Black Vault releases CIA UFO documents, making them accessible online
Federal documents on UFOs, once worlds away, are now accessible on the World Wide Web for free.
Vice’s Motherboard first reported Monday that The Black Vault, an online clearinghouse for declassified documents, has published an archive of thousands of downloadable documents containing PDFs consisting of CIA files on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), what the government prefers to call them.
Podcaster and author John Greenwald Jr., who runs The Black Vault, says the CIA claims these are all of its documents regarding UAPs, some of which date back to the 1980s. There is no way, however, of knowing if this is true. Greenwald obtained these documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“Research by The Black Vault will continue to see if there are additional documents still uncovered within the CIA’s holdings,” Greenwald vowed in a statement on his website.
The release comes less than six months before the Pentagon is set to report to Congress on all they know about UAPs—which late December’s COVID-19 relief omnibus bill scheduled the date of.
Because they were being inundated by requests for information about aliens and UAPs, the CIA acquiesced and compiled the documents onto a CD-ROM. After about 10,000 FOIA requests, Greenwald eventually obtained the CD-ROM, divided it into dozens of PDFs, and uploaded them to The Black Vault.
Moreover, he continually made these requests over the past two decades, he wrote in a January 7 blog post.
“The CIA has made it INCREDIBLY difficult to use their records in a reasonable manner,” he told Motherboard. “They offer a format that is very outdated (multi page .tif) and offer text file outputs, largely unusable, that I think they intend to have people use as a “search” tool.”
“In my opinion,” he added, “this outdated format makes it very difficult for people to see the documents, and use them, for any research purpose.”
In his comments to Motherboard, Greenwald also delved into his motivations driving his decades of work.
“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 [Defense Intelligence Agency]. 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.”
Notably, there is a heavily redacted document displays that a former CIA assistant deputy director for science and technology “exhibited interest” in a specific unnamed object.
“He decided he would personally look into it, and after, he gave advice on moving forward. That advice is classified,” Greenwald tweeted from the Black Vault Twitter account.
Following the publicity the UAP documents on Black Vault have been getting, Greenwald said Tuesday that his website has been receiving millions of hits in the past 24 hours, so many hits that his server is getting “SLAMMED”.
“In the past 24 hours: 111,000+ people generated 4.5 MILLION+ hits on my servers, and downloaded 5+ TERRABYTES worth of data,” he tweeted Tuesday morning. “And today, appears it may be much bigger.”
“There’s no hiding from the fact that the @CIA #UFO documents story is now viral… and my server, although has been rockin’ it up until [now], is getting SLAMMED at the moment,” he tweeted in the afternoon. “And, well, she’s kinda laggin’ a bit as a result. Be patient. It’s working – just slow!”
Recently, especially during the past year, there has been a surge of interest in extraterrestrials coupled with a spike in UFO reports.
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense declassified video captured by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015. The story first went viral when it was first leaked by To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a group that researches UFOs founded by former Blink-182 guitarist and co-vocalist Tom DeLonge in 2017.
In a statement from the Defense Department at the time, it said: “After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.