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USA: The real reasons for the famous U2-flights above the USSR. The USSR military aproved the USA spy-satelites that photographed the USSR.

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  • Bert ( A W RvB )
    USA: The real reasons for the famous U2-flights above the USSR. The USSR military aproved the USA spy-satelites that photographed the USSR. The book The day
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2007
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      USA: The real reasons for the famous U2-flights above the USSR. The USSR
      military aproved the USA spy-satelites that photographed the USSR.

      The book "The day after Roswell" of Lft. Col. P. J. Corso 1989.


      Chapter 10

      Page ± 59

      EBE = Extraterrestrial Biological Entity

      Bert RvB.


      But I didn't know that as I drove through the Fort Belvoir gate and headed
      back to my Pentagon office. I only
      felt satisfied that it looked like we had successfully inserted one of our
      own Foreign Technology projects into an
      ongoing development stream already under way and had camouflaged our
      appropriation of a piece of alien
      technology. At this point, I believed, we'd kept it out of the hands of the
      Soviets for the time being, and the aliens,
      if they were monitoring what we were doing, maybe didn't know what we were
      doing with it either. It would give
      us time.

      I headed north along the Potomac and through the green woods of Fairfax
      County, Virginia, back to a desk
      that was quickly piling up with other projects that needed disposition. One
      of them, which was running parallel
      with the night vision I'd just handed off, was the embryonic "Project
      Corona, " an idea whose time was suddenly
      thrust upon us by the shooting down of a U2 surveillance plane and the
      capture of its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
      The air force and the CIA had been running the U2 program for awhile during
      the Eisenhower administration,
      and the reports and photos routinely crossed my desk at the National
      Security Council. Like so many other events
      during the Cold War, the U2 didn't have just a single purpose, the
      surveillance of the Soviet Union to monitor their
      guided missile development program. It had a triple intent. Of course, we
      wanted to know exactly what the
      Soviets were up to, but we also wanted to test their air defense capability.
      We wanted to know how accurately
      their radars could track the U2 and whether any of their missiles could
      bring it down. So we deliberately provoked
      them by making our presence known when we wanted them to fire at us. Could
      they shoot us down? Cameras
      on the U2 picked up the launch of enemy surface to air missiles as the pilot
      flew over sensitive installations where
      the Soviets had to challenge us or cede to us the control of top classified
      zones in their airspace.
      So we played gamesmanship with them, probing their defenses, deliberately
      sacrificing pilots who we
      believed died when their planes were shot down, and always denying what we
      were doing even as Khrushchev
      screamed at Eisenhower that the U2 program was putting Khrushchev himself at
      risk inside the Kremlin. "We can
      deal with each other, " the Communist Party chairman told Ike. "But not if
      you force me out of office. " But as
      much as Eisenhower hated the U2 program and the jeopardy into which it
      placed our pilots, the President had to
      accommodate himself to one of the other agendas of the surveillance: the
      ongoing search for any evidence of
      extraterrestrial spacecraft landings or crashes within the vastness of the
      Soviet Union. We also wanted to see
      whether the Soviets were harvesting any of the alien aircraft technology for
      themselves. That's what made the U2
      program too valuable to give up until we had an alternative. And the
      alternative, although it was an air force
      and not an army program, was part of a shared R&D between our intelligence
      services and the National Security
      Council/CIA apparatus. And it was already in development within Lockheed in
      a division they called "skunk
      works. "
      Because we had set up our U2 flights to provoke the Soviets and because we
      knew that ultimately we would
      start to lose pilots and planes, the National Security staff began looking
      aggressively for a more secure
      surveillance program as early as 1957, my last year at the White House.
      Intelligence decided to take orbital
      satellite photos of Soviet installations, but only if they could get a bird
      up there that would be reliable. Also, we
      didn't want to let the Soviets know we were turning earth orbit into a
      surveillance facility because we didn't want
      to encourage them to go after our satellites. So the trick was to get a
      satellite up there in complete secrecy. But
      how could you do that with the whole world watching?
      The army and air force had an idea. Lockheed had already shown that it could
      develop a surveillance plane,
      the U2 and eventually the SR71, out of the public view and run those flights
      without too much interference from
      Senate watchdog committees and out of the presence of any newspaper
      reporters. Could they do the same
      thing with a satellite? And if they could, would the satellite recon photos
      be as reliable as the photos we were
      getting from the U2s?
      Normally, I would have said that if the army were putting up a satellite, it
      could do anything it wanted
      because everything we did under our intelligence blanket remained relatively
      secure. However, both the army
      and the air force were effectively put out of the satellite launching
      business toward the end of the Eisenhower
      administration by the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Agency under a
      pooled resources crash program
      to get satellites up into space to show the world the flag. The Soviets had
      beaten us in the race initially with
      Sputnik, and the failed army and navy attempts to launch satellites only
      made us look worse. I learned for a fact
      that when the New York Daily News ran the full page headline, "Oh Dear, "
      after the Corporal rose a few inches,
      fell back onto the launchpad, and blew up into smithereens, no one was
      laughing harder than Nikita Khrushchev.
      After a few of these attempts, the National Security Council advised
      President Eisenhower to throw in the
      towel, pool all the national scientific resources he could, and turn the
      U.S. entry into the space race over to a
      civilian agency. The military services had learned their lesson about
      competing over the same technology the
      hard way and had to stand back and watch NASA take over.

