29 July 2020

ARGENTINA: UFO Declassification

Since a long time ago (years), some people in Argentina belonging to the private organization CEFORA, has been collecting signatures in support of their appeal to declassify military files supposedly dealing with UFO investigation. I gave my signature years ago.

But now they faced the problem that the files they would like to come to light no longer exist. And therefore, their insistence on declassification has become nonsense.

Here we gladly present an article well-prepared by UAPSG member and well known Spanish scholar Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos (the one who obtained the declassification of military files on UFOs in his country) that explains the situation in Argentina.

I want to address the people that still ask for the declassification of military files on UFOs, to tell them: forget the past and dedicate to the present and the future, investigating under scientific guidelines.

After all, the declassification that happened in other countries has not given a solution or key elements about the issue.

Milton W. Hourcade


Argentina: UFO Declassification
Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos

Argentina was one of the first countries in the world to establish an inquiry commission dedicated to the UFO phenomenon, specifically the Navy in 1952, located at the Puerto Belgrano naval base. The Revista Nacional de Aeronáuticapublished information on UFO sightings in 1955, 1956, and 1960. The Argentine Navy created a permanent commission for the study of UFOs in 1962, and that same year the country's Air Force (FAA) established a "division" for the same purpose. After several vicissitudes, ups and downs, and project cancellations, a commission to study UFOs operated in the FAA between 1979 and 1987, within the National Commission for Space Research (CNIE). Between 1991 and 1997, the Argentine Ministry of Defense formed CITEFA, a research center for defense technologies – it had a small staff also devoted to the study of UFO cases. In May 2011, the Argentine Air Force created CEFAE for the study of aerospace phenomena which, since 2015, has been managed with rigor and transparency by Commodore Rubén Lianza. The center was renamed to CIAE (Aerospace Identification Center) since 2019.1

However, it is logical to think that institutions such as the Air Force or the Navy, mainly, had archives with case studies and UFO reports from past years. But they no longer exist, unfortunately. At least, not in official agencies. And the reason is that (as it happens in other countries), the Argentine Armed Forces have a Regulation that stipulates the maximum time of custody of files. More specifically, in the decades that we are interested in studying, the maximum time of custody of files of a general nature, did not exceed five years.

For this reason, researchers in Argentina and in other countries (myself included) have striven to obtain‒before their irremediable loss ‒official reports on UFO observations and make them known to the public.2-5

It should be clarified that the archive treatment’s policy of the Argentine Ministry of Defense changed as of Decree No. 1131 of 28 October 2016, which regulated the digitization and archiving of documents in electronic format, empowering the Secretariat of Administrative Modernization (Ministry of Modernization) to "issue the operating rules ... relating to the conservation and storage periods of electronic documents and files in the Electronic Document Management System (GDE), as well as for the process of digitization, archiving and conservation of management documents in paper format in the national public sector". In short, since that date it is the Ministry of Defense which stipulates what is kept and for how long.

Before that date, each of the Argentine Armed Forces had its own Manual for the Treatment of Archival Documentation. In the case of the Argentine Air Force, it was called MAPG 4. This Manual specified in its Paragraph 82, points (a) and (b) that the custody time for "Minutes" or "Information" type of files on administrative matters, related to personal topics , accidents or incidents suffered by military and civilian personnel [within which reports of UFO sightings are included] will be a maximum of 5 years, after which the documentation must be destroyed by incineration.

Therefore, in response to recent requests for the declassification of any "UFO" archives it owns, the Argentine Navy, following the regulation on the treatment of archives in force on the dates of interest, has truthfully replied that carece de antecedentes documentales (lacks any documents pertaining to the request).6

Our hopes that the Argentine State could provide researchers with UFO information that was still hidden in official archives before 2016 are evaporated. The administration and its bureaucracy work like that. Any possible demand for "declassification" is aborted before it is made. We must realistically face this crude reality.

(1) https://www.argentina.gob.ar/fuerzaaerea/centro-de -identificación-aeroespacial
(2) V.J. Ballester Olmos, M. Borraz Aymerich, J.C. Victorio Uranga y H. Janosch, https://www.academia.edu/31467521/AVISTAMIENTOS_OVNI_EN_LA_ANTARTIDA_EN_1965.pdf
(3) V.J. Ballester Olmos,https://www.academia.edu/32940669/Formulario_OVNI_de_la_Armada_Argentina_1963
(6) Secretaría General de la Armada, 27 de febrero de 2020

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