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Early Conspiracy Theories

Flying Saucer in hangar at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio:  The late Senator Barry Goldwater believed that the United States government had succeeded in back-engineering its own UFO, or possibly a flying saucer fleet.  See


The Flying Saucers Are Real.  The Government is an Illusion!

By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” the author of the international-awards winning Venus Rising trilogy of books (Terra Alta, WV:  Headline Books, 2015-2017), available on while supplies last. 



Early Conspiracy Theories

            By early 1959, and based largely on newspaper clippings from around the United States and the world, ufologists were already beginning to suspect that the United States Air Force had captured at least one flying saucer from outer space, and possibly two.  There was also speculation that the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union had crashed UFOs in their possession.  In addition, rumors abounded that there existed a “distinct possibility” that the Brazilian Air Force had another. 

A highly-placed Washington, D.C. source, who refused to be identified, informed John Lester, a correspondent for the Kansas City UFO Study Club’s monthly newsletter, Spaceviewer (February 1959), that, “A rumor to the effect that the United States Air Force has a saucer stashed away at a secret base has persisted for quite some time; but no one has been able to confirm or run it down, at least as far as I know.”  However, the source took note that the Air Force was known for having designed its own saucer-type craft.  This certainly lent a definite credence to the rumor that the Air Force actually secured a crashed UFO.  After all, the government informant did say that, “It would be virtually impossible for the Air Force to duplicate such a craft, unless it had one in its possession.”

With regard to the Air Force’s own saucer prototype, the Washington source said that, “It has been undergoing tests and experiments at the Wright Patterson Base at Dayton, Ohio; but to date it hasn’t been able to come anywhere near the high speeds and fantastic maneuverability of UFOs sighted by competent pilots and others, and tracked by skilled government radar men thousands of times.”  From this, the undisclosed government informant came to believe that further credence was given to the crashed saucer rumor, largely because Air Force personnel had repeatedly demonstrated to him an “original anxiety to get a UFO by any possible means.”  What this meant, in the source’s estimation, was that, “Military pilots were ordered to accomplish this by shooting one down or, if necessary, even ramming it and bailing out.”

Big Disclosures

The diligent correspondent and investigative reporter looked into this matter even further.  Going through back issues of the Pulitzer award-winning Kansas City Star newspaper, what he discovered was that William Lear, a world authority on aerodynamics and the 1950 winner of the coveted Collier Trophy, presented by the then President Harry S. Truman for outstanding contributions to aviation, had not too long ago made public statements about the UFO reality. According to wire service reports and a string of newspaper articles in the Star from late 1958, the aviation pioneer declared that, “This country soon will be turning out saucer-type craft that eventually will attain speeds up to 10,000 miles per hour.”

Another great flying saucer revelation came from Lord Louis Montbatten of the United Kingdom.  The English lord maintained that military authorities in his realm did, in fact, possess a flying saucer of their own making.  However, no one was willing to come forth and be quoted on any comments regarding reports that Brazil, France and Russia also had flying saucers in their possession.    Nevertheless, it should be noted that in the first few days of February 1959, there were wire service stories from London stating that the Soviets were planning to build a jet-powered saucer in the near future.  One Soviet military spokesman even admitted in a Tass article that, “In recent tests a model of the planned craft has proved ‘extremely maneuverable.”

John Lester also learned from the high-placed Washington informant of the existence of a special Senate sub-committee recently formed, the purpose being the investigation of UFO reports increasingly pouring into Air Force bases throughout the country.    In 1959, it was little known that the Congress also had two committees working on space legislation and related matters.  One was concerned with space exploration and the other with the development of advanced rocketry.  The news of the Senate UFO sub-committee, however, was quite a startling revelation.  Lester was told that the Senate sub-committee was headed by Senator John N. McClellan, a Democrat from Arkansas, and had been looking seriously into the UFO phenomenon for the past 18 months.  According the source, the Senate sub-committee members were sharing UFO information with a Congressional committee then studying the United States government’s guided missile program.  As this was all taking place in the midst of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the fear persisted that flying saucers might be some type of Soviet reconnaissance aircraft patrolling our skies and monitoring military activities at our airfields, military installations and research facilities. 

