The news regarding the easy access to the U.S. Air Force’s files on its investigation into the UFO phenomenon started a surge of interest in the Project Blue Book Collection. Though not new to the Internet, these files were made more accessible than they had been in the past. The Black Vault website posted a PDF format of these UFO sighting reports and cases from the late 40s to the end of the 60s, and many media outlets picked unusual cases to feature in their respective sites.
However, the document of UFO cases and sightings is no longer available at The Black Vault website. Why? Fold3, a site that features military files and a subsidiary to Ancestery.com, informed the owner of The Black Vault John Greenewald that they have a digital copyright over the documented records.
In a statement by Greenewald presented on Openminds, he says that Ancestry.com and subsidiary Fold3 forced him to remove the digital version of the Project Blue Book material. They claim that they own the copyright of all the files, even though the material has long been considered a public domain by the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). Greenewald claims that Fold3 does not have the material in their archive, but still the Ancestry.com is claiming full ownership to the digital version.
Greenewald credited Fold3 with a direct link to their site for some files of the material. He says that he never hid Fold3 as a source even in some of his media interviews, but were cut out as it appears that no one interested in that story, and people are just interested of the new archive he made.
Greenewald reveals that he received no document coming from his web hosting provider to prove ownership of Ancestry.com or Fold3. He says that he was forced to remove the entire site based on an evidence-less claim. He took the site down in good faith hoping that a compromise could be reached.
Fold3 direct link had credit on the front page of The Black Vault website for some of the files, and Greenewald claims that it resulted in over 12 percent increase in their statistics. Greenewald also claims that his link to their site multiplied their hits by ten times in only five days based on the statistics posted on their page.
Greenewald says that he told them that his site had more information than what is cited in Fold3, but they did not care about that explanation. He adds that he even offered banner ad to advertise Fold3, aside from the direct link, with no share for him, but they also did not care about the offer.
Greenewald discloses that they offered him to become a member of their affiliate program and get a portion of sales generated, but he declined.