Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, marks the beginning of a new series on the History Channel that delves into recently declassified documents and uncovered activities surrounding the early U.S. Air Force UFO investigation program called Project Blue Book, in existence from 1948 to 1969. Predecessor programs begun a few years earlier as Project Sign and Project Grudge later evolved into Project Blue Book, by far the most revealing and controversial of the three programs.
The official summary “finding” of Project Blue Book’s 12,618 reports left a staggering 701 reported sightings completely unexplained as the program was shuttered, while the government concluded that none of the reports represented a threat to national security or revealed any technological developments or principles beyond then present-day scientific knowledge…notions that were challenged by some key figures involved with uncovering the compelling evidence.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an Ohio State University Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department, was the scientific advisor to UFO studies for the investigative programs. Originally a UFO skeptic himself, he later became an outspoken critic to the program’s secrecy and what he felt were government cover-ups.
Asked later what turned him around in his UFO beliefs, he explained that because the Air Force was dead set on putting an answer on every report, regardless of the scientific vetting or lack thereof, and after speaking with many credible witnesses such as military fighter pilots, he was ultimately unable to ignore the preponderance of evidence that led him to believe that these objects were, in fact, real.
MUFON, later established by independent researchers and enthusiasts in 1969, picks up where Project Blue Book left off, and has for 50 years remained the largest and most scientifically-based UFO investigative organization in the world, with thousands of members spanning the globe.