In October of 2002, the Department of Defense introduced DoD 5040.6-M-1, Decision Logic Table Instructions for Recording and Handling Visual Information Material. Within this manual, it provided “guidelines for both the recording of visual information (VI) in the field by camera operators and the accessioning of such VI as VI records into a records center, such as the Defense Visual Information Center (DVIC).”
Throughout the manual, there are various categories and designations for the types of VI, and the procedures on how to handle it. You will note, some had higher priority than others.
Interestingly, one section category was, “Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) and Other Aerial Phenomena Imagery.” Here is the section from the manual:
What should be noted about this, is this was more than thirty years after the U.S. military’s investigation into UFOs known as Project Blue Book closed. That program concluded they would no longer look into the phenomena as it lacked importance, scientific value, and they felt it did not pose a threat to national security.
This manual was also created six years prior to what is thought to be the “Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program” known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.
What program (if any) is this connected to? At what frequency were UFOs / Other Aerial Phenomena being photographed or videoed?
Past attempts by The Black Vault to find ANY VI with these designations came up with “no records” responses. However, in May of 2021, additional attempts were filed to see if that is still the case, and this page will be updated when available.
It should also be noted, that when the DoD next updated this manual, the UFO Table C5.T21 as outlined above was removed. It is unclear why it was, or by who’s request. That is also being researched. Whether connected or not, the newer version of the manual still referred to “phenomena” under the “Definitions” header for “Documentation Imagery.” Unclear if this reference is related to the above removed table on UFOs, but it is worth noting:
Below, you will find all versions of the manual, including the newest version of the DOD Visual Information Records Schedule, which replaced the DoD 5040.6 series. There is also no reference to UFOs within, nor does that one refer to phenomena.
DoD 5040.6-M-1, October 21, 2002, Decision Logic Table Instructions for Recording and Handling Visual Information Material [64 Pages, 0.3 MB] – This DOD manual referenced what military personnel should do given they take a photograph of a UFO. However, it was rescinded and replaced with the below version — which the UFO reference is now taken out.
DoD 5040.6-M-2, April 2005, Instructions for Handling Visual Information (VI) Material [46 Pages, 0.8 MB] – This was the next version of 5040.6, as published in 2005. Also now obsolete and rescinded, it is archived here for reference.
DAA-0330-2013-0014, January 21, 2015, DOD Visual Information Records Schedule [24 Pages, 0.4 MB] – The above instructions for Visual Information (VI) have all been rescinded. According to the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC): “The Archivist of the United States has signed the new DoD Visual Information Records Schedule DAA-0330-2013-0014. DoD 5040.6-M-1, DoD 5040.6-M-2 and DoD 5040.06-V3 are obsolete and will be rescinded. Refer to this records schedule for all VI Records disposition instructions for the Department of Defense.”