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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 27

More Cringe Tales

From: Keith Chester <projectbluebook.nul>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:00:02 -0400
Archived: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 21:05:55 -0400
Subject: More Cringe Tales


Hello List,

On July 26th I was at the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA)in College Park having lunch with John
Taylor. For those of you who have never heard of John, he is the
resident expert on the CIA records at the facility. He's well-
known and respected for his many years of service, his deep
knowledge of the CIA files at NARA, and the history of the CIA
in general. We discussed my frustration over not being able to
locate some Army G-2 records I've been hunting for years.
Running down the list of record groups to check, what finding
aid to study, and what agency to send a FOIA request, he
paused.looked at me for a moment and then proceeded to tell and
told me a troubling story.

To best of his memory, it occurred back in the early to mid
1980s, an archivist working for NARA was temporarily assigned to
the CIA building to assist the resident archivist with OSS
(Office of Strategic Services) records. The plan: organize the
records before sending them to NARA, their final resting place.
Talking with the CIA archivist(s), the NARA archivist learned
that someone at the CIA overlooking the project had recently
discarded a huge lot of OSS records. Whoever it was that
authorized this deemed the records of "no historical value." Now
are you ready for this? *Two thousand *linear feet of documents
were discarded. To put that in perspective, the boxes used to
store records at NARA can hold hold anywhere up to 1,500 pages.
Place the boxes side by side for two thousand feet, well, you
get my point. What's even more horrific is that the CIA
archivist(s)further told the NARA archivist there were many
records of value in the discarded lot that should have been
kept.

I must say, though I'm fairly thick-skinned from hearing stories
like these over the years, it was depressing hearing John tell
that tale, and even more painful to watch him because even after
all these years, I could see his deep frustration. John felt a
little better when he told me at least NARA still has 8,000
linear feet of OSS rocords. But Damn! Did I really need to hear
about another loss, especially after listening to Robert Young
at Wright-Patterson tell me the golf course story yesterday, the
one I relayed to UFO Updates list members in my last e-mail:
Things That Make You Cringe!

What fool at the CIA decided to make a judgment call without
consulting NARA? What fool could have known the full breadth and
diversity of those records? And what fool could have possibly
understood their value to future generations of researchers and
historians?

We'll never know.

Keith



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