Michael Rhodes recently blogged “How to Build a FLYING SAUCER“, about how the United States Air Force had the top-secret Project 1794 back in 1956, to design and build a supersonic aircraft in the shape of a flying saucer.

USAF Project 1794

In 1956, the Air Force contracted a Canadian company, the now defunct Avro Aircraft Limited in Ontario, to build the UFO-style, saucer-shaped flying machine.  It was intended to take-off and land vertically, to reach a supersonic speeds – with a top speed of Mach 4 (four times the speed of sound), to travel in the stratosphere at over 100,000 feet high above the Earth, and to cover distances of over 1,000 miles. However, the project failed and the flying ship never materialized. In the blog comments, people mention that a smaller model also failed because the design was not amenable to stable flight, even while tethered, and was “out of control”.

Men in Black were Fact Not Fiction

The design drawings are remarkably like the retro-style flying saucer popular in Sci-Fi movies of the time. In Men in Black, fictional MIBs wipe clean the memories of civilians who witness of UFO and alien sightings. In this story, G-men tried to wipe the memory of Project 1794. By classifying it as top-secret for the past 55 years, the U. S. government bureaucratic procedures hid knowledge of Project 1794, i.e. the “USAF Aeronautical Systems Division, 1969, RG 342 – Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations – UD-UP 138; NND 63253; Boxes 35 and 58”. Though, a commenter to Rhodes’ blog notes that his last unconfirmed sighting of the non-flying saucer was in a military museum at Ft. Eustass.

Rhodes is a social media blogger for the U. S. National ArchivesNational Declassification Center, who delivers public announcements of interesting declassified archives.