internet indiscretions

The Black Vault Has Tons of Declassified Government Documents, is Conspiratorial and Awesome

by Angelica Leicht Posted: 07-28-15 | 2 years ago

Is The Black Vault the coolest website on the planet? Maybe. We don’t know because we haven’t actually scoured the entire Internet yet. Give us time.

But what we do know is the site, which publishes hard to access and declassified government records, is the coolest conspiracy-theory breeding-grounds on the Internet. And we love a good conspiracy theory.

That beehive is rad, tho.
That beehive is rad, tho.

The folks over at The Black Vault have unearthed all kinds of secret information over the years. Take, for instance, the treasure trove of documents they’ve shared from Project Blue Book, a secret operation started in 1947, in which the United States Air Force tracked suspected UFO activity.

Although the government ended Project Blue Book a couple of decades later, the project amassed a wealth of documents on UFO reports across the U.S. — over 130,000 documents on 12,618 alleged UFO sightings by military members and civilians, of which 701 remain “unidentified.”

The documents were technically declassified many years back, but in order get access, one would have had to go to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to view them. Oh, and they were on 94 spools of microfilm. So good luck with that.

But because Black Vault site owner John Greenewald is awesome, he requested and then uploaded those Project Blue Book documents to the website in January 2015 — no easy task, considering.

And Greenewald hasn’t limited the site to just UFO-related documents, either. He’s spent many, many years filing FOIA requests for all kinds of government documents — FBI investigations into celebrities, stuff on animal mutilations, and the like — which he then uploads to his site for the whole world to see. But while the celebrity documents are fun in a voyeuristic kind of way, man, are the documents from Project Blue Book awesome. Houston awesome.

There are reports of whirring and whizzing objects all around our fair city starting in the late ’40s, along with unexplained lights seen by pilots, and guys with telescopes who report seeing low-flying grey crafts in perfect formation.

There are also a handful of unsolved Houston UFO sightings from Project Blue Book included in the vault. You can also dig up old documents on Project Sign and Grudge, the forebodingly-named predecessors to Project Blue Book as well, should you be so inclined.

But the following incidents, which you can find supporting documentation to on Greenewald’s site, remain a Blue Book mystery.

May 20, 1952; Houston, Texas. 10:10 p.m.

Witnesses: USAF pilots Capt. J. Spurgin and Capt. BB. Stephan. One bright or white oval object moved from side-to-side while making a gradual turn for 90 seconds.

Feb, 19, 1956; Houston, Texas. 6:07 a.m.

Witnesses: crew of Eastern Airlines Super Constellation. One intense white light, moving 4-5 times the speed of the airplane, was evaded by the pilot.

Spring, 1961; Kemah, Texas.

Case missing from official files. (Wat.)

July 20, 1961; Houston, Texas. 8 a.m.

Witnesses: Trans-Texas Airlines Capt. A.V. Beather, flying DC-3, plus vague report from ground radar. Two very bright white light or objects flew in trail formation for 30 minutes.

March 22, 1966; Houston, Texas. 1:30 a.m.

Witness: S.J. Musachia. White flashing lights, and the air full of smoke. Lit up witness’ apartment. Sound of “yen ” heard up close during 4 minute sighting.

The type font somehow makes this all creepier.
The type font somehow makes this all creepier.

Oh, and wait. The Blue Book info would be enough, but there’s also documents related to this insane incident with Continental Airlines Flight 2822 from May 2009. Greenewald was given the documents after, say it with us, another FOIA request, and man, are they a doozy.

According to the site, a pilot on flight 2822 reported witnessing what he said something that resembled “a missile”  flying below his aircraft, only he wasn’t seeing it on radar.

Per The Black Book:

On May 29th, 2009, a mysterious object displayed just how much of a ‘threat’ UFOs can be; alien spacecraft or not.

Continental Airlines Flight 2822 was en route to Greenville Spartanburg International Airport from Houston, when the pilot radioed in something odd was happening.  He witnessed what he said something that resembled “a missile” was flying below his aircraft, but he wasn’t seeing it on radar.

What was this mysterious object?

Shortly after the incident, I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FAA for all pertinent documents relating to the incident. Surprisingly, the request yielded some interesting results.