Gladys Fusaro of Huntington, Long Island, in New York, a correspondent for Gray Barker’s Saucer News of Clarksburg, West Virginia, checked into some of the controversies surrounding the development of the United States missile program, from its very beginnings.  It appears that a feud had broken out between Wernher Von Braun, the chief scientific consultant for the program, and Defense Secretary Neil McElroy, about both the short and long-term objectives of the missile program. 

Fusaro opined, “There was a general confusion about the direction the missile program was going.  Von Braun was delaying the schedule of firings and wanted to divert missile development into rocketry for the peaceful exploration of outer space.  Von Braun and some of the other German scientists working with him were convinced that flying saucers were real and very concerned about plans to launch armed missiles beyond our atmosphere.  He thought we might be on the verge of interplanetary war with civilizations on other planets in our own solar system.  McElroy was convinced that the UFOs were really of Soviet origin and that the United States should develop a space force to challenge these objects and bring them down, if necessary.” 

Fusaro believed that the Washington informant might very well be Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona; so she wrote him an extensive letter about the UFO controversy then hanging over America’s skies.  This letter to Goldwater was written on behalf of Saucer News

On 28 February 1959, she wrote to Gray Barker, “I have received a letter from a Washington, D.C., source.  Unfortunately, he has not yet given permission to release any of this information about a disc previously referred to by Roy Johnson and many others.  The government disc is called PROJECT ANSWER, and certain details were divulged.  Apparently, this project is our answer to the presence of the flying saucers over the United States.  Whether this is true or not, I have no way of knowing.” 

The intrepid Saucer News correspondent continued:  My source wrote me about many of the salient details:  “In all confidentiality, I was reluctant to share this information because charges could be made if true; and I don’t know why it was leaked to sundry people in high places who didn’t necessarily have a need to know.  This information that came to my attention was unasked for, in the first place.  I don’t recall the whole thing; but the letter stated that a man was supposed to be placed aboard the disc.  It carried the latest developments in communications gear and electronics, as well as food and water.  Apparently, the disc could fly to Venus, and would take a much shorter period of time than any had previously imagined, or reported.  The power source for this disc was only hinted at, as ‘something to astound the scientific world….”

There was more, but more of a technical nature concerning the orbital paths of Earth and Venus and a projected trajectory for a spacecraft launched from Earth to Venus.  Fusaro reported to Barker that she had “rewritten the party.” 

Therefore, Fusaro’s initial guess that Lester’s source was none other than Senator Barry Goldwater had proven correct.  What we have since learned about Goldwater was that he was a staunch believer in the extraterrestrial origin of the flying saucers and an ardent supporter of UFO research, both civilian and government-sponsored.  His full involvement with the phenomenon remains unknown, but indications of an extensive interest in UFOs continue to surface.  For example, Freedom of Information Act archives indicate that on 28 March 1975, Goldwater wrote the following to Shlomo Arnon of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Experimental College:  

“The subject of UFOs has interested me for some long time. About ten or twelve years ago I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where the information has been stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied this request. It is still classified ABOVE TOP SECRET.”  The Arizona senator further wrote that there were rumors the evidence would be released, and that he was “just as anxious to see this material as you are, and I hope we will not have to wait much longer.”  Clearly, here is another letter where the frankness of the senator regarding the UFO enigma can be truly appreciated.

Senator Goldwater was also one to not sit on his laurels with respect to any questions about the UFO phenomenon.  Thirteen years later, in the 25 April 1988 issue of the New York Times, Goldwater revealed that he had repeatedly asked his friend, Air Force General Curtis LeMay, if there was any truth to the rumors that UFO evidence was stored in a secret room at Wright-Patterson, and if he (Goldwater) could gain access to this room.  Goldwater further explained that upon hearing his question, General LeMay “gave me ‘holy hell’ and said, ‘Not only can’t you get into it; but don’t you ever mention it to me again.’”  And a few days later, when interviewed about this article on the Larry King radio show, and as to whether or not Goldwater really felt that the United States government was withholding the UFO evidence, the senator courageously replied, “Yes, I do.” 

