February 26, 2024

Under a new law, federal agencies are required to organize and tag records related to what the government calls “unidentified anomalous phenomena” (UAP). These new records management provisions are part of the recently enacted defense policy bill for 2024. Agencies have until the end of the fiscal year to review, identify, and organize each UAP record in their custody for disclosure to the public and transmission to the National Archives. The National Archives and Records Administration will now house a central collection of UAP records. The law was passed without measures sought by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been advocating for a presidential commission with the authority to declassify UAP records. NARA is providing guidance to federal agencies for setting up the UAP collection and creating a form for tagging records. The memo outlines the metadata requirements, including classification levels and restrictions, as well as what can and cannot be publicly disclosed. Agencies are being asked to start identifying relevant records and will receive further instructions on tagging and transmitting records to the Archives. This initiative is aimed at addressing the public’s longstanding interest in understanding mysterious and unexplained objects and phenomena.

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