Jan 19, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Why We Don’t Get to See the Really Good UFO Documents

Now and again I get asked about "missing government files" (or "hidden files") on UFOs. It's an issue that a lot of people don't seem to understand - and it's also something that demonstrates a great amount of naivety on the part of the questioner. I'll explain what I mean. It relates to both those who believe there are UFO conspiracies and those who don't - but for very different reasons. On many occasions, when I'm in debate with skeptics and debunkers, someone will say something like this: "There can't be any truth to Rendlesham Forest or to Roswell because nothing of any significance has ever surfaced through the Freedom of Information Act." That is such a pathetic and uninformed approach to take. And, it's also a misinformed stance. A few day ago, I used the words "La La Land" in an article here at Mysterious Universe. I'll use it again: "La La Land." I use it because that's where some of the debunkers and skeptics are happy to dwell. The same goes for those who think they actually have a chance in Hell of finding anything significant.

The fact is that numerous countries around the world have FOIA legislation. The long list includes Australia, the U.K., Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Sweden, and Uruguay. In fact, the number of countries that have FOIA legislation is now eight-five. That doesn't mean - as a few debunkers have suggested to me - that the FOIA allows for everything to be released into the public domain. The reason? Because sometimes the material doesn't even make it to the FOIA. Also, sometimes the reason why we don't get to see anything - despite trying to use the Freedom of Information Act - is because of what are known as Special Access Programs (SAPs). You may wonder: what are they? Well, I'll tell you. The Drive say: "For the better part of the last twenty-five years, the manner in which the U.S. government safeguards and restricts access of highly classified information is through a set of compartmentalization protocols termed 'Special Access Programs.' Thanks to the government's love affair with condensing words, most people are likely familiar with this formalized system of security's acronym—'SAP.' For most of us stuck on the outside trying to get an idea of what’s inside, the term 'Special Access Program' is often misunderstood as being itself a classification level. In truth, SAPs are merely a set of security protocols limiting access of sensitive information to only authorized and necessary individuals. Cue the cliché, 'That information is need to know, and you don't have a need to know!'"

The Federation of American Scientists provide us the following: "The procedures for establishing, managing and overseeing special access programs (SAPs) in the Department of Defense are spelled out in an updated DoD Instruction that was issued yesterday.  See 'Management, Administration, and Oversight of DoD Special Access Programs,' DoD Instruction 5205.11, February 6, 2013. A special access program is a classified program that employs security measures above and beyond those that would normally be used to protect ordinary (or 'collateral') classified information. Such measures may include special eligibility reviews, polygraph testing, cover, and other controls on information.  Within DoD, SAPs fall into three broad topical categories: intelligence, acquisition, and operations and support."

Not only that, there's the matter of destroyed documents. If you think that Top Secret files don't get destroyed, you would be very wrong. For example, when, back in the 1990s, the U.S. Government Accountability Office went digging for information on the Roswell affair of 1947,  the GAO said that: "...the Chief Archivist for the National Personnel Records Center provided us with documentation indicating that (1) RAAF records such as finance and accounting, supplies, buildings and grounds, and other general administrative matters from March 1945 through December 1949 and (2) RAAF outgoing messages from October 1946 through December 1949 were destroyed.” So, not only are we up against the SAPs, but now we know that material sometimes gets destroyed and will never be seen again.

The same applies to the aforementioned Rendlesham Forest affair of December 1980. There's no doubt in my mind that what happened in the woods had nothing to do with aliens and everything to do with secret experiments And why can't we find those files via the FOIA? Here's why: one of the claims I've heard on a few occasions is that when the technology designed to make the personnel in the woods believe they were seeing aliens and UFOs (rather than being deceived by advanced holograms, which is the real story), there was no need to continue to keep the original papers. So, for safety and security, it was destroyed. This happens more times than you might think. Here's one example of many. It's the matter of  the CIA’s "mind-control" programs, the most well-known being MK-Ultra, much of which involved the experimental use of psychedelics. Yes, a large amount of that material is still available today, but back in 1973 huge amounts of papers on the programs were burned to a collective shred.

CIA Director Richard Helms chose a man named Sidney Gottlieb to take control of the situation – Gottlieb having been the person who ran the CIA’s occult-driven Operation Often program, which began in the latter part of the 1960s. Helms ordered Gottlieb, on the morning of January 30, 1973, to drive over to a certain installation owned by the CIA in Warrenton, Virginia. And burn as much as possible. Gottlieb followed his orders. The reasoning behind the destruction was simple: the program was in danger of being compromised by the U.S. media and the U.S. Senate. As the work of MK-Ultra, by 1973, had long been perfected, the old, historical records – which told the stories of the abuses that went on in the program – were deemed vital to be destroyed. From Roswell to MK-Ultra and to Rendlesham, files have been destroyed and will never be seen again. As for SAPs, they are a perfect way to to ensure that sensitive material will remain hidden.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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