America is no stranger to the idea of flying saucers, from reports of unusual craft flying in the skies above us to movies about aliens from another world invading our theaters. But back in the 1950s, while UFO-mania was taking the country by storm, a different kind of flying saucer was being tested by America’s Defense Department. This unusual, circular aircraft was known as the VZ-9 Avrocar, but today, many simply know it as America’s flying saucer.
Back during the Second World War, pilots from both the U.S. and Royal Air Forces were tasked with defending Britain from nighttime bombing raids conducted by Germany’s Luftwaffe, but there was just one problem: No one had ever engaged in large scale air combat at night before. Today, pilots rely on a variety of avionic systems to support combat operations in low-light conditions, and while nose-mounted radar would eventually find its way into the conflict, most pilots were stuck with nothing more to go on than their radios and eyesight.
During this time, unusual lights were often reported flying alongside military aircraft. These UFO’s, dubbed Foo Fighters, would take the United States by storm once news coverage made it back from the European theater, only to be further exacerbated by a string of sightings and unusual reports from within the United States in the decade that followed.
Among some, including Avrocar designer Jack Frost, these Foo fighters seemed less like alien visitors and more like advanced Nazi aircraft designs. Intent not to let Canada fall behind on this technological frontier, he set about designing his own flying saucer.
Canada ultimately proved disinterested in Frost’s flying saucer, and it soon found a home with the U.S. Air Force and Army, who were each looking for creative solutions to new combat problems. The Army wanted a sub-sonic reconnaissance platform that could easily deliver troops to the front lines.
The Air Force wanted a jet that could take off without a runway, hover below enemy radar, and escape inbound fighters at supersonic speeds. According to Frost’s claims, his VZ-9 Avrocar flying saucer could do all that and more. In fact, Frost claimed the Avrocar would do Mach 4 and fly at 100,000 feet. Ultimately, it would never fulfill these claims.
You can read the full story of the VZ-9 Avrocar that the video above is based on by following this link.