Created: 4/1/1992

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Warning NoUcc

[nieliitence Sources ornvolwl (WNINTEL)

*iialioruil Seeurily Informa'Jon

Unauthorized Enclosure Subject so Cnmiaal Sanciioai

The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance:


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preparations to handle the productissions

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perations in the soviet

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first overnights o' eastern

lights over the soviet

soviet protest

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renewed overflights of ihe soviet union

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Chapter 6

ThaInlended Successor; Project



This History Staff Monographomprehensive andhistory of ihe CIA's manned overhead reconnaissance program, which44 developed and operated two extraordinary aircraft,nd2 OXCART It describes not only the program't technological and bureaxcraoc aspects, but also ksand international coniexi. The manned reconnaissance program, along with other overhead systems that emerged from it. changed the ClA'i woik and structure in ways tha: were both revolutionary and permanent Tbe formation of the Directorate of Science and Technology in, principally to develop and Orrectprograms, is the most obvious legacy of the evens recountedthis study.

The autnots tell an engrossing Story. The struggle between the CIA and the US Air Force to control3 OXCART projects reveals Sow the rnanned reconnaissance program confronted problemS thai stit! beset successor programs an enormous technological success: its first flight over the USSR in6 made it immediately the most imponant source of intelligence oo the Soviet Union- Using it against (he Soviet larget it was designed for neverthelessersistent tension between its program managers and the President. The program managers, eager forrepeatedly urged the President io lulhoriie frequent missions over the Soviet Union. President Eisenhower, from ihe outsetof the prudence and propriety of invading Soviet airspace. or.Iy reiuctamty allowed any overflights ai all. After the Soviets shot down Francis Garyresident Eisenhower forbade anylights over the USSR. Since the Agency must alwaysovert operanons potential payoff against the diplomatic or military cost if il fails, this account of'Sover ihe Soviet Union offers insights that go beyond overhead reconnaissance programs.

Indeed, this study should be usefulariety of purposes. It is the only history of this program based upon both full access to CIA records and extensive classified interviews of its participants. The authors have found records thai were nearly irretrievably lost and have Interviewed participants whose personal recollections gave in-focrnafion available nowhere else. Although the story of the manned



program offers no tidy model for imitacion.does reveal how resourceful managers coped with unprecedentedchallenges and their implication* (ot and national policy. For ihis reason, the program's history provides profitable reading lot intelligence professionals and policymakers today.

ovioea indebted lo Design, and ind Analytic

Many people made important contributions lo the pfoduclion o( Win volume In the History Staff's preparation of the transcript. Gerald Haines dii ibe Final revista straicd her high talentopy edit* staunch secretarial support throughout. As usual, we a, more members than we can name from the Publication: Cartography Centers in the Office of Curreni Productior Support, whose lively interest in the publication went far beyord the call of duty. Their exceptional professional skill and the masterly work of me Priming and Photography Group combined to create ihn handsome volume.


E. We^nbach, who began this study, and Gregory W. Pcdlow. who completed It. brought complementary siicngihs to thiseteran of CIA servicer. Vrelienbach began research on this studyhen he joined the DCI History Staffotational assignment from the Dircctotaic of Science and Technology After tireless documentary research and extensiveheraft manuscript of the history before returning to his directorate. Inregory W.ew member of the DCI History Staff, was assigned to complete theohns Hopkins University Ph D. who has served as an Army intelligence officer and University of Nebraska professor of history. Dr. Pedlow urderiook ur-jjonan: research in several new areas, and reorganized, edited, and revised the enure manuscript before leaving OA io be come NATO HjHorian inbe final work, which has greatly benefited from both authors* conuibutions. is the CIA's own history of the world's first great overhead reconnaissance program.

J. Kenneth McDonald Chief. CIA History Staff


When (he Ceniial Intelligence Agency came into exisicr.eeo one foresaw thai, in lessecade, ir wouldajor program of overhead reconnaissance, whose principal purpose would be to fly over ihc Soviet Union. Traditionally, tbe military services had been responsible Cot overhead reconnaissance, and flights deep into unfriendly lerrilory only took place during wartime By the, however, the Unircd Stales had an urgent and growing need for slralegic intelligence on the Soviet Union and lis satellite slates. Al great risk. US Air Force and Navy aircraft had been conducting peripheral reconnaissance und shallow-penetralion overflights, but these missions wereigh price in lives lost and increased imernational tension. Furthermore, many important areas of ihe Soviei Union lay beyond ihe range of existingaiicrafi. The Air Force had therefore begun toigh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft ihat would be ableonduct dccp-peneiration reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his civilian scientific advisers feared that the loss of such an aircraft deep in Soviet territory could lead to war and therefore authorized ihe development of new non-military aircraft, firstnd later2 OXCART, to be manned by civilians and operated only under cover and in the greatest secrecy. Primary responsibility for this new reconnaissance program was assigned lo ihe Central Intelligence Agency, but the Air Force provided vital support.

The Agency's manned overhead reconnaissance program lastedears. Ii began with President Eisenhower's authorization ofroject in4 and ended with ihe transfer of the remainings to the Air Forceuring ihis period ihe CIAuccessor io.2 OXCART, but thisaircraft saw liule operational use and the program was canceled5 after the Air Forceieei of similara military variant of2 called the



Neither of these aircraft remains secretreai deal ofaboulnd its overflight program became known to ihe publichen ihe Soviei Union shoind publicly tried iis pilot. Francis Gary Powers. Four year!

later, at press conferences in February andresident Lyndon B. Johnson revealed ihe existence of the OXCART-iype of aircraft, although only in its militaryinterceptor) andstrategic reconnaissance) versions.

The two CIA reconnaissance aircraft have also been lbe subjectumber of books, beginning with David Wise's and Thomas B. Ross'sffair2 and then Francis Gary Powers' memoirs, Operation Overflight,wo recent books give many more details aboutnd OXCART aircraft: Michael Beschloss's Mayday: Eisenhower. Khrushchev and) and William Burrows's Deep Black- Space Espionage and Nationallthough well written and generallythese books suffer from their authors' lack of access to classified official documentation. By drawing upon the considerable amount of formerly classified data onow available to ihe public. Beschloss has provided an accurate and insightful depiction ofrogram in the context of the Eisenhower administration's overall foreign policy, bui his book does contain errors and omissions on some aspects ofrogram. Burrowj's loader work suffers more from the lack of classified documentation, particularly in theection, which concentrates on ihe Air Forcebecause link information about theircraft has been officially declassified and released.

After the present study of the Agency's overheadwasew book onas published ir.Kingdom. Chns Pococks Dragon lady: The History of

rogram. Pocock has been able to compensate for his lack ofto classified documents by interviewing many former participants in the program, especially former pilots. Pocock is also quite familiar with aircraft itself, for he had worked with lay Miller on ihe latter's excellent technical study of:

There has alsolassified official study ofnd OXCART programs.9 the Directorate of Science and Technologyistory of the Office of Special Activities by


is.olurne Top Seem Codeword study or ihe Agency's reconnaissance aircraftealth of scchnica! and operational infonnaiiori on the two projects but does not attempt io place them in their historical context. Without examining the international situation and bureaucratic pressuresthe president and other key policymakers, however, it is impossible to understand ihe decisions mat began, carried out. and ended ihe CIA's reconnaissance aircraft projects.

Ia preparing this study of CIA's overhead reconnaissancethe authors drew on published sources, classified government documents, and interviews with key participants from the CIA. Air Force, contractors, scientific advisory committees, and ihc Eisenhower administration. The interviews were particularlyfor piecing together the story of how the CIA became involved in overhead reconnaissance in the first place because Agencyon the prehistory ofroject is very sketchy and there are no accurate published accounts. Research on the period of actual rtconna.ssance operations included the recrxds of the Director of Central Intelligence, the Office of Special Activities in the Directorate of Science and Technology, and the Intelligence Community Staff, along with documents from the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene. Kansas, and additional interviews

Both authors are grateful for the assistance they have received from many individuals who played important roles in the events they recount. Without theirood deal of this story could never have become known. The assistance of Agency records management officers in the search for documents on the overhead reconnaissance program is also greatly appreciated

To ensurehis study of the Agency's involvement inreconnaissance reaches the widest possible audience, the authors have kept it at the Secret classification level.esult, some aspects of the overhead reconnaissance program, particularly those involving satellites and related interagency agreements, have had to be described in very general terms. The omission of such information is not significant for this book, which focuses on the Agency's recon-nuisance aircraft. e>




For centuries, soldiers in wartime lave sought the highest ground or structure in order toetter view of the enemy. At first itl uees. then church steeples and bell towers. By the lime of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian Warere using hot-air balloons to get ap in the skyetter view of the "other side of theith the advent of dry film, it became possible to carry cameras into the sky to record theof enemy uoops and emplacements. Indeed, photorcconnaissance proved so valuable during Worldhat3 Gen. Werner von Fritsch. Commander in Chief of the German Army, predicted: 'The nation with the best aerial reconnaissance facilities will win the next war."'

By World War II, lenses, films, and cameras had undergone many improvements, as had the airplane, which could fly higher and faster than the primitive craft of World War I. Now it was possible to use photoieconnalssance to obtain information about potential targetsa bombing raid and to assess the effectiveness of the bombing afterward.

Peacetime applications of high-altitude photography at firstonly photomapping and surveying for transcontinentaland mineral and oil exploration. There was tittle thought given to using photography for peacetime espionage until after World Wax IE. when the Iron Curtain rang down and cut off most forms ofbetween the Soviet Bloc of nations and the rest of the world.

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C^aplcr 1

9 (he Soviet Union and the states ot* ilasiern Europe had been effectively curtained off from (tie outside world, and the Soviet military carried out us planning, production, and deploymentwtlh the ulmosi secrecy. All Soviet strategic capabilities-bomber forces ballistic missiles, submarine forces, and nuclearwere concealed from outside observation The Soviet air defensenme consideration in deiermining US retaliatory policies, was also largely an unknown factor

Tight security along the Soviet Bloc borders severely curtailed the movement of human intelligence sources In addition, tbe Soviet Union made its conventional means oftelegraph, andsecure, thereby greatlythe inteMigenf available from these sources The stringentmeasures imposed by the Communist Bloc nations effectively blunted traditional methods for gathering intelligence, secret agents using coven means to communicate intelligence, travelers to and from target areas who could be asked to keep their eyes open andtheir observations later, wireiaps and other eavesdroppingand postal intercepts. Indeed, ihe entire panoply of intelligence iradecraft seemed ineffective against the Soviet Bloc, and no other methods were available

Early Postwar Aerial Reconnaissance

Although at the end of World War II the United Slates had captured large quantities of German photos and documents on the Soviet Union, this material was rapidly becoming outdated Ihe Mil source of current nteliigeoce on the Soviet Union's military installations was interrogation ol" prisoners of war returning from Soviet captivity. To obtain information about Soviet scientific progress, the intelligence community established several programs to debrief German scientists who had been taken to the Soviet Union after the end of the war but were now being allowed to leave.'

Interrogation of reluming German* offered only fragmeniary in-fomiaiion. and this source could not be expected to lasl much longer.esult, in Ihe, the US Air Force and Navy began trying to Obtain aerial photography of the Soviet Union. The main Air Force effort involved Boeingircraft (the reconnaissance version of7 jet-propelled medium bomber) equipped with cameras and electronic "ferrer" equipmcni that enabled aircrews to delect tracking by Soviet radars. At that time the Soviet Union had not yeiringed its borders with radars, and much of the intcrioi also lacked radar coverage. Thus, when rheap in the air-warning network, they would dart inland to take phoiographs of any accessible targets. These "peneiration photography" flights (called SENS Issioni) occurred along the northern and Pacific coasts of Russia. Oneircraft even managed toiles inland and phorograph Ihe City of Igarka in Siberia. Such intrusions brought protests from Moscow but no Soviet military response.'

0 thereajor change in Soviet policy. Air defense units became very aggressive in defending their airspace, allocking all aircraft that came near the borders of the Soviet Union.oviet fighters shotS Navy Privateer patrol aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Following the outbreak of the Korean war inhe Soviet Union extended its "severe air defense policy" to the Far East. In the autumnoviet aircraft downed aUS Navy Neptune bomber near Vladivostok. Anost in the Sea of Japan on2 was probablyictim of Soviet fighters. The Uniied States was not the only country affected by the new aggressive Soviet air defense policy: Britain and Turkey also reported arracks on their planes.'

'IWJ.RmkI Study(Santa Momea; Rand. IWS1 (SIediM andBfupoei view bvelKnftaCT. pp. recc-dlns. WMinpon.l<ii> ITSnd note, for U*onducted for thaare onhe DCI Huwry Sun

' feff-ey Ricnelwn tfateiovitlin* recorded sua* byir Oefen* ttms. in tlu. cajefijMerv occurrednot wempt lo hit ihe US aircraft: (he, rnml, lirtdihott The realoviei policy did nor occur vKll imf they Privaiwr. Geeitc. Coir StyAM.6 (St-

The Soviet Union's air defense policy became even moreinhen its reconnaissance aircraft began violating Japanese airspace over Hokkaido, the northernmost Japanese home island Two months later,oviet fighter aircraft stalked and shotSlying over Hokkaido. Aerialof the Soviet Union and junoundins areas hadery dangerous business.

Despite the growing risks associated with aerial reconnaissance of the Soviet Bloc, senior US officialselieved trial such missions were necessary. The lack of information about ihe Soviet Union, coupled with the perception ihat il was an aggressive nation determined to expand itsperception that had been greaily strengthened by the Soviet-backed North Korean invasion of Soulh Korea in JuneUS determination lo obtainabout Soviet imemions and capabilities and thus reduce the dan get of being surprisedoviet attack.

New Approaches to Photoreconnaissance

White existing Navy and Air Force aircraft were flying their riskymissions over the Soviet Union, the United States began planningore systematic and less dangerous approach using new technology. One of ihe leading advocates of the need for new. high-allitude reconnaissance aircraft was Richard S.assachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and employee of Eastman Kodak who had commanded the Army Airh Reconnaissance Group in Europe during World War II. After the war he returned to Kodak but maintained his interest inLeghorn strongly believed in the need for whai he calleday reconnaissance, that is. reconnaissanceotential enemy before the outbreak of actual hostilities, in contrastombat reconnaissance in wartime. In papers presented6eghorn argued thai the United States needed to develop such awhich would require high-altitude aircraft and high-resolution cameras. The outbreak of the Korean war gave Leghorn anto put his ideas inio effect. Recalled to active duty by the Air Force. Lieutenant Colonel Leghorn became the head of the Reconnaissance Systems Branch of the Wright Air Development Command at Dayton. Ohio, in1

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In Leghorn's view,was ihe key lo success for overhead reconnaissance. Since (he best Soviei interceptor at that time, thead to struggle to0eghorn reasoned that an aircraft that could0 feet would be safe from Soviet fighters Recognizing that the fastest way loigh-altitude reconnaissance airciafl was lo modify an existing aircraft, he began looking foi Ihe highest flying aircraft available in the Free World. This search toon led himfiiish iwio-engine medium rjomber -theby the English Electric Company. The Canberra had made us first flight ins speeder hour) and its service ceiling0 feet made theatural choice for high-altitude reconnaissance work. The Royal Air Force quicklyeconnaissance version of the Canberra. Ihe PR3 (Ihe PR stood forhichflying in'

At Leghorn's .ns.steace. the Wright Air Development Command invited English Electric representatives to Dayton in the summer1 to help find ways to make the Canberra fly even higher. By this time the Air Force had already adopted (he bomber version of Ihe Car.herra. which the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company was to produce under license as7 mediumLeghorn and his English Electric colleaguesew Canberra configuration with very long high-lift wings, new Rolls-Royceolitary pilot, and an airframe that was stressed to less than the standard military specifications. Leghorn calculatedanberra so equipped might0 feet earlyong mission and as high0 feel as thefuel supply lightened the aircraft. He believed that such aCanberra could penetrate the Soviet Union and Chnaadiusiles from bases around their periphery andup toercent of the intelligence largeis in those countries.

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Leghorn persuaded his superiors to submit his suggestion to the Pentagon for funding Ik had not. however, cleared his idea with the Air Research and Development Command, whose reconnaissance

division In Baltimore, headed by Ll. Colellegrini, hadpprove all new reconnaissance aircraft designs. Pellegrini's unit reviewed Leghorn's design and ordered extensive modifications. According to Leghorn, Pellegrini was not interested in aaircraft that was only suitable for covert peacetimemissions, for he believed that all Air Force^sance aircraft should be capable of operating under wartime conditionsherefore insisted that Leghorn's design meet thefor combat aircraft, which required heavily stressed airframes, armor ptate. and other apparatus that made an aircraft too heavy io reach the higher altitudes necessary for safe overflights of the Soviet Bloc. Tbe fina! result of Leghorn's conccpi after its alteration by Pellegrini's staff was theho* nuainum altitude

was0 feet Mean-rule Leghorn, frustrated by ihe rejection of hi* original concept, had liansferrecl to the Pentagon in2 to work for Col.chnever. Assistant for tevtloptnertt Planning to the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Development1

In his new position Leghorn became responsible for ptanmng the Air Force's reconnaissance needs for the next decade. He worked closely wiih Charles F. (Bud)colleague who hadtim from WrightEugene P.otre Dame-educated aeronautical engineer who had designedaircraft at Ae Wrightrlopment Center during World War II. All three of these reconnaissance experts believed that the Air Force should emphatue high-altitude photoreconnaissance.

Underlying ihrir advocacy of high altitude photoreconnaistance was the belief that Soviet radars would not be able to track aircraft flying0 feet This assumption was based ot the fact that the Soviet Union used American-built radar set* that had beenunder Lend Lease during World War If Although the SCR-ieU iSignal Corps Radio) target-tracking radar could track targets up0 feet, its high power consumption burnedey component quickly, so this ladar was normally not turned on until an earlyradar hadarget. Thearly warning radar could be left on for much longer periods andreater horizontal rangeiles) but was limited by the curvature of the earthaximum altitude0 feet.esult. Leghorn. Kiefer. and Wienberg believed that an aircraft thai could ascend0 feet before entering an area being swept by ihe early warning radar would go undetected, because the target-tracking radars would not be activated*

The problem with this assumption was that the Soviet Union,Britain and the United States, had continued to improve radar technology after the end of World War IL Even after evidence ofSoviei radar capabilities became available, however, manyof high-altiiudc overflight continued to believe that aircraft flying0 feet were safe from detection by Soviei radars.

' Ivan A.nterview bv DonaM' WcMcntech. Le* Anerki.ufnt Ivtl (U)

Ihe Air Force Searchew

Btcoiwaissinc* Aircraft

With interest in high-altitude recor.naissanee growing, several Air Force agencies began to develop an aircraft to conduct suchInhe Air Research and Development Command gave the Martin Aircraftontract to examine the high-altitude potential of7 byingle aircraft to give il long, high-tifl wings and the American version or ihe new Rolls-Roycengine. These weie ihe modifications that Richard Leghorn had suggested during the previous year

At about the same time, anotherrce office, the Wright Air Development Command (WADCI in Dayton. Ohio, waschieve sustained flight at high attitudes. Worlcng with two Gennan aeronauticalWoldemar Voigt and Richardhad comehe United Stales after world War II. Air Force Maj. John Seaberg advocated the envelopmentew aircraft that would combine the high-alttiude rxrformance of the latestengines with high-efficiency wings in order to reach ultrahighSeaberg. an aeronautica. engineer for the Chance Vought Corporation until his recall to active duly during the Korean war. was serving as assistant chief of the New Developments OfT.ce of WADC's Bombardment Branch-Byeaberg had expanded his ideasigh-alii-Hide aircraftomplete requesl for proposal Tot "an aircraft weapon system having an opcraiional radiusm [nautical miles] and capable of conducting pre- and post-strike reconnaissance missions during daylight, good visibilityhestated that such an aircraftave an optimum subsonic cruise speed a; altitudes0 feci or higher over the targei.ayloadounds of reconnaissance equipment, andrew of one "

The Wright Air Development Command decided not to seekfrom major airframe manufacturers on the groundsmaller company would give the newigher priority aad

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Chapter 1

etter aircraft more quickly. Inhe Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo. New York, and ihc Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation of Hagerstown. Maryland, received studyto develop an entirely new high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. In addition, the Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore was asked to examine the possibility of improving the already exceptionalperformance of7 Canberra. By4 all three firms had submiucd their proposals. Fairchilds entryingle cn gine plane known. whichaximum altitude potential0 feet; Bell'swin-engine craft called the Modellater. whichaximum altitude0 feet; and Martin's designtg-wing version of7 called the. which was to cruise0 feet lneabetg and other engineers al Wright Field, having evaluated the ihrccdesigns, recommended the adoption of both the Martin and Beil proposals. They considered Martin's version of7 an inierim project that could be complered and deployed rapidly while the more advanced concept from Bell was still being developed.;

Air Force headquarteiS soon approved Martin's proposal7 and was very much interested in the Bell design. But

word of the competitionew reconnaissance airplane

reached another aircraft manufacturer, ihe Lockheed

Corporation, which submitted an unsoliciied design.

Lockheed had first become aware of the reconnaissance aircraft competition in the fallohn H. (Jack) Catlcr. who had recently retired from the Air force to become the assistant director of Lockheed's Advanced Development Program, was in the Pentagon on business and dropped in to see Eugene P. Kiefer. an old friend and colleague from the Air Force's Office of Development Planning (more commonly known as AFDAP from its Air Force officeiefer told Carter about the competitionigh-flying aircraft and expressed the opinion that the Air Force was going aboui the search in the wrong way by requiring the new aircraft to befor both strategic and tactical reconnaissance.

Immediately after reluming to California. Carter proposed io Lockheed Vice President L. Eugene Root (previously the top civilian official in ihe Air Force's Office of Development Planning) that

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Lockheed alsoesign. Carter noted thit the proposed aircraft would have to reach altitudes of00 feci and correctly forecast. "If extreme altitude performance can be realizedractical aircraft at speeds in the vicinity ofhould be capable of avoiding virtually all Russian defenses untilarter added, "To achieve these characteristics in an aircraft which willeasonably useful operational life during the period0 will, of course, require -cry strenuous ellbrtS and extraordinary procedures, as well as nonstandard designome of the "nonstandard" design characteristics suggested by Carter were the elimination of landing gear, the disregard of military specincations. and the use of very low load factorsremoraoGurr- closedarning thai time was of the essence- "In order (hat th;Saircraft caneasonably long and useful life, it is obvious that its development mutt be greatly accelerated beyond

Lockheed's senior officials approved Carter's proposal, and early4 the corporations best arc raft designer -ClarenceKelly)working on the protect, then known as theut later to become famous under its Air. Already one of the world's leading aeronautical engineers. Kelly Johnson had many successful military and civilian designs to his credit, includingM. and Constellation Johnson quickly came upadical design based upon the fuselage ofet fighter butigh-aspect-ratio sailplane wing. To save weight and thereby increase tne aircraft'sJohnson decided to stress the airframe tonits of



gravity (g's) instead of the military specification strength3 g'v Kor the power plant he selected the Generaloraf. oertwtning turbojet engineounds of thnm (this was the same engine he had chosen forQJ. which had been theorany of the CLs design features wete adapted from gliders Thus, (he wings and tail were detachable Insieadonventional landing gear. Johnson proposed using two skiseinforced belly rib forcommon sailplane technique-ettisonable wheeled dolly for takeoff Other fca-cures included an uripressurued cockpitcubtc-foot payload area tha: couldounds of seniors Themaximum altitude would be iust0 feetile range Essentially. Kelly Johnson hadet-propelled glider"

Early inelly Johnson submitted the CL-2S2 de sign io Brig. Genchriever's Office of Development Planning. Eugene Kiefer and Bud Wienberg studied the design and recommended it to General Schnever. -ho thenLockheed topecific proposal. In early April. Kelly Johnsonull description of ihe CL-2S2roposal for ihe construciion and maintenance ofircraftroup of senior Pentagon officials that included Schriever's superior. L; Gen. Donald L. Pun. Deputy Chief of Staff for Development, and Trevor N. Gardner. Special Assistart for Research and Deveiopmeni to the Secreiary of the Air Force. Afterward Kelly Johnson noted that ihe civilian officials were very much interested in his design but the generals were not."

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Theesign was also presented to the commander of (he Strategic Air Commanden. Curtis E. LeMay. in early April by Eagene Kiefer. Budad Bunoc Klein from Ihe Office of

World War II in multiengine bombeis In addition, aerial photogiaphy experts in thendmphasized focal length as the primary factor in reconnaissance photography and. therefore,large aircraft capable of accommodating long focal-lenglh cameras. This preference teached an extreme in theith the development of thench Boston camera, aso large that theoeing Stratocmiser that carried it had to be partially disassembled before the camera could be installed. Finally, there was Ihe feeling shared by many Air Force officers lhat two engines arc always better than one because, if one fails, therepare to get the aircraft back to base. In reality, however, aviationshow that single-engine aircraft have always been more reliable than multicngjnc planes.igh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft deep in enemy territory would have little chance nf returning if one of ihe engines failed, forcing the aircraft to descend"

elly Johnsonetter from the Air Force rejecting theroposal because it had only one engine and was too unusual and because the Air Force washe modification of they this lime, ihe Air Force had also selected thehe formal contract calling forircraft was signed in September. Despite the Air Force's selection ofockheed continued to work on thend began seeking new sources of support for the aircraft.

Lockheedupporters and Ihe CIA

Alien F. Donovan, interview byeitenbach. Corona del Mar.5 <St


Although the Air Force's uniformed hierarchy had decided in favor of the Bell and Martin aircraft, some high-ievel civilian officialsto favor Ihe Lockheed design. The most prominent proponent of the Lockheed proposal was Trevor Gardner. Special Assistant for Research and Development to Air Force Secretary Harold E. Talboit. Gardner had many contacts in west coast aeronautical circles because before coming to Washington he had headed ihe Hycon Manufacturing Company, which made aerial cameras in Pasadena. California. He had been preseni at Kelly Johnson's presentation on thet the Pentagon in early4 and believed that this

design showed ihe most promise for reconnaissance of the Soviet Union. This belier was shared by Gardner's special assistant. Freflenck Ayer. Jr. and Garrison Norton, an adviser r0 Secretary Talbon."

According to Notion. Gardner tried to interest SAC commander LeMay in the Lockheed aircraft because Gardner envisionedollector of strategic, raiher than tactical, intelligence. But General LeMay had alteady shown that he was not interested in an unarmed aircraft Gardner. Ayer. snd Norton then decided to seek CIA support for the high-dying aircraft. At mat time the Agency's official involvement in overhead reconnaissance was limited to advising the Air Force on the problems of launching large camera-carryinglor reconnaissance Mights over hostile territory (for the details of ihis rxograrri. seehe CMff of the Operations Staff in the Office cf Scientific Intelligence. Philip G. Strong, however, served on several Ait Force advisory boards and kept himself well in-fornxd on developments in reconnaissance aircraft."

Gardner. Norton, and Ayer met with Strong in the Pentagont days before theevelopment Command began to evaluate the Lockheed proposal Gardner described Kelly Johnson's proposal and showed the drawings to Strong. After this meeting. Strong summarized his impressions of the Air Force's searchigh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft'

" Gamier. Nonce, "nrw. fc,clrer-badi.r-J


: Swioineaai MitmWg}> on active dui} Kedvinced lo tn- riM o>nuvretervr Fur Sironfl coniKttAir force orfciilil! see the Nunot(Si

Proposals for special reconnaissance aircraft hate beenin the Air Staff from Lockheed fairchiid. andhe Lockheed propositi is considered ro be the best It has been given the type designation ofnd in many respectset-powered glider based essentially on the Lockheed Day Fighter Xf-iOd. Itrimarily subsonic but can attain transonic speeds over the targetonsequent toss of range With an altitude0 feet mwer ike target itombat radiusisticalVat be manidoctured

mainly lu'fft XffOd jigs andhe prototype of this plane can be producedear from the date of order. Five planes could be delivered for operationsmo xeart

The Beli proposalore conventional aircraft having nor mel landing gear.esult itsitude over target0 feet and the speed and ranee are nor as goad as ihe Lockheed

Gardner's enrTtciium (or tbead given Strong the laisethat most An Force officials supported the Lockheed de sign In reality, the Airniformed hierarchy was in iheof choosing ihc modified version of ihe7 and ihe new6 lo meet future reconnaissance needs.

During their meeting with Strong. Trevor Gardner. Frecertck Ayer. andoo Norton explained that they favored the CL-7S2 because it gave promise of flying higher than (he other designs and because at maximum altitude its smaller radar cross section might make it invisible io existing Soviet radars The three officials asked Strong if the ClA would be interested in such an aircraft. Strong promised to talk to the Director of Central Intelligence's newly hired Special Assistant fer Planning andnard M.bout possible Agency interest in the

Richard BisseU nad already had an active and varied careerhe joined :tteraduate of Groton and Yale. Biitellat ihe London School of Economicsear ard thenoctorate at Yalee taught economics, fitii ac Yale and then2 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyhere heull professor8 During World War II. Bissell ruid managed American shipping as executive officer of the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board. Aficr the war. he served as deputy director of the Marshall Plan8 until the endhen hetaff member of the Ford Foundation. His first association with the Agency came inhen heontract study of possible responses the United


Vbtr. Thr Office ofStfeiiifieivJv-AJ. Direcuxal* oT SOwce(CI*TS CorkwanJt.

Stare* might we agains the Soviet Bloc innt of anothersuch as ihc Ecu Berlin riots ofisseU quickly concluded that there was not much hope for clandestine opctations against Bloc nations. As he remarkedmerged from that exercise feeling tha: very little could behis belief would later makeeading advocate of leehnical rathei than human means of intelligence collection.3

BisseU joined ihe Agency in late4 and soon became involved in coordination for the operation aimed at overthrowing Guatemalan PresidentArbenz He was. therefore verywhen Philip Strong approached him in4 with the concept of the proposed spyplane from Lockheed. Bissell said thai the idea had merit and told Strong to get some topflight scientists toon the matter. Afterward he returned to rhe Una! planning fer the Guatemalan operation and promptly forgot about thr CL-7S2

Meanwhile. Strong went about drumming up support foroverflight. In4 he persuaded DCI Allen W. Dulles to ask the Air Force to take the initiative in gaining approval for an overflight of the Soviet guided-missile test range at Kapustin Yar. Dullest memorandum did not mention ther any of the other proposed high-altitude aircraft. CIA and Air Force officials mei on several occasions to explore ihe overflight proposal, which the Air Force finally rinsed down in"

' ItaMn- Vem WV>te CIA INc-Yorttf.P

* Mamonndlmianhall rWnalWSoCTBfie Inwllifmce.


iiKmmejmt, I-

Brt*rtl Wttaxh uje"


" MenorWvnN Dircoer farCMeaekSStlasv Irwn Philip GChief.uff d


Although Allen Dulles was willing lo support an Air Forceof ihe Soviet Union, he was not enthusiastic about iheroject. Few details about Dulles's precise altitude toward the proposed Lockheed reconnaissance aircraft are available, but many who knew him believe that he did not want ihc CIA toinvolved in projects thai belonged to ihe miliiary. and the Lockheedad been designed for an Air Fnrce requirement.

Moreover. >of Ihe Sov.ei Union did not fit

well into Allen Dultess perception of the proper role of anagency. He tended io favor tbe classical form of espionage, which relied on agents taihet than technology."

At this point, the summerockheed'sroposal Kill lacked official support Although the design had strong backers among some Air Force civilians and CIA officials, the key oeoakers ai both Air Force and ClA remained uncrjrivinced. To make Kelly Johnsons revolutionaryealny. one additional source of support was necessary: prominent scientists serving onadvisory boards

Scientists and engineers from universities and private industry hadajor role in advising ihe government on technical mailers dcrin* World War ii Ai ihe end of the war. mosi of ihe scientificboards were disbanded, buiew years the growing tensions of the Cold War again :ed government agencies to seekadvice and assisiance.7 the Air Forcecientific Advisory Board, which met periodically to discuss topics ot current inieresi and advise ihe Air Force on the potential usefulness of new technologies. The following year the Office of Defense Mobilization established the Scientific Advisory Committee, but the Truman administration made little use of this new advisory body/


1 the Air Force sought even more assistance from scientiststhe Straiegic Air Command's requests for information about targets behind the Iron Curtain could not be filled. To look fw new ways of conduciing reconnaissance against the Soviet Bloc, the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Development. MaJ. Gen. Gordon. P. Saville. addedeconnaissance experts to an existing project on air




C. I? april 1M7 6*

Fo. motn IM Ar FofC.'i of xinHiiU weOrfW. Tfcr USAF ac-MlMC rljMpftiy Boon* faf, *niWuh.njwn. DC USAF NUwnctl Onke. IM7)


defense known at Project LINCOLN, then under way at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the end of the year, these experts had assembled in Boston to begin their research. Theitwas locatedecretarial school on Beacon Hill, which soon became the coderunv for the reconnaissance project Thewere called the BEACON HILL Study Group

The study groups chairman was Kodak physicist Carl F. P. Overture, and its members includedaker and Edward M. Parccll from Harvard; Saville Davis from the Christian Science Monitor. Allen F. Donovan from the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory; Peter C. Goldmark from Columbia Broadcasting System Laboratories;and, founder of the Polaroid Corporation. Stewart E. Miller of Bell Laboratories. Richard S. Pcrkin of ihe Perkia-Elmer Company; and Louisenour of Ridenow Associates. Inc. The Wright Air Development Command sent Ll. Col-Richard Leghorn io servets liaison officer."

During January andhe BEACON HILL Study Group traveled every weekend io various airbases. laboratones and firms for briefings on the latest technology and projects. The panel members were particularly interested in new approaches to aerialsuch at photography from high flying aircraft and camera-carryirg balloons- One of the more unusual (albeitproposals exam-ned by the panel was an "invisible'1 oirigible. This was toiant, almost flat-shaped airshiplue-tinted, nonrefleciive coaling: it would cruise at an altitude0 feet along the borders of the Soviet Union at very slow speeds whilearge lens to photograph targets of interest."

After completing these briefings at the end ofhe BEACON HILL Study Group relumed to MIT. where the panelspent the next three monthseport detailing iheir recorrunendations for ways to improve the amount and quality Ofbeing gathered on the Soviet Bloc. Publishedlassified

usaf. Project LINCOLN. BEACON MtLL Krpon: PmVtmj of M' Fon-eMnueretm hmmm.S;


* C.p* rKordMi.ion

OC.1 (s>

document on IShe BEACON HILL Report advocated radical approachesbtain ihe information needed foi nationalestimates Inhapters cohered tacar. radio, and phoco-grapfcic surveillance: examined the use of passive infrared and microwave reconnaissance: and discussed ihe developmeni ofreconnaissance vehicles One of ihe report's keycalled for the development of htgh-altilude reconnaissance aircraft:

We haveistory when our peacetimeof ihe capabilities, activities and dispositions of ahostile nation It such as to demand thai we supplement it with the maximum amount of informal ion obtainable through aerial reconnaissance. To avoid political incitements, such aerial reconnansance must be conducted either from vehicles flying in fnendly airspace,decision on this pointvehicles 'hose performance if such that ihey can operateoviet airspace with greatly rrditred chances of detect ion or interception.'-

Concern About the Dangeroviet Surprise Attack

The Air FbrM did not begin io implement the ideas of the BEACON HILL Report until ihe summery this lime interest inhad increased after Dwight D. Eisenhower became President in3 and soon expressed hit dissatisfaction with the quality of the intelligence estimates of Soviet strategic capabilities and the paucity of reconnaissance on the Soviet Bloc."

" Lundihl and Brugioci Interview (TS Codr-will

To Presideru Eisenhower and many other US po'.nu i. andleaders, ihe Soviet Unionangerous opponent thatto be moving inexorablyosition of military parity with the United Stales. Particularly alarming was Soviet progress in Ihe area of nuclear weapons. In the late summerhe Soviet Union had detonated an atomic bomb nearly three years sooner than US experts had predicted. Then in Augustscam nine months after the ftrsr US lestydrogenSoviet Uniona hydrogen bomb manufactured from lithium deuieride, amore advanced than the heavy water method used by US

Chapter 1


scientists. Thus, rew and extremely powerful weapons were cc*nins inio ihe handsovernment whose actions greatly disturbed the leaders of the West. Only two months beforeuccessful hydrogen It .nb test. Soviet troops had crushed an uprising in East Berlin And. at the United Nations, the Soviei Bloc seemed bent on causingbetween Western burope and the United Stales and between the developed and undeveloped nations This aggressive Soviet foreign policy, combined wiin advances in nuclear weapons, led officials such as Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to see the Soviet Unionenace to peace and world order

The Soviet Union's growing military strength soonhreat not just to US forces overseas but to the continental United States itself. In the springop secret RAND study pointed out the vulnerability of the SAC's US basesurprise attack by Soviet long-range bombers *"

RAND Corporation Plant Anal,illaf US. Swiff it Pa*tr iafWoV' HANDSpecji Mtmonndun Ha Ii. Sama Mo*ici.Cal.tomu

thr StA-VD Corporator.S. IW.

" 'Af OK. Rfdftiruu Winning (Ik Arms RsecVfcrtd ff.po/i. Juaei.YiY'Wit.S; "Rtd Aa fat* Tht World'.* Aupjlip IM*

Concern about the dangeroviet attack on the continental Uniied Stales grew afier an American military attacheew Soviet iniercondaental bomber at Ramenskoye airfield, south ofhe new bomber was theater designated Bison by NATO. Powered by jet engines rather than the turboprop* cf Russia's other long-range bombers, the Bison appeared to be the Soviet equivalent of thehich was only then going into production Pictures of the Bison taken at the Moscow May Day air show4 had an enormous impact on the US iniel-ligencc community. Unlike several other Soviet postwar aircraft, the Bison waserivative of US or British designs batative Soviet design capability that surprised US intelligenceThis new long-range jet bomber, along with the Soviet Union's large numbers of older propeller and rurboprop bombers, seemed ioignificant threat to the United States, and. in the wmrrerewspapers and magazines began publishing articlesihe growing airpower cf the Soviet Union Pictures of the Bison bomber featured prominently in such stories."

Chapter 1

Air Force Intelligent*Panel

Even before ihe publication of photographs of the Bison raised fears that the Soviet bomber force might eventually surpass that of the United States, the Air Force had alreadyew advisory body to look for ways to implemeni the main recommendation of the BEACON HILLconstruction of high-flying aircraft and high-acuity cameras. Created inhe Intelligence Systems Panel (ISP) included several experts from the BEACON HILL Study Croup. Land. Overhage. Donovan, and Miller. At the request of the Air Force, the CIA also participated in the panel, represented by Edward L. Allen of the Office of Research and Reports (ORR> and Philip Strong of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSt)."

The chairman of the new panel was Dr. James G. Baker, aassociate at the Harvard College Observatory. Baker had been involved in aerial recorwaissaneehen he first advised the Army Air Corps on ways to improve its leases. He thena full-scale optical laboratory atHarvard University Optical Researchproduce high-quality

MtnvxjndiprtRobert Araerj. >'. Oepuii Oimioi. butllifenref.Re.ear.ti.Uatufi. OSI.of a*ee<efuelm% UmawJk AaVitoty ioanJ.SI


lenses. Since the university did no; wish io cominue manufacturing cameras and lenses after the end of the war. the optical laboratory moved to Boslon University, which agreedponsor the effort as long as the Air Force would fund it. Baker decided to remain at Harvard, so his assistant. Dr. Duncan E. Macdonald. became the new head ofwas now called the Boston Universiry Optical Research Laboratory (BUORL) Baker's association with the Air Force did not end with the transfer of the optical laboratory to Boston University, because he continued to design lenses to be used in phoioreconnais-sance."

The ISP first met at Boston Universityo provide background on the poor state of US knowledge of the Soviet Union, Phiitp Strong informed the other panel members that the best intelligence then available on the Soviet Union's interior wastaken by the German Luftwaffe during World War II. Since the German photography covered only the Soviet Union west cf the Urals, primarily west of ihe Volga River, many vital regions were not included. The ISP would, therefore, have to look for ways to provide up-to-date photography of all of the Soviet Union. Several Air Force agencies then briefed the panel members on the latest developments and proposed future projects in the area of aerial reconnaissance,new cameras, reconnaissance balloons, and even satellites. Among the Air Force reconnaissance projects discussed were multi-pic sensors for use in existing aircraft such as thendrojectacronym for6 bomber to enable it io launch andepublichunderflash reconnaissance aircraft;versions of the Navajo and Snarfc missiles; theballoon program, which would be ready to go into operation by (be summernd the searchew high-altitudeaircraft."

" Biker interview (SiJ. after tha Air Force decidedol BUORL Duncan MacdonaldhDTO Leghorn (by (Hen re.ired from the Air Force] rorrned (heir OwnjoreWtedaboratory from Bouon Uniirniivinterview

" Memorandum fo- Robenr. Deputytmelligcrce.tiea. Chief. Economic Reward. OftR. and Philip C. Stronj. Cruel. Operation! SOU. OSI. 'Meeting of ihe IttellipmeiE Syaem* Panel of Ox Seie-eise6J: Memorandum for H. MmMWH Qudwell. AuJuara Dueeior'Sekttiific Intel :igenee. from Chief. Support Suff. OSI. "rU'iew of OSA Aeuvifcet Concerned "thonovan Interview.ay Mi (S>

The wide variety of programs discussed ai the conference were all products of ihe Air Force's all-out effort ioay to collect intelligence on the Communist Bloc. Some of the schemes wentthe existing level of technology; others, like the camera-carrying balloons, were technically feasible but involved dangerous political consequences.

tirlfish Overflight ot Kapualln Yar

The British were also working on nigh altitude2 the Royal Air Force (RAF) began Project ROBIN, which was designed io modify ihe Canberra bomber for high-aliuode reconnaissance. This project was probably inspired by Richard Leghorn's collaboiatiuo wiih English Electric Ctarnpany designershen they calculated ways to increase the altitude of Ihc Canberra. The RAF equipped the new Canberra PR7 with Rolls-Roycengines and gave it long, fuel-filled wings. The range of this variant of the Canberra wasiles, and. ont achieved an alrirude0 feet."

Sometime during the first halfhe RAFigh-altitude Canberraaring overflight of the Soviet Union to photograph the missile lest range at Kapustinecause ofwarning from either radar or agents inside Britishthe overflight did not catch the Soviet Union by surprise Soviet fighters damaged and nearly shot down the Canberra" Rumors about this flight rr ached Washington dunng the summerut ofAcial confirmation by the United Kingdom did rot come untilhileix-week tour of Europe to study aerial reconnaissance problems for the US Air Force's Scientific Advisory Board. James Ba*.er was briefed by RAF intelligenceon the Canberra overflight of the Soviet Union. Onnde reported on it to the full Scientific Advisory Board at Langlcy AFB. Virginia.

VM cer Aan. ArrWP- II: tW* C. Srrong. Chief. Operate. Staff. OSt Mcnvsranoam for ilw Recced. "Steeung ofrc* SeientifteASvtfe-Oewber6J. OSI (OSWRj recoWi,downgraded

tiop. IS* Caw. (New York: Popular.. Hestnloti.p. Tl-W. SorB or ihese oooW nate (hat project inetadedIA. bvi ihefeno oidenre io suppon (his asswon

Baker also chaired ihe next meeting of ihe An Force's Intelligence Systems Panel in law4 but cold no: veil its members about ihe British overflight of KapuMin Yar because they were not cleared for ihis information. The panel did. however, discuss the modifications for nigh-altitude flight being madehe US Canberra,"

The Intelligence Systems Panel and the

The next intelligence Systems Panel meeiing took place unnday at Boston University and the Polaroid Corporation PanelAllen F. Donovan from the Cornell Aeronaurica! Laboratorythe changes being made7 by the Martin Aircraft Company. Even without Martin'seat ions ot drawings. Donovan had been able to estimate what eoulc" be done to7 by lengthening the wings and lightening me fuselage. He had determined that alterations to7 airframe would not solve ihe reconnais sance needs exprettcd in the BEACON HILL Repon. Theoretically, he explained to ihe panel, any mulliengine aircraft buili according to military specifications, including,ould be too heavy to fly0 feet and hence would be vulnerable io SovietTo be safe. Donovan explained, penetrating aircraft would need to fly0 feel for the entire mission."

Development of such an aircraft was already under way. Donovan continued, for Philip Strong of the CIA had lold him thai the Lockheed Aircraft Corporaiion hadightweight,aircraft ISP chairman Baker Wen urged Donovan to travel to leathern California to evaluaie the Lockheed design and gather ideas on high-altitude aircraft from other aircraft manufacturers.

When he was finally able io make this irip in laie summer. Donovan found the plane ihat he and the other ISP members had been seeking. Or, ihe afternoononovan met with l_ Eugene Root, an old Air Force acquaintance who wasockheed vicc-ptetident. and learned aboui the Airigh-altitude reconnaissance airciaft. Kelly Johnson ihen showed Donovan the plans for Lockheed's unsuccessful entry. Asailplane enthusiast. Donovan immediately recognited mat the

" bauf(Si

Dwiovjb flwevw. (Si; Baker tr.wr.nw (SI

esign waset-propelled glider capable of auain-ing the altitudes thai he fel: were necessary io carry ourof the Soviet Union successfully."

Upon his return eastugust. Donovan got in touch with lames Baker and suggested an urgent meeting of Ihc Intelligence Systems Panel. Because of other commitments by Ihc members, how ever, the panel did not meet to hear Donovan's report4 at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. Several members, including Land and Strong, were absent. Those who didwere upsetearn that the Air Force hadactical reconnaissance plane without informing them. But once Donovan began describing Kelly Johnson's rejected designet-powered glider, they quickly forgot their annoyance andintently.

Donovan began by stressing that high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft had to fly0 feci to be safe from interception. Next, he set out what he considered to be the threeigh-alliludeingleailplane wing, and low structural load factors. Donovan strongly favored single-engine aircraft because they are boih lighter and morethan multiengine aircraft could theoretically return to base on only one engine. Donovan explained, it could only do souch lower altitude,0 feet, where it was sure to be shot down.

The second of Donovan's esseniialailplane wing (in technicaligh-aspeci-ratio. low-induced-dragas needed to take maximum advantage of the reduced thrustetoperating in ihe rarefied atmosphere of exireme altitude. Because of the thinness of the atmosphere0 feet, engineersthat the power curveet engine would fall off toercent of its sea-level thrust.

Finally, low structural load factors, like those used by transport aircraft, were necessary to reduce weight and thereby achievealtitude. Donovan explained that strengthening wings and

" Donovan iokrv>rw <s>

Chapter 1


-ingroct aienithstand the high speeds 2nd sharp (urnsby the sianCaid miliary airworthiness rules added tooeight to the airframe, thereby negating the efficiency of thewing.

In short, it wis possiblechieve altitudeseet, but only by making certain that all parts of the aeronautical equation were in balance: thrust, lift, and weight The only plane meeting these requirements. Donovan insisted, was Kelly Johnson'secause it wasailplane. In Donovan's view, iheid not havecec the specificationsombai aircraft because it could fly safety above Soviet fighters "

Donovan's arguments amvinced the Intelligence Systems Pare! of the merits of theroposal, but this panel reportedhe Air Force, which had already rejected thehus, even though the Lockheedad several important sources of support by Septembermembers of (he Intelligence Systems Panel and high-tanking Air Force civilians such as Trevor Gardner- -thesewere all connected with the Air Force. They could not offer fundsockheed to pursue theoncepi because the Air Force was already committedhe Martinnd thedditional support from outside the Air Force was needed to bring the2 project to life, and this support would come from scientists serving on high-level advisory committees

Tne Technolocjlcal Capabilitiea Panel

The Eisenhower administration was growing increasingly concerned over ihe capability of the Soviet Union tourprise attack on ihe United States Earlyrevor Gardner had become alarmedAND Corporation study warningoviet surprise attack might destroyercent ofC bornber force. Gardner then met wnh Dr. Lee DuBridge. President of the California Institute of Technology and Chairman of the Office of Defense Mobilization's Science Advisory Commiliec. and criticized the committee for not dealing wiih such essential problems as the possibilityurprise attack- This criticism kd DuBridge to inviie Gardner to speak at the Science Advisory Committee's next meeting. After listening to

" Done an iiwer-w- (SK Biitt iw(Si

Chapter 1

Gardner, ihc committee members decided io approach President Eisenhower on the mactcr. One President tols them about the discovery of the Soviet Bison bombers and his concern that these new aircraft might be usedurprise attack on the United States Stressing the high priority he gave to reducing the risk ofsurprise, the President asked the committee to advise him on this problem."

The President's request led Chairman DuBridgc to ask one of the most prominent members. MIT President James R. Killian.o meet with other Science Advisory Committee members in the Boston area to discuss the feasibilityomprehensive scientificof Ihc nation's defenses. At their meeting al MIT onpril

he group called for the recruitment ofask force i' the

President endorsed the concept.

Onresidenl Eisenhower authorised Killian toandanel of expeits io study "the country'scapabilities to meet sonic of its currentillian quickly set up shop in offices located in the Old Executive Office. Building and organizedof the nation's leading scientists into three special project groups investigating US offensive, defensive, and intelligence capabilites. with an additional communications working group (see chart,. The Technological Capubilities Panel (TCP) groups began meeting onor the nexteeks, the members of the various panels metepa-late occasions for briefings, field trips, conferences, and meetings with every major unit of the US defense and intelligenceAfter receiving the most up-io-daie information available on the nation's defense and intelligence programs, the panel members began drafting their report to the National SeCurily Council."

Projecl Three Support for the Lockheed

Even before the final Technological Capabilities Panel report was ready, one of the three working groups took actions that wouldajor impact on the US reconnaissance program. Project Three had

" Bctchlotf.p.apabilities Panel of t*dvisor, Con.rn.wc. Areo.nj We TVwr ofU Februaryp. ISS (hereaiier ciwd a? TCP Jr/pon) (TSrReifncied Data.i

" James R. KUUan. Ir-ekmhn. WA Wr-Wrpecial Aiiitto'ili* PtiiiJim jne Seietee and Jeefcrnitoji (Cambridge: MIT Pren.

CP Sawr. pp. ISS-ISb


Chapter 1


Technologic* Canabltftics Panel

Tho PteskJent of the United State*

Director. Office ol Defense Mobiluattor


David Z. BecVler. COM LL Col. V. T. Ford. USAF

Adnvnistralrve Staff

Wlfliam Braiesl M..icsrver E. Hockett C. Lewis K. welchoM

Technological Capabilities Panel o( the Science Advisory Con-minee

Steering CommineB

l. rufcan.Vector J. B. Fisk. Deputy. Outtridge J. P. Barter J. H. Dooliitle LJ "awonh E. H. Land

B. C. Sprague. Consi/tani


LI. Gen.emniuer. USA RAdm. H.elt. USNBrig.. Hoflowav. USAF '

Mai. Gen. H. McK. Reoor'

Project 1

oUoway, Dir. E. P. Aurand R. L. Belief

C. riifltrt R. MeWer

sset W. Stranrm J. West

C. Zimmerman Boron

Project 2

L. J. haworth. Oir. E. BartowuStin fl. Errvbcrson



P. GilrutHonon J. Mcuion

Project 3

E. H. Land. Dir. J. G. Baker j. Kennedy A. Latham, -r. E, Purcetl J. W. Tukev

Communic ations Working Group

J. B. Wiesner. Chmn.



W. H. Radford


H. A. AHel

W. B. Davenport, Jr.

R. H. Scnerer

for Technical Personnel

H. D. Chirtim


S B. Clements. DOD

the task of investigating the ratio*)'! intelligence capabilities its chairman wis Ed*in H. (Din] Land, the inventor of the potaruingand the instant camera. When James Killian asked Land to head Project Three. Land had toajor decision about his career. At the time, the aj.year-old millionaire waseave cf absence from Polaroid and was living in Hollywood, advising Alfred Hitchcock on the technological aspects of making three-dimensional movies Land decided to give up his interest in cinema's third dimension and return east io Polaroid and the panel appoistment.

Land's Projecr Three was the smallest of the Ihrcc Technological Capabilities Panel projects, for he prefened what he called "latlcabsmall enough to fitingle The Project Three committee consisted of Land. Ja*rtes Baker and Edward Purcell of Harvard: chemist Joseph W. Kennedy of Washington University. St. Louis; mathematician John W. Tukey of Princeton University and Bell Telephone Laboratories, and Allen Latham.fittle,n engineer and former treasurer of the Polaroid Corporation."

Inand and Baker went to Washington to IT-rargc for the various intelligence rMganiiauon! to brief the Project Three study group. As the brtctings progressed, the panel members became more and more distressed at the poor state of the nation'sresources. Land later noted. We would go in and interview generals and admirals in charge of intelligence and cone awayHere we were, five or six young men. asking quesiions that these high-ranking officers couldn'tand added that the Project Three members were also not overly impiessed with the Central Intelligence Agency.""

Land learned the details of Lockheed's proposedirciaft soon after he arrived in Washington. Philip Strong showed him Kelly Johnson's conceptual drawing of the plane and told him that the Air Force had rejected it. Although Land had heard Allen Donovan

"artwayaaaaaM(Sfc landt5 CaM-onn

" rettlS)


Chapter '> 30

brieflyockheed designigh-flying aircraft atay meeting of Baker's Intelligence System! Panel, he did not icalize ihat that plane and the one in Strong's drawing were the same As soon as Land saw Strong's copy ot thens. however, he telephoned Baker to say.ave the plane you are after.-"

A few days later, when Land showed Kelly Johnson's conceptual drawing lo Baker and the other Project Three members, they allenthusiastic about tbe aircraft's possibilities. Although Baker had heard Allen Donovan's brief mention of the Lockheed design in May. he had noi yetrawing of ihe aircraft because Donovan did noi report to the ISP on his early-Au just tnp to Lockheed untileptember. Alter seeing ihe CL-2S2 drawing. Baker beganamera and lens system that would fit in the Lockheed craft."

At the end of August. Land discussed iheith Alien Dulles's Special Assistant for Planning and Coordination. Richaid Bissefl. who came away from the meeting without any definite ideas ashat Land wanted to do with the aircraft. Overheadwas not uppermost in BisselPs mind ai the time, and il wasto him why he had even beenissell's outstanding academic credentials, his acquaintanceship with James Killianrevious teaching experience at MfT. and Ail direct access lo DCI Dulles may have led the Technological Capabilities Panel memhers to consider him the best CIA point of contact.

Although surprised that he had become involved in therojeci. Bissell's interest was piqued, and he se: out to leam what hebout reconnamancc systems In earlyissellyoung Air Force officer on his staff, puteneral status report on air reconnaissanceBissell forwarded the Ifi-page study in the Deputy Director ot Ceitral Intelligencel.harles Peine Cabell. USAF, oneptember.overing memorandum. Bissell called Cabell's

* Bale tin*BitteU ioier-K* (SI.


attentionection of the reportstripped or specialized aircraft" called the Lockheed

Byand's Project Three study group hodvery much interested in the Lockheedesign. Thetrgrew even stronger when lames Baker iold them of Allen Donovan's strong case for theterAernber meeting of the ISP It is not possible to deietmine exactly when the Landdecided to back then fact, there may never haveormal decision as such. Ir. view of Land's impulsive nature, he probably scired upon theesign asorkable concept and irrunediacery began devclopiag itomplete reconnaissance system

During September and October the Project Tluec study group met frequently to discuss the Lockheed design and the reconnaiuance equipment it would cany. Meetings were small, generally with fewer thanarticipants'. Garrison Norton was often the only government official in attendance. At times outside experts joined in theWhen the discussion turned to cameras and him. Land invited Dr. Henry Yutzy. Eastman Kodak's film expert, aod Richard S. Perkin. President of the Perkin-Elmer Company, to participate. Far discussions onngine, the panel members asked Perry W. Pratt. Pratt and Whitney's chief engineer, to atlend. Kelly Johnson also met with the panel to review plans for theystem*

By the end of October, the Project Three meetings had covered every aspect of the Lockheed design. Theas lo be more than an airplaneamera, it was to be an integratedsystem (hat the Project Three members werecould find and photograph the Soviet Union's Bison bombe: fleet and, thus, resolve the growing "bomber gap" controversy It was not just the Lockheed aircraft that had captured the Land group'sthe plane was seen as the platformhole new generation of aerial cameras that several committee members had been discussing since the BEACON HILL and Intelligence Systems Panel meetings. James Baker was in the process ofevolutionary new

" Memonrtom for DDCI Chyles ream Obeli from R. M. Biwll. Special Aaiww to Ute Director forana CcertjttJUOn.c

KiIIha. Sputnik. Selenriin, ondp. 8?

camera with tremeivrlously impfovcd resolution and film capacity, and ihe Raslman Kodak company was working on new thin, lightweight film."

Byhe Project Three study group hadomplete program for an overhead reconnaissance effort based on theircraft. The one remaining question was who would conduct the overflights. The committee's members, particularly Land, were not in favor of the Air Force conducting such missions in peacetime Firmly believing that military overflights in armed aircraft coulda war. they argued for civilian overflights in unarmed, unmarked aircraft. In their view, the oigani/ation most suited for this mission was the Ceniral Intelligence Agency."

In latehe Project Three panel discussed theystem cor.cepi with DCI Allen Dul.cs and the Secretary of the Air Force's Special Assistant for Reseaich and Development. Trevor Gardner. Dulles was reluctant to have the CIA undertake ihc project. He did not like to involve the CIA with military projects, even ones that the military had rejected, like theurthermore, the DCI strongly believed that the Agency's mission lay in the use of hu-man operatives and secret communications, the classic forms ofgarnering. Land came away from ihis meeting with the impression that Duties somehow thought overnights were noi fair play. Project Three committee members were nevertheless convinced that technology, particularly in the form of thend the new camera designs, would solve the nation's intelligence problems."

A Meeting With the President

" Land hlervk. fTS Cedeteedl.

* Liti inurvie" CTSBliter inieiview -IS)

" Land interview (TS Codeword*.

Allen Dulles's reluctance to involve the CIA in theroject did not stop the Project Three committee from pursuing its aims because it was able to go overead and appeal directly to the President. Having participated in the BEACON HILL Study and the Intelligence Systems Panel, several Project Three members had definiu; ideas on how to improve intelligence collection, ideas that they were derer-mined to present to the highest levels of government. They were able

io dobecause Ihe Land committee was partanel commis-stored byisenho-ei to examine ihe rtation's intelligence community and rxcwTuneBd changes The committee thusirect line io ihe White House through lamesontacts there.

Early inand and Kil'.ian met with President Eisenhower to discuss high-almude reconnaissance. Killian scoo rain an account ot" this crucial meeting:

Land described theystem using an unarmed plane and recommended thai its development be undertaken. After listening to our proposal and asking many hard questions. Eisenhowerthe development of the system, but ke stipulated that tt should be handled in on umconreniioaol way soould mot becomeitd tn ihe bureaucracy of the Defense Department or troubled by rivalries among the services."

The scientists from the advisory committees ana the President were thus in agreement that the new reconnaissance program should be controlled by the CIA. not the military.

CIA and Air Force Agreement on tha

Meanwhile Edwir. Land and his Project Three colleagues wereto convince Allen Dulles that the CIA should run the rwoposed overflight program.ovember Land wrote to the DCI strongly urging that the CIA undertake the CL-2S2 project:

neMa-er. p. II. TheOBH ofbe dvc first half afItM

"rtopKi Tare* Paad ao DCI AV. t. DrtA. S- OUcnap.TS Coce-cUl

Hire IS the brief report from our panel telling why mm overflightrgent andLand/am net sureavelear thai we feel there are many reasons why this activity is appropriate for CIA. always with Air Force assistance We lold you that this seems to us ihe kind af action and technique that is right for the contemporary version ofodem and scientific way for an Agency that is oiways suppoted to be looking, to do iu looking. Quae strongly, we feel that you must always assert your first right to pioneer in scientific techniques for collectingchoosing such partners to assist you as may be needed This presentfor eenal photography seems toine place to start"

The leiier had (wowo-page summaiy of aoperational plan for organising, building, and deploying theeriod ofonchjostillionhree-page memorandum, entitlednique Op;>otiuniiy (or Comprehensive Inteltigence."

Aware of Dulles's preference foi classical intelligence work, the Project Three memorandum stressed the superiority of therogram over traditional espionage methods:

We believe thai these planes can go where we needare ihrm go efficiently and safely, and that no amount of fragmentary and indirect intelligence can be pieced together lo br equivalent to such positive information as can thus be provided.10

The Land committee memorandum also Stressed the need for the CIA to undertake such reconnaissance missions rather than the Ait Force, noting that "For the present it seems rather dangerous for one of out military arms to engage directly in extensivehe committee members also listed the advantages of using :fwather than an Air Force aircraft:

7Tie Lockheed super glider will flyeel, well oui of the reach of present Russian tmerceptors and high enough toood chance of avoiding detection. The plane Itself is soo obviously unarmed and devoid of miUtary usefulness, ihat it would minunize affront io ihe Russians even if througn some remote mischance it were detected and identi-fled."

One additional advantage of ihe Lockheed design over the Air Force's proposed high-altitude reconnaissance aircraftaster completion time Kelly Johnson had promised the Land committee that his aircraft would be flying byust eight months after he proposed to Stan construction The6 prototype was noi scheduled for completion befote the spring

Skmconcbm fo. DCIullei Iran. Project Three Pud.tafor CocienftrthxTS.Manakdrs coenwei

- IM

Tbe strong advocacy of Killian and the other scientists on the various advisory committees concerned with overheadcombined with President Eisenhower's support, finally won

ovet DCI Dulles,iojcci of this magnitude alio required ihe support of the An Force. Some Air Force officials, however, fearedecision lo build theight jeopardize the Air Force's own RB-J76 projects. Just one month earlier, inhe Wright Ait Development Command had appealed lo the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Development. Lx Gen. Donald L. Putt, to oppose the adoption ofckheed design. The officialsthat the6etter design because ll was morethan ihend could be used throughout Ihe Air Forceifferent types of missions because it had two engines, wheels, and an armor-plated,ot's compinment.nginesdiverted to thehe appeal to General Pun warned, there would not be enough of these popular powerplants to meet the needs of6 program.'"

Having heard of the Wright Air Development Command attack oa thellen Donovan of the Intelligence Systems Pane; met with Genera! Putt ooctober to argue ir. favor of the Lockheed design- This discussion led General Putt to meet withcientists from the Technological Capabilities Pane! on4 to discuss ihe merits of the four proposed reconnaissance aircraft. Also presentriefer was Maj. John Seaberg from theevelopment Command, who later recalled:

W mat present the results of my comparative analysis of all fourhowed ihe relative high altitude performance capabilities of allointed out that aerodynamkally the Bell, Falrehild, and Lockheed designs were cloie.odification, was not quite astated that, in my opinion,General Electric engine/ would noi be good enough to do theohnson's airplane. Andune showing that withould then be competitive with the Bell and Foirchild designs."

Thiswith the knowledge that President Eisenhower also supported ihewin over the Air Force. To be on the safe side, however, the Air Force did not abandon6 program until the Lockheed aircraft had begun flying.

OsfaWta tatanttw (Sj.

" CvoiM in Miller. p, IJ

Onovember, ihe day after Seaberg's briefing, ihe finalon iheameuncheon hosted by Air Force Secretary Talbott. Theand Obeli from ihe CIA. Gardner. Ayer. and General Put: from ihe Air Force; Kelly Johnson, and Edwinagreed "that the special item of material described by Lockheed was practical and deniableould bet was agreed thai the Project shouldoint Air Force-CIA one but tli regardless of Ihe source ol the funds, whether AF or CIA.

II is Interesting to note mat Lockheed, which had originallythen its own and had devoted considerable effort to promoting it. hade persuaded to undertake the project ina because the company had become heavily committed to several other civilian and military projects. When Kelly Johnsonall from Trevor Gardner onovember asking him to come to Washington for conversations on the project, his instruction* from Lockheed's senior management were "to not commit to any program during the visit, but to get the information andhen he returned to California, Johnson noted in his project log thatas impressed with the secrecy aspect and was told by Gardnersi essenuafly being drafted for the project. It seemed, in fact, thatid not talkight have toeave of absence from my job at Lockheed to do this specialf course. Kelly Johnson did nc: need to be drafted cr persuadedold step forward ir. aircraft design. He used Gardner's statement lo convince Lockheed's senior management to approve the project, which they did after meeting with Johnson when he relumed to California on the evening ofovember

Four days later, cnovember, the Intelligence Advisory Committee (lACl approved DCI Duties'* request to undertake theroject. The following day Dulleshree-pagedrafted by DDCI Cabell, asking President Eisenhower lo approve the overhead reconnaissance project. That same afternoon,eeting attended by ihe Secretaries of State and Defense and senior Air Fotcc officials, Dulles and Cabell presented the document to the

" Chailes Pearre Cibcil. Memorandum for rhe Record. -Luncheon MtttinjBd Sectaryhe Air9n OSA Hiuory. chap.IS Codeword).

"Loj forI and

President and received verbal atrrhott ration to proceed. Eisenhower mid Dulles that the project was to be managed by the Agency and that tbe Air Force was io provide any assistance needed to get it operational*

* Cturkiilfor tne* HomeUTS.

Ifejddj.IJ: Andrew I.emorandum of Conference wlin ihehile Hoiae Olltce of ihe Su" Sccreirv Alpha Sfnei. Dme* OUhrw7aat WMOSS. Aipw. OWL) (TS.


" Sneniia rcui*rdheon overhead reconnaiiur.rf In fesrwyTeeh-OWr<*lPanel aue4 hi teal repoc .fckli taoafh wired ihe uie of luKnjIotJ to gather tnictiifcwt. Preileent Fitenhoei iaon(iy oaelrdine1.'! hndirtiened governmenti to leipond to ihe nconvnenoluoni Vfet Bapifu*e Ttcfawtofio! CBpBtMM Pne*hi Co cntie idSctcnuA, Advisory Board mrtjowd of die member* of Ae "rajec! Three Study CroupTic addition Of iamei Klllian wtd leiome B. Wiemf. prafeuo of

ckctnu!j; MIT mJ leiedhairman o> the ClA Sc.rrtifc

Adviiory Board foe fieP" becameuflr(he Land PineL "On* panel provided imporunadvice to the Ageaey. particularly in the field of over. Mad leioavaiiuace

PmideMthe tori to etiDO the amoem aad eruU* of toeendtc adnc* he au receiving, t* lanuary he ciubliihea the Preiident'i Board of Conuttaiiii on Foreign Intelligence ACtimici (renamed C* PreiideatiiMtlligoice Ad-iiory BeardIHII ao oversee ihe mrCiaewcrud ad-lie Him oa leeHigenre out ten. The hoard Iwa Jamriehe Pieudeniand tePgradkd ihe OflSre of Dcfrnie Mootliution'i Science Ad>itoiy Committee, wnl'h be-tintWudew'iCcwnioee He alio named'j- to he theSpecial Aikium to the PrewJcm for Seme* nd Teehwceofj ta dm at" poutm KiIIluheiennfir advitore chalmun of tne PreiKlentl SrJentiBc Ad-irary Coovnitiee [Kitlien weppedaichiirtnan o* the Prrildenil Buoidnvacacuiwbv thetenoiii ieto in* Whne Hone andBera cwwocnble inll^nee-

Thus, it was that the CIA entered into the world of hijjhprimarily because of decisions and actions taken outside ihe Agency, the Air Force's refusal to build the CL-?B? aircraft. President Eisenhower's desire toensitive overfligni project conductedivilian agency rather than the military, and. above all. the determinationmall group of prominent scientists that the Lockheed design represented the best possible overheadsystem.**



Onhe cay alter Thanksgiving, Allen Dulles calied bis special assistant. Pochard Bissell. into his officeell him that President Eisenhower had justery secret program and that Dulles wanted Bissell to take charge of it. Saying it was too secret for himxplain, Dulles gaveacket of documents and tcld him be could keep it for several days to acquaint himself with the project. Bissell had long known of the proposal toigh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, but only in tbe most general terms. Now he learned In detail about the project that proposedaircraft over the Soviet Union.

Late on the morningulles told Bissell to go to the Pentagon on the following day to represent the Agency at an orgaruzahonal meeting for' project. Before leaving, Bissell asked Dulles which agency was to rjn the project- The DCI replied that nothing had been clearly decided. Bissell then asked who was going to pay for the project. Dulles answered: "That wasn't even mentioned. You'll have to work that

ous* the Lockheed CX-lttiilU5 irdtfecvoid conftoton.

'OU HiamriD Codc-onSi

Bissell was accompanied byiller, chief of the Office of Scientific Intelligence's Nuclear Energy Division, who soonthe executive officer of the overflight project. When Bissell and Miller arrived at the Penlagon on the afternoonecember, they

James A. Cunningham j'.

roup of key Air force officials thai included Trevor Gvdner and Ll Gen.un. Tbe participants spent verytime delineating An Force and Agency responsibilities in thetaking for granted that the ClA would handle ihe secuiity miners. Much of the discussion centered cn methods for diverting Air Force materiel to the program, particularly thengines,eparate contract for ihe engines mightthe project's security. Tne Air Force piorrdsedurnumberngines, which were then being produced.- lOCs. andventually BisseU asked who was going to pay lor the airframes to be built by Lockheed. Mis query was greeted with silence. Everyonead their eyesecause they all expected the Agency to come up with the funds. BisseU rose fiom his chair, said he would see what he could do. and the meeting adjourned.'

After the meeting. BisseU told Dulles that the CIA would have to use money from the Contingency Reserve Fund to get the project going. The DCI used this fund to pay for covert activities, following by the President and the Director of the Budget. Dulles told BisseU toemorandum for the President on funding theprogram andtart puttingtaff for Project AQtiATONF. the project's new codeoarnc

Al first the new "Project Staff" (renamed the Development Projectsonsisted of bisseu. Miller, and the small existing staff in Bisseii's Office of the Special Assistant to the DCI. During the months that followed the establishment of theits administrative workload increased tapidly, and in5 the project staff added an administrativeunningham,ormer Marine Corps pilot then working in the

Directorate of Support Cunningham stayed withroject for the nextears. Two other key pioject officials who began their du

tics earlypjj^fj

|the contracting officer.

During ihe first halfhe project staff grew slowly;the individuals working on overhead reconnaissance remainedrolls of other Agency components. To achieve maximummade the project staff self-sufficient. Project AQC'ATONEown contract management, administrative, financial, logistic,and security personnel, and. thus, did not need tothe Agency directorates for assistance. Finding foewas also kept separate from other Agencypersonnel aod operating costs were not paid out of regularAs approving officer for the project. Richard BisseUfunds in amountslarger sums required

' OJ* Hotof% cftaj.TS CaSt-enll

Ai the end ofisseU's staff developed, and the Deputy Director for Suppon approved, the first lable of organization lor Project AQC'ATONE. Once opetational. the project would have a

ersonnel divided among pfojeclSfacility, and]

Iorce5 (able of organization (this iota! doe* rot include many other Air Force personnel, such aseocotofisti. who supportedrotect in addition to their other duties) The largest Project AQUATONE category was - Pjj^PjH

eluded maintenance and support personnel from tockheed (five perhe pilots, and support personnel from other contractors for items such as photographic equipment *

The first project headquarters was in CIA's Administration (East) Buildingtreet. NW. Continued growth caused Ihe AQUATONE staff to move several times during its first two years.he project staff moved lo the third floormall red brick building (the Briggs School)treet. NW. Thenctober, the staff moved tof Quartersorld War II "temporary" building on Ohio Drive. NW. in the West Potomac Park area of Washington Onhe project staff moved again, this time to the fifth Boor of the Matomta Building

" Ptj,k;ie* ofM AfnlOU Mi.nw. cup JII a* Coev-flrti

i reel. NW. Here the staft" remained for Ihe ticxl si* years until il moved inIO (he new CIA Headquarters building at Langley inhe final move came inS. when the project staff (by that time known as the Office of Special Acuities) moved tol

BisseU reported directly to the DCI. although in reality the DDCI. Gen. Charles Pearre Cabell, was much more closely involved in -he day-to-day affairs Of the overhead reconnaissance project Cabell's extensive background in Air Force intelligence, particularly in overhead reconnaissance, made him ideally qualified to overseeroject. Cabell frequently attended White House meetings onor the DCI.



Although Allen Dulles had approved the |

' Johnwr. "Log for94 lit).

for the reconnaissance project, many financial details remained to be settled, including the contract with Lockheed. Nevertheless, work onegan as soon as the project was authorized. Betweenovemberelly Johnson pulledeam pipBengineers. which was not easy because he had to lake them oTtotner Lockheed projects without being able io explain why ro their former supervisors. The engineers immediately began to workeek on the project. The project staff gradually expandedo till PJand the workweek soon increased toours.'

use. Public, approved by ihct Congress onesignates the Director of Central Inielligence as ihe only government employee who can obligate Federal money without the use of

Inresident Eisenhower authorizedto useJJthe Agency's Contingency Reservefinanceroject. Then onhea letter contract with Lockheed, using the codenamcThe Agency had proposed to give Lockheedrather than the standard Air Force "technicalwhich were more rigid and demanding, and Kellyove wouldot of money. Lockheed's originalto the Air Force in4withngines. During negotiauonsvvitnClALawrence R. Houston, Lockheed changed its proposal to |

wo-seat trainer model and spares: the Air Force was to furnish the engines. Houston insisted lhat the Agency could only budget flH,h? airframes because it needed the balance of theameras and life-support gear. The two sides finally agreedixed-price contractrovision for athree-fourths of the way through to determine if the costs were going to exceed the fj^pjjpj^pj^fj figure. The formal contract. signed5 and called for the delivery of then5 and ihe last in6 Meanwhile, to keep work moving at Lockheed. Richard Bissellheck MM

' John S. Warner. Office of ihe General Counsel,y DomVJ E. WettcnbocB. Washington, DC. tape; OSA rTiwy. chap. J. pp. taod anntiS Codewords; lonmco, "Lot (or1


Aware of the great need for secrecy in the new project. Kelly Johnson placed itckheed's Advanced Development facility at Burbank. California, known as the Skunkockheed had established this highly secure area5 lo develop the ration's first jet aircraft,0 Shooting Star. The small Skunk Works staff began making ihe detailed drawings for. which was nicknamed ihe "Angel" because it was to fly so high.

Kelly Johnson's approach lo prototype development was to have fus engineers and draftsmen located not more thaneet from the aircraft assembly line. Difficulties in construction were immediately brought to the attention of the engineers, who gathered the mechanics around the drafting tables to discuss ways to overcomeesult, engineers were generally able to fix problems in ihe designatter of hours, noi days ot weeks. There was noplaced on producing neatly typed memorandums: engineersmade pencil notations on the engineering drawings in order to keep the project moving quickly."

*xkhefdfur in* KMLipoo )Oy Witt fanory known at ih< "Skonkin AI CappJ torn* ilrip u'l Atmr

. Rich (ctrrtm brad ofonk Wwki'l. mMmw b, Donald E. <Mandnfc CaV forma.S.

A liltlc moreeek after he had been authorized to begin the project. Kelly Johnsonage report detailing his most recent ideas onroposal. The aircraft, he explained, would be designed to meet load factors of's. which was tbe limit for uanspott aircraft rather than combat planes.ould have a

Chapter 2



Skun* WortsSlatf

oliwis at altitude, lis initial maximumwould0 feet and ihe ultimate maximum altitude wouldeet. According to these early4 speciftca-lions. the new plane would take off atnots, land atnots, and be able toautical miles from an altitude0 feet. After discussing the reconnaissance bay with James Baker. Johnson had worked out various equipment combinations that would notthe weight limitounds. Johnson ended his report by promising the first test flight5 and the completion of four aircraft"


ln designingircraft, Kelly Johnson was confronted with two major problems- -fuel capacity and weight. To achieve intercom!-nen:al range, the aircraft had to carrylarge supply of fuel. yet. it alio had to be light enough to attain the ultrahigh altitudes needed to be safe from interception. Although the final product resembled ajet aircraft, ia comtrucijoo was unlike any other US militaryOne unusual design feature was the tail assembly,saveattached to the main body with just three tension bolts. This feature had been adapted from sailplane designs

The wings were also unique. Unlike conventional aircraft, whose mam wing spar passes through the fuselage in give the wingsand strength,2 had twong panels, which were attached to the fuselage sides with tension bolts (again, just as inBecause the wing spar did not pass through the fuselage. Johnson was able to locate the camera behind the pilot and ahead of the engine, thereby improving the aircraft's center of gravity andits weight.

The wings were the most challenging design feature of the entire airplane. Their combination of high-aspect ratio and low-crag ratio (in other words, the wings weie long, narrow, and thin) made them unique in je: aircraft design. The wings were actually integral fuel tanks that carried almost all of (be L'-2'i fuel supply.

The fragility of the wings and tail section, which weie only bolted io the fuselage, forced Kelly Johnson to lookay tothe aircraft from gusts of wind at altitudes0 feet, which otherwise might cause (he aircraft to disintegrate. Johnson again borrowed from sailplane designs togust control" mechanism that set the ailerons and horizontal stabilizersosi lion that kept Ihe aircraftlightly nose up attitude, thereby avoiding sudden stresses caused by wind gusts. Nevertheless,ery fragile aircraft that required great skill and concen nation from its pilots.

The final major design feature was the lightweight, bicycle-type landing gear. The entiresingle oleostrui with twowheels toward the front of the aircraft and two small, solid-mount wheels underounds yet could withsiand the force of touchdown foron aircraft. Because both sets of wheels were located underneath the fuselage,as also equipped with detachable pogos (long, curved sticks with two small wheels on ihcm) on each wing to keep the wings level during takeoff. The pilot would drop the pogos immediately after takeoff so

that they could be recovered and reused. The aiictafi landed on Id front and back Landing gear and ;hen gradually lilted over onto one of the wingtips, which were equipped with landing skids.


Byelly Jonnson was at work on drawings for's airframe andhitney was alteady buildinget

" Fo> imatxe* ofwrty tochme.Amvmt LactWX It Jimmy It OS*

engine, but no firm plans existed foi the all-important cameras.

Existing cameras were too bulky and lacked sufficient resolutiongear an pogoi

be used in high-altitude reconnaissance.

The workhorses of World War II aerial photography had been the91 framing rameras with lenses of varying focal lengths fromonches. Late in the war.apping-camera system came into use. This system consisted of three separate cameras which made three photographsertical, an oblique to the left, and an oblique to the right The major shoftcominp of the trimeirogoo system were the large amount of film required and the system's lack of sharp definition oa the obliques.

The standard aerial cameras available in theould achieve resolutions of aboutoeeteters)ide when used at an altitude0r aboutines per millimeter in current terms of reference Such resolution was considered adequaw because aerial photography was then usedto choose targets for strategic bombing, to assess bombafter air raids, end to make maps and charts.ameraesolution of onlyoeeteight0 feet was too crude to be used at twice that altitude. Indeed,esolution of less thaneel was necessary tosmaller targets in greater detail. This meant that any camera carried to altitudeseet had to be almost four times as good as existing aerial cameras in order toesolution of less thaneel.esult, some scientists doubled that usefulcould be obtained from altitudes higher0 feet "

The fir vi sue ceil in designing very-high-acuity lenses came in ihe. when James G. Baker of Harvard anderkin of ihe PcrkinElmer) Company of Norwallc. Connecticut, collaboratedesign for an experimental camera for the Army Air Force. TheyS-inch focal-lengih scanning camera ihat was mourned6 bomber. When lesied over Fort Worth. Texas,CO0 feel, the new camera produced photographs in which two golf ballsutting green could be distinguished (ir. reality, however, the "golf balls"nches inhese photographs demonstrated ihe high acuity of Baker's lens, but ihe camera weighed moreon and was much too large to be earned aloft in an aircraft as small as.

Realizing thai size and weight were the major restraining factors inamera for. James Baker began workingadically new system inven befoie the CIA adopirrl the Lockheed proposal Baker quickly recognized, however, that he would needear toorking model of such acamera. Since Kelly Johnson had promised ton ihe air within eight months. Baker rieeded to find an existing camera that could be used until the new camera was ready. After consulting with his friend and colleague Richard Perkin. Baker decided to adapt forn Air Force camera known asmeh aerial framing camera built by the Hycon Manufacturing Company of Pasadena. California.

Perkin suggested modifying several8 cameras in order to reduce their weightound payload limit. A( ihe same time. Bakei would make critical adjustments toS lenses to improve their acuity Baker was able to do thisew weeks, so several, now knownameras, were ready when the first "Angel" aircraft took to the air in

CIA awardedontract for the8 cameras, and Hycon. in turn, subcooirxted to Perkin-Elmer to provide new lenses and to make other modifications to the cameras in order io make rhem less bulky. In its turn. Perkin-Elmer subcontracted to Baker to rework the8 lenses and laier design anlens system. To keep his lens-designing efforts separate from

" Ibid.

his research associate duiics at Harvard and his service onadvisory bodies. Bakermall firm known as Spica. Incorporated, on

amera system consisted of8 framing cameras. One was mounted vertically andwath beneath the aircraftollnch film. The8 was placedocking mount so that it alternately photographed the left oblique and right oblique outnto separate rollsnch film. The film supplies unwound in opposite directions in order to minimixe their effect on the balance of the aircraft. Both cameras used standard Airinch focal-length lenses adjusted for max-imum acuity by Baker. The development of the special rocking mount by Ferkin-Elmers Dr. Roderic M. Scottajor factor inthe size and weight ofystem, because the mountbroad transverse coverageingle lens, ending the need for two separate cameras."

"Htuarj. chap. t. annexTS Codeword*.


quipped withamera system also carried

Pcrkin-Elmer (lacking camerainch filmnch lens. This device made continuous horizon-to-horizon photographs of the iciTiin pasting beneath the aircraft. Becauseystem was new. tl alsoackup cameranch three-camera uimetrogon unitnch film

Whileystem was still being developed. James Baker -as already workjng on the next generation of lenses foe high-altitude reconnaissance. Bakerioneer in using computers to synthesize optical systems. His software algorithms made it possible to model lens designs and determine in advance the effects that variations in lens curvatures, glass compounds, and lens spacings would have on rays of light passingens. These "ray-tracing" programsextensive computations, and. for this he turned to the most modern computer available, an IBM CPC (card-programmedinstallation at nearby Boston University."



Baker's new lenses were usedamera system known as, which returneerimetrogon arrangement because ofwithystem's rocking moon.onsisted of three8 framing camerasneh film magazines8 Aimed the right oblique, another the vertical,hird the left oblique.ystern alsonch tracking camera.ameras were equipped with ihe0 Baker-designed lenses These were the first relatively largeobjective lenses to employ several aspheric surfaces. James Baker personally ground Ihese surfaces and made the final bench tests on each lens beforeo the Agency These lenses were able to resolveines perercent improvement over existing lenses."

Once Baker and Scoil had redesignedinch lens for8 devices, they turned their attention to Baker's new cameraknown asnodcl Itotally new concept, apanoramic-type framing camerauch0 aspheric lens.ameraery complex device thatingle lens to obtain photography ftom one horizon to the other, thereby reducing weighi by having two fewer lenses and shutter assemblies than the standard trimetrogon configuration Because its lens was longer than those used inameras,amera achieved even higherlines per millimeter

amera usedy IS-ineh format, which was achieved by focusing the image onto two counierrotating but overlap pingnch wide strips of film. Baker designed ihis camera so that one film supply was located forward, the other aft. Thus, as the film supplies unwound, they counterbalanced each other and did notthe aircraft's center of gravity.

amera had two modes of operation. In mode I. the cameraingle lens to make seven unique exposuresn the far right and far left obliques to vertical photos beneath theeffectively covering from horizon to horizon. Mode II narrowed the lateral coverage* on either side of vertical This increased the available number of exposures and almost doubled the camera's

" Bin* Conjuration and Camera6 OSA Rcrordv (TS Cort-orOi OSA Hatcy.anei(TS Codeword)

chapter 2



Operating time. Three of theamera frames provided stereo coverage. Theameras were engineered by Hycon's chief designer. William McFadden."

James Baker's idea for the ultimate high-altitude camera wasodel that wouldnch focal length. Ine made preliminary designs for folding the optical path using threerism, and0 lens system. Before working out the details of this design, however. Baker flew to California in early5 to consult with Kelly Johnson about the weight and space limitations ofayload compartment. Despite everyto reduce the physical dimensions ofamera. Baker needed an additional six inches of payload space to accommodate the bigger lens. When he broached this subject to Johnson, the latter replied, "Six mote inches? I'd sell my grandmother for six more inches!"


In addition to the camera systems,arried one other itn oortant item of opticaleriscope Designed by James Baker and built by Walter Baird of Baird Associates, the opticalhelped pilots recognize targets beneath the aircraft and also proved coaluable navigational aid/'


As -oik progressed ir. California on Ihe airframe, in Connecticutengines, and in Boston oo ihe camera system, the top officiuliDevelopment

LeVier set thexamine the itrit

searchite where the aircraft could be tested safely5 Richard Bissell and Col. Osmund Riiland (iheAir Force officer on the project staff) flewJohnsonmall Beechcraftoted bylest pilct, Tony LeVier. They spoiled whai appeared io be an

After debating about landing

ippeared to be

but on closer inspection it turned out to have originally been fashioned from compacted earth thai had turned into ankle-deep dust after moreecade of disuse. If LeVier had attempied to land on the airstrip, the plane would probably have nosed over when the wheels sank into the loose soil, killing or injuring all of the keyinroject."

Bissell and his colleagues all agieed tha:would

make an ideal site for lestingnd training its pilots. Uponto Washington. Bissei; discovered that I

- infomkknBr limn!*l* Mkawjt IMP I.TSillti.


Onichard Bissell signed an agreement wiih the Aj; Force and the Navy (which ai rhai lime was also interested in| in which the services agreed thai the CIA "assumed primaryfor all security" for the overhead reconnaissance project (AQUATONEJ. Froa this time oo. the CIA has been responsible for the security of overhead programs This responsibility haseavy burden Oo rhe Office of Security for establishing procedures to keep large numbers of contracts untraceable to the Central Intelligence Agency The Office of Security has also had to determine which contractor employees require security clearances and has had lo devise physical security measures for ihe various manufacturingKeepingnd subsequeni overhead systems secret hasime-consuming and cosily undertaking.11

The most important aspect of the security program forroject was the creation of an entire new compartmented system for ihe productissions. Access to the photographs taken byould be strictly controlled, which often limited ihe ability of CIA analysis io use the productsissions.

Even the aircraft's onboard equipment required ihe involvement of CIA security planners. Thus, when Kelly Johnson ordered altime-lers from the Kollmao Instrument Company, he specified that ihe


lotornuriwi toppfcrdiMkI iS|


had io be calibrated0 feet This immediately raised eyebrowsoUmari because its instruments only went0 feet Agency security personnel quickly briefed several Kcllmanandover story that the altimeters were to be used on e* pen menu! rocket planes/'


At the initial interagency meetings io establishhe participants did not worklearresponsibilities between the CIA and the Air Force. Theythat the Air Force would supply the engines and thepay for the airframes and cameras.yriad of detailsCIA and Alt Force representative* began to work onagreement that would assign specific responsibilitiesprogram. These negotiations proved difficult. Discussions onbetween DC! Allen Dulles and Air Force Chief of Staffbegan inwining wanted SAC. headed byE. LeMay. to run the project once the planes and pilotsto fly. but Dulles opposed such an arrangement. Thedragged on for several months, with Twining determined

SAC should have full contiol once the aircraft was deployed. Eventually President Eisenhower settled the dispute.ant this whole thing toivilianhe President wrote. "Ifpersonnel of the armed services of the United States fly over Russia, it is an act ofI don't want any pan of


J.s rts- pr lOS-itff

With the issue of control over the program sealed, tbe twosoon worked oa the remaining detailsulles and Twining met a: SAC hradquarters in Omaha to sign the basic agreement, titled "Organization and Delineation ofProject OILSTONE" (OILSTONE was the Air Force codename for thehis pact gave the Air Force responsibility for pilot selection and training, weather information, mission plotting, and operational support. Tbe Agency was responsible for cameras, security,film processing, and arrangements for foreign bases, and it alsooice in the selection of pilots. All aeronautical aspects of the


Chapter 2

construction and testing of the aircraft -remained thrprovince of Lockheed."

esult of this agreement. CIA remained in contro! of the program, but ihe Air Forceery important role as well. As Richard Bissell laicr remarked aboutrojeci. 'The Air Force wasn't jusi in on thisuopoftinf element, andajor degree it wasn't ui on itupplying about half the governnenlui ihe Air Force held, if you want in be precise.etccm of the common

One of the first Air Force officers assigned to Project OILSTONE was Col. Osmund J. Rrtland. He began coordmanng Air Force activi-ties inrogram wild Richard Bissell innilland became Bissell's deputy, although Air Force Chief Of Staff Twining did not officially approve this assignmentugust, the day after ihe signing of the CIA-Air Force agrecmeeL Inolonel Rilland returned lo ihe Air Force and wasas dspwy projeci director by Coi. Jack A. Gibbs.

Another Air Force officer. Li CoL Leo P. Geary, joined thein5 and remained with it untilonger than any of the oiher project managers. Using the Air Force Inspector General's office as cover with (he title of Project Officer.eary served as ihe focal point for all Defense Department support tond OXCART programs Hitears with the overhead reconnaissance projectsigh degree ol Air Force continuity."

Ourn.nd J. Upland



" osammm%day.Dmimiwi utrscooe-oMi

- IpMchby ftichstd Biuell at CIA Hcvt+anen. I! CVraocf im tUni O. Leo Amwrnm by DMH fiw

cw*f|f*IS. osatap. J. TS Co*)

To getircraft ready to fly. Lockheed engineers had to solve problems never before encountered. Among these problems was the needuel that would not boil off and evaporate at ihe very high altitudes for which ihe aircraft was designed. Gen. James H. Doolitile

(USAF,ice president of ihe Shell Oil Company who had long been involved in overhead reconnaissance (most recentlyember of the Technological Capabilitiesrranged for Shell iopecial low-volatility. low-vapoc-pressure kerosene fuel foi the craft. The resultense mixture, known as, JP-TS (thermallyroiling point'F at sea level Manufacturing this special fuel required peiroleum byproducts that Shell normally used to make its "Flit" fly and bug Spray. In order to produce several hundred thousand gallons of LF-IA forin the Spring and summerhell had to limit theof Flit,ationwide shortage. Because of the new fuel's density, it required special tanks and modifications to ihe aircrafts fuel-control and ignition systems."

Even more important than the prob'.em of boiling fuel was ihe problem of boiling blood, namely the pilot's. Ai altitudes0 feet, fluids in the human body will vaporize unless the body can be kept under pressure. Funhermore. the reduced atmospheric pressure placed considerable stress on the pilot's cardiovascularand did not provide adequate oxygenation of the blood. Keeping the pilot alive at the extreme altitudes required for overflightscalledotally different approach to environmentalitystem that could maintain pressure over much of the pilot's body. The technology thatilots to operate for extended periods in reduced atmospheric pressure would laterajor role in the manned space program.

Advising the Agency on high-altitude survival were two highly experienced Air Force doctors. Col. Donald D. Flickinger and Col. W. Randolph Lovelace. II Dr. Lovelace had begun his research on high-altitude flight before World War II andoinventor of the standard Air Force oxygen mask. In the, he and Flickinger made daring parachute jumps7 bombers to test pilot-survival gear under extreme conditions. Flickinger served as the medical adviser to Project AQUATONE forecade."

"tWll Interviewamei A. Cunningham. Donald E. Welrenbaeh.DC tapeJ CIS Code word).

" OSA Kituxy.St fTS Codeword)

Rickingcr and Lovelace suggested that the Agency ask the David Clark Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, manufacturer of environmental suits for Air Force pilots, to submit designs for more

advanced gear forilots. David Clark expert Joseph Ruseckas thenomplex life-support system, which was the first partially pressurized "spacesuit" for keeping humans alive for lengthy periods at ultrahigh altitudes. The effort toafefor pilots at high altitudes also involved the Firewel Company of Buffalo. New York, which pressurizedockpit to create an interior environment equivalent to the air pressure at0 feet. The system was designed so that, if the interior cockpit pressure fell below theect level, the pilots suit would automatically inflate, in cither case, he could obtain oxygen only through his helmet."

ly models ot* thesendartial-pressure suits were veiy uncomfortable for the pilots. To prevent loss of pressure, the heavy coverall had totwiy at the wrists and ankles {in rhc early models of these suits, the feet were not included in the pressur-izatiorthe pilot had to wear gloveseavy helmet that tended to chafe his neck and shoulders and was prone to fogging. Problems with the pilot life support system were believed to have been the cause of several early crashes of

Havingilot into this bulky suit and shoehomed him into his seat in the cockpit, the next problem was how to gel him out in an einrtgency.ockpit was very small, and the earlydid not have an ejection scat. Even after an ejection seat waspilots were reluctant to use it because they werehey wojld lose their legs below the knees when they were blown out of the cockpit. To save weight, the first pilot's scat was extremely simple with no height adjustment mechanism. Designed for pilots of above-average height, the seat could be adjusted for shorter pilots by inserting wooden blocks beneath the scat to raise it. In later versions of the aircraft. Kelly Johnsonully adjustable scat "

' Lecture by Maj On. PatrickaDoran (former Air FattctloO ai Of Nationalpace Muscarn.4

The Air Force undertook bailout experiments at high altitudes from balloons in the autumn5 to determine if the suit designed forilot would alto protect him during his parachute descent once he was separated from the life-support mechanisms the aircraft To avoid getting the "bends'* during such descents or during the long flights, pilots had to don their pressure suits and begin breathing oxygen at (eastinutes before takeoff so that theirwould have time to dissipate nitrogen. This procedure was known as prcbreadiing. Once the pilots were in then suits, eatingajor problem, as did urination The first mode! of the pressure suit, used by Lockheed test pilots, mace no provision forubsequent model required the pilot to be catheterueddonning his flying suit. This method of permitting urination during flight proved very uncomfortable and. by the autumnas replaced with an external bladder arrangement that made the catheter unnecessary. To reduce elimination, pilotsow-bulk, high-protein diet on the day before and the morning of each mission.

To prevent pilots from becoming dessicated during the longcondition aggravated by their having io bteaihe purewas mace for them to drink sweetened water. This was accomplished bymall self-sealing hole in the face mask through which the pilot couldtrawlike tube attached to the water supply. Project personnel also pioneered in the development of ready-to-eat foods in squeezable containers. These weie primarily bacon- or cheese-flavoted mixtures that the pilot could squeeze .no his mouth using the self-sealing hole in the face mask. Despite all theseilots normallyounds of body weight during an eight-hour mission *

Food and water were not the only items provided to pilots on overflight missions, they alsouicide pill. During the, talcs of Soviet secret police torture of captured foreign agents

2 65

led Biliell and Cunningham lo approach Dr Alex Bailin of Technical Services Division in :he Directorate of Plans" for ideas to helpilots avoid sucn suffering. Bailin suggested ihe meihod used by Nazi war criminal Hermannhin glass ampule containing liquid potassiom cyanide Heilot had only to pui Ihe ampule in his mouih and bite down on the glass: deaih wouldinoeconds. Projeci AQUATONE ordered six of iheampules,ills, and offered one to each pilot justission It was up to each pilot to decide if he wantedaketi; with him Some did; most did not."


Onuly, less than eight months afier ihe go-ahead call from Trevor Gardner. Kelly Johnson was ready io deliver ihe first aircraft, known as to ih^aH Bl^ftite Wiiti iu long, slender *ings and tail asscmbty removeo^neatrcrafiasped in tarpaulins, leadedlownhere Lockheed me chanics spent the nexi six days readying ihe crafi for its maiden flight.

Before "Kelly's Angel" could actually tike to the air. however, it needed an Air Force designator. Col Altman T. Culbertson from the Air Force's Office of ihe Director of Research and Development pointed this out io Lieuienani Colonel Geary innd the two officers then looked through ihe aire rift designator handbook io see what the options were They decided that they could not call the projeciomber, fighter, or transport plane, and ihey did noi warn anyone to know ihat the new plane was for reconnaissance, so Geary and Culbertson decided that it should come under the utility aircraft category. At the time, (here were only two utility aircraft on the. Geary told Culbertson that ihe Lockheedas going to be known officially as

A(Qfix tM Dirnionw -a* IronUf Deewymm rr* mmm iMripnitd ro meanfor oror tv major wodivuiotu of Ot CIA and UMir director! has vuted over ihr pail four decndft tor dm mm of conutteney. illf Otreeioraw. andDwe.on Kit bnn -rd la ihr aiimi Agency fo-nut th* ortar-iattrtm Dwtorateejda OVMT Ouewr

' (nformn.Crt tallied b, Jamelam io Donald f. Welienoartu Sajie Siorm. Memorandum for lite Record. 'Ditcuiiion -iih Dr. Ale. llaUWi Re FroietfS fSl

" GearySi


had designedo ase ihchitney1 engine, which0 pounds of* thrust andounds, givingower-io-weight ratio. Whenirst took to the air. however, these engines were not available because the eniircas reeded to power specially configured Canberras for the Air Force. Thes there fore usedngines, whichounds heavier and delivered0 pounds of thrusi at sea level; the resulting

ratioas almostercent leu efficient than the1 version.-

To conductr hostile territory,eeded ioarge amount of fuel. Kelly Johnsonwet-wing" design for. which meant that fuel was not stored in separate fuel tanks but rathci tn the wing itself Each wing was di-vided into two leak-proof compartments, and fuel was pumped into all the cavities within these areas, only theeet of the wings were not used for fuel storagelsoalton reserve tank in its nose. Later,ohnson increased the fuel capacity ofy adding lOO-gallon "slipper" tanks under each wing, pro jetting slightly aheade leading edge

One of the most imporurit considerations in't fuelwas the need to maintain aircraft trim as the fuel was consumed The aircraft thereforeomplex system of feed lines and valves drainingentral sump, which made it impossible tothe pilot with an empty/full type of fuel gauge. None of the firstad normal fuel gauges. Instead there were mechanical fuel totalizer/counters. Before the nanission, the ground crew set the counrers to indxate the total amount of fuel in the wings, andlow meter sutrtracted the gallons of fuel actually consurned during the flight. The pilotog of the fuel consumption shown by the counters and comparedith estimates made by mission planners for each leg of the flight.oubleilots also kept track of their fuel consumption by monitoring airspeed and time in the air. Most pilots became ouite expert at this. Several who did not came up short of their home base during theears these planes were flown"


Preliminary taxi trials began onhen the first run down the newly completed runway took the plane lonots. Lockheed's chief test pilot. Tony LcVier, was at theecond taxi inal

OSA History, ehap.. IJ OS COde-ordl

Inlormalion applied by Nonnm Nclicwi. former daccax of Lockheed's Siunl Wwiljtxxii E. Wetrertboch. It6 lift Miller...

Chaoter 2

Kelly Johnson watchinghase plane andon-sum stream of instructions, LeVier made ifiree more unsuccessful landing ariempu. With (be light ladinghjoderstorm fairfrom (he mountains to the west. LeVter made one lastusing the method he had advocated: letting the aircraft touch on its rear wheel first. This timeear-perfect landing, which came just in the nick of time. Ten minutes later, thebegan dumping annches of rain, flooding the dry lakebed and making the airstrip unusable,*1

Now that the first problems in Hying and landingad been woiked out. Kelly Johnsoneirst flight5 This time outsiders were piesent. including RxlMrd Bissell. Col. Osmond Rilland. Richard Homer, and Garrison Norton.lew0 feet and performed very well. Kelly Johnson had met his eight-month deadline."

* awt.pp. 2ia.qx Id)

_ ISaMM. -Log foruiuw

LeVvei made an additionallights inefore mov-ing onther Lockheed flight test programs in fatly September. This first phaseesting explored the craft's stall envelope, took the aircraft to its maximum stressnd explored its speed potential. LeVier soon Mew the aircraft at its maximum speed oflight tests continued, withscending tosever before attained ir. sustained flight. Onugust LeVier

took the aircraft up0 feetreparation for this flight,ycar-old test pilot completed the Air Force partial-pressure suit

training program, becoming the oldest pilot to do so Testing at even

higher altitude* continued, andeptembereached its

initial design altitude0 feet."

Onxperienced its firsthaniles up.rief restart,7 engine again flamed out0 feet, and the aircraft descended0 feet before the engine could be relit Engineers fromhitney immediately set to work on this problem7 model engine had significantly poorer combustionthan the preferred but1 version and therefore tended to flame out at high altitudes. Combustion problems usually became apparent asegan the final part of its climb00 feet, causing pilots to refer to this area as theor thelameouts bedeviledroject until sufficient nurnoers of the mote1 engines becamein the spring"

* osa Oatrnhgy.tsSA Hatofy, chap. I.TS" GearySV

Meanwhile, with the airworthiness ofirframe proven. Lockheed setroduction line in the Skunk Works, but delivery of even the7 enginesajor problem Pratt it Whitney's full production capacity for these engines for the next ycat was contracted to Ihe Air Force for useighters andankers. Colonel Geary, with the helpolleague in the Air Force Materiel Command, managed to arrange the diversionumber of these engineshipment destined for Boeing'sroduction line, making ir possible to continue buildingS."

As ihc deliveriesirframes to ihe testing site increased,logistic problem arose: bow to rramfer LockheedBmbankithouireat deal ofproject staff decided that the simplest approach would be toessential personnel to the site on Monday morning andto Durban* on Friday evening. Ftequent flights were alsoto bring in supplies and visitors from contractorsegularly scheduled Military Air Transportflight4 aircraft beganctoberCunningham promptly dubbed this activityess than seven weeks after it started,aircraft boundr-itied cno.ember. killingpersons aboard the plane, including the Project Securitymembers of his staff, and personnel from

Lockheed and Mycoo. fhJs crash represented the greatest single loss of life in therogram.""


High-altitude letting ofoon led to an unexpected sidetremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objectsn the, most commercial airlineis flew at altitudes0eet and military aircraft likeperated at altitudes0 feet. Consequently,t started flying at altitudes0 feet, air-trafficbegan receiving increasing numbers of UFO reports

OS* its

Such reports were most prevalent in the early evening from pilots of airliners flying from east to west When the sun dropped below the horizon of an airliner dying0 feet, the plane was in darkness. airborne in the vicinity of the airliner at the same time, its horizon from an altitude0 feet was considerably more distant, and. being so high in the sky. its silver wings would catch and reflect the rays of the sun and appear to the airliner0 feet below, to be fiery objects. Even duringhours, the silver bodies of theS could catch the sun and cause reflections or glints that could be seen at lowerand even on the ground. At this time, no one believed manned flight was possible0 feet, so no one expected to see an object so high in the sky.

Not only did the airline pilots report their sightings lo air-tralne controllers, but they and ground-based observers also wrote letters to the Air Force unit at Wright Air Development Command in Dayton charged with investigating such phenomena. This, in turn, led to the Air Force's Operation BLUE BOOK Based at Wnght-Parterson, the operation collected all repoits of UFO sightings. Air Forcethen attempted to explain such sightings by linking them tophenomena BLUE BOOK investigators regularly called on tne Agency's Project Staff in Washington to check reportedlight logs. This enabled the investigators iothe majority of the UFO reports, although they could not reveal tn the letter writers the true cause of the UFOnd luter OXCART flights accounted for more than one-half of all UFO reports during thend most of


In authorizingtoject. President Eisenhower told DCI Dulles that he wanted the pilots of these planes to be non-US citizens. It was his belief that,ome down in hostile territory, it would be much easier for the United States to deny any tesponsibil.ty lor the activity if the pilot was not an American.

In theory the use of foreigripilotsseemedju^^

not work out.kaaVLaaaanaVH a"

nxshf. By 'wk*DaoaU E.

could only fly light aircraft. Language wasarrier lorh ai.hough several were good fliers. Because Lieutenant Geary hadlass offlying a, pjjjjjjjjjjjj-ajjajjjjjJj-fJJH he got the job of training the |

arranged for an Air Force officerrouprelim.naryio ocs soon

school andTr*yrriadeew. and by ihe aiiiumn5 they were otn of ihe program."

Even before ihe cliirunatior. cf'ihr rj^^j: was clear thai there would not be enough trained foreign pfloiiavailabte in time for de pioyrnem. Bissell therefore had to start ihe searchilots all overen Emmet; (Rosy) ODonnelL the Air Force's LVpjiy Chief of Staff for Personnel, auinotved the use of Air Force pilots and provided considerable assniance in the search for pilots who met the high standards established by the Agency and (he Air Force. The search included only SAC fighter pilots who held reserve commissions. The use of regular Air Force pilots was nnt considered because of the complexities involved in having them resign from the Airrocedure that was necessaryrder to hire them asfor the AQUATONE project

SAC pilots inieresied inro>cci had to be willing tofrom the Air Force and assume civilianprocess known as sheep-dipping-in order tc conduct the overflights. Although Air Force pilots were attracted by the challenge ofs over hos-Hie lemtory. they were reluctant to leave the service and give up their semonty. To overcome rnlots' reluctance, (he Age=cy offeredsala-ies. and the Air Force promised each pilot that, uponconclusion of his employmem with the Agency, he could return to his unit. In ihe meantime, he would be considered for pro-motion along with his contemporaries who had continued their Air Force careers.'


TSN?atcfe, Gary

miiO^tftk, (Mr. Vwh:uMtiK. .m>

The selection process forilots was very rigorous Because of the strain involved in flying at extreme altitudes for long penods of time, painstaking efforts wrre made to exclude all pilots who might be nervous or unstable in any way. The physical andscreening ofilots was conducted by ihe Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Albuquerque. New Mexico,ontractwith the CIA on

he CIA's insistence on more stringent physical and mental examinations than those used by the Air Force to select pilots forleet resultedigher rejection rate of candidates. The Agency's selection criteria remained high throughout its manned overflight program and resulteduch lower accident rate forilots than for their counterparts in the Air Force program."


Even before the recruiting effort got under way, the Air Force and CIA began toilot training program. Under the terms of the OILSTONE agreement between the Agency and the Air Force,foi pilot training lay with SAC. This essential activity was carried out under the supervision of Col- William F. Yancey, who was assigned to March AFB ;nd flewH|each day. Colonel Yancey was in charge of six SAC pilots who were to be trained by Lockheed tesi pilots to fly. Once ihey became qualified, these SAC pilots would become the trainers for the "sheep-dipped" former Reserve SAC pilots, who wouldfor the CIA.

Theest pilot. Tony LeVier. trained several other Lockheed test pilots in the difficuli an of flying. Eventually there were enough trained Lockheed pilots available to test thecoming off the assembly line and also train the SAC pilots. Training was difficult because there was no two-seat model of. All instruction had to be given on the ground before takeoff and then over the radio once the craft was airborne. Almostears elapsedas available for training new pilots. Despite *he difficulties involved inilots. Colonel Yanceyadre of six qualified Airilots byhese six were now ready to train the Agency's pi-

OSA Huron,: crop. J. p.TS CodeSA Huory. chap. II.S Code-ofoi.

Training pilots was not easy becauseixture of glider and jet. Although those chosen for the overflight program were all qualified fighter pilots, they now had to learn to By the. lis large wings had tremendous lift but were also very fragile


and could not survive ihe stresses of loops and barrr! rolls. Moreover, rhes were placarded, which meant that they could not be flown at sea level fasternots in smooth airO knots in rough air. At operational altitude, where the air was much less dense, they could not exceed4 knots) Speeds in excess of these limits could caase the wings or tail section to fall off

Airspeedery critical factor for the U<tnots separated the speeds at which low-speed stall and high-speed buffet occurred. Pilots called ihis narrow range ofairspeed* at maximum altitude the "coffin corner" because at this point theas always on the bnnk rjf falling out of the sky. If the aircraft slowed beyond the low-speed stall limit, it would lose lift and begin to fall, earning stresses that would tear the wings and tailittle roe much speed would lead to buffeting, which would also cause the loss of the wings or ail. Flying conditions such as theseilot's full attention when he was not using the autopilot. Airspeed wasritical factor that Kelly Johnsonernier adjustmenthr throttle to allow the pilot to make minute alterariccs to the fuel Supply."

Among the unique device* developed formall sextant for making celestial "fixes" during the long overflights. Because cloud cover oftenilots from locating naviga-ticrnJ points on the earth through the periscope, the sextant turned out to be the pilots" principal navigational instrument during the first three years of deployment. When clouds wereactor, however, the periscope proved highly accurate for navigation. During the final tests before the aircraftilots found they could navigate by dead reckoning witr an error of lessautical


Flight-testing ofontinued throughout the fall and wintern order to test all the various systems ByAC officials were so impressed tha:o war.ted ioa fleet of these planes. Onanuary. DCI Dulles agreed :o

"Icirmr- ITS Code-ord. Johnmcrvk- byecord.-*Si. mJornm-aay"jJI^^BHoSi

rvlj- <IS Codorafdl

have CIA ac: as executive agent for this transaction, which ihe Ait Force called Project DRAGON LADY. To maintain secrecy, the Air Force transferred fundshe CIA. which then placed an order with Lockheed fors in configurations to be determined by the Air Force. The Air Force later bought twos,otal ofhe aircraft purchased for the Air Force were known as the Follow-On Group, which was soon shortened to FOG."

Once enough pilots had been trained. Project AQUATONEconceruraied on checking out theystem: planes, pilots, navigation systems. life-support systems, and cameras. Fromhroughs equippedameras took off Hand made eight overflights of the United States in order to test the various Might and camera systems as part of the standard Aii Force Operational Readiness Inspection. Colonel Yancey and his detachment served as observers during this weeklong exercise.

" OS*chap J. pp.JS Cooe-orcl


Colonel Yancey's group carefully examined ill aspects ofnit from flight crews to camera technicians and missionWhen the exercise was over. Yancey reported that thewas ready for deploymenr He thenigh level Pentagon panel that included the Secretary of the Air Force and ihe Chief of Air Staff These officials concurred with Yancey's detcrmi-naiion thaias ready for deployment*'

During these final tests in the springnceiis unique airworthiness. Onin his office in Washington when hecaiihimad

lameou: over the Mississippi River at the westernof Tennessee After restarting his engine, ike pilotec-ond flameouf and engine vibraL-ons so violent that he was unable to get the power plant to start again. Early in the program Bissellilland had foieseen such an emergency and, with the cooperation of the Air Force, had arranged for sealed orders io be delivered io every aiibase in the comiiwmal United States giving Instructions about what to doeeded to make ar. emergency landing.

Cunmngrum had the project office ask the pilot how far he could glide so they could determine which SAC base should be alerted Thewho by this lime was over Arkansas, radioed back chat given the prevailing winds and1 glide ratio, he thought he could reach Albuquerque. New Mexico. WUhin minutes Cunningham was on ihe phone to Colonel Geary in Ihe Pentagon, who then had the Air Force's Assistant Director of Operations. Brig. Gen. Ralph li.

S* Mimvy. eta* II. pp.naV-cHi

Koon, nil the commands! of Kinland afb neat Albuoueioue. General Koon told the base corrunance: about the scaled orders and explained thai an unusual aircraft wouldeadstick landing at Kinland within the next half hour. The general then instructed the base commander to have air police keep everyone away from the craft and gel itanger as quickly as possihle.

alf hour passed, the base commander called the Pentagonsk where the crippled aircraft was. As he was speaking, the officer sawouch down on the runway and remarked. "It'slane,ven more surpnsed wete the airwho surrounded the craft when it cameall, as the pilot climbed from the cockpit in his "space" suit, one air policemanthat ihe pilot lookedan from Mars. The pikxflreported io Cunningham thai, from the beginning cTthc ftrsnTameout until the landing at Albuquerque,ad coverediles, including morey gliding."

Aside from this extraordinary gliding ability, however,ery difficult aircraft to fly. lis very lighi weight, which enabled il to achieve extreme altitude, also made it very fragile. The aircraft was also very sleek, and it sliced through the air with little drag. This feature was dangerous, however, becauseas not built to withstandforces of high speed. Pilots had to be extremelyto keep the craftlightly nose-up attitude when fiymg at operational altitude If the nose droppedegree or two into the nose-down position, the plane would gain speedramatic raie. exceeding the placarded speed limit in lessinute, at which point the aircraft would begin to come apart. Pilots, therefore, had to pay close attenlion to the aircraft's speed indicator because0 feet there was no physical sensation of speed, without objects close ai hand for the eye io useeference."


The first fatality directly connected with flyingccurred onhena. had trouble dropping his pogos. lUr outrigger wheels that keep ihe

" Bmcll I'tffvliw (Si. Cuiwiinckajn interview (TSnj. Gen. Im A. Cory, etervw- fryomradeolorado.cicbe'fS)


wings parallel to the ground during takeoffs ovei li* airstrip and shook loose the kfthand pogo. When he ace-npted toghthand turn to come back over the runway to shake loose the remainingkaaV":'nl 'Llnd it plunged to earth, disiniegratingide area Three months later, onecond fatal crash occurredight-flying es^rdse "jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjKulledt an altitude of abouteet wrteiihetriedtoclimb too steeplyakeoff. The craft fell, cartwheeled on its left wing, andower pole near thc runway Moreilots always cut back abruptly on ihc throiile as soon as the pogo sticks fell away in order to avoid such stalls.

Before the year was Out. two1 were destroyed in crashes, oae of them fatal Onost pan of its right wing while on its takeoff ascent from Lindsey Air Force Base in Wiesbaden. Germany. The aircraft disintegrated Inkilling pilot6 resi rarely depleted the oxygen

judgment as he flew over Arizona. 3ecause of his inability to act quickly and keep track of his aircraft's speed,xceeded the placarded speed oM90kriots and literally disintegrated when itjJ (managed to jettison the canopy and was sucked out of the0 feet. His chuteO feet, and he landed without injury The aircraftotal toss"


From ihe very beginning ofrogram, it was apparent that some sort of an interagency task force or office would be needed to develop and coordinate coliection requirements for the covertreconnaissance effort.hree-page memorandum to DCI Dulles4 setting forth the ideas of the Technological Capabilities Panel'sn this subject. Edwin Land wrote;

ecommendedermanent task force, including. Air Force supporting elements, be set up under suitable coverrovide guidance On procurement, lo consolidate requirements

nroom. bUtn

Cnaote' 2

and plan missions inriority ond feasibility, to maintain iht operationontinuing basit. and to carry oui tne dutem ination of the retailing Informationanner continent with lit special seciiiity requirements."

When'i development and lesiing approached comple lion. Land's recommendalion was put inio cftect. Following awilh Deputy Secreiary ot Defense Donald Quarles and Tievoi Gardnei (who had been promoied from his special assistant post to become Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research andichard Bissell established an Ad Hoc Requirements Committee (ARC)e then namedcber to be Intelligence Requirements Officer forroject and chairman of the ARC Rcber was already experienced in coordination with other inxlligence agencies, for he had headed the Directorate of Intelligence DI Office of Intelligence Coordination for four years The first full-scale ARC meeting took place6 with representatives from Ihe Army. Navy, and Air Force present Attending for the CIA were representatives from the Office of Research and Reports (ORR) and the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) The CIA membership later expanded io include the Office of Current Intelligence (OCI)epresentative from the Directorate of Plans7 the National Security Agency (NSA) also beganepresentative. The State Department followed suitlthough it had been receiving reports from the committee all along

ARC'S main task was to draw up lists of collection requirements, primarily for. but also for other means of collection. These listsluiget* according to their ability to meet the threenational intelligence objectives concerning the Soviet Union in the: long-range bombers, guided missiles, and nuclear cneigy. The committee issued iis list of targets for the use of the entire intelli gence community using all available means of collection, not just for the CIA with*


ARC gave ihe top priority target list to the Project Director, and the project staff's operations section then used the list to plan the flightpaihsissions. Although the requirements committee was nor responsible for developing flight plans, it assisted thewith derailed targetequiredlight plan was ready for* Prfuocn for approval, the committee diewetailed justification for the selection of the targets. This paper accompanied the flight plan"

In developing and prioritizing lists of targets, the comm.tier members had to take into account the varying needs and interests of their parent organizations Thus, the CIA representatives generally emphasized strategic intelligence aircraft and munitions factories, power generating complexes, nuclear establishments, roads, bridges, inland waterways. In contrast, the military services usuallyeavier emphasis on order-of-batile data The Air Force, ia particularroag interest in gathering intelligence on the location of Soviet and East European airfields and radars.

Although the committee members kept the interests of theiror agencies in mind, their awareness of the vital nature of their mission kept the level of coc^eration high. The groupattempted toonsensus before issuing its reecwimersdationi. althoughibs -as not possible and one or more agencies wouldissent to ihe recommendation of the committeehole."


