From eyewitness accounts of “trails of light” streaking across the sky to sightings of flying saucers, now amateur Mulder and Scullys alike can see if the truth really is out there by poring over almost 130,000 pages of declassified UFO documents that are now available online, reports MilitaryTimes.com. After spending decades filing Freedom of Information Act requests, John Greenewald, a UFO enthusiast, posted declassified records from Project Blue Book — the U.S. Air Force’s records on alleged UFO and extraterrestrial sightings — on an online database.
The Air Force project was based out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and ran from 1947 to 1969. Through the project, the Air Force amassed a total of 12,618 recorded sightings. Out of that total, 701 incidents remain “unidentified.” A University of Colorado report called the “Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects” found that “there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as ‘unidentified’ are extraterrestrial vehicles,” according to a 1985 Air Force fact sheet. Project Blue Book officially ended on Dec. 17, 1969.
While the documents do not shed any new light on UFO sightings, they do not quiet the fascination both conspiracy theorists and the casual “X-Files” fan have with alleged sightings of extraterrestrial aircraft.
“People have this fascination when it comes to UFOs,” Greenewald told the New York Daily News. “We can have our speculation that it’s top secret, but we simply don’t know.”
While Project Blue Book files have long been available to the public on microfilm at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., this marks the first time that the complete collection of declassified documents has been made available through a searchable online database.
One thing that may disappoint UFO fans is the scant reference to Roswell, New Mexico in the database. Conspiracy theorists claim the U.S. military found and covered up evidence of an alien spaceship crash in the alleged 1947 Roswell incident.
According to the fact sheet, “the National Archives has been unable to locate any documentation among” the project’s records “which discuss the 1947 incident in Roswell, New Mexico.”
The Roswell location itself does make a few brief appearances in the files. The database includes a few blurry images of lights in the sky that were taken at the New Mexico location in 1949. Additionally, a 1950 document mentions airmen at Roswell reporting a “bluish-white” circular object 10 feet in diameter speed by at 8,000 feet.
Some things might always remain a mystery.