CIA Declassified Files Include UFO Sightings

CIA Declassified Files Include UFO Sightings
Picture: National Archives

The CIA has finally caved in to demands made by freedom of information campaigners, including a lawsuit brought against it by MuckRock, and released around 930,000 declassified files, including those related to UFO sightings from around the world. Of the 1,500 or so official UFO reports released since 1947, the CIA has stated that around 20% continue to remain unexplained.

While much of the information released was previously accessible from four computer terminals located at the National Archives in Maryland, the CIA has now posted the extensive cache of documents online for everyone to read, irrespective of their geographical location. The information, which includes UFO photos and analysis, will obviously take a long time to scrutinize, but at a quick glance it’s also fair to say that UFO enthusiasts hoping to find hard evidence of  alien encounters will most likely find themselves disappointed by an initial perusal of the cases compiled by the CIA. Meanwhile, more ardent  conspiracy theorists will undoubtedly be quick to dismiss the data as just those cases that “The Company” felt comfortable releasing at this time.

The information did, however, provide an insight into the importance the CIA attached to investigating such cases, with the foreign intelligence service having sought out enhanced cooperation from the Pentagon in documenting and reporting numerous sightings across the globe, including in the former USSR. A chief concern for the advisory committee dealing with UFO sighting was the USA’s national security, and as reported on news outlet RT:

“The USAF also highlights the three major reasons for taking UFO sightings so seriously: air defense and the elimination of any potential threats to the United States or its armed forces; to determine the technical or scientific characteristics of such UFOs and thus maintain military intelligence and technological dominance; to explain or identify all such instances in order to maintain strategic readiness in all eventualities.”

Amongst the more bizarre cases of UFO sightings reported was an incidence which apparently occurred in June 1966 on the Iranian/USSR border in which a “brilliant white sphere.. three times the size of a full Moon” appeared in the sky for five minutes before disappearing. Another case that also occurred in June 1996 involves two Lithuanian police officers on border patrol who spotted a spherical object hanging in the air and “pulsing”, while emitting “a strange sound like an electric or electronic crackle.”

“Vehicle loads of soldiers from the ARAS rapid reaction force, sniffer dogs and police reinforcements immediately arrived on the scene of the emergency.. When they moved about 50 metres through the long grass, the police said the sphere moved away, rose higher and rapidly departed in the direction of Vilnius.”

Other such bizarre reports mentioned in the cache include photos of UFOs flying over the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and a New Mexico State police officer spoting an oval shaped flying object which landed and left trace evidence behind. With numerous sightings reported across South America, Europe and the rest of the world, and so much material to sift through, ranging from sketchy to more substantial, ufologists and conspiracy theorists will most likely find themselves occupied for some time to come.

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