The US military was testing and flying UFO design aircraft in the 40's and
50's. These were sophisticated designs were code named 'Silverbug'.

Near the end of WWII the allied forces had gained superiorty over the
Germans. Or so it seemed. The Germans were looking for a superior craft. The
SSE and Vril societies were building craft that looked like UFO's and were
capable of vertical take-off's and landings because most of their runways
had been destroyed.

The project was headed by Dr. Richard Metha, known today as the Father of
Saucerology. He was hired by the German air force to build a saucer shaped
craft that could vertically ascend and shoot down allied planes with
rockets. Supposedly the war ended before Metha developed his ship.

The American government recruited some of the German scientists after the
war to go to Canada and continue their work. Dr. Metha was one of these men.
He work on a secret aircraft project at AVROW Aeronautics in Canada. These
were saucer type flying machines. The US had as many as 35 saucer projects
with vertical lift off and descent. The most highly classified was known by
code name "Silverbug". These saucers were designed to 2300 miles per hour at
an altitude of 80,000 feet. Though designed in 1955 the papers describing
these design were not declassified until 1995. For over 40 year America's #1
top flying saucer project was top secret.

In the 1950's in Canada AVROW revealed the AVROCAR to the public.

Project Silverbug by Randall Whitcomb

Project Silver Bug was the American "Black" project version of the Avro
Aircraft Canada Y-2/ Private Venture 704 project that was revealed to the
United States Air Force in 1955.

Project Y-2 was begun by the Canadian John Frost, who was apparently in the
loop on Nazi Saucer programs and was quite fascinated by them. It involved a
"radial flow jet" engine design which was simply radical for 1955. As late
as 1976 people were copyrighting ideas essentially identical to this 1955
design (see US Patent # 4,193,568). This aircraft was listed as being
capable of over 80,000 feet and Mach 3 and able to hover at up to 18,000 ft.
without using afterburners.

Due to newspaper leaks in the mid 50's a cover story for the Y-2/Silver Bug
program was leaked to "Look" magazine which, while broadly similar,
disinformed the public as to the radical engine (substituting many small
conventional jets for the single radial flow) and the control systems to be
used. Later in 1958 Avro Aircraft Ltd. was contracted to build a somewhat
similar, small ground-cushion vehicle reminiscent of the "Look" magazine
item for the USAF and US Army. I too am convinced that this "Avrocar" was
constructed only for disinformation purposes while Y-2 went "Black" as a
means of providing the US Gov't with "plausible deniability" and also the
possibility of telling those who saw "flying saucers" that it was only that
Avro vehicle.

At any rate, the Y-2 later Silver Bug item was an entirely other matter. It
clearly DID go Black and the incredible performance projected by educated
engineers for it really prove WHY it has been such a secret. The Saucer
shape give natural "all aspect" stealth, the radial flow engine is capable
of producing incredible thrust in an aerodynamically appealing shape, and
the vertical take off and landing abilities gave the US the possibility of
underground basing. All of these features provided the possibilty of "Cold
War" winning technology in the 1950's! Clearly they didn't want the Soviets
possessing any or suspecting their existence until they developed technology
that could reasonably be expected to counter "stealth."

The strongest evidence that Avro built something to resemble Y-2 comes from
5.4 million dollars spent on Avro's own "Private Venture 704" including
about 2 million dollars from the USA up to 1957. The Avrocar project was
commenced after this time and used only 4 million or so to completion. Avro
stated themselves that the first step in responding challenge of developing
the Y-2 was to build the engine and the control duct system. Clearly this is
where the first 5.4 million dollars went. With all that money came rumours
and the Avrocar would be a great way to dispel them.

Meanwhile with the Avrocar, the project used a much less sophisticated
arrangement in a much slower and lower flying design. It did prove the
control system devised for the Y-2/PV 704/Silver Bug and provided publicly
acceptable "proof" of the flying saucer design. It was also used to proved
"proof" that the concept was not feasable.

The intial test flights revealed it was underpowered, unstable and could not
transition to proper forward flight. Interestingly, recent films show the
solved the instability problem.