      NASA had some immediate successes, and before the end of the Eisenhower
      administration in 1960, they had
      managed to put satellites in orbit and experiment with the effects of
      orbital flight on animals in far more
      sophisticated ways than the army's V2 experiments with small primates at
      Alamogordo in the late 1940s and
      early1950s. As the army and air force intelligence offices looked at the
      successes of these NASA satellites and at
      the increasing vulnerabilities of the U2 flights, they saw the possible
      answer to their need for a fail safe surveillance
      program. When NASA began its Discoverer orbiter program, launching a payload
      into low orbit and returning it,
      the military services thought they saw a solution. If they could somehow
      manage to build a workable photo
      recon satellite small enough to fit into the very limited space inside the
      Discoverer payload capsule, recover the
      surveillance device when the orbiter returned to Earth, and install the
      entire military spying program within a
      civilian scientific exploration program that was getting a lot of attention
      from the newspapers without alerting the
      public to the military's secret agenda, they would have their covert
      We knew that the Soviets would very quickly find out about the program, but
      that wasn't such a bad thing. We
      reasoned that there was no way, given the CIA's penetration by the KGB, to
      keep the program completely
      covert, but if the Soviets knew we were able to watch them it might keep
      them honest. And Khrushchev wouldn't
      have to worry about our deliberately violating his airspace, so he was off
      the hook at the Kremlin and thankful for
      it. All we had to do was keep it out of the public arena and we'd be home
      free. The whole program rested on our
      being able to slip what we now called "Corona" into the existing Discoverer
      program without a whisper in the air,
      the Soviets would go along without a protest, and we would get our
      surveillance photos.

      We added an additional incentive for the Soviets to discourage them from
      getting their friends in the CIA to
      leak the story to friendly journalists and blowing the cover on the whole
      operation. We encouraged them to
      participate with us in the hidden agenda of Corona: surveillance of
      potential alien crash landings. Army
      Intelligence, upon Eisenhower's and the NSC's express approval, let it be
      known to their counterparts in the Soviet
      military that any aerial intelligence we developed as a result of Corona
      that revealed the presence of aliens on
      Soviet territory would be shared with the military. What they did with the
      information, we said, we really didn't
      care. But the military was more than grateful. The professional military
      didn't trust the commissars in the
      Communist Party anymore than we did and hated being under their collective
      thumb. Thus, in a perverse way,
      although we were tipping off the Russian military about alien activity in
      their territory, we really weren't sharing
      information with the Communists because of the deep division within the
      Soviet government between the
      Communist Party and the military.

