation, they were unable to locate the object or its origins. In an article for Studies in Intelligence called, “The Investigation of UFO’s,” Quintanilla says that the Zamora sighting is “the best-documented case on record.” It remains unsolved.”

Quintanilla was a well-documented skeptic.

It’s useful to remind ourselves that just because the Zamora sighting in Socorro has never been explained, we can’t say this substantiates flying saucers.

The TV series in season one is based episodes on various reports, such as the Lubbock Lights. That case remains unsolved as well. As with each episode, the series includes fictional happenings and characterizations.

The series also includes a Russian spy motif and subliminal suggestions such as radiological implants—those were real and part of another early 1950s secret government program MK Ultra.

The time the series is set in, the 1950s, was a volatile time of adjustment for people in the US. The aftermath of horrific nuclear bombs and increasing advances in technology were two factors in a time that might be viewed as a truly “woke” era when it came to what governments, even in free countries, are capable of.

The acting in the series is excellent. I loved seeing Irish actor Aiden Gillen take on the role of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a principal investigator for the government. Gillen was a pleasure to watch in Game of Thrones too. Michael Malarkey plays Captain Michael Quinn, and he is very easy on the eyes. All the cast seemed well-chosen to me.

I’ve watched most of season one and I look forward to season 2 scheduled to open on January 21. While skeptics take a dim view of otherworldly entities, I try to keep an open mind. I’ve lived long enough to talk on a landline phone for a number several parties shared, and to talk on a phone that needs no cord and fits in my pocket. This is but one small experience among many indicating that the more we know, the less we know.

You can stream season one now.

The government also appears to now have a more open mind when it comes to aerial phenomena we couldn’t explain. The archives pages of the US Air Force summed up the status of investigations during the time Project Blue Book was in existence:

“From 1947 to 1969, a total of 12, 618 sightings were reported to Project BLUE BOOK. Of these 701 remain “Unidentified.” The project was headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, whose personnel no longer receive, document or investigate UFO reports.”

Project Blue Book is no longer in existence, but I’d wager good money the US government still investigates unidentified phenomena sighted in the skies or anywhere else. Those investigations are kept secret. For now.

(Kay B. Day/Jan. 7, 2020)

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