There is testimony on the record that they also finished doing modifications
required to allow the craft to transition to forward flight (after which it
was expected to be capable of 300 mph). This is the date the US money
disappeared and the project was terminated with all drawings, tooling, and
flying examples taken to the USA. The examples at Wright Patterson and in
the Smithsonian are NOT the final Avrocar version but early development
models that were far from successful.
Flying Saucers-For Real! secret truth behind U.S. built flying
wing disc aircraft)
By Jack D. Pickett and Michael H. Schratt February 2003

Illustrations by Michael H. Schratt

12/27/03 - Important Note:

Read updates to this article at:

  What you are about to read is still classified "TOP SECRET" by the United
States Air Force. Now, after 60 years, the true story of the U.S.
involvement into the design and construction of "Flying Saucers" can now
finally come to light. This is not your run-of-the-mill "light in the sky"
saucer story. In this case, the dates, names, and locations of very specific
personnel and hardware can now be identified, which point to a very
"terrestrial" explanation for many of the "UFO" sightings beginning since

  THE REAL STORY: The case for U.S. built flying wing disc aircraft (aka
flying saucers) begins with an unprecedented true account by Mr. Jack D.
Pickett (retired WWII combat veteran and publisher). During the 1960's, and
on into 1972, Jack Pickett and his business associate Harold Baker published
for the Air Force certain house-organ magazines (club-calendar-events) for
NCO and Officer's Club facilities for several military bases in Florida. It
was 1967 when the Adjutant General's Office at MacDill AFB (Tampa Florida)
proposed a front cover, and two-and-a-half page article within. The subject
was Vintage, Historical or Experimental aircraft.

  THEY DO EXIST: Jack and Harold learned that some experimental jet aircraft
were being stored at the base salvage/scrap-yard. These particular aircraft
had already been decommissioned/declassified, and were parked directly
outside, and NOT in a hangar. In September of 1967, both Jack and Harold
drove together to where these aircraft were being parked. Upon arriving at
the chain link fence, which surrounded the perimeter of the base near the
scrap-yard, Jack first saw the most awe-inspiring aircraft ever built.
Jack's initial thought was: "My gosh! Those are Flying Saucers! Those things
really do exist!". There, in outside parked storage, were four flying wing
discs, measuring 20 to 108 feet in diameter. Because they were the last
remaining of their model, the Master Sergeant of the Non-Commissioned
Officer's Club telephoned the Adjutant General's Office for permission for
polaroid photographs to be taken, even though all of the tires were
completely flat down to their wheel rims. The General's Office (headed by
base commander William M. Wilson) suggested that Jack use higher quality
official Air Force photographs available at the Adjutant General's library
at MacDill. Under armed guard, Jack was personally shown literally hundreds
of official U.S.A.F. photographs of these aircraft in formation flight, on
the tarmac, and was shown portions of motion picture footage of these
aircraft in flight. Jack was allowed to select those photographs best suited
for the up-coming NCO Club newsletter article, and obtain additional
detailed information concerning the discs. It's important to note, that
these four aircraft are NOT to be confused with the well known Avro VZ-9
Avrocar, Chance Vought V-173 "Flying Pancake", Project Silverbug, or the
Chance Vought XF5U-1.

  DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DISCS: When Jack first saw the official USAF photos of
these aircraft, he was amazed, and immediately asked questions regarding how
large, and how many of these aircraft were built. Jack also inquired about
the flight performance (altitude and cruise speed) for these aircraft. Some
of the in-flight photos clearly showed the discs being escorted by an F-84
Thunderjet (straight-wing) interceptor aircraft. Looking head on, they
appeared as the classic so-called "Flying Saucer" shape, very similar to two
saucers stacked one over the other. The pilot/crew compartment appearing as
a bubble shaped contour located directly in the middle of the top of the
disc. There was nothing forward of the pilot's compartment other than the
sloping surface. That compartment tapered back towards the trailing edge of
the disc, narrowing down to a high vertical tail. The small 20' diameter
craft had a crew of one, with an air-intake on both sides of the pilot's
compartment, and two exhaust ports at the aft lower portion of the disc.
This aircraft also employed control surfaces along the circumference of the
disc. According to Jack, the smaller disc seemed to incorporate a sort of
magnifying/enlarging optical sight, which was directly embedded into the
1-1/2 to 2" thick canopy windows. The standard Air Force insignia, and the
word "XPERIMENTAL" followed by "USAF", was visibly printed starting
immediately behind the windows of the compartment on towards the tail. All
four discs were polished aluminum silver in color, with the aircraft skin
seams and rivets clearly visible. Amazingly, each aircraft was so
exceedingly streamlined that it appeared as though each craft were made out
of one piece. The discs themselves, regardless of size, all had tricycle
landing gear. The size of the aircraft, determined how many wheels on each.
According to the O.I.C. (Officer in charge) of MacDill, all four aircraft
had been flown in, and then immediately parked outside at the scrap-yard.
The O.I.C. also informed Jack that not one person had ever been allowed to
enter any of the discs since they arrived.

