John Greenewald Jr., of The Black Vault, a clearinghouse of declassified government documents, wanted to learn what President Barack Obama's administration knew about investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects zipping around in American airspace. So he filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the Obama Administrations records pertaining to UFOs.
Like all UFO hunters, Greenewald's ultimate goal is for the government to reveal the full truth about the tantalizing, enigmatic occurrences that have vexed human beings since time immemorial.
Last Wednesday, Greenewald received an unexpected but welcomed letter from Obama's Presidential Library stating that it had approved Greenewald's FOIA petition.
"Jackpot. The Obama Presidential Library just informed me they have approximately 3,440 pages and 26,271 electronic files that pertain to my request for AATIP/UFO/UAP and AAWSAP information," Greenewald tweeted along with a response letter. "If true, I am absolutely floored the Obama Presidential Library has that."
The correspondence from the Obama Library is remarkable because it admitted to having "documents and communications about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and photos and videos of Unidentified Flying Objects, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena/Phenomenon and the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Application Program."
And there are a lot of them – "3,440 pages and 26,271 electronic files," to be exact – according to the letter sent to Greenewald. Unfortunately, Greenewald was informed that he is 87th in line and that assembling all of the documents and data could take 16 years.
On Wednesday, he tweeted that he is "trying to work with the library to get any other details that they may provide, along with an explanation on why part of my request will take 16 years to process."
Public interest in UFOs – also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – has seen a resurgence in recent years, primarily due to the military's disclosure of previously classified encounters between personnel and crafts that perform maneuvers that defy the known laws of physics.
Obama himself was keenly interested in the topic during his presidency.
"When it comes to aliens, there are some things I just can't tell you on air," Obama said on The Late Show With James Corden in 2021. "But what is true is that there is footage and records of objects in the sky that we don't know exactly what they are. How they move, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern. So I think that people still take that seriously and try to figure out what that is."
Thousands of investigations have been conducted into what these bizarre and powerful anomalies could be since the UFO craze began in the 1950s. The vast majority of cases turn out to have earthly explanations, however, a handful of the more intriguing incidents – such as UFOs deactivating nuclear missiles on far more than on occasion – remain unexplained.
The big questions that elude researchers are:
- What are these things?
- What or who is controlling them?
- Where are they from?
- How do they work?
- What do they want?
- Are they a threat?
The latter in particular is hotly debated. Some elected officials and intelligence officers have argued that UFOs present a national security hazard due to their uninvited presence in sovereign skies.
Others, especially within UFO circles and Dr. Stephen Greer's Disclosure Project, reject that idea because a sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial civilization would have little incentive to annihilate us. If it can traverse the vast distances between the stars, it harbors technologies that would be indistinguishable from magic. Thus, they could easily wipe us out if they wanted to.
Obviously, that has not happened. Plus, even if it did, we would have absolutely no chance of stopping it. Instead, Greer and disclosure advocates maintain that UFOs are here to guide humanity into a new age of enlightenment and prosperity.
But as the saying goes, "it's not aliens until it's aliens."