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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2003 > Dec > Dec 9

CFI FOIA Suit Filed Against NASA

From: Steven Kaeser <steve@konsulting.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 10:25:01 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 14:59:12 -0500
Subject: CFI FOIA Suit Filed Against NASA


Group Files Lawsuit Against NASA

Coalition for Freedom of Information Seeks NASA Records of
Mysterious 1965 Pennsylvania UFO Incident

Litigation Supported by Clinton Former Chief of Staff John
Podesta

Washington, D.C. - On the eve of President Bush's expected
announcement about a new initiative with NASA, the Coalition for
Freedom of Information (CFi) with support from SCI FI Channel
today announced the filing of a lawsuit against the space agency
in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  The filing
comes as a result of the government agency's refusal to release
its records concerning the 1965 UFO incident near Kecksburg, PA.
Today is the 38th anniversary of the incident.

"Our lawsuit is aimed at getting NASA to tell the public what it
knew and when it knew it," said Ed Rothschild, Executive
Director of CFi.

The lawsuit against NASA is the first of several against
government agencies, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and
the Department of Defense, which have been stonewalling efforts
to obtain records on the Kecksburg incident under the Freedom of
Information Act.  John Podesta, former Chief of Staff for
President Clinton and member of the 1997 Moynihan Commission on
Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, supports the effort
stating that the public has a right to know and that the
government should disclose what happened in Kecksburg.

"Although NASA has released 36 pages of documents, none of those
documents pertain to any investigation of the incident by NASA
or to related projects within the agency that could shed light
on the Kecksburg incident," said Lee Helfrich of Lobel, Novins
and Lamont, the Washington attorney filing the suit.

"Furthermore," said Helfrich, "Leslie Kean, Director of
Investigations for CFi, clearly demonstrated that NASA has
documents responsive to the specific requests she made in  CFi's
Freedom of Information Act request, but NASA has failed for
nearly a year to produce any relevant documents."

On December 9, 1965, witnesses in and near Kecksburg described
seeing a fireball in the evening sky, a controlled landing and
the systematic military recovery of an object. As reported by
local radio and newspapers, U.S. military personnel cordoned off
the area, investigated the site, and left without ever providing
a full report of the incident other than to dismiss it as a
meteor.

A year ago, SCI FI Channel and the CFi initiated an effort to
obtain classified and other government documents on the
Kecksburg crash.

"Since last year, we have supported archivists, researchers and
scientists, as well as partnered with investigative reporter
Leslie Kean and attorney Lee Helfrich in order to obtain NASA's
records in this nearly 40-year old case," said Bonnie Hammer,
SCI FI Channel President.

"Now, one year later, despite our serious effort to uncover the
facts, NASA still refuses to provide the public with any
information," said Hammer. "That is why, today, we are
supporting CFi's lawsuit. We are hopeful that our legal system
will help us find out what really happened in the woods outside
Kecksburg."

As Podesta stated in SCI FI Channel's Kecksburg documentary,
"Certainly having the military descend on a United States town,
holding people at gunpoint, is not the ordinary way we do
business in this country.  People should have an explanation
about what triggered that sort of military response...so that
people can judge for themselves whether it was appropriate."

"The public has a right to know what happened in Kecksburg,"
concluded Kean. "Government agencies have an obligation to make
public what they know. Instead of a willingness to open up files
that rightfully belong to the American people, government
bureaucrats are making it as difficult and time-consuming as
they can to uncover the facts. We will persevere until we get
answers."

In addition to broadcasting landmark documentary programming,
the SCI FI Channel is currently lobbying Congress to gain
support for more scientific inquiry into these issues.  It will
premiere UFO INVASION AT RENDLESHAM, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, on
December 12, a new two-hour special that exposes one of the most
notorious UFO incidents of the 20th century.

#     #     #

Additional information on the Kecksburg incident and the latest
on the lawsuit, can be found at: www.freedomofinfo.org.