THE BLUEBOOK "UNKNOWNS"
The following files (6) are from the work of Don Berliner, who compiled a listing of the Project "unknowns" .
Bluebook Part 1
THE BLUE BOOK UNKNOWNS
The unexplained UFO reports from the files of the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book UFO investigations.
Compiled by Don Berliner, for the Fund for UFO Research.
The conclusions or views expressed in this publication are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Fund for UFO Research, Inc.
THE UNEXPLAINED UFO CASES FROM THE PROJECT BLUE BOOK FILES
In January, 1974, I visited the U.S. Air Force Archives at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala., to review the files of Project Blue Book as the first step toward writing a book on the subject.
In a full week, I read all the "unexplained" cases in the original files and made extensive notes, including the names and other identifying information on all witnesses where given. The cooperation of the staff of the Archives was excellent, and no restrictions were placed on my work.
A few months later, the files were withdrawn from public view so they could be prepared for transfer to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This process involved making a Xerox copy of almost 30 file drawers of material, blacking out the names and other identifiers of all witnesses, and then microfilming the censored Xerox copy. The microfilm has been available to the public at the National Archives since 1976. The original Project Blue Book files remain under lock and key at the Archives.
On almost every page of the 12,000+ case files, there are big black marks where information that could be used to cross-check Project Blue Book's controversial work has been censored.
This includes the names of witnesses to widely-publicized cases, and even names in newspaper clippings!
As it was perfectly legal for me to copy witness' names when I visited the Air Force Archives, those names can be found in this report of 585 (less 13 missing) unexplained cases. And since the Privacy Act, which motivated the Air Force to censor the files in the first place, does not apply to reporters or anyone else outside the Government, they can be used as the reader pleases.
Inasmuch as the book I planned to write has never progressed beyond the manuscript stage, I see no reason to keep this information under wraps any longer. Perhaps it will encourage others to re-investigate cases and make the results known.
"Unidentified" says a great deal...and it says almost nothing.
Probably the most controversial aspect of the entire Air Force investigation of UFOs was its handling of individual cases.
The means by which one case was determined to be "identified" and another "unidentified" has no doubt fueled more arguments about Project Blue Book than anything else it did.
For many years, Blue Book's most vocal opponents have insisted that the standards by which cases were allegedly explained were grossly unscientific. Blue Book's goal, according to those who held it low esteem, was to attach some explanation to every case, regardless of logic or common sense. Examples of Blue Book saying a violently maneuvering disc was an aircraft, or of blaming a puzzling radar tracking on a supposedly malfunctioning radar set which it never bothered to check out, are numerous in the popular UFO literature.
And they are even more numerous in the files of Project Blue Book. The urgency with which Blue Book officials tagged answers onto cases without having done the proper investigation is obvious, though not proven. But if the Air Force was so eager to label cases "identified", despite the lack of supporting evidence, then those few cases which it labeled "unidentified" presumably withstood every attempt to apply every other kind of label. And so it may be that those cases are truly unidentifiable in familiar terms.
Indeed, the Air Force defines "unidentifiable" cases as those which "apparently contain all pertinent data necessary to suggest a valid hypothesis concerning the lack of explanation of the report, but the description of the object or its motion cannot be correlated with any known object or phenomenon."
To meet such criteria, a report must obviously come from a reputable source, and it must not bear any resemblance to airplanes, balloons, helicopters, spacecraft, birds, clouds, stars, planets, meteors, comets, electrical phenomena, or anything else known to frequent the air, the sky, or nearby space.
Unfortunately, the Air Force failed to stick to its own rules. Some of the "unidentifiable" cases most certainly can be correlated with known objects or phenomena. But most of them cannot. Moreover, many of the so-called "identified" cases cannot honestly be so correlated. But we are primarily concerned here with those cases which Project Blue Book openly admits it tried to explain and failed.
