Project Blue Book (1952 - 1970)

Project Blue Book (1952 - 1970)

Date: 1952 - 1970

The final open U.S. Air Force UFO investigation took over from Project Grudge in 1952 and lasted until December 1969. By this time, almost 13,000 sighting reports had been collected by all three projects combined. Approximately 600-700 cases remained unexplained, depending on which Air Force statistics are accepted. However, it is notable that hundreds of other cases have been labelled as explained without adequate justification and often in ways counter to known facts. Thousands of reports received conditional explanations e.g., possible balloon, probable aircraft. But when the annual statistics were compiled, the qualifiers were dropped and possible balloons would become definite balloons, as if speculative answers were established facts.

The project was closed down in late 1969, concluding that the continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified, either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science... A panel of the National Academy of Sciences concurred in these views, and the Air Force has found no reason to question this conclusion." The memorandum recommending this action made it clear that the system which had long dealt with reports of UFOs which could affect national security would continue to be handled through the standard Air Force procedures designed for this purpose, namely as it had all along, separately, not part of the Blue Book system and in accordance with JANAP 1 46 or Air Force Manual 55-1 1.

After the end of Project Blue Book, its case files were opened to public inspection at the Air Force Archives. They were withdrawn in 1974, to reappear in 1976 in the U.S. National Archives, after the names of all witnesses had been censored, thus preventing the reinvestigation of cases.

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