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Supersonic Flying Saucer Documents Declassified

Supersonic Flying Saucer Documents Declassified

What happened to Project 1974, the U.S. Air Force’s supersonic flying saucer?

Around the time of the famous Roswell UFO crash, the buzz around extraterrestrial life was resonating around the world. While the American military always denied the existence of UFO’s, recently declassified documents released by the National Declassification Center, show that in the 1950’s the U.S. Air Force was secretly trying to build its own supersonic flying saucer.

The documents show that Avro Aircraft Limited in Ontario was contracted to build the craft, known as Project 1974, which would perform vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and fly up to speeds of Mach 4 at an altitude of 100,000 ft. for a range of 1,000 nautical miles.

us air force supersonic flying saucer documents declassified

Project 1974 Documents Declassified

Image Credit: National Archives, 2012.

Reports show that the craft was fully expected to fly, and the development may have actually gone better than originally planned:

“It is concluded that the stabilization and control of the aircraft in the manner proposed — the propulsive jets are used to control the aircraft — is feasible and the aircraft can be designed to have satisfactory handling through the whole flight range from ground cushion takeoff to supersonic flight at very high altitude.”

The flying saucer was estimate to cost around $3,168,000, which translates into around $26.6 million in today’s dollars. However the report concluded in June 1956 that more research needed to be done:

“Additional tests to completely substantiate this [expected vehicle] performance are shown to be required.”

usaf project 1974 flying saucer

Artists Rendering of Project 1974

usaf project 1974 supersonic flying saucer

USAF Project 1974

Image Credit: National Archives, 2012.

Yet nothing is known about why the project was abandoned, or indeed whether or not it actually produced some technology still unknown to the general public. What we do know is that the aircraft had to at least be in initial stages of research and development.

The striking resemblance to the many UFO’s spotted around that time could offer an explanation for all those who thought they saw alien aircraft. But conspiracy theorists would argue that the documents are evidence that the military somehow acquired information from aliens. Who is actually correct remains a mystery.

The Project 1974 flying saucer was not the only one in existence. A group of Canadian aeronautical engineers created a prototype model known as the Avrocar. This craft was based on Project 1794, but didn’t perform well and was scrapped in 1961.

Related Posts:


  1. Benjamin Plackett: Declassified at Last: Air Force’s Supersonic Flying Saucer Schematics. Danger Room, Wired, 10/05/2012.
  2. Lee Speigel: Air Force Plans To Build Flying Saucer Declassified. The Huffington Post, 10/09/2012.
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One Comment

  1. Where can I get a copy of PROJECT 1974 and any declassified documents from UFO’s, Project Blue Book, The Manhattan Project, ETC

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