Wednesday, January 22, 2020

History's Project Blue Book - What a Disaster...

Last year I took a lot of flak for my suggestion that History’s Project Blue Book wasn’t all that bad. I could separate the fact from the fiction and found the shows enjoyable. They didn’t take too many liberties with the facts and that could be excused in the interest of dramatic storytelling. Can you think of a program or movie that didn’t take some dramatic license to put together a compelling drama that had to play out of a couple of hours?

But the new season has started with a case that is not part of the Project Blue Book record. As I have said, repeatedly, the only mention of the Roswell case is in the third paragraph of a four-paragraph newspaper clipping found in another case file. All it says is that the officers in Roswell had received a “blistering rebuke” for their announcement they had “captured” a flying saucer. In the more than 12,000 cases and the more than 130,000 pages found in the Blue Book files, Roswell makes up such a tiny faction that no one ever noticed.

Jesse  Marcel, Sr.
To take it further, Roswell wasn’t even on the radar of UFO researchers until 1978 when Jesse Marcel, Sr. told Stan Friedman and Len Stringfield that he had picked up pieces of a flying saucer when he was the air intelligence officer at the Roswell Army Air Field. Prior to that, references to Roswell were difficult to find and if it was mentioned at all, it was nearly always dismissed as a weather balloon or a hoax.

But now according to History’s latest installment of their not-so-much-based-on-fact- but-more-fiction than-necessary-program we’ve given up on reality. Rather than dealing with the case in 1947, we are stuck in 1952 and the Roswell case has somehow surfaced again. Hynek and Quinn have learned something about it and are on their way to Roswell… and it is at this point, I suppose, I should mention “SPOILERS.”

At one point in this bizarre chronology, the military is on high alert, with the suppression machine in full operation. The town is sealed off with no one allowed to arrive or depart. Roads are blocked by armed guards who do not know what they are doing… I say this because as Hynek and Quinn drive up, someone begins to take shots at them… guards, Hynek, Quinn, their jeep, barrels, whatever. The guards immediately desert their post to chase the sniper. They abandon it completely so that Hynek and Quinn can continue their journey. I suspect the guards were punished, off-screen, for their dereliction of duty.

Sure, I’ve skipped some of the nonsense. Quinn and Hynek going out to talk to a witness, knock on the door, which opens because not only wasn’t locked, it wasn’t even latched. Even though the owner isn’t there, they walk in anyway. They find evidence laid out nicely for them and then Hynek finds a fake saucer in the backyard as the owner returns.

Meanwhile in Ohio, Mimi Hynek is joining some UFO group and convinces the leader to “loan” her his private notes… I don’t know if he ever gets them back, but he does show up at her house.

We have a flashback to dozens of people walking the debris field in 1947 picking up souvenirs, even though in real life, the field is isolated and Mack (they spell it “Mac”) Brazel tried to convince his nearest neighbors to take a drive down to it. Loretta Proctor told me that tires cost money and gas cost money, and even though Brazel showed her a piece of debris, she and her husband, Floyd, just didn’t want to go out to look at the field. (Sure, this is a little confusing, but just remember that was a flash back to 1947 from the perspective of 1952).

They got so many little things wrong, it seemed that they just gave up and filmed whatever pleased them. Uniforms wrong, a camouflaged jeep that should have been painted blue, and, of course, the conflict between Hynek and Quinn and the brass hats running the cover up. Worst of all, they suggest the rancher was beat up while in military custody… this is an outrageous idea. There is no evidence that any one was harmed by any military personnel in 1947… of course, I will note that several of the witnesses suggested they were threatened if they talked about what they had seen. Not really the same thing. Threats that were never carried out then or now.

At the end of the show, they bring up Mogul as the solution for the debris and this is what really annoyed me. They made the debunked claim that Mogul was highly
Mogul array in flight in 1947.
classified. The problem is that while the purpose was classified, the experiments going on in New Mexico were not. Dr. Albert Crary, leader of the New York University study in New Mexico, as well as others on his team, knew the code name, Mogul. Crary mentions it in his field notes. Pictures of a Mogul array appeared in newspapers on July 10, 1947. And, Mogul was off-the-shelf weather balloons and rawin radar reflectors that had been in use for years. Nothing to fool anyone even if they were strung together.

The capper here, however, is the fact that Mogul Flight No. 4, the alleged culprit for leaving debris on the ranch managed by Mack Brazel, NEVER flew. Dr. Crary’s field notes, written at the time, said the flight was cancelled due to clouds at dawn. Charles Moore, who made the claim that Mogul balloons were responsible, and who, using winds aloft data, showed that Flight No. 4 got with in 17 MILES of the ranch, lied about the launch times. He had to or the winds aloft data proved that the balloons didn’t even get that close. But hey, close counts in hand grenades, dancing and atomic weapons.

