Example 3

RG 341, RECORDS OF Headquarters US Air Force, Air Technical Intelligence Centre, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Aerial Phenomena Branch. Three related series of audiovisual records composed of photographs (7,280), sound recordings (23), and motion pictures (20) from “Project Blue Book”, 1950-67. 7,323 items.

Arranged by case number.

Audiovisual records in different formats created, acquired, or collected by the US Air Force during its official investigation into the existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). There are photographs (35mm negatives) of 21 alleged sightings of UFOs, including some photos recorded on roll film that show timed radar responses of the observed phenomena. The motion pictures (8mm and 16mm) are composed mainly of original camera footage (unedited) filmed by military personnel and civilians. The sound recordings were recorded or acquired by the Air Force and contain interviews with individuals claiming to have seen UFOs as well as sound recordings made at the time of the alleged sightings. Related textual records are in accompanying series of case files and project files of “Project Blue Book”.

A . Intrinsic Value Criteria

  1. Example of physical form? No. The forms represented are standard, common forms of audiovisual reproductions.
  2. Aesthetic or artistic value? No.
  3. Unique or curious physical features? No.
  4. Age? No.
  5. Exhibit potential? Yes
  6. Authenticity? Yes. The entire phenomenon of the history of UFOs and the controversy surrounding their existence, as well as questions concerning the purpose and function of “Project Blue Book” require that the original records created or acquired by the Air Force and deposited with NARS be preserved and available for research scrutiny, testing and examination, and verification. This is especially a consideration because audiovisual documents are highly susceptible to tampering and manipulation. There is continued speculation and public doubt about the adequacy of the “evidence” and the conduct and conclusions of the official investigation.
  7. General public interest? Yes. The history of UFOs, although a specialized research topic, does have a wide-ranging and emotional interest and fascination to the public.
  8. Legal basis of agency or institution? No.
  9. Policy at high level of Government? No. These are operating level records.

CONCLUSION: the records have intrinsic value.