Project Blue Book season 2 is underway, and according to the showrunner, is doing its version of The Joker by tackling the origin stories of some of the most famous UFO cases. As seen in the first episodes of the season, the infamous alleged crash of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 is the focus of the first arc of the season. Showrunner Sean Jablonski says this season will also feature Area 51.
UFO nerds, like me, will note that the real-life official Air Force UFO research program, Project Blue Book, did not investigate Area 51 or the Roswell UFO crash. However, Jablonski says they felt now that they had introduced their audience to the Project Blue Book program, next would be educating them on the origins of UFO conspiracies.
“We wanted to start off with a bang and Roswell being a name and a case that even people who are not, as you say UFO nerds, are familiar with,” says Jablonski. “It’s about going back to the beginning to understand the [UFO] conspiracy, right? So the conspiracy is the case this year, and these are almost not arguably two of the biggest events or locations in UFO lore.”
“It’s also a wonderful origin story for Harding,” Jablonski adds.
General Harding is a fictional character, but according to Jablonski he is based on a real life US Air Force General named Harold Twining, who Jablonski says “was in charge of overseeing Blue Book for a while and was the actual general who went down to sort of orchestrate the [UFO] cover-up.”
In the first episode, Project Blue Book‘s Captain Quinn and Dr. J. Allen Hynek are concerned Harding is involved with an ongoing cover-up of what really happened at Roswell. Quinn and Hynek are focused on getting to the truth.
“Pitting our guys against [Harding] as an adversary in the beginning of the season was the focus,” says Jablonski.
As for Area 51, Jablonski says, “you can draw a clean line from Roswell to Area 51.” The popular Roswell UFO mythos is that the material from the crash was taken to Area 51 to be reverse-engineered.
Including Area 51 in the show also served as a tool to introduce the CIA into the story, says Jablonski.
“(The CIA) historically came in and tried to sort of take over (the real) Project Blue Book,” Jablonski claims. “So knowing the CIA had a base of operations at Area 51, again, it’s a great way to sort of dovetail the story.”
Jablonski did not share any further details on how the CIA will factor into the season. We’ll have to watch to find out.
Another change to this season is the role Hynek’s wife, Mimi, plays. Last season Hynek’s involvement with Project Blue Book caused a lot of issues with his marriage. Keeping secrets from your spouse can be hard on a relationship, especially when a sexy Russian spy is trying to seduce your wife while you are away.
“I think the Mimi-Suzy (Russian Spy) storyline was really a smart, creative choice in terms of bringing some interesting things into the show, like the cold war and the Russian spies and that kind of element,” Laura Mennell, who plays Mimi, says. “Mimi was kind of left in the dark about what Quinn and Hynek were up too, but in the second season she’ll be more involved.”
“She’ll also work for Project Blue Book officially,” Mennell continued. “It’s great because she’s not necessarily a scientist, but she has a knack for finding information, and starts making a connection with a civilian UFO group this year.”
In the first episode, we see Mimi connecting with that civilian UFO group to find out more about Roswell. In the process, she begins a friendship with the head of the organization.
“I think this new role that Mimi is starting to embody in terms of getting into the same world as Alan a little bit brings them closer together, which is great for their marriage,” says Mennell.
Jablonski says Mimi’s new role this season “gives a nod to the real-life Mimi Hynek” who he says “wound up editing a lot of his papers and books, and entertained a lot of actual UFO witnesses at the house for dinner.”
“It also gives a different perspective for the audience,” Jablonski adds. “From someone who’s a bit more of a layman and might have a bit more skepticism, and it highlights who she is and brings her out of that traditional fifties housewife.”
Having Jablonski’s ear, I took the opportunity to try and pry out some information about one of the intriguing scenes in a season 2 trailer. At the end of one of the trailers, Quinn and Hynek are watching a film, and Quinn exclaims, “they’re real.” I asked Jablonski, “what’s real?” I was expecting a “wait and see” answer, but what I got was much better.
Jablonski explained that there is a film out there of an alleged autopsy of an alien recovered at the UFO cash in Roswell. He says researchers have debunked the film, but some people still believe it to be real.
“Could it be true? Is the film really out there?” Jablonski teased. “I’ll just say that our guys are watching something on-screen, and whatever Quinn says at that moment is not the end of this story.”
I also have one more tidbit, especially exciting for Spielberg fans. I was fortunate enough to watch the first episode at a special screening with some of Hynek’s real-life family and show creator and writer David O’Leary. I learned that episode six will include a flash-forward portraying Hynek’s involvement with the creation of Spielberg’s UFO movie classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Conspiracy and intrigue abound in the new season of Project Blue Book. After the Area 51 raid fiasco, it should be interesting to see how people react to new Area 51 alien anecdotes. Raid Area 51 part II? Hopefully not.