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 reproductions.

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).

Organization of Reports Page 3 of 5 Known Problems