Jul 13, 2021 I Nick Redfern

UFOs: When Government Documents Can’t be Found

Yesterday's article from me was on a very controversial issue: how a number of potentially important files concerning "radiation experiments" dating back to the 1940s can no longer be found. They're gone. Not to be seen anymore. Etc., etc. Today, I'm going to demonstrate how certain, possibly notable, papers concerning UFOs have vanished. I'll begin with the Roswell affair. On July 28, 1995, the Government Accountability Office's report on the Roswell affair surfaced from its National Security and International Affairs Division. The GAO’s report did not provide any smoking-guns – such as old B&W photos of dead bodies and wreckage at the crash-site on the Foster Ranch, New Mexico. The report did, however, provide something interesting and controversial. A wealth of papers from the Roswell base were missing. As the Government Accountability Office (back then, the General Accounting Office) said:

paper 570x302
Roswell UFO Incident

"In addition to unit history reports, we also searched for other government records on the Roswell crash. In this regard, 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." When the GAO demanded to know the reasons behind this development, they got an answer, as GAO files note: "According to this official [the Chief Archivist for the National Personnel Records Center], the document disposition form did not properly indicate the authority under which the disposal action was taken. The Center’s Chief Archivist stated that from his personal experience, many of the Air Force organizational records covering this time period were destroyed without entering a citation for the governing disposition authority. Our review of records control forms showing the destruction of other records - including outgoing RAAF messages for 1950 - supports the Chief Archivist’s viewpoint."

Some Ufologists believe this is evidence that the government  (a) destroyed the files to prevent people, today, learning more of the Roswell affair; and/or (b) because of something else; something that went back to as far back as 1945 and, therefore, can't be relevant, because the Roswell event occurred in 1947. Whatever the truth of the matter, it still comes down to one thing: a significant number of files from the Roswell base from the 1940s cannot be located. Now, onto another famous UFO case: Between December 26 and 29, 1980, multiple UFO encounters occurred within Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England that involved military personnel from the nearby Royal Air Force stations of Bentwaters and Woodbridge. According to numerous U.S. Air Force operatives, a small, triangular-shaped object was seen maneuvering in the forest – as were, some said, near-spectral, alien-style entities. And although the incident has been the subject of a significant number of books, intense media coverage and even parliamentary questioning, it continues to provoke furious debate within the UFO research community. And that debate was reignited only very recently when it emerged that certain files on the affair – that originated within the murky world of defense-intelligence – appear to be "unavailable."

In a July 31, 1994 lecture at Leeds, England, Colonel Charles Halt, (USAF), one of those that had witnessed the strange object in Rendlesham Forest) divulged his recollections of what had occurred fourteen-years previously. During the course of his lecture, Halt astounded the audience by revealing something that had been hitherto unknown: an unscheduled C141 transporter aircraft arrived at Woodbridge just hours after the initial encounter, and a group of "special individuals" departed from the aircraft, headed straight out of Woodbridge’s East Gate, and disappeared into the forest. It should be noted, too, that the C141 is a huge aircraft, fully equipped to carry freight, vehicle payloads and troops. With all of that activity going on, you would think at least some files would be created. Nothing has appeared yet, though.

Moving onto Australia, in the summer of 2011, the Australian Department of Defense admitted to having misplaced a UFO file that should have been packed with reports. Natalie Carpenter, of the nation’s Freedom of Information Office, responded to media inquiries by stating that, "The files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost." UFO researcher-author Whitley Strieber made a very good observation, on June 6, 2011: "Last week, the Australian government announced that it has 'lost' its UFO files. Thus it joins the United States, which 'lost' all the files relating to the Roswell AFB dating from 1947 through 1952, and the United Kingdom, which recently announced that it has 'lost' all the files relating to the Rendlesham Forest UFO Case." Hmm.

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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