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Project Blue Book Facts

by Contributing Writer
  • Overview

    Project Blue Book was initiated to investigate UFO sightings.
    Project Blue Book began in 1952 as a United States Air Force investigation of sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The headquarters of the project was at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, and was terminated by the Air Force in 1969, with all the results being archived and available for public review.
  • Goals

    The stated directives of the Project Blue Book investigation were two-fold: to determine if U.S. national security was threatened by UFOs, and to analyze data from UFO sightings through a scientific process.
  • 1947 Roswell Incident

    One of the most famous UFO incidents is the reported crash landing of an extraterrestrial craft in the desert outside Roswell, New Mexico. According to an official General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation, all findings were consistent with a balloon device of the type used in classified experiments during the mid-1940s. The GAO report is available through the U.S. Government Depository Library.
  • Termination

    The project was officially ordered closed on December 17, 1969 because of findings of the report, "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects" by the University of Colorado. The Military Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., now permanently hold all documentation related to the Project Blue Book investigation.
  • Results

    Of the 12,618 reported sightings that Project Blue Book investigated, 701 of them remain "unidentified" and were not able to have been classified as being threats to national security or as representing technological capabilities beyond what was available at the time the project was closed. The majority of the sightings were concluded to be hoaxes, misidentified natural phenomena or conventional aircraft.
  • Conclusions

    According to the government archives, the official findings of the Project Blue Book investigation are as follows: "(1) No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security; (2) there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and (3) there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' are extraterrestrial vehicles."
  • Future

    After the closing of Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force does not officially investigate reported sightings of UFOs and any inquiry to it will result in the caller being directed to call either a private or professional organization or to contact local authorities should the caller feel that public safety is endangered.

    References & Resources