Last week, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified thousands of documents on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) it has collected between the 1940s and the early 1990s, and posted them online.
On January 4, the CIA published “UFOs: Fact or Fiction.” The CIA said the trove of documents mostly contain documents “reporting unsubstantiated UFO sightings in the foreign press and intra-Agency memos about how the Agency handled public inquiries about UFO sightings.”
The new CIA UFO trove includes 243 different downloadable files with names such as “‘FLYING SAUCERS’ IN EAST GERMANY,” “POLICE OFFICERS SPOT UFO; RAPID REACTION FORCE ALERTED” and “U.S. AIR FORCE CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO TO REPORT ON THE UFO’S” to name a few.
The New York Post reported the latest drop of UFO documents comes months before the Pentagon is due to brief Congress on what they know about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), another term to describe UFOs. The latest COVID-19 relief bill gave the Pentagon was given a 180-day deadline to present its UAP information to Congress, starting when the bill was enacted in late December.
John Greenewald Jr., the founder of The Black Vault blog, which documents declassified government documents, told Vice News’ Motherboard that the CIA documents come after years of freedom of information act (FOIA) requests to the agency. The first UFO declassifications under FOIA laws came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but subsequent UFO information has been difficult to obtain ever since.
“Around 20 years ago, I had fought for years to get additional UFO records released from the CIA,” Greenewald told Motherboard in an email. “It was like pulling teeth! I went around and around with them to try and do so, finally achieving it. I received a large box, of a couple thousand pages, and I had to scan them in one page at a time.”
Greenewald’s blog offers download links to the CIA’s latest trove of documents, as well as other UFO documents it has obtained over the years.
Greenewald writes, “Although the CIA claims this is their ‘entire’ collection, there may be no way to entirely verify that. Research by The Black Vault will continue to see if there are additional documents still uncovered within the CIA’s holdings.”
In August, the Pentagon announced it had also formed a task force to study UFOs or UAPs, known as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
“On Aug. 4, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (UAPTF),” Department of Defense spokesperson Sue Gough confirmed in an emailed statement to American Military News in August. “The Department of the Navy, under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, will lead the UAPTF.”