A foo fighter is a UFO. It’s a term from World War II used by Allied pilots to describe various UFOs or unexplained aerial phenomena seen in the skies over European and in the Pacific. UFO is of course an Unidentified Flying Object, a term coined in the early 50s by the United States Air Force. (Government agencies and their acronyms right? Nothing’s been the same since the B.P.R.D. was founded in 1945.)
Following World War II the United States Air Force initiated Project Blue Book to determine if UFOs were a threat to national security but also to scientifically analyze UFO-related data.
Fast forward to January 8th, 2019 to the History Channel premiere of Project Blue Book, a fun fictional account of the well known Air Force study; 10 episodes all executive produced by Robert Zemeckis in consort with creators and writers David O’Leary and Sean Jablonski who serve as the showrunners.
After all the cast and crew credits and tax-credit recognition, the first episode of Project Blue Book concludes with this legal caveat:
“Many characters are based on actual historical figures, some characters, timelines and facts have been modified for dramatic purposes.”
So…is the truth really out there?
Your Mulder and Scully is Aidan Gillen who plays astronomer and professor Josef Allen Hynek. In the first episode it’s hard to know if he fully believes in little green men, but what he does believe in is questions. He wants to make sure he’s asking the right questions so that they lead to the right answers.
In real life Josef Allen Hynek developed the sixfold Close Encounter classification scale from which Spielberg would name his movie…Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Those are UFO encounters in which an animated creature is present. (Close Encounters of the Fourth and Fifth Kind are the classic anal probe stories!)
Michael Malarkey is Captain Michael Quinn, a decorated World War II Air Force pilot who represents the Air Force and is the first line of defense in protecting American interests. (How cool is it that in the show detailing suspicious government cover-ups one of the main actors’ name is Malarkey!)
While Josef Allen Hynek is a real human boy, David O’Leary has confirmed Captain Michael Quinn is a composite of a handful of Air Force pilots created for this show.
Much like early Mulder and Scully, “fact vs. fiction” will be the ongoing friction between these two characters. Josef Allen Hynek is a rational, scientific method man. Captain Michael Quinn is an instinct/trust-my-gut guy (the type of quick thinking that keeps Air Force pilots from crashing). Their flourishing conflict is the backdrop of their UFO investigations. (In the X-Files did the audience tend to side more with Mulder’s faith or Scully’s rationality? Will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out here.)
Project Blue Book has all the classic UFO elements formally established in that fateful Roswell “weather balloon crash” in 1947. Anxious military men deeply frightened America is under siege and that their envious Western lifestyle will be harmed. (America just wrapped up World War II and is entering into the Cold War…so paranoia totally makes sense.)
Captain Michael Quinn has a cork board of images and articles in his office. He loses points though because his cork board is not all connected by string. Clearly he’s seeing a burgeoning pattern but he’s yet to connect all the dots…he’ll get there.
Government officials are subduing the truth. It’s still early nobody has slipped in the shower…yet. It appears one Air Force pilot won’t be with us much longer to tell his story and what he saw in the sky.
As we saw on the X-Files, British Columbia continues to shine. In fact one of the hospital scenes is a Vancouver setting you may recognize from the most recent season of X-Files.
The first episode also laid down some excellent groundwork for spies and lies. Without saying much more, it appears two supporting characters are not who they seem to be. This show is off to an intriguing start and I will happily continue watching until the brakes in my car are cut. But as with all things UFO, don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.
Sadly missing from Project Blue Book is Mr. Foo Fighter himself, Dave Grohl. How fun or cool would that be if he made an appearance? It’s funny all these years later when you think of Foo Fighters you think of the band; you think of Dave Grohl and Sonic Highways. You don’t hear Foo Fighter and think…UFO. And that…that is how propaganda works.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!