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Project Blue Book

Muhammad Ahsan, Reporter

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Project Blue Book

We all grew up hearing stories about UFOs and aliens which mostly involved short, green humanoids with weird eyes and absolutely no facial expressions (I mean you are here on a different planet and didn’t even ask for permission, least you can do is smile at the first person you see). People have spent their lives searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life. We all know at least one person who is very interested in these types of things or claim to have seen a flying saucer or two (No?). From movies to documentaries and stories, the mystery of UFOs has served as an inexhaustible source of entertainment and has sparked human curiosity.

This curiosity was the reason that the United States conducted an investigation on UFOs and mysterious flying objects.  The first well-known UFO sighting occurred in June 1947, when the civilian pilot and businessman Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects, glowing bright blue-white, flying in a “V” formation, at speeds of up to 1700 mph, in the skies over Washington’s Mount Rainier. Kenneth Arnold compared the movement of the nine mysterious objects over Mount Rainier to that of “a saucer if you skip it across the water.” This statement later led to the misconception (we have no proof that it was a misconception, Right?) that the objects were shaped like saucers, and to the widespread use of “flying saucer” as a synonym for UFO. The formation of Project Blue Book coincided with the height of the UFO-sighting trend. Reports were so hot that year that President Harry S. Truman feared an outbreak of hysteria over the matter. Widely publicized reports of Arnold’s experience, followed by an increasing number of reported UFO sightings, led the U.S. Air Force to begin an investigation into the sightings, called Operation Sign, in 1948. The initial investigation resulted in the formation of Project Blue Book in 1952; that project became the longest running of the U.S. government’s official inquiries into UFO sightings, compiling reports on more than 12,000 sightings or related events.

Although Project Blue Book was an investigation by the Air Force, the CIA eventually got involved in 1953 by assembling a panel of experts to dig into the facts and ease some of the public’s concerns. In 1966, the Air Force had requested the formation of another committee to look into the details of 59 UFO sightings investigated by Project Blue Book. The committee, headed by Dr. Edward Condon, and based at the University of Colorado, released its “Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”–better known as the Condon Report–in 1968. According to the Condon Report, the sightings they examined showed no evidence of any unusual activity and recommended that the Air Force stop investigations into UFO-related incidents.

In addition to UFO investigations conducted in the United States, similar work has been done over the years in other countries all over the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Greece, and Sweden. In January 1979, the British House of Lords even held a three-hour-long debate on the subject of UFOs and a motion (eventually defeated) that the British government should make public what it knew about them.

Of course, the “UFOlogists” were dissatisfied with the government investigation. They continued their own investigations of flying saucers and well, anything weird. Even after all this investigation and research, we are still yet to see a green, short, weird-eyed guy. The most important question here is that if aliens somehow do manage to show up on Earth, and say in low pitched cold voice, “ Take me to your leader Earthlings!”

What exactly are we gonna say? Sorry, we have no single leader here, you gotta meet at least 195 leaders, and if you want to do that you should probably get going it is a time-consuming task ( well, good luck saying that to an alien’s face).

We have no evidence that UFOs exist or they ever visited Earth, but we know that the human curiosity on the matter of flying saucers and extraterrestrial life is not going to take a break anytime soon.

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