DEFE 24/1940

FOI request reference: CAS-69088-H3P3Y6
Publication date: July 2021

Request

1. What specific reason(s) was/were used to justify the redaction of each piece of information from “the pages”, or was there a blanket reason which covered them all or the file in its entirety? From your email, there would seem to be only 3 possible reasons (or some combination thereof):

(i) if it would be unfair to reveal the data
(ii) if it would be at odds with the reason why the data was collected, or
(iii) where the subject had officially served notice that releasing the data would cause them damage or distress.

If I am incorrect in the belief that only those 3 reasons apply, please would you still clarify the precise reasons for the redactions, especially whether any of the individuals concerned had served notice?

2. Is it known by the MOD or TNA whether the individuals identified in “the pages” are deceased? If it is known that one or more of the individuals are deceased, could it be made clear which are in that category? For example, I count at least 4 possible individuals, including:

(i) the witness on page 35
(ii) the Press Officer at RAF Pitreavie MHQ on page 35
(iii) the multiple apparent signatories on page 36

Outcome

Some information provided.

Response

1. What specific reason(s) was/were used to justify the redaction of each piece of information from “the pages”, or was there a blanket reason which covered them all or the file in its entirety? From your email, there would seem to be only 3 possible reasons (or some combination thereof):

(i) if it would be unfair to reveal the data
(ii) if it would be at odds with the reason why the data was collected, or
(iii) where the subject had officially served notice that releasing the data would cause them damage or distress.

We can confirm that the following blanket justification is currently in use giving the reasoning behind the current redactions. This is the extent of the information we currently hold regarding the closure justification;

Criterion: 40(2) Closed Justification: These pieces contain the names and personal addresses of members of the public who contacted the MOD regarding UFO policy and sightings and the names of MOD personnel who investigated and responded to this contact. Redacted versions are available. The youngest aged at least 16. Currently closed for 30 years by FOIs 22 and 54.

If I am incorrect in the belief that only those 3 reasons apply, please would you still clarify the precise reasons for the redactions, especially whether any of the individuals concerned had served notice?

I can confirm that The National Archives does not hold this information.

2. Is it known by the MOD or TNA whether the individuals identified in “the pages” are deceased? If it is known that one or more of the individuals are deceased, could it be made clear which are in that category? For example, I count at least 4 possible individuals, including:

(i) the witness on page 35
(ii) the Press Officer at RAF Pitreavie MHQ on page 35
(iii) the multiple apparent signatories on page 36

I can confirm that The National Archives does not hold this information.

With regards to what information may be held by the Ministry of Defence, we are unable to comment on what information may be held by a separate government body. Requests should be directed to their own Freedom of Information department: cio-foi@mod.uk.