Nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents from the CIA have been released online.
These documents previously were physically accessible only from four computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Among them there are records which include papers on the US role in overthrowing foreign governments and the secret ‘Star Gate’ telepathy project.
The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA.
The full archive is made up of almost 800,000 files.
“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography,” said Joseph Lambert, the CIA’s information management director in a press release.
Among the more unusual records are documents from the Stargate Project, which dealt with psychic powers and extrasensory perception.
Those include records of testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973, when he was already a well-established performer.
Memos detail how Mr Geller was able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with varying – but sometimes precise – accuracy, leading the researchers to write that he “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner”.
The archive touches on the CIA extensive history as an organization, from its inception up through the 1990s.
“None of this is cherry-picked,” said CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak. “It’s the full history. It’s good and bads.”
The agency was aiming to publish the documents by the end of 2017, but finished the work ahead of schedule.
“We’ve been working on this for a very long time and this is one of the things I wanted to make sure got done before I left. Now you can access it from the comfort of your own home,” said outgoing CIA director of information Lambert.
The agency continues to review documents for declassification, so the treasure trove has not been unearthed in full, and there’s definitely more to follow.