Sunday, February 16, 2020

Project Moon Dust - A Little Help

I have had sporadic luck with this sort of thing in the past. I need some help in finding a document that I saw in the Project Blue Book files as I was working on The Government UFO Files. I was working on the chapter that dealt with the Levelland sightings of November 1957 when I found the following, which tells us something about the beginning of Project Moon Dust:

For those that do not, put simply, the original mission of Project Moon Dust, as stated by US Air Force Message #54322, dated December 23, 1957, was to “to collect and analyze raw intelligence reports from the field on fallen space debris and objects of unknown origin”.

I was working at home with the microfilm of the Project Blue Book files. I note this, because those 96 rolls of microfilm contain everything that has been released. I’m not sure that Fold3 or some of the other digital sources contains everything.

The point is that I have no way to print from my microfilm reader. I sometimes use my iPad to take photos from the screen, but I don’t always do this. On this occasion I copied everything relevant from the screen but didn’t take a picture.

Well, I guess you all can figure out where this is going. I can’t find the document again. I have spent hours looking for it. I believe in was in a file for another of the cases reported in 1957, but I don’t know which one. I have also been through the administration files that might hold the relevant document, but still no luck. I even sent out a number of inquiries to various government installations that might have the message traffic archived by either message number or date. No luck there either.

Yes, I have seen the document, and I realized when I stumbled over it that it provided a significant clue about the beginning of Moon Dust. It would be nice to be able to find a copy of the document that I could publish here, or the precise place where it is housed so that I might direct others to it. The document is important because it shows that Moon Dust did not begin with the creation of the 4602nd AISS in 1952, but that the inspiration was probably the Soviet launch of Sputnik in October 1957. The message suggested the “recent” creation of Moon Dust (though, if I remember it correctly, it didn’t use the name Moon Dust), it was the context that made that clear.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. And, yes, I continue to search for it myself. If we can find it, we would have a nice bit of documentation.


Moonman said...

Only refs to "Msg 54322"

sam said...

This might help,might not

Sasquatch said...

Amazed that Blue Book has not been fully digitized. Why has not there been a public project to do so ?

Lorna Hunter said...

Sasquatch - John Greenwald, Jr. did digitize Project Blue Book, or at least put it in searchable pdf form with the intention of making it available for anyone on his "Black Vault" website. That's when he found out that owned the rights to it and stopped him from posting it to his website.

It's been a few years ago. Perhaps Kevin can elaborate.