Possible Methods of UFO Propulsion Examined - Part XX
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising series of books:
Dr. Raymond Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” displays newspaper article from the Toronto, Canada, Telegram newspaper of Tuesday, 14 April 1959, describing amazing flight characteristics of U.S. Department of Defense-contracted flying saucer built by the Avro Corporation of Canada. Saucer depicted in the article is in sharp contrast to the one published in the United States and tested by the Air Force, that said the Avro disc was a flop and only got a few feet off the ground. Someone was not telling the truth. Medallion worn by Dr. Keller is for the Royal Order of Melchizedek, bestowed on members of Dr. Frank Stranges’ Inner Circle, formerly of Van Nuys, California.
Declassified version of the VZ-9 Avrocar as unveiled by the U.S. Air Force in 1958 was nothing like the perfected version revealed by the Avro Corporation in the following year.
After having examined numerous documents from the period of the late 1940s through the late 1950s, and taking note of the certitude to which the world’s top scientists were disclosing fantastic discoveries regarding the construction of anti-gravity spaceships, I began to wonder if any government or private agency, for that matter, had actually succeeded in building a rocket to Venus, such as Wilbur Smith described in Part XIX of this series. In Part XX, I will take you inside the workings of the United States government TOP SECRET Project Aphrodite, a program initiated in the Department of Defense in 1948, not long after the preliminary investigations of the crashed saucer at Aztec, New Mexico, revealed that it originated on our cloud-shrouded sister planet of Venus. For detailed information on the Aztec incident, please see my second book, Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus (Terra Alta, West Virginia: Headline Books, 2017), pages 173-188. But now, the big question remains: Did they have their own version of a flying saucer all along?
Air Force Investigations
Dr. George C. Tyler, the president of the Colorado Shale and Metal Company, based in Denver, Colorado, was contracted by the Department of Defense for the provisioning of some of the heavy equipment that would be needed in assisting in recovery and clean-up crews from both the Army’s Fifth Group, based out of Colorado, and the Air Force’s Walker Base, that up through 1947 had been known as the Roswell Army Air Field, in dragging the crashed saucer off the remote mesa outside of Aztec and hauling it and any other debris they could find to the Los Alamos laboratories for initial analysis, for subsequent transport to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, for further analysis at the technical center situated there.
Public scrutiny into the elusive flying saucers was intense, with reports of the mysterious objects occupying banner headlines in all the nation’s newspapers on an almost daily basis. Besides the wide attention given to the Aztec and Roswell crashes, it was also believed that another disc had crashed somewhere on the Plains of San Augustin, also situated in New Mexico, to the south and west in that state, not far from the small ranch town of Magdalena. Scientists speculated that these three saucers had crashed due to their proximity to nuclear experimentation and testing then taking place in the American southwest.
In response to all of this hullabaloo over the flying saucers, by late 1948 the Air Force issued a public statement denying the existence of flying saucers as interplanetary spacecraft. At the same time, the Air Force discontinued its Project Sign flying saucer investigations and replaced it with a new research group, code named Project Grudge. This organization was designed from its very inception to be much more negatively-oriented in its approach to the flying saucer enigma, hoping that it could somehow buy time for the technical investigators at Wright-Patterson to further delve into the origin and nature of the crashed discs while at the same time putting up a smoke screen for public consumption that effectively pushed attention to the more easily explained sightings as misinterpretations of astronomical or natural phenomena, or better yet, simple hoaxes perpetrated by publicity seekers. The same young aviation officer that headed up Project Sign, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, was transferred over to head up the new saucer investigations group.
It should be noted that the lack of objectivity in the new organization became a bone of contention with Ruppelt, insofar as he admitted that he was given orders to downplay the presence of flying saucers in our skies, dismissing these objects as optical illusions, unusual cloud formations, conventional aircraft seen under unusual circumstances, etc. For further information on this matter, see Ruppelt’s controversial book, Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (London, United Kingdom: Victor Gollancz, 1956), that details the Air Force captain’s experiences in three government agencies investigating “UFOs,” a term, coincidentally, that he created to replace the more ubiquitous “flying saucers.”
The Air Force captain also reported that the choice of the word “Grudge” to describe the new project was deliberate. Ruppelt’s superiors in the higher echelons of the Air Force demanded that the new Project Grudge commander take the initiative in providing more mundane and prosaic explanations for as many of the incoming sighting reports as possible. Consider Ruppelt’s own words concerning this:
“On February 11, 1949, an order was written that changed the name of the UFO project from Project Sign to Project Grudge. The order was supposedly written because the classified name, Project Sign, had been compromised. This was always my official answer to any questions about the name change. I’d go no further and say that the names of the projects, first Sign and then Grudge, had no significance. This was not true; they did have significance, a lot of it” (page 50, Report on Unidentified Flying Objects).
Ruppelt referred to the Project Grudge era as the “Dark Ages” of official Air Force investigations. Still, by late 1949, some twenty percent of UFO sightings remained classified as “unknown” by Grudge investigators; and by 1951, according to Ruppelt, some highly influential Pentagon generals had become so disenchanted with Grudge’s debunking that Grudge itself was dismantled and replaced by Project Blue Book, with Ruppelt in charge. UFO historian Jerome Clark wrote of Ruppelt that, “Most observers of Blue Book agree that the Ruppelt years comprised the project’s golden age, when investigations were capably directed and conducted. Ruppelt himself was open-minded about UFOs, and his investigations were not known, as Grudge’s were, for force-fitting explanations on cases” (Jerome Clark, UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial (Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink, 1998), page 517.
From the pages of science fiction pulp magazines to reality. Project Aphrodite envisions an atomic rocket ship to the cloud-shrouded planet Venus. Dr. Keller believes it was actually built and launched sometime in the 1950s, the vanguard of America’s real secret space program. Artist’s conception of atomic rocket from http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/advdesign.php.
Aphrodite Project Imagined
Even following the publication of the Project Sign report in 1948, however, it became clear in Washington, D.C., centered in the highest echelons of military and political power, that the United States needed to develop an atomic rocket capable of carrying a space probe to the planet Venus. The Sign panel’s conclusions that the flying saucers emanated from our sister planet Venus, based on an analysis of the crashed discs, was propelling the drive to initiate what would become known in the inner circles of the military-industrial complex as the “Aphrodite Project.” Hints of this TOP SECRET program were leaked by science writer R. S. Richardson, under the pen name of Philip Latham, in the pages of the June 1949 issue of Astounding Science Fact and Fiction (New York, New York: Street and Smith Publishers), of which I have an original copy in my Venus files. Basically, Richardson proposed that the United States should develop and launch a rocket to Venus, whence it would endow the cloud-shrouded but solitary orb with a moon of its own, albeit an artificial one. This would, of course, be a satellite that we could deploy into a highly elliptic, but extended Venusian orbit.
Personnel in the Department of Defense, worried about the intensive increase in flying saucer sightings around our military installations, were hot on the idea of applying atomic energy to military purpose. If the flying saucers represented the intrusion of Venusian technology into our skies, what was the intention of our celestial neighbors in carrying out this reconnaissance? By the end of 1948, President Harry S. Truman had ordered two of the most powerful telescopes in the world to be dedicated to the continuous observation of the planet Venus. These were the Mount Wilson 100-inch telescope in Los Angeles and the 200-inch telescope atop Mount Palomar to the north of San Diego. Astronomers on staff at these observatories were sworn to the utmost secrecy in the interest of national security. Each telescope would alternate days of operation. At first, nothing was showing up concerning Venus except a blank disk. But it was soon discovered that certain markings and unique cloud formations would turn up when the planet was photographed in ultraviolet light. Fortunately, one day the Venusian cloud layer had parted. This allowed the California Venus watchers to “look at an enormous mountain on the surface” (Richardson). But more was needed if we were to get a closer observation of the Venusian surface, perhaps espying a city or massive military facility, such as a spaceport.
In order to accurately assess the Venusians’ capabilities, however, the United States had to get a probe in orbit around Venus as soon as possible, with such a remote-controlled device having the capacity to collect, encrypt and transmit the gathered intelligence back to Earth. Naturally, we had to be careful. We could not afford to let any of this data get into the hands of the Soviets. Interestingly, a survey of documents released by the Department of Defense during this critical time reveals the existence of the so-called Smythe Report, officially titled, “Atomic Energy for Military Purposes.” This document is important because its unknown author speculates that atomic energy can be applied to rocket propulsion. Just such research was, in fact, being conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the direction of the maverick rocketeer, John “Jack” Whiteside Parsons, whom you can read more about in my Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus, pages 64-274, who even claimed to have made contact with a lady from Venus in the California desert.
There was certainly a need for an “Aphrodite Project” such as the one that Richardson described in the late 1940s. The idea of sending a rocket to Venus was well within the realm of possibility, as we have seen in all of the preceding articles in this UFO Propulsion series. Twelve years after Richardson’s initial recommendation, he would declare in another issue of Astounding Science Fact and Fiction that, “Undoubtedly, such an instrument (a space probe) will add greatly to our knowledge of this planet (Venus). Until such a feat becomes possible, however, we will have to rest content with observations made from Earth in the usual way.” But now the science writer was covering up, asserting that, “Unfortunately, the clouds have never rolled away to give us so much as a glimpse of the surface below. Thus, of necessity all of our information of Venus has been gained from without the cloud layer.”
Concerns About Soviets’ Venus Research
Concern about Venus investigations in the Soviet Union were also expressed by Richardson; but remember that this was six years before the United States Air Force’s Project White Stork revelations about the search for extraterrestrial life in the solar system and beyond by Soviet scientists, as fully detailed in my Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus, pages 94-227. But by 1960, Richardson states that he was cognizant that, “Some of the most important of the recent papers on Venus have been in Russian and hence have received little more than scant mention….” And of these papers, he notes that, “They are mostly by Dr. N. A. Kosyrev of the Crimean Observatory who startled the world about a year ago with the observation of what he called a ‘volcanic process’ in the lunar crater Alphonsus.” Thus, buoyed by the accomplishments that Kosyrev made regarding the Moon, Richardson comments that, “His observations of Venus are genuinely interesting if not so spectacular in nature.”
What Kosyrev’s study of the Alphonsus crater revealed was that our Moon remains geologically active; and what he discovered about Venus was so startling that it would forever change the way in which his fellow Russians would consider our sister world in level or prioritization for funding and further space research in the most powerful of all communist nations.
Early Hints of the Real Secret Space Program
My contention is that all of the certain pronouncements made by sundry scientists about the introduction of atomic energy to facilitate the creation of interplanetary, anti-gravity spaceships in the mid-to-late 1950s were hints being dropped as to the existence of a such operational aerospace platforms and the beginnings of a real secret space program.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Raymond A. Keller hopes that all readers of this column have thoroughly enjoyed this series, “Possible Methods of UFO Propulsion Examined,” and invites you to check out any of his Venus Rising series of books, available on Amazon.com, while supplies last.
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