" Rrtur Iwrnie- (SI

OnCI Allen Dulles and his assistant. Richard Bissell, briefed Arthur C. Lundaftl. the chief of CIAs Photo-Inielligence Division (PIDj. on Project AQUATONE At DCI Dullest direction. Lundahl irnrnediarely set in motion within hisompanmcnted effort, known as Project EQUINE, to plan for ihe exploitation of overhead photogtaphy fromroject With onlyembers, the PID staff was too small to handle the expected

Rood of photographs ihatould bring back. so in5 the Directorate of Support (DS) authorisedoSoon afterward the division moved from its roomuilding to larger quarters in Que Building.

nwi'ep-it Inifpnieium Couir I.KioBiM o* SofXf JiWH.uwicil SowIJ. pp.



The Photo-Intelligence Division continued to expand in aniicipa-tion of large quantitieshotography. Its authorized sirengih doubled in6ew project known as HTAUTOM AT came into existence tohotogtaphy. All of the products from this project would be placed in the new controlBy the summerhe PID had moved to larger quarters in the Sseuart Building at 5th Street ard New York Avenue. NW, PID phoioimeipieiers had already begun to workhotographyenei of missions insumber of US installations thai were considered analogous to high-prionty Soviet installaiions.esult of these preparations. PID was ready for the mass of photography that began comingperations commenced in the summer"

Chapter ?

ProjectBalloon lawxh


While trie Agency was mailing its final preparationsver-flights, the Air Forceeconnaissance project that would cause ccflsirlerable protest around the world and threaten theofverflight program befote it even begai. Project GENETRIX involved the use o( camera-carrying balloons to obtain high-altitude photography of Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and

the People's Republic of China. This project had its originsAND Corporation studyy the endhe Aii Force hadumber of technical problems in camera design and recovery techniques and hadarge number offor use in the project President Eisenhower gave his approval onnd two weeks later the launches from bases in Western Europe began. By the end ofhe Air Force hadotalalloons.4'

Project GENETRIX was much less successful than its sponsors had hoped. Once launched, the balloons were at the mercy of thewinds, and many tended to drift toward southern Europe and then across the Black Sea and the desert areas of China. Thesetherefore missed the prime target areas, which lay in the higher latitudes. Large numbers of balloons did not succeed ine Soviet Union and China, some because they were shot down byaircraft, others because they prematurely expended their ballast supplies and descended too soon. Only a6 payloads were eventually recovered (one moreear later and the last notromalloons that had been launched,our of these pay-loads the camera had malfunctioned, and in another eight thewas of no intelligence value. Thus, onlyalloons succeeded in obtaining useful photographs.**

The low success rate of the Project GENETRIX bal'oons was not the only problem encountered; far more serious was the storm ofand unfavorable publicity that the balloon overflights provoked. Although the Air Force hadover story that the balloons were being used for weather research connected with the International Geophysical Year. East European nations protested strongly to the United States and to international aviation authorities, claiming that the balloons endangered civilian aitcraft The Soviet Union sent strongly worded protest notes to the United States and the nations from which the balloons had been launched. The Soviets alsonumerous polyethelene gasbags, camera payloads. andfrom GENETRIX balloons and put them on display in Moscow for the world press.**

. Strong.emorandum for DCt Dullti. 'Project GENETRIXS6

" Final Report.. In Air Divisional Survey)Si General Summit)

" fVew Yori0. t; Omaha MxUHoaU. IIp. t.

All of this publicity and protest led President Eisenhower tothat "the balloons gave more legitimate grounds for irriiation than could be matched by the good obtained fromnd hethe project halted.6 Secretary of State Dulles informed the Soviet Union that no more "weather research" balloons would be released, but be did not offer an apology for the overflights.**

Despite the furor caused by GENETRIX. Air Force Chief of Staff Twining proposed yet another balloon project only five weeks later, inhis project would employ even higherballoons than GENETRIX and would be ready in IS months. President Eisenhower informed the Atr Force, however, that he was "not interested in any more


Andrew I. Coodw,Wf. Memoranda (or ire6 Conference or JoinctheHOSS. Aloha. DDEL (TS.: Sicpnen E.h, PmidtmNe- Ve-K-f..

Qoated in Ambmc.. p. JtO.

Although the photo intelligence gained from Project GENETKTX was Um;ted in quactiiy. it was Hill tome of the best and mostphotogtaphy obtained of the Soviet Union since World War II It was referred to as "pioneer" photography because it provided afor all future overhead photography. Even innocuous photos of such things as forests and streams proved valuable in later yearsnd satellite photography revealed construction activity.

Of still greater importance torogram, however, was the data that US and NATO radars obtained as they tracked the paths of tbeaverage attitudehe Soviet Bloc. This data provided the most accurate record to date of high-altitude wind currents, knowledge that meteorologists were later able to put to use to determine optimum flightpathslights

One completely fortuitous development from Project GENETRIX bad nothingo with the cameias butteel bar. This barual purpose the rigging of the hugegasbag was secured to the top of Ihe bar and thead and automatic-ballasting equipment was attached to the bouom By sneer chance, the length of tbeo the wavelength of the radio frequency usedoviet radar known by its NATO designator as TOKEN This wasand radar used by Soviet forces for earl) wamirg aid ground-controlled intercept The bar on ihe GENETRIX balloons resonated when struck by TOKEN radar pulses, making it possible for radar operators at US and NATO installations on the periphery of the Soviet Union toumber of previously unknown TOKEN radars.

These tadar findings, coupled with other intercepts made during ihe balloon flights, provided extensive data on Warsaw Pact radarradar sets, and ground controlled interception techniques. Analysis of these iniercepts revealed the altitude capabilities and tracking accuracy of radars, the methods used by Warsaw Pact nations to notify each other of the balloons' passage (handingnd the altitudes at which Soviet aircraft could intercept the balloons. All of Ihis information could be directly applied to


FlMlojeci II9L.i.iuon (SUwroloileal Survey) Siraieth: Ai.. CewW Summary fTS.

These positive results from Project GENETRIX did not outweigh the political liabilities of the international protests. CIA officialsconcerned tha!ill generated by balloon overflights could sout the Eisenhower administration on all overflights, including those by. which was just about ready for deployment. Therefore. DOC! Caoei: wrote to Air Force Chief of Staff Twming io6 to warn against further balloon flights because of the "additional political pressures being generated agamsr alt balloon operations and overflights, thus increasing the difficulties of policy decisions which would permit such operations in the future."'

In addition to its concern for the future ofrogram.gency feared that Piesident Eisenhower's anger at balluonmightr. the curtailnesu of the balloon program that the Free Europecoven Agency operation based in Westto re'ease propaganda pamphlets over Eastern Europe.


Although knowledge ofrojectlosely guardedwithin both the Agency and the Eisenhower administration, DCI Dulles decidedew key members of Congress should be told about the project. Onulles met with Senators Lcverett Saltonstall and Richard B. Russell, the ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and itson the CIA. He shared with them the details of Project AQUATONE and then asked their opinion on whether tome mem-bets of use House of Representatives should a'so be informedesult of the scnatots" recommendation that the senior members of the House Appropriations Commitrce should be briefed. Dulles bier met with its ranking members. Representatives John later and Clarence Cannon. Official Congressional knowledge ofremained con lined to this small group for the neat four years. The Armed Servicesit CIA subcommittee did noiIA briefing onrojeci until after the loss of Francis Garyver the Soviet Union in'*

"ox*rttMMtoarandem tar DCIProject CEMTTHlXI!St reccrfi tS)

"arner.ounacl. Memorandum tor ihe Record. "AQUATOrfE HT.ce of Cpipeaila*ul AaaaN treatit.tM t - Wane- Hiianica rSi


Inhile the controversy over balloon flights was siill raging andas completing its final airworthiness tests. Richard Bissell and hi* naff began woikingover story foroperations, ll was important tolausible reason forsuch an mrjsual looking plane, whose glider wings and odd landing gear were certain lo arouse curiosity.

Bissell decided that the best cover for the deployment ofas an ostensible mission of high-altitude weather research by the National Advisory Committee on Aetonauncs (NACA)over story, however, needed ihe approval of all concerned Air Forcethe Air Weather Service. ihe Third Air Force, the Seventh Air Division, theroject officer, the Air Force Headquarters project officer, and NACA's top official. Dr. Hugh Dryden. Moreover, the CIA Sckniific Advisory Committee was also consulted about the cover plan.

Sen.or CIA officials and the other agencies involved incover forpproved (he final version of the overall cover story at the end ofhe projeci staff then began working on contingency plans for the lossver hostile territory. Bissell advised the project's cover officer ioocument which sets forth all actionseot only press releases and the public linte taken, but also the suspension of operations and at least an indication of the diplomaticWe should at least make the attempt in ihis casee prepared for the worsteally orderlyThe cover officer then prepared emergencybased on the overall weather research cover story, and Bissell appioved ihese plans. There was one final high-level look at ihe cover story onhe day after theission over Eastern Europe, when Bissell met with General Goodpastrr. lames Kiitiaa. and Edwin Land to discuss the pending overflights of the Soviet Union, including the proposed emergency procedures. KiDian and Land disagreed with Bissell's concept anduch bolder and more forthright proposal: in the event of the lossver hostile territory, the United Slates should not try io deny responsibility bul should state that overflights were being conducted "to guard against surprisehis proposal was put aside for further thought (which ii nevernd Bissell's weather research coverthe basis for statements to be madeoss The projeci stall then went on ioumber cf different statements lo be

perations in the Soviet Bloc and Middle


Byveryone *orking on Project AQUATONE could we thaias nearing the time for operational deployment-Dunng tests the aircraft had met all the criteria established in4 Its rangeiles was sufficient to overfly continents, its aldtude0 feet was beyond the reach of all known antiaircraft weapons and Interceptor aircraft, and its camera lenses were the finest available.

Chapter 3


The firstetachment, consisting of aircraft and pilots, was known publicly as (he 1st Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Provisionalhe "provisional" designation gaveetachments greater security because provisional Air Force units did not have to report to higher headquarters. WRSP-l. known within the Agency as Detachment A, began deploying |

6ay, all of Ihearrived at

Shortly after deployment,ay, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) released anover story stalingockheed-developed aircraft would be flown by ihe USAF Air Weather Servicetudy such high-altitudeas the jet stream, convective clouds, temperature and windat ;et-stream levels, and cosmic-ray effects up0 feet.1



To avoid arousing further reaction in ihe United Kingdom andthe programverflights beyond the Ixon Curtaindelay. Bissell movednne of the busiest airfields in West Germany,West German authorities. The detachment commander.McCoy, was disappointed in his hope thats could be accomplished without drawing unduestrange-looking planes, with bicycle-type wbeels and wingsthey louched the ground after landing, aroused considerableWiesbaden was to beemporary home forthe Air Force beganthe East German

border for use byXm |was an old World War II airbase that had been one of the launching sites for the GENETRIX balloons1

Soon af:e:rrived in Wiesbaden the) we -with the moreI engines The new ermines weresuited for operations behind the Iron Curtain becajse tbey were less likely io suffer fUmeouts than the earlier model Once the new engines were installed, the aircraft received theB *

Bissell was anxious to get the overflights started by late June because SAC weather experts had predicted that the best weather for photographing ihe Soviet Union would be betweenune anduly. Bissell. however, had not yet received final authorization from President Eisenhower to begin overflights of the Soviet Union Onhen DCI Allen Dulles met with (he President to discusseadiness for operations. Eisenhower still made no decision on overflights. Three days later Dulles and Air Force Chief of Staff

Nathan Twiningaper (or the President outlining "AQUATONE Operatior-aln the meantime. President Eisenhower had entered Walter Reed Hospiiai for tests for an abdorct-nal ailment lhai turned out to be ileitis, requinrg an operation. Dunn* his recovery from surgery. Eisenhower would make his final rJecistoc on the overflight program."



The President had mixed feelings about overflights of the Soviet Union. Aware that they could provide extremely valuable intelligence about Soviet capabilities, he, nevertheless, remained deeplythat such flights ocoughi with them the risk ofar. From the very beginning ofrogram. President Eisenhower had worked to minimize the possibility that overflights could lead to hostilities. He had always insisted that overflights by military aircraft were too provocative, and4 he had therefore supported the Land committee's proposal for an unarmed civilian aircraft instead of the military reconnaissance planes favored by the Air Force. For the same reason. Eisenhower had resisted atiempis by the Air Force to takerogram away from the CIA

In fact, the President's desire to avoid secret reconnaissanceover the Soviet Union, with all their risks, led him to make his famous "Open Skies" proposal in the summerhenas still under development but making good progress. At the Geneva summit conference onresident Eisei-hower offered to provide airfields and other facilities in the United States for the Soviet Union to conduct aerial photography of all US militaryif the Soviet Union would the United States with similar facilities in Russia. Not surprisingly. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev almost immediately rejected Eisenhower's offer. Although the President had hoped that the Soviet Union would accept his proposal, he was prepared for rejection. While Open Skies was still being considered, Eisenhower had stated, "I'll give it one shot. Then if ihey don't accept it, we'll By'



' QjcarcCO

Even though President Elsenhower had approved every stage ofevelopment, knowing full well that the aircraft was being built to fly over the Soviet Union, the actual decision to authorize such flights was very difficult for bim. He remair.ed concerned that overflights could poison relations with the Soviet Union and might even lead to hostilities. One argument that helped overcome the President's reluctance was tbe CIA's longstanding contentionlights might actually go undetected because Soviet radars would no* be able to track aircraft at such hign altitudes. This belief was based2 study of Soviet World War ll-vintage radars and5 tests using US radars,to USnot as effective as Soviet radars against high altitude targets. Shortlyperations began, however, the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI)ulnerability study ofhat was published onhe study's conclusion was thatum Soviet radar detection ranges against Ihe Projeci aircraft alin cicess0 feet would vary fromn our opinion, detection can thereforr behe OSI Study added, however, "It is doubtful that the Soviets can achievetracking of the Projectompleted just three weeksthe ioitation of overflights, this study seems to have had little impact on the thinking of the top project officials. They continued to believe that the Soviets would not be able to tracknd might even fail to detect it, except for possible vague indications."

Soviet radars were not President Eisenhower's only concern Also feanngalfunction mighto crash inside the Soviet Union, he asked Allen Dulles what the consequences would be. The President's staff secretary, Col Andrew J. Cioodpaster. who was present at virtually all White House meetings onroject and served as the President's intermediary lo the CIA on this issue, huer recalled'

Allen's approach was that we were unlikely to lose one. If we did lose one. the pilot would note wereIt was pert of Our undemanding of theit wascertain that the plane would disintegrate and that we could

' OSA Hutary. ttu?l <TS Codewonllihe beliefiihi go weied tee me Ughomidt>'l7 CNe- Tort.I.

r. Ineeevie* byedto-.




Mi.'* il iu ti certainty ihot no pilol wouldnd /hatthey would knowthe plant came Iron: ii would be aiffuTuil lo prove it in any convincing way."

CIA assurances (haiould probably not be detected, andould not be traced backhe United States, helped overcome theorries about overflights. The most important reason why President Eisenhower decided to sendaircraft over the Soviet Union, however, was the urgent need for accurate intelligence to confirm or disprove claims of Soviet advances in toog-range bombers and missiles. The initial sighting of the new Soviet Bison bomber in the spring* had been followed by reported sightings of more thanf these bombers in the spnng and summer5 (in reality these were sightings of the same group ofircraft that circled around out of sight and made several passesoviet air show) Soon members of Congress were calling for investigations into the relative strength of the US and


Soviet Aitarlyoncernossible Soviet advantage in long-range bombers grew as Air Force Chief of Staff Twining inforrned Ihe Senate Armed Services Committee that the Soviet Union already had more Bisons than the United Statesnd that the Soviets would be able to "maintain this advantage for some time if they keep on the production curve we are now" Byeporting on the growing Soviet air strength was no longer confined to aviation. News and World Report, for example, featured articles headlined "Can Soviets Take the Airnd. Really Losing in the

' Be*cn Hou. "aUrunn Jri Airpowrr GMi Fan anvmno* Wml.ijWwt iior, Spar! Deenw on US. Bed Airpooervatic

Hv.l. T.

" CUcdt-Huuin. OwpoMt USan, CoaereM.'kM. If. PLoben Hauinreuxi2..

"Can Soneuie Air lead? Whatilson. IkeSnd Woridllp tOflU; "ii US Baali, Lotirj int*rmn. II..

" WUlxn. Co^bhn. "Gard-ei Defends Greater KAZ>. 14

p. HSS.

Alongside fear of possible Soviet superiority io long-range bombersew potential threat: Soviet ptogiess in guidedresearch. Trevor Gardner. Air Force Assistant Secretary for Research and Development, warned in5 that "the most complex and baffling technological mystery today is not the Russian capability in aircraft and nuclear weapons but rather what the Soviet progress has been in the Held of guidednune magazine made tbe guided rriissile its cover story. The ancle began byypothetical crisis set2 in which the United Statesumiliating defeat because it had lugged behind the Soviet Union in guided missileust two weeks after this story appeared, the Soviets successfullyissileangeiles, and President Eisenhower admittedress conference thai the Soviet Union might be ahead of the United Stales in some areas of the missile field. Administration critic Senator Stuart Symington ther. claimed. The facts are thai our missile development may be ahead in the short-range area, but theirdevelopment is ahead in the area that counts by far the

Following ihe success ofirst mission. Bisscll was eager to begin overflights of the Soviei Union. But even after the President granted his approval onure, such missions could not yet take place for two reasons. First. President Eisenhower had agreedLA and Stare Department recommendation thai West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer be informed in advance of US plans to overfly the Soviet Union from bases in Germanyeeping withpolicies Adenauer was not informed about overflights of Eastern Europe) Second. Soviet party chief Nikita Khrushchev had invited representatives of the US Air Force to the Moscow Air Show, which opened oned by Air Force Chief of Staff Nathan F. Twining, the delegation would be in the Soviet Unioneek, and General Twining requested that no overflights of the Soviet Union be staged until the Air Force delegaiion had left."

Both of these restrictions on overflights of the Soviet Union were cleared up by (he end of.

A few days later the Air Force delegation returned from Moscow, but now unfavorable weather prevented the start of opera tions agunsi the Soviet Union-While waiting for the clouds over ihc Soviet Union to Clear.arried out two more overflights of Eastern Europe9 over Czechoslovakia. Hungary, and Bulgaria; and0 over East Germany. Poland, Hungary, and Romania. That afternoon BisseU and DDC1 Cabell gave Ptesidentetailed briefing on theverflight, which the President found "very interesting, veryisenhower was anxious to know, however, whether radars had tracked the aircraft. Bisscll replied that, although East European radars had picked up theune flight, radar operators had misread the altiadc as0 feel. He added that the Agency was awaiting reports on thatflights to see if they. too. had been detected. Noting that

" Mduvt F. MriBK, StukuarVo (Ne. Vert:trtetort a. WrppT fTS Code-oral

" OU AW* cttap. II.TS Codeword)

Chapter 3


detachment had four aircraft working and could average up to two Bights pet day. Bissell (old the President that the crews were "ready and eager to go tn beyond the satellites" and overfly the center of the Soviet Union.0

Eisenhower replied ihat he thought i( "urgent" to know whether the recent flights had been (racked by hostilehe Presidem wasoncerned that ClA estimates thaiould fly virtually undetected were proving lalse. One of the reasons why he had approved the overflight program was thessurance that the Soviet Union would remain unaware of the flightsthe veryonly occasional, vague indications.


The question of how well the Soviets couldights had not yet been settled when the first overflights of ibe Soviet Union look place. On2 known ase-gan the first flight over the Soviet Union. Final aulhorizarjonad come shortly before takeoff. Laie on the eveninguly. Bissell wen: to project headquarters in the Matomic Building to give the "Go" or "No go" decision. Although theadthe overflight, the final decision toission dependedumber of factors, especially the weaiher over the target area and at ihe takeoff and landing sites. Bissell made Ihe decision jusi before midnight Washington time, which was six o'clock in the morning in Wiesbaden. This pattern of last-minute approvals coniinued for the duration ofverflight program.1'

When Wiesbaden receivedamera and flown by pilotoff on a

course lha: took it over Poznan. Potar*^rrfretwa7itad occurredune Afterfor Belorusiia. where he turned north to Leningrad. The last leg of the mission tookver the Soviet Baltic stales before returning io Wiesbaden. The main target of this mission was the naval shipyards in Leningtad. center of

"oMpaawri^ ncao, MMHOSS. Alpha. DDELfTSI



ihc Soviei Union'* subrruuir* construction program.s route alsoumber of major military airfields io make an inventory of Ibo new Bison jet-engine heavy bomber1'

the second overflight, on the following day. cont.nucd thewas similar but

somewhat to the south ofalsoftew farther cast, more

ilometers past Moscow^vtthough the Soviet capiul wascompletely hidden by clouds,amera with haze filters look some usable photographs of the city. These lurried out to be (hehotographs of Moscow because no other mission was sent over the Soviet capital Among the key targets photographed dunng4 were the Fiii airframe plant, where (he Bison was being built, the bomber arsenal at Ramenskoye. where the Bisons werethe Kaliningrad missile plant; aod the Khimki rocket-engine

When Allen Dulles returned lo work one asked Bisscll if any overflights had taken place during the Inclependence Day holiday. One bad been made on the fourth and an-othei just that morning. Bissel! replied. (Because of the six-hour time difference,uly flight was safely back in Wiesbaden by the time Dulies spoke tohen Dulles asked the routes of these missions. Bisscll told him that they had overflown both Moscow and Leningrad. "Oh myulles exclaimed, "do you Ihink lhat was wise the firstisscll replied, "'the first is the

Pie side nt Eisenhower also wanted to know the results ofuly flights, but his principal concern was whether there had been any indication that either flight had been discovered or tracked by radar. Eisenhower told Colonel Goodpaster "to advise Mr. Allen

hitrmerkm CauifDmetontc of Soeeee ind Te-anetoifFiC HoKni- "of0 (Sic


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Dulles thai if we obtain any information or warning that any of the flights ha* been discovered or tracked. Ihe operation should beGDodpastcr called both Dulles and Bissell and was told that reports on tracking or anetnpted interception ofs would not be available for anotherours. Later that day the two CIA officials met with Goodpaster to ask if flights could continue in ihe meantime Goodpasier replied ihat his understanding of ihe President's directive was thai ihe operation should continue "at ihe maximum rate until the first evidence of 'jacking was

AHhough Presidem Eisenhower had originally spoken ofihe ovetflighis if they were "discovered oris main concern was io leam if the Soviet! couldissions, meaning that tbey could follow the flight on their radar screens for mosi or all of the missions and thus have numerous opportunities to attempt interception Certainly the Presidem hopedlight* could noi even be detected, but reports received on theuneol Eastern Europe had already itvdicaied that this goal was unre-alistic The Presidents emphasis therefore shiftedracking. If the Soviets could successfullyissions, he wantedeports on Soviet radar coverage of ihe first two overflights of ihe Soviet Union became availableuly. These re-pons showed that, although the Soviets did detect the aircraft and made several very unsuccessful attempts at interception they could nots consistently Interestingly, the Soviet radar coverage was weakest around the most important targets. Moscow and Leningrad, and ihe Soviets did not realizes had overflown ihese two cities."

arned out three more overflights of the Soviet Union duringday period authorized by ihe President. Two of theook placeinglehey covered much of Eastern Europe, and the Ukraine and Belorussta in theUnion.roken camera

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shuiier ruined much of the prvoograptiv of on* of Ihe flights. The thirdn ihe following day. inclnded the Crimean PeinsuU."

