Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
The priority of other articles arrived first didn't allowed us until today, to share with you this important paper of VJBO, written in 2011 but just recently published in www.academia.edu
Now, according with our plan and our word given to our dear friend, we are proud to publish here his work.
This gives us a vision of how the process of releasing and/or disclosure data referred to UFO reports dealt officially has been done in different countries.
The process is important and still is not complete.
The relationship between society and government as far as the UFO
phenomenon is concerned is a very complex issue in many of the most
advanced countries. Defense, intelligence agencies, police forces and the
governments themselves have tackled the UFO question and the cumulative
UFO archives in a variety of manners, procedures and policies, non-uniform
and changing over the decades.
Through the attached template, the present paper introduces a concise
chronological picture of the history of release of UFO archives at a worldwide
level. In the current context, by “UFO disclosure” I mean the revelation,
declassification or release of official UFO reports from governmental files to the
news media, researchers, and UFO organizations or directly placed into the
This relates to both classified and non-classified records, military and nonmilitary
reports; in sum, officially-originated files pertaining to UFO sightings.
Every summary of reality distorts it in some way. In this case, the tabulation of
the varied and sometimes quite complicated administrative processes involved
conveys a certain distortion by necessity. In my view, the advantage of
producing this compilation outweighs the necessary abridgement of data. I have
attempted to consolidate all significant or major releases over time, in some
instances selecting from a variety of actions over a span of 60 years, for the
purpose of achieving a year-to-date status review of the national formulae
followed to comply with the citizens’ aspiration to have access to governmental
records related to UFO information.
The intricacies of internal bureaucracies, the way UFO reports have been
handled by authorities, the various air forces’ relationships with the press or with
ufologists, national legislation and, above all, a general ignorance about
whether or not UFOs represent a threat to homeland security, have marked the
different historical behaviors we observe herein.
It seems evident that in most countries the release of UFO documents is linked
to lobbying by the media or UFO organizations. In other cases, it simply runs
parallel to the routine declassification of government archives.
The United States of America has the most convoluted panorama by far, mainly
because of the multiplicity of agencies implied, the immense volume of material
generated and the large number of both characters and events involved. In the
international scene, the USA took the lead in the handling of UFO reports and,
somehow, most countries mirrored their own management of the UFO question
according to US standards, for better or for worse.
Massive amounts of documentation have been declassified and released by
both the USAF and other agencies. However, there is evidence of present
withholding of supplementary information by some intelligence agencies, like
the CIA or the NSA, in addition to the United States Air Force and NORAD.
Whether documents were destroyed, lost, or simply refused for release, we do
not know. Many UFO researchers in the States suspect untruthful behavior.
Agencies contend that disclosure (i.e., revealing intelligence sources and
methods) would endanger US intelligence capabilities, as it would jeopardize
listening posts abroad, eavesdropping systems, electronic techniques, etc.
Regarding NORAD, its reticence to make public its files would avoid uncovering
the sheer amount of uncorrelated targets in the system. In any event, as far as
documents on actual UFO occurrences, it is difficult for me to think of case
information more sensational than what already exists, either declassified or in
the ufologists’ own files. The effect of the forthcoming law on administrative
transparency by US President Barack Obama on these pending-to-declassify
records may result in a major change.
As this paper shows, a remarkable amount of UFO-related information from
official sources has been disclosed in many countries to date. But in spite of the
large wealth of UFO documentation available worldwide, there are release
processes still unfinished, and others not yet started.
The following is certain: to hide information would simply feed rumors about
conspiracies and evil practices, it is a continuing source of criticism, it
overshadows the image of any government, and it is unfair to its taxpayers. All
this can be avoided through a crystal-clear disclosure process.
The timing of public UFO disclosures is not random. There is an escalation
marked, first, by the closure of the USAF Project “Blue Book” in January 1970,
the declassification of its files later this year and their final transfer to the US
National Archives in 1976, followed by a similar move in Canada in 1980.
Meanwhile, New Zealand started placing UFO files at the National Archives.
