The Federal Bureau of Investigation released on Friday four heavily redacted pages of records responsive to the Galileo Project, resulting from a July 2023 Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Expanding Frontiers Research. The Bureau indicated an additional 24 pages of responsive records were withheld in full. Obtain the released records:
The FBI cited FOIA Exemptions b(6), b(7)(C) and b(7)(E) for the withholding of material. Category b(7) pertains to records compiled for law enforcement purposes. Exemption b(7)(E) states information is exempt from disclosure if it would reveal techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or if it would disclose guidelines for investigations and prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.
Responding to an EFR media inquiry about whether the FOIA release might indicate the undertaking of some type of investigation, the FBI National Press Office stated in a Friday email its standard policy is to neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation. In general, the statement continued, the FBI does not comment on the content of files released through the FOIA, and lets the information contained in the files speak for itself.
The four pages released depict an FBI electronic communication labeled unclassified and titled “The Galileo Project's Research Approach to UAP”. As demonstrated below, the term “FOUO,” meaning “for official use only,” was marked off the top of the document. It is not immediately clear why text other than personal identifiable information was subsequently redacted, or what the additional 24 responsive pages might reveal, or why they were fully withheld. Neither is the origin or purpose of the electronic communication immediately clear. It was apparently approved by an “SIA,” or Supervisory Intelligence Analyst.
A “deleted page information sheet” was included in the FOIA release, specifically noting the exemptions applied to each of the 24 pages withheld. A screenshot of the sheet:
The Galileo Project is a search for extraterrestrial signatures headed by Harvard astronomer Professor Avi Loeb. Results reported thus far and Loeb's related assertions have received mixed support and notable criticism. The records released by the FBI state Loeb's endeavor raised $1.7 million from private investors to look for possible evidence of artifacts or equipment made by extraterrestrial technological civilizations, as reported by International Business Times in July 2021.
Offered an opportunity to comment, Prof. Loeb called the FBI FOIA release “interesting” in emails exchanged Friday, emphasizing project members “do not hide anything and disclose all relevant information on our website.” Loeb stated he did not know about the records in the possession of the FBI and, upon being asked to make it perfectly clear he is unaware of anyone submitting the information or document to the FBI, responded that is “correct.”
Expanding Frontiers Research will appeal the 24 pages fully withheld and portions of the redacted material released by the FBI.