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|Index||18 reviews in total|
I remember this show, particularly one episode which ended with the two agents at the top of some observation tower with a large white UFO floating away from them. As I recall the FX were actually OK, and the whole thing had quite a cool Close Encounters-type feel to it. Certainly a predecessor to the X-Files, Sci-Fi channel or somebody could re-run this and cash in.
I always kind of felt sorry for Jack Webb, he created a cultural icon like Dragnet, first as a sensational radio series and then in two long running tv shows. How could he possibly top that? He spent the rest of his life trying to top Dragnet and couldn't do it. Project UFO was his last series before his death in 1982. Webb brought the same approach to this show that he used with Dragnet. He believed that viewers wanted realism and "just the facts". He used actual material from the files of "Project Blue Book". This was the study the United States Air Force did about unidentified flying objects and the reports of people who claimed they saw one. The study revealed that most of these reports were people being mistaken about what they saw or hoaxes. BUT there were about 10% of the case that COULD NOT be explained. These were the cases that interested Mister Webb and he brought them to life in this fascinating series that was cancelled far too soon. The two actors who were the investigating Air Force Officers were like Friday and Gannon in Dragnet, only they were investigating an "out of this world" mystery. The one I remember most was a young actor named Caskey Swaim. He had never really acted before and landed a starring role in this show. He did an amazing job as did Edward Winter. Do you believe in UFO's or life on other planets? If you did or not, this series was really interesting and entertaining. I wish they would put it back in syndication. One case I wish that they would have profiled was a case in Austrailia in 1978, interestingly this case happened when this series was on the air. It involved a young pilot named Frederick Vallentich who was flying a private plane over Bass Strait. He disappeared without a trace and no trace of him or his aircraft was ever found. Shortly before, he had radioed that he was being followed by a UFO and then he said that it was right on top of him! The ground controllers heard a strange metallic grinding sound and then silence! Vallentich's father said that he believed that his son had been abducted by aliens from another planet.
Does no one else remember this show? I used to watch it when I was in 2nd
grade. It lasted for one season and was about these two Air Force guys
assigned to investigate UFO sightings. Sometimes they would prove it a hoax
and other times it would turn out to be real.
From what I can remember (and it has been awhile - I have NEVER seen this
show in reruns) the acting and the scripts were not too good. And unlike the
X Files, the U.S. governement in this show was truthful and honest.
The creator of X-Files credits Kolcheck: The Night Stalker for inspiration but I am wondering if he saw a few episodes of this somewhere along the way and just forgot it like the rest of the world.
Project UFO was another fine Jack Webb production, but where did it go? Once aired, it never reappeared again. Everything from I Love Lucy, to Green Acres, at least ran on local UHF stations as reruns, but not Project UFO. If this series was struck on 16mm film to the TV stations, not one reel of it fell into collector's hands. The nation's biggest collectors claim to have never owned even one episode. Not available for sale on any format. Some Universal Studios personnel claim this series never existed. I remember seeing these films when they originally aired and believe they were very well done. Might they have been a little too well done? I would love to see them again.
This series was based on Project Blue Book, and one of the former
officers assigned to Blue Book was actually a technical adviser to the
The problem, of course, is that today, we know that Blue Book was an attempt at Public Relations by the USAF to show that they had a handle on this UFO thing when they really didn't, and that they frequently used the most ludicrous explanations for sightings they could think of. Usually, an officer who was assigned to Blue Book was someone who was at a career dead end, and the Air Force was happy to get out of the whole thing in 1969.
The problem with Jack Webb's concept is that he tried to treat it like one of his cop shows, but still create a little action. So you'd have this elaborate special effects sequence setting up the story, followed by some "prosaic explanation" (as famous UFO Debunker Phil Klass used to say) as to what they actually saw. OH, that was swamp gas? Really?
To be absolutely fair, they were right. 95% of UFO sightings can be explained as something that was misidentified by people. Still, that didn't make for very good drama. The Air Force even cooperated in this series, hoping it would be good PR, but it was anything but.
After reading the comments on the IMBb site related to the 70's tv series 'Project UFO', I'd wonder if they saw the same show. The Project UFO characters were US Air Force officers investigating UFO sightings. Much like a Project Blue Book tv series(they just didn't want to use the name). X-Files is something completly different, it's a show about two FBI agents that investigate real wierd cases, and once in a while you'll see a captured UFO/alien or a UFO/alien related plot. But nothing right to the point about UFO sightings like 'Project UFO'. A typical X-File episode is about a strange monster/person living in the ducts of a building with slime and newpapers all around him -- sewer monsters -- bad government medical experiments -- strange government experiments that look like their aliens but turn out to be mutations or something of that nature. Mulder is a huge UFO fan and believer but X-Files is a modern Kolchak:The Night Stalker. I'm not putting down religion, but the entertaining Project UFO is a Harve Bennett Project Blue Book tv series and has nothing (other than a Nun sighting episode) to do with religion or UFO cults. It has to do with the US Air Force investigating UFO sightings -- It was just aired 11/01 on the TV Land Network (USA), it was a great episode called 'Sighting 4011:The Doll House Incident'. It starred David Hedison (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), Marta Kristen (Lost in Space) and had an excellent plot with a full scale UFO! It (Project UFO) was no 'flag waving' government sponsered show;some cases were classified 'unexplained', not all explained hoaxes, it was a try at making money by Harve Bennett the king of 70's schlock tv. I guess TV1 in Australia has been airing the series and people sell VHS tapes of it on e-bay.
Author kjq45 from United States, a fan of Jack Webb's "Project UFO",
writes that "Some Universal Studios personnel claim this series never
existed." I was a guest star on "Project UFO" under what was then my
stage name, Christie Wagner, and I can assure that it definitely
I wonder if the Air Force behind the scenes contributed to taking the show off the air? After all, on the 50th anniversary of Roswell, New Mexico's alleged extraterrestrial craft and personnel sighting and interaction, the Air Force issued a long disclaimer in the media that it was only a "weather balloon" which crashed with "dummies" inside it.
If the space alien phenomenon really didn't happen then it's a non-issue so why issue a disclaimer half a century later? That disclaimer alone, some would believe, confirms that it really did happen.
From what I understand this show was based on actual Project Blue book
files and tried to stick to the truth. Unlike "x-files" which was pure BS
from begining to end. The sighting dramatizations were very interesting.
What I don't understand is where it disappeared to. When the investigators could not find an explanation for the sighting it was classified as "un-explained" which is the same as saying the sighting was for real. Jack Webb brought the same style to this that he used in "Dragnet". Overall it was pretty good.
Jack Webb's DRAGNET, ADAM 12 and EMERGENCY were such big hits that his Mark VII productions always had a few other series on the networks (mostly NBC) with various success. Project UFO was definately Jack Webb's baby and he was the one who did the talk show circuit to promote it. Besides his narration, the show followed Webb's trademark of stiff, unemotional acting that gave all his shows a semi-documentary look. His earlier shows introduced the day-to-day realities of police work, paramedics and emergency rooms long before Hill Street Blues and E.R. and without the soap opera scripts. Project U.F.O. was Webb's attempt to bring the then current hit film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND to television via a straight forward telling of the real people who investigated UFO sightings (known as Project Bluebook, that title was eventually changed to PROJECT UFO because it sounded more interesting). A typical episode would open with a discovery of a burnt out portion of field where a UFO appeared to have landed and took off and the two investigators gathering evidence to support or dispute the premise that a UFO had actually landed. Sometimes the evidence pointed to fraud and sometimes there were no answers and sometimes it was left to the audience to come to their own conclusions. Since there wasn't an attempt to conclude that there actually were aliens the series was a bit dull, there was never any big payoffs. Think of M. Night Shyamalan's SIGNS if it had ended a half hour sooner and that would pretty much sum up Project UFO. Perhaps M. Night Shyamalan was a fan of the series and wanted to do a better version and that's where SIGNS came from.
Project U.F.O., which was about Project Blue Book, is an early
version of The X-Files. Unfortunately, this show, like Kolchak:
Night Stalker, and Battlestar Galactica, only lasted one season.
Too bad, it was really ahead of its time. I loved it when I was in high school.
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