No, That New "Alien Interview" from Project Blue Book Isn't Real
Forty years after the government shut it down, the Air Force's infamous UFO organization, Project Blue Book, is in the news again.
Last month, a shaky black-and-white video appeared on YouTube that appeared to show a dark interrogation room. On the other side of the table is a hunched, grey alien with bulbous, black eyes. An unseen interrogator starts in with questions:
Interrogator: We recording? State planet of origin.
Interrogator: Yesterday you told us you traveled...and I quote..."Thousands of light years to get here."
Interrogator: Tell us the truth or (indiscernible).
From there, the interrogator asks about time travel, morality, the fate of humanity, the nature of the universe, and the meaning of life. Each question is answered by the alien in a gravelly, guttural voice that sounds more like a garbage compactor than human speech, but each answer is more mind-blowing than the last: the alien claims that it's not an alien after all, but a time traveler from a future Earth that has been almost destroyed by nuclear war. It offhandedly mentions that time travel is possible by travelling through space, that this universe is only one of many, and life and death as we know are merely illusions. You can watch the original video here:
A number of UFO websites and communities picked up the video, generating discussion on whether this was "The One": the final piece of evidence that proved once and for all that extraterrestrials are real. An especially tantalizing piece of information was included in the description of the video:
Extraordinary Project Blue Book file film of Alien interviewed in 1964. Subject was named 'EBE-3' and was held captive for 5 days. Subject disappeared from Government records on date of this event.
Project Blue Book was the official government organization tasked with investigating UFO sightings across the United States. Formally created in 1952, it handled roughly 12,000 sightings of potential UFOs and brought together a team of scientists and military personnel. The project was discontinued in 1969, and its records were later declassified.
Like MKULTRA or Project Y (the US Air Force's experimental flying saucer, also called the Avrocar), Project Blue Book is one of those secret government projects that seem to confirm every conspiracy theorist's suspicions: the government did have secret task forces investigating extraterrestrials, and its findings were kept secret from the public. What's more, Blue Book was created at a time when UFO sightings had escalated to the point of mass hysteria-Kenneth's Arnold's famed encounter with a V-shaped formation of lights over Mount Rainier became the impetus for Project Blue Book's inception.
During its operation, Project Blue Book investigated a number of high-profile UFO cases, including the Lubbock Lights. The scientific consultant and astronomer for the Project, J. Allen Hynek, also codified the "Close Encounter" categories-the basis for the title of the sci-fi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Under Captain Edward Ruppelt, the organization coined the term "Unidentified Flying Object" and attempted to create more rigorous reporting methods for UFO sightings. As the Project progressed, the majority of sightings were determined to have mundane explanations, but a small number were deemed genuinely unexplainable.
However, in the summer of 1952, Project Blue Book was brought before the Robertson Panel, which was meant to assess the Project and its findings. According to a memorandum, the members of the Panel were unimpressed with the Project's results and mandated that its primary goal change to creating "an integrated program designed to reassure the public of the total lack of evidence of Inimical forces behind the phenomenon." This meant the goal of Project Blue Book had essentially changed from seriously investigating extraterrestrials to convincing the public that UFO sightings were anything but extraterrestrial.
After changing leadership multiple times and meeting with harsh criticism from outside observers, including accusations by NICAP (The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) that the group's main goal was covering up UFO encounters, the Project was ultimately shut down, leaving behind a legacy of unanswered questions and widespread suspicion.
Like the majority of Project Blue Book's cases, the supposed Blue Book alien interview on YouTube was quickly proven to be fake. It was revealed as a pet project of Aristomenis Tsirbas, the digital effects artist behind several Star Trek productions. Isaac Koi, a UFO debunker, wrote up a thorough report on the video and pointed out that Tsirbas had created another UFO hoax video, titled UFO Over Santa Clarita, in 2012, along with a breakdown of how the video was created. You can read Isaac Koi's full report here.
In the face of all these false positives, mysteries, and straight-up hoaxes, it's hard to keep faith in reports of extraterrestrials. It's enough to make Fox Mulder hang up his badge and gun, but in the end, I think we all want to believe.