  THE LARGE DISC: Measuring 108 feet in diameter, and standing 12' off of
the ground, the largest of the four discs must have been a sight to behold.
The O.I.C. permitted Jack to walk under and around this aircraft, and was
actually allowed to kick the tires of the smaller 40' craft, while the
O.I.C. stood nearby and snapped a photo in the process. Jack specifically
noted that the port main landing gear was partially collapsed, causing the
aircraft to lean to the left. Each main landing gear consisted of 6 wheels,
measuring 5' in diameter. The nose gear had an incredible 32 wheels, each
measuring 2-1/2 to 3 feet in diameter. A door was located on the port side
of the craft, for access to the crew compartment. Immediately behind the
door, were three windows that ran along both sides of the fuselage. These
may have been stations for the flight engineer, navigator, and weapon
systems operator. The large craft employed two air-intakes on both sides of
the crew compartment, and four exhaust ports at the aft bottom end of the
craft. The air intakes blended beautifully into the sides of the fuselage
and upper portion of the disc. Jack specifically recalls that the unusually
high vertical stabilizer was "higher than shopping mall parking lot lights".
It was evident that the landing gear retracted inside the main body of the
disc, with the gear moving up and away from the centerline of the aircraft.
Flight control surfaces were located along the circumference of the disc,
similar to the 20' model. Jack remembers seeing what may have been bomb bay
doors located on the bottom surface of the disc. These may have been used
for the release of 10' diameter in-flight radio controlled flying wing disc
bomb drones. Indeed, Jack remembers seeing flying wing disc drones in
various stages of disrepair at the scrap-yard, near the four discs. These
bombs were capable of being delivered with "pin-point" accuracy decades
before Lockheed F-117 Stealth Fighters dropped "smart bombs" on Iraq during
the Gulf War. This indicates that the primary mission for this aircraft may
have been that of a long range reconnaissance bomber. Jack was told that
this aircraft regularly over-flew Russia after WWII, but was told: "you
can't print that".

  AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE: When Jack asked the O.I.C. if these were the Flying
Saucers everybody was reporting, he was given an affirmative reply. It's
clear that what was being reported, was one of the smaller craft,
specifically the 40' diameter model. The overall logistics and tremendous
costs involved in manufacturing the giant 108' model may have prevented it
from being produced in great quantity. Jack Pickett was never briefed on the
exact propulsion system utilized by the four craft, or who specifically
built these aircraft, and any guess would be pure conjecture. However, Jack
was told that these aircraft could fly so high, and so fast, that they were
actually capable of achieving space flight. By definition, that would
eliminate conventional jet engines, due to their tendency to "flame-out" at
extremely high altitudes. This would mean that these aircraft were capable
of literally flying rings around anything operating at the time. With a top
speed of 15,500 mph, and an almost unlimited range, they definitely still
remain among the utter most classified aircraft in the U.S.A.F. inventory.
Jack also inquired why they had been discontinued, and was told that it had
to do with maneuverability problems, and that the U.S.A.F. now had "better

  THE PROPOSED ARTICLE: The four disc shaped experimental aircraft were
never featured in the October 1967 issue of "NCO Club News". Coincidentally,
while putting that article together, there was a UFO/Flying Saucer sighting
which occurred directly over downtown Miami. That particular aircraft Jack
was told, originated from Avon Park Air Force Range located 100 miles
Southeast of MacDill AFB. Avon Park consisted of runways far too short for
the operation of conventional high speed horizontal take-off aircraft. Only
"harrier type" or VTOL aircraft would be ideally suited for operations at
this facility. Jack learned that this new prototype developed a propulsion
system malfunction, which caused it to drop down to "tree-top level".
Eventually, the flight crew regained control regained control of the
aircraft, which quickly departed the Miami area at a tremendous speed. It's
entirely possible that a more advanced prototype VTOL variant of the
original four discs stored at MacDill was responsible for the over-fly of
Miami. Jack brought this sighting, which took place during September of 1967
to the attention of the O.I.C. at MacDill, who personally felt that he
should make a request to higher Air Force authority for the clearance needed
for publication at that time. This was now the making of the biggest, and
most decisive "catch 22" that the U.S.A.F. ever found itself in. On one
hand, the Air Force was standing on the door-step ready to officially
release information pertaining to the four discs parked at the scrap-yard
which had already been decommissioned/declassified. On the other hand, it
was determined that the Air Force would never admit to the existence of the
aircraft which took off from Avon Park, and was responsible for the Miami
sighting. Jack was specifically told that it would be in the "better
interest of the Air Force" to delay publication of his article.

