Why Did the CIA Release a Guide to Investigating UFOs?

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has released a set of 10 “tips” for investigating “flying saucers” (its term). That’s right, the CIA. Flying saucers.

UFOThey Seem Serious About It

The reason, says the agency, is merely that it has had to release previously classified UFO investigation documents from the early 1950s. OK, that’s cute, but did that alone warrant a fleshed-out guide to UFO investigation? The guide begins by recounting the Zamora case, what the head of the US government’s Project Blue Book called “the best-documented [UFO] case on record”.

At no point does the guide seem to be anything less than serious about the subject of unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrials. They don’t seem to be kidding around here.

But why?

CIA Testing the Waters for UFO Disclosure?

The subject of disclosure has been talked about in the media for years. It amounts to this:

  • the US government is hiding information about the existence of UFOs and possibly extraterrestrials
  • it should—and maybe someday will—spill the beans, ‘fess up, tell what it knows. Disclose.

Hillary Clinton, as a candidate for US president, has gone on record as saying she believes the UFO phenomenon is real, and that she would like to “get to the bottom of it”. Her husband Bill, former US president himself, says he also investigated what UFO secrets the government has while he held office—to no avail.

John Podesta, a government official and chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign is active in the UFO community and is a long-standing advocate for government disclosure. He is seen by many as a great hope that the government can one day be persuaded to release what it knows (and not a smokescreen, as in other cases like the Roswell Incident).

Former president Jimmy Carter also entered office promising to look into government UFO secrets. However, it’s said that when the CIA finally relented and revealed what it knew, the facts were so devastating that Carter broke down at his desk. He never mentioned his efforts in public again.

If the government was serious about disclosure, it doesn’t mean there would be a sudden press conference with a big announcement. Rather, they’d probably more subtle and gradual about it—disclosure would become a process, rather than an event.

Maybe this act by the CIA is a first step.

Dark Intentions?

It’s more than slightly possible that by seeming to pander to the UFO community—”hey, guys, we’re your friends! We believe!”—the CIA could have sinister motives. (We are talking about a spy agency here. When was the last time the CIA told the truth about anything?) The agency could be attempting to muddy the water—to inject confusion into the international conversation about the existence of UFOs.Zamora Documentation

There’s precedent; government agents have been caught red-handed doing exactly this. In the excellent film Mirage Men (available on Netflix and on Amazon Prime streaming), for example, former agents go on record, confessing how they were ordered to spread lies to zealous but naive UFO investigators, urging them to believe things that would make them seem silly. One operative, Richard Doty, systematically misled UFO researcher Paul Bennewitz for years, and Doty’s efforts eventually put Bennewitz in a psychiatric ward, ruining his life. Today, Doty shows little or no remorse for what he did so deliberately.

The 10 Tips for UFO Investigation

Regardless of their motivation, the guide warrants scrutiny. We encourage to visit the CIA site and see the full post for yourself. In short, the 10 “tips” amount to common sense practices that any UFO investigation authority (NICAP, MUFON) would be well aware of:

1. Establish a Group To Investigate and Evaluate Sightings

2. Determine the Objectives of Your Investigation

3. Consult With Experts

4. Create a Reporting System To Organize Incoming Cases

5. Eliminate False Positives

6. Develop Methodology To Identify Common Aircraft and Other Aerial Phenomena Often Mistaken for UFOs

7. Examine Witness Documentation

8. Conduct Controlled Experiments

9. Gather and Test Physical and Forensic Evidence

10. Discourage False Reporting

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