A few days ago I wrote an article titled “From Flying Saucers to S̳e̳c̳r̳e̳t̳ Spy-Planes and Controversial Statistics.” In part, the article revealed that at least some U̳F̳O̳ encounters really amounted to mistaken sightings of the high-flying United States’ U-2 spy-plane. It was something that military and C̳I̳A̳ personnel were more than happy about. After all, if the U.S. government could hide its most secret aircraft behind a camouflage of wild U̳F̳O̳ stories, then all the better. With that said, I thought I would share with you some more data on this legendary plane. As history has shown, most agencies of the U.S. government are extremely loathe to even mention the words “A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51,” never mind comment on the existence of the place. But, that’s certainly not the case with the C̳I̳A̳ – today, at least. Yes, there was a time – decades, even – when the Agency was in accord with other official bod̳i̳e̳s not to talk about A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51. That has all changed now, and particularly so with regard to the issues of A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51 and the history and development of the legendary U-2 spy-plane, which was secretly tested out of the famous base. In fact, the C̳I̳A̳ has seen fit to place into the public domain a wealth of material prepared by C̳I̳A̳ employees and for the benefit of the media, the public, and aviation historians.
The C̳I̳A̳ states: “On August 1, 1955, during a high-speed-taxi test in the first U-2, Lockheed’s chief test pilot, Tony LeVier, inadvertently became airborne at a remote test site in the desert of western Nevada called the Nevada Test and Training Range at Groom Lake. You may know it as A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51. LeVier who had conducted the first taxi-test a few days prior, accelerated the U-2 to 70 knots when he suddenly realized he was airborne, leaving him in ‘utter amazement.’” In The C̳I̳A̳ and Overhead Reconnaissance – the U-2 and OXCART Program, 1954-1974, a document written by C̳I̳A̳ historians, LeVier later recalled: “I immediately started back toward the ground, but had difficulty determining my height because the lakebed had no markings to judge distance or height. I made contact with the ground in a left bank of approximately 10 degrees.” The C̳I̳A̳ notes that LeVier was “unable to land the U-2 on his first attempt, and it bounced back into the air, but he managed to successfully bring it down on a second try. Damage to the prototype U-2 was very minor. This test would later be considered the first unofficial flight of the U-2. LeVier piloted the U-2’s first official test flight a few days later on August 4th, and the first official flight with visiting dignitaries present was on August 8th.”
As further evidence of the way in which the C̳I̳A̳ is opening up on the work undertaken at A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51 (even though other agencies are not), the Agency now openly states: “Much of the testing took place at the facility at Groom Lake, a dry lakebed near Las Vegas, Nevada, in an isolated area that came to be known as A̳r̳e̳a̳ 51 and Watertown. The area was chosen by top officials of the U-2’s Development Projects Staff who flew to Nevada in search of a site where the U-2 could be tested safely and secretly. They spotted what appeared to be an airstrip by a salt flat – Groom Lake – near the northeast corner of the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Nevada Proving Ground, which had been used during World War II as an aerial gunnery range for Army pilots. The site was perfect for testing the U-2 and training its pilots; however, upon further discovery, the U-2 Project Staff learned Groom Lake was not actually part of the AEC proving ground. They asked the AEC to add the Groom Lake strip to its real estate holdings in Nevada, to which the AEC readily agreed, and the deal was approved by President Eisenhower.”
A legendary and incredible aircraft was well and truly born.