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  • The high-altitude U-2 spy plane that was tested and flown in the 1950s.

    The high-altitude U-2 spy plane that was tested and flown in the 1950s. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 December 2014

Extraterrestrial aircraft reported in the 1950s were actually high-altitude spy planes, the CIA revealed.

The CIA has admitted that reported UFO sightings in the 1950s and 1960s were in fact spy planes being tested by the U.S. government security agency.

“#1 most read on our #Bestof2014 list: Reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? It was us,” the organization tweeted Monday, referring to its top 10 most read documents, which it has been posting links to.

The spy planes that were frequently mistaken for spaceships were actually high-altitude U-2 surveillance planes, which flew at previously-unprecedented heights of 60,000 feet.

“In the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet and (many) military aircraft … operated at altitudes below 40,000 feet. Consequently, once U-2s started flying at altitudes above 60,000 feet, air-traffic controllers began receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports,” the document, called The CIA and the U-2 Program, 1954-1974, says.

The aircraft were a major tool in the Cold War and were used to photograph enemy targets.

“The U-2 was an enormous technological success – its first flight over the USSR in July 1956 made it immediately the most important source of intelligence on the Soviet Union,” the document states.

However, despite its successes for U.S., former President Dwight Eisenhower was reluctant to authorize missions to the Soviet Union, and when, in 1960, the Soviets shot down a U-2 craft, expeditions there were banned.

Another study, CIA's Role in the Study of U.F.O.'s. 1947-90, released in 1997, conceded that, ''Over half of all U.F.O. reports from the late 1950's through the 1960's were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights,'' and that therefore the “misleading and deceptive statements to the public in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraordinarily sensitive national security project.''

Read more: US Spy Planes Hack Civilian Cellphones


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