I would have gone with ‘my dog ate them’.
Believe what you will about extraterrestrial life visiting our planet, our government doesn’t want us to know…something. The fight to get the National Security Agency to release files about UFOs goes back to the 70’s when the Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) headed by lawyer Peter Gersten was trying to use the Freedom of Information act to see the documents. The NSA refused and the group sued. Now, if there was nothing to see, why so secretive?
The NSA monitor all kinds of communications and it’s entirely possible that some of this information was included in said files, which would explain, for awhile anyway, why they didn’t think the general public should get their hands on them. But during the case when the Chief of the Office of Policy for the NSA submitted a 21 page document to the judge as to why the files should remain secret, the judge concurred: “The public interest in disclosure is far outweighed by the sensitive nature of the materials and the obvious effect on national security their release may well entail.”
So what does that mean?
Even this document was all but entirely redacted when released, even the version the CAUS lawyer got to see.
In 1997, new laws made it more difficult for the NSA to hold onto the files so a considerably less redacted version of the document as well as 156 UFO documents were released…sort of. The UFO documents pretty much whited out anything of real interest and still, UFOlogists found themselves in a holding pattern waiting to see what the government knew about extraterrestrial life (assuming that’s what they were actually hiding).
Recently John Greenewald, a UFO and government secrecy researcher has been petitioning the NSA for release of the unredacted versions. The NSA responded with…’we lost them’. Apparently they pretty much destroyed the existing documents by whiting out the majority of them on the last round and now the originals are MIA. I kinda half-way believe this. Government inefficiency (sometimes downright incompetency) is certainly a thing of public record and I’m sure the documents weren’t where they thought they were. But I can’t believe they looked real hard either. Maybe we’ll never know the truth now, but in the wake of paid mis-informationalists coming forward like Richard Doty and probably some less-than-strictly-legal behavior during the cold war they’d most likely still not really be circulated, it’s hard to say whether the documents really hold the UFO secrets some like to believe.