'Project Blue Book': How WWII and Cold War contributed to the phenomenon of alien sightings and UFOs

The first alien sightings that brought about the investigation were reported in the US, sometime around 1947 - just a couple of years after the Second World War ended

                            'Project Blue Book': How WWII and Cold War contributed to the phenomenon of alien sightings and UFOs

The History channel are preparing its viewers for yet another thrilling blast from the past, this time a story revolving around aliens, UFOs, and several conspiracy theories behind the 12,000 alleged sightings reported back in the U.S. in the '50s. As the title 'Project Blue Book' denotes, the show, created by David O'Leary, will follow astrophysicist Dr. J. Allen Hynek and his tumultuous encounter with the titular initiative by the United States Air Force, carried out to investigate said sightings.

A closer look at the phenomenon that caused widespread panic and shock, reveals the sudden influx of alien and UFO sightings, could have been a result of the preceding World War II, and the subsequent impact of the development of nuclear weapons and rocket science that occurred at the time.

As the plot of the upcoming show reveals, Dr. Hynek - a family man, college professor, and an astrophysicist - reportedly devoted his career to all things extraterrestrial. Charged with the title of being the only civilian involved in the original Project Blue Book and dedicating his life to explaining the unexplainable, Dr. Hynek managed to leave behind a heavy legacy after his death in 1986, and it is now up to the new show to showcase his involvement with the project, which lasted 17 years, from 1952 to 1969. 


What is to be noted here is the time-span around which the original investigation for Project Blue Book was carried out. As History channel revealed, the first sightings were reported in the U.S., sometime around 1947, a couple of years after the Second World War ended. Soon, followed the Cold War, and this time, tensions regarding the Soviet Union and their intentions of a nuclear apocalypse were highlighted - something that led to the U.S. government's initiative in investigating these supposed UFO reports that came flying in.

Some critics remarked the government believed these mysterious flying objects reported, could have been Soviet weapons of sorts, which is why they went so hard and heavy with the investigation. It is also quite possible that the panic that struck these people - in an atmosphere fresh out of a world war, and on the brink of the Cold War - was a result of them believing the Soviet Union was also capable of staging those mysterious sightings.

But these remain speculative theories, as Dr. Hynek's involvement with the case soon led him to discover that something deeper, darker, and way more corrupt was going on. To him, it looked like the investigation and the people involved, were working towards a common mission of covering up secrets that weren't meant for the public to see.


As for the former war's influence on this shroud of panic and shock, gripping the public, the History channel had a solid explanation to offer too. "Though reports of mysterious flying objects – often attributed to spirits, angels, phantoms, ghosts or other supernatural phenomena – have existed for centuries, World War II and the accompanying development of rocket science marked a new level of interest in what would officially become known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs)," their website noted.

"The first well-known UFO sighting occurred in June 1947," they revealed, and soon after this news hit the media, "a rash of similar sightings were reported across the United States, including a highly controversial report of what appeared to be a crashed UFO near a U.S. Army base in Roswell, New Mexico. (The Army claimed the object in question was the wreckage of a weather balloon, claims that conspiracy-minded 'ufologists' would later dispute.)"


So far so good, considering the mysterious objects were all worldly and nothing alien. But things took an interesting turn when the U.S. Air Force launched Operation Sign in 1948, and as per the website, "along the initial theories of the project’s participants was that some UFOs were actually Soviet aircraft (this was the Cold War era, after all), although they also posed the hypothesis that some might be extraterrestrial spacecraft."

True, none of the underlying mystery was ever met with the stamp of closure, and the possibilities of the Soviet Union being directly responsible to create an atmosphere of panic and terror among Americans stemmed solely from the investigators involved in the original Project Blue Book.

However, the main reason civilians in America were impacted with such fear, could be labelled as an impact of the ongoing international Cold War (1947-1991) - something that had left them shaken and convinced the apocalypse was near, and these mysterious flying objects and alien creatures they were supposedly spotting, were just the beginning of it.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.