Abbreviation for "Unidentified Flying Object". The USAF defines a UFO as: Anything that relates to any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be identified as a familiar object. (USAF Regulation 200-2)
The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) is the world's largest civilian UFO scientific reseach organization.
The last publicly acknowledged USAF investigation into UFOs, which started in March 1952. Its aims were to find explanations for UFO sightings, to assess whether they were a threat to national security, and to determine if the UFOs used advanced technology from which the US could learn. Reports were collected, analyzed and filed according to their results. No-one noticed anything was wrong with the project until one of the people on the investigation team sent in his own sighting. It was filed, but when he wanted to refer back to his report, it had disappeared. He then alleged that any reports that were both unexplained and could cause public uproar were siphoned off out of Blue Book to somewhere else higher up in authority, a claim that ufologists now see as fact. Blue Book was wound up in 1969 as a result of the Condon Report and one of its investigators, Dr J. Allen Hynek, went on to form the first scientific based UFO group, the Center for UFO Studies, in 1973.
After closing Project Blue Book the US
Air Force has not publicly acknowledged any further interest in UFO sightings.