The film from the first overflight.uly) was flown to the United States immediately afteranded at Wiesbaden. Several members of (he Photo Intelligence Division wete on hand when the film was developed to cheek on the results. Also present was James Baker, who had accepted an offer by protect officials to get alook at how theenses were working

The riooeos from July overflights were generally good, despiw occasional problems caused by cloud cover. The huge amount of film taken by these missions provided more information about the Soviet Union's ability to track ands. Phwointerpretetsthe films eventually discovered the tiny images ofndeneaths in various pursuit and attack attitudes; climbing, flipping over, and falling toward Earth. It was even possible to determine their approfimare altitudes. These photographs showed that the Soviet air defense system was able tos well enough to attempt iMetception. but they also provided proof thatighter aircraft available to the Soviet Union6 could not bringt operaiioral altitJde "

m 'rASrn XOO9. OS*JBJBBBjBj>>Tv Codeword]

" CoonJi^hMi toxrvie- (IS Code-onfJ.

merrc- (TS Cooe-orti

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One problem withhotography became apparent only after the first films were developed. If there was surface water on the runway at Wiesbaden whenook off. the camera windowsbegrimed Although the water dried during tbe flight, the oily scum it left behind degraded the photographic image. To combat this problem. AQUATONE ground crews took brooms and spent several hours before takeoff sweeping puddles of water from the runway to be used by. Kelly Johnson eventually designed ajetrisonable cover for the camera windows, which was released at the same time as the pogos so that it could be recovered and reused.

soviet protest note

uly overflightsrong protest from dia Soviei Union onuly in the formote handed to :he USoscow. The note said thai the overflights had been made by amedium bomber of ihe Untied States Air Force" and gave details of ihe routes flown by theo missions. The note did not menlion Moscow or Leningrad, however, because the Soviets had not been able to track ihese portions of ihe overflights. The Soviet note Stated thai Ihe flights could only be evaluaied asand conducted fot Ihe purposes ofs soon as the note arrived ai ihr White House on the evening ofolonel Goodpasier called Bisscll and told himtopuntil further notice. The next morr-ing Goodpaster met with Brsseli to reviewituation Bisscll said three additional flights had taken place since ihe missions merrtioned in the Soviet note but added mm no more were planned."

Later Eisenhower told Goodpaster that he "didn'thing" about the Soviet note and was going to discuss ihe matter with Secretary of State Dulles. With the strong approval of Prejident Eisenhower. Goodpaster informed DCI Dulles that "there is io be no mention of the existence of this project or of operations incident to ii, outside the Executive Branch, and no mention within the Executive Branch to others than those who directly need to know of the opera, oon. as distinguished from output deriving from it."*

During these initial overflights,lew0 feet aod could be seen only feelingly by pilots of the Soviet interceptor aircraft- Thus, it appears that the Soviet claim that the intruderwin-engine bomber was probaWy based on the assumption (hat this

was another overflighteconnaissance version of the tmifl engine Canberra bomber, similar to the RAF overflight of Kapustin Yar in


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UtmoraaSom ic iM ftworfl. IIMOSS. Alpha. OTXL CIS,

" Andre-oodpmr. Mnrwnli for rfcr Rtvont IIHOSV At**!

he US reply, sent to ihe Soviets onuly, truthfully denied that any US "military planes" had overflown the Soviet Union on the days in question. Meanwhile, onuly the Polish Ambassador io

ihe United Scale* delivered an oral protest concerning overflights of Poland onuneuly. This was followedrotest note from the Czechoslovak Government onuly. No fotmal reply was senihe two Soviet satellite states."

Tne details of the flightpaths listed in the Soviet and Polishalong with tne subsequent photographic evidence of Sovietattempts, made it clears could not fly undetected over the Soviet Union or Eastern Europe and could even be tracked for extended periods of time This news greatly disturbed President Eisenhower.eeting with Allen Dulles onhe President recalled how he had beer, (old that "notery minor percentage of these (flights) would be pickede went on to question "bow far this should now be pushed, knowing that detection is not likely to befter discussing the possibility ofs in the Far East. President Eisenhower went onhat he had "lost enthusiasm" forctivity. He noted that, if the United States were on (he receiving endoviet ovcrflighl operation, "the reaction would behe President was also concerned that ihe American public might learn of the overflights and be shocked that iheir country had violated iniemstional law. He staled. "Soviet pio-tests were one thing, any loss of confidence b> our own people would be quiic

ral MIT scholars

The President's rapid divtnchantment with the project wason Richard Bissell. Fearing forrogram's survival,with the Land committee in early6 to urge themmakeess vulnerable to radar pulses. His goal wasmm aircraft's radar cross section so that it would be lessto detection. Edward Puicell had some ideas on this andthat heew pioject in the Boston area toAl the director, of the Land comminee. Bissell set in motionknown asestablish

Ji JJ fTS Codeword!.

"er^rnDES, (TS>-

who conducted studies ano experiments ir

radar-absorbing aiaterials trxf irchniques proposed byheknown is Projeci RAINBOW, got under way by ite end of the



During ihe three-week period ofune0* had mad: eight overflight* beyond the iron Curtain, including five over ihe Soviet Unioc- PID'* phcwnterprcicrs were busy until the end of August with their initial evaluation of tbe photography obtained by these flights Their efforts were complicated by (he division's moveuly from Que Building to the Steuart Building, but. when the photoinierpreters were finished, they were able io write "finis" to the conuoveisy over Soviei bomber strength.

Although the Air Force had claimed that the Sovietf the newBison) heavyhotography proved this assertion wrong. There were no Bison bombers at any of the nine long-range bomber bases photographed by the July missions. DCI Allen Dulles was paniculaily impressed by the photographs of the Soviet bomber bases, which in later years tie called "million-dollar" photography. The actual value ofhofos was probably even greater because, on the strength of theirthe While House was able to deny Air Force requestsombers io "catch ap" to the Soviets*

" Ranch.

" NPIC Afeftft> vol. I, p.S)

Because of the need to protect the source of the information about Soviet bomber strength, the controversy surrounding this issue did noi immediately die down,hen the CIA began providing new Hi von production figures basedw-.thout identifying the source, some members ofunaware of ihe existence of thethe motivationthe reduced estimates. They suggested thai either the earlierof Soviet bomber strength had been inflated to increase Air Force appropriations or the new estimates had been reduced by White House direction in order to hold down military expenditures.

No one in ihe White House, ihe HA. or me Air Force could revealhotographs had aciually provided the primary evidence for this change in the esiimatei "

d ta keep the existence ofrogram secret caused problcRU even within the CIA itself The Office of Security sharply restricied the number of persons who could be cleared for accesshotography. The special clearance was grantedslot"and only the person assignedarticular position or "slot" could have the clearancehotographs weie keptecure room, and only those with special clearances were admitted to the room. In addition, the Office of Securityformation too sensitive to use in CIA publicationsesuh. many analysts did not have access to information that would have greatly aided the production of intelligence estimates."



s had ceased fly;ng over the Soviet Bloc because of President Eisenhower's standdown order, they could stili be used elsewhere in the world. The Middle East would be the next areaperations. Ongyptian President Gamal Abdct Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal Company in retaliation for theby the United States and the United Ivingdom to withdrawsupport for the Aswan Dam project-ovoked an irtemat.onal crisis that wouldermanent effect onrogram.

" John moat.Wyiii

IHtf Yort OutP

"fTS Qot**erty

Long before the Suez Crisis developed, the CIA had planned tos in Turkey for use in the Soviet overflight program.S Charge d'Affaire* Foy D. Kohler approached Turkish Prime Minister Adruui Mcnderes on this matter He told the Pnme Minister that the effortontinuation of the GEhiETRIXduring which balloon* had been released from Turkey, andaircraft that could0 feet higher than any Soviet plane. Mcnderes gave his approval immediately. Al the time of the


Chapter 3











takeover, however, the second contingentircraft andwas soil being trained iniit unit would not be ready for redeployment before the enc^tAugust and would not becomeat lnciriik alrbase near Adana. Turkey, until early September

he Agency referred to die AQUATONE detachment at Adana

at Detachment B. crYKOflvrnl

[By whatever name, the Adana deuchment became the rnainsuyctivity for tbe next threealf years *

The fast-moving events of the Suet Crisis would not wait forilots to complete their training With tension growing between Egypt and the Sue/ Canal Company's former owners, the United Kingdom and France, as well as between Egypt and Israel, US

" OSA Horary, tta? II ftp S. II (TS Codeword)

military and foreign policy planners needed immediate information about developments in the eastern Mediterraneanas. therefore, assigned the first Middle East overflights. On45 left Wiesbaden and overflew the eastern

Mediterranean littoral,

secausc thev. target areas were beyond

round trip range of thes. the planesAdana for refuelicg. The next day, the same two planes, withpilots, took off from Adana and overflew the same Middlethis time includingreturning to

Wiesbaden. The film contained evidence of large numbers of British troops oo Malta and Cyprus and more ncwH ^Hlhan had previously been reportedm'

As the situation around Suet grew more tense, the Eisenhower administration decided to release some ofhotos to the British Government.eptember. James Reber. chairman of the Ad Hoc Requirements Committee, and Arthur Lundahl. chief of the Photo Intelligence Division, flew to London, taking with them photos of the eastern Mediterranean area, including the Suez Canal, taken onugust These were the first and (he only photos of ihe Middle East that live Presidem authorized io be given to the British during6 crisis'*

The Eisenhower admin isuatioo viewed ihe envelopments in the eastern Mediterranean with great concern. To keep the President and Secretary of State abreast of developments in the area. Deputy Director for Intelligence Robert Amory established onultiagency group known as the PARAMOUNT Committee to mom to* the situationound the clock basis. The PARAMOUNT Committee worked inside PID headquarters in the Steuart Building. Composed of members from CIA. State, NSA, Army. Navy, and Air Force, this comminee metseveral limes aproduce reports based on information obtainedhoiogra-phy. communications and electronic intelligence, and agents. The photoimcrprcters working for the PAR.MOL"NTcommirree also came from several agencies: the CIA, the Army, and the Navy "

Mission. OSAndcord).

indatT. and Brut-mi ieeetvie- (TS Code-orUl; WWC HlfOry. volK ffure-y. vol. I.S>.

The Suez Crisisajor turning point in the use ofirplane. Before this crisis,ad been seen solelyollector of strategic intelligence, with high-quality results considered more important thanilm had. therefore, been returnedhe manufacturer for optimum development and then interpreted in Washington using the most up-to-date devices Now. because of the Middle East crisis. Project AQUATONE was expected to performactical reconnaissance unit, developing film immediately after landing for instant interpretation orhoto-Intelligencepersonnel assigned to Project HTAUTOMATilmtherefore, had to arrange for forward processing ofilmvoid unacceptable delays in providing intelligence on radical developments around Suez.

PID acted quickly to carry out its new assigrmeni. Lundahl and Reber flew ftom the Uniied Kingcdm to US Air Force Europein Wiesbaden oneotember to make arrangements for

processing and inixrprr|iirigli-2fihn inhad

been preceded byof PID'S SoeciaJFollowing detailed discussions with Air Forcepersonnel, the CIA representatives arrangedseearby Air Force photo laboratory forthe assistance ofof ihe HTAUTOMAf

photo laboratory, and

readyce*sing on the following day. when theission returned from the Middle East After quickly developing the film.

and his joint staff of CIA and armed forces personnel stud-it for indications of British and French preparations for hostilities and sent their first report to Washington oneptember.

Although the Air Force provided considerable assistance inbomc.ry. air Force officials did not like the idea of CIA personnel controlling overseas photo processing and mterpretation centers, which were normally under Air ForceFurther negotiations ledIA-Air Force agreement at thef October, under which the Air Force would name the commanding officer for such irtstallatioos and tbe CIA would designate the deputy, who was responsible for technical and intelligence mailers."

PID soon added two photointerpretersab technician to theiion, which continued io develop and interpretf the Middle Rati throughout September and


his unit's timely and accurate information enabled the PARAMOUNT Committee to predict the joint Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt three days before it took place

test of the month.ilots flew another eight missions over the Middle East. By this time, the newn Turkey was ready for operations, and it was better positioned to provideof the Middle East.egan flying missions in September and soon became the primary detachment for Middle East overflights, conducting nine out of theuch missions flown in October."

" OSAluiociiS Code-crt).

onoihl ind Bruporii interview (TSwigh! Enen'rawef m

Detachment B'slight, on IIade


ered these activitiesviolation of0 Tnpartite Declaration, in which the United Slates, ihe United Kingdom, and Fiance had agreed to maintain the status quo in annainents andhe Middle East. I

hotography coiuinjcd to keep the President andoCMtkey officials well informed about the progress of the crisis


"of Stare loon Foster told the President onooer tha: he believed an Israeli attack on Jordan was imminent, adding that he thought the British and French would take advantage of such an at tack to occupy the Suez Canal"

day Middle East war began on the afternoon of6 with Israeli ruuatroop drops in the Sinai peninsula, fo lowed by mobile columns striking deep into Egyptian territory

[where he

photographed black putts ot smoke rrom tne righting between Israel and Egypt.s werehe air for the next two days filming the Suez Canal area]

The United Kingdom and France entered the fray on the evening ofctober with bombing raids against major Egyptian airfields. Tl* Anglo-French bombing campaign continued foi the nextours. Earl; cn the morningQverrber. any

LandaM and BrvjxiniIS Codeword)

" Ttieo-or* calls,DE Diary.

0 Ocrcfcn im

il Almara. where he filmed neatly arranged tow* of Egyptian miliary aircraft. Continuing put Cairo to film another airfield, ^turned southeast and then north to fly along the Nile, again crossing directly over Alinaza. The photography from this leg of the mission revealed the burning wreckage of the Egyptian aircraft. During the short period of time -hat had passedmombined Anglo-French air armada had attacked the alrbase. When shown the before and after photos of Almaza. President Eisenhower told Arthur Lundahl: "Ten-minute reconnaissance, nowoal to shootisenhower was pleased with the aerial photography but

angered by what it depicted: art Anglo-French attack on Egypt. He railed jh

ovember mission over Cyprus and Egypt alsoAnglo-French preparations to invade Egypt. President Eisenhower was informed of this impending invasion onovember. On the following day. British and French paratroopers dropped near Port Said at the north end of the Suet Canal. This action prompted Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin to send messages to France. Britain, and Israel warring that the Soviet Union was ready to use force to crush the aggressors."

Early on the morning of electionovember, the Anglo-French invasion armada arrived at Port Said and began landing troops. Back in Washington President Eisenhower met with Allen Dulles to discuss the deepening international crisis. Worried ihat the Soviet Union might be poised to intervene in the war. the President ordered Dulles to have the Adanaver Syriaee whether the Soviets were moving planes tobases in preparationtrike against ihe forces attacking Egypt. The answerisenhower's question came much sooner than expected because on ihe previousad already overflown Syria beforeun across northern Egypt. The film from this flight had reached Wiesbaden for processing and readout during ihe night The results were in the hands of (he PARAMOUNT Committee by midmomingovember, while the President was motoring to Gettysburg to cast his ballot By ihe time the President returned to the White House by helicopter at noon, Colonel Goodpaster was waiting for him with an answer: there were no Soviet aitcraft in Syria. Becouse of the President's concern about possible Soviet moves. Syria was the targetightsovember and

The increasing reliance ons for coverage of the Middle East during the Suet Crisis made it difficult for the photointerprcters io supply timely information Whenircraft relumed to their base at Adana, there were no film-processing

" doruld uwi .uaf (nr-vortaw; srtaun.p

"olowmptfeiwnm-tr Dluy.. doel (UI: OSA tfliio-y.rwt.TS OnSt-wdt

fKilities available, and Ihe film had io be Mown loadding

o IS-hour delay. During (he gradual buiWupofthecrisishad been lolcraied, but. once actual hostilities broke out.isior. makersoreesponse.issell ordered Lundahl toilm processingPID employees3 November lothe facility, and two photoirrterpteteri moved rrom|help in the effort. Forward processing was,the I


long supply line.

The PID team obtained andrailer for filmmany problems had to be overcome. The fiist majot problemenough clean water.ersonnel,large amouni* of borax locally for use in purifyingfact, they nought so much borax on the local rriarke: that onewas believed he was using

the chemical to makeTrugsTM*asaJsodifficult toonstant source of developers and fixers for processingilm, since the large Air Force supply facility at Wheelus AFB in Libya refusedrovide (he needed photographic chemicals. When PID personnel ac-comrttnicOrocessed film |Ihe United Slates,I sitting atop rartonsof chemicals for the next day's processing^Atfirst. film was developed in improvised lanks using flimsy wooden spools and hand-turned cranks to move ihe film through the solutions Later, themoved from its traileruilding and received moreate processing; equipment. At was the case with the photo lab nel came from the Agency and me armea

Trie need so produce very timely intelligence diminished after ihe British and French agreedease-firey the end of the month, foreign troops began evacuating Egyptianand the pressure on Iunit eased The facility remained in existrmceTiowever. and was used twice in6 and II times in the first halft was then placed in caretaker Status, for emergency use only.

" KFIC* imnvw. (TSl


Throughout ihe fall* pro* ided %aluabie coverage of Ihe Middle East crisis, bo: they were nrx conducting (heir origina: mission of ttnuegic reconnaissance of ihc Soviet Union. President Eisenhower had halied allerflighis by hii order ofuly. aod. in ihe months thai followed, he remained unconvinced by CIA arguments in favoresumption of overflighis. OnDCI Cabell and Richard Bissell went to ihe While House lo ask President Eisenhower to authorize mote flights over ihe Soviet Union. Adm. Arthur W. Radford. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also at tended the meeting. Bissell and Defense Department representatives reviewed the valuable intelligence fiom theights, and Bisscll -hen informed Eisenhower that many important intelligence re quirements remained unfilled. To fill these requirements. Bissellwould require photography of apprcutimatelyeparate areas of the Soviet Union. Pleading for the autlvonty io resume overflights. Bissell stressed thai conditions for photography wereless favorable as the days grew shorter. Whileas Cher, suit safe from interception, he added, it might not be in the future.

President Eisenhowct acknowledged the value ofut emphasized that the international political aspects of overflightshis overriding concern. He said he would talk further with John Foster Dulles about the matter, noting that the Secretary of State had at firsi seemed to belittle ihe poltitcal risk but had later found it increasingly worrisome.

A little more than two weeks later,ctober, when the President again met with Bissell. Cabell, and Radford. John Foster Dulles was also present. In opening the meeong. Eisenhower said he had becorne discouraged regarding Projeci AQUATONE. Although he had been assured thatwouldood chance of not being discovered on most, if not all. operations, just the opposite had provedhe President observed that arguments ir. favorperations did not take world opinion into consideration He added that great effons had been made for many years "lo create an opinion in the world that we are not truculent and do not wantnd. if knowledge ofverflighis got out. world opinion would view them as "provocative and

" Afflre-Mtofantt. Memorandumonference. I' SeptemberOSS.

Aiphj. occt. rrsi.

-oodparei. MemoranAiri for aatnOer NX WMOSS. Alptu DOfi. (Til

Secretary of Stale Dulles said llul. although be essentially agreed wiih ihe President's comments, he thoughtallyresults" might be obtaineday operation He. nevertheless, questioned the long-ierm value of the results. DDCI Cabell repliedhotographs would be useful much longer than ihe Secretary of Slate had implied because they wouldeference bank of geographic and manmade feaiuret Siding with Cabell. Admiral Kadford pointed out the need for more intelligence to make estimates better.

Presidem Eisenhower was not convinced by lhese arguments Although willing to considei extensions of (he radar-seeking ferret flights he had autooriaed along the Soviet borders, heenetration flights over the Soviet Union.

Events in Eastern Europe in the fall6 helped to change tie President's mind. Ir. October the Soviet Union backed awayonfrontation with nationalist Communist leaders in Poland only to find itselfimilar situation in Hungary, where mass demon-suations led to the formationew government under Imre Nagy onoviet troops and tanks temporarily withdrew from Budapest while awaiting reinforcements. By early November, however, the Kremlin leadership decided that events in Hungary were getting out ofwhen Premier Nagy announced his nation's wiihrirawal from Ihe Warsawordered Soviel troops to suppress the Hungarian uprising. Although President Eisenhower deplored the Soviet intervention, be turned down ClA re quesrs fot permission to airdrop arms and supplies to the Huaganan rebels. In faci. the President forbid all oveifligfns of that nation,thoseirciafi. and none was made.**

*nterview (TS Coeiewd)

Although President Eisenhower had not been willing to allow overflights during the Hungarian crisis, the Soviet Union'sin Hungary convinced him to authorize renewed overflights of the Sovietecision that was made easier by his reelectionarge margin in early November Initially, however, the President only authorized overflights ofrope and Soviet border regions, not the deep penetration overtlighis thai had been requested by CIA.56 meeting with Acting Secretary of State Herbert Hoover. Jr. (John Foster Dulles was recovering from cancer



CS Chairman Adm. Arthur Radford, DCI Allen Dulles, and Richard Bissell, Eisenhower explained why he refusedllowof the Sovici Union: "Everyone in ihe world says thai, in the last six weeks, the United States haslace it hasn't held since World War II. To make trips now would cost more than we would gain in form of solidoover agreed and noted. "If welane at this stage, it would be almostom between his desire tocorrect and moral" position and his wish to know what the Soviet Union was up to. the President finally authorized several overflights of Eastern Europe and the Soviet border, "but noi ihe deepdding thai ihe aircraft should "stay as close to the border as possible.""

The first of these flights,6 onas the first overflight of Soviet territory sinceuly. This mission left Adana and flew east over Iran, then reversed and Hew west along the Soviet-Irani an border lo Soviet Armenia, where i: crossed inio the Soviet Union and photographed Yerevan. An electrical malfunction then forced the pilot. Francis Gary Powers, io return lo Adana. Soviet interceptor aircraft made several unsuccessful attempts to reach. and the Soviet Governmentecret protest note to Washington*1

Onecember. Bulgaria was the target ofS) fromt Adana anden ifighter aircraft made IO dif-

ferent attempts to intercept ihe first mission, but the flight proceeded without difficulty."

