– On July 7, 1947, at Edwards
Airforce Space then called Muroc Air Base– Major JC Wise was sitting
his XP-84 fighter jet experimental aircraft
when he noticed that people on the
ground were watching an object off in the distance. He looked and saw a bright,
spinning, yellow object about 10,000 feet in
the air that was a ball of about 5 to 10 feet diameter. [music playing] After the sighting,
it was actually required that all officers
fill out a form if they saw anything that
might be regarded as a UFO or a flying saucer. And in addition
to that, they were told not to discuss their
sighting or what was on their report with anyone. In the wake of the incredible
number of UFO reports that reached the military
in the summer of 1947, Lieutenant General Nathan
Twining at Wright Field created a new order
to ensure that all UFO reports reach the military. This led to the creation
of the first official UFO research program on the
part of the military, known as Project "Sign." NARRATOR: On January
22, 1948, the US government authorized
its first official study of the UFO phenomenon. The highly classified agenda
was known as Project "Sign." WILLIAM HENRY: Project
"Sign" officially argued that these UFO
sightings were authentic and hinted that
they were, in fact, extraterrestrial in nature. But the higher-ups
in the military stepped in and redacted those
statements, canceled Project "Sign," turned it into Project
Grudge, which ultimately became Project Blue Book. MAN: The Air Force closed down
Blue Book because, essentially, they said they didn't find any
evidence that UFOs were real or represented a threat
to national security. Between 1948 and
1969, the US Air Force collected 12,618 UFO reports. Of that number, 701
remained on explained. [music playing] NARRATOR: While the Air
Force's official stance was that Project Blue Book
produced no compelling evidence that extraterrestrial craft
occupied Earth's airspace, one important contributor to
the study strongly disagreed. Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a professor
in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio
State University, was appointed as scientific
advisor for UFO studies during Projects "Sign,"
Grudge, and Blue Book. MAN: Dr. Hynek
was a pure skeptic at the very beginning
of his career as a consultant to the
United States Air Force. In fact, he considered these
UFOs to be utterly ridiculous. But he's got more
and more involved, and began talking to more
and more quality witnesses like military fighter pilots,
it became clear to him that there really was something
to this whole UFO question. [jet soaring] When asked in his
later years what turned him around on
the whole UFO question, Dr. Hynek said two things. The first is that the
Air Force was dead set on putting an answer on
every single UFO report, even if they had to
force the answer. The second is that he started
talking to very, very credible witnesses that led him to
believe that these objects were, in fact, real. [sounds of strange aircrafts] NARRATOR: In the
intervening years, UFO investigators and
scholars have attempted to access Project Blue
Book case files utilizing the Freedom of Information Act. But the names, details, and
other personal information of all the witnesses
and sightings have been blacked out
from the documents, preventing any
further examination. WILLIAM HENRY: Considering
the way the US government has labeled UFOs top secret,
we have to at least be open to the possibility
that higher-ups within the US government– or even those
higher than the US government– are absolutely aware of
extraterrestrial involvement in human affairs,
and have sought to cover up this phenomena
for the past six decades. [tense music playing] NARRATOR: Considering
the top secret nature of these projects,
is it possible that the incredible claims of
Dr. J. Allen Hynek are true, and that actual contact
with extraterrestrial craft has been concealed from
the general population?