Monday, January 06, 2020

History's Project Blue Book Returns

For those who are interested, History’s Project Blue Book returns on Tuesday, January 21. Normally, I wouldn’t bother with this but I have seen one of the trailers and I have some other information about the show that I thought I would mention.

First, however, let me say that those who visit here regularly know that I was something of a fan of the show. I pointed out, repeatedly, that I viewed it as science fiction rather than science fact and the claim that it was based on the Project Blue Book files was stretching things quite a bit.

What caught my attention in the latest trailer was a mention of Roswell. Roswell, of course, refers to the UFO crash, something that Project Blue Book ignored… or, if you wish to be totally accurate, Project Sign ignored. For those who aren’t immersed in the history of the Air Force UFO projects, Sign was first, followed by Grudge and then Blue Book. Roswell happened five years before Grudge evolved into Blue Book.

Make no mistake here. These projects weren’t separate entities. Sign became Grudge which became Blue Book. All the files collected by Sign eventually ended up in Blue Book… or I suppose, more accurately, the files stayed in place and only the name was changed to hide the truth.

Having spent years reading the Sign/Grudge/Blue Book files, and having looked, specifically, for anything related to Roswell, I can say without fear of contradiction, there is nothing there about Roswell in the files. The only mention of the case is in a newspaper clipping that is part of another sighting report. In third paragraph of that story is the claim that the officers in Roswell had been issued a blistering rebuke for the press release about “capturing” a flying saucer. Walter Haut told me, repeatedly, that there had been no rebuke.

And that’s it. Nothing else.

Other, similar cases, meaning those that contain information about flying saucer crashes, are there. Shreveport, Louisiana, (July 7, 1947) has a file about the hoax in which a small, saucer-shaped object supposedly crashed onto a street. It was recovered. J. Edgar Hoover was annoyed that the “Army grabbed it” before his FBI could get there. There is no doubt that this was a hoax.

Black River Falls, Wisconsin (July 11, 1947) was reported to Sign. It was another small disk, weighing something like a pound and a half. This too, was a hoax. This
Jesse Marcel, Sr.
too, has a case file.

The point is that Roswell was national news at the time. Even if a solution was offered within three hours of the information hitting the wires, it was still a big story. In those others, it was civilians who found the objects, but in Roswell, the recovery was made by military personnel including a member of the counterintelligence corps (Sheridan Cavitt) and the 509th’s air intelligence officer (Jesse Marcel, Sr.). But there was no case file… and I find that a bit strange.

The point here, however, is that Project Blue Book (Sign) never investigated the case and there is no evidence that Roswell was even discussed by those assigned to the project. Without seeing the episode, I have to say this. “The only thing about the episode that is true is that there was a Project Blue Book and Dr. J. Allen Hynek was the scientific consultant. Everything else will probably come from the imagination of the writers, producers and those others involved in making the show.”

I fear this will inject more nonsense into the Roswell case and the last thing that serious research needs is more nonsense.


Mike said...

In writing a little article on the beginning of Sign, i came across this by Jerry Clark in his encyclopedia. Of course there is no roswell reference, as you say, in any of the files of these projects:
"There is also a suggested line of evidence that was reported by long-time ufo investigator Kevin Randle in his 1989 book, The UFO Casebook, here described by UFO historian Jerome Clark (pg 436 of aforementioned reference immediately above):

“In the early 1980s, while attending one of a number of regularly scheduled meetings of intelligence officers, Kevin D. Randle, a U.S. Air Force Reserve captain who years later would investigate the Roswell incident, met a colonel who said he worked at the Air Technical Intelligence Center (which oversaw the Air Force UFO projects) in the late 1940s. The officer told Randle that the fabled estimate had been hand-delivered by courier to Vanderberg, who handed it back with instructions that two paragrapahs be removed. The informant (since deceased) said these paragraphs referred to physical evidence recovered in New Mexico.”

End quote.

Bob Koford said...

While it may not mean very much, coming from me, I totally concur with your article.
When that show first aired, I was excited, at least marginally. I thought for sure that finally someone was going to talk about some of the cases and stick to the truth. Boy, was I wrong! Still, it turned out to be an entertaining first season, which I ended up enjoying, for the entertainment value of it.
Now though, I am annoyed, instead of being amused.
The long of it might not resonate with you but there are compelling reasons why this new hokum regarding Roswell, which is obviously forthcoming, is extremely annoying to me.
You mentioned the “La” case, which we know of as a hoax. This occurred on 7 July 1947. As I mentioned in a previous comment, ADC produced an official Letter of Instruction on 7 July 1947. Why? If the Rhodes/Arizona case wasn’t known about in real time, why the Letter of Instruction? What happened on the 7th to cause the ADC to issue this command letter? This is also the only document I found, in the official files, that could even come close to connecting with the Roswell incident. As you said, there is nothing in the files regarding Roswell. Yet there is this ADC letter, on the 7th.
Before I say more, I want to go on record thanking Scott and Suzanne Ramsey, Frank Thayer and the other people on their team for sticking to it. The witnesses that provided the 25 March 1948 date were almost, without a doubt, being truthful. Not one of them could have known what I know now, after careful scrutinizing of the facts. This is important, to me, because of the many documents and pieces of information I have located that demonstrate that something of a Flying Disc nature occurred on 25 March 1948. This is not in question.
One may say what they will about the Aztec story being a hoax but I have not only confirmed that Flying Discs were of a concern to ADC on 25 March 1948, I also found that SAC, ConAc, TAC and the Army General Staff Corps/Intelligence Division were also concerned about Flying Discs and Unconventional Aircraft on that date, specifically. Not only that, but there is also an abundance of Air Defense historical material, including the Inter-Staff memo between General Anderson and General Timberlake, confirming that General Spaatz ordered our “fledgling air defense units” on 24 hour a day alert beginning on the morning of 25 March 1948. On the 26th he conducted a teleconference to make sure the Eastern seaboard and Albuquerque were included. The alert lasted until General Vandenberg took over in April.
This is what drew my attention to the official Letter from ADC on 7 July 1947. If the ADC issued a similar letter on 25 March 1948, which coincided with other official issuances on that date (such as SAC and Air Force Directives 200-1 and ADC 45-5), all regarding Flying Discs and Unconventional Aircraft, then certainly the 7 July 1947 issuance could also relate to a Flying Disc incident.
Which leads to my annoyance with the second season of the History Channel’s Project Blue Book show and their Roswell malarkey.
Here I have gathered all this hard evidence supporting a Flying Disc incident occurring on the same day that several witnesses had claimed a disc landed on a mesa, north of Aztec, on 25 March 1948. Yet it is still considered a hoax…but Roswell, with absolutely no written evidence to support the witnesses, will be featured in this new production as being a true saucer crash.
Go figure!

