Question: Just one question from the mists of my childhood memories. I remember a U.S. show that was broadcast on regional Italian TV in the late '70s. It told stories of two agents (maybe FBI) trying to shed light on UFOs. They went to talk with people who claimed they saw UFOs or starships and sometimes it turned out that they were only fantasies or optical effects. Something like The X-Files' grandparent. Do you remember anything about this series? Thank you in advance and ciao da Firenze! Luigi, Florence, Italy
Televisionary: That I do, Luigi. You're thinking of NBC's Project UFO, which ran from February 1978 through August of the following year.
From TV legend Jack Webb (Dragnet, Emergency! Adam-12) and real-life Air Force UFO investigator Col. William Coleman, the show took us through the investigations of Capt. Ben Ryan (Edward Winter), his partner Maj. Jake Gatlin (William Jordan) and, later, his replacement partner Sgt. Harry Fitz (Caskey Swaim).
The show drew from the Air Force's Project Blue Book, which Coleman had overseen, and related tales inspired by real cases. As you say, many were explained by earthly, though strange, phenomena, but others were left unsolved and open-ended, as were many of the real files. (And X-Files creator Chris Carter was a fan of this show, which served as partial inspiration for his hit series.)