The second flight came close to crashing but not through theof interceptors. The pilot of9 was who had flown theission over Moscow on known to his colleagues as the Lemon-Drop Kid because he always carried ihese hard candies in Ihe knee pockei of his flight suit. Despite


. OSAS CcU-prd)

warnings to all pilots about the danger of opening the helmetat high altitudes, several pilots weie known to do so.avored lemon drops. On the morning ofprebrcaihing, the Air Force en-

listed man whooversaw his preflight regimen placedill in the righthand knee pocket oSWuit, unaware (hat this pocket also containeddrops. After he tookegan indulgin^rnus habit of sucking lemon drops. About midway into the mission, he opened his faceplate and popped into his mouth what he (bought was another lemon drop. After closing the faceplate, he began sucking on the object and thought it strange that it had no flavor and was much smoother than (he previous lemon drops. Although tempted to bite down. WmU decided instead ta reopen his faceplate and see what it was lie Main his mouth. Spitting the object into his hand, he saw that he had been sucking onill with its lethal contents of potassium cyanide.hin layer of glass had stood between him and death. The loss of his aircraft over Bulgaria would have exposed therogram to worldwide publicity and would probably have resulted in an early end to overflights.*'

Detachment A's security officer overheard ^relating the

L-pillellow pilot several days later and promptly reported the conversation to headquarters. When details ofa" reached Washington, James Cunningham immediatelyills placed io boxes so that there would be no chance of mistaking (hern for anything else.ill continued to be available for another three years. Then inhe commander of Detachment B, Haiied an important question thai had never oeericoiisicis^MJTvTfaTwould happen ifill with its volatileaccidentally broke inside the cockpit? Realizing that such an accident would result in the death of the pilot. James Cunningham orccicd the destruction ofills and then turned to

the state of tiie ar. in IctliaTacvTxc^vasa needle poisoned with algal, an extremely deadly shellfish toxin. The needle was hiddeniny holeilver dollar supplied by Cunningham. Only one poison-nee-dle coin was made because Cunningham decided that, if any pilot had to use it because of capture, there would probably not be any more overflights.**

Althoughverflights of Eastern Europe inf> caused renewed Soviet protests, ihe sharpest enrotes; cacne onfter three specially modifted USAFphotographed the city of Vladivostokigh-speed dash over the Far Eastern coast of the Soviet Union (as pan of the Air Force's Operation BLACK KNIGHT) President Eisenhower had approved the mission after being told by the Air Force that the high-speedS would probabiy not be detected *

Reacting strongly to the Soviet protest- the President told Secretary of State Dulles on IS December that he was going to "order complete stoppage of ihis entireseply to the Sovrtt protest. Dulles said.hink we will have to admit, ihis was done and say we are sorry. We carinot denyalles noted that "our relations with Russia are pretty tense at theisenhower agreed, noting that this was no time to be provocative. He then instructed Colonel Good paster to call Secretary of Defense Wilton. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Radford, and DCI Dulles to order "Effective immediately, there are to be no flights by USaircraft over Iron Curtain

Flights along the borders of Iron Curtain countries continued, however, and. onlew the first)quipped for electronic intercept. The elec-uonic-deteciion equipment known as thenit (see appendix C) was installed in the bay normally used by the main camera, and the plane Hew along the Sonet border from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea and on to Afghanistan Thenit worked well.**

Earlyission along the Soviet border accidentally turned into an overflight On ISollectingintelligence along the Soviet southern border entered Soviet


meOE Ovary. DOtL. (UI:Vroraa4w9 Or mt UrceW. it Deeewbe. IW* WHOSS. Alpha. OOEL (ISto St theitf II7 an conuinee la "All*tret: of Soviet Ana by Americanaatiary.i-iii:had Men lo. reply lotto Uial tmt "oalyat Unix; Suae* A* Force fifhiaOr (corral*r norraal traawag acBniirv*

" Million9 IN. OSAodavard).

airspace because of compass error compountJedlight error in the pilot's dead reckoning. Because of heavy cloud cover, ihe pikM.

'ea!;zc heSoviet

Union until he saw Soviet fighters attemptingnteicept him. These

attempts at interception once again demoristrated the Soviets' ability to tracknd their inabttity to harm it."

At this point inrogram was in limbo. Although lae Preiident would nots to fly their primaryof reconnaissance of the Soviet Union, he did not cancel theand continued to authorize flights along Soviet borders. The CIA's overhead reconnaissance program alsoenewed bid by the Air Force, whicfi now had its ownooo-col of the overflight program in the springhe uncertainty surrounding the future of the project made planning and budgeting extremely difficult. Inichard Bissell asked the DCI and DOCI so pushecision on whetherrogram was toin civilian hands and what its scope was to be. In briefing papers ptcpared for the DCI, Bisscll argued foronmiluary overflight capability, which coJd "maintain greater security, employ deeper cover, use civilian pilots, keep trie aircraft ouisioe military control, and. therefore, make possible more plausible dental of US military responsibility in the face of any Sovietn urging the resumption of overflights. Bissell staled rhaisions over border regions of the Soviet Union or Eastern Europe had been detected by the Soviets without causing any diplomatic protest. He also noted that the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities had tnaoinsously recc-mmendrrl the resumption of overflights."*

" Infomuiion .uept.ri b,


*PfoTi Coor-ort)

All of these issues were discussedsiderii Eisenhower met with Deputy Secretary ofnald Quarles. Air Force Chief of Staff Nathan Twining, Acting Secretary of State Christian llerter. and three CIADCI Dulles. DDCI Cabell, and Richard Bisscll Tbe President expressed cum en. about the impact of overflights on US-Soviet relatiocs and about possible Soviet responses such as closing off access to Berlin. Although

remaining opposed to flights over most of ihe Sovietfinally agreed io permil some flights oversuch as Kamchaika Peninsula and Lake Baikal, as well as

^^program! staling oSat he preferred to have ihe aircrafi manned by civilians "during operations of this

The Presidem had once again agreedllow overflights of the Soviet Union, alihough only over certain areas, because the need io learn more about the capabiliiies and intentions of the Soviet Union was too compelling. In particular, the President and topofficials warned to gather more data on the Sovieiubject for which considerable Sovietno hardavailable.

Even after he had authorized the resumption of overflights. President Eisenhower maintained light control over the program. He personally authorized each overflight, which meant that Richard Bissell would bring maps to ihe White House with the proposed routes marked on them for the President to examine. Mare than once,to Bissell. Eisenhower spread the map oui on his Oval Office desk for detailed Study, usually with his son John {an Army officer servinghite House aide) and Colonel Goodpaster looking over his shoulder. On occasion, the President would pickencil anda flight leg or make some other correction to the flight plan."


* Andre- I. rjoodpoitff. Nfemonncwm of ConferenceOkRecord ofHOSS.S).

- BiivsU imervk-ftlKctachtichlou. Maytoy. p. W

One additional reason why President Eisenhower had againoverflights of the Soviet Union was renewed CIA promises thai Soviet detection or tracking ofas unlikely. At7 meeting with the Presidem, Richard Bissell reported on the progress that had been made in developing radar camouflage and


C-ic-cv -'ire

absorption devices for. Once these devices wen insultedmaehm9nls

thes. he explained, the majority of incidents would to lfie be

Work on methods of reducing's vulnerability to radarhad begun in the fall6 as the result of President Eisenhower's disenchantment with the overflight program followmjj Soviet detection and tracking of the first scriesissions.|

roject code named RAINBOW. |

" Andrew J. Csodpaucr. Memorandum o( Conference with dieay

Rccor) ofof MayHOSS. Aljfta. DOEL


formerly of MIT. convened theurccll into systems that could beclar-dcccpt:or. system consistederies of attachments to. First bamboo poles and later fiberglass rods were attached to the wings, where they would not interfere with the control surfaces. At the ends of these poles, completely circling

Chapter 3

Recoilt O'l ITSOSA records


Rcfexncct Hiprogram foire contained in rhe laler Cup-airPiOJKtJ FISH and KJNCF1SH. OSA icwiea.Code-on)).

engine ofnown as, causing il to overheatUnable io restart the power plani. Lockheed testSicker bailed out but was struck and (uUedintnidatt bytailplanc. The aircraft crashed in an

m^jxh teams iccdrd lour days to locate tne wreckage, nc extensive search attracted the attention of the press, and a

W'tCkige otS57

* ActidcN fokaer. cnuApril IW, OSA moralLoCkhcee cone. OSA Record* (SI


boom, whichi entire airframeseet in ihe air. technicians could change ihe airframe's attitude and run radar tests almostwithout having to fuel and fly the plane."

By the summeresting of the radar-deception system was complete, and in July the first "dirty bird" (DB) arrived athe first opcrauona!hi^ aircraft occurred on7 in0O- July, the same aircraftun over the Black Sea. Thereotal of nine DB missions over the USSR. The antiradar system did not prove very effective, and its use was curtailed in8 "


ook off from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to conduct the first intentional overflight of the Soviet Union sincehis mission broke new ground in iwoit was the first overflight conducted from American soil and the fitst by ihe new Detachment C.

known officially as WeatherFroas composed of the third group of pilotstheir ija:ni-gB| Hin the autumnew baw; becausebou' iatraining sitearge number of Air Force pilots whos purchased by the Air Force. The Agency decided thatlocation forould be

looking for bases there.

All remain-to Edwards

Detachment G.

Even withoui the arrival of ihe Air Force pilots.ould not have^ much longer. Inhefacility had to be evacuated


" Cunnlnthttn intervio (TS

ingpersonnel, maienci, ana air AFB. California, and became known

then turned to the Navy, which framed ^mission for Detachment Cuse the Naval Air Station at Atsugi. Japan. The Japanese Government received no notification of the proposed deploymentat that time it had no control over activities involving USbases in Japan. Deployment ofegan in7 but was complicatedecent decision to permit the families of Project AQUATONE employees to accwripany them on overseas totnetail, program managers had to find housing facilities on the base or in nearby communities, not an easy task in crowded Japan

' OS*chap IS. pp.:S.TS

Mtwo-1*o tMll* Srptemf--


egan conducting missions in7 after several aircraft and pilots flew to Eielson Air Force Base rear Fairbanks. Alaska Air Force radar order-of battle reports and NSA studies had regaled that the radar network in the Soviet Fa. East, with antiquated radar sets and personnelower caliber than those in the western Soviet Union, was relatively ineffective. To lakeof these weaknesses.taged three missions from Alaska into the Soviet Far East. The first,une (thecrossed the international date line during theas unable to prvwoftiph its target, the 1CBM impact area rearhe Kamchatka Peninsula, because of bad weather and. therefore, never entered Sovietecond attempt to photograph Klyuchiune was manedameta malfunction that mined every third frame of photography. This flight was tracked by Soviet radars, but there was no attempt a: interception.ause of almost (hrec months dunng which. thethird mission over Klyuchi on7 achieved excellent results The radaz-cteception* provedhowever, asas tracked by Soviet radar and crailed by five fighters."


The mosi important scries ot overflights in the surnmei' were ihose thattaged to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union's guided rnissile and nuclear programs. President Eisenhower


Republic of China (PRC) beginningugust (Operation SOFTday period, these aircraft iriade nine flighis: seven over the USSR and two over the PRC Although one of the seven flights over the USSRailure because the camera malfunctioned after takingxposures, the remainingover Central Asiaomplete Success, producing aof information, thai kept scores of photointeipieters busy for


the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. None of the mission planners was certain just where ihe range was located, soilot followed the rail lines in the areaesult, the plane did not pass directly over the rangehcad and obtained only oblique photography.

IZ. m.0 (TS Codt-oidV. WPfC Woof, .ot I.


Although known in the West today as Tyuratam, this missilehad no name when it was first photographed inn preparationriefing to President Eisenhower on the SOFT TOUCH photography. Dino Brugioni. an assistant io PID chief Arthur Landahl. examined all the existing maps of the area io see if he couldlace name for the missile base. Only one map. made by theduring World War ILommunity in theof ihe missile facility The settlement's name was Tyuratam. which means "arrow burial ground" in ihe Kazakh language, and this

was ihc name Brugioni gave rhe missile base. Official Soviet releases concerning this base have always referredi as Bayltonur. but the community of Baykonyr is actually moreiles north of Tyuratam.w

While PH> was Still analyzing the SOFT TOUCH photography, the Soviet Union announced the successful launch of anballisticBM) from Baykonyrnhe Soviet news agency TASS stated thai amultistage intercontinental ballistic rocket" had been successfully tested, adding "it is now possible to send missiles to any

nrerrW- fTS Codeword)


Sem'Qdtatinsk Nucfoo' Weapons Proving Ground.7

pan of Ihehe Soviet anr.ouncerncni made thewant even more information on Tyuratam. and apiloted byover the area on

jusi one week after the Soviet ICBM launch. Tnis mission obtained excellent vertical photographs of the main launch complex, and photoinierpreiers soon determined that the Soviets had only one laur.chpcd at Tyuratam The base was not photographed againt which lime it still had only one launch pad. although twoere under construe lion.**

Onnds conducted the first ovrrrflighu of the Soviet nuclear testing grounds ai Semipalatinik. north-north-

^ett of Lake Balkhash. The fust mission, piloted:the proving grounds, flew on to

Novokuznetsk, and then proceeded to Tomsk, whete ii began its re-rum leg ihat included coverageery large uranium-processing fa-ciliiy at the new city of Beiezovskiy. In the second inn-.ion.J

directly iuer the Seir.Talaiinsk piovingonly four hoursalf-megaton device was detonated. In fact,nknowingly photographed the aircraft thai wasrop the

" -Is Kuula AVM In Staife

lion folder *MSi*OSATS

ils wayemipalaiinsk. Iheugust missioneaich paitem ovet the wesiern end of Lake Balkash looking forSoviet missile-related installation and inade Ihe firstof wrat was later determinede the new nutsile ves: center at Saryshagan This facility was used to test radars against incoming missiles fired from Kapusiin1 miles to the wesi. Saryshagan later became the center for the development of ihe Soviet Union'santiballislic missile (ADM) weapon system.

On- DDCI Cabell. hard Bissell. and Air Force Cnief of Staff Twining met with President Eiserhcwer to report on the results of Operaiion SOFT TOUCH. They showed tbe Presidem some of the photographic results of the earlier missions and reported on Ihe effects of Ihe antiradar measures. Although the antiradar measures had no! proved successful, (he photographic yield from the missions was extremely valuable. Bissell then inferrned the President that the SOFT TOUCH operation was just about towith the uar-sfer of the aircraft back to Adana. He askedfor ore ofs to make another overflight of the Soviet Union on this icium trip, bul the Presidem denied (he request, noi wishing to conduct any more overflights lhan weie necessary.*1


During the summerll overflights of Ibe Soviet Union were conducted by eillieir Detachment C.n Germanyess desirable starting point for overflights of the Soviet Union because such missions had to cross Eastern Europe first-increasing the likelihood of detection androtests Firrtftfrrnore. the Soviet Union's air defense and radar networks were strongest along its western bordeis, soissions over tbe southern portion of the Soviei Union andissions



'wdpimr.I* U* Record. IS AnfuwHOSS. Alpha. DDCL (TS)


in tbe Far East were less risky than those conducted by Detachment A. Finally, the main targethotography after the bomber issue receded was Soviet missile and nuclear progress- The testing areas for these weapons were located in the vast open spaces of theand eastern poroons of the Soviet Union, which lay beyond the range of Detachrnent A'i aircraft

The decline in importance ofad begun withstanddown order ofuring the nextthe detachment conducted onlyissions, all overregion rather than the original target of theand the slow pace of activity and change in missionpilot morale. One of the deiachment's aircraft was lost inoneptember, killingf mc! garneringpublicity. Conditions improved when the detachmentthe newly renovatedarly

but security nowroblem iheie.ersonnel discovereoong, black Soviet-Bloc limousine was parked at the end of | whenever theook off.*"

During the neat year.ounted only fourThe first two were over Eastern Europe; one over Bulgaria oa6 and the other over Albania onong period of inactivity followed. end;nghird mission onhich conducted electronic surveillance of

Although the final missions ofchieved excellent results, project headquarters had already decided that Western Europe wasatisfactory location for overflights of the Soviet Union and had notifiedn7 that its operations would cease in November Byll of thepersonnel and aircraft had returned to the United States. During Detachmentmonth period of operations, seven pilots



OFT water marttaged or wed byP

Yo; Missile Tesi Kange

Hoocaining photographsarge medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) cn the launch pad. Six days lateronducted Its successful overflight of the ICBM impact site at Klyuchi. and October saw the final two overflights of Detachment A. After these missions, penetration overflightsarity. There would be only six more during the nextonths: one,wo.. and three,0 {one of which wasuring this penod. President Eisenhower dida number of flights along Soviet border areas tha: occasionally penetrated short distances inside the border, but the Chief Executive had become extremely wary of authorizing "deep penetration" overflights, which invariably brought protests trom Moscow.

The boroer flights took place under tight cor.trols. Beginning in :he fallll messages from Washington to Adana givingfar flights aiong the Sonet border contained the statement "This isenetration overflight" and warned about flying too close io Soviet borders The Soviets even attempted to shoot down



Chapter 3


lying well within international airspace above ihe Black Sea. as was (he case onhen electronicigh: over (he Black Sea ihat never violated Soviet airspace revealedttempts at iruerception by Soviet fighters"

Theverflight8 was conductedirty bud from Detachment C.S.1 overflew the Soviei Far East and phoiographed ihe Trans-Sibenan Railroad. Soveiskaya Gavan', ihe Tuiar Strait,trange installation at Malaya Sazanka. which was eventually determined iotructure for mating nuclear devices wiih their detonators. This was the First andverflight of Ihe Soviet Union

he Soviet Unionigorous protest concerning this mission, prompting President Eisenhowerell Colonel Goodpasterarch to inform the CIAlights were to be "disconiinued. effective athis standdown was to last more thanonths, untilbe Soviets had not been fooled by the ami radar devices carried bys was oenwuoated by the detailed information about the mission containedoviet aioe-memoirc delivered on8 It was clear tha: dirty bird aircraft were not effective and that Soviet radar operators had link difficulty in tracking ihem. At this point, the Agencythe use of the antiradar devices on.ubsiitule. Lockheed began workingaint wiih radar-suppressant qualities, but this project also proved unsuccessful.

s ww not (he only cause for the Soviet protests that sothe President

Imil. OS* recordi.


|Ten days later the Air Force began launching balloonstony across the Soviei Union and Eastern Europe. This new balloon project (known as) had been authorized by President Eisenhower onune after Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald Quarles arguedmall number of balloons should be

launched lo lake advamageewly discovered change in ihe west-to-cast jet stream. Normally, this fast-moving airtayed ai an altitude0 feet. but. during June and July, it turned abruptly upward over the Bering Sea juit west of Alaska, climbedeel, and then reversed direction One of (he key arguments irtai convinced the President to approve the project was Quartet's claim trior the balfoons' "chance of being detected is rather small and their idemificaiion or shootdown practically

Release of the balloons look place from an aircraft carrier in the Bering Seaothing was heard about them until 28

July, when Polandote protesting the overflightS-made.

camera carrying balloon thai had fallen io earth in central Poland.

The loss of this balloon wai because of human error. Each balloon was equippediming device that would cause it to drop its camera and film payload after crossing (he target areas. An Air Force technician aboard ihe aircraft carrier had calculated Ihat the balloons should cross the Eurasian lardboutays. Thus, heregulators aboard the balloons to cause automaiic descentours aloft. When bad weather delayed the launch for threedays, however, the technician forgot to reset theesult, one payload fell into Poland. None of the threealloon payloads was recovered,

The Polish protest was quickly followedoviet noteihe balloons' violation of the Soviet Union's airspace. Several months later, the Soviets placed the US balloon and photographic equipment on display in Moscow for the world's press. President Eisenhower was angry thai the Defense Department's assurances lhai the balloons would not be detected had proved false Even worse. One of the balloons had been recovered by ihe Poles becauseorce had disobeyed his instructions for ihe balloon project. When the Air Foice had proposed the use of timers to bring down ihe balloons at the end of the mission, Eisenhower had said no. fearingal function could cause ihe balloons to come down prematurely. Furious ai (he Air Force's insubordination, ihe President ordered Genera!

I. Coodpoitrr. NUrrooraieuin for the Record.HOSS. Alpha. dml rrsi.

eljenWeh. "ObMrvatinii Balloon, and WeatheruutUt*

M (Spnnjp.S|.

Coodpasier onHell the Ait Force that "the project is to be discontinued at once and every cent that has been made avail-able as part of any project involving crossing the Iron Curiam is to be impounded, and no further eapenditures are to be*

Two days later Eisenhower followed up this Orderormal memorandum to Secrerary of Defense Neil McElroy telling hin that "there is disturbing evidenceeicnoratioo in the processes of discipline arm responsibility within the armedearticular, "unauthorized decisions which have apparently resulted in certain balloons falling within the temiory of the Communist Bloc" and overflights over routes "that contravened my standing

here was another violation of Sovietwhen an unarmed Air ForceO on an electronic intelligence collection mission crossed from Turkey irto Soviet Armenia and was shot down by Soviet fighter aircraft. Six of the men on board were killed and the remainingere never heard from again, despite State Department attempts to get the Soviet Union to reveal their fate

" Andnr> J. Gcodpaucr.or CM fUxont. ^WHOiSDK. (St Coodwc- idttrvhtw tl)

h AmOiowIht Prttultni.6

nijrtoLJfnOnOl FcMry IWM.

Uayday. t

Prrs-.den: Eisenhower was cUsnirbed by the increased superpower tension thai had reiulied from violation* of Soviet airspace by US balloons and aircraft because he still hoped to enter into armsnegotiations with tile Soviets.he United Statesote to the Soviet Union callingoviet answer to US proposalsstudy of the technical aspects of safeguards against the possibility of surprise attack" One week later the Soviets agreed to participate and suggested that the talks begineneva onS President Eisenhower was also attempting tothe Soviet Union to begin talks aimed at eliminating thetesting of nuclear weapons These efforts began28 offer to suspend US nuclcai tests for one year on the condition that the Soviet Union also refrain from farther tests and join in negotiations- Onugust. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchevthe proposal and agreedtart talks on8 in Geneva When the talks began, however, the Soviets refused to agreeest ban and carried out nuclear tests at Semipalatinskovember. Nevertheless, during the late summer and early autumn of

Eisenhower, determined to reduceinimumof the Soviets, keptverflight program

Inelations witn the Soviet Union worsenedKhrushchevew crisis over West Berlin byplans toeace treaty with East Germany by May

stated thatreaty would terminate Allied nghtsBerlin. Four days later. Soviet troops began harassing USconvoys on the highways leading from West Germany toAlthough this new Berlin crisis never became asthe blockade. President Eisenhower wished toactions that would provoke the Soviets. Tension over Westtherefore, an additional reason for continuing to keep thefrom the Soviet


Another reason for President Eisenhower's growing reluctance to au-thorite flights over the Soviet Union may have been concern ihai the Soviets were developing countermeasurci that would enable them io

" VnoMi*tl'itnl. 00


shoot. Before ihe program started. Richard Bissell had estimated ihaiould be able io fly over (he Sovtet Union wiift impuncty for only about two years. This period was already over, aod the Soviets were working frantically loeans iuverflights From the very beginning. Sov iet air defense units had net onlys with radars, but had also made repeated efTorts to shoot them down with antiaircraft weapons and interceptor aircraft.6 such attempted interceptions had involved primarilynd, which could barely0 fceL The adventnd MiO-2ls. whichmbhigher,reater threatilots

Realistic training for pilots learning to interceptecame possible after the Sovietsew high-altitude aircraft, the Mandrake, which was actually an imptoved version of thell-weather interceptor. The Mandiakeigh-lift, ow drag wing design similar to that employed by. but its twin rrngines rrstde it heavier. The Mandrakes operating altitude00 feet, and its maximum altitudear less than0 feet reached by. Like. the Mandrake's wings would not tolerate great stresses, so it could not be used as an attack aircraft at the high altitudes at which both planes operated.7akovlev builtof these aircraft tn two versions: therM and the Mandrakc-T. sometimes called rhehese high-altitudewere used to overfly the Middle East. India. China, and Pakistan, as well as border regions of NATO nations in Europe during thend. It is not believed that Mandrakes ever attempted to overfly the continental United States'"

Beginning inhe Mandrake servedractice target tor pilots oftTnance Soviet MiGndhe Soviet technique that mostilots was the "snap up" or power dive and zoom climb. In this maneuver, ground-based radar operators would direct the interceptor aircraft along the same flight path as. When the MiG pilot achieved the same compass heading aslying more0 feel above him, he would put his aircrafthallow dive to pick up

ak-ISHMe*ci Otfame coruar,

>peed. apply full throttleheen pull back on the stick and room as high as he could. In this manner the Soviet pilot hoped to come up directly beneatho he could use his guns and mis sites against thexited io silver against the dