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US Air Force's 1950s Supersonic Flying Saucer Declassified

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the I-want-to-believe dept.

The Military 300

MrSeb writes "Tighten the strap on your tinfoil hat: Recently declassified documents show that the US Air Force was working on, and perhaps had already built, a supersonic flying saucer in 1956. The aircraft, which had the code name Project 1794, was developed by the USAF and Avro Canada in the 1950s. One declassified memo, which seems to be the conclusion of initial research and prototyping, says that Project 1794 is a flying saucer capable of 'between Mach 3 and Mach 4,' (2,300-3,000 mph) a service ceiling of over 100,000 feet (30,500m), and a range of around 1,000 nautical miles (1,150mi, 1850km). According to declassified cutaway diagrams, the supersonic flying saucer would propel itself by rotating an outer disk at very high speed, taking advantage of the Coand effect. Maneuvering would be accomplished by using small shutters on the edge of the disc (similar to ailerons on a winged aircraft). Power would be provided by jet turbines. According to the cutaway diagrams, the entire thing would even be capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

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300 comments

so all those people weren't crazy (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587507)

the photos look just like some of the descriptions from the last few decades. probably explains the lights too. if its US Government then they have to follow most of their own laws and put lights on an aircraft so others can see it

why would aliens put flashing lights on an interstellar space craft? what is the point of glass and flashing lights in space other than to be broken by tiny particles

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (5, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587547)

You assume they'd use glass. You also assume that it's not a 'local' craft that would dock with a carrier for interstellar travel.

The lights on the craft could serve the same purpose as those on a airplane.

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (3, Insightful)

freeze128 (544774) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587749)

You assume that they can even see light in visible wavelengths. The light may just be a by-product of something else (shield generators, active sensors, etc...).

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (1)

Columcille (88542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587879)

You assume that the space craft is something other than the alien. What if it wasn't a ship but an actual alien that we mistook as spaceships? What if the lights are their means of communicating with one another?

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588243)

So all those UFO's (thousands of accounts) threw-out the decades was a single prototype saucer from the 1950's logging thousands of flight hours all this time?

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588297)

No most of the reports were nutjobs with wild imaginations. SOME of the reports were a military prototype.

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588341)

no - most of them would be more booing stuff, ball lightning, the moon, normal plain tail lights, deliberate spoofs, hot air balloons, and thousands of other one off events most of which such that no one would have thought was a flying saucer unless they wanted to see one ......

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (1)

na1led (1030470) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588713)

And how do you explain the depiction of flying saucers in ancient times, test flights or weather balloons? I understand some things are questionable, when all you see is a bright light moving in the sky, but detail accounts cant all be spoofs.

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588395)

why would aliens put flashing lights on an interstellar space craft? what is the point of glass and flashing lights in space other than to be broken by tiny particles

Perhaps the aliens were filming a space opera.

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588493)

what is the point of glass and flashing lights in space other than to be broken by tiny particles

Hi, I'm an alien (many of us are reading /. and even posting, but we have to remain anonymous because of stupid laws on our home planet).

About your question: we do not use glass, we use synthetic diamond.

Re:so all those people weren't crazy (2, Interesting)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588565)

Not always true. Most sightings dont have blinking lights. I saw something once, looked like a satellite zipping by, then stopped and started doing zig zags, figure 8s, circles, box shapes and moved in other unsatelliteish ways for about 20-30 minutes before it took off. The person i was with also saw whatever it was and watched it with me for the same amount of time. Was definately not a plane, as i have seen many many planes and am familiar with. We looked on her phone as she had a app that told us the names of all the stars and satellites, something which we used to track satellites in the past. Was not on there either. The best i could come up with was a weather balloon, but that doesnt fit with the movements of w.e this was.

Didn't Get past prototype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587509)

The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today
How did we prove this again?