Former Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1999), believed that flying saucers were manned observation vehicles from other planets.

Photo courtesy of NICAP Archives


Barry Goldwater (1909-1999) was a businessman and five-term United States Senator from Arizona, as well as the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 1964 election, but losing to Democrat Lyndon Johnson. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, Goldwater was a retired Air Force two-star general, and he continued piloting B-52 aircraft until late in his military career. Goldwater, a member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) Board of Directors, was always frank in his answers to questions about flying saucers and the UFO conspiracy. He and General Curtis LeMay and “Butch” Blanchard of the Roswell, New Mexico, UFO crash fame, were close friends.


Aliens Live Among Us

As to the existence of the extraterrestrials themselves, Goldwater wrote that, “I certainly believe in aliens in space. They may not look like us, but I have very strong feelings that they have advanced beyond our mental capabilities…. I think some highly secret government UFO investigations are going on that we don’t know about—and probably never will unless the Air Force discloses them” (28 March 1975, previously cited letter to Shlomo Arnon of UCLA). 

Near the close of 1959, about one year and five months before the Soviet Union’s first successful launching of a cosmonaut into outer space (Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961, making one complete orbit of the Earth), it was reported in the American press that visitors from other planets were landing in the outskirts of Romeo, Michigan.  The United Press International wire service ran a story on 18 November 1959 with the headline, “Those Spacemen Sure Can Cause a Lot of Trouble,” wherein it was reported that a old farmer in the township of Romeo, Michigan, about 40 miles due north of Detroit, was being plagued by extraterrestrials that could materialize or dematerialize at will. 

According to the report, a flying saucer had landed near the farmer’s barn and its occupants came out of the craft and into the barn to urgently discuss some matter of apparent importance.  The farmer thinks they were having some mechanical difficulties with the ship and talking about ways they might affect repairs on it.  When the farmer followed the aliens into his barn, the startled beings just vanished into thin area.  The farmer ran back into his house to call the state police and get a camera to at least take a picture of the flying saucer.  “I’ve got about half a dozen visitors from outer space here,” complained the elderly gentleman.  “They are in my barn and just disappeared when I went in after them.  I know they are still here, because I can still hear them arguing.”

The state police dispatcher did not know what to make of this call.  Nevertheless, he dispatched some officers to the farm.  Upon arriving, they went out with the farmer and his camera to his barn and saw nothing but a steaming circle in the melted snow, about 50-feet in diameter, adjacent to the structure.  The farmer was worried that the saucer may have become invisible, too, and that the aliens were still in the area.  The officers assured the gentleman that he would be alright; and they stayed with him for about half an hour before returning to their normal patrol.    At first one of the officers thought that the farmer had been drinking and was suffering from an alcoholic episode; but the huge, melted circle in the snow remained difficult to account for (Post and Times Star, Cincinnati, Ohio, 18 November 1959).

In 1959, as we began to take our first baby steps in the exploration of outer space and the development of weapons of mass destruction, the alien presence on Earth was significantly being augmented.  Incidents like this merely formed the tip of an iceberg.  The extraterrestrials were here to stay.  The largest number were Venusians, of course, as they hailed from the closest inhabited planet to our own, and stood the most to lose from our careless deployment of nuclear-armed rockets into outer space. 

(Editor’s Note:  Come out and meet the “Cosmic Ray” in person at the organizing meeting of the Paranormal Search Organization, to be held at Denny’s Restaurant, 220 Park Hills Plaza, Altoona, PA, from 7-9 p.m., Friday, 30 November 2018.  For additional information, please call the SEARCH representative Anthony Pugliese in Harrisburg, PA, at (717) 805-3050.)

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