For the first time, the CIA has released online about 13 million pages of declassified documents.
The documents were uploaded following lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA.
The records include intelligence briefings, research papers, UFO sightings and psychic experiments.
The full archive is made up of almost 800,000 files.
The release includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.
Among the more unusual records are documents from the so-called Stargate program, 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 Uri 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”.
Other unusual records include a collection of reports on flying saucers, and the recipes for invisible ink.
While much of the information has been technically publicly available since the mid-1990s, it has been very difficult to access.
The records were only available from four physical computers located in the back of a library at the National Archives in Maryland, between 09:00 and 16:30 each day.
A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection, in a process which took more than two years.
At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one, to apply pressure to the CIA.
Mike Best wrote in a blog post: “By printing out and scanning the documents at CIA expense, I was able to begin making them freely available to the public and to give the agency a financial incentive to simply put the database online.”
In November, the CIA announced it would publish the material, and the entire declassified CREST archive is now available on the CIA Library website.
Wikileaks has published a new collection of more than 1.7 million of US diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s.
The documents include allegations that former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi was a middleman in an arms deal and the first impressions of eventual British PM Margaret Thatcher.
The records have not been leaked and are available to view at the US national archives.
Wikileaks says it is releasing the documents in searchable form.
Wikileaks has published a new collection of more than 1.7 million of US diplomatic and intelligence documents from the 1970s
Much of the work has been carried out by the website’s founder Julian Assange while he has been holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Julian Assange took refuge in the embassy last June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he assaulted two female ex-Wikileaks supporters in 2010.
He denies the allegations, and has said they are politically motivated and part of a smear campaign against him and his whistle-blowing website.
Wikileaks made headlines around the world in 2010 after it released more than 250,000 leaked US cables.
Julian Assange told Britain’s Press Association that the latest collection, entitled the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), reveal the “vast range and scope” of US diplomatic activity around the world.
The data comprises diplomatic cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence running from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976.
Much of the correspondence is either written by or sent to Henry Kissinger, who was US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser during that period.
It includes claims, being widely reported by the Indian media, that Rajiv Gandhi – of India’s most famous political family – was employed by the Swedish firm Saab-Scandia as it tried to sell its Viggen fighter jet to India.
Rajiv Gandhi was working as a commercial pilot and not in politics himself at the time.
A US diplomat is quoted in a February 1976 cable as saying: “We would have thought a transport pilot is not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plane, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification.”
Rajiv Gandhi became India’s prime minister in 1984 and was assassinated in 1991.
Saab-Scandia did not win its bid to sell Viggen fighter jets to India; the contract went to Britain’s Jaguar planes.
Another cable, dated February 1975, from London sets out “some first impressions” of new leader of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher.
The diplomat wrote that “she has a quick, if not profound, mind, and works hard to master the most complicated brief”.
Margaret Thatcher is “crisp and a trifle patronizing” with the media, but “honest and straight-forward” with her colleagues, “if not excessively considerate of their vanities”, the diplomat wrote.
“The personification of a British middle class dream come true,” she is the “genuine voice of a beleaguered bourgeoise [sic], anxious about its eroding economic power and determined to arrest society’s seemingly inexorable trend towards collectivism”, the cable said.
The diplomat noted she had “acquired a distinctively upper middle class personal image”, which might damage her chances of becoming prime minister, but said she should not be underestimated.