The CIA’s Entire Collection of Declassified UFO Documents Is Now Available to Download

Time to find out what the CIA has been keeping from us.
Time to find out what the CIA has been keeping from us. / Richard, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This month, it came to light that the latest coronavirus relief bill contains a provision requiring U.S. intelligence agencies to report everything they know about UFOs. They have 180 days to do it, and they’re allowed to keep some of the information classified. Fortunately, there’s plenty of other UFO-related material to peruse while you wait.

As SYFY WIRE reports, an online database called The Black Vault recently posted the CIA’s entire collection of UFO documents online—free to download by anyone with an internet connection and a passion for unsolved alien mysteries. Though the CIA has been declassifying content piecemeal since the 1980s, it hasn’t always been so easy to access. The Black Vault founder John Greenewald Jr. spent years filing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to loosen the agency’s grip.

“Around 20 years ago, I had fought for years to get additional UFO records released from the CIA,” he told VICE’s Motherboard. “It was like pulling teeth! I went around and around with them to try and do so, finally achieving it. I received a large box, of a couple thousand pages, and I had to scan them in one page at a time.”

Eventually, the CIA dumped all of its declassified documents onto a CD-ROM, which Greenewald purchased last year. Not only did he upload the CD-ROM’s original contents (a combination of TIFF images and plain text files) onto The Black Vault, but he also converted the documents into searchable PDFs. You can download them all in one zip file, or you can open each PDF individually in your browser.

Poring over the files will certainly take time, but there’s no shortage of secrets to unlock within the collection. In a letter from 1976, for example, a government official gives advice on how to deal with a peculiar item that someone hand-delivered to his office. Details about the item and the advice are redacted—but Greenewald is working on getting answers.