In December, Donald Trump signed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law. This guarantees that US intelligence services from the FBI to the CIA will be forced to tell Congress everything they know about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).
Ok, those two sentences don't necessarily follow on from each other if you're unfamiliar with US politics, but stay with us. Within the spending bill was the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2021, and hidden in the depths of that was a clause that calls for intelligence chiefs to submit a report "to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena (also known as "anomalous aerial vehicles''), including observed airborne objects that have not been identified", within 180 days.
They will also be required to identify "potential aerospace or other threats posed by the unidentified aerial phenomena to national security, and an assessment of whether this unidentified aerial phenomena activity may be attributed to one or more foreign adversaries," which all sounds quite spicy.
If you can't wait that long for files on UFOs, we have further good news: You can now download pretty much everything the CIA has on record about the topic. And it turns out, it's quite a lot, even before they are forced to release the rest to Congress.
Every file that the CIA has declassified so far can be accessed via The Black Vault. The organization has been working to get the files released since 1996, and finally has them all there and ready to access in handy searchable PDF form.
Within the files are documents relating to a mysterious explosion that ripped off rooftops and left a 28 meter (91 foot) crater, which was preceded by a "strange roar" and a "fiery sphere", in Sasavo, Russia.
The Black Vault says on their website that though "the CIA claims this is their 'entire' collection, there may be no way to entirely verify that." Indeed, it looks as though some documents have been redacted, or at least that information has been omitted that relate to some of the more interesting files.
John Greenewald Jr, who founded the Black Vault and fought for decades to get UFO records released, told Motherboard that he was doing so because “plain and simple, the public has a right to know!”
He believes that there is something to the topic of UFOs, from the files which he has obtained, read, and released to the public.
"I feel I am achieving what I set out to do," he told Motherboard. "Easy access, to important material, for people to make up their own minds on what is going on.”