Culture Wars/Current Controversies

John Greenewald: “They don’t want us to know”

An expert weights in on government secrets and UFOs

Appears in this episode

Phoebe Smith
Reporting on cities, energy, and the environment
John Greenewald of Black Vault is a UFO seeker, not a believer

As more pieces of the UFO puzzle emerge, the picture doesn’t get clearer, just bigger and more complex.

The idea of UFOs may make some roll their eyes, but simply put, these aerial craft are unattributed to a known source. Many cases of UFOs can certainly be connected to foreign technology or even classified research that even those within the same government are unfamiliar with.

However, new whistleblowers like David Grusch have helped push ideas like reverse engineering non-human spacecraft into the mainstream. For veteran researchers like John Greenewald, these sorts of claims never seem to be surprising. “There’s nothing new here,” he states.

Greenewald, the Founder of the Black Vault— an organization dedicated to uncovering various top-secret projects through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made available to the public— has been researching UFOs since he was 15 years old. He doesn’t make bold claims regarding alien life or secret plots, but rather reasonably demands transparency on any UFO-related research. Strangely, the National Security Agency (NSA) has increasingly denied FOIA requests on the subject without substantial explanation.

In this interview, he describes the story of how he came across a 4-page document detailing an unidentified flying object (UFO) case from 1976 in Iran. Fascinated but skeptical of its authenticity, he submitted a FOIA request and got ahold of the document for himself. “There’s really no viable explanation for it. And I was hooked after that.”

Greenewald notes there are a handful of cases where evidence is still inconclusive. A CIA-sponsored scientific analysis has even confirmed in the 1970s that the origin of certain physical materials retrieved in relation to a UFO case cannot be explained. “We know that there’s a small percentage of cases that they still can’t identify,” Greenwalde said.

Although just a small percentage of cases are unexplained, Greenewald argues they are still relevant. He has made a habit of filing appeals and fighting for evidence over the years, but the NSA is clamping down harder than ever before, in a way he “[has] yet to see in 27 years of doing this [research].”

Greenewald explains The Office of the Secretary of Defense is denying any and all requests pertaining to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) under exemption B7.

“The nutshell explanation is stuff that is related to a law enforcement investigation. Key being law enforcement investigation,” Greenewald said. He is seeking to understand if AARO is a law enforcement agency.

“If that’s true, as long as AARO exists, they can now deny 100% of anything connected to that office when we file Freedom of Information Act requests, and that is new.”

“Secrecy is tightening,” Greenewald emphasizes. “If we are in a new level of transparency that some UFO believers want us to believe we are in, then why is that the case?”

“You can’t necessarily discount the alien theory,” he states, “it’s still on the table.”


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