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Along with relatively mundane documents related to the wars in Korea and Vietnam, some of the nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents recently released by the CIA reveal the agency’s more esoteric pursuits.
Interestingly enough, some of the declassified papers dealing with UFO sightings date back to the 1970s, years after the termination of Project Blue Book – a US Air Force program aimed at scientifically analyzing UFO-related information and determining whether ‘flying saucers’ posed a threat to the national security of the United States.
According to one of the papers, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) was also involved in the analysis of UFO sightings, and at least 20 percent of unidentified flying craft sightings could not be scientifically explained.
“The IAC has reviewed the current situation concerning unidentified flying objects, which have caused extensive speculation in the press and have been the subject of concern to Government organizations… Since 1947, approximately 1,500 official reports of sightings have been received and, of these about 20 percent are as yet unexplained,” the document says.
Meanwhile, famous Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, the first man in history to conduct extravehicular activity, dismissed these revelations as “rubbish.”
“This is all rubbish. I’ve never seen anything of the sort. It’s all press ramblings. What kind of a serious organization is the CIA? It only does what benefits it. The CIA is an organization that is willing to take on any job. I interacted with them for many years, I worked at Houston and I haven’t seen anything like that. And my friend Tom Stafford and the chief of the Edwards (Air Force) Base don’t know anything about it. It’s all speculations in the press, it’s just idle gossip,” the cosmonaut said during an interview with the Russian TV channel Zvesda.
Additionally, the declassified documents reveal that early in the 1970s, the CIA was exhibiting interest in extrasensory perception (ESP) and people who apparently exhibited paranormal abilities – roughly at the same time when the US military initiated Project Stargate, which was tasked with investigating the potential for psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications.
Interestingly enough, the documents reveal that the CIA at some point truly believed that Israeli illusionist Uri Geller was endowed with genuine ESP abilities and actually intended to employ his skills in order to remotely spy on various secret facilities.
According to the documents, the CIA conducted several experiments with Geller from August 4 till August 11, 1973 which convinced the agency that the Israeli psychic was the real deal. Yet only a few days before these experiments, Geller had failed to manifest his alleged talents during The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, prompting speculations that the self-professed psychic might be a fraud.