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A massive collection of 130,000 pages of government UFO documents is now available for free online, thanks to one man's use of Freedom of Information Act requests.
For the past 20 years, John Greenwald has been requesting and collecting UFO-related documents from the government, reports ABC News. He has now posted the entire collection online for public perusal at his website The Black Vault. Most of the documents are from a U.S. Air Force project known as Project Blue Book, spanning the years from 1947 through 1969. Among the 12,618 UFO sightings investigated by Project Blue Book were 701 sightings which were not able to be fully explained.
How was Greenwald able to amass this impressive collection of government documents?
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act is a part of federal law under which members of the public can request copies of records maintained by a federal agency. These requests have become a valuable tool for those looking to either confirm or debunk theories regarding government knowledge of unidentified flying objects, which some believe to have extraterrestrial origins.
In 2013, the government released declassified CIA reports confirming the existence of Area 51 following one such Freedom of Information Act request. Area 51 has long played a role in UFO lore as the government facility where UFO technology and even extraterrestrial beings have been hidden away. The reports released under the FOIA request, however, made no mention of either.
FOIA Requests Can Be Denied, Take Years to Complete
Though FOIA requests can be powerful tools, they may not always be granted. In some circumstances, government agencies may be allowed to refuse to release information in response to a FOIA request. Wading through the administrative and procedural hurdles of FOIA requests may also be time-consuming, in some instances taking years to be fulfilled.
But for those, like Greenwald, who are able to persevere and get the documents they desire, FOIA requests certainly seem to be worth the effort. "When I look at the documentation, I'm a believer, based on that," Greenwald told ABC News about his belief that the government knows more than it has let on about the UFO phenomenon. "I believe the documentation proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a coverup going on."