The amount of detail in these cases varies enormously. Some cases - frequently those which were well publicized at the time of the event - contain considerable information, while others are vague and seriously incomplete. Project Blue Book generally placed the blame for such incompleteness on the witnesses, but it should take its own share of the responsibility. 'In thousands of cases, there is no completed questionnaire in the Project files, nor even any indication that one was sent to the witness. And in most of the instances where a questionnaire was filled out, it was never followed up to get more complete answers to questions which the witnesses failed to deal with properly. For much of the life of Project Blue Book and its predecessors, there was no satisfactory questionnaire at all. And one of those used for a lengthy period was so badly organized that a witness should not be held to blame for giving incomplete answers.
Yet, despite all the roadblocks, many reports are sufficiently complete to tell a pretty clear story of a puzzling experience. With this data now available, anyone can look at Project Blue Book's "unidentified" UFO reports and make up his own mind.
July 3, 1947; Harborside, Maine. 2:30 p.m. EDT. Witness: astronomer John Cole of South Brooksville, Me. Watched 10-15 seconds while ten very light objects, with two dark forms to their left, moved like a swarm of bees to the northwest. A loud roar was heard.
July 4, 1947; over Emmet, Idaho. 8:17 p.m. PDT. Witnesses: United Air Lines Capt. E.J. Smith, First Officer Ralph Stevens, Stewardess Marty Morrow. Watched for 12-15 minutes while four objects with flat bottoms and rough tops moved at varying speeds, with one high and to the right of the others.
July 6, 1947; Fairfield-Suisan Air Base, California. Daytime. Witnesses: Army Air Forces Capt. and Mrs. James Burniston. Watched for 1 minute while one object having no wings or tail rolled from side-to-side three times and then flew away very fast to the southeast.
July 8, 1947; Muroc Air Base, California. 9:30 a.m. PDT. Witnesses: lst Lt. Joseph McHenry, T/Sgt Ruvolo, S/Sgt Nauman, Miss Janette Scotte. Watched for an unstated length of time while two disc-shaped or spherical objects--silver and apparently metallic--flew a wide circular pattern, and then one of them later flew a tighter circle.
July 9, 1947; Meridian, Idaho. 12:17 p.m. PDT. Witness: Idaho statesman aviation editor and former (AAF) B-29 pilot Dave Johnson. Watched for more than 10 seconds from an Idaho Air National Guard AT-6 while a black disc, which stood out against the clouds, made a half-roll and then a stair-step climb.
July 10, 1947; Harmon Field, Newfoundland, Canada. Between 3 and 5 p.m. local time. Witnesses: three ground crewmen, including Mr. Leidy, for Pan American Airways. Watched briefly while one translucent disc- or wheel-shaped object flew very fast, leaving a dark blue trail and then ascended and cut a path through the clouds.
July 29, 1947; Hamilton Air Base, California. 2:50 p.m. PDT. Witnesses: Assistant Base Operations Officer Capt. William Rhyerd, ex-AAF B-29 pilot Ward Stewart. Watched for unknown length of time while two round, shiny, white objects with estimated 15-25 foot diameters, flew 3-4 times the apparent speed of a P-80, also in sight. One object flew straight and level; the other weaved from side-to-side like an escort fighter.
Sept. 3, 1947; Oswego, Oregon. 12:15 p.m. PDT. Witness: housewife Mrs. Raymond Dupui. Watched for unknown length of time as 12-15 round, silver objects flew an unstated pattern.
Oct., 1947; Dodgeville, Wisconsin. 11 unnamed civilian man. Watched for 1 hour while an undescribed object flew counterclockwise circles.
Oct. 14, 1947; 11 mi. NNE of Cave Creek, Arizona. Noon MDT. Witnesses: ex-AAF fighter pilot J.L. Clark, civilian pilot Anderson, third man. Watched 45-60 seconds while one 3-foot "flying wing"-shaped object, which looked black against the white clouds and red against the blue sky, flew straight at an estimated 380 m.p.h., at 8-10,000 feet, from NW to SE.
April 5, 1948; Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Afternoon. Witnesses: Geophysics Lab balloon observers Alsen, Johnson, Chance. Two irregular, round, white or golden objects. One made three loops then rose and disappeared rapidly; the other flew in a fast arc to the west during the 3O^second sighting.