      Our incentive worked and the KGB encouraged the CIA - even I was surprised
      at how effectively they worked
      together - not to leak the story. Now it was up to the air force and the
      skunk works division at Lockheed to build
      the Corona surveillance satellite out of the public arena and load the
      vehicle into the Discoverer rocket right
      under the noses of the American press. It was one of the trickiest
      operations of the Cold War because the
      Russians knew what we were doing, NASA was making the entire project happen,
      but the American press, hungry
      for even the smallest tidbit of spaceflight information, had to be kept
      completely in the dark. If necessary, we had
      to lie to them, provide them with cover stories, completely trick them into
      thinking that all the American people
      had to think about was the little chimp that was blasted into orbit wearing
      his custom sized space helmet. And we
      didn't have much time to do it because we knew the Soviets were trying to
      embarrass Ike at the end of his term
      by bringing down one of our U2 planes with a live pilot inside. We were now
      in a race against the Soviets to
      replace the U2 with the Corona, even though the Soviets understood and
      accepted what we were doing every
      step of the way. It was one of the ironies of the Cold War.
      The engineers at Lockheed designed the satellite camera package to fit
      neatly into the payload cone of the
      Discoverer capsule. They worked under brutal time constraints because
      President Eisenhower was putting
      pressure on the National Security Council to cut off the U2 overnights
      completely. The old general knew it was just
      a matter of time before the Soviets would capture a living American pilot,
      extract his confession, and march him
      in front of the television cameras to the humiliation of the United States.
      Eisenhower was a man of his word who
      disliked politicians because they always sought the expedient solution, not
      the most honorable one. Eisenhower
      disliked expedience for expediency's sake and always preferred to take the
      most directly honest path whenever
      he could. But, as Khrushchev complained about the U2 flights, Ike always
      denied we were sending them. It was
      such an obvious lie that Khrushchev kept goading Eisenhower about exposing
      himself that way. "We will shoot
      one of them down, you'll see, " he kept telling Eisenhower whenever he
      complained. "Then what will you say?"
      But President Eisenhower denied the existence of the U2, putdown the
      telephone, and turned on his own staff,
      furious that they had put him into such an untenable situation. "Stop the
      nights, " he ordered. But the CIA kept
      pushing for one more flight. It was serving a purpose, they argued. They
      were learning about the Russian air
      defense system at the same time they were surveilling possible areas of
      alien spacecraft activity. With or without
      the Russians' knowledge, the U2s denied the extraterrestrials a complete
      camouflage because of our high
      resolution aerial surveillance. I don't know whether we actually found any
      evidence of an alien landing on
      Russian territory from our U2 surveillance, but the extraterrestrials
      certainly could see that we were able to surveil
      the Soviet Union, and their knowledge of our capability served as a
      deterrent to roaming the vast areas of the
      Soviet Union with impunity.