UFO researchers succeeded in having several European governments release
or declassify their UFO records (Sweden 1983, Spain 1992). In other countries,
the application of current legislation on public archives produced the availability
of UFO files (UK 1987). These examples encouraged UFO organizations and
researchers to achieve the opening of UFO files (Portugal 1990, Italy 1996,
Brazil 1999) and the international precedents produced “copycat” effects and
influenced other countries (Switzerland 1994, Philippines 2000, Australia 2003,
France 2007, Ireland 2007, Denmark 2009) as far as en-masse disclosure is
In addition to the lights and shadows of the declassification in the United States,
Europe and Australasia stand out by the completeness and professionalism in
the public disclosure processes. On the contrary, Central and South American
countries have failed to advance a full-size, systematic development.
In some instances, the initial release of UFO documents to journalists created a
great deal of friction with the official sources because of serious
mismanagement of the information. It delayed by a number of years the
possibility of a full public declassification process (e.g., in Spain and Italy).
Considering the many precedents to date, this compiler’s recommendation is
that active local UFO students formally contact their air force or defense staffs
to provide the following arguments:
(1) UFO phenomena represent no threat to national security; therefore it is not a
(2) UFO investigation must be left exclusively to science, by methodology,
approach and instrumentation
(3) To withhold information is hardly compatible with a democratic policy
(4) Many countries in the world, both large and small, have already made public
their UFO records
There are specialists in Europe who have instigated and monitored national
release or declassification processes, whose know-how and advice on best
practices can prove useful to governments willing to proceed in this direction.
There are several targets to accomplish with the publication of this paper.
Firstly, I would like to provide a compilation of historical data that illuminates a
generally obscure subject. Then, I hope it will generate feedback to expand this
table and improve its accuracy. Also, government officials may be inspired to
commence similar release processes in their countries.
Overall, given the geographical extent and temporal amplitude of the UFO
disclosure operations under various political scenarios, it demonstrates that
there is a case to support it as a legitimate matter for academic research where
historians, sociologists, defense or intelligence analysts, students of
government administration or bureaucracy, information science specialists like
librarians, archivists and documentalists, and other experts can develop Ph.D.
dissertations and publish papers in professional journals. It will improve the
current knowledge and will attract scholars to this field with new visions,
interpretations and insights.
Though unprecedented in its global scope, this study cannot claim to be
exhaustive; in fact, it is only an approximation in the case of some nations. The
US picture has been particularly difficult to define because of conflicting
information from multiple sources.
As a best possible summing-up of a fragmentary history pertaining to the
subject matter, in doing this research I have found out that the true story of the
interaction between DoDs & the intelligence community and UFO reporting
(data acquisition and analysis) is yet to be written.
In its preparation phase, the attached template has received invaluable
cooperation from the members of EuroUFO, the largest network of European
UFO researchers. In particular from Jean-François Baure, Björn Borg, Ole-
Jonny Brænne, Piotr Cielebias, Dr. Dave Clarke, Dr. Joaquim Fernandes,
Patrick Ferryn, Mikhail Gershtein, Patrick Gross, Pierre Lagrange, Anders
Liljegren, Ulrich Magin, Bruno Mancusi, Claude Maugé, Joe McGonagle, Matías
Morey, Marco Orlandi, Theo Paijmans, Jean-Pierre Pharabod, Jenny Randles,
Edoardo Russo, Clas Svahn, Dr. Jacques Vallee and Frits Westra.
Also, I appreciate the assistance provided by other UFO colleagues as well as
national archives civil servants or military personnel: Alejandro Agostinelli,
Colonel Eduardo Aguirre, Jan Aldrich, Edison Boaventura, William Chalker, Dr.
Anthony Choy, Fernando Fernandes, Diane Frola, Peter A. Gersten, Ademar J.
Gevaerd, Marcos González, Barry J. Greenwood, Richard Heiden, Milton
Hourcade, Heriberto Janosch, Don Ledger, Kentaro Mori, Jonathan Newport,
Francis Ridge, Jaime Rodríguez, Chris Rutkowski, Brad Sparks and Illobrand
Contact the autor
Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
Apartado de correos 12140
Note: Please see the template here: