The CIA has just released an archive of 800,000 files and 13 million pages of declassified documents and made them available to the public online. The release of this declassified information has come about due to the work of freedom of information advocates and also a lawsuit which was filed against the CIA, as the BBC report.
To view these documents in the past, members of the public would have had to visit the National Archives in Maryland and gain access to one of four computers which were only available to use between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. So while technically available to the public since the mid-1990s, these declassified CIA documents would have been difficult for most people to view.
Included in these declassified documents of the CIA are papers of Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State for both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Several thousand pages of science research and development, along with intelligence analysis documents, have also been declassified and put online.
Some of the more interesting declassified CIA files that can be viewed are documents that were involved in the Stargate Project. This was a program which was funded by the U.S. Army and was part of the inspiration for the Netflix drama Stranger Things. Rolling Stone describe how the Stargate Project was used to research paranormal phenomena which could be used by the military, which included things like mind-reading, remote viewing, and psychokinesis.
The United States government is even reported to have hired a psychic headhunter to recruit candidates to join the program. The movie The Men Who Stare at Goats is also based on the CIA’s Stargate Project and described how those involved would try to develop and use their telekinetic powers to kill animals just by using their minds.
Some of the declassified CIA documents that you can read online that relate to the Stargate Project include experiments where the government tested the famous psychic Uri Geller in 1973. There are memos which describe how Geller was able to successfully partially replicate pictures drawn in other rooms with occasionally precise accuracy. This, in turn, led researchers at the CIA to write that Uri Geller “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner.”
— LibraryOfAlexandria (@lofalexandria) January 18, 2017
Secret writing and recipes for invisible ink are other things that are available within the vast collection of the CIA’s declassified documents. To conduct secret writing, it is recommended that you use a solution of nitrate of soda and starch in water which the CIA say can be carried in starched collars or handkerchiefs, or anything that can be starched. Once laid out in the above solution, these items can be ironed.
“The article thus treated is later on again put in water and a solution obtained which can be used for invisible writing. The best means for developing are iodite of potassium.”
The iodite of potassium recipe for developing secret writing calls for 5 grams of iodite of potassium with 100 grams of water and 2 grams of tartaric acid added, sulpharated soda, ferro cyanite of potassium, and ink mixed with water that is laid on using a brush.
To get these declassified CIA documents online has taken the work of many individuals and groups, including the information group MuckRock. The journalist Mike Best also used crowd-funding to secure $15,000 which was used to visit the CIA archives in Maryland so that some of these documents could be printed out and then publicly uploaded, one by one, which was a time-consuming task. However, uploading these documents did put public pressure on the CIA to finally upload the documents themselves.
“By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online.”
Have you had a look online yet at these declassified CIA documents and what have you learned?
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