CIA’s X-Files Drop

With rioters crashing the Capitol just days into the new year, 2021 has got off to a rollicking start. So we probably should have predicted the release of the CIA’s “entire file” on UFOs. The Black Vault, a website devoted to the collection and publication of government records related to UFOs and paranormal phenomena run by John Greenewald, Jr., released the treasure trove of documents after twenty years of Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the CIA dating back to 1996 (when Greenewald was 15).

The records go back to the early 1950s, when officials grew concerned when “so many ‘flying saucers’” were being reported. An April 1976 memo, painted with redactions as it is, still reveals a moment where Assistant Deputy Director for Science & Technology is handed intelligence and, after a brief examination, says he would “personally look into the matter.” The description of the intelligence itself was redacted. Some report? Photographs? Can you request the retraction of redactions through the FOIA?

Several reports focus on UFO sightings across the globe, from a 1957 sighting in Iran, a 1965 document concerning Antarctic Flying Saucers,” a heavily redacted account of 1976 sighting in Morocco, and a 1977 report about “’Unusual’ Natural Phenomena” in the Soviet Republic of Karelia, a province of the Soviet Union adjacent to Finland, where a “huge star suddenly [flared] up in the dark sky” and sent “shafts of light to the earth,” before moving over the city of Petrozavodsk like a “medusa” and then toward nearby Lake Onega. A 1985 report about another Soviet incident 120 miles from Minsk, in present day Belarus, also describes a “large star” seen by an airline crew mid-flight that again sent lights to the earth, amid many other details.

The release follows less than a year after the US. Navy officially acknowledged three incidents, one in 2004 and two in 2015, in which its pilots encountered “unidentified aerial phenomena” that seemed to defy the known laws of physics.

On Thursday of this week, the Navy claimed its top secret briefing slides relating to the 2004 incident, if released as requested by a separate FOIA filing by UFO researcher Christian Lambright, would “cause exceptionally grave damage” to U.S. national security.

None of the recently released evidence provides confirmation of the existence of extraterrestrial visitors to Earth, but the year is still young. If 2021 hopes to outdo 2020, a light show over Devil’s Tower would probably do it.

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