When the British government released the last of its UFO files in June, 2013 (all except for “copies of MoD papers, records or other information relating to internal discussion, policy and/or briefings in response to public statements made to the media and via the release of Open Skies, Closed Minds by Nick Pope during the period 1995-96,” that Pope insists must remain hidden), much was said about the apparently frivolous nature of much of the correspondence from the public. For example, "A letter from a school child in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to the MoD, dated January 2009, asking if aliens exist after she had seen some strange lights, and including a drawing of an alien in a UFO waving." At that time I wrote,
When my name was included on a list prepared by NASA of people who might have information on UFOs (since they did not), I used to receive dozens of letters like this from school children requesting information. I would usually reply with just a page or two of skeptical materials, but I suppose that was not what they wanted to receive.
Now it's time to look at the correspondence I received when I was listed by NASA (along with several other groups) as a source of information about UFOs. Each and every such letter I received was from someone who had written NASA, asking for information about UFOs. NASA replied that they did not have any such information, but here is a list of organizations that do. The time frame is mostly about 1978-1983. Unfortunately the box where these letters were stored was damaged in a flood, resulting in much discoloration, but most of them are still readable.
Many letters were received from Latin America, most written in Spanish or Portuguese. Brazil was among the most avidly interested countries. Other letters were received from Poland, Austria, the UK, and even India. The foreign letters seemed to be from somewhat older correspondents, apparently college students. Some of the letters were from adults, but in a business-related context, not a personal one. This one, for example is from a Public Relations firm in Japan anxious to make money by promoting UFO sensationalism:
I have uploaded a much longer collection of the NASA UFO letters to the Historical section of my website Debunker.com.
Why does this matter? We often hear UFO proponents advocating to have the government get back into UFO investigations and studies in one capacity or another. Supposedly this will lead to progress being made in finding out what UFOs 'really are.' Perhaps, but what we can be certain of is that a large part of the UFO Department's correspondence will look like this. And there will be a clamor for it to be released in full. Then accusations of a "coverup" when it is seen that the files contain little but trivial and foolish correspondence. If you were a government official, plugging away at your desk on some mundane administrative task, would you like to see your department plunged into the middle of this can of worms?