50 years ago: Project Blue Book meets its demise


MYSTERY WIRE — Project Blue Book met its demise 50 years ago today when a memo ended it after 17 years of operation.

Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans wrote: “The continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science.”

An energetic science-based analysis of UFO reports started in 1952, led by U.S. Air Force Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt. The program followed previous efforts — Project Sign and Project Grudge. Military agendas ran roughshod over those two programs, ending in Grudge’s mandate to debunk UFO reports.

Project Blue Book collected more than 12,000 reports over 17 years, and most were explained as natural phenomena or aircraft. The U-2 spy plane was active during those years.

Well-known sightings during Blue Book’s existence include the 1952 reports of lights over Washington D.C., and the Lubbock lights phenomenon of August, 1951.

By 1963, Project Blue Book had lost credibility, and the Condon Report spelled its end.

The History Channel has revived interest in Project Blue Book with its series of the same name, which enters its second season in January.

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