Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – scientific research: ASIO and DIO on distribution list for FBIS material

By | March 1, 2023

UFO Twitter

Thanks to the eagle eye of Twitter user @tploft2008, it has come to light that some distribution lists of the former Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS); where the subject matter was UFOs, had the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) on that list. 

What was the FBIS?

The FBIS was an open source intelligence component of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Directorate of Science and Technology. Its role was to monitor, translate and distribute the contents of foreign broadcasts to various components of the US government. The FBIS was dissolved in November 2005, and became the CIA Open Source Center (OSC.) For some of its life, its headquarters was in Reston, Virginia, USA. In 2015, the OSC became the Open Source Enterprise, which monitors radio, television and online. 


@tploft2008 located a number of such documents including the following examples:

1. A document dated 16 November 2000, where the subject was “Azeri Security Ministry denies Russian reports of UFOs flying over border.” Here the distribution list has a line “To RAYWAP/Attorney General.”

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Scientific Research Asio And Dio On Distribution List For Fbis Material | General Paranormal

2. A document dated 25 August 2001, subject “Azerbaijan Aerospace scientist says aliens have ‘resesarch base’ in Caspian.” This distribution list has “To RAYWAP/Attorney General D Branch Canberra ACT AS. Note that the Attorney General D Branch is just another name for ASIO. 

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Scientific Research Asio And Dio On Distribution List For Fbis Material | General Paranormal

3. A document dated 10 October 2005, subject “ROK’s YONHAP watcher reports sighting hundreds of UFOs over Korea.” Again this went to Attorney General D Branch.

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Scientific Research Asio And Dio On Distribution List For Fbis Material | General Paranormal

4. A document dated 25 October 2010, subject “Turkey:Retired general says encountered UFO over Western Aegean 1983.” This list contains both Attorney general D Branch, and DIO Canberra. 

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Scientific Research Asio And Dio On Distribution List For Fbis Material | General Paranormal

Why were they on a distribution list?

So, one question is, why was ASIO, and then ASIO and the DIO, receiving copies of FBIS messages where the subject matter was UFOs, in the period 2000-2010? Did these organisations, ever have an interest in UFOs?


There are indications from some sources that ASIO was interested in the topic of “flying saucers” from 1952. In 1956 the Commonwealth Investigation Service, held a file, (NAA file series A1533, control symbol 56/2773 titled “The Australian Flying Saucer Research Society.”)

ASIO maintained a file ( NAA file series A6122, control symbol 2155 titled “Queensland Flying Saucer Bureau Volume 1”) between 1959-1963. From the contents of these files it became clear that ASIO was interested in individuals within Australian UFO groups who exhibited “Communist tendancies” and monitored them, writing reports on their activities. It is also known that ASIO, inter alia, was keeping an eye on sightings of unidentified aircraft in Papua New Guinea, in 1959. 


The foreunners for the current Defence Intelligence Organisation (1989-today) were the Joint Intelligence Bureau (1947-1969) and the Joint Intelligence Organisation (1969-1989) . During a search of the NAA I located the following file:  NAA file series JIO63, control symbol 3092/2/000 “Scientific Intelligence – General – Flying Saucers.” Date range 1957-1972.

It is also known that the JIB investigated the 1954 “Sea Fury” radar/visual case. 

So, historically,  we know that both ASIO and the DIO maintained files dealing with the UFO subject. However, these are at the latest finished by 1973. Nothing of more recent vintage has been found in the National Archives.

The Australian Department of Defence (RAAF) closed its own UFO investigations in 1996, and today maintains that it has no interest in the subject of UFOs/Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. 

Monitoring the subject

So, who in ASIO and the DIO was monitoring the UFO subject in the period 2000 to 2010? Did they continue to monitor the subject beyond 2010? Indeed, do they continue to do so today? Unfortunately, at present, the answer to this question remains unknown, and probably unknowable, as both these organisations are exempt from the Australian Freedom of Information Act.

Can any readers shed light on this mystery?

Update: 23 October 2022

A search of the Black Vault  using the keywords “FBIS DIO” revealed a number of FBIS documents using the initialism  “UFO” dated 1994 and 1995. In addition, to the distribution list stating “DIO Canberra AS; there is also mention of “ONA Canberra AS” which is the Office of National Assessment (1974-2018 when it became the Office of National Intelligence (ONI.) “ONI all-source intelligence assessments inform Government policy and decision making.”

A similar search for the key words “FBIS and D Branch” found more documents in the date range 2000 to 2002. 

More details to add to the mystery. 

Update: 28 October 2022

I just came across a document titled “Routing Indicator Guide v 6.1” dated July 2013. This lists numerous routing designation codes for a variety of addresses. It icnludes the following:

RAYWAP = Attorney Genral D Branch Canberra ACT AUS

RAYBBK = ASJ Defence Intelligence Organisation/DIO/Canberra/ACT

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