PROJECT BLUE BOOK – Season 2 Episode 3 – SPOILERS
At the start of the episode, Hynek (Aidan Gillen) and Mimi (Laura Mennell) are in their car watching IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE. Hynek is visibly irked by the film’s scientific inaccuracies, while Mimi is trying to figure out which actual UFO sighting the film is attempting to dramatize. At the end of the episode, Susie aka Mishka (Ksenia Solo) is in her car watching SHANE. She sees three young people in the car next to hers seemingly mesmerized by the gunplay on screen and shakes her head. Mishka’s new handler Daria (Sofia Milos) arrives and more or less accuses Mishka of going native. “You’d think Americans would be tired of Westerns by now,” she says. “Same thing every movie. First sign of trouble, someone starts shooting. Was that where you got the idea to killing Cal?” The two Soviet spies and J. Allen Hynek have, apparently, at least one thing in common — a disdain for American pop culture.
Daria decides that Mishka should arrange for Quinn’s kidnapping. One wonders if she will go through with it, or if Susie might refuse the order and attempt to defect.
General Harding (Neal McDonough) and Captain Quinn (Michael Malarkey) turn up at the Hynek home and explain that there has been a disappearance at Groom Lake (aka Area 51), of which one part (we find out) is controlled by the U.S. Air Force, and another part is controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency. (Quinn describes the CIA as a “new” orgainization, but in fact the U.S. Air Force and the CIA were both created from previously existing departments on the same day (18 September 1947) when Truman signed the National Security Act.
Sergeant Willingham (Brendan Fletcher) and Corporal Miller (Riun Garner) are out in the desert searching for a piece of an exploded missile when Willingham sees Miller being drawn upwards into a saucer shaped ship. (Later, Miller’s body is found impaled on a rather high branch of a dead tree. An autopsy reveals that he has been partially dissected.)
Mutliations attributed to aliens have mostly involved cattle, not humans. Bret Swancer, writing for Mysterious Universe describes one incident of human mutilation that happened in 1988, at the Guarapiranga Reservoir near Sao Paulo, Brazil. He included an excerpt from the local coroner’s report: “The lips and flesh from the face had been cut away. The eyes, ears, and tongue had been removed. Neat round holes, one to one and a half inches in diameter, had been made on the shoulders, arms, head, stomach, and anus and tissue and muscle had been extracted…Despite these devastating mutilations, there was no sign that the victim had been bound or had struggled in any way.”
In the very last scene of the episode, General Valentine (Michael Harney), who is clearly upset with and threatened by the involvement of the CIA, shows Harding the Pentacle memorandum. (It was not actually called that. Dr. Jaques Vallee found the two-page memo, dated 9 January 1953, in 1967 while working with Hynek’s papers and gave the author the code name “Pentacle”.) The memo said that “certain areas in the United States have had an abnormally high number of reported incidents of unidentified flying objects” and proposed that “one or two of these areas should be set up as experimental areas” and that “many different types of aerial activity should be secretly and purposefully scheduled [there].” The memo concluded: “It should be possible by such a controlled experiment to prove the identity of all objects reported, or to determine positively that there were objects present of unknown identity.” There is no evidence that the proposed experiment was ever implemented. (There would have been a large, localized spike in sightings, and there was not.)
Pete Travis, who directed this episode, will also direct BLOODLANDS, a miniseries starring James Nesbitt as Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick. As the mystery begins, a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough. Brannick quickly connects it to an infamous cold case and soon finds himself on the trail of a legendary assassin. The series will be set and filmed in and around Strangford Lough (the largest inlet in the UK, located in County Down), and in nearby Belfast. Kathy Kiera Clarke (Aunt Sarah in DERRY GIRLS) is also in the cast. No release date has been announced, but BLOODLANDS will likely air on BBC One sometime in the fall.
It might be a coincidence, but the names Miller and Willingham are connected to two other UFO-related events.
In 2017, an American named Robert Miller recorded a YouTube video in which he said that when he was a worker at Area 51, he was recruited to test fly a craft that had been reverse-engineered from the UFO that crashed at Roswell in 1947.
In 1955, Colonel Robert B. Willingham was flying an F-86 fighter jet on simulated bombing run out of Carswell Air Force Base when he (and the rest of his squadron) saw an object “as bright as a star” moving at about 3000 kph headed south toward the Mexican border. Willingham pursued, and saw it crash just south of the Rio Grande. A short time later Willingham returned to the crash site and found a damaged silver craft, roughly disc shaped, sticking in the side of a hill. Through a hole in the ruptured hull, he saw three dead entities (two of which were badly mangled) with large heads, slit-like mouths, and arms “like broomsticks”.