'Project Blue Book' season 1 once again massages the facts and gives us a brilliant view of the Lubbock Lights
True to the show's style so far, episode three focuses on yet another real-life mysterious phenomenon related to alien sightings in the 50s, called The Lubbock Lights.
This may contain spoilers for Project Blue Book, season 1, episode 3: The Lubbock Lights.
Showing historical documentation of facts related to the biggest conspiracies can often get a little tedious and boring especially from the viewers' point of view unless one is a hardcore fanatic of the genre. But History's new show 'Project Blue Book' manages to strike just the right balance when it comes to the titular real-life investigation from the '50s by tempering it with nuanced fiction and mild drama here and there. The latest and third episode of the show from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis is no different from that signature style of the show, as they bring in regular civilians as witnesses of the mysterious Lubbock Lights that were dubbed as alien and UFO sightings back in the day.
History's 'Project Blue Book' focuses on Dr. J Allen Hynek - the real-life astrophysicist tasked with offering some scientific explanation to the sudden surge in reports of extraterrestrial sightings in the Washington, DC area back in the '50s. As part of the real-life investigation, Dr. Hynek's journey started as a skeptic but he soon took to believe that there was something darker and more sinister going on than the authorities were willing to reveal. On the show, however, we see Dr. Hynek (Aidan Gillen) as a curious scientist who already has some faith in the existence of the extraterrestrial, but acting as the force of disbelief and skepticism is his US Air Force counterpart, Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey).
True to the show's style so far, episode three focuses on yet another real-life mysterious phenomenon related to alien sightings in the '50s, called The Lubbock Lights. The case was that of a string of V-shaped lights spotted by several civilians in the night sky over the town of Lubbock, Texas. Soon the phenomenon received widespread public attraction, thus sparking off Project Blue Book's investigation directed at unraveling the truth behind them.
The first publicized sighting of these lights happened on August 25, 1951, at around 9 p.m. Three professors from the Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University), in Lubbock, were sitting in the backyard of one of the professor's homes when they noticed these 'lights' fly overhead. At the time, they claimed that they saw roughly 20-30 lights - bright as stars but even larger in size - fly overhead within seconds. The trio saw the same lights within a short span of time once again, and the third sighting of these lights were captured in a photograph taken by Carl Hart, Jr., a freshman at Texas Tech, who spotted a group of 18-20 white lights flying in a "v" formation in the night sky through his bedroom window on August 30, 1951.
Initially, the Air Force believed that this collection of hovering lights were actually caused by a type of bird called 'plover.' However, further investigation led the authorities involved to the conclusion that the lights "weren't birds... but they weren't spaceships...the [Lubbock Lights] have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon." When it comes to the show, however, these lights aren't shown to be witnessed by expert individuals or people with intentions of capturing photographs and publicizing the issue. In fact, the witnesses of these lights are your locals, who are of course being watched by those in authority in classic sci-fi- thriller style.
In the show, viewers are introduced to these mysterious lights for the first time through a young man who is stationed at a control tower and is seen flirting with a girl on the phone, when suddenly something strange is captured in the radar he's monitoring. The next thing he sees is the V-shaped lights swarming above and the whole scene is lit up by insanely brilliant CGI effects which only adds to the dramatization of what would have been assumed to be just an out-of-the-ordinary cluster of planes otherwise.
The suspense and thrill of the episode peaks in the next scene where we see UFO author Donald Keyhoe - quite similar to the scene of Mike Wallace interviewing the real-life UFO-researcher - where they discuss flying saucers and the speculated notorious cover-ups by the Air Force as part of the alien investigation. Things change after the interview, as we see Keyhoe approached by a plainclothed man who suggests Keyhoe take a look at the mysterious cluster of lights being spotted back in his hometown Lubbock, Texas. Keyhoe eventually gives in, and here's where the real drama begins as there seems to be a strange third party stalking and taking photos of Keyhoe and the other man's interaction.
But it is the third sighting and mention of these lights on the show that is the most intriguing because it involved the two main characters - Dr. Hynek and Captain Quinn. With both their intrigue and curiosity peaked by the phenomenon of these lights being spotted around Lubbock, Dr. Hynek and Quinn go out to do a little field investigation of their own. Met with disappointment, the two sit down in an empty field and stare at the stars for a while, before getting up to leave. But this is where things go wrong; the moment Quinn tries to start the car, the radar and signals go beserk detecting something, and soon Quinn seems to be captured in an electric field.
The government claims the #UFO was a top-secret military craft, is this the plausible explanation or a bigger conspiracy? What do you think it was? #ProjectBlueBook #AidanGillen @Mkmalarkey pic.twitter.com/Jev1UnsV3U— PROJECT BLUE BOOK (@HistoryBlueBook) January 23, 2019
Dr. Hynek rushes to help, but Quinn warns him not to touch the car, which the former does anyway, and is flung a few feet away onto the ground by an intense shock that emanated from the car. He looks up in the sky and guess what? It's the Lubbock Lights zooming right overhead, and it is only once the lights pass and are off in the distance that the car goes back to normal with no signals buzzing off anymore. This is all the confirmation Dr. Hynek seemed to need to affirm his belief in something more going on with the lights than they just being Plover bellies. Dr. Hynek tries his hardest to convince the authorities about divulging these facts to the general public but is eventually asked to quit his pestering.
It can also be deduced that this sighting on the show will be the turning point for Dr. Hynek, as in the upcoming episode arriving next week titled 'Operation Paperclip,' we see Dr. Hynek and Quinn get further confused by doubts about the authenticity of the investigation they are involved in. Find out more about their dicey ground of faith in 'Project Blue Book' this January 29, at 10 p.m., only on History.