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CIA Takes Responsibility For More Than Half Of UFO Sightings In The 50s And 60s

The CIA has revealed via Twitter that at least half of all reported UFO sightings in the 1950s and 1960s were actually their spy planes.

Taking to Twitter this week, the CIA claimed that despite many reports of UFO sightings six decades ago, the foreign objects seen in the sky were more than likely U-2 spy planes they had been testing at altitudes over 60,000 feet.

“#1 most read on our #Bestof2014 list: Reports of unusual activity in the skies in the '50s? It was us,” the CIA tweeted.

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The tweet also links to a previously confidential report that discusses the CIA’s testing of the U-2 planes over 60,000 feet. During that time, aircrafts were not believed to have been able to fly altitudes that high, so when people saw the U-2 planes being tested, they understandably started to think that they could be signs of alien life.

“High-altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect -- a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs),” the report reads. “In the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet ... Consequently, once U-2s started flying at altitudes above 60,000 feet, air-traffic controllers began receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports.”

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The report goes on to note that most of the sightings were reported as taking place in the early evening hours, and the document claims that as the sun was setting below the horizon, the U-2 planes would looks like “fiery objects.”

The CIA claims that of all the UFO sightings that were reported in the 50s and 60s, the U-2 spy planes accounted for more than half. Unfortunately, because of the testing was confidential, investigators were unable to inform people who wrote letters about a UFO sightings that what they were seeing was actually spy plane testing. It’s unclear if the CIA knows what the other half of the UFO sightings can be attributed to.

Sources:, USA Today, UPI / Photo Source:


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