According to the written records, as opposed to the fifty-year-old memories, the launch would have taken place around 5:20 in the morning, but as I say, it was cancelled. They flew a cluster of balloons later in the day, but a cluster of balloons does not make a Mogul array. To make this work, however, Moore had to keep pushing back the time of the launch until it came in the dark, which was in violation of the regulations they worked under. You can read about all this here:

There are other articles there as well, but I think these cover the point. Just type Mogul into the search engine and all the articles that reference Mogul will appear. I’ll suggest that you can also use Google and again, type in Mogul to receive additional information, much of it supporting the Mogul theory. I disagree with those, obviously, but for a complete understanding, it is always good to look at opposing points of view.

So, this is where I climb off the band wagon. This episode has done a real disservice to UFO research. There is nothing that actually relates to Project Blue Book other than the name Hynek. Everything else in here has nothing to do with reality.

And yet, I’ll watch next week because one of the actors, Neal McDonough, is in the show… not to mention Littlefinger as Hynek. Yeah, this has nothing to do with the quality of the program. I just thought I would mention it.


Bob Koford said...

I just felt uncomfortable, the whole time. Is there something behind their ridiculousness that I've missed? I enjoyed XFiles episodes. I have enjoyed many silly shows with quirky acting and the like but this show feels to me like they are going out of their way to be as unbelievable as they can possibly be. Why? It's just so over the top awkward and loose that it defies logic. They could easily make it legitimately light and not serious but still make it flow. It's just back and forth, giving me the feeling, at times, that they are just filming without any real direction. I really wanted to be able to just "let it go" and enjoy it for just entertainment.
I apologize to the makers/producers but it just doesn't flow in any reasonable story telling fashion.
Not sure what to make of it.

jeff thompson said...

It is just a TV show created to make money, That's all. Not to be taken at all seriously.

Moonman said...

On your show with Neal, you said the Mogul balloons were intended to fly over the USSR???? I don't think so. The balloons were operated on the theory that they could detect the sound of a USSR nuclear blast in some "sound channel" in the upper atmosphere, so they could be far away from USSR and still get the sound. In theory. I can't believe they thought this practical.

Moonman said...

I meant the show with Tom Whitmore.

SugarRayTaylor said...

At one point, I was expecting Clifford Stone to show up in a cameo appearance.

To be fair Kevin, when the guards left their post to chase the shooter, they did leave one behind so I suppose it wasn't completely unattended.

The story about the female witness leaving town, never to be heard from again definitely had a Glenn Dennis feel to it, which is hilarious in itself.

Anyway, let's dig up them alien bones and end the cover up!
Steve Bassett must be pissed off, all these years he's been trying to get Congress to look into things and end his "truth embargo"....turns out all he needed was a shovel.

Louis Nicholson said...

I agree with Jeff Thompson. Its just a tv show loosely based on true events. The producers don't pretend to do otherwise. To their credit, at the end of each episode they give an accurate short summary of the real events the show is based on.

I guess the problem you have with show, Kevin, is that they call it Project Blue book. Maybe it would have been better not to have titled it after an actual organization.

I really enjoy the show and since they don't follow the facts of the true events, you never know how its going to end. If it was a documentary just portraying the true facts, I wouldn't bother watching it because I have already seen and read too many accounts about the true events and don't need to see anymore.

I just watched part two of this Roswell episode. It was VERY entertaining.

KRandle said...

Louis -

No, I have a problem with the idea that it is based, in some way, on Project Blue Book and that at the end they provide a little wrap up with the "real" facts... except last week it suggested Mogul as an answer for the Roswell case and this week it was Nick Redfern's Body Snatchers in the Desert as the explanation. So, their little accurate summary isn't all that accurate.

And I have a problem because people see these things and don't realize just how many liberties are taken with the truth. I remember people telling me that George Custer was promoted to brigadier general by mistake, an idea they got from the movie "They Died with Their Boots On." The truth is that Custer, like almost every other Army officer who had graduated from West Point, ended up as a general in the Civil War. I can cite other examples as well.

So, now, we'll have to explain that Blue Book didn't investigate Roswell, Army officers didn't torture American citizens to keep them quiet, that Allen Hynek was punched out by the Chief of Blue Book, and that the town of Roswell was not barricaded by the Air Force.

Louis Nicholson said...

Yes, you are right about people assuming what they see on tv or in movies (and the internet) is the gospel truth. Perhaps they should have named the show "UFO Fictional Tales" or something.

Nick Redfern said...

Hey Kevin

In your article above, you wrote: "..last week it suggested Mogul as an answer for the Roswell case and this week it was Nick Redfern's Body Snatchers in the Desert as the explanation."

Wrong. In the show they brought in the story of Stalin, Mengele and a ruse to frighten the US Govt run by the Russians, etc. That's the story that Annie Jacobsen told in her "Area 51" book.

My "Body Snatchers in the Desert" book has nothing to do with Russians and Mengele, Stalin, etc.

KRandle said...

Good Day, Nick -

I was just looking at it from the point of view of some sort of secret project that had gone wrong and I hadn't read your book in a while. So, anyway, I did mention the book which means that maybe some others will look at it as well... But then, sorry to drag you into this when it should have been Annie Jacobsen who was the one who dragged in Mengele, et. al.

mouseonmoon said...

just read this - haven’t seen any of the crp on cable, but it seems Chase Brandon is back working with the entertainment industry lol