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Blue Book UFO Unknowns On NIDS Site
(jc 7/21/2008 NB: Brad's re-appraisal now on CUFOS website)

From: Colm Kelleher <nids@anv.net>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 11:07:22 -0700
Fwd Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 16:47:33 -0400
Subject: Blue Book UFO Unknowns On NIDS Site


For those interested in the ongoing re-appraisal by Brad Sparks
of Project Blue Book cases. (jc 2/11/2007: Bolding and font change 
here and above is mine.)

Colm Kelleher
NIDS http://www.nidsci.org/

Comprehensive Catalog of 1,500 Project BLUE BOOK UFO Unknowns:

Work in Progress (Version 1.6, June 18, 2003)

Compiled by Brad Sparks
Copyright 2001-2003

The main purpose of this catalog at present is to help identify
and fill in where possible missing or difficult-to-obtain U.S.
Air Force documentation on better quality Unexplained UFO cases,
not to present here the "proof" of UFO reality nor to discuss
possible IFO identifications, subjects reserved for later
analysis once full files can be examined. Here the goal is
preliminary and to compile more complete documentation, not the
perfection of the analysis or categorizations. This catalog will
be used eventually to produce another catalog of UFO Best
Evidence after a screening process based on Hynek's and other
criteria and for that reason columns for data on Duration, No.
of Witnesses, Angular Size and "Instrumentation/Scientists etc."
have been separately presented from the available case data
and/or calculated where possible.

When Project Blue Book (BB) closed down on Jan. 30, 1970 (it was
not on Dec. 17, 1969, which was merely the announcement date by
the Secretary of the Air Force) the total number of Unidentified
sightings was thought to be 701 and this is the number given on
all subsequent press releases and so-called "fact sheets."
However, based on the review by Hynek and the CUFOS staff of the
released sanitized BB microfilm and Hynek's personal records
which included many missing (and unsanitized) BB documents, the
final number was determined to have been approximately 587,
apparently reflecting an IFO elimination process carried out on
old historical cases by the last BB Chief, Major Hector
Quintanilla in the 60's (and of dubious scientific validity
based on examples McDonald studied), which must have reduced the
number of Unexplained cases by 114. Evidently the AF did not
update its annual historical UFO statistics to reflect this
gradual winnowing process, not realizing it could improve upon
its anti-UFO PR position by reducing the perennially
embarrassing number of Unidentifieds.

However, in reverse, Hynek re-evaluated 53 Blue Book IFO cases
as Unexplained UFO cases, bringing the total partially back, up
to 640, unfortunately a complete list identifying these is not
available, though some of the worksheets have been copied by Jan
Aldrich from CUFOS-Hynek files. A number of the re-evaluated
cases have been included in The Hynek UFO Report book published
in 1977.

Much more disturbing are the indications from my limited review of 
BB cases that there may be as many as possibly 4,000 Unexplained 
UFO cases miscategorized as IFO's in the BB files. McDonald similarly 
stated in 1968 at his CASI lecture that from his review of BB cases he 
estimated that 30-40% of 12,000 cases were Unexplained, or about 
3,600 to 4,800. These are mostly military cases and many involve 
radar. (jc 2/11/2007: IBID bolding and font change.)

The BB files total some 13,134 cases altogether, UFO and IFO,
according to the Hynek-CUFOS revised statistics, or about 14,613
when 1,558 "info only" cases are included, per the FUFOR Index.
Many cases are actually multiple incidents filed under one
date/location. For simplicity I am therefore rounding up to
15,000 as the approximate total number of UFO incidents in the
BB files.

