History Project

Ufo's: The Real History

Season 1, Episode 5 of 10

This is not another film about flakes and weirdoes - it's a true story about how real flying saucers were developed secretly ...right under our noses. The first "flying saucer" was spotted by an American pilot over Mount Washington in 1947. He coined the phrase to describe the disc-shaped craft that hovered above him and heralded the age of UFOs (unidentified flying objects). Many UFO spotters became convinced these were spacecraft flown by aliens. Governments and the media scoffed at the idea of alien transport - but others knew better. Under cover of the popular hysteria that fuelled sensationalist newspaper reports and Hollywood movie scripts, there were small teams of brilliant scientists secretly designing, building and piloting real flying saucers. This is the story of the man-made flying saucers. A story of more than 50 years of development during which governments invested heavily in the promising future of anti-gravity flying machines. From these secret projects came the mysterious lights seen in the skies. Attempts at building flying saucers had been made in the 1920's and in 1944. As the Allies overran Nazi Germany, young and brilliant aircraft designers were dispatched to learn the secrets of the Third Reich's "saucer development" as part of the post-war military effort to win the Cold War. Secret design headquarters were set up. The British Ministry of Defense issued dismissive statements of "flying saucer" sightings while the Government poured millions of pounds into a secret project, known as Project Y. By 1960, the first saucers from the Avro Company were flying. Declassified footage shows the two-man 'flying jeep' saucer on test flights. The military denied further development but flying machines matching the description and performance of these supersonic craft were recorded all over the United States. The US government began a public relations exercise called Project Blue Book. Its sustained campaign to discredit flying saucer sightings provided a smokescreen for the funding of an even more remarkable anti-gravity project now credited by many experts with being the forerunner of the formerly top secret Stealth Bomber.

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