Uncensored Project Blue Book Microfilm Released

Blue Book Archive Newsletter - 15 November 2005

The Blue Book Archive Newsletter is published irregularly by the Project Blue Book Archive to announce the release of new microfilm document scans as well as new Web site features and content.  Please see the link at the bottom of this page for information on how to unsubscribe from this newsletter or to contact the publisher with comments, suggestions, or questions.

First 10 Rolls of Uncensored Project Blue Book Microfilm Released

When Project Blue Book was terminated in January 1970 its files were transferred to Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB) where they were made available upon request for public viewing until 1975. In 1975 these documents were microfilmed by the Air Force for internal use and then transferred to the National Archives (NARA) for eventual public release. Before microfilming these documents again for public release, however, the Air Force blacked out witness names and contact information in accord with its policy of protecting the privacy of witnesses. This was done despite the fact that the files had been available for copying and inspection by the public for many years without such deletions. In 1998 a set of the original unredacted Air Force microfilm was discovered at the National Archives and a copy was obtained by the Fund for UFO Research. In addition to witness names and information, it has been confirmed that these rolls contain some pages that are not on the standard NARA Project Blue Book microfilm rolls.

Thanks to the efforts of the Fund for UFO Research and the Blue Book Archive the first ten rolls of uncensored "Maxwell" NARA microfilm are now available to researchers free of charge via the Blue Book Archive's Web site.  These rolls include reports investigated from the beginning of Project Sign in 1947 through to the middle of June, 1952. They also contain a number of Project Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book reports including the Project Twinkle and Project Stork reports as well as Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14.  Famous cases covered by these rolls include many cases discussed by Edward Ruppelt in his book "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects" including:
  • The Lubbock Lights
  • The Fort Monmouth Radar Case
  • The Mariana Film
  • The Chiles-Whitted Sighting
  • The Gorman Case
As always, the microfilm document scans hosted at our Web site are searchable within the limits afforded by current OCR technology.  Just click the link below to browse the new Maxwell microfilm collection.


Browse the NARA-Maxwell Microfilm Collection

In addition to on-line access, the NARA-Maxwell microfilm scans are also available for purchase at the Blue Book Archive's secure e-store.  The document scans from each roll of NARA-Maxwell microfilm are provided on DVD in both PDF and TIFF format for only $14.95 USD plus shipping and handling. To purchase these scans for your personal archive (and support the Blue Book Archive's continuing efforts) just click the following link:

Order NARA-Maxwell DVDs on-line

Please note that due to the relative historical importance of the NARA-Maxwell collection the decision was made to re-scan the microfilm in grayscale (as opposed to black and white or "bitonal") which dramatically increased the size of the resulting scans but provided greatly improved legibility. Also necessitating the use of grayscale scanning is the fact that the Maxwell microfilm is only available as 16mm microfilm as opposed to the higher-quality 35mm microfilm generally available from the National Archives. As a result of this decision the NARA-Maxwell scans are only available on higher-capacity DVD media and the cost of each roll is $14.95 instead of the usual $9.95 for scans sold on CD media.

Zoom, Rotate, and Invert Images Using the New Image Viewer

As many researchers know, the quality and legibility of microfilm reproductions varies greatly from frame to frame and from roll to roll.  To aid researchers trying to tease out additional legibility from faded, light-blasted, or otherwise poorly photographed documents we've added a new Image Viewer component that allows users to zoom, rotate, and invert images.  In addition, we now use a high-quality bicubic resampling method to create the thumbnail and screen format page representations further increasing legibility even when simply browsing through document collections. Less noticeable improvements and bug fixes have also been made "under the hood".

To access the Image Viewer from any page within the archive look for the link labeled "View in Image Viewer" in the upper right-hand portion of the screen or just click the page image itself.

Upcoming Improvements and Microfilm Releases


Upcoming Microfilm Releases
Within the next few weeks we will be releasing NARA-Maxwell Roll 11 which includes reports from the famous Washington D.C. "Summer of the Saucers" sighting wave.  As we have moved from automated roll scanning to a manual process you will notice yet another marked improvement in the quality of our microfilm scans.  In addition, Project Sign Roll 7 and another roll from our "Other Official Microfilm" collection will also be available in the coming weeks, both thanks to the continuing generosity of Jan Aldrich from Project 1947.

Improvements in OCR Technology to Yield Better Search Results
The Blue Book Archive recently acquired the latest version of Abbyy's market leading OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, FineReader 8.0.  Based on our testing the advertised 10-30% improvement in recognition accuracy is a fair assessment of the improvement we're likely to see when the new software is used to reprocess existing Archive content.  In the next few weeks reseachers should begin to notice better search results thanks to the application of this new software to existing Archive content.

The Blue Book Archive Gets a Logo

Since the archive first opened its virtual doors in January 2005 we've been looking for an attractive logo to help users identify Archive content and to display on various promotional items to help fund the addition of new content and features.  While the promotional items are still a month or two away from being available we thought we'd share the new Blue Book Archive logo with you now.  If you don't see the logo image below your email client is probably filtering it from display.  In this case, just click the link below to visit our Web site to take a look.

Blue Book Archive Logo

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