Re:Didn't Get past prototype (5, Funny)

DeTech (2589785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587587)

Excuse me sir you seemed to be confused on what the words prove, fact, no, and/or sky means.

Re:Didn't Get past prototype (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587801)

How do you prove a negative? (you don't)

I think the point is that if this was a workable solution, we would likely have at least some flying examples of this design by now. Even after this many years we have no known flying saucer designs in either military or civilian use so it seems *unlikely* that anybody has one of these things.

Of course, it is possible to prove a positive, so if someone thinks something exists, I would insist on proof.

Re:Didn't Get past prototype (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588137)

Sorry, but if you are using inductive reasoning, there is no difference between proving a negative and proving a positive. The only thing that allows you to make a reasonable conclusion in those cases is statistics. For example: the if the Higgs boson was believed to be observed with a 5 sigma certainty, you can't prove absolutely that its apparent existence wasn't due to random interactions. Conversely, if it wasn't observed with a 5 sigma certainty, you can't prove absolutely that its apparent nonexistence wasn't due to random interactions. Only a belief in statistics will resolve this inherent problem with inductive reasoning.

Since we use inductive reasoning in the real world, saying that you can't prove a negative has no meaning if you don't provide context. Intelligent Design and Russel's Teapot are unlikely, but not impossible. Statistics allows us to throw these ideas in the trash. The fact that UFOs aren't identified often is another item that we can use to dismiss the existence of flying saucers still being flown by the USAF. The certainty isn't nearly as high as something like Russel's Teapot, but it isn't something to be ignored either.

Re:Didn't Get past prototype (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588041)

The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today
How did we prove this again?

Probably proved impracticable. Higher cost over contemprary designs, reliability, serviceablity, things like that. Just strap a saddle on a turbine engine, tape on some wings and you're off and flying.

or ... (4, Funny)

brenddie (897982) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587515)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

or they work so good that only blurry and shaky videos exist of them flying around and terrorizing cows

Re:or ... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587695)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

or they work so good that only blurry and shaky videos exist of them flying around and terrorizing cows

They all crashed in Roswell....

Re:or ... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588017)

Yea, not a lot of Cows out grazing in the sand near Roswell.... Of course there is a SAC base (at the time) near Roswell which just *might* help explain the July 1947 happenings....

Re: only blurry and shaky videos exist (5, Informative)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587711)

Everyone in saucer design knows that the Coanda Effect also causes the outline to appear blurry and shaky.
It is the first step towards cloaking which was later perfected using techniques developed by Tesla.

Re:or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588009)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

or they work so good that only blurry and shaky videos exist of them flying around and terrorizing cows

What about Balloon Boy [wikipedia.org]?

I take issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587527)

...with the last statement. There are many reportings of disk shaped objects in the sky. Although, they may have been replaced by the Flying V.

It all sounds vaguely familar... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587535)

I wonder if this is a concept that was before it's time much like the flying wing. Early prototypes of flying wings failed and it was thought that the entire concept was discarded until the B-2 was exposed to the world.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587571)

the b2 has advantages over other designs. what is the advantage of a flying saucer compared to wing based aircraft? at least on earth

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587721)

Seems like it would be VTOL. But helicopters already fill that area nicely.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587979)

Helicopters are usually extremely loud and, most importantly, simply unable to fly faster than 300mph or so: any faster and the supersonic shockwaves from the rotors tips (keep in mind those are traveling at helicopter speed + rotational velocity) destroys it's ability to fly. This could go much, much faster, as fast as you want, and probably be a fair bit more maneuverable.

.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (2)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588295)

Helicopters are usually extremely loud and, most importantly, simply unable to fly faster than 300mph or so: any faster and the supersonic shockwaves from the rotors tips (keep in mind those are traveling at helicopter speed + rotational velocity) destroys it's ability to fly.

