Want to know the Central Intelligence Agency's lowdown on UFOs? If you've got the time and the curiosity, download every single file that's in the public domain, because they're now available for the taking. Motherboard reports that, after years of behind-the-scenes wrangling, declassified-docs repository the Black Vault has opened an archive where anyone can browse and download PDFs of CIA intel on unidentified aerial phenomena (the agency's fancy alt name for unidentified flying objects, or UFOs), some of them stretching back to the '80s. Black Vault founder John Greenewald Jr. says he started filing Freedom of Information Act requests for some of the files back in 1996, and the CIA finally acquiesced, as well as on other previously unreleased records, placing them all on a CD-ROM that Greenewald bought from them sometime last year.
"It was like pulling teeth," he tells Motherboard of his efforts to get the files. The New York Post notes Greenewald's obsession with filing FOIAs with the CIA and getting his hands on such documents began when he was a teen. Users can either download the entire intel collection as Greenewald originally received it from the CIA (though he says those TIF files are "incredibly difficult" to sift through, as they're not searchable) or as an easier-to-use file, created by him converting the original TIFs to PDFs. The files can also be downloaded individually. The CIA insists this is everything they've got on the matter, though Greenewald notes on the Black Vault site we can't know if that's really true. If it actually isn't, Greenewald is on the case. "Research by the Black Vault will continue to see if there are additional documents still uncovered within the CIA's holdings," he vows on his site. (Read more CIA stories.)