Were they out there? Are they out there?

New History Channel series looks at Air Force UFO program

Julia LeDoux
January 11, 2019 - 1:10 pm

Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force/National Archives


Were they out there?

Are they out there?

Maybe. Maybe not.

“Project Blue Book,”  a new 10-part series on the History Channel, is taking a look at the US Air Force study of unidentified flying object sightings in the early days of the Cold War.  The series debuted Jan. 8 and airs Tuesdays at 10/9 central.


According to the History Channel, “the drama series is based on the true, top-secret investigations into UFOs by the Air Force from 1952 to 1969.” 


In the show as in real-life, astronomer Dr. J. Allen Hynek leaves his college classroom to serve as an advisor on the project. He and his partner, Air Force Capt. Michael Quinn, travel the country investigating sightings and soon discover that some can’t be easily explained away.

Each episode is based on actual case files from Project Blue Book, the Air Force's top-secret investigation into reported UFO sightings around the country from 1952 to 1962. The show blends  “UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history,” according to the History Channel.

The real-life Hynek also acted as an advisor to the Air Force I Project Sign and Project Grudge, which predated Project Blue Book.  His opinions about UFOs slowly evolved over time. After looking into numerous UFO reports – including some made by astronomers, pilots, police officers and military personnel – he concluded that some reports were credible and made by people who had seen flying objects that could not be explained.

The Air Force has relocated all its Project Blue Book documentation to the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Service where it can be viewed by the public.


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Newspaper Clipping, November 1951. (Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force, National Archives) UFO 2