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UFOs: Ours or Theirs? Project Silver Bug

By Nick Redfern

For years, rumors have circulated to the effect that some UFOs are the result of classified, man-made projects, rather than the product of bug-eyed aliens from the other side of the galaxy
© Morris Scott Dollens - Moon Takeoff
For years, rumors have circulated to the effect that some UFOs are the result of classified, man-made projects, rather than the product of bug-eyed aliens from the other side of the galaxy.

Certainly, the most famous domestic flying saucer was the Avrocar. In 1953, it was revealed by the Toronto Star that Avro Canada was working to perfect its very own flying saucer. As a result, the Avrocar made its first – and distinctly unsuccessful - “flight” in December 1959. Two years later it was barely in the air; and the US Department of Defense – which had shown a lot of interest in the project and had been working closely with Avro – severed its ties with the project, as the following DoD document notes:

“From 1958 on, Aircraft Lab had many doubts about feasibility as expressed in correspondence and project reviews. On basis of various tests, the Aircraft Lab noted in Feb 1958 that the Avrocar probably would not be capable of supersonic flight. A few months later, Aircraft lab statements [said] that the concept was feasible, but that much work had to be done before it would ever be operational – serious mechanical problems, engine problems, aerodynamic problems, and flight factors unknown.”

However, there is intriguing evidence that has led some commentators to suggest that the Avrocar was nothing more than an ingenuously crafted cover for far more classified US programs designed to build and – possibly - fly UFO-like aircraft. In other words, the Avrocar project was a planned failure from the very beginning, designed to create the impression with the Soviets that the US military had failed to successfully develop and put into service such a particularly unique aircraft. But can such claims be validated? Yes: to a degree, at least.

From 1952 to 1961, a Special Projects Group from Avro worked on a series of Flying Saucer programs that were miles ahead of the Avrocar. One such project, known as Y2, was purchased by the US Air Force and renamed Project Silver Bug. A technical report on Silverbug prepared on 15 February 1955 by the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, reveals the extent to which potentially groundbreaking research was being undertaken at the time. The report clearly spells out its purpose:.

“This report presents factual technical data on A. V. Roe, Canada, Limited, proposed development, Project Y2 (Secret). This proposal is the second of two designs which can be classified as radical aircraft designs. The ultimate purpose of presenting this is two-fold; to correct the distorted picture presented in previous releases, both classified and unclassified, and to acquaint the intelligence community with the current state-of-the-art facts thereby alerting them to any air intelligence information which may become available indicating Soviet interest in this specialized field.”

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Related Links:
Soviet Ufology
Truth in the X-Files
The Soviet UFO Files

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