What was Project Blue Book?
Tom DeMary – 18 February 2005
What are the components of a Project Blue Book UFO Report?
The reports vary considerably in size and scope. They contain, variously:
signed witness statements, interviews, investigations and background
checks, photographs (often poorly rendered on microfilm),
correspondence, technical assessments, and newspaper clippings. The
1947–early 1949 reports usually contain case summaries from
Project Sign, and reproduce the pages from the “Grudge Report”
(reproduced in full on Roll 85) which justify the suggested solution
for the case. Some of the early reports contain little more than the
Project Sign summaries and the evaluation from the Grudge Report.
There is no standard set of documents that constitute a UFO report, nor is
there a standard order for the pages of a report. Some reports have a
mix of original and later documents, and longer reports may require
careful study to straighten out their timelines. A few of the
documents were submitted by outside researchers or collected for
information only, and consist of newspaper reports or summary
descriptions, not investigative reports. These are called “info
only” files. The investigators did follow up on some newspaper
reports and turned them into real case files.
Some pages of reports are copies of copies and can be difficult or
impossible to read. Many of the Project Sign summaries reproduced on
the PBB microfilm roll #1 are nearly impossible to read, but the same
pages on the Project Sign microfilm roll #8 are usually excellent
Though the bulk of the reports are on rolls 1–84, relevant documents
may sometimes be found in other locations in the archive: AFOSI
District HQ files (roll #88), AFOSI District files (rolls #89–92),
the series of monthly status reports, etc. Unfortunately, there are
no indices to these other documents at this time.
Many of the better known reports have been documented by independent
investigators, and rich supplementary material is sometimes available
outside of the PBBA. (See below).