ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some of the Central Intelligence Agency’s secrets are out. No longer do you have to travel to the National Archives to examine once-classified documents.
The 12 million pages can be searched online, and also reveal some of New Mexico’s history and our state’s role in national security.
“It provides a tremendous source for historians, graduate students, academics and just interested citizens,” said Dr. Emile Nakhleh, Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico.
Nakhleh also spent 16 years with the Central Intelligence Agency.
“I basically was in charge of what we call Political Islam globally throughout the U.S. government. So we established an office, which I directed, and was called Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program,” he said.
Nakhleh provided his analysis on the CIA’s release of the documents.
“It also involves New Mexico and the Southwest,” he said. “It covers the Cold War, the nuclear espionage, which of course, involved Los Alamos and Sandia, and Albuquerque and Santa Fe,” he said.
Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories are mentioned frequently in the documents, which span from the 1940s to the 1990s.
A number of documents can be found on spies who had ties to New Mexico, including infamous spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, executed for turning our atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Files on David Greenglass, Mrs. Rosenberg’s brother, have been unearthed, once labeled “secret eyes” only.
In June 1945, at a boarding house on High Street in Albuquerque, Greenglass passed on info about the bomb developed in New Mexico. That happened a month before the top-secret Trinity Test in the New Mexico desert.
“That was the largest, most significant nuclear espionage in history, and that happened in New Mexico,” said Nakhleh.
You can also read all about Edward Lee Howard and find the warrant for the CIA case officer who snuck out of Santa Fe, defecting for Russia in 1985.
The CIA has a treasure trove from White Sands, including a report on radar tests in 1952 with plans and old pictures of balloon testing, all deemed secret at the time.
“It also includes some bizarre things about dreams, about UFOs,” Nakhleh said. A 1958 document on reporting UFOs is included.
CIA.gov previously released the eyewitness account from Lonnie Zamora. The Socorro policeman’s 1964 eerie encounter sparked more UFO fascination. The agency has a down-to-earth approach with ten tips when investigating a flying saucer.
“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography. The American public can access these documents from the comfort of their homes,” said Joseph Lambert, the CIA Director of Information Management, in a press release.
“These documents by themselves can generate, I would say, dozens of Ph.D. dissertations,” Nakhleh noted.