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Weird and Wonderful Government Publications: Home

There are some odd and interesting materials published by various government agencies. This is a place to share those strange and the stunning materials.

Fun With Food

Get Ready for Holiday Entertaining with Government Publications

Many different government agencies have published recipe books. Here are a few recipes.

NOTE: Many of these recipes and methods are old and outdated. They may NOT be safe by modern health and safety standards. 

Throughout the years, food safety has always been a concern (even if some of these older recipes don't reflect current standards). 


 

Ingredients

Food Safety often highlights safe handling of ingredients.

Many government publications address ingredients for reasons other than food safety - such as war time rationing.

Instructions & Recipes

Diplomacy and Food - Hey 2021-2022 History Day Students!

State Dinners is a suggested topic for the 2021-2022 History Day theme of Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences. Check History Day web guides for more resources.

Connecticut State Library

Cover of CT Library Echo newsletter, 1928 DecemberThis recipe was shared at a potluck of Connecticut State Library staff a few years ago. It was found in a 1928 newsletter for the Connecticut State Library staff. Several old recipes were passed around for staff amusement and most agreed this dish sounded awful. Thank goodness it was not served! Raw eggs are not safe to eat.

Snow on the Mountain

1 cup of nuts, 2 cups of pineapple,
two cups of white grapes, 3 cups of
marshmallows. Peel grapes, and seed.
Cut pineapple, marshmallows and nuts
in small pieces. The dressing:
Yolks of four eggs, juice of 4 lemons,
1/2 teaspoon mustard, 1/2 cup of whip
cream. Do not add whipped dream [sic] until
dressing is cold. Then mix together
with the salad. Place in ice box and
let stand overnight. Serve on lettuce
leaves with a tablespoon of whipped
cream on top of each and sprinkle with
paprika. 
Tested and approved:
Minerva Norris

"Come Into The Kitchen", State Library Echo, Vol. V, no.2, December 1928, page 11.  https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/30002%3A21972804#page/12/mode/1up

Library of Congress (LOC)

The Library of Congress is one of the best digital collections in USA - in my opinion.

They have many blogs for the different divisions - and these blog posts usually highlight great resources in LOC.

Other Libraries

Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are links to other libraries' guides on food and nutrition. Just know, that these are not necessarily Weird or Wonderful. They just might be useful!

Featured items

saucer shaped aircraft with U.S.A.F. written on it

A look at unidentified flying objects, (UFOs) and the government

The report Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena was submitted to Congress on June 25th. This is not the first report of its kind and probably won’t be the last. How did we get here?


The FBI and the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena

Government interest in UFOs gates back to at least 1947 when the FBI was collecting information on the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena. NICAP was an organization that pushed for congressional investigations of UFOs. They published reports including The UFO evidence, by Richard H. Hall,  1964 which stated “This report is an attempt to clarify the reliable evidence of UFOs, and to remove the fog mysticism and crackpotism which has helped obscure the real issues.” - National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena.

Their efforts payed of with members of congress taking up the issue: 

“Again and again officials pooh-pooh the sightings or the stories. Yet the National Investigating Committee on Aerial Phenomena -NICAP- has accumulated a book of sightings going back more than a decade reporting many instances of dual pilot corroboration by radar and otherwise. The most recent reported instance of UFO's was that in Colorado last week in connection with the carcass of a horse from which the brain cavity had reportedly been emptied.” Investigation of Unidentified Flying Objects- 1967 Con. Rec. 10/16/1967, 28949

The FBI Vault has newspaper clippings, letters, memos and other documents related to the NICAP.

National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP)- FBI Vault.
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) Part 1 of 3
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) Part 2 of 3
National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) Part 3 of 3

The FBI Vault also has a 16 part series of documents on UFO sightings from 1947-1954.

 


Project Blue Book, U.S. Air Force and Flying Saucers

Project Blue Book was one of several U.S. Air Force investigations into UFOs. Their documentation was transferred to the National Archives. The materials include home movies and are highlighted in the NARA blog The Unwritten Record. The FBI also collected information on this program which is available in the FBI Vault. Project Bluebook- 1947-1969.

In 1966 testimony was given by the Secretary of the Air Force, Harold Brown. Regarding UFO he stated: "the past 18 years of investigating unidentified flying objects have not identified any threat to our national security, or evidence of extraterrestrial vehicles” (Unidentified flying objects : hearing by Committee on Armed Forces of the House of Representatives, Eighty-ninth Congress, second session. April 5, 1966, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. 5592).

In the 1950s the U.S. Air Force was working on developing a saucer-shaped aircraft (image at the top of this page). There is speculation that Project 1794  is the origin of the flying saucer sightings. Project 1794, Final Development Summary Report (d.1956)

In 1966 the University of Colorado was chosen by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to manage a program to study UFOs.  This was known as the University of Colorado UFO Project (Condon Committee) 1966-1968. Their 1968 report: Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, Conducted by the University of Colorado Under Contract to the United States Air Force, was reviewed by the National Academy of Science which issued Hypotheses of Extraterrestrial Origin.

