A-12 OXCART, Anthony "Tony" LeVeir, Area 51, Central Intelligence Agency, Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, Committee for State Security, Doctor Hugh Latimer Dryden, Francis Gary Powers, Francis Gary Powers, Junior, KGB, NACA, NASA, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Area 51 Was Created To Accommodate The A-12 OXCART And The U-2 Reconnaissance Programs

An ariel photograph of Area 51.

Area 51 was founded, at a location in proximity to Nevada’s above ground nuclear testing site, after the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a high altitude reconnaissance program with former U.S. Air Force pilots. The Air Force Pilots had to resign their military commission to work, as civilians, on the CIA’s Top Secret A-12 OXCART Program and the U-2 Reconnaissance Program. To conceal the existence of the single engine Lockheed U-2 spy jets from the public, members of the CIA would disassemble the components from a single U-2 jet into a large C-124 cargo plane. The C-124 plane would then be flown to the Area 51 land-strip, where the single U-2 jet would be reassembled.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) photo of former NACA Director Doctor Hugh Latimer Dryden.

On May 7, 1956, Doctor Hugh Latimer Dryden, the Director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), issued a directive stating that the aircraft were conducting high altitude weather missions. With the new directive, NACA was working in conjunction with the Air Force and the CIA to further deceive the public on the true mission of the U-2 spy jets. Some of the U-2 jets, utilized by the CIA within Area 51, were labeled as NACA planes to support this false public narrative. All of the other U-2 jets were labeled as U.S. Air Force planes.

Photograph of a U-2 aircraft inside of Area 51.

In July 29, 1955, Anthony “Tony” LeVeir was the “Chief Test Pilot” at Area 51, whom was the first to successfully land a U-2 aircraft.

Tony LeVeir would conduct a total of 19 flights before leaving the CIA’s U-2 testing program.

After May 1, 1960, the real purpose of the high altitude flights was publicly revealed after Francis Gary Powers, whom had trained at Area 51, was flying a U-2 jet over the Soviet Union and was shot down by their anti-air defenses.

Photograph of Francis Gary Powers in his flight suit.

Initially, President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower believed that Francis Gary Powers was killed during his mission. It was soon discovered that Francis Gary Powers survived his crash landing and that he was being held hostage by the Soviet Union.

Photograph of the KGB Agent Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel.

Powers was not released from custody until the United States negotiated a “spy swap” by releasing former Committee for State Security (KGB) agent Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, also known as William August Fisher.

Francis Gary Powers with a model of a U-2 jet.

Author’s Note:

In 2004, Philip Andrew Hamilton volunteered at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and met Francis Gary Powers, Junior, the son of the Air Force veteran who trained at Area 51 and was shot down over the Soviet Union during a CIA reconnaissance mission. At the time, Francis Gary Powers, Junior was the President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and was the president of a traveling musuem that honored all Cold War veterans.

Photograph of Francis Gary Powers, Junior with a model of a U-2 jet.
Joseph Sweetman Ames, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

The NASA Ames Research Center

In 1939, the United States Congress approved a second aerodynamics research center for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The second center was built within a Naval Air Station, called Moffett Field, and was named for the chairman of NACA, Joseph Sweetman Ames.

In 1958, the center was renamed to the NASA Ames Research Center, after NACA was renamed to NASA.

In present day, the Ames Research Center is utilized for flight and space research.

Author’s Note:

This NASA Documentary goes more in depth in the history of the center.

Google, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, The Naval Air Station Moffett Field Musuem

Naval Air Station Moffett Field Museum

In August 1931, the Chamber of Commerces of various Bay Area cities purchased a plot of land in Sunnyvale and deeded the land to the U.S. Navy for only one U.S. Dollar. On October 5, 1931, construction of the Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, which was commissioned as “U.S. Naval Air Station, Sunnyvale, California”, began. On April 12, 1933 the Moffett Field was officially dedicated.

From 1935 to 1942, Moffett Field was under the ownership of the U.S. Army. In the middle of World War II, the Department of War decided to give the ownership of the facility back to the U.S. Navy.

Moffett Field continued to operate as a military base until 1994, when the Clinton administration ordered a series of base closures to reduce the size of the United States military after the end of the Cold War.

Presently, the former Moffett Field is owned by the NASA Ames Research Center and one of the former hangers serves as a museum.

Author’s Note:

In 2019, NASA negotiated with the company Google, Incorporated to lease the historical hydrogen balloon hanger to Google for the testing of drones.

Alexandria, Virginia, George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun., NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958

The George C. Marshall Space Flight Center – Developer Of The Saturn V Rocket

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s George C. Marshall Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama was the center where the Saturn V Rocket, which brought the first humans to the moon, was developed.

Former George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun.

Doctor Wernher von Braun, whom was a former Nazi V-1 and V-2 rocket scientist who was brought to the United States via the Central Intelligence Agency’s classified Operation Paperclip program, was made the Director of a team of 5,500 employees working on the Saturn V Rocket and other NASA projects. The Deputy Director for Research and Development and the Deputy Director of Administration reported directly to former George C. Marshall Flight Center Director Wernher von Braun.

Author’s Note:

On June 16, 1977, Wernher von Braun died of cancer in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard, Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In August of 1958, U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior announced that the federal government would establish a “Space Projects Center” in Greenbelt, Maryland. The center site was part of the Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

U.S. Senator John Glenn Beall, Junior after he won an election.

Months later, after the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Project Vanguard was legally transferred to the “Beltsville Space Center,” though it remained at the Naval Research Laboratory facilities until the completion of the new center.

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard with a liquid rocket.

In May of 1959, NASA formally announced that the new facility would be called Goddard Space Flight Center, after Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard. Robert Goddard, whom is widely considered the father of modern rocketry, theorized that rockets would work in a vacuum, and thus could potentially be used to send payloads into space. On March 16, 1961, the 35th anniversary of Goddard’s first liquid-propellant rocket launch Goddard Space Flight Center was officially dedicated.

Researchers prepare Explorer XX, the Topside Sounder IE-A, for launch. The satellite was put into orbit on 25 August 1964. (Credit NASA Goddard Space Center).

The NASA Goddard Visitor Center has various exhibits for visitors to see.

Ariel view of NASA’s Goddard Visitor Center. (Credit NASA Goddard Flight Center).

Author’s Note:

Dan Hamilton, the father of author Philip Hamilton, worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 1991 to 2018.

Laurel, Maryland, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, VT Fuze, World War II

The John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

In 1942, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory was established to help create the proximity fuze, known as the VT Fuze, that was instrumental in improving American site defenses during World War II. Since the era of the space race, the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has worked with NASA to develop deep space research and other space technologies.

Author’s Note:

My daughter Krystal Marie Hamilton’s grandmother Charlene Roelecke and Richard G. Shelton both work for the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory campus in Laurel, Maryland. There is an addition Applied Physics Labratory in Silver Spring, Maryland.

NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The District of Columbia, Washington D.C., World War I, World War II

The National Air And Space Museum In Washington D.C.

In January 2018, I had the opportunity to visit the National Air and Space Musuem with my older sister Linda Hamilton and a couple of friends.

The musuem exhibits aircraft from the age of air pioneers as well as those used in multiple wars, capsules from the Mercury and the Apollo missions during the space race, and fragments of meteorites form space.

Various posters showed that during World War I there was a great emphasis placed on the manufacture of airplanes for the war effort.

One section of the museum has an original model of the first jet aircraft in the world that was built in Nazi Germany during World War II. Nazi Germany had planned on mass producing the jet aircraft in the mid 1940s, but lost the war and was unable to manufacture jets under the treaty signed with the allied forces in 1945. Therefore, the United States and the Soviet Union were the first to mass produce jet aircraft during the Cold War.