Sunday, January 3, 2016

Annual release of National Archives of Australia (NAA) files

Hi all,

Each year, at midnight on 31 December, the NAA releases hundreds of newly processed old files to its RecordsSearch database.

For several years now, part of my New Year ritual has been to look at RecordSearch for files dealing with UAP. Every year, I have found newly released material, and have then requested the NAA to examine it, change the status to "open," paid the relevant fee and had a digitised copy of each file made available, for anyone to read. I have then published summaries of the material, here on this blog.

So, early on the morning of 1 January 2016, I used a number of keywords to search RecordSearch for UAP files. The result was that there was nothing new! This is the first time this has happened, and my initial reaction was "Oh well, it had to happen one year. There has to be a finite limit of such files, created by Australian government departments and archived by the NAA. So, perhaps we have indeed seen all the UAP files held by the NAA."

Not so, there is a file series A9755, with some files, known to be held by the NAA which still do not appear on RecordSearch. Domic McNamara and I saw the whole series in 2004 at the RAAF base Edinburgh. The reason that they are still not on RecordSearch, would simply appear to be their date range, which is 1990-19994. They are still not old enough to be available via the Archives Act.

In 2015, last year, I submitted an FOI Act request to the Department of Defence (DOD)  to obtain a copy of these few remaining files. However, the DOD wanted to charge an extremely high price to copy the files. I declined to accept their quoted price. I thought to myself, I will simply wait for them to eventually emerge via the Archives Act.

Today, as I was typing this post, I decided on a whim, to recheck RecordSearch for the A9755 series. Amazingly, two days after they are usually released, three new UAP files from the A9755 series appeared.

These are:

1. A9755, control symbol 10- titled "RAAF Headquarters No 82 Bomber Wing, Amberley, Queensland. [UFO] [UAS]."  The date range is 1991-1992.

2. A9755, control symbol 13 - titled "RAAF No 2 Flying School, Pearce, Western Australia. [UFO] [UAS]."  The date range is 1990-1994.

3. A9755, control symbol 7 - titled "RAAF TFG Tactical Fighter Group, Williamtown. [UAS] [UFO]." The date range is 1990-1994.

I have submitted a request to the NAA, to examine these files, and declare them "open." I can then pay the relevant fee and have them digitised.

A happy new year after all!

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