Area 51 was created so that U.S. Cold Warriors with the highest security clearances could pursue cutting-edge aeronautical projects away from prying eyes. During the 1950s and ’60s Area 51’s top-secret OXCART program developed the A-12 as the successor to the U-2 spy plane.
Nearly undetectable to radar, the A-12 could fly at 2,200 miles an hour (3,540 kilometers an hour)—fast enough to cross the continental U.S. in 70 minutes. From 90,000 feet (27,400 meters), the plane’s cameras could capture foot-long (0.3-meter-long) objects on the ground below.
But pushing the limits came with risks—and a catastrophic 1963 crash of an A-12 based out of Area 51.
A rapid government cover-up removed nearly all public traces of the wrecked A-12—pictured publicly for the first time in this gallery, thanks to the CIA’s recent declassification of the images. …
… An aerial photo shows a massive rapid-response team at the site of the A-12 crash near Wendover, Utah, in 1963.
After pilot Ken Collins had parachuted to the ground, he was stunned to be greeted by three civilians in a pickup, who offered to give him a ride to the wreckage of his plane. Instead, Collins got them to give him a ride in the opposite direction, by telling them the plane had a nuclear weapon on board—a prearranged cover story to keep the Area 51 craft a secret.
Soon a team of government agents appeared to direct a complete cleanup—and cover-up—operation. By the next morning, recovery crews had begun loading the wreckage on trucks for the return trip to Area 51 in Nevada.
No one else approached the wreck site or even learned of the crash during the next half century. …
A government “sanitation” team uses heavy equipment, including bulldozers and cranes, to remove all traces of the A-12 spy plane from a 1963 crash site in the Utah desert.
“There was some debate over whether to dynamite the large sections of wreckage, to make identification by unauthorized personnel more difficult,” said independent aerospace historian Peter Merlin.
Today that secrecy has outlived its use, according to CIA historian David Robarge, explaining why the crash photos have been declassified.
“CIA records managers review [information requests] case-by-case to determine whether the information sought is still sensitive on national-security grounds. In their judgment, the photos of the 1963 crash no longer are, and so they were declassified and released,” Robarge told National Geographic News. …
Before the cleanup, after pilots from Area 51 had reported that the wreck in Utah was still identifiable, crews quickly covered all large pieces with tarps.
“At the time of the crash, the OXCART program was a very closely kept secret, and any exposure of it—such as through a crash that got publicized—could have jeopardized its existence,” the CIA’s Robarge said.
“If U.S. adversaries used that disclosure to figure out what the program was about, they might have been able to develop countermeasures that would make the aircraft vulnerable.
“The U.S. government had to make sure that no traces of the 1963 crash might be found and give hostile powers insights into the engineering and aeronautical advances the program was making.” …
Shards of titanium from the wrecked A-12 scatter the crash site as aerospace historian Peter Merlin recently searches the debris field with a metal detector.
Merlin’s research into recently declassified documents on the OXCART project unearthed a memorandum that reported that all traces of the plane had been removed from the crash scene in 1963.
“My experience with crash sites, however, is that there is always something left,” Merlin says in the Area 51 documentary.
And in fact recent investigations of the site have turned up parts of the plane’s wing structure as well as cockpit remnants still bearing the stamp “skunk works”—the covert department of the defense contractor Lockheed, which worked on the plane.
The jet engines look very similar to the ones used in by the Horten brothers. I did some comparisons about 10 years ago on xenophilia.com in my UFO sightings article.
Top stealth-plane experts have re-created a radical, nearly forgotten Nazi aircraft: the Horten 2-29, a retro-futuristic fighter that arrived too late in World War II to make it into mass production. (See Hitler’s stealth fighter in pictures.) The engineers’ goal was to determine whether the so-called stealth fighter was truly radar resistant. In the process, they’ve uncovered new clues to just how close Nazi engineers were to unleashing a jet that some say could have changed the course of the war.
To replicate the Ho 2-29 late last year for a documentary premiering Sunday, a team from the Northrop Grumman defense-contracting corporation used original Nazi blueprints (see re-created blueprints of Hitler’s stealth fighter) and the only surviving Ho 2-29, which has been stored in a U.S. government facility for more than 50 years.
The all-wing Ho 2-29 looked more like today’s U.S. B-2 bomber (B-2 bomber picture)—or something from a Star Wars prequel—than like any other World War II aircraft. Made primarily of wood and powered by jet engines, the plane was designed for speeds of up to 600 miles an hour (970 kilometers an hour).
Armed with four 30mm cannons and two 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bombs, the planned production model was also meant to pack a punch.
A Ho 2-29 prototype made a successful test flight just before Christmas 1944. But by then time was running out for the Nazis, and they were never able to perfect the design or produce more than a handful of prototype planes.
Determining the Horten’s stealth capabilities could help reveal what might have happened if the Ho 2-29 had been unleashed in force.
See the video here. Recall the recent info from Annie Jacobsen:
Area 51, the new book by Annie Jacobsen, is based on interviews with scientists and engineers who worked in Area 51, the top secret test base in the Nevada desert.
It dismisses the alien story and puts forward the theory that Stalin was inspired by Orson Wells’s famous radio adaptation of the HG Wells novel War of the Worlds, which provoked hysteria across America when broadcast in 1938. According to the book, the plot started after the Soviet Union seized from Germany at the end of the war the jet-propelled, single wing Horton Ho 229 – a fighter said to be the forerunner of the modern B2 stealth bomber.
What is interesting to me is the tail of the Horten Ho 229 in this photo. You can see what might be a sort of pendulum under the tail. Why is this interesting? Because Kenneth Arnold was not the only person to see his “flying saucers” and one of the other people who reported a sighting on the same day said the craft had a pendulum in the tail. A steering mechanism?
Kenneth Arnold’s famous sighting was three years later, on June 24, 1947. Someone it seems, rounded the wing and flew a fleet of nine jets in a test. Arnold said he saw glass cockpits. He thought they were jets, but a critic called the sighting “a flock of pelicans”. Sure. Massive, headless jet powered pelicans with cockpits. We still don’t know if these were ours, German, Russian.
His stealth aircraft sighting happened a short time before the July crash at Roswell where a super strong light weight memory metal was reported by witnesses. Today we know such an “alien” metal exists. I have some. Nitinol (nickel titanium) is amazing stuff. You can get wires of it, but sheets are difficult to obtain.
Kenneth A. Arnold (March 29, 1915 in Sebeka, Minnesota – January 16, 1984 in Bellevue, Washington) was an American aviator and businessman. He is best-known for making what is generally considered the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States, after claiming to have seen nine unusual objects flying in a chain near Mount Rainier, Washington on June 24, 1947. – wiki
As the objects passed Mt Rainer, Arnold turned his plane southward on a more or less parallel course. It was at this point that he opened his side window and began observing the objects unobstructed by any glass that might have produced reflections. The objects did not disappear and continued to move very rapidly southward, continuously moving forward of his position. Curious about their speed, he began to time their rate of passage: he said they moved from Mt. Rainer to Mt. Adams where they faded from view, a distance of about 50 miles (80 km), in one minute and forty-two seconds, according to the clock on his instrument panel. When he later had time to do the calculation, the speed was over 1,700 miles per hour (2,700 km/h). This was about three times faster than any manned aircraft in 1947. Not knowing exactly the distance where the objects faded from view, Arnold conservatively and arbitrarily rounded this down to 1,200 miles (1,900 km) an hour, still faster than any known aircraft, which had yet to break the sound barrier. It was this supersonic speed in addition to the unusual saucer or disk description that seemed to capture people’s attention.
… Arnold had the makings of a reliable witness. He was a respected businessman and experienced pilot … and seemed to be neither exaggerating what he had seen, nor adding sensational details to his report. He also gave the impression of being a careful observer … These details impressed the newspapermen who interviewed him and lent credibility to his report. …
When military intelligence began investigating Arnold’s sighting, they found yet another witness from the area. A member of the Washington State forest service, who had been on fire watch at a tower in Diamond Gap, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Yakima, reported seeing “flashes” at 3:00 p.m. on the 24th over Mount Rainier (or the exact same time as Arnold’s sighting), that appeared to move in a straight line. Similarly, at 3:00 p.m. Sidney B. Gallagher in Washington State (exact position unspecified) reported seeing nine shiny discs flash by to the north. A Seattle newspaper also mentioned a woman near Tacoma who said she saw a chain of nine, bright objects flying at high speed near Mt. Rainier. Unfortunately this short news item wasn’t precise as to time or date, but indicated it was around the same date as Arnold’s sighting. …
The primary corroborative sighting, however, occurred ten days later (July 4) when a United Airlines crew over Idaho en route to Seattle also spotted five to nine disk-like objects that paced their plane for 10 to 15 minutes before suddenly disappearing. The next day in Seattle, Arnold met with the pilot, Cpt. E. J. Smith, and copilot and compared sighting details. The main difference in shape was that the United crew thought the objects appeared rough on top. – crapfromspace
Fred Johnson, listed as a prospector, reported watching five or six disc-shaped craft as they flew over the Cascade Mountains. He said they were round with a slight tail and about 30 feet in diameter. They were not flying in any sort of formation and as they banked in a turn, the sunlight flashed off them. As they approached, Johnson noticed that his compass began to spin wildly. When the objects finally vanished in the distance, the compass returned to normal. – nicap
Jun 24, 1947:Fred M Johnson sees Kenneth Arnold’s craft from ground with telescope. Compass needle shifts when objects pass over. Reports to military Aug 22, 1947. “they were Round about 30 feet in dimater tapering sharply to a point in the lead end in an oval shape. with a bright top surface. I did not hear any noise as you would from a plane. But there was an object in the tail and looked like a big hand of a clock shifting from side to side like a big magnet. There speed as far as i know seemed to be greater than anything I ever saw.” – Xeno’s UFO timeline