By the mid 1960s the Air Force was becoming increasingly embarrassed by its poorly thought out public statements on UFOs, which were highly criticized by the public. After Congressional hearings were held in response to public complaints, plans were begun to have one or more universities review the Air Force project and study the UFO situation independently. Eventually, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research gave a grant to the University of Colorado for a study to be headed by Dr. Edward U. Condon. From the very beginning, the project was under a cloud of suspicion due to Dr. Condon openly expressing his view in public forums that UFOs were nonsense.
A letter was discovered in the project files in which a prominent leader of the study suggested to university officials that skeptical scientists could be disarmed by assuring them that the study would only appear to be an objective one, and that the researchers were not expecting to find anything significant, in any case. Recently, further documentation has been found which makes it clear that the Air Force was encouraging the university to help them justify closing down Project Blue Book and abandoning open UFO studies.
In early 1969, the $500,000 study was completed and the public received a strangely conflicting report, reminiscent of the conflicting Air Force/Battelle statements 15 years earlier. Dr. Condon dismissed UFOs, reporting that they were without substance or significance. In the body of the report, however, more than 30% of the cases were left without satisfactory explanation. In some instances, the University of Colorado scientists made it clear that they were completely baffled by many things, such as sightings in which visual observations were confirmed by radar trackings.