Out There

By Don Robertson (

Popular Mechanics says USAF developed Nuclear powered disc as space-capable bomber.

The November issue of Popular Mechanics magazine claims secret documents, declassified since 1997, reveal development of a USAF "forty foot 'flying saucer' designed to rain nuclear destruction on the Soviet Union from 300 miles in space." The American saucer was called the Lenticular Reentry Vehicle (LRV).

The bomber was designed by engineers at North American Aviation in Los Angeles and managed out of Wright-Patterson AFB, utilizing German engineers who had worked on WWII German rocket planes and flying disc technology. "The LRV escaped public scrutiny because it was hidden away as one of the Pentagon's'black project items'a secret project that is incorporated into some piece of nonclassified work," PM reports. On December 12, 1962, Wright-Patterson classified the LRV as Secret due to it being an offensive weapon. It remained thus classified until May 1999 when it was downgraded to public information. Popular Mechanics obtained their document via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

There are several other interesting aspects of the article though. The document never said how the LRV was to be launched, but PM hints that it could have been launched aboard a Saturn rocket. The engineering report said, "At some point the LRV could have been powered by one of the nuclear rockets then under development by the Air Force and the Atomic Energy Commission. The LRV itself carried two nuclear engines and two liquid fuel rocket engines. At launch it weighed 45,000 pounds and it landed at about 33,000 pounds.

The unique craft would have landed much like a space shuttle, re-entering the atmosphere and gliding to a landing on a dry lake, utilizing skids, instead of heavier wheeled landing gear. "The engineering study does not describe how the LRV, which would weigh just over 17,000 pounds without its crew, weapons, fuel and stores would then have been returned to the launch pad," PM said.

A large cut away drawing of the LRV's interior shows the placement of a Helium tank. This leads the magazine to speculate that the LRV was moved back to the launching pad using balloons. That idea seems to be a bit tenuous to this reporter. There would have to be a more convenient way; a flatbed trailer, a special rig of some kind (And, there's that word again, Balloons! The Air Force just can't get away from it!) Next they'll be want us to believe that the LRV's four crewmembers were crash dummies.

In all fairness PM came up with a witness that claims to have seen a craft similar to the one described in the article at an air base in Florida in the late "60s. There was also a story that crash wreckage was found on a ranch in Australia, "in the vicinity of what was then a secret Austalian testing range where the British and Americans conducted some of their most secret atomic experiments." A strange piece of "honeycomb-like debris", was found by Jean Fraser in 1975 on her family's ranch, south of Brisbane. Other locals claim the wreckage was, "from a flying saucer that exploded over the test range in 1966," says Popular Mechanics. Remaining wreckage was purportedly collected and flown to the US via USAF aircraft a la Roswell. I urge you to read the article in Popular Mechanics, or in November you can read it on line at

Do you suppose that the entire thing could be disinformation? I leave that up to you. Let me know what you think.



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