How the CIA Made a Checklist on Photographing UFO Sightings

Declassified is an original Phoblographer series that digs deep into historical documents to examine how the government used photography.

In the late 1950s, an anonymous man explored space from his backyard using his telescope. Just like many of you, he was fascinated by what’s out there. And what he found intrigued the CIA. Some probably thought that he was crazy. But a report details the high-resolution photography and emulsions he was using to get the photos. Strange objects were appearing not far from the moon. The CIA received things like this all the time, but the outstanding, high-resolution images this man shot began a vintage X-Files series of investigations. It concerned them enough that they started studies almost 62 years ago.

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