      The CIA claimed the U2s were so important to our national security that they
      were even ready to sacrifice one
      of their own pilots. However, I also believe that the KGB moles who had
      penetrated them wanted Eisenhower to
      be embarrassed before the entire world. And when Francis Gary Powers took
      off in May 1960, they had their
      There is still a great deal of doubt about the shootdown of Powers's U2. His
      mission was to fly over the most
      sensitive Soviet missile installations and make himself a target. We
      believed the Russian SAMs couldn't reach his
      altitude. But, whether Powers fell asleep at the stick because of oxygen
      deprivation or whether his CIA controllers
      forced him to a lower altitude to get better photos or even to make himself
      a more provocative target, we'll
      never know. I believe that Powers was probably startled out of a low oxygen
      lethargy by the explosion of a SAM
      close enough to force him to lose control. His plane was not hit by the
      missile. The U2 was the type of aircraft that
      was very difficult to fly. Powers probably pulled into a stall and was
      unable to bring it back. As his plane spun
      toward the ground and Powers became too disoriented to regain control, he
      pulled on the lever next to his seat,
      blew the canopy off, and ejected.
      Powers was captured alive, paraded before cameras, and forced to confess
      that he was spying on the Soviet
      Union. Khrushchev had his excuse to cancel a summit meeting with Eisenhower
      and put on one of the great
      performances of his career in front of the Supreme-Soviet. Eisenhower, as he
      had most feared, was publicly
      humiliated and forced to admit to Khrushchev that he had sent the U2s over
      the Soviet Union. He promised
      Khrushchev that the U2 flights would end, eliminating a valuable
      surveillance tool and potentially blinding us not
      only to what the Soviet Union was doing but potentially to what the
      extraterrestrials were doing in Asia as well. It
      was a terrible experience for the old man, who believed he had been
      compromised by his own administration.
      All the while during the final months of preparations before Gary Powers's
      U2 flight, NASA was completing the
      engineering details to insert the Corona payload into the Discoverer
      payload. If all went well, the first launch of
      Corona would give the National Security Council the results they wanted and
      the U2 program would come to an
      end because it had been made obsolete by Corona. Then Gary Powers was shot
      down and the U2 program
      came to an end because Eisenhower terminated it. We were blind. Then
      Discoverer was launched from Cape
      Canaveral and those of us in the army and airforce missile programs who were
      aware of Corona and what was
      at stake in the mission held our collective breaths. If it worked, we had
      eyes. If it failed, our best surveillance
      opportunity would have failed.

      You can imagine the jubilation at the Pentagon when the Corona payload was
      recovered and we
      developed the first photos. They were better than what we had gotten from
      the U2, and the Corona was
      completely invisible to the Soviets. Khrushchev hid the information from his
      own Supreme Soviet, and Eisenhower
      certainly didn't make a public statement to the American people. We were
      back in the photo intelligence
      business, and in addition to keeping tabs on Soviet missile developments, we
      had a way to track any possible EBE
      attempt to set up a base in the remotest parts of Asia, Africa, or South
      America. We were gaining parity with the
      EBEs, a small victory, but a victory nevertheless.
      What satisfied me the most about Project Corona, I thought as I reached the
      outskirts of Washington on my
      way back from Fort Belvoir, was that it was elegant as well as successful;
      Just like the ease with which we had
      slipped the Roswell night visor into the development and engineering stream
      at Fort Belvoir, so had we slipped
      the Corona photo-surveillance payload directly into the ongoing Discoverer
      program, reverse engineering
      Discoverer to make the payload fit. No one realized what we had accomplished
      or how effectively the military
      utilized traditional programs as a cover for their own secret weapons
      development systems.
      At the same time, we knew we were gaining on the aliens. With each
      successful start of a new project, some
      based on the Roswell technology, others initiated specifically to counter
      the alien capabilities we had discovered
      at Roswell, we believed we were advancing our game piece to the next square.
      We believed that no matter
      how hostile the aliens' intentions were, they didn't have the raw power to
      launch a global war against us. They
      would study us, infiltrate us, wear us down until we might not be able to
      resist them, but they had neither the
      intention nor the capability, we believed, of destroying the planet so as to
      take it for themselves. In that, we held
      the upperhand.
      But what we needed was a real outpost in a location that would
      enable us to establish a strategic advantage, a base to strike at them far
      enough away so that we wouldn't
      create a panic on Earth. We needed a base on the moon. It was something the
      army had dreamed about from
      the very first months after our encounters with the aliens outside of
      Roswell and something we had tried to fund
      without the public's knowledge. It was an ambitious project that had bounced
      around from skeptic to skeptic
      inside the military for over a year before it landed in front of me. And
      when I took over the Foreign Technology
      desk, it was a project we almost had.


      Bert ( A W RvB )
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