The FBI has finally addressed a memo from its digital archive that many conspiracy theorists have taken as proof of the existence of UFOs.
Originally published on March 22, 1950, the one-page memo was sent by Guy Hottel, the head of the FBI’s District of Columbia field office, to legendary FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. The memo contained information that Hottel had received from an informant about a possible UFO discovery.
"An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico," Hottel wrote.
"They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”
Hotel added that his agents had yet to pursue the matter any further.
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The intriguing digital file was initially released to the public in April 2011, as part of the Freedom of Information Act. According to Yahoo! News, the FBI reports that the file has been viewed nearly a million times. The agency blames this massive audience on the fact that media outlets "erroneously reported that the FBI had posted proof of a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico, [in 1947] and the recovery of wreckage and alien corpses."
"The Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs,” the FBI said in a Monday blog post. "It is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated."
The bureau also points out that the Hottel memo was written several years after the notorious Roswell incident, which occurred in July 1947.
“The FBI has only occasionally been involved in investigating reports of UFOs and extraterrestrials,” the blog post continued. “For a few years after the Roswell incident, Director Hoover did order his agents—the request of the Air Force—verify any UFO sightings. That practice ended in July 1950, four months after the Hottel memo, suggesting that our Washington Field Office didn't think enough of that flying saucer story to look into it.”