July 29, 1948: Indianapolis, Indiana. 9:88 a.m. witness*: James Toney, Robert Huggins, both employees of a rug cleaning firm. One shiny aluminum object, shaped something like an airplane's propeller, with 10-12 small cups protruding from either blade. Estimated size 6-8' long, 1.5-2' wide. The object glided across the road a few hundred feet in front of their vehicle and apparently went down in a wooded area. Sighting lasted a few seconds.
July 31, 1948; Indianapolis, Indiana. 8:25 a.m. Witnesses: Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Swigert; he was an electrician. Object was shaped like a cymbal, or domed disc; about 20' across and 6-8' thick, and was white without any shine. It flew straight and level from horizon to horizon in about 10 seconds, shimmering in the sun as if spinning.
July or August, 1948; vicinity of Marion, Virginia. Shortly after sunset. Witness: Max Abbott, flying a Bellanca Cruisair four-passenger private airplane. A single bright white light accelerated and turned up a valley.
Sept. 23, 1948; San Pablo, California. 12 noon. Witnesses: Sylvester Bentham and retired U.S. Army Col. Horace Eakins. Two objects: one, a buff or grey rectangle with vertical lines; the other a translucent "amoeba" with a dark spot near the center. The arms of the "amoeba" undulated. Both objects traveled very fast.
Oct. 15, 1948; Fusuoka, Japan. 11:05 p.m. Witnesses: pilot Halter and radar operator Hemphill of a P-61 "Black Widow" night fighter. Up to six objects tracked on radar, only one seen visually. Dull or dark object shaped like a dirigible with a flat bottom and clipped tail end. Six seen on radar separately Pilot attempted to close on visual object, but it dove away fast.
Dec. 3, 1948; Fairfield-Suisan AFB, California. 8:15 p.m. Witness: USAF Sgt., control tower operator. One round, white light flew for 25 seconds with varying speed, bouncing motion, and finally a rapid erratic climb.
Jan. 4, 1949; Hickam Field, Hawaii. 2 p.m. Witness: USAF pilot Capt. Paul Storey, on ground. one flat white, elliptical object with a matte top circled while oscillating to the right and left, and then sped away.
Jan. 27, 1949; Cortez-Bradenton, Florida. 10:20 p.m. Witnesses: Capt. Sames, acting chief of the Aircraft Branch, Eglin AFB, and Mrs. Sames. They watched for 25 minutes while a cigar-shaped object as long as two Pullman cars and having seven lighted square windows and throwing sparks, descended and then climbed with a bouncing motion at an estimated 400 m.p.h.
March 17, 1949; Camp Hood, Texas. 7:52 p.m. Witnesses: guards of the 2nd Armored Division. While awaiting the start of a flare firing, they watched, for an hour, while eight large, green, red and white flare-like objects flew in generally straight lines.
April 3, 1949; Dillon, Montana. 11:55 a.m. Witnesses: construction company owner Gosta Miller and three other unnamed persons. One object shaped like two plates attached face-to-face; matte bottom, bright aluminum top; 20' diameter, 4-5' thickness. It rocked or rotated in six cycles, descended, rocked, flew, rocked; all this was very fast.
April 4, 1949; Merced, California. 10:20 p.m. witness: William Parrott, former Air Force pilot and major. One generally round object with a curved bottom and dull coloring. The object gave off a clicking sound until overhead. Parrott's dog reacted. 35 seconds.
April 24, 1949; Arrey, New Mexico. l0:30 a.m. Witnesses: General Mills meteorologist and balloon expert C.B. Moore and others on a balloon launch crew. One white, round ellipsoid, about 2.5 times as long as wide.
April 28, 1949; Tucson, Arizona. 5:45 p.m. Witnesses: Howard Hann, Mr. Hubert, Tex Keahey. One bright, sausage-shaped object was observed for 40 minutes while it rolled and flew fast.
May 5, 1949; Ft. Bliss, Texas. 11:40 a.m. Witnesses: Army officers Maj. Day, Maj. Olhausen, Capt. Vaughn.
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