WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s enough to make Mulder and Scully seethe with envy.
Nearly 130,000 pages of declassified Air Force files on UFO investigations and sightings are now available in one place online.
Declassified government records about UFOs have long existed on microfilm in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Many of them also live on websites devoted to the topic, sometimes free, sometimes not.
But UFO enthusiast John Greenewald says his database, Project Blue Book Collection, is the first to compile every single declassified document from the Blue Book project — headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1947 to 1969 — in one place for anyone to search or download for free.
The collection consists of files from Project Blue Book, Project Sign and Project Grudge, the names given to official investigations into unidentified flying objects by the United States military.
Greenewald’s efforts are not motivated by a close encounter or personal experience with unidentified flying objects. He says he’s just driven by curiosity.
“I’m a history buff. I think this stuff should be accessible,” he said. “Secrets are not bad things; I think we should know about this and it should be in history books.”
Greenewald started requesting information related to Project Blue Book through the Freedom of Information Act 15 years ago. His interest was piqued by the first case he received information on about a 1970 UFO incident in Iran, after Project Blue Book ended.
“It defied explanation,” he said, “and 5,000 FOIAs later my curiosity hasn’t gone away.”
The collection contains 10,000 PDFs, each representing a different case. The files include the details of some of the most famous UFO cases, including the Exeter incident, the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the Mantell crash.
Still, Greenewald believes the contents are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
“It’s all a puzzle,” he said. “Just when you think you’ve got all the pieces to make a picture, you realize it’s only a piece of a bigger puzzle.”
The Blue Book project was discontinued after a joint review concluded that no significant information had come from it, according to declassified documents on the National Archives website.
Specifically, the review said no UFO “reported, investigated and evaluated” ever gave “any indication of threat to our national security.” Nor did the investigations suggest that the sightings “represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge,” a 1985 Wright-Patterson fact sheet said.
“Since Project BLUE BOOK was closed, nothing has happened to indicate that the Air Force ought to resume investigating UFOs.”
Greenewald is not so sure — especially not after viewing all the documents, which are full of blacked-out material.
If the U.S. military can’t identify some unidentified flying objects, then who can, he wonders? And what are they?
“The biggest takeaway for me is don’t believe the company line,” he said. “I think something big is going on. How big, I don’t think anyone will know for quite some time because government continues to make the rules.
“It’s a hard game to when they make the rules and they’re the referee.”
By Emanuella Grinberg