Zechel is best known for filing and winning a FOIA lawsuit against the CIA, that in 1979 forced the CIA to release or acknowledge several thousand documents it had claimed didn't exist. This led to a high profile article about the suit in The Washington Post and hundreds of other newspapers around world. Soon afterward Zechel was invited to appear on NBC- TV's Today Show, where he was interviewed by co-host Jane Pauley.
In 1977 while working in New York City as a technical consultant for Scotia-American Productions, an international film company, he filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA, which had claimed in a letter to GSW that its only interest and involvement with UFOs was the January 1953 Robertson Panel. In 1979 the GSW suit achieved a partial victory, although the CIA made numerous false statements about its involvement with UFOs in its Court filings and false claims about its UFO- related files. GSW's attorney, Peter Gersten, attempted to have the CIA cited for contempt to court for its falsehoods, but Judge John Pratt threw out GSW's motion as one day too late, even though the CIA had surpassed it's court-allotted time by 88 days.
In 1978 Zechel founded and became the original director of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy ( CAUS ) and became the editor/ publisher of JUST CAUSE. The seminal issue was the January 1979 issue in which Zechel wrote his classic exposť of the CIA's covert penetration and destruction of NICAP, once the nation's leading and most powerful civilian UFO group.
Zechel died in relative obscurity on Nov. 14, 2006 after suffering several years from the effects of a stroke.