Guidance/Warnings on Alaska Triangle

Lucas Smolcic Larson filed this request with the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.
Est. Completion None
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Withdrawn

Communications

From: Lucas Smolcic Larson


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

FAA guidance, warnings, or internal documents discussing the "Alaska Triangle"--the region between Anchorage, Juneau, and Barrow, Alaska where thousands of individuals and aircraft have gone missing in recent decades, including a plane carrying U.S. Rep. Hale Boggs (D-La.), the House majority leader, during a campaign trip to Alaska in 1972.

The Alaska Triangle (or "Alaska's Bermuda Triangle") has been reported on by major news outlets:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/in-the-land-of-missing-persons/471477/
https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/alaska-the-land-of-the-lost/
https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/alaska-bermuda-triangle.htm

Please include any documents that name this region or discuss cases of missing aircraft within in it.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Lucas Smolcic Larson

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Dear Mr. Larson,

The request below as written is too vague and broad. We are not able to process and assign your requests without a reasonable description of the records you are seeking. Please be advised that pursuant to the FOIA, the key to determining whether a request is reasonable is the ability of a professional agency staff to reasonably ascertain exactly which records are being requested and to locate them. Requests, such as these, for "any and all" records are so broad and sweeping that they lack specificity are not reasonably described. FOIA was not intended for government agencies to be full-time investigators on behalf of requesters or to allow requesters to browse agency files (the courts have described it as conducting fishing expeditions).

A search for "any and all" records without limiting time periods and subject matter would likely result in an overly-voluminous number of records to process. Note that a high volume of responsive records does not necessarily mean that the request is overly broad, if the request is determined to "reasonably describe" the records sought. However, overly voluminous records are not to be releasable under FOIA when a release would require a line-by-line review of an enormous number of documents to protect confidential business information, personal privacy, etc.

Accordingly, in order for your requests to be processed, you will need to provide additional information to narrow the search for responsive records. For instance, your requests include an email search; therefore, we need you to identify the specific individual(s) whose emails you would like to have searched, a date range, and either a subject matter or specific search terms. Also, since your requests is for "all records" regarding a particular subject, please identify a type of records or records system that you would like to be searched, describe in more detail the specific records you are requesting and provide a time frame for the request.
This is not a denial of your "requests," but is an attempt by the agency to assist you in submitting properly formulated requests that identify the specific records you are seeking. If you have any questions or wish to discuss reformulation, please contact our FOIA Public Liaison at (202) 267-7799 or by email to 7-awa-arc-foia@faa.gov<mailto:7-awa-arc-foia@faa.gov> with "Public Liaison" in the subject line.

Respectfully,
FAA FOIA Office

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