- In a precedent setting hearing today, a federal judge
has decided to consider a UFO group's claims that the government failed
to conduct an adequate search for information about a very unusual aerial
- In the Phoenix, Arizona federal lawsuit, Citizens Against
UFO Secrecy (CAUS) vs. the Department of Defense, Chief Judge Stephen M.
McNamee, once again ignored the government's plea to dismiss the case,
and instead took under advisement the group's claims that the government
was guilty of bad faith in its search for information about a very unusual
triangular aerial object.
- Though CAUS, which had brought the lawsuit under the
Freedom of Information Act in 1999, submitted numerous affidavits from
witnesses who had observed the aerial object, the Department of Defense
continued to maintain in Court, that it could find no information confirming
the existence of this object.
- During the 30 minute hearing before a standing-room-only
audience of UFO
- enthusiasts, Peter A. Gersten, attorney for the UFO activist
organization, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) argued that the government's
search lacked the necessary element of "good faith." He claimed
that the Department of Defense's mishandling of the initial request raised
an "inference of indifference" on the agency's part and tainted
any subsequent search.
- Gersten, holding up a Department of Defense form which
initially indicated that documents had been found, only to be later changed
to "Not Found," argued that the form was more than mere sloppiness
on the government's part, it was evidence of bad faith and even possibly
a "signal" from agency insiders in favor of disclosure, that
documents were located.
- With the Judge's tacit approval, Gersten berated the
Defense Department for failing to provide his client with the specifics
of its search and in a surprise move, Gersten asked the Judge to reserve
decision on the government's motion to dismiss for ninety days in order
to allow his client to "assist the Department of Defense in locating
its own documents" by permitting CAUS to conduct limited discovery
procedures including depositions and interrogatories of both military and
- Judge McNamee, who appeared receptive to Gersten's arguments,
stated that he would take the CAUS request under advisement and issue a
written opinion shortly.
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