The CIA Has Released a CD-ROM (????) of Information On UFOs

Illustration for article titled The CIA Has Released a CD-ROM (????) of Information On UFOs
Photo: Luis ROBAYO / AFP (Getty Images)

Not to sound like a YouTube Conspiracy vlogger, but I am back with another update on the U.F.O.-related secrets that the government is now legally obligated to reveal, thanks to the December covid-19 relief bill. Although the Pentagon technically has 180 days to compile and present their report on U.F.O.s to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA has preemptively released thousands of documents on U.F.O.s—which the government refers to as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP).

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The Black Vault, a clearinghouse for declassified documents operated by John Greenewald Jr., has released a downloadable archive full of these documents on UAPs, some dating all the way back to the 1980s.

“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.”

According to Greenewald, who first began researching and gathering information on UAPs at the age of 15, it took approximately 10,000 Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests to acquire the CIA files in the downloadable archive. In order to distribute the documents, the CIA created a CD-ROM (yes, you read that correctly), containing both records that had been previously released as well as the documentation that the Black Vault had been attempting to unseal.

However, Greenewald is understandably skeptical of the way the information was presented—who even owns a CD player anymore?

“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 They offer a format that is very outdated (multi page .tif) and offer text file outputs, largely unusable, that I think they intend to have people use as a “search” tool. In my opinion, this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to see the documents, and use them, for any research purpose.”

The CIA claims that these documents are all of the information on UAPs that they have, but there’s no way to verify that statement.

If you’re still skeptical, feel free to comb through The Black Vault’s downloadable PDFs yourself—maybe you’ll find something in the declassified documents to convince you that we’re not alone in this universe.

Freelance writer & night blogger at Jezebel. Lover of television, astrology, and sandwiches.

DISCUSSION

See, this is a great move for secrecy because they know that nobody has a functional cd-drive anymore.