About 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been released online, giving new insights into UFO sightings and psychic experiments from Stargate program—a long-time interest for conspiracy theorists.
The release comes after lengthy efforts from Freedom of Information advocates and a controversial lawsuit against the CIA. The archive is made up of almost 800,000 files that had previously only been accessible at the National Archives in Maryland. Amid details of unidentified objects are the papers of Henry Kissinger and several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and scientific research.
The Stargate Project is infamous for dealing with psychic powers and extrasensory perception, with records on testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller when he was already a famous performer. Mr. Geller was notorious for being able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with precise accuracy, leading researchers to conclude that he “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner.”
While some of the information has been technically available since the mid-1990s, it has been extraordinarily difficult to access. The records were only available on four physical computers in the back of a library in Maryland. That changed when MuckRock, a non-profit freedom of information group, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection.
At the same time, a journalist named Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives, print out the records, and then publicly upload them.
“By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online,” Best wrote in a blog post.
The entire declassified CREST archive is not available on the CIA Library website.