PROJECT BLUE BOOK – Season 1 Episode 2 – SPOILERS
Professor Hynek figures out that the mysterious sequence of numbers he found in the first episode represents coordinates located in the interior of Antarctica. Just as he is about to investigate this discovery further, Mimi knocks at the door of his study (which she is surprised to find locked). Captain Quinn has arrived to whisk Hynek away to a small town in West Virginia, where the latest UFO sighting has occurred. Susie Miller (Ksenia Solo) shows up shortly after Hynek and Quinn leave, and insists that Mimi show her around town. In the car, Mimi is asked where she’d like to go. “You know, there’s this one place,” she says. “They read poetry, serve cocktails in soup cans, and smoke reefer. I’ve never been. I’ve only heard of it.”
After they arrive at the club, the two of them have drinks served (disappointingly) in glasses, not soup cans. Mimi (Laura Mennell) is obviously uncomfortable with the atmosphere of the place, and Susie suggests she needs to loosen up. Susie leaves, saying she’ll be back in a minute. Then two guys sit down next to Mimi and start to make out. Either because of that, or perhaps because a strange woman whispers in her ear offering drugs, Mimi decides to leave without waiting for Susie to return. She also sees Susie talking to a guy in a hat who looks out of place. so it is also possible that she suspects Susie has lured her out of the house for nefarious reasons (which is true). Susie’s associate has placed a bug in Hynek’s study.
We do not yet know the name of Susie’s associate (played by Currie Graham). We also don’t know who the two of them work for.
**It seems that the show is beginning the story of Hynek’s association with the Air Force with the start of Project Blue Book in 1952, though the events in the first episode took place in 1948, and Hynek worked with Project Sign (which preceded Project Blue Book) beginning in 1948.
What really happened in Flatwoods? Around 7pm on 12 September 1952, Fred and Eddie May (13 and 14 years old respectively) and another boy were playing in a field when they saw a bright object streak across the sky and apparently land on a hilltop on a nearby farm. Believing they had seen a meteorite impact, the boys ran to the May residence, and persuaded Mrs. May to go with them to have a look. Three others went with them to the site, including a member of the West Virginia National Guard. A small dog also tagged along.
When they got there, they encountered a mist that some described as having a “sickening, burnt metallic odour”. The dog ran into a pocket of the mist, came back out, then ran away from the site. The guardsman saw a pair of lights and when he pointed his flashlight in that direction, he saw what looked to him like a ten foot “monster” with a red face and a glowing green body. No meteorite was found. No ship was found either, possibly because everyone was quickly chased away by the toxic mist, which might also have caused people to hallucinate the ten foot tall creature (which also was never located). Everyone in the group experienced nausea and vomiting to one degree or another. The dog reportedly died.
The great horned owl explanation seems to have originated with an anonymous Air Force person, not Hynek. Others have said that a barn owl would better fit the description of the “monster”. It has also been suggested that the Rand Corporation might have been continuing the psychological warfare experiments conducted in Italy during World War II, which involved the creation of a 12-foot tall scarecrow-like thing with flashing lights and noisemakers. (But the Rand Corporation would almost certainly have created a plausible cover story.)
In 1943, a government facility for producing synthetic rubber was built about 125 kilometers west of Flatwoods. The plant has changed hands a couple of times, but is still in operation, and now produces “specialty chemicals”. There is no evidence for this, but chemical waste could have been buried in the Flatwoods area and such materials might have mixed inadvertently underground, causing an explosion, along with a transient toxic mist. The object streaking across the sky might have been part of the Piscid meteor shower and totally unrelated to the explosion.
In the fictionalized version, Hynek finds a radioactive meteorite at the site. Interestingly, though some branches have been broken and underbrush set on fire, there is no crater. So whatever the source of the sighting was, it did not crash. It made a (relatively) soft landing. (On arriving at the site, Hynek did say: “Surface soil’s loose. This area’s been jolted somehow. Like an earthquake.”)
The mystery guy from episode one turns up again. (He is labeled The Fixer in the credits, and is played by Ian Tracey.) He again passes information to Hynek, this time a photo of alien symbols similar to those that accompanied the Antarctic coordinates. Another witness to the sighting, Evelyn (played by Mary Black), is visited by The Fixer and passes the information along to Hynek. It is implied that, after she speaks to Hynek for the second time, The Fixer (or another of the “Men in Hats”, as Evelyn called them) shoves her out a window in such a way that she almost lands on Hynek and Quinn.
Beatrice Kitsos (unnamed Downing daughter) will be Alana in TEMPTING FATE, a Lifetime movie (based on the 2013 novel by Jane Green) which stars Alyssa Milano as Gabby, a forty-something woman, who, after being happily married for 18 years, begins a long-distance friendship with Matt (Zane Holtz), who is more than a few years younger. The friendship quickly develops into an emotional affair. Emilija Baranac, who appeared in two episodes of the CHARMED reboot, is also in the cast. Kim Raver and Manu Boyer will direct from a screenplay by Jennifer Maisel (co-creator of the 2008 webseries “Faux Baby“). TEMPTING FATE has completed filming in Vancouver, and will air on Lifetime later this year.
Kitsos will also be Falyn in CHILD’S PLAY (a reboot of the first Chucky film). In the new version, Chucky will be a smart toy that employs machine learning, turned murderous by a suicidal assembly-line worker. (The original Chucky was inhabited by the soul of a dead murderer looking to be reincarnated as a human.) Don Mancini, who wrote the first film, is in no way involved with the reboot. He told Post Mortem podcast: “Obviously my feelings were hurt. You know, I had just done two movies…[which] were both at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character.” The new CHILD’S PLAY will be released in the US on 21 June, and in Brazil a day earlier as Brinquedo Assassino (Killer Toy). A trailer is available on YouTube.
Nicholas Holmes (Joel Hynek) is Ryan in COLD PURSUIT (originally titled “Hard Powder”) about Colorado snowplow driver Nels (Liam Neeson), whose son is murdered by a powerful drug lord. Nels transforms himself into a skilled killer and sets out to dismantle the cartel. COLD PURSUIT is an English-language adaptation of the 2014 Norwegian black comedy Kraftidioten (aka “In Order of Disappearance“), and will be released in the US on 8 February.
Christopher Rosamond (Donnie) will be Stan Russell in RECOVERED, part one of a three-part limited series THE CHRONICLE MYSTERIES, which will star Alison Sweeney as podcaster and novelist Robbie McPherson, who loves solving puzzles. She returns to her Pennsylvania hometown and becomes interested in the disappearance, years previously, of Gina DeSavio, who was a childhood friend. Robbie is also about to inherit a newspaper (The Herrington Chronicle) owned by her late uncle. THE CHRONICLE MYSTERIES will premiere on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries on Sunday, 17 February at 9pm.