The United States Space Force has issued a full denial in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers“. This request, filed by The Black Vault in July 2023, asked for all procedures and manuals, either present or past, that reference these terms. The Space Force’s refusal to disclose this information under FOIA exemption (b)(1) Section 1.1(a) raises questions about the secrecy surrounding these phenomena, especially in light of the recent openness of other government branches regarding unidentified objects more commonly referred to as Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).
Before delving into the details of the denial, it’s crucial to understand what “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” are. Although information on these two terms is hard to come by, it is believed that these designations originated with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and are used to describe objects detected by defense systems moving at significantly different speeds. “Fastwalkers” refer to objects entering or leaving the atmosphere at high velocities, often captured by satellite systems. On the other hand, “Slowwalkers” denote objects moving slowly or hovering, detected by similar surveillance means.
These terms are distinct from the more commonly known UAP, a term that has gained widespread attention following official reports and acknowledgments by the U.S. Navy and other government entities. The UAP designation typically encompasses unidentified flying objects exhibiting flight characteristics possibly beyond current aerospace capabilities or is not immediately identifiable within our atmosphere; while “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” describe unidentified objects outside of it.
This specific FOIA request sought detailed information on how the military views, identifies, and reports these unidentified tracks. The request also sought to gain insight into the procedures and manuals related to “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers”, but anything and everything relating to this was deemed too sensitive and classified to release, even just in part.
In a response from the Space Force, dated December 19, 2023, they stated that according to the FOIA, “…federal executive agency personnel should apply a presumption of disclosure to government documents”, indicating they should be trying to release, not conceal, documents such as these. However, secrecy and national security prevail as they went on to state that the requested information falls under Exemption 1 of the FOIA. This exemption protects information classified “under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.” The Space Force’s decision is based on the notion that the release of such information could potentially harm national security.
In fact, this is not the first time the U.S. military has denied the release of information relating to “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers”. In November 2013, The Black Vault requested from U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) a nearly identical request for regulations pertaining to “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” and how NORTHCOM handles the data. Their response was nearly identical to the Space Force, even more than a decade ago. The two responsive documents at NORTHCOM were “properly classified.”
The denial of this request is particularly noteworthy given the recent openness of other government branches about UAP, a similar phenomenon primarily within Earth’s atmosphere. Unlike the U.S. Navy and other agencies, which have been relatively forthcoming about the reality of these UAP encounters, the Space Force’s refusal to share any information on “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” stands out. Their reliance on the specific FOIA exemption they used to withhold 100% of the responsive documentation underlines the extremely sensitive nature of the information. As per Section 1.1(a) of Executive Order 13526, the information about “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” in this case is considered critical to national defense or foreign policy and is thus controlled by the U.S. Government.
The Space Force’s denial of the FOIA request concerning “Fastwalkers” and “Slowwalkers” adds another layer to the ongoing mystery surrounding aerial phenomena and the government’s understanding of them.