On the record, there is no record of Aliens descending to Earth in super-sized flying saucers. But the fictitious grabbed the attention of the Air Force and it has now come to light, through the declassification of military documents, that the government had secret plans to build a super sonic flying saucer starting in 1956.
The initiative, called Project 1974, showed that the U.S. Air Force had a contract with a Canadian company, Avro Aircraft Limited, to develop and build the transportation vessel of every aliens dreams. A memo from 1956 details the prototypes and expectations for the project: the device was to fly at a top speed between Mach 3 and 4 at up to 100,000 ft. over the range of 1,000 nautical miles.
Based on these specifications, the saucer, which was designed for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), could maneuver through the stratosphere at nearly 3,000 miles per hour. And according to the 1956 memo “the present design will provide a much superior performance to that estimated at the start of contract negotiations.”
The project only had a $3,168,000 price tag ($26.5 million of 2012 dollars) and an estimated completion in 18 to 24 months from the time the memo was released. This isn’t a huge investment in time or money, but it appears Avro Aircraft was unable to complete the project and get a working flying saucer into the Air Forces’s hands.
This does point to some validity in flying saucer sightings in the late 50s though. Unsuspecting citizens could easily have seen low floating discs in the sky, they just weren’t brought to Earth by aliens.