'Project Blue Book' to Debut on History Channel This Winter

(Image Credit: History Channel)

(Image Credit: History Channel)

The History Channel released a first look trailer to YouTube last Wednesday for its upcoming television show, Project Blue Book; slated for release this winter.

The titular Project Blue Book was a real government study on UFOs that ran from 1952 to 1969, but the show isn't a documentary, rather it is a fictionalized drama based on certain historical events that were a part of the study and the era in which it existed.

According to the channel's synopsis:

Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant yet underappreciated college professor, is recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead a clandestine operation called Project Blue Book. Along with his partner, the debonair Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), he is summoned to investigate UFO sightings around the country and use science to discover what really happened. However, when some encounters cannot be explained away and cases remain open, Hynek begins to suspect that he has been duped by the government into a larger conspiracy to cover up the truth. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War and rising Atomic Era, each episode will draw from the actual Project Blue Book case files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek was a real-life scientist and UFO investigator who was initially skeptical of the phenomenon when he signed on as a scientific consultant to the United States Air Force's Project Sign in 1948, but his opinion on the quality of evidence in favor of UFOs gradually shifted as he worked on projects like Sign and Blue Book.

Dr. Hynek quickly grew frustrated with how flippantly his fellow scientists treated UFOs.

"Ridicule is not part of the scientific method, and people should not be taught that it is," he wrote in  an article for the April 1953 issue of the Journal of the Optical Society of America titled Unusual Aerial Phenomena. "The steady flow of reports, often made in concert by reliable observers, raises questions of scientific obligation and responsibility. Is there...any residue that is worthy of scientific attention? Or, if there isn't, does not an obligation exist to say so to the public--not in words of open ridicule but seriously, to keep faith with the trust the public places in science and scientists?" 

Dr. Hynek went on to eventually found the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in 1973, and even presented a statement on UFOs to the United Nations General Assembly in 1978.

He remained a leader in the field of ufology until his death in 1986.

The Project Blue Book files are available online in the Blue Book Archive.

Tobias Wayland