Only the rotors on the side of the helicopter moving in the direction of travel are going aircraft speed + rotational velocity. An equally serious problem is the rotors on the other side are going aircraft speed - rotational velocity. The faster the chopper flies, the more imbalanced it becomes as the lift from one side increases while on the other side it decreases. If the chopper reached the speed of its own blades, it would lose all lift on one side as the blades would be essentially motionless on one side.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588681)

That is another issue, although that problem can largely be solved by using a co-axial rotor system, so it isn't an insurmountable problem.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587813)

the b2 has advantages over other designs. what is the advantage of a flying saucer compared to wing based aircraft? at least on earth

The primary thing that made the B-2 doable over previous flying wings is the microprocessor and the ability of modern computers to stabilize the aircraft in flight. The computers make constant changes to the control surfaces that would overwhelm human pilots.

Re:It all sounds vaguely familar... (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588317)

" what is the advantage of a flying saucer compared to wing based aircraft? at least on earth"

To completely screw with the enemy.

Broadcast loudly "ACK! ACKACK!" from loudspeakers while you only use lime green lighting.

Project "1794" sounds awfully damned familiar (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587917)

...as in re-arrange those digits and you get 1947, the year of the famous Roswell New Mexico UFO crash.

Coincidence?

Correction (4, Informative)

cripkd (709136) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587551)

That's the Coanda [wikipedia.org] Effect.

Re:Correction (2)

michelcolman (1208008) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587851)

Yeah, Slashdot still thinks Unicode is some fancy new fangled craze that will blow away. So the a with the funny cup on top gets stripped away.

But what I'm wondering is: how exactly do you use the coanda effect on a spinning saucer? Things spinning around a horizontal axis, like a ping pong ball with backspin, sure, they can provide lift. But spinning around a vertical axis? How does that work? I would think you would need to use blades on the edge or maybe diagonal holes through the spinning part, but I don't see those in the picture.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587921)

Two discs, back to back. The upper one spins, the lower one is stationary. That'd work, though the engineering would be far from practical. Also, it's need a tail like a helicopter and for exactly the same reason.

Re:Correction (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588389)

Also, it's need a tail like a helicopter and for exactly the same reason.

Or two counter-rotating discs, like a multi-rotor helicopter. Double advantage is you can rotate extremely quickly simply by slowing one of the discs a bit (assuming the humans inside don't mind).

Unmitigated crap (3, Informative)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587553)

Title of the article is unmitigated crap. The Avrocar, which was actually built, was a miserable failure which could barely lift off the ground, wallowing dangerously, with very poor control. It was abandoned as absolutely useless.

Yes, some blue sky dreamer in defense probably did dream up the mach 3 flying saucer, but it was never any closer to reality than any comic book or lurid magazine article.

Re:Unmitigated crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587901)

Actually, it was abandoned because they couldn't figure out how to mount guns on it.

Re:Unmitigated crap (4, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587907)

They thought the same about flying wing designs in the 1950s. Indeed, they never did get the design to work right at the time. Turns out, the US Air Force did [wikipedia.org], eventually.

While the saucer design is a challenge to make work, I'm sure if the Air Force saw some great advantage in it, they would have built it. I'm not sure what the advantage of such a craft would be, though, besides VTOL capability being standard.

Re:Unmitigated crap (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588737)

> They thought the same about flying wing designs in the 1950s. Indeed, they never did get the design to work right at the time.

Flying wings have been successfully built and flown since the 1930s. The problems with the B-35 and B-49 were inherent in the platform:

* Conic Instability - in a banked turn the outer wing goes faster than the inner one and gives more lift with increases the bank angle until it flips over and spins. I have seen film of a B-52 doing that.

* Nodding - The Northrops were designed for bombing and later for photo work. The wing 'nods' due to lack of pitch stability which makes it impossible to aim using a bomb sight, and difficult to get the photos to overlap correctly.

* Slewing - with no tail the wing does not care whether it is aligned with the flight path or skewed from it by several degrees. Bomb aiming is thus impossible.

