FOIA: Unusual Phenomena Listings
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The FBI has links to various pdf files that deal with "unusual phenomena" on
their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Website. Thanks to Jordan Wagner for
pointing the way to these interesting links.
Also, for those of you who may not know, The Black Vault is reported to be
the Internet's best source of FOIA materials related to UFOs and other
The Black Vault:
Freedom of Information Files:
--- David Sunfellow
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
In early 1975, the FBI assigned a handful of employees the task of handling
an anticipated influx of Freedom of Information Act requests due to new
legislation. Although the Freedom of Information Act had been in effect
since 1967, it did not apply to investigatory files compiled for law
enforcement purposes, thus generally exempting FBI files from public access.
By the end of 1975, amendments to the Freedom of Information Act had become
effective and the Privacy Act of 1974 also became effective. The passage of
these laws provided for broad access to FBI records which previously had
been severely limited.
The task of responding to these Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA)
requests became a very large one indeed. Some single requests have resulted
in the processing of thousands of pages of records. In very simple terms,
when a request is received it is logged into a computer and assigned a
number for tracking purposes; it is acknowledged; an indices search is
conducted to determine if the FBI has responsive records; and the file(s) is
located and reviewed to determine if it is fact "ident" or the correct file.
Once a file has been identified as being responsive to a request, it is
photocopied, and the work copy is reviewed by an analyst to determine if any
portions should be withheld from the requester under any various exemptions
permitted by the FOIPA. The analyst uses a colored marker to delete any
exempt material, writes in the margins the particular exemption cited, and
has the work copy re-copied using a photocopier with a special filter. The
portions that appeared in translucent color on the work copy are black on
the release copy. The release copy is mailed to the requester upon receipt
of payment of fees, if applicable.
This labor intensive process has been repeated thousands of times since
1975. In the past twenty plus years, the FBI has handled over 300,000
requests and over six million pages of FBI documents have been released to
the public in paper format. Currently, an automated document processing
system is under development that will replace the "marker pen" method and
allow for documents to be released in electronic format.
For the FOIPA Section web page, we have selected several FBI cases which may
be of interest to the public. These documents also appear in paper form in
our traditional reading room in Washington, D.C. As time and resources
permit, additional cases will be created in electronic format and placed on
the web site for public viewing.
UNUSUAL PHENOMENA LISTING
ANIMAL/CATTLE MUTILATION 1/12/98
These records contain accounts of animal mutilations which were discovered
in various states during the late 1970's. Over the years, several theories
have been expounded to explain the mutilations, including UFOs, satanic
cults, pranksters, unknown government agencies, or natural predators. The
FBI entered the case when 15 mutilations occurred in New Mexican Indian
country. The investigation was negative with respect to identifying the
MAJESTIC 12 1/12/98
This file relates to an FBI inquiry into the possible unauthorized
disclosure of classified information when a document marked "Top Secret" was
made public. This investigation was closed after it was learned that the
document was completely bogus.
PROJECT BLUE BOOK 7/24/97
This small file relates to an Air Force program for the investigation of
Unidentified Flying Objects. The Secretary of the Air Force discontinued
this program in 1969.
This one-page teletype dated July 8, 1947, relays information from the
United States Air Force that an object purporting to be a flying disc was
recovered on that date near Roswell, New Mexico.
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS 1/12/98
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