  THE CANADIAN CONNECTION: During WWII, Germany had become the undisputed
leader in highly advanced aircraft technology. The Me-262 jet interceptor,
Horten flying wings, and the Me-163 rocket powered aircraft were decades
ahead of allied designs. Under the direction of General Hans Kammler, the
man in charge of operations at Peenemunde, and Dr. Wernher von Braun's boss,
a secret saucer program was started in Dresden in 1942. This design team,
headed by Dr. Richard Miethe, was ultimately responsible for the manufacture
of the incredible discs that Jack Pickett saw at MacDill AFB in 1967. It can
now be revealed, that these discs had been originally built in Germany in
the fall of 1943, with the first flight occurring during the spring of 1944.
After the close of WWII, many German aeronautical engineers were sent to
White Sands Missile Range under "Operation Paperclip". The remaining group
of scientists, were captured by the Russians. Dr. Richard Miethe was among
the group captured by the Red Army. Eventually, Dr. Miethe escaped from
Russia, and went to work for John C. Frost of the Avro Aircraft Company in
Malton Ontario Canada. Mr. Frost was a gifted aircraft designer from
England, who headed up Avro's "special projects group" in 1952. Avro was
currently working on at least 16 different "Flying Saucer" proposals,
including project "Y" and project "Y2" (aka "Project Silverbug"). Project
Silverbug was a design for a supersonic VTOL flying disc. By 1953, John
frost and his team had completed most of the "paper studies" on these highly
unusual aircraft. The only problem facing Mr. Frost, was the overwhelming
costs involved in the development of these designs. It quickly became clear
that only one country was capable of providing the necessary "financial
backing" to "foot the bill" for Avro's flying saucer programs. USAF Lt.
General Donald L. Putt had been briefed on the incredible performance
specifications of these aircraft, and visited the Avro Canada plant on
September 16, 1953. Not wanting this incredible technology to be acquired by
any other nation, the U.S.A.F. officially took over and financed Avro's
saucer program in late 1954. This allowed the Air Force to "farm out" it's
own saucer program on foreign soil, while at the same time keeping the
project strategically close to the United States. By 1955, Dr. Miethe had
completed construction of the disc shaped aircraft he had originally built
in Germany in 1944. These were the exact aircraft reported as "flying
Saucers" in the U.S. during 1947. The first test flight of this USAF/Avro
disc occurred in Malton in 1955, with additional test flights taking place
at Edwards AFB. Now we know who built the "Flying Saucers" that Jack Pickett
saw at MacDill AFB in 1967. Mystery solved!

  WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Fortunately, the story doesn't end in 1967. Jack was
informed that the four discs parked at the scrap area were the very last of
their kind, and were awaiting orders to either be scrapped, or
flown/transported to Offutt AFB for storage for the yet-to-be-completed Air
Force Museum. This brings us to Mr. Warren Botz (retired WWII P-40 Warhawk
Flying Tigers pilot) who in 1978 was attending a reunion with his fellow
pilots at Wright Patterson AFB. A small group including Warren, were
transported by bus across the base to where the restoration hangar is
located. It's here that various older aircraft are processed, and made ready
for the Air Force Museum. Warren momentarily departed from his group, and
managed to walk into a restricted hangar adjacent to the restoration
facility. Taking up the entire hangar, was the identical craft Jack Pickett
saw at MacDill AFB in 1967. Through telephone conversations with Mr. Botz,
it became apparent that what he saw was one of the smaller 70' diameter
craft. Warren was only in this hangar for about two minutes, but was able to
confirm many of the details mentioned by Jack Pickett 12 years earlier. Mr
Botz clearly remembers seeing the tricycle landing gear, along with the very
high vertical tail. In fact, after seeing the illustrations used for this
article, Warren declared: "that's the exact aircraft I saw at Wright
Patterson AFB".

  The time has come for the U.S.A.F. to fully declassify and release into
public domain, the technical details, photos, and motion picture/newsreel
footage pertaining to these specific aircraft. Any potential threat to
National Security has now been far out-weighed by the economic and
environmental benefits derived from the propulsion systems employed on these
aircraft. Indeed, we can no longer as a civilization, go on using obsolete
solid and liquid rockets to achieve space flight. There is a "better way" to
access space. It's now time for the military industrial complex, and the
highest level of U.S. leadership to finally admit that "the game is up", and
that the American people, and the world, demand a full disclosure regarding
highly classified aerospace vehicles and propulsion systems. Only then, can
we all take our rightful place among the stars, and fully reach our
potential to discover new worlds, just over the horizon.

  Illustrations are copyrighted by Jack D. Pickett and Michael H. Schratt.
The authors have expressed permission for anyone to print this article,
including the illustrations. Click Here for printable version

  If you have any questions or comments on this article, please contact

  Mike Schratt
  215 Lake Shore Dr.
  Crystal Lake, IL 60014