The planes were actually very successful as flying machines (though the propeller gearboxes failed too often), but useless for the missions they were intended for. The B-2 fixed all those issues with computers compensating for the instabilities.

Re:Unmitigated crap (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588891)

I'm not sure what the advantage of such a craft would be, though, besides VTOL capability being standard.

Let's see...

2000-3000 MPH? 100,000 foot ceiling? and VTOL?

Hell, we can't do that now!

Re:Unmitigated crap (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588239)

Interestingly, if control was a problem, then modern electronics / servos and similar technology could probably mitigate those issues successfully. I think a personal flying saucer, even if it didn't hit Mach 3, would be pretty damned cool.

The Jetsons!

We have all seen this before (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587555)

Look here *warning, you will kick yourself when you realize what this actually is.
http://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ

Who are they kidding declassified LOL (2, Informative)

sunyjim (977424) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587575)

Worst secret ever, I've seen this 'saucer' before, it's been in books and magazines since the 60s I even saw the video of them trying to hover it, which didn't work very well. This thing never worked properly and never made it past the initial design phase. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_VZ-9_Avrocar [wikipedia.org] http://books.google.ca/books?id=Apaa01aJLIcC&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=Avrocar&source=bl&ots=Qe24u-CGlp&sig=R44-T1xDEeQGMbUkX8YcVU33Q7A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nwtzULChIIfFyAG76ICwDA&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=Avrocar&f=false [google.ca]

Re:Who are they kidding declassified LOL (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587827)

I know this is Slashdot, but you really should try reading TFA. The Avrocar was a separate project:

It’s worth noting that Avro Canada also worked on the VZ-9 Avrocar, though — which is basically the same as Project 1794, but a lot smaller.

It's okay... I know you had to hurry to get that ninth post...

Re:Who are they kidding declassified LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588005)

They probably wanted some data about this project leaked to the Russians. Let them waste millions before realizing that it doesn't work.

or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587585)

It worked very well, and R&D continued, resulting in flying saucers that are completely unexplainable by the popular science of today. I wouldn't put it past them.

what was their inspiration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587597)

Apparently the model was finished in 1956, so plans for it must have been drafted prior to this. So what was the inspiration for such a non aerodynamic experiment at the time? Roswell perhaps?

So how did this interact with pop culture? (3, Insightful)

metrometro (1092237) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587619)

The 1950s were saucer crazy. And apparently the US government was too, at about the same time. So was this leakage from inside the weapons program showing up in Hollywood or were the engineers looking at Ed Wood movies and saying, "Yeah, let's give that a shot"?

1950: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Saucer [wikipedia.org]
1956: crazy USAF saucer design
1959: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space [wikipedia.org]

All because of 1947... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588155)

The 1950s were saucer crazy.

1947 being the year of the famous Roswell flying saucer crash.
Note that they named this "Project 1794"... just rearranged the digits of 1947.

Coincidence? I think not.

Re:All because of 1947... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588813)

> 1947 being the year of the famous Roswell flying saucer crash.

Do people still really think it was a flying saucer ? It was a Project Mogul balloon.

Re:So how did this interact with pop culture? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588265)

You're forgetting the most important one, Forbidden Planet [imdb.com] (and Anne Francis, pooh on Natalie Portman....)

Re:So how did this interact with pop culture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588549)

At the late night double feature picture show?

Re:So how did this interact with pop culture? (1)

Floyd-ATC (2619991) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588331)

In hindsight it's easy to call it crazy, sure. But what would have been more crazy; trying to design a flying saucer, or simply ignoring the possibility that this /could/ have turned out to be more significant than the jet engine? Some of the craziest ideas in human history actually worked, and changed everything.

