13 million pages of declassified records were released online by the CIA
By: April Carson
More than 13 million pages of declassified material from the CIA have been made available online.
The files incorporate UFO sightings and psychic research from the Stargate program, which has long been a point of interest to conspiracy theorists.
After years of efforts by freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA, the CIA has released thousands of pages of declassified records.
Almost 800,000 files make up the complete archive.
Previously, these files were only accessible at the National Archives in Maryland.
The papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, are among the new collection's items. The collection also includes hundreds of thousands of pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.
Among the stranger papers are those from the Stargate Project, which studied psychic abilities and extrasensory perception.
The documents include Geller's 1973 testing on celebrities, when he was already a well-known entertainer.
According to the notes, Mr. Geller was able to somewhat duplicate images drawn in another room with varying - but sometimes precise - accuracy, prompting the researchers to state that he "demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unquestionable manner." A variety of reports on flying saucers, as well as recipes for invisible ink, are among the unusual documents in this collection.
The data, while public since the mid-1990s, has been difficult to access due to technical restrictions.
These records were only accessible by visiting four physical computers hidden in the back of a library at the National Archives in Maryland between 9:00 and 16:30 every day.
The CIA was ordered by a non-profit freedom of information organization, MuckRock, to upload the collection after more than two years of litigation.
At the same time, Mike Best, a journalist, raised more than $15,000 to go to the archives and print out and then publicly post one document at a time in an effort to put pressure on the CIA.
"I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and providing the agency with a financial incentive to simply put the database online by printing out and scanning the papers at CIA expense," Best wrote in a blog post.
The CIA announced in November that it would publish the records, and the complete declassified CREST archive is now available on the CIA Library website.
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