Aliens at the Archives

On December 30, 1947, the United States Air Force (USAF) began the process of collecting and evaluating all facts related to flying saucers and other types of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Between 1947 and 1969, 12,618 sightings were reported to the USAF program titled Project Blue Book, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Scientists and … Continue reading Aliens at the Archives

Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

Robert Mitchum To the People of the United States (1943) More than a decade before he terrorized children as creepy preacher Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter (1955), and two years prior to his Oscar-nominated role as Lieutenant Walker in The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Robert Mitchum played a grounded bomber crew mechanic … Continue reading Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

From Mariel Harbor to Eglin Air Force Base: Cuban Refugees and the Mariel Boatlift

This post was written by Beth Fortson.  Beth is an Archives Technician with the Still Photos Branch in College Park, MD.  In April 1980, after desperate attempts by Cubans to gain asylum at the gates of the Peruvian Embassy, Fidel Castro was pressured to ease restrictions on emigration and granted those wishing to immigrate to … Continue reading From Mariel Harbor to Eglin Air Force Base: Cuban Refugees and the Mariel Boatlift

The Roswell Reports: What crashed in the desert?

Decades after the Roswell Incident people are still fascinated by it. Last October we wrote about National Archives moving image holdings relating to Project Blue Book and unidentified flying objects (UFOs). In addition to Project Blue Book we also have records relating to the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The U.S. … Continue reading The Roswell Reports: What crashed in the desert?

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 3rd Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. This quarter's list includes sound recordings relating to former Marine Sergeant Jon M. Sweeney who was a prisoner of war (POW) in Southeast Asia from … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 3rd Quarter

Avrocar: The U.S. Military’s Flying Saucer

Last fall, we told you about films from Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force investigation into unidentified flying objects. In addition to records related to the search for UFOs, the National Archives and Records Administration also holds records concerning Identified Flying Objects. One of the most remarkable of these is the Avrocar. The Avrocar … Continue reading Avrocar: The U.S. Military’s Flying Saucer

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. Operation MANTRAC (Manual Angle Tracking Capability) (Local Identifier 342-USAF-33788/ARC Identifier 68704), is an example of one declassified film. Using some really great animation and a … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

I Saw Kitty Hawk: Film, Memory, and Archives

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the 110th anniversary of “The Great Train Robbery,” a film that pioneered editing techniques that are so commonplace as to be invisible to viewers today and is acknowledged as the first example of modern film fiction narrative. But this wasn’t the only important innovation taking place in … Continue reading I Saw Kitty Hawk: Film, Memory, and Archives

Celebrating Aviation with Magee’s “High Flight”

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth . . . . Put out my hand and touched the Face of God.” You may be familiar with these lines—the first and last of John Gillespie Magee, Jr.’s 1941 sonnet “High Flight”. Many of us likely recognize them from President Ronald Reagan’s speech on the … Continue reading Celebrating Aviation with Magee’s “High Flight”

Project Blue Book: Home Movies in UFO Reports

In a previous post, we gave an overview of Project Blue Book, the 1952-1969 United States Air Force investigation into UFO sightings. For that post, we featured publicity interviews produced by the Air Force that explained the project. This week, we’ll feature some of the home movies that were submitted by citizens as evidence of … Continue reading Project Blue Book: Home Movies in UFO Reports