The CIA says: "Take a peek inside our X-files"
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) - The notoriously secretive Central Intelligence Agency is encouraging people to "take a peek inside our X-files."
Hundreds of documents concerning alleged UFO's and alien life forms were recently declassified and posted on-line, available to the public for free.
The release was timed to coincide with the return of the popular Fox sci-fi television series: The X-Files.
The agency apparently began cataloging reports from around the world soon after being founded in 1947.
Within the collection of memos and letters are sightings from nearly every continent including, but not limited to, West Africa, East Germany, the United States and Spain.
The CIA reportedly handled public inquiries about UFOs from the 1940s through the early 1990s.
The sightings were unsubstantiated, according to the files, but there are also documents showing the governments concern over the "high incidence of reported cases near atomic installations and strategic air command."
"The world was in turmoil," said Edmund Ziemba, retired NASA systems engineer who worked on nearly 100 launches during the space race, "People were really afraid there was going to be Armageddon."
It was post World War 2 and the start of the Cold War.
The CIA files include photographs and drawings of alleged "flying saucers" and glowing disks.
Mr. Ziemba says the subject wasn't really a consideration at NASA.
"A couple of guys were adamant but most didn't care one way or another," said Ziemba.
But some researchers think it's what's missing from the files that is most intriguing.
Tom Wertman, a retired College Dean and Director the Mutual UFO network of Ohio, or MUFON, has been investigating UFO sightings for years and obtained a collection of historical documents.
Tom wonders why reports by legendary rocket scientist Hermann Oberth aren't mentioned. Tom claims his records show that Oberth witnessed strange objects, darting across the skies over Germany during World War 2.
"We thought they were American, and he says they thought they were German, but we were tracking things on our radar going 6,000 mph that we couldn't explain," said Wertman.
And there are other omitted cases according to Tom and MUFON.
In 1966 two sheriff's deputies chased something across the sky in Portage County.
Then Congressman and future President Gerald Ford called for an investigation. Officials later said the object was a satellite.
In 1973, the crew on board an Ohio Army National Guard helicopter also encountered an unidentified flying object.
It was late at night and they were returning from Wright Patterson Airforce Base in southern Ohio when they came face to face with something strange in the skies over Richland County.
"The object stopped directly in front of the helicopter," said Tom, "And this large green light pivots right into the aircraft... lights up helicopter...then the light goes out and the object disappeared."
Nearly two decades later, in 1994, police officers from several jurisdictions chased odd, rotating red, yellow, blue and green lights over Trumbull County.
Dispatchers at the time contacted the FAA in Cleveland, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Vienna Airforce Reserve Base. None could confirm any aircrafts flying in that airspace or on radar.
"It is odd," said Jay Reynolds, a research astronomer, who wonders if additional CIA records are being withheld. "Sometimes it comes down to national security."
Jay says the difficulty with UFO reports is that the entire body of evidence hasn't been laid out before the scientific community to judge. "So the public is left hanging."
Researchers say in general 90% of UFO sightings are easily explained as weather balloons or other aircrafts, but it's the missing 10% that keeps the public gazing up at the sky.
"It's the mystery," says Jay. "The question of what is that up there."
He thinks, and other researchers agree, that "the truth is out there" and might eventually be revealed but through technology and not necessarily government reports.
"We're learning a lot more about our universe," said Jay. "It's truly an exciting time."
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