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CIA and the UFO phenomenon:

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency admitted its role in trying to "correct" public opinion about UFOs over the last half century.

Historical report:

In an internal report entitled "CIA's Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90," agency historian Gerald K. Haines portrayed the CIA as consistently and deliberately working to suppress reports of unidentified aerial phenomena since modern UFO sightings began with the Kenneth Arnold case of 1947.

Still, even in a paper filled with covert attempts on the part of both the CIA and the Air Force to "persuade the public that UFOs were not extraordinary," Haines himself continued the suppressive policy, perhaps unconsciously, by writing that the CIA "paid only limited and peripheral attention to the phenomena" since the early 1950s.

This tension in the report, written at the request of CIA Director R. James Woolsey in 1997, is a telling reflection of the government agency's troubled broader relationship with UFO sightings and literature. Haines' history is studded with depictions of the CIA not only repressing UFO reports and reviewing recommendations that agents monitor UFO clubs for subversive activities, but also trying to hide its own interest in the matter.

Here is the full text of the report. Please understand that this report has been written and approved by the CIA. The report is published on the CIA official web site. It is not classified, it is unclassified, it is the official CIA position.

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This page was last updated on May 21, 2001.