They year is 1960 and both Russian and US space projects are active and in competition, but an ominous set of circumtances has US Army planners worried. Beginning in 1946 a US Air Force lieutenant theorized that an alien presence in our solar system could be possible and undetected by present astronomers and radio technicians. His paper is actually released to the press with a disclaimer by upper command that it does not necessarily have the support of official policy. Already two major figures in the free governments of the world's military are convinced that interplanetary war is imminent. Douglas MacArthur and Hugh Dowding both foresee such an eventuality!
Shocking intrusion from space
In 1960 according to Donald Keyhoe, a large unidentified orbital object is detected by powerful targeting radars and tracked for days. A major US defense contractor maintains surveillance on the object and doubts that it is a meteor or other celestial body. At one point the unknown structure descends to 90,000 feet and an alert goes into affect. US jet interceptors rise from several bases to meet the invader but are powerless to do anything about it. They can only fly below the object with a service ceiling maximum of 60,000 feet! in 1960 the technology of the day is rendered helpless! it is not known how the incident ended.
It is unclear whether or not this incident or the accumulative effect of UFO sightings through out the 1950's has spurred classified defense proposals for defending earth orbit and even the surface of the moon! Yet, at almost the same time serious plans for these secret projects are handed to the Pentagon by the US Army. Is it paranoia or higly classified intelligence that has inspired high command to begin their ambitious undertaking?
The orbital defense
'Project Saint" will become the first orbital space defense system that will work in conjunction with NORAD. It will precede later programs such as "Blue Gemini" and the "Star Wars Inititiative" under the Reagan administration in 1985. Yet, there is another even more ambitious plan by the US Army according to Philip J. Corso, former WWII Captain of intelligence and Scientific Advisor to the Eisenhower White House. Project "Horizon" a proposal to land militarily trained astronauts on a secret mission that would predate the civilian NASA proposal, the "Apollo" mission by 3 years as announced by President Kennedy.
Early manned space mission?
Project "Horizon" will not only put men on the moon but establish a permanent base for monitoring the surface of the moon. US defense contractors have already been taking surveillance photos of the lunar surface to find a suitable contstruction and landing site. The US Army moon base will be periodically relieved and resupplied by new personnel. Unknown even by Werner Von Braun, the Director of NASA who is against weaponizing space, the US Army is prepared to formally commence the program.
Program is unveiled
Secret launches are proposed from military missile bases such as Vandenburg AFB in southern California. Has there been a secret development that has so distressed US miltary leadership that they are ready to begin programs that will stretch to the very limits existing technology? Apprarently so. After the detection of a large object in earth orbit that our inteceptors at the time could do nothing about there seemes to have been a serious wake up call. The YF-12 experimental space plane was still in its infancy. It would soon become known as the SR-71 Blackbird. ICBM's were only capable of targeting ground coordinates. US Strategic Air Command bombers were incapable of launching against orbital intruders.
Good reasons for concern
In 1955 with the Braxton County Monster incident that appeared to be a landed probe of some kind guarded by some frightening robotic device that scared Boyscouts and local residents away after a massive jet interceptor scramble that was launched from several USAF bases across the country and expained away as a meteor shower to the American public sent shock waves that had already hit the US military command and control. There was already plenty of talk amongst top generals and scientists of hostile possibilities from an alien civilization.
As far as we know "Project Horizon" was never acted upon though several former military witnesses such as Robert Dean and Clifford Stone both corrborate their knowledge of an ongoing ultra-secret exchange between some kind of otherworldly presence that many believe began at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and direct communications with President Eisenhower and an alien civilization. Due to the technical deficit of the US at the time Eisenhower was forced to make regrettable concessions allowing for a limited number of alien abductions under the condition that the subjects would be returned to their original location after whatever procedures would be performed aboard their ships. In exchange for this harvest of unsuspecting people, the US government would be gifted with advanced technology!
There are those who suspect that the Nazi's prior to World War II were approached by another civilization and were offered technological advancement if they would make concessions. This is the reason many analysts have speculated that Germany introduced so many wonder weapons and rocketry capability so far ahead of the allies! Knowing the ruthlessness of the Nazis one can only speculate what agreements they would have made and how threatening that proposal to innocent people could have been.
Good old Army ingenuity
Yet, there seems another angle in this twisted puzzle of forbidden history. Philip J. Corso, author of "The Day After Roswell" says that the US gained parody against the alien threat through the US Army "HARP" program. The development of a missile that once launched would use a lazar beam weapon in the payload section to target and strike several objects with rapid fire capability once within upper atmosphere altitude. Corso who claimed, much to the chagrin of Stanton Friedman and the UFO community, that the "Roswell crash artifacts" as they were called, recovered electronics and gadgets from the alien space craft wreckage in 1947 originated such technology as fiber optics, laser beams, wireless pilot to ship control capability, and ultra-light composite metals that under the command of General Trudeau Corso was ordered to pass the material on to US defense contractors as supposed captured foreign technology.
The timeline of events seems to match the developments that led to the bizarre claims of witnesses both civiian and military in piecing together the complex landscape of suspicion and actual hidden history that few are aware of. Keyhoe in his book "Aliens in Space" re;eased in 1973 speaks of a seeming retaliation by extraterrestrials after the downing of a UFO that was hovering several thousand feet above a US Navy missile cruiser in the Atlantic when some 600 unexplained aircraft failures and crashes happened in rapid succession. Linda Moulton Howe showcased her presentation to the Crash Retrieval Conference in Las Vegas in 2004, about Keyhoe's findings, but I personally had written an article on this very same subject for the Plano Star Courier in 1994 under the Unexplained Mysteries column I wrote for 18 months there. Secrets travel slowly when they involve the UFO.