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CIA's 'X-Files' include 1960 photo of UFO over Minneapolis

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The CIA raised some eyebrows recently when it marked the revival of the television show "The X-Files" by highlighting some declassified documents from the agency's investigations of UFOs several decades ago.

An entry on the CIA's blog featured five documents that Agent Mulder "would love to use to try and persuade others of the existence of extraterrestrial activity." Also included were an equal number of documents that the more skeptical Agent Scully "could use to prove there is a scientific explanation for UFO sightings."

The documents generally date from the 1940s and '50s, but accompanying them is a 1960 photo the CIA says was taken in Minneapolis that shows something that looks like a flying saucer.

The CIA posted the blog entry on Jan. 21. But the Minneapolis photo had made its way (mysteriously, perhaps?) onto YouTube by Jan. 4.

The X-Files post was not all for the CIA. They also put together an extensive feature story called How to Investigate a Flying Saucer, which includes ten tips to improve your investigation's success.

What's behind the spy agency's sudden readiness to encourage UFO spotters?

The British newspaper The Mirror asked Stephen Bassett of Paradigm Research Group, who the Mirror says is campaigning for the U.S. government to admit aliens are visiting Earth. Bassett suspects the CIA may be warming up for that, saying:

 "The recent postings to the CIA website could well be strategic on the part of the agency. It appears the CIA used the revival of the X-Files franchise as a convenient time to remind the public the agency has, in fact, engaged the extraterrestrial presence issue in the past. "

Orbs spotted moving out of a UFO in Prior Lake

Earlier this month, the website Open Minds reported that investigators with the Mutual UFO Network had looked into a sighting by two witnesses in Prior Lake last October and closed the case as an Unknown.

The witnesses reportedly saw a bright object in the sky over a swampy area and wrote:

“This object, about five or six feet in diameter, was rising up and moving to the left at an angle. As it rose it emitted two similar, but smaller objects, each perhaps a foot and-a-half in diameter, which moved to each side of the first object, and the three flew off together in formation in a northeast direction until they were out of sight."

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