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After a nearly two and a half year effort, The Black Vault was denied under FOIA to get videos declassified depicting Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) citing a harm to national security, if released.
Since December of 2017, two videos that surfaced of alleged Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) sightings captivated the world. Months later, a third was released that only increased public interest into the topic, but also strengthened their voice for transparency about the mysterious phenomena.
Even though the military said they were not cleared for public dissemination and considered leaked, the Navy later would officially release copies of the same in April of 2020 to satisfy public curiosity and calls for transparency. But, how many other videos were there?
At that moment, The Black Vault aimed to find out just that.
So, in April of 2020, The Black Vault began a pursuit to have the U.S. Navy release ALL of their videos that held a UAP designation. And after nearly two and a half years, the untold number of videos with that UAP designation have been fully denied due to national security concerns.
This story begins on April 28, 2020, when The Black Vault filed FOIA case DON-NAVY-2020-007226 (later renumbered in November of 2020 after a bogus rejection and given new case number DON-NAVY-2021-001457) to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the same command that officially released the three UAP videos one day prior.
The request was simple. It asked for all videos that were designated “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”, just like the FLIR1, Gimbal and GoFast videos that they had previously released and labeled as “UAP”. The FOIA case filed sought ALL of them.
It seemed plausible if there were three, there were more at NAVAIR. However, in March of 2022, NAVAIR would deny that request stating that they found no additional videos. It seemed strange they had three, and only those three, but other requests had already been filed by The Black Vault to seek out more places UAP videos might be hiding.
On February 2, 2021, The Black Vault had also filed FOIA request DON-NAVY-2021-001456. Given that it was recognized by Congress, and stated in the media numerous times, this specific case was filed with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) which was said to be the home for the UAP Task Force (UAPTF). Yet, it would take 17 months for ONI to inform The Black Vault that the videos, if any designation “UAP” should exist, would be housed at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), and a new case needed to be filed there. It appeared that the 17 month wait endured, was a complete waste of time.
A new case was filed DON-NAVY-2022-010360 to N2/N6, and only two months after that was filed on July 11, 2022, The Black Vault received the official denial.
“The UAP Task Force has responded back to DNS-36 and have stated that the requested videos contain sensitive information pertaining to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) and are classified and are exempt from disclosure in their entirety under exemption 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b)(1) in accordance with Executive Order 13526 and the UAP Security Classification Guide,” Gary Cason, Deputy Director, DON FOIA/PA Program Office, said in the response letter. “The release of this information will harm national security as it may provide adversaries valuable information regarding Department of Defense/Navy operations, vulnerabilities, and/or capabilities. No portions of the videos can be segregated for release.”
Potentially seeing a justification of an appeal, the U.S. Navy uncharacteristically gave additional details for their decision, which cited the previous release of three UAP videos.
“While three UAP videos were released in the past, the facts specific to those three videos are unique in that those videos were initially released via unofficial channels before official release,” Cason stated in the letter. “Those events were discussed extensively in the public domain; in fact, major news outlets conducted specials on these events. Given the amount of information in the public domain regarding these encounters, it was possible to release the files without further damage to national security.”
The Black Vault has filed an appeal seeking the release of the videos denied.
The Denial Letter
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