Alien Reverse Engineering? (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587641)

I wonder if this was an attempt to reverse engineer what the supposed aliens were doing, which didn't produce much usable technology. That is an interesting (if expensive) way to prove or disprove the existence of UFO's.

this is a cover up!!! (2)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587651)

Obviously they are saying "yah it was us not aliens." NOTHING TO SEE HERE PEOPLE!!!! Obviously there are aliens and obviously they've caught them and have then trapped somewhere in new mexico. And obviously the alien army is on its way to earth to rescue it's POWs. Shit just got real.

Re:this is a cover up!!! (1)

Columcille (88542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587955)

No, a battleship blew up their communications array so home base doesn't know where the alien pow's are.

Re:this is a cover up!!! (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588117)

There are about 100 movie scripts in that story you are telling. You know that if you see it on the movie screen, it's got to be true!

Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587663)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage." ... Or perfected to a point of being un-detectable. Not likely but possible.

Re:Truth (1)

Columcille (88542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587995)

"Not likely but possible."

No, very possible, even very likely. The very fact that we don't know about it, that they haven't publicly admitted the existence and regular use of these saucers, is proof of their existence and their effectiveness. Why, just last night aunt Bertha saw one of them things hovering over the local Wal-Mart. It then went to the Piggly Wiggly and some strange creature came out of the store carrying a six pack. The government knows. They just aren't telling you. Which is how you can know that they know.

Inline with official statements for the past 50 yr (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587689)

Hasn't the USAF maintained that (some) saucer sitings/crashes have been experiment aircraft? The rest are surely just moonshine and swamp gas.

Re:Inline with official statements for the past 50 (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588181)

you forget: accidents, Lens flare, atmospheric refraction, military training activity, hoaxes and just flat crazy folks with vivid dreams.

makes me wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41587701)

... about the kinds of craft that the military must have still in secret, if you consider that the current speed record is from the SR-71 Blackbird, like almost 40 years ago...

> [...] The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today [...]

*smirks*

Re:makes me wonder... (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587833)

Why would you want a fast plane nowadays? All it will do is burn fuel and cost so much you'll be afraid to deploy it. There were 32 SR-71's, for example, and 12 were lost in accidents. That's a pretty expensive cost for ... what? To get to the Middle East slightly quicker?

Blackbird is likely to remain the fastest plane for a long time, like the fastest horse-drawn carriage that ever existed. Nobody's going to splash that amount of cash to go in a circle at great expense when that same money would buy satellite constellations, ICBM's, sacrificial drone aircraft, or any number of other more useful things.

Speed isn't the only statistic when it comes to military aircraft.

Re:makes me wonder... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588325)

There were 32 SR-71's, for example, and 12 were lost in accidents. That's a pretty expensive cost for ... what? To get to the Middle East slightly quicker?

SR-71 was a reconnaissance plane, designed to cruise above missile range and faster than missiles, which is why it went so fast. It meant the US could deploy spy planes over China and the Soviet Union (at the time) with impunity - unlike the earlier U-2, which ended up getting shot down once, IIRC.

Re:makes me wonder... (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588441)

No, but it is an important one, if you want to get on-target quickly. The point of the SR-71 was it could get much higher detail than a satellite more reliably and very quickly. Turns out that wasn't as important as the cost (and new missile system made it a bit less practical). There are still plenty of reasons to develop high-speed aircraft, from surveillance to first strike ability, which is why they are doing so, right now, with the X-51 [wikipedia.org].

Re:makes me wonder... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588543)

>

Speed isn't the only statistic when it comes to military aircraft.

That depends on what you intend the aircraft to actually do. You want a fighter? You need sustained turn rate first with as much speed as you can manage from there. You want to intercept oncoming aircraft? You need speed first, range and then turn rate You need to move cargo? You need VSTOL and lifting capacity and decent range but not speed. You want to deliver ordnance in support of ground forces? You better have the ability to lift lots of ordnance and loiter for hours but short field performance will likely win that contract. It's all about the *mission* of the platform.