This catalog is based primarily on the outstanding catalog
prepared by Don Berliner of the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR)
from his exhaustive review of the then unreleased Project Blue
Book (BB) files at Maxwell AFB (Air Force Base), Alabama, in
Jan. 1974, which included many witness names that were later
sanitized out ("blacked out") of the public release of the BB
files by the Air Force in 1974-5. Berliner's effort ought to be
supplemented with the tremendous intelligence coup by William
Weitzel and FUFOR in early March 1998 in discovering and later
securing copies of the unsanitized pre-redaction record copy 16
mm Maxwell AFB microfilm of the BB files that the National
Archives inadvertently made available (at the College Park,
Maryland, facility in Record Group 341 / 190 / 68 / 08 / 03,
boxes 1-6, 70 films numbered 30,362 through 30,431), but no
resources are available for such a large-scale research project.

 All of UFOlogy owes an enormous debt of gratitude to FUFOR 
for this lasting contribution to the preservation and disclosure 
of this vast treasure of priceless military UFO records. 
(jc 2/11/2007: IBID Bolding and font change.) 

The Berliner catalog has been heavily augmented here with:

(a) Listing of BB Unknowns selected from the National Archives
index of BB cases (published by Steiger in Nov 1976 and
available on the World Wide Web at various websites) but lacking
descriptive sighting details.

(b) Partial case listings of re-evaluations by Hynek and CUFOS
staff (primarily in The Hynek UFO Report, Dell, Dec. 1977), who
personally retained many thousands of unsanitized BB case files
in his personal papers which are now with CUFOS.

(c) The 1969 Magonia catalog of landing/close encounter cases by
Jacques Vall=E9e who as Hynek's assistant in the 60's examined the
BB files and Hynek's copies of BB cases, when many reports had
not yet "disappeared."

(d) Battelle Memorial Institute list of 12 Best Unknowns which
also caught a few cases before records vanished (May 5, 1955,
report issued as Blue Book Special Report No. 14).

(e) Lists by James McDonald who saw and copied BB files on five
research trips from June 1966 to Aug. 1970 and conducted his own
exhaustive and independent investigations, especially see his
prepared statement in the 1968 House Committee on Science and
Astronautics hearing (McDonald 1968) and his 1969 AAAS paper as
revised and published posthumously by Sagan & Page (McDonald
1972).

(f) Records obtained by Jan Aldrich of Project 1947 directly
from unsanitized BB files on the Maxwell AFB microfilm, from
McDonald, CUFOS and Keyhoe/Richard Hall/FUFOR files, from FOIA
requests, and from SHG oral history and file recovery efforts.

(g) Condon Committee investigations of BB cases published in the
Condon Report (Bantam Books edition, New York, Jan. 1969;
especially see the convenient "Sightings, Unexplained" listing
in the index, p. 961).

(h) FUFOR's Index to the Case Files of Project Blue Book (1997)
which consists of a computer printout reportedly prepared by
David R. Saunders of the Condon Committee, but which
inexplicably includes cases up to Dec. 1969 near the end of BLUE
BOOK and over a year after the AF contract with the Condon
Committee had ended.

(i) National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena
(NARCAP).

(j) Willy Smith's case evaluations (On Pilots and UFOs, UNICAT
1997).

(k) NICAP website compiled by Francis Ridge.

(l) Dominique Weinstein's Aircraft/UFO Encounters (Nov. 1997;
and rev. 5th ed. June 2001, Aircraft UAP Encounters).

(m) H. B. Darrach and Robert Ginna, LIFE magazine article,
April 7, 1952.

(n) Various USAF records obtained by Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) requests, especially a collection of long-missing Project
SIGN/GRUDGE records found at the St. Louis records center,
however please note that it is uncertain whether all of these
cases are in the BB/predecessor files or had ever been and got
lost or were removed.

(o) U.S. Air Force Intelligence TOP SECRET analysis of flying
disc incidents, April 28, 1949, Report No. 100-203-79 or "AIR
203."

(p) Martin Shough catalog of radar UFO incidents, 1987, revised
2002, and augmented by Jan Aldrich.

(q) My personal investigations and research (especially all
bracketed [ ] material and most parenthetical ( ) material).




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