'Project Blue Book': The truth behind the History Channel series is stranger than fiction
A tug-of-war between the government and a scholar about a truth neither can deny or prove, is what forms the basis of the show
History Channel is about to disclose one of the world's most classified files in its upcoming Robert Zemeckis-produced show, 'Project Blue Book'. Starring Aidan Gillen ('Game of Thrones') and Michael Malarkey ('The Vampire Diaries'), the series will bring back the highly classified incidents that led to the formation of the controversial Project Blue Book in 1952 but collapsed in 1969 when evidence failed to turn in the favor of what scientists were expecting to be UFO interventions.
Picking up on the true story about the UFO conspiracies, which were kept classified by the government for the longest time, 'Project Blue Book' centers around J. Allen Hynek (played by Gillen), the man who spearheaded the entire investigation as an adviser.
As it is said sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction, the premise of 'Project Blue Book' heavily inclines towards the massive alien-chase that gripped the U.S. by the throat in the early decades of the '50s and '60s.
Immediately following in the aftermath of the Second World War, the frenzied trend of interest behind the existence of extra-terrestrial beings began to cultivate when businessman and civilian pilot, Kenneth Arnold, encountered a bizarre incident in 1947 wherein he reported seeing at least nine objects flying right across the sky through Washington's Mount Rainier. The report immediately caught the attention of the media, and soon became a point of interest for the U.S. Air Force who began their own set of investigations in 1948.
Over 12,000 UFO sightings were investigated by the Air Force after WWII. With newly declassified government files, the story of Project Blue Book is ready to be told. Prepare yourself to identify the unidentified truth on January 8 on @History. pic.twitter.com/tAoAk7MiNU— PROJECT BLUE BOOK (@HistoryBlueBook) November 1, 2018
This resulted in the formation of Project Blue Book, a highly classified operation in which Hynek acts as the advisor. As the longest running UFO investigation, the project compiled more than 12,000 sightings between 1952-1969, among which the much-debated case of Roswell, New Mexico, was also reported.
Although the case of Roswell was more of a matter of dispute between the army who claimed the object was nothing more than a weather balloon and the scientists who refused to believe it to be anything earthly in nature, Project Blue Book was also challenged by the perception of the flying objects being Soviet aircrafts, an argument easily accepted in the Cold War era.
Headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the project remained a secret under the command of the government as then President, Harry S. Truman, feared the emergence of a sense of hysteria among the people who were already terrified after the Second World War and the impending doom of a Cold War, during the early 1950s.
In order to assure the government of the project's academic approach, the CIA brought together a panel of experts, headed by physicist H.P. Robertson, at the California Institute of Technology. Within the next 17 years, Robertson's Project Blue Book managed to compile over 12,618 cases of UFO sightings and other related events.
However, although 90% of their findings were classified as "identified" which means that the unknown objects were the result of some natural, astronomical or man-made phenomena, there were 700 cases that remained "unidentified".
This once again led to the formation of yet another panel by the U.S. Air Force, in 1966, in order to do a detailed study of the investigations carried out by Project Blue Book. The panel, led by Dr. Edward Condon, at the University of Colorado, released the Condon Report titled 'Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects', which stated there was no evidence of unusual activities and hence recommended the Air Force to cease their investigations.
Project Blue Book officially came to an end in 1969, but that did not stop its adviser, Hynek, from continuing with his frenzied search for alien life. In 1974, he created the Center For UFO Studies (CUFOS), which continues to look into UFO sightings and weigh the hypothesis that they could be evidence of extraterrestrial activity.
With the show set to bring out these controversial matters between the U.S. Air Force, which tried to keep the project's findings classified, and Hynek, who was confused by the government's reluctance in facing the truth, actor Gillen revealed that at the end of the project, Hynek was not the skeptical man who had set out on the research.
"He was a very open-minded scientist who would never take an easy out and always thought logically. At the same time, he didn’t jump to explain things away in illogical ways, like, 'well these are definitely visitors from other planets.' In fact, he was quite wary of that kind of assumption. He wanted people to keep an open mind about the possibility that there was stuff there, but not be too quick to assume where it came from," Gillen mentioned.
'Project Blue Book' is set to follow Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Gillen) and Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) while they unravel the mysteries of the real unexplained cases examined by the United States Air Force from 1952-1969. The show will be released January 8, 2019, at 10 p.m. ET/9 CT.
Watch the trailer below.