As to why we would want a fast aircraft today? How useful would it be to be able to put a sensor or some ordnance on a target anywhere in the world in under an hour? I would think the USAF would pay dearly for that capacity. Add stealth and I'll wager they'd spend lots of money just doing R&D work on the possibility.

I would say that for most aircraft that the military would be interested in buying these days, speed is going to be pretty important.

The fact that... (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about a year and a half ago | (#41587703)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

Or more likely, the fact that it was a huge success led the military to slap top secret over it and any aircraft maker selected to work on it was told of "permanent, irrevocable loss of DoD contracts", "lifetime bans on employment and security clearance", "intrusive FBI investigations and tax audits", "nationalization of defense critical assets" and "extremely likely criminal charges for treason, sedition or aiding the enemy tried in military courts with punishments handed out by military intelligence.."

Re:The fact that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588753)

> Implying the DoD has any control over the FBI or IRS

Project 1794?? (5, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588089)

Oh my god.

Do you people realize the significance of this? If this Project 1794 was the saucer that crashed 27 miles outside Roswell and was taken to Area 51...1794/(51+27)=

THE NUMBER TWENTY-THREE!!

Re:Project 1794?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588693)

What about Project 1794 = 1947. First number - go forward - skip one = 19. Last number - go backward - skip one 47.

No conspiracy theory, but I think the US was developing a saucer after getting the Nazi tech (they were working the saucer angle in the 40s). That's probalby what crashed in Roswell (the stories of people who saw it doesn't sound like a balloon, but does sound like advanced-for-47 aircraft aluminum and designs). As far as the alien stories go, what a great way to coverup secret aircraft. One side argues it's aliens. The other that it's ordinary things. Attention is thereby drawn away from advanced aircraft prototypes. And, best of all, the public does the disinformation/cover up for you. The best way to control the public is to let them control themselves.

Spike and Suzy: The Martian Ambassadors: 1956 (1)

chthon (580889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588211)

I presume that these things were not that secret at the time.

At the end of the story it is revealed that the flying saucer is made by Avro Canada.

George Adamski's UFO also looks somewhat like this design.

It's the Avrocar, WTF Slashdot? (0)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588299)

Holy crap, Slashdot just fell off the deep end. Seriously, "News for Nerds", but edited by people that have never once watched the Discovery Channel? How the holy frack did this ever make the front page?

I'm sure some other bright-eyed individual has already mentioned it, but this "secret" project is called the AvroCar, and it's been declassified for at least 3 decades.

When Discovery Channel used to run a show called "Wings" (the is before there was a Wings Channel, which is now called the Military Channel), and the show was composed entirely of Public Domain file footage, they covered the Avrocar in great detail. It was a saucer that used a jet driven impeller to run the vehicle.

Its "on-paper" specs were all that you quoted in the summary, but the reality was, it never got more than a few feet off the ground. It was completely impractical and was scrapped.

Pretty damn sure there's a Wikipedia article, but it's all over the internet in other ways.

Dear Slashdot, please vet your articles. It would be nice if whoever is running this place were an actual geek. Otherwise we're bound to get news for nerds that sounds like a Billy Mays commercial "Wow, new chemical compound removes even the toughest stains!"

Meh!

Re:It's the Avrocar, WTF Slashdot? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588721)

Nice rant, really very impressive! However, I think it's worth pointing out that this (top speed of Mach 3 or Mach 4, service ceiling above 100,000 ft, range 1000 miles) is a bit different from the Avrocar (top speed less than 100 mph, service ceiling under 10,000 ft). Your rant is like complaining that the B2 wasn't really secret for decades because everyone knew the Germans were working on a flying wing design in WWII.

Which brings me to my own rant: I don't see very many flying wings flying through the air either, but obviously the flying wing research did in fact bear fruit. It's entirely possible that the saucer design did work but has been kept secret since for one reason or another. The shape certainly seems to lend itself toward stealth just looking at it, if they ever did make a design that could do Mach 3 while still being stealthy I could see that being kept under wraps for a very long time.

