PROJECT BLUE BOOK – Season 2 Episode 9 – SPOILERS
We don’t get to see Susie (Ksenia Solo) at all, but we do hear about her. General Harding (Neal McDonough) tells General Valentine (Michael Harney): “They still can’t crack her, Jim. They’ve been interrogating her for three days and she’ll only say that she was sent to Ohio to find out about our UFO program.”
Only two women appear in this episode. Jean (Kelly-Ruth Mercier) gives Hynek an eyewitness account of the UFO event, and Faye (Jill Morrison) recognizes Senator Kennedy on sight when he comes to see Hynek and Quinn. Other than that it’s an all-boys episode, and Hynek spends most of it trying to bolster Quinn’s self-image after his relationship with Susie causes him to be placed on Administrative Leave.
Hynek persuades Quinn to join him on one last case, and they fly to British Columbia to investigate the disappearance of an aircraft which might have collided with a UFO. The aircraft involved turns out to be a Soviet bomber. According to the surviving crew members, the bomber was carrying a live nuclear weapon and its mission was to penetrate North American defenses until it was detected on radar, and then turn around and return to base (probably in Kamchatka). It crashed north of Vancouver which would be close to the limit of its range.
Hynek and Quinn locate part of the wreckage and two surviving crewmen near Hartley Bay, B.C.
The episode’s fictional case (according to The History Channel) is based in part on a 1950 incident in which an American B-36 bomber unexpectedly iced up, had three of its engines fail, and had to jettison and safely explode a nuclear weapon over the ocean. The plane then broke in two and the part that would have held the nuke ended up on a remote mountaintop in British Columbia. There was no UFO involved there, but the show combines that incident with a UFO encounter on 23 November 1953 in which an American F-89C flying out of Kinross AFB in northern Michigan and piloted by First Lieutenant Felix Moncla apparently collided with a UFO they were sent to investigate over Lake Superior during a storm.
No wreckage was ever found. UFO researcher John Tenney claimed that a person from the Air Force (thus far unidentified) told him there had been a faint radio transmission from Moncla hours after his plane disappeared from radar. Another strange thing about the Kinross incident is that after several conflicting explanations were advanced by the Air Force, investigators from the the UFO research group NICAP were surprised to find that Moncla’s mission had been struck from the official record entirely. “There is no record in the Air Force files of sighting at Kinross AFB on 23 November 1953,” they wrote. “There is no case in the files which even closely parallels these circumstances.”
The episode’s best scene is an improbable sequence in which Hynek and Quinn are taken at gunpoint by the two Soviet pilots and are tasked with defusing an atomic bomb. They end up capturing the Russians after Hynek determines that the bomb was never armed in the first place. (Their heroics — possibly coupled with Senator Kennedy’s influence — get Quinn and Project Blue Book reinstated.)
Returning to the Project Blue Book Offices the next morning, Hynek and Quinn find a note about a Priest in Akron who saw an object hovering above his church after mass. They call to pre-interview him, but are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Senator Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), who tells them about a “situation” developing in the North Atlantic. It seems the crew of a destroyer spotted a triangle-shaped craft following them that came, not out of the sky, but out of the water. That will likely be the subject of next week’s episode.
That casual mention of an Ohio priest and a UFO might refer to something that happened in an area of the state quite distant from Akron. On 19 August 1949 in Norwood, Ohio, Reverend Gregory Miller was running a carnival to raise funds for the expansion of the local high school. An army surplus searchlight, operated by Army Sgt. Donald R. Berger, was being used to attract crowds. Around 8:15, his searchlight spotted a “glowing disc.” The same sort of object was seen in the area nine more times in the months following. Blue Book’s predecessor, Project Grudge, investigated and dismissed the sightings as optical illusions. Ufologist Leonard Stringfield (not associated with Project Grudge) claimed that Father Miller had film of one of the sightings, taken on 23 October by Sgt. Leo Davidson of the Norwood Police Dept. The film was reportedly shown to a closed audience at the studios of Cincinnati TV Station WCPO in 1952 but has since disappeared. Still frames from Davidson’s film were published in Stringfield’s book INSIDE SAUCER POST 3-0 BLUE
Jason Burkart (Greg) will be “Sparkletts Guy” in the romantic comedy LOVE, GUARANTEED, which stars Rachael Leigh Cook as Susan, an industrious and idealistic lawyer who, against her better judgement, takes a lucrative high-profile case to pay the bills. Her new client Nick (Damon Wayans Jr.) is suing a dating website that guarantees that users will find love. The case becomes a media circus, and in the midst of that, Susan and Nick begin to develop feelings for one another. LOVE, GUARANTEED was filmed in Vancouver, and written by Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett (who also wrote five episodes of the teen spy series PROJECT Mc2). It will be on Netflix later this year.
Casey Manderson (James) will be Nate in the TV movie YOU’RE BACON ME CRAZY, loosely based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Suzanne Nelson. It’s a love story about Cleo (Natalie Hall), a young chef in Portland with a food truck popular for its Italian sandwiches. Then Gabe (Michael Rady), another chef, parks his food truck called The Bacon Wagon across the street, and Cleo’s efforts to win a local food truck competition take an interesting turn. YOU’RE BACON ME CRAZY premieres Saturday, 4 April at 9/8c on The Hallmark Channel.