Conspiracy theorists and UFO enthusiasts will be busy for a few days as the CIA released approximately 1,000 pages of documents in response to a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.
The Black Vault published what the CIA claims is everything it has on UFOs.
John Greenewald Jr says there’s no way of verifying that assertion, the collection is exhaustive with 2,780 hand-scanned pages in a data dump of sighting reports, interviews, anecdotes and stories from around the world.
“Originally, the CIA would only release about 1,000 pages that had been previously disclosed after a [Freedom of Information Act] court case in the 1980s. They never addressed the records that were dated in the years after the case,” Greenwald wrote.
“The Black Vault spent years fighting for them, and many were released in the late 1990s. However, over time, the CIA made a CD-ROM collection of UFO documents, which encompassed the original records, along with the ones that took years to fight for.”
“Around 20 years ago, I had fought for years to get additional UFO records released from the CIA,” Greenewald said in an email to Motherboard. “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.”
The CD-Rom, outdated files and mass dump of information makes it’s difficult to read.
“Researchers and curious minds alike prefer simplicity and accessibility when they look at data dumps such as these,” Greenewald said. “The CIA has made it INCREDIBLY difficult to use their records in a reasonable manner. They offer a format that is very outdated (multi page .tif) and offer text file outputs, largely unusable, that I think they intend to have people use as a “search” tool. In my opinion, this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to see the documents, and use them, for any research purpose.”
Greenwald notes a Assistant Deputy Director for Science & Technology was hand-delivered some piece of information on a UFO in the 1970s.
The first UFO information to be declassified under FOIA laws came in the 1970s and early 1980s and then it became exceptionally difficult to obtain information from the government regarding extraterrestrial phenomena.
“Plain and simple, the public has a right to know!” Greenewald said. “When I began researching nearly 25 years ago at the age of 15, I knew there was something to this topic. Not because of viral internet hoaxes. Not because of back door meetings wherein I can’t tell you who, but I promise it was mind-blowing information. No, none of that. It was simply because of the evidence that I got straight from the CIA. And the NSA. And the Air Force. And the DIA. I feel I am achieving what I set out to do. Easy access, to important material, for people to make up their own minds on what is going on.”