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August 1963: UFO Reports in Project Blue Book

Fold3 This Month in History

After the 1947 “Roswell Incident” in New Mexico, the U.S. Air Force launched Project Blue Book which ultimately investigated nearly 13,000 UFO sightings within the United States and abroad. The reports and records of these sightings are available free on Fold3.

When the project closed in 1969, the Air Force had concluded that none of the objects investigated ever threatened national security, that no discoveries were more advanced than known contemporary technology of the day, and there was no evidence that the objects were extraterrestrial vehicles.

Fifty years ago, in August 1963, there were forty-four investigations into UFO sightings. Most were explained as meteors, planets, aircraft, or natural occurrences; and many were written off as lacking in evidence. The files typically begin with a Project Record Card with twelve boxes recording date, location, number of objects, length of observation, a summary, and conclusions. While most sightings were in the U.S., other reports in August 1963 came from Italy, Afghanistan, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean.

In Auburn, Maine, strips of tinfoil were discovered on a farm and explained as chaff used in jamming radar. In Borger, Texas, a ten-foot wide, heart-shaped mark of a smelly phosphorus substance on someone’s lawn led her to believe that “some object had hovered just above the ground,” but it was identified as eggs of a grass fly species. It was acknowledged as “an unusual happening with an unusual answer.”

The Cleveland Ufology Project investigated a newspaper story that reported a young boy finding a rock that fell from the sky on August 13, 1963. It tasted like salt (we wonder why anyone would taste something that might be of extraterrestrial origin) and was later determined to be salt crystals.

Several witnesses in Warner, New Hampshire, near Lake Winnepocket testified that they saw cigar-shaped objects. One person took a 16mm color movie, supposedly archived in another location at the National Archives. The 38-page report included diagrams and multiple forms. Analysis confirmed that the observations were of a meteor shower.

A circular object with a bluish red tinge disappearing over the treetops in Nikiski, Alaska, on August 10, 1963, was evaluated as an a/c (aircraft) sighting. A couple of unidentified objects accompanying a military aircraft in Morehead, Kentucky, were identified as the aircraft’s appendages as it flew out of the nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The documents in Fold3’s Project Blue Book files are declassified, but names and addresses are masked to protect identities and locations. The stories can be fascinating. Evidence of any government cover-up is discounted, but you can be the judge of that when you read the investigations.