The truth is out there, I want to believe, aliens stole my neighbours, etc. I don’t know if Earth has been visited by extraterrestrial life, or if people have been abducted and found one too many probes in certain, sensitive areas. What I do know is that the US Air Force was keen enough on flying saucers to have a crack at prototyping one, as these documents from the 1950s show.
Called “Project 1794”, the craft was expected have a maximum ceiling of 30.5km, a top speed of Mach 4 and a range of around 1850km, all in a VTOL (vertical-take-off-and-landing) configuration.
$US3,168,000 was required to keep the prototype alive — about $26.1 million dollars in today’s coin, accounting for inflation.
Whether this was a contributing factor, we don’t know, but obviously it didn’t reach mass production, otherwise we might be flying around in them right now, George Jetson style.
OK, that’s a bit of a stretch. We’re still waiting on those hoverboards Back to the Future promised us, anyway.
Images: National Archives