Nitram said...

Hi Kevin

Thank you for your latest posting.
We had something recently on TV, where I'm from, quite recently (History channel) and yes it covered Project Blue Book...

It included the UFO's flying over Washington and the White House...

Would be great to see a post about this one day - I don't think those sightings have ever been satisfactorily explained?

Best wishes for 2020


John Steiger said...

Bob Koford: Very interesting post -- Thank you so much!

However, the newspaper article "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region" is written evidence to support the witnesses. The article is based on "information released by the department [509th Bombardment Group intelligence office]," and that is primary, firsthand evidence.

Bob Koford said...

Hi Mr. Steiger.

I appreciate your taking time to comment. Quote from my comment: This is also the only document I found, in the official files, that could even come close to connecting with the Roswell incident.

What I meant here was the files from the official UFO Program, which means Saucer/SIGN, GRUDGE, BLUE BOOK and all files regarding the subject from other entities, such as the CIA.

Personally, I pretty much feel that something happened north of Roswell in early July, 1947. This is why I mentioned the July 7 ADC Letter.

edithkeeler said...

Researchers can be annoyed that History is including Roswell in Project Blue Book, but it's entertainment for public consumption. Roswell is undoubtedly the best-known UFO case in US history. You'd be hard pressed to find any UFO show that doesn't cover it, so you really can't fault them for including it. I found the show very entertaining last year, and I'm excited to have something new and entertaining to watch during the dregs of winter!

John Steiger said...

Bob Koford: Thank you for clarifying. Much appreciated!

purrlgurrl said...

History's Project Blue Book isn't worth getting bothered about.

It's totally dismissible science fiction because it's really, really bad (crappy writing and direction), peppered with the cheesiest special effects seen on TV since before The X-Files first aired.

Ufology is chock full of utter nonsense, hoaxes, deliberate lies, fantasies, delusions, illusions, magical and wishful thinking, misplaced faith and trust, and sometimes even serious psychological issues desperately in need of treatment.

How can this "free" cable TV sludge do damage to Ufology that it hasn't already done to itself?

John Steiger said...

purrlgurrl: While I generally agree with your assessment, you neglected to mention that Ufology also contains Truth (!)

purrlgurrl said...

Ufology long ago lost any credibility it might have had. "Truth" is now a highly ephemeral term in today's organized Ufology.

The only witnesses who have credibility for me never reported what they saw to any organization and never joined any UFO groups. In fact, they don't "follow" UFOs despite their unusual sightings. I know a couple of them quite well. They dismiss Ufology and the UFO community as a big circus they want no part in.

Seems to me they're a lot smarter about this than those of us who continue to stick a toe into UFO waters occasionally. Yours truly included.

John Steiger said...

purrlgurrl: If the state of UFOlogy is as dire and unworthy of trust as you suggest, then why do you continue to read this blog?

For that matter why does Dr. Randle continue to write it? And why does he continue to investigate, research, and write such books of quality about UFO phenomena?

The reason is that UFOs are a fascinating subject, and while you are correct in your assessment that there are many, many negative problems intertwined with the subject, there are also some outstanding examples which cannot be explained away by identifiable phenomena nor the known forces that interact with such.

I am sorry that you are so overwhelmed by mistrust and negativity, to the point that your objectivity is being compromised.

Paul Young said...

purrlgurrl..."Ufology is chock full of utter nonsense, hoaxes, deliberate lies, fantasies, delusions, illusions, magical and wishful thinking, misplaced faith and trust, and sometimes even serious psychological issues desperately in need of treatment."

It certainly is "chock full" of everything you mention above. However, it is the ETH'er investigators who are much more irritated by these people than the sceptics because it makes their job so much more difficult.

No one hates a charlatan in the UFO world more than an ETH'er does.

So yep...cut away at the 95% of the charlatans and the bored (who simply want to "get in on the act")
This still leaves us with some compelling cases with witnesses who have nothing to gain and much to lose by reporting them. (JAL Flight 1628, would be just one example)