Project Blue Book

The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: The Secretary of the Air Force enters a room. A captain not in uniform salutes him. You do not salute out of uniform, and you do not salute civilians. You stand at attention. (00:09:20)

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Show generally

Factual error: Moving vehicles with officers inside are not saluted except when the car is an official one displaying the flag of a general officer. (00:13:55)

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War Games - S1-E8

Factual error: General officer topcoats have two mohair stripes on the sleeve. The general wearing the topcoat has none. Second, hands in pockets are not allowed. Regulations state: "members will not... stand or walk with hands in pockets of any uniform combination, other than to insert or remove items." Third, it is unauthorized to turn up collars when it is cold. Gray scarves can be used. Also, the generals both have their 4-star shoulder insignias backwards. The points of the stars parallel to the epaulets should be towards the neck. (00:16:30)

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The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: Mr. Hynek is shown walking, loosely holding a folder in his right hand marked "Top Secret." Classified material has to be transported in a sealed container, usually one with red stripes around the border. Here is an excerpt of regulations for hand-carrying classified material: "Classified information must be double wrapped or packaged as though it were being sent by mail, kept under your constant control (i.e., not left in the trunk of your car while you run another errand), and delivered only to an authorized person. A briefcase may serve as the outer wrapper only if it is locked and approved for carrying classified material." (00:35:00)

The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: A Master Sergeant is being interrogated. Captain Quinn is reading his ID Card. The card has an expiration date of "Indefinite." Enlisted personnel have a expiration date that coincides with their term of enlistment. Only officers have an "Indefinite" expiration date. (00:15:00)

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The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: Captain Quinn refers to the civilian they have just seen as Secretary of Defense Fairchild. In the early 1950s the Secretary of Defense was Robert A. Lovett. The Secretary of the Air Force was Thomas K. Finletter. Nowhere was Fairchild ever SecDef or SecAF. This from a show that purports to be based on real events. (00:10:20)

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Operation Mainbrace - S2-E10

Factual error: The Admiral is looking over the shoulder at a sonar scope that has a radial sweep. Sonar displays of that era had concentric sweeps starting from the middle to the outside. (00:24:00)

Broken Arrow - S2-E9

Factual error: An unidentified airplane has crossed into Canadian airspace. The pilot flying right seat orders the left seat pilot to climb to 15,000 feet. This in itself is odd, because the Aircraft Commander flies the left seat, and bombers would be much higher than that in the first place. The pilot advances four throttles to initiate the climb, typical of a four engine reciprocating engine plane. When we see an outside shot what is shown is a twin engine jet aircraft. And the interior shots of the wreckage later are also wrong for the era too. (00:02:00)

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The Roswell Incident - Part I - S2-E1

Factual error: During the flashback scene when Professor Hynek is describing what happened at Roswell in 1947, the paper boy is holding the paper then the military vehicle is driving toward the camera. The two vehicles parked on the side of the road are too new to be in the scene. One is a 1949 or 50 Chevrolet sedan delivery, the one parked behind it is a 1954 Chevrolet, but the flashback is supposed to be happening in 1947.

The Men in Black - S2-E5

Factual error: An assistant to the Captain is wearing an Air Force uniform (as she should be). But it has no stripes on the sleeves. This would denote an Airman Basic. But no Airman Basic is going to be in an administrative position. (00:14:10)

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Hopkinsville - S2-E4

Factual error: Dr. Hynek's wife dials a phone number to contact a club member. She dials four digits. Four digit telephone numbers were in use in the 1910s, and five digit numbers in the 1920s. By the 1950s, when this show takes place, there were even area codes and seven digit numbers already in use. (00:16:40)

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The Roswell Incident - Part I - S2-E1

Factual error: General Harding is asked what will happen to a civilian caught trying to fight the Air Force air police personnel. He responds that he will go to a military tribunal. That is not correct. First of all, the defendant is a civilian and not subject to military authority. This has been so since 1866 when the Supreme Court ruled such a venue unconstitutional. Of note, the incident took place outside of Federal jurisdiction. So, no, he would would have to be turned over to civilian authorities and tried under civilian jurisdiction. (00:37:45)

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The Roswell Incident - Part I - S2-E1

Factual error: General Harding continues to walk around out of uniform, with just his hat showing any kind of Air Force affiliation. General officers have three pairs of clouds and lightning bolts (colloquially known as "farts and darts") on either side of the bill. The show shows him using one with only two pairs per side. What he is wearing is appropriate only for Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels. He is using a nondescript khaki shirt with absolutely NO rank on it. No distinctive insignia or decorations at all. While this shirt is authorized when worn with the service coat, it is not authorized for use alone.

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War Games - S1-E8

Factual error: An Army Lieutenant comes in to announce a phone call. His fatigues have the top button buttoned. Not authorized. An exception is when a person is at the firing range. The top button can be buttoned while in firing position to prevent shell casings from dropping inside the shirt. (00:18:05)

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War Games - S1-E8

Factual error: Army enlisted men were not allowed to sport scraggly beards in the early 1950s. (00:30:30)

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War Games - S1-E8

Factual error: Dr. Hynek is showing a movie on a table projector. The light from the projector is shown directed towards a portable movie screen, and is covering maybe the center quarter of the screen. In the next shot the movie is occupying the entire screen. There is no way the projector being that close to the screen would show a full screen image. It would need a special wide angle lens, which the projector does not have, as shown by the tight beam of light from it. (00:03:40)

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The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: A man in unmarked coveralls is addressed as "sir." This would imply he is an officer. Yet later, it is revealed that he is a Master Sergeant. Sergeants are never addressed as "sir." (00:08:00 - 00:14:50)

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The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: A vehicle is shown with US Army markings and a "US Government" license plate. First of all this is an Air Force Base, and a US Army vehicle would be the exception. Second, license plates on otherwise identified military vehicles are not used. Third, the license plate is of the 1990s variety and forward, and not one that would be used in 1952. (00:01:50)

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The Green Fireballs - S1-E6

Factual error: Military personnel are seen using coveralls and fatigues. But they have no markings or insignia on them. This is not regulation. (00:02:10)

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The Lubbock Lights - S1-E3

Factual error: A US Air Force Staff Sergeant is seen delivering some documents. He is wearing Navigator wings. There are no enlisted navigators. Navigators are all officers. (00:20:45)

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Show generally

Factual error: Moving vehicles with officers inside are not saluted except when the car is an official one displaying the flag of a general officer. (00:13:55)

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More mistakes in Project Blue Book

Hopkinsville - S2-E4

Trivia: If you look closely, that Bourbon that Captain Quinn is drinking is called "Ruppelt Bourbon", a nod to the real-life Captain Ed Ruppelt, the first Director of Project Blue Book, and who the character of Captain Quinn is partially based. Thanks to David O'Leary for the information. (00:18:20)

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More trivia for Project Blue Book

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