Thursday, July 26, 2007

41 Years Ago: A UFO Research Victory

Have you ever wondered, even for a moment, why UFO researchers in recent years have had access to many thousands of previously classified government pages regarding UFOs? True, a good share of them arrive with significant portions of information redacted or blacked out, but in many ways it's a miracle we have access to anything at all.

That "miracle" came about only one way. After months of effort, the U.S. Congress finally put the finishing touches on the "Freedom of Information Act," otherwise known as Public Law 89-487, and it went into effect with great and well-deserved fanfare, appropriately, on July 4, 1966 -- truly an "independence day" for previously hidden government data of all sorts.

Today I'm posting the original law itself, as well as two letters in reference to the law and my concerns over its possible effects on government UFO-related documents. Though I'd not seen any of these papers for decades, I nonetheless felt a tingle once I happened upon them because these are the real deal, representative of a spectacular moment of historical significance that continues to reverberate throughout the land and, we hope, projects a government openness that lasts forever. True, circumstances in recent years have curbed the law's abilities severely, but its meaning lives on so that journalists, common folk -- and UFO researchers -- have at our fingertips in the future the power to both know the previously unknowable and to find that which otherwise might have been lost forever.