The first episode of “Project Blue Books,” premiered Tuesday, Jan. 8. It focuses on a 25-year-old National Guard lieutenant’s encounter with an unidentified flying object in the skies above Fargo.

The lieutenant, George Gorman, a B-25 fighter pilot in World War II, told The Forum in October 1948 that the “dogfight” with the UFO was “the weirdest experience of my life.”

According to the archived Forum article:

Flying in a P-51 over what is now North Dakota State University during a football game, Gorman saw another aircraft, but the Hector airport base reported back to him that there were no other planes in the area.

Gorman said the “flying disk” was round with well-defined edges and brilliantly lit. It was circling over the city, and he decided to investigate, and a chase ensued in the Fargo sky.

He tried crashing into it, but the disk dodged him at speeds of 600 mph, he recalled. His aircraft was going at top speeds of about 400 mph, and as he approach the disk, it lit up and burst with speed.

“Once, when the object was coming head on, I held my plane pointed right at it,” Gorman said. “The object came so close that I involuntarily ducked my head because I thought a crash was inevitable. But the object zoomed over my head.”

His story was corroborated by three other people who saw the object. Maj. D. C. Jones, who was commanding the 178th fighter squadron at Hector airport, said Gorman was so shaken by the experience that Gorman had difficulty landing.

The U.S. conducted Project Blue Books between 1947 and 1969 to determine if UFOs were a national security threat. Documents on the project are now declassified and can be viewed online.

In looking through a collection of UFO news clippings from 1947 to 1995 at The Forum, UFO sightings back then were a dime a dozen.

“A flurry of reports of unidentified flying objects were made in North Dakota,” says one August 1965 article. Sifting through the newspaper clippings revealed reports of UFO sightings from Perham and Long Prairie, Minn., to Upham and Minto, N.D.

Countless columns aimed to disprove the sightings, claiming that “flying saucers aren’t for real,” said one article from August 1963. A March 1950 article tried to downplay the UFO hype, saying UFOs aren’t anything new and that, in fact, there were sightings here back in 1897.

But still the Fargo-Moorhead area welcomed “ufologists” in for lectures over the years, and officials investigated reports made by children, adults and law enforcement alike.

This content was originally published here.