UN Office of Scientific Investigation and Research Archives

Project Bluebook and Project Moondust


As more and more Americans reported UFO sighting in the early 50s, the military's official denial of the phenomenon became increasingly suspect. Such categorical denial quickly became as much a cause of speculation as the origin of the UFOs. In 1952, the U. S. Air Force gave in to the public pressure to "do something" about UFOs and created Project BLUEBOOK, an official Air Force investigation into such reports. However it appeared that it was the government's intention to use BLUEBOOK as a source for public disinformation. They made certain that the personnel chosen for the project were predisposed toward skepticism of the phenomenon. 

There also was another Air Force project completely hidden from the public eye, Project MOONDUST. This was created in 1953 and charged with "the retrieval and exploitation of crashed foreign spacecraft". Within top military circles, MOONDUST's stated purpose was the recovery and examination of downed Soviet and Eastern Bloc spacecraft and satellites, but the MOONDUST charter clearly made it responsible for the recovery of extraterrestrial spacecraft as well. All UFO reports were filtered through Project MOONDUST before transmission to Project BLUEBOOK, and only those reports deemed of little significance or validity were passed on. 

At the end of its study, Project BLUEBOOK concluded that there was in fact no substantial evidence to support claims that UFOs were anything but misidentified terrestrial craft, weather phenomena or hallucinations. The Project's report was widely accepted by the populace and proved quite effective at undermining the credibility of those UFO reports that followed.

Report by Mark Kram

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