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Berlin Court orders release of official UFO study, but government appeals

The Bundestag Building in Berlin (credit: Julian Herzog/Wikimedia Commons)

Germany is falling behind the curve within all major Western democracies when it comes to the release of official UFO files. While the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Denmark, among other NATO countries, have declassified a substantial amount of official UFO documents, Germany has done no such thing, maintaining officially that no federal agencies have investigated UFOs.

Seal of the Deutsche Bundestag
But things may change after a hearing of the Berlin Administrative Court of December 1 brought about by a German citizen, Frank Reitemeyer, who wants to gain access to a confidential study prepared by the Research Services of the Department of Science and Foreign Relations of the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament). “I’ve never seen a UFO,” said Reitemeyer to the German N-TV network, but he is convinced the German government has long known about unidentified flying objects. The plaintiff Reitemeyer explained his position to the Berlin court:

I want to know facts and it bothers me that in France, England, USA, Canada, the citizens can see the UFO files, and I am not informed as a German from my German government. It is therefore such a glaring discrepancy…In France, a citizen is automatically informed by his government because the government provides the UFO files to the website of the space agency, so officially on the government side, anyone can view the documents free at home. I, as a German in Germany, must also send faxes, make phone calls, file a claim. This has a cost and stress, which I do not think is proper.

The plaintiff Frank Reitemeyer (right) in court. (credit: German Exopolitics)

The Court had to decide “if the right to official information under the Freedom of Information Act (German acronym IFG) also applies to the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag.” The defendant alleged it did not because it’s protected under intellectual property laws (copyright). The Court, however, didn’t buy this argument, stating that “the plaintiff did not intend to bring this [UFO] study into the market but simply wanted to read it.” The German Bundestag plans to appeal the decision at the Supreme Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg.

The 2009 Bundestag Study

Cover page of the secret German Bundestag UFO study (credit: German Exopolitics)

For years the German Federal Government has denied any knowledge of UFOs, and the only reason we know about this study is because a draft of it was leaked to Robert Fleischer, coordinator of Exopolitics Germany, and some excerpts were published in the German newspaper Welt Kompakt. It all started back in 2009 and Robert Fleischer explained its genesis in an interview with Andreas Müller, one of the editors of, the coordinator of the German Exopolitics Initiative:

CDU member of the Bundestag Gita Connemann, who requested the UFO study. (credit: Gita Connemann website)

A freelance journalist and photographer from Lower Saxony, Thorsten Wachten called me one day. He was about to interview a member of the Bundestag, Gitta Connemann (CDU, Christian Democratic Union), and asked for reliable information on the UFO issue that he could address to the Congresswoman Connemann. I sent him our briefing document for journalists and some other documents. When Mr. Watchen presented the documents during the interview and then asked for her views, Mrs. Connemann had no immediate answer. She was amazed that there were so many [documents] on this subject with unknown facts, so she promised to instruct the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag with an elaboration on the subject, to find a suitable partner for Exopolitics Germany. Mrs. Connemann kept her word, and a few weeks later I received the draft, together with a nice cover letter.

The German Bundestag report is titled, “The search for extraterrestrial life and the implementation of UN Resolution A/33/426 on the observation of unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life forms.” This pertains obviously to the famous United Nations General Assembly Decision 33/426 of December 18, 1978, “Establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena,” brought about by the initiative of then Prime Minister of Grenada, sir Eric Gairy, and discussed previously in this website. The Bundestag report analyzed the German response to this UN initiative as well as a historical discussion of whether or not there were official UFO investigations in the Federal Republic during the Cold War.

Robert Flesicher (left) with Frank Reitemeyer (credit: German Exopolitics)
The authors of the report noted that since a divided Germany was right in the frontline of the Cold War, it is likely that UFO reports were looked into as part of the military surveillance of that era. “A need existed in military terms,” they reasoned. Regarding the policies of disclosure in recent times by some of Germany’s allies like the UK and France, the Bundestag report notes that, “The fact that both Great Britain and France dealt with the question of the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms, and – after prior disclosure – have published [documents] in recent years, even via the Internet, suggests the conjecture that German authorities or ministries have also been involved with this issue.” This of course runs counter to the official German government position that no such UFO documents exist.

The proceedings of the Berlin Court are highly significant for many reasons. It may force Germany to abandon its lone wolf policy of UFO denial and join the majority of other Western democracies in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand and release at least partially some of its UFO files. This is the argument that Robert Fleischer and his German Exopolitical movement is making. “It’s just unbelievable that Germany should not have any UFO files,” Fleischer told the German newspaper Express. “After all, already 19 countries worldwide have opened their secret archives.”

Moreover, thanks to the work of pioneer German ufologists like the well known author Michael Hesemann and Illobrand von Ludwiger of MUFON-CES, many German cases—some with military implications—have been already uncovered, although the official documentation is still missing. In his interview with Andreas Müller, Fleischer mentioned one particularly interesting case from 1976 investigated by von Ludwiger:

At that time, a civilian pilot in the cockpit of his Piper encountered in Diepholz (Lower Saxony) a large glowing ball. From this object came such a strong magnetic effect that the small plane began to spin around its own axis. The pilot was injured by flying objects and asked for military assistance. Shortly after, two F4 Phantoms pursued the object. After his arrival in Hanover, the pilot was received by Germans and Americans and subjected to a rigorous interrogation and forced to sign a confidentiality agreement. A subsequent investigation revealed the strong magnetization of the Piper, the compass had to be replaced.

Plenary session of the German Bundestag (credit: Kopp Online)
Obviously there has to be paperwork regarding an investigation like this one. A possibility is that, unlike France or the UK which had their own official UFO bureaus, the Germans may have had a policy of passing the UFO buck to the Americans, which had a massive military and intelligence presence in the Federal Republic during the Cold War. This would probably embarrass the current German government, so it’s easier to just deny the whole thing, but until some documents are produced we are just speculating.

As for the copyright defense raised by the Scientific Service of the German Bundestag (German acronym WDBB), this is a particularly specious argument. The WDBB is not a private business but a government agency paid by the German taxpayer, including the plaintiff Frank Reitemeyer, and its research is made for the benefit of the members of the Bundestag (Parliament) who are elected by the German people to represent them. That this lame “intellectual property” argument could win in court under these circumstances is hard to believe, but the Supreme Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg will have the final word.

For more information in German you can check the website and the Exopolitik Deutschland site.

Antonio Huneeus

Open Minds Investigative Reporter J. Antonio Huneeus has covered the UFO field from an international perspective for over 30 years. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Japan. He was also the co-author of the Laurance Rockefeller-funded “UFO Briefing Document – The Best Available Evidence” and edited the book “A Study Guide to UFOs, Psychic & Paranormal Phenomena in the USSR.” Huneeus studied French at the Sorbonne University in Paris and Journalism at the University of Chile in Santiago in the 1970s. He has lectured at dozens of UFO Conferences all over the world and been interviewed by many media outlets including The Washington Post, the Sy-Fy and History Channels, Nippon-TV, etc. He received the “Ufologist of the Year” award at the National UFO Conference in Miami Beach in 1990 and the “Courage in Journalism” award at the X-Conference in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 2007.

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