Project Blue Book Actor Michael Malarkey Caught the UFO “Bug”

Actor Michael Malarkey says research for History's Project Blue Book sparked an intense interest in UFOs.

Actor Michael Malarkey says he hadn’t given UFOs thought before being cast in HISTORY’s upcoming series Project Blue Book, but now he is hooked. He says UFOs do offer a genuine mystery and he believes the U.S. Air Force knows more about the topic than it’s sharing.

“I definitely got the bug, and I’m pretty far down the wormhole,” Malarkey told reporters, including Den of Geek, in a recent interview. “I’m still obsessively watching documentaries and witness accounts, and it’s really changed my mind about the whole thing.”

In Project Blue Book, Malarkey plays U.S. Air Force Captain Michael Quinn. Quinn is tasked with running Project Blue Book, based on a real project of the same name set up to investigate UFO reports in the 1950s and ’60s. Malarkey says research for the project included spending time with U.S. Air Force personnel to observe their mannerisms and learning to fly in order to feel what it is like to experience intense g-forces. Not all of his research was adventurous. He also had to hit the books.

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“I definitely read a great amount of Edward J. Ruppelt’s book, who was the head of Blue Book at the time, and who my character is loosely based on and I even did research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base [Project Blue Book’s headquarters] because I grew up near there,” Malarkey says.

“There’s just so much rich material to draw from. And I think that the exciting thing about this show is that, as much as it is a drama, and you do have to take artistic license to be able to tell a story, at the same time, hopefully, what the show will do is reactivate an incredible interest from people who aren’t as aware of the depths of what’s going on and the truth behind the stories told.”

Malarkey says he was aware the U.S. Air Force had looked into UFOs, but he did not realize how many cases they were unable to explain.

“I mean, it was like some 15 to 20% that fell into the unknown category,” Malarkey says. “The thing is, the further you go down this rabbit hole, I think anybody who does, cannot help but question that something else out there exists.”

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In the show, one of Quinn’s toughest jobs is managing Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astrophysicist hired by the U.S. Air Force as a consultant in their investigations. The real-life Hynek began consulting with the U.S. Air Force in 1948. At the time he was a skeptic, but as he investigated, the further he went “down the rabbit hole.” Hynek investigated many cases that constituted genuine mysteries he could not explain.

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All of this has led Malarkey to believe there is much more to UFOs than we are being told: “Well, I mean it’s hands down a real phenomenon and a real cover-up that’s going on.”

“I don’t know if it’s ‘aliens’ or not,” Malarkey says. “But I definitely feel like whatever these objects are in our skies – and I’ve seen a lot of footage, you have to comb through a lot of the fake stuff out there at the moment, and people are really good at doctoring things up – but there’s enough legit stuff out there to see that there are intelligent objects moving throughout our skies.”

Despite Hynek’s change of heart, the U.S. Air Force continued to explain away sightings, and eventually closed Project Blue Book in 1969 due to a lack of evidence that UFOs were unexplainable or posed a threat. Malarkey and the writers of the Project Blue Book series, apparently disagree with the U.S. Air Force’s conclusions.

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“[Writers] Sean Jablonski and David O’Leary always say this was the original fake news campaign,” Malarkey explains. “I think even younger people will be able to connect with that aspect of it and see how the Air Force was doing that at that time.”

However, Malarkey doesn’t feel we should disparage the U.S. Air Force’s intent.

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“It’s important we don’t portray or paint the Air Force as villains here. This has always been in an effort to protect the people.”

Even so, Malarkey doesn’t feel the secrecy is needed anymore. He says, “I feel like we’re almost ready for a bit more of the disclosure that we’ve been denied for so many years.”

He also feels the U.S Air Force likely does not have all the answers, and the true origins of the unsolved UFO cases may still be a mystery to them as well.

All of this speculation on what the U.S. Air Force knows and doesn’t know is where the writers applied artistic license in the series. As Malarkey puts it, “there were no bugs in the Project Blue Book Headquarters,” so the show has to make assumptions. It also dramatizes real events and real Project Blue Books cases. For those looking for straight facts, the show’s website features fact-based articles on many of the cases covered in the series.

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Some have likened the show to The X-Files, but Malarkey points out there is one significant difference.

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“I watched X-Files, and I do love the show. It’s a very different show. I think the thing that makes it different, obviously, is that this is a real-life X-Files. This actually happened. It’s rooted in fact, and that’s what makes it stand out.”

Of course, Project Blue Book is dramatized, but Malarkey hopes the show triggers an interest in the real American history of UFO investigations like it did in him.

“I hope that it will stimulate a new found interest especially in people who just kind of sweep these things under the rug,” says Malarkey. “Yes, it’s changed my mind. I’ve seen too much for me to discredit this entire thing and, regardless of your opinion on the matter, I think that the facts show there have definitely been strange and unexplained phenomena in the skies whatever that may be. And there’s definitely been an ongoing government cover-up about it.”

Alejandro Rojas writes and blogs about science, entertainment, and the paranormal. Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating anomalous phenomena up close and personal. You can find him on Twitter here.