First, was the Daily Record of Facility Operation for the date of the incident.  The document stated that the, “object passed 200ft below and behind [aircraft] out of 13000 [feet]… No radar target displayed.”  Another reference in the document stated that it was a, “… missile passing below his aircraft by 100-200ft @13,000 [feet].”

Secondly, the FAA also supplied the air traffic controller’s communications. Sifting through the unneeded communications, and straining to hear the nearly completely inaudible audio, seven minutes and thirty seconds into the audio recording, a transmission states:

Unidentified Male #1: “About two updates ago, 2822 said something passed 200feet below him. He saw it with his eyes.”

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): “Oh really??”

Unidentified Male #1: “That’s what he said.”

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): “There isn’t anything out there… no primary…”

Unidentified Male #1: “Yeah, I didn’t see anything either… so…”

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): “Ok thank you.”

As the recording goes on, eight minutes and fifty four seconds into the recording, the incident is discussed again:

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): Inaudible.  Presumably asking for update on the mysterious object sighted.

Unidentified Male #3: “Sure.  The gentleman is now saying it looked like a missile.”

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): “A Missile?”

Unidentified Male #3: “… flying in the opposite direction, rapidly below him… about 200ft below him.  I told my supervisor.”

Unidentified Male #2 (Presumably Air Traffic Controller): “Ok, and I’ll alert mine.” Inaudible.

So what was the object?  A missile? Another aircraft?  An alien spacecraft?  Subsequent investigations around the area for any launch sites for surface to air missiles yielded no results.

The remaining data on the CD-ROM given to me by the FAA also reportedly had radar data. The file was corrupt on the CD-ROM, and I am awaiting another copy.

The event still remains a mystery. But it also adds another piece of the puzzle that the military and government is ignoring.  Whatever these UFOs are; they are a threat.

The above incident was a huge threat to the twenty-six people on board Continental Flight 2822.  Luckily, this sighting was reported, and appears to have been taken somewhat seriously.

There’s also some info about that weird incident that happened out in Stephenville, Texas a few years ago. Even Larry King jumped on the UFO bandwagon for that one.

So, this is what happened:

On January 8, 2008, Stephenville gained national media attention when dozens and later hundreds of residents reported observations of unidentified flying objects. According to reports, residents observed several types of UFOs, the descriptions ranging from triangular looking craft to discs. Several residents described the crafts as the size of a football field, while others said they were nearly a mile long. Some observers reported military aircraft pursuing the objects.

CNN’s Larry King covered the story in the days following the incident, and according to Steve Allen, a private pilot who witnessed the UFO, the object was travelling at a high rate of speed which supposedly reached 3,000 feet in the air. Allen said it was “About a half a mile wide and about a mile long. It was humongous, whatever it was.” The History Channel show, UFO Hunters did an investigation on the UFO sightings.

On January 23, after initially denying that aircraft were operating in the area for operations security purposes, the US Air Force said they were conducting training flights in the Stephenville area that involved 10 fighter jets. The Air Force said they were merely F-16 Fighting Falcon jets conducting night flights. Disgruntled employee, Angelia Joiner, who during this period was the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reporter covering the story, left the paper because they ceased covering the topic Washington Post blogger Emil Steiner reported that her termination may have been related to pressure from the Stephenville town fathers.  MUFON has released reports about the UFO incident here. The report alleged that a UFO had flown over the Bush’s Crawford Ranch. The other MUFON report is a radar related report on this matter. Inquiries made about the UFO incident have been stonewalled by the USAF.

A year later, Greenewald submitted a FOIA request for information on the incident. He got back a ton of text documents in return. Most of the documents (read: ALL OF THEM) are incomprehensible to us — they’re flight records and the like — but maybe you can decipher them. Shady, shady business out in Stephenville, we think.

So, yes. This site is awesome, and will keep us occupied with grainy documents and photos for hours. And we haven’t even gotten into the FBI paranormal files or the animal mutilations yet! You know there are a ton from Texas; this is the land of the chupacabra, right?

We’ll be sure to report back with our findings.

Angelica Leicht

“As a former alt-weekly writer and editor, Angelica has plenty of experience in listicles and fighting the man. She now spends most of her time side-eying and listening to terrible pop music while plotting how to raise a little Texas-bred hell.”

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