 


 

Congress

Since their constituents were interested the subject of UFOs was repeatedly brought up in congress.

In 1957 Congressman Roland Libonati spoke on Flying Saucers and what the Air Force knew about this aerial phenomena (con. rec. 1958, pg 11657). A new twist on UFO story was added in 1967 when Congressman Wyman spoke on UFOs and an incident in Colorado with a horse (Con, Rec. 10/16/1967. 28949).

A hearing on July 29, 1968 called the Symposium on unidentified flying objects included six scientists who spoke to congress about UFOs. Professor J. Allan Hynek, in his opening statement says "The UFO problem has been with us now for many years. It would be difficult to find another subject which has claimed as much attention in the world press, in conversation of people of all walks f life, which has captured the imagination of so many over so long a period of time.”

Steven H. Schiff (Rep. New Mexico) made inquiries into UFO sightings in his state and received the July 1995 report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) on the Roswell Incident. This 26 page report shows where the GAO searched for documentation and the responses of various agencies. The report stated "After nearly 50 years, speculation continues on what crashed at Roswell. Some observers believe that the object was of extraterrestrial origin. In the July 1994 Report of Air Force Research Regarding the Roswell Incident, the Air Force did not dispute that something happened near Roswell, but reported that the most likely source of the wreckage was from a balloon-launched classified government project designed to determine the state of Soviet nuclear weapons research. The debate on what crashed at Roswell continues.”

 


Roswell and cows

In 1974, the FBI responded to Nebraska Senator Curtis that they were unable to investigate cattle mutilations due to a lack of jurisdiction- the cattle had not been moved across state lines. They provided a similar response to Colorado Senator Haskell (Animal Mutilations part 1).

In 1979 there were reports of mutilations on Indian Reservations in New Mexico that this fell within the FBI’s jurisdiction. An investigation in New Mexico resulted in Operation animal mutilation: report of the district attorney first judicial district, state of New Mexico Kenneth M. Rommel, 1981. In the 1980s theories on the possible culprits included Satanists, witches, pranksters, unknown government agencies, and extraterrestrial visitors (see part 5 of 5).

The FBI Vault has reports, correspondence, and news clippings.

Animal Mutilation Part 1 of 5
Animal Mutilation Part 2 of 5

Animal Mutilation Part 3 of 5

Animal Mutilation Part 4 of 5

Animal Mutilation Part 5 of 5

The GAO report didn't have enough answers and readers wanted more. What crashed in the desert outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947? X-Files fans wanted to know! These volumes are seeped in Cold War intrigue, science experiments, and conspiracy!

The Roswell Report: Fact Versus Fiction in the New Mexico Desert (1995)

The Roswell report : case closed (1997)


Bibliographies

There was so much interest that the Library of Congress was compiling bibliographies of literature related to the issue. These sources are a great resource for those who would like to dive deeply into UFO lore.

UFO’s And Related Subjects: an annotated bibliography, compiled by Lynn Cato, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, 1969. The creation of this bibliography was under the direction of Dr. Edward Condon, of the University of Colorado.

Unidentified flying objects : a selected bibliography, compiled by Kay Rodgers, Library of Congress, 1976  

Vicki Tate of USA  Marx Library compiled this great bibliography: UFOs & UAPs, Unidentified Flying Objects or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena


2020- the UFO question returns

Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) 2004-2012 was part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. AATIP did not issue any public reports but is considered the forerunner of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force. This task force is included in The Intelligence Authorization act for Fiscal Year 2021 (June 17, 2020)  where is was charged to “standardize collection and reporting on unidentified aerial phenomenon, any links they have to adversarial foreign governments, and the threat they pose to U.S. military assets and installations.” This task force was established on August 4, 2020.

 

Want more? The NSA has an extensive list of UFO related materials.

 

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of government information

Have you ever seen a report or a pamphlet that made you smile? Or made you wonder what the heck was going on? This guide seeks to shine a light on these official oddities and treasures past and present.

Best.Titles.Ever

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Disclaimer

Using the language of Library of Congress disclaimers:

This blog does not represent official Government Documents Round Table (GODORT)  communications.

Links to external Internet sites on this GODORT web page do not constitute GODORT's endorsement of the content of their web sites or of their policies or products.

And adapting  National Archives (NARA) language:

This blog may link to some content that may be harmful or difficult to view. Government publications span the history of the United States (and earlier), and it is libraries' charge to preserve and make available these historical records. As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. In addition, some of the materials may relate to violent or graphic events and are preserved for their historical significance. 

Especially with older publications.