It's a proposed follow-on to the failed Avrocar (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588321)

This project is from Avro (A.V. Roe, a respected Canadian aircraft manufacturer in the 1950s) and is clearly a follow-on to the Avrocar. [wikipedia.org] The Avrocar, of course, really was a flying saucer. But it could barely fly.

The Avrocar was an interesting idea, but presented control problems that couldn't be solved in the 1950s. Like all thrust-based VTOL craft, it was unstable. It turned out to be really unstable at the transition from ground effect to thrust lift. Getting it out of ground effect without crashing was very hard. Forward motion made the stability problem worse. Despite several redesigns, it remained unflyable.

A design like that probably could be made to work today, with computers, gyros, and control jets fighting to keep the thing stable. Toy-sized quadrotors are widely available now, and they have many of the same stability problems. It's not clear there's any advantage to a disc shape other than coolness, though.

Bear in mind why this was built. Nobody knew what a supersonic aircraft needed to look like, so lots of things were tried. The opposite extreme from the Avrocar was the X-3 Stilleto [wikipedia.org], probably the pointiest-nose aircraft ever built. It flew, but couldn't go supersonic. Flying wings were tried - they had stability problems not solveable with 1950s technology. Finally, it was figured out that swept-back wings could be made to behave at both subsonic and supersonic speeds, and that became the standard form for supersonic aircraft.

Re:It's a proposed follow-on to the failed Avrocar (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588897)

This project is from Avro (A.V. Roe, a respected Canadian aircraft manufacturer in the 1950s) and is clearly a follow-on to the Avrocar. [wikipedia.org] The Avrocar, of course, really was a flying saucer. But it could barely fly.

You might want to actually read the article before posting on here, given you can't edit your post and everyone who read the article now knows you didn't. (Although interestingly, a moderator clearly didn't either...)

Generic US pork recipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588345)

Take equal parts of

Fear
Ignorance
Greed
Enemy du jour about to take over the world

add in unlimited taxpayer support via the MIC and bake at 'hot air' temperature.

I saw this documentary on Discovery (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588463)

Back in the '90s

It was unstable out of ground effect, and only got a metre or so off the ground
Theres no way it would have been seen 'in the skies'

Roswell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588539)

"the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage"

Finally we know what really happened in Roswell.

those NAZI ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41588631)

When a friend of mine, ten years before, was writing some articles in a local Greek magazine for this NAZI German prototypes (with pictures, specifications and even the names of the engineers), i was thinking that he was going a litle crazy - well... time to write him an "mea culpa" email !

No flying saucer for you! (3, Insightful)

jvkjvk (102057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588799)

"The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."

Not so! It in fact suggests that the Greys filed a cease-and-desist suit with the Galactic Court to stop humans from producing a craft in that shape. They won, and *that* was when the Americans really sat up and started taking notice of Patents.

Other galactic species are talking behind their back, though, because the Greys sued with a design patent based on "rounded corners" for a flying saucer...

This has been known about for some time (1)

Project12 (576458) | about a year and a half ago | (#41588843)

While the fact that documents have been released that confirm it's existence and potential design is both new and interesting, the fact that Avro was working on a supersonic disc has been known for a while. I remember hearing it for the first time in a documentary about the history of the Avro in regards to the Avrocar and the Arrow if I recall correctly. Google Project Silverbug and you're likely to see some very similar looking design documents.

A quick Google search spawns this -

http://www.boomslanger.com/images/silverbug03.jpg [boomslanger.com]

http://greyfalcon.us/restored/Project%20Silver%20Bug.htm [greyfalcon.us]

While the author has a penchant for Nazi UFOs - a bit of historicity that has since become wild myth - it clearly shows that this was known about for quite a while. Even showing mockups, models, and expected designs. The details of it and how far it came along though, have long since been a matter of debate.

So...... Don't shit on those saying they've seen this before.

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