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Millions of documents about UFO sightings declassified by CIA

The Black Vault website has published a dossier with more than 700 documents about UFO sightings and its research dating back to 1970 which were declassified by CIA.

The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified a trove of more than 700 documents about unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings and its research dating back to 1970 which was published on The Black Vault website.

The scanned pages containing claims about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) – the government’s official term for what are commonly called UFOs – was published on The Black Vault website on Thursday after its founder John Greenewald Jr spent the past two decades suing the intelligence agency to release the records.

Read: Video showing ‘UFO landing’ at ocean goes viral, FAA confirms reports

The dossier was released ahead of a June deadline for US intelligence agencies to reveal everything they know about UFOs to Congress under a clause slipped into the $2.3trillion coronavirus relief bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in December.

It revealed a few perplexing examples of UAP sightings after the ‘one-tenth’ documents were reviewed from Black Vault’s database.

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

Urgent UFO information in 1976

Greenewald said he is determined to uncover more through further FOIA [Freedom to Information Act] requests regarding a report about seemingly urgent UFO information being hand-delivered to an Assistant Deputy Director for Science & Technology at the CIA in April 1976.

Most details about the information were redacted in the document.

Read: UFO fears: Onlookers stunned by mysterious lights changing formation in night sky

The document states: ‘We contacted A/DDS&T (Dr [redacted]) to see if he knew of any UFO program and also to answer the questions posed by [redacted].

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

‘Dr [redacted] exhibited interest in [redacted] which was handcarried to his office. After a short examination of its contents Dr [redacted] advised us that he would personally look into the matter and get back to us.’

A second document from June of 1976 appears to request an update on the review, but there is no record of the ordeal after that.

‘Mysterious blast’ in Russian town in 1991

In another report, CIA officials discuss the possibility that UFOs were behind a ‘mysterious blast’ in the small Russian town of Sasovo – about 400 kilometers southwest of Moscow – in 1991.

Residents reported seeing a ‘fiery sphere’ descend from the sky before a shockwave tore through the town, leveling an entire block.

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

The report said investigators had failed to come to a conclusion about the cause of the explosion, leaving open the possibility of UFOs.

It states: ‘Some people are talking about munitions left buried since the last war, while others claim that a powerful bomb fell. A third group blame it on a meteorite, and a fourth group blame UFOs… There are people who supposedly saw a moving “fiery sphere”.

UFO sighting at air force base in 1978

Several of the files appeared to reference the same incident, in which a possible UFO was sighted at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in 1978.

The reports refer to someone named Dr Leon Davidson who made multiple requests for information about the matter and did not appear to be getting any response.

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

He is believed to be the same Dr Leon Davidson who studied UFOs for decades beginning in 1949, according to Columbia University, which was gifted a collection of the engineer’s research on the subject after his death in 2007.

In a fourth report on the correspondence – which indicates that the case is ‘closed’ – the author states that Davidson was writing an article about the incident entitled: ‘The Air Force and the Saucers, Part Three: The Central Intelligence Agency becomes involved with Saucers.’

Read: Pentagon launches task force to investigate UFO sightings by military aircraft

It indicates that the CIA did provide Davidson with some information, but does not disclose what that information was.

In the final report on the matter, the author indicates that the CIA will no longer be responding to Davidson’s correspondence.

Wright-Patterson AFB has long been linked to conspiracy theories about alien life, after serving as the headquarters of an Air Force program- dubbed ‘Project Blue Book’, which studied UFOs from 1947 to 1969.

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

Over the course of those two decades the project garnered more than 12,600 reports of UFO sightings – 701 of which were never ‘identified’, according to the Dayton Daily News.

UFO sighted in Morocco in 1976

One of the most heavily-redacted documents reviewed by DailyMail.com is dated September 23, 1976, and features the words: ‘To immediate director – with personal request to investigate UFO sighted in Morocco.’

The full-page report is covered in 25 black lines that appeared to have been made directly with a pen. The report was first approved for release in February of 2010, a footnote indicates.

Many of the files are similarly redacted to remove nearly every little detail beyond the word UFO.

personal request
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

Some in the mix merely mention the keywords ‘UFO’, ‘UAP’ or ‘extraterrestrial’ in the context of unrelated topics, offering little to no insight about the CIA’s overall knowledge about those keywords.

For example, one document entitled ‘Hypervelocity Test Techniques Discussed’ describes a French study of a force which could be used to deflect UFOs – defined in the document as ‘undesired flying objects’ – not unidentified ones.

Another document joined the pile because it features a newspaper column about a Bosnian fugitive, in which the author mocks the Pentagon’s failure to find the man despite ‘communicating regularly with extraterrestrial beings’.

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Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

‘It was like pulling teeth’

John Greenewald Jr began investigating the US government’s research on UFOs when he was just 15 years old in 1996. He described his painstaking efforts to Motherboard on Monday, saying he filed countless Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to unseal the records.

‘Around 20 years ago, I had fought for years to get additional UFO records released from the CIA,’ Greenewald said.

‘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.’

black vault

The dossier contains both the records that Greenewald requested and others that the CIA had already released publicly and compiled into a CD, which Black Vault purchased last year.

In a blog post Greenewald noted that while the CIA claims it has released all of its UAP documents, there is no way to verify whether some documents may have been withheld.

In a Twitter thread on Tuesday he explained how the records available on the CIA’s website are incomplete, despite the agency ‘giving the illusion’ that everything is there, as well as the ‘outdated (multi page .tif) format is far from user-friendly.

He posted screengrabs of a CIA site search which produced 415 results for UFO-related FOIA requests – compared to the 713 files on the Black Vault.

Read: Mysterious UFO spotted over US city, video goes viral

Despite the inconvenience, Greenewald said thousands of people had already downloaded the archive on the first day it was posted on the Black Vault.

He’s offering the archive for free but set up a Patreon account for anyone who wants to donate money to support his past and future efforts to uncover CIA records.

‘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.’

Six-month deadline

UFO detectives like Greenewald may soon have even more intel to sift through, with the upcoming deadline for US intelligence agencies to submit an unclassified report about ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ to congressional intelligence and armed services committees.

The director of National Intelligence and the secretary of defense have just under six months to do so, after a stipulation in the ‘committee comment’ section of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 was included in the huge bill, according to CNN.

ufo sightings documents declassified cia black vault
Image Courtesy: Dailymail UK

The Senate intelligence committee’s directive said that the report should be unclassified, but it can contain a classified annex. Therefore, it is unlikely to reveal the discovery of extra-terrestrial life reaching earth.

It does, however, state that the report must contain detailed analysis of UFO data and intelligence collected by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and the FBI.

Detail of ‘an interagency process for ensuring timely data collection and centralized analysis of all unidentified aerial phenomena reporting for the Federal Government’ must be included, and it should designate an official responsible for that process.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed the requirement for the report to the fact-checking website Snopes.

Pentagon’s short videos

In April last year, the Pentagon released three short videos – one from 2004 and two from 2015 – that showed ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’, which had earlier been confirmed to be real by the US Navy.

The videos, recorded by infrared cameras, showed what appeared to be unidentified flying objects quickly moving across the sky.

In the background of two of the videos, service members can be heard reacting as they watch the objects, with one speculating it could be a drone.

In August, the Pentagon announced that it was setting up a task force to investigate the objects, but it is still unclear what the objects are or where they came from.

Read: Mystery behind ‘UFO’ in jungle resolved!

Both Pentagon officials and members of Congress have been concerned about the appearance of unidentified objects flying over US military bases, with some suggesting the objects in the video could be drones collecting intelligence.

In June last year, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to have the Pentagon and intelligence community provide public analysis of such encounters.

This is not the first time the Pentagon has investigated aerial encounters with UFOs, having previously studied recordings of such incidents as part of a classified program launched by former Senator Harry Reid, that has since been shut down.

That program was launched in 2007 and closed in 2012, the Pentagon says, after it decided there were higher priority areas that required funding.

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