CIA

The night Chinese scrambled 12 MiGs to intercept a lone CIA B-17 Spy Plane. They failed, and two of them crashed.

The night Chinese scrambled 12 MiGs to intercept a lone CIA B-17 Spy Plane. They failed, and two of them crashed.

The MiG-17 The Soviet MiG-17 (NATO code-name "Fresco") was designed to replace the famous MiG-15 of the Korean War. Although… Read More

1 week ago

USAF predicted a six-year U-2 development plan but thanks to CIA spymaster Richard Bissell and Lockheed Aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson it was deployed in slightly over a year

Richard Bissell Richard Bissell, the senior Government official who took responsibility for the Central Intelligence Agency's failed attempt to topple… Read More

2 months ago

A-12 pilot tells the story of when to keep the Oxcart project secret CIA stored in boxes A-12 spy planes and moved them from Skunk Works production site to Area 51

The A-12 Oxcart at Area 51 Since 1955, America’s most secret aircraft projects have been tested at Area 51, a top-secret… Read More

3 months ago

SR-71 Blackbird RSO recalls the North Pole Mission he and his pilot flew the Night Before Christmas to spy on Soviets setting up acoustic sensors to track US submarines

The SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71 spy plane, the most advanced member of the Blackbird family that included the A-12 and… Read More

4 months ago

Black Orions! The P-3 Aircraft operated by CIA for Black Flights over China and North Vietnam (one is believed to have Shot Down a MiG by means of a Sidewinder Missile)

The P-3 Orion The P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft was based loosely on the Lockheed L-188 Electra airliner. Development of… Read More

4 months ago

The Unwelcome Guest: the RAF F-105 exchange pilot who landed at Area 51 and spotted the Top Secret A-12 Blackbird

The A-12 Blackbird at Area 51 Since 1955, America’s most secret aircraft projects have been tested at Area 51, a… Read More

5 months ago

British Secret U-2 operations and the RAF pilots who flew the Dragon Lady on CIA’s behalf during the Cold War

British U-2 operations Although known through authors like Chris Pocock and Paul Lashmar, for many years the UK government consistently… Read More

5 months ago

The story of how the US secretly tested the A-12 Mach 3 Spy Plane RCS during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Testing the A-12 Oxcart RCS. The A-12 was the product of Project Oxcart, a secret military program to develop a… Read More

6 months ago

First U-2 pilot recalls when the only U-2 pilot to fly over Moscow nearly died and crashed into Red Square after he almost bit his poison cyanide pill in half

The U-2 The US Air Force (USAF) jointly managed U-2 development, testing and missions with the CIA from the start.… Read More

8 months ago

Skunk Works Director Ben Rich recalls when CIA financed the A-12 Oxcart with secret funds and back-door payments to Lockheed with personal checks to Kelly Johnson for more than $1 million

‘Everything about the A-12 Oxcart program was dark alley, cloak and dagger. Even the way they financed the operation was… Read More

8 months ago

Two Blackbird Mach 3 Spy Planes were Hit by North Vietnamese Air Defenses: one A-12 was hit with shrapnel, another Oxcart was damaged by SAM debris

How close did a Blackbird Mach 3 spy plane ever come to being shot down? The iconic SR-71 Blackbird spy… Read More

8 months ago

CIA engineer recalls when specks of insects hoisted from atomic tests in Russia and China were found on an A-12 windshield after an Oxcart mission

CIA A-12 Oxcart CIA developed the highly secret A-12 OXCART as the U-2 spy plane’s successor, intended to meet the… Read More

9 months ago

The story of How the U-2 got its name: Test Pilot Tony LeVier flipped off Kelly Johnson, Johnson flipped off in return LeVier and yelled, “U-2” [You Too]!

‘Tony LeVier [the test pilot who flew the first flight of the U-2] was sitting at Bob Gilliland’s bar when… Read More

10 months ago

The story of the A-12CB, the Oxcart Carrier Based Mach 3 Spy Plane that never was

The A-12CB (Carrier Based) was a minor study for a major change in operations for the Oxcart: flight to and… Read More

11 months ago

Last of only six pilots to fly the A-12 for the CIA legendary Oxcart program passed away

Frank Murray, the last of only six pilots to fly the A-12 for the CIA legendary Oxcart program, passed away… Read More

1 year ago

Ghosts of Groom Lake: the story of the F-101 Voodoo aircraft tasked to support the then top-secret A-12 program test flights at Area 51

In addition to their A-12 chase and training duties, these F-101 Voodoos were tasked with the interception of any unauthorized… Read More

1 year ago

Did you know? To keep the A-12 project secret CIA stored in boxes Oxcart spy planes and moved them from Skunk Works production site to Area 51

Since the CIA wanted to keep the A-12 project secret, it determined that the Oxcart could not be tested at… Read More

1 year ago