Occasionally, I get asked something along the lines of this: "Why do you place so much faith in the Freedom of Information Act when it comes to looking for UFO data?" Such a question is often posed by those who assume that anything of a Flying Saucer nature that surfaces out of the carefully guarded vaults of officialdom simply has to be faked or disinformation. That, however, is very far from being the case.
I don't dispute - at all - that the official world is sitting on a massive body of data on UFOs that still has yet to see the light of day. And, the unfortunate reality of the situation may mean that it will never see the light of day. But, that doesn't mean the relatively small body of data that has surfaced is without any merit. Quite the opposite, in fact...
As a perfect example of what I'm talking about, an intriguing 1960s case - the details of which surfaced via FOIA and that has undoubted Contactee overtones to it - can be found in the now-declassified UFO files of the FBI. Dating from October 10, 1967, the report – prepared by a special-agent of the FBI – reads as follows:
“A young while female, who refused to give her name, appeared at the Dallas [Texas] FBI Office on October 9, 1967. She stated she is interested in Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and has received a quantity of information concerning beings from outer space. She stated she will not reveal her identity as she would feel like a fool if the information is not true. She stated if it is true, however, she will meet with interested officials and furnish all the information she has, provided nothing is done to endanger her safety.
“She stated in July 1967, she met a being from another planet who had assumed earthly form. He gave her certain information, then he was picked up and departed from the earth on August 21, 1967. She stated she then received messages from non-earthly sources in a manner she refused to discuss. She stated these sources told her of the following:
“1. An anti-missile missile was fired at a UFO over Africa on May 22, 1962, but the UFO was protected by its ‘force field’.
“2. A UFO was detected 22,000 miles from earth by radar about August 6, 1967.
“3. A UFO was detected over Antarctica August 20, 1967.
“4. A UFO was detected over the ‘Dewline’ in the past week and was shot down, and beings from outer space are trying to recover it.
“Informant would furnish no further details. She stated if this information is true, she will know other information she received is true, and will furnish full details. This will include information regarding the destruction of a moon explorer vehicle by beings from outer space, and how those beings shot down the Russian Cosmonaut.
“She stated she fears for her life if it becomes known she contacted officials, as persons who saw UFOs have died mysteriously in the past. She stated if Air Force officials want to contact her she can be reached by a message to a telephone number she has given an FBI agent, and she will meet officials at the Dallas FBI Office only."
There is no doubt that this case is absolutely rich in Contactee-like data. For example, there is the reference to the woman having “received a quantity of information concerning beings from outer space.” She advised the FBI that contact had been made with “a being from another planet who had assumed earthly form.” And, subsequent to the departure of the alien, she had been the recipient of “messages from non-earthly sources” that had come to her attention via “a manner she refused to discuss.”
Unfortunately, a one-page memorandum referring the above-details to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations aside, Dallas FBI records reflect no further contact with the woman at issue. Yet, her claims are not so easy to brush aside as the mere ravings of a deluded soul.
Less than two weeks after the woman visited the Dallas Office of the FBI, the former Soviet Union instigated a semi-official research project aimed at resolving the UFO problem. According to the Soviets, the project had been proposed in the wake of five, then-recent, well-authenticated UFO sightings. Of course, one might suggest that this was mere coincidence, and had no bearing upon the young woman’s claims of significant UFO events – also in 1967. Or, maybe it wasn't coincidence.
What we can say for sure, however, is that - regardless of the true nature of the woman's experiences - we would have no knowledge of the affair if the FOIA did not exist. So, while the act may not be the magic key that opens all the doors to the truth behind Roswell and Area 51, when it comes to UFOs, FOIA still plays a vital and relevant role.