A new report by the Central Intelligence Agency has revealed that more than half of the unidentified flying objects (UFOs) so frequently seen in the sky in the late 1950s and 1960s were in fact US spy planes.
“There’s no question that a lot of the sightings that take place are in fact our own aircraft, secret military projects or whatever it happens to be,” executive director of the Mutual UFO Network David MacDonald said.
“Whether or not 50 percent can be attributed to one or two aircraft, I don’t know if I could go along with that or not just because of the diversity of what people were seeing,” he added.
The recent declassified CIA report came days after the spy agency acknowledged the existence of the mysterious Area 51, a US airbase rumored to house UFOs.
The site in central Nevada, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas, was used for testing the U-2 spy plane. It was chosen for the U-2 program after an aerial survey was conducted by CIA and Air Force staff.
“After World War II people became increasingly concerned,” said Jeffrey Underwood, a National Museum of the US Air Force historian. “They saw things in the air and they didn’t know what they were.”
Underwood added that other UFO sightings turned out to be surveillance balloons high in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The U-2, which is capable of flying above 70,000 feet and was often spotted high above airliners in the 1950s, was one of those strange craft. The SR-71 Blackbird flew above 80,000 feet, according to the report.
“High altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect – a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs),” the report said.
The mistake was made because all commercial planes flew at 10,000 to 20,000 feet, and it was not believed that an aircraft could fly as high as the U-2 and SR-71 did.
“Air Force investigators then attempted to explain such sightings by linking them to natural phenomena,” the CIA document said.
- CIA: Most UFO sightings in 50s, 60s were of spy planes (stripes.com)
- CIA says UFOs were US spy planes (rinf.com)
- “Area 51″ landing site for U2 planes, not UFOs (themalaysianinsider.com)