Monday, October 06, 2008

CIA Says, "No UFO Investigation Since The '50's!"

CIA FOIA
By Larry Bryant
UFOVIEW
10-3-08

TO: Director, U. S. Central Intelligence Agency
ATTN: Chairman, Agency Records-Release Panel
Washington, DC 20505

     This letter appeals the Sept. 30, 2008, decision of CIA information and privacy coordinator Delores M. Nelson to deny my FOIA-requester status as a representative of the news media as regards my FOIA request of August 23, 2008 (CIA reference F-2008-01781 -- sent originally on August 13th to the Director of National Intelligence).

Ms. Nelson's below-quoted denial invokes warmed-over official UFOlogical history to deflect the crux of my request -- i.e., that any action taken by any CIA personnel to unlawfully suppress/dissuade public exposure of UFO reality (as was done in the case the Alaskan UFO encounter of 1986) has contemporary news value, thus warranting your waiver of all records-search fees.

Ample evidence defining my requester status remains posted upon my blog site of http://ufoview.posterous.com . Applicable federal case law (most notably the years-old lawsuit waged against your agency by the Washington, D.C.-based National Security Archive) confirms that no "representative of the news media" need justify his/her FOIA request as seeking records "likely [to] contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the United States government." What's more, the package of previously released CIA-maintained UFO-related records would be a most unlikely repository for such agency-incriminating documentation as that pertaining to the 1986 Alaskan case.

By this appeal, I hereby characterize my records-search-fee-waiver "request" as a DEMAND, in light of the current edition of the U. S. Freedom of Information Act's dictum as expressed in subparagraph (a)(4)(A)(ii)(II), namely: "fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document duplication when . . . the request is made by . . . a representative of the news media." Accordingly, I intend to file suit in U. S. District Court to challenge any denial of this appeal.

As you process and grant this appeal, I also ask that you forward a copy of all its related correspondence to the CIA inspector general for him to investigate the circumstances, principals, and activities related to former FAA official John J. Callahan's revelation that one or more CIA personnel have unlawfully applied official pressure upon Callahan's right not to engage in any CIA-directed/supported cover-up of the 1986 Alaskan case. Your complying with this IG-referral request not only would contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency; it also would help secure accountability for any CIA policy/practice that interferes with the public's stakeholdership in pursuit of UFOtruth.

By snail-mail, I'm sending to you a signed printout of this e-formatted letter.


LARRY W. BRYANT

Copies furnished to:

Editor, UFO Magazine
Jonathan L. Katz, Esq.
Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence, U. S. Senate
Director, U. S. Government Accountability Office

TEXT OF MS. NELSON'S LETTER TO LWB (30 Sep 08):

Reference: F-2008-01781

Dear Mr. Bryant:

This is a final response to your 23 August 2008 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, received in the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator on 28 August 2008, for the following CIA-received and CIA-generated records:

(1) As pertain to the convening, attendance roster, briefings, minutes, and all other related documentation of the 1987 special meeting at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.;

(2) As pertain to all other similar cases of airborne UFO encounters reportedly occurring since Nov. 17, 1986, to date.

We have assigned your request the reference number above. Please use this number when corresponding so that we can identify it easily.

On the general subject of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), there is no organized CIA effort to do research in connection with UFO phenomena, nor has there been an organized effort to collect intelligence on UFOs since the 1950s. At that time, the Air Force, specifically the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, had the primary responsibility for the investigation of all reports of UFO sightings. The CIA's role was in connection with a Scientific Advisory Panel, established to investigate and evaluate reports of UFOs. The panel was concerned only with any aspect of UFO phenomena which might prove to present a potential threat to the United States national security. The panel later issued a report of its findings, the Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects dated 17 January 1953, also known as the Robertson Report. The report was released by the Air Force Office of Public Information on 9 April 1958. The Air Force investigation, called Project Bluebook [sic], was terminated in 1969. We understand that the Air Force turned its records on this subject over to the National Archives and Records Administration where they are currently available for inspection and purchase. There is currently no CIA program to actively collect information on UFOs, although since the time of the Robertson Report there have been sporadic instances of correspondence dealing with the subject, and we occasionally receive various kinds of reports of sightings of objects in the UFO category.

As of this date, however, the Agency has released to numerous previous requesters 1,022 pages of UFO-related documents under the FOIA. Most of this material was located as a result of a previous search for records conducted on behalf of an earlier requester for information regarding UFOs up through 1979, and as a result of a recent updated search for records conducted on behalf of an earlier requester for information regarding UFOs from 1979 through 15 March 1990. Any releasable material as a result of these earlier, thorough searches is included in this package. These documents are not indexed, and most of the material deals with matters related to the report by the Scientific Advisory Panel. We should advise you that most of the reports dealing with the UFO sightings considered by the Panel originated with other government agencies such as the Air Force, and that much of the later CIA-originated reports concern sightings as reported in the foreign news media. In accordance with our enclosed fee schedule, the material referred to above costs ten cents per page less the first 100 pages as a requester in the "all other" category.

Also, as a result of former Director Woolsey's 14 December 1993 radio interview, a recent further release of 1,757 pages has been made bringing the total amount of pages to 2,779. Therefore, should you wish to purchase this package, please send us your check or money order for US$267.90 to me, made payable to the Treasurer of the United States and cite the reference number above to ensure proper credit to your account.

You also have the option of reviewing the initial release of 991 pages on the CIA's electronic FOIA internet site. The access for this site via homepage URL is: http://www.foia.ucia.gov .

I must consider your request for a fee waiver under the standards the Agency FOIA regulations outline, which you will find at Part 1900 of Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). I have reviewed your request under those standards and determined that your petition does not meet them because disclosing the information you seek is already in the public domain and its re-release would not likely contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the United States Government. I therefore deny your request for a fee waiver.

You may appeal this decision, in my care, within 45 days from the date of this letter. Should you choose to appeal the denial of your request for a fee waiver, you are encouraged to provide an explanation supporting your appeal. Agency regulations also specify that if the Agency has started to process a request, the Agency may only accept an appeal of a fee waiver denial if the requester agrees to be responsible for the costs in the event of an adverse administrative or judicial decision.

In an effort to assist you further, enclosed is a copy of an article from the CIA's internal magazine Studies in Intelligence, Summer 1997, entitled "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90." This item is being provided at no cost since it is under 100 pages. We trust that the information enclosed and that provided above will be helpful.

Sincerely,

Delores M. Nelson
Information and Privacy Coordinator

Enclosure

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