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FW: "Top Secret Umbra"--X Files Opened: The National Security Agency's UFO Investigations Unearthed

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  • David Crockett Williams
    From: Jack Sarfatti [mailto:sarfatti@pacbell.net] Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:53 PM To: David Crockett Williams Cc: Dan Smith; Dick Farley Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 17, 2005
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      From: Jack Sarfatti [mailto:sarfatti@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:53 PM
      To: David Crockett Williams
      Cc: Dan Smith; Dick Farley
      Subject: Re: "Top Secret Umbra"--X Files Opened: The National Security Agency's UFO Investigations Unearthed



      On Nov 16, 2005, at 8:39 PM, David Crockett Williams wrote:

      how super-secret agency like the NSA became caught up in the UFO phenomenon





      X Files Opened: The National Security Agency's UFO Investigations Unearthed


      Leonard David

      Senior Space Writer


      Wed Nov 16, 3:00 PM ET


      There is one question that persistently circles the community of

      Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) true-believers: If the government has

      nothing to hide, UFO fans often ask, then why is it keeping so many UFO

      records under lock and key?


      "Well, it turns out that the government does have something to hide, but it

      has nothing to do with extraterrestrials," said Steven Aftergood, director

      of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American

      Scientists in Washington , D.C.


      js---Commies! ;-)



      A document has surfaced that had been stamped "Top Secret Umbra"--the

      codeword for the highest, most sensitive category of communications




      The once-classified affidavit was originally filed by the National Security

      Agency (NSA) in a 1980 lawsuit to justify the withholding of records on

      UFOs. The document is largely declassified--with certain sections cut out,

      ostensibly to protect employee names, and keep NSA technologies, skills, and

      foreign connections out of the limelight.



      The document--In Camera Affidavit of Eugene F. Yeates: Citizens Against UFO

      Secrecy v. National Security Agency, October 9, 1980--was released in

      redacted form on November 3 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (

      FOIA) request from researcher Michael Ravnitzky and posted on the website of

      the Federation of American Scientists.



      Foreign signals



      A read of the document yields insight into how a super-secret agency like

      the NSA became caught up in the UFO phenomenon.



      Created in November 1952, The National Security Agency/Central Security

      Service is America 's cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and

      performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government

      information systems and churns out foreign signals intelligence information.




      Being a high-tech organization, the NSA is a cutting-edge home for

      communications and data processing. It is also a center for foreign language

      analysis and research within the government.



      The just-released 1980 document explains that a total of 239 documents

      related to UFOs were located in NSA files, with 79 of those documents

      originating with other government agencies. One document is an account by an

      NSA official attending a UFO symposium. A healthy chunk of these reports

      were produced between 1958 and 1979.



      Deceptive data



      The titles of NSA-related UFO documents that are noted in the declassified

      document are intriguing, such as UFO Hypothesis and Survival Questions.



      Another title cited is UFO's and the Intelligence Community Blind Spot to

      Surprise or Deceptive Data. In this seven-page, undated, unofficial draft of

      a monograph authored by an unnamed NSA employee, the author reportedly

      points out what he considers to be "a serious shortcoming" in the NSA's

      communications intelligence (COMINT) interception and reporting procedures.

      That is, "the inability to respond correctly to surprising information or

      deliberately deceptive data."



      The unidentified author uses the UFO phenomenon to illustrate his belief

      that the inability of the U.S. intelligence community to process this type

      of unusual data adversely affects U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities.



      Within the pages of the newly-released affidavit--and between sections of

      excised copy--it shows NSA intercepted in 1971 communications between two

      aircraft and a ground controller discussing a "phenomena" in the sky, as

      well as radar screen observations, labeling what was viewed as

      "unidentifiable" objects.



      Other intercepted and decrypted reports of bright lights, luminous objects,

      and unidentified aircraft--along with an elongated ball of fire--scooting

      through the skies over non-U.S. countries are noted too.



      Intercept operations



      The 21-page affidavit makes clear that release of documents for public

      scrutiny, for a variety of reasons, "would seriously damage the ability of

      the United States to gather this vital intelligence information."


      Furthermore, how the NSA works with a network of foreign sources,

      organizations, and other governments to secure intelligence data would be

      adversely affected.


      The majority of these records, explained NSA official Eugene F. Yeates in

      the 1980 affidavit, were communications intelligence reports that "are the

      product of intercept operations directed against foreign government

      controlled communications systems within their territorial boundaries."


      New insight


      According to Aftergood, the newly declassified Yeates affidavit provides new

      insight into the types of records sought by UFO researchers that have been

      withheld by NSA.


      "Even with all of the deletions, one can get a sense of the enormous

      scale--and the apparent success--of the worldwide electronic intercept

      operations conducted by NSA at the height of the Cold War," Aftergood told



      "Unfortunately it is not clear from the affidavit how the withheld documents

      might have related to UFOs," Aftergood said. "There must have been some

      connection in order for them to be within the scope of the original FOIA

      request...but I have no idea what it was."


      But for those hungry to show a great government conspiracy is at work and

      that alien-driven UFOs routinely cruise through our skies, the just brought

      to light document won't help you.


      "The affidavit does not discount the UFO phenomenon...it simply doesn't

      address it one way or the other," Aftergood concluded.


      To view the affidavit, check out: http://www.fas.org/irp/nsa/yeates-ufo.pdf


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