The Closing of Project Blue Book (5/70)
The Book is Closed (but who will have the last word)
Robert C. Seamans, Jr.
(jc: picture added 6/1/02)
The Air Force has written the final chapter to its opus on the unidentified. On December 17, 1969, Air Force Secretary Robert C. Seamans, Jr. announced closure of Project Blue Book, the Government's 21-year old investigation of UFOs. "Continuation of the Project," said Seamans, "cannot be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science."
With the termination came recision of AF Regulation 80-17, which provided for Blue Book's operation and related policies on public information. The regulation was promulgated in September of 1966 to facilitate Air Force support of the Colorado Project, which began the following month. AFR 80-17 superseded AFR 200-2, the old 1953 regulation for the UFO program.
Blue Book's door closed literally at 3:30 p.m. EST on January 30, 1970, the day the Project office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio was officially manned for the last time. The famous Blue Book files had already been packed in boxes and started on their trip south to Air Force archives at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. Lt.Col. Hector Quintanilla, chief Blue Book officer, was slated for a transfer assignment at Wright-Patterson until his retirement from the Air Force in April.
Demise of the Project proved no occasion for nostalgia. Having long contended that UFOs evidenced no threat to national defense, the Air Force had privately viewed its UFO assignment as something of a monkey on the back. Predictably, there was conjecture that the closure was just one more stratagem in a cover-up of government attempts to probe the UFO mystery. But Pentagon officials insisted the Air Force exit was just what it seemed -- final.
JC: As a point of information, Major Keyhoe's retirement at age 72, was announced in the same issue. He was director of NICAP for 13 years.
Hynek 12/17/66 Saturday Evening Post Article
Hynek Takes Us Inside Blue Book
Important Topics from UFO History
Author's Select Cases
Other Cases that Remain Unresolved
Page from the website of: CohenUFO.org
Website Master Index