FOIA requests on UFOs, September 11, and President Bush's National Guard records

Ron Brynaert

UFOs, the J.F.K. assassination, the events of September 11, and the bombing attack on the USS Cole have been popular requests made of the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act since 2000, according to lists acquired by Michael Petrelis, a San Francisco-based activist and blogger.

In a series of articles, RAW STORY focused on FOIA requests by news organizations, members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Republican staffers who seemingly "disguised" their identities.

The data
RAW STORY is now making the full FOIA logs available online. The data can be downloaded for easy management in Microsoft Excel, or for easy viewing in Portable Document Format. The PDF copies are in .zip format, which can be decompressed with WinZip or WinRAR.

To view the logs from 2000-2004:

Click here for Microsoft Excel or here for compressed PDF.

To view the logs from 2004 to present:

Click here for Microsoft Excel or here for compressed PDF.

Unusual requests
RAW STORY has also compiled an assortment of some of the more flavorful requests.

By far, the most recurring requests were for information on alleged government dealings with UFOs and activities at Roswell.

One inquirer wanted to know about Project Sigma "as it relates to diplomatic relations with aliens/extraterrestrials." According to UFOpedia, Project Sigma was a "1954 Top Secret project that looked into how to communicate with aliens" which "is said to have succeeded in 1964 when a USAF intelligence officer met two other aliens at a prearranged location in a desert in New Mexico."

Another requester wanted to know why "Area 51 is such a big secret." The request continues by asking if any "earthlike craft crash there." Yet another combined a petition for info and "insight" on Roswell and Area 51 with a request for a picture of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

On March 8, 2002 Jayson Blair, the former reporter for The New York Times who became notorious for rampant plagiarism and making up quotes, sought copies of correspondence between Enron officials and the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Installations. The Times published an article by Blair on March 10, 2002 that covered a $25 million Army contract the now bankrupt energy company had secured with Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton which was the subject of a federal investigation at the time. Although Blair resigned from the Times in May of 2003, his FOIA request wasn't withdrawn until April of 2004.

On September 13, 2001 reporter Todd Carter of the National Security News Service attempted to acquire "all info between August 28, 2001 and September 11, 2001 warning of terrorist attacks." Carter's request was denied six days later. Three years later it was revealed that an August 6, 2001 Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the United States" had reached President Bush, though the date was outside the parameters of Carter's FOIA request.

Russ Kick, publisher and editor of The Memory Hole, a Website renowned for posting government documents and photographs, can be described as a frequent FOIA filer. A January, 2004 request by Kick for a complete video "from a Pentagon video camera that captured Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on 9/11" was denied in April of 2004. NBC News had obtained still frames from the footage.

On March 1, 2004 there were over a dozen requests for "verification of G.W. Bush's National Guard payroll/service personnel records from May 1972 - April 1973 and discharge records in Oct 1973." The "action taken" space on the FOIA list was left blank on the majority of them.

Finally, a Mr. or Ms. Ellington wrote that they were willing to pay $2.00 to learn how to load a Kalashnikov AK-47, while a Michael D. Hall requested information on the 1967 attack of the U.S.S. Liberty which he viewed as a declaration of war against the United States by the "terrorist state of Israel."