From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 01:39:25 -0400 Fwd Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 01:39:25 -0400 Subject: FBI Posts The Real 'X Files' From: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0%2C4%2C23343%2C00.html?dd.ne.tx.fs FBI Posts The Real "X Files" By Courtney Macavinta <email@example.com> Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM June 18, 1998, 1:55 p.m. PT As fans rush to see the anticipated X-Files movie tomorrow, another unusual phenomenon is unraveling. The truth, it seems, is out there. And it can be found where special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully might never look--on the FBI's own Web site. The agency has been quietly posting documents on the Net about reported unidentified flying objects and alien abductions. More than 1,600 pages dating back to the 1940s are now public on the site, although most contain blacked-out passages and missing names. The Freedom of Information Act files may not reveal all there is to know about life on other planets, but they give true believers--and even skeptics--a peek at the government's investigations into decades of mysterious sightings. Included in the batch are random reports, such as a September 19, 1947 memo to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover regarding "flying discs" near Seattle, Washington. "[A man] sighted a silver object streaking across the sky," the memo states. "It was observed by these three people while they drove from 20 to 30 miles. All three people saw it, they decided they must be 'seeing things.'" There also is only one document about the infamous craft that reportedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. A July 1947 memo to the FBI office in Cincinnati about the craft states, "The object resembles a high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector=85Disc and balloon being transported to Wright Field by special place examination=85National interest in case=85National Broadcasting Company, Associated Press, and others attempting to break story of location of disc today." On the site there are 12 pages from "Project Blue Book," the Air Force program to investigate UFOs, which was shut down in 1969 on grounds that "there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as 'unidentified' are extraterrestrial." It's no coincidence that the documents were released the same year Walter Andrus started investigating UFOs. He is glad to see the FBI opening its files, but he doesn't expect to find much. All the files posted on the site were at one point made public to individuals or organizations such as the Mutual UFO Network, which he founded in 1968. "They don't make things convenient even if they say they do," Andrus said today. "This is one way to pass people off if they ask for a document--they'll just refer people to the Web site to dig through all those files," he added. "It is good that the FBI has gone this far. It's advantageous because the government has been very uncooperative in releasing information." Although some Net users complain that files can take several minutes--and up to 30 minutes in some cases--to download, the FBI says it's no conspiracy. "We hadn't really had complaints about it," FBI spokesman Paul Presson said today. "It's a pretty enormous volume of information we put up there. This is a technical issue--it's not a speed bump we were trying to put up to keep people from viewing [the material]." Presson said there are a total of 16,000 Freedom of Information Act files online, including details about the 1962 Alcatraz Prison escape, Amelia Earhart's disappearance, and the agency's goods on Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Elvis Presley, and Bonnie and Clyde. The agency plans to put up to 1.3 million documents on the Net. Some X-Files fans are glad to see part of the real-life mystery being unveiled. "The institutional bureaucracy of the FBI has always been to keep anything that embarrassed the county or FBI close to the vest," said Dawson Rambo, who runs an extensive X-Files fan site. Despite what the files say, Rambo said he doesn't believe it is scientifically possible for distant space travelers to reach Earth. So he turns to the X-Files to explore the possibility. "Some of the stuff related to UFOs probably hasn't been released and we'll never know because none of us has the security clearance to peer deep enough into the files," he added. "Do I believe we've been visited by extraterrestrial life? No. But the show is fascinating. I'll say that." Still, Andrus of the Mutual UFO Network suggested that the FBI's Web site itself could be part of a bigger government conspiracy.
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