Like my co-blogger, Keith Basterfield, I have been following the saga of the "lost" Australian Department of Defence (DOD) UFO files.
It seems to me that the bottom line, is that the Freedom of Information staff at the DOD are simply not aware of their own Department's previous involvement in the UFO phenomenon.
How is corporate knowledge passed on?
Usually a company's history is passed on through word of mouth and written company history. The passage of 17 years since the DOD's Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ceased its UFO studies, is time enough for the failure of word of mouth as new staff have been taken on since then.
As for written company history, the RAAF, as the DOD's area charged with the UFO 'problem', had its written history on files. However, these files were transferred to the National Archives of Australia, by, at the latest, 1994. Hence, it is likely that no current DOD FOI staff member has ever read them.
In short, it is no wonder that the DOD's FOI staff did not have knowledge of the material.
The Sydney Morning Herald's (SMH) story was that the DOD had "lost" its UFO files. The story wasn't that the files had been transferred to the National Archives. The SMH reporter with a few key strokes, or a phone call, could have found the UFO files for themselves. A telephone call to any Australian UFO group would also have revealed the true facts.
The story's result was that the DOD had "lost" its UFO files.
A number of people have communicated with the SMH to advise them of the fact that the Adelaide based Australian UFO Research Association (AURA) conducted a major exercise to locate, examine and document the contents of the DOD's UFO files. However, I notice that the SMH has not run this story, i.e. what was in the files. This in itself is another story.
The findings of the AURA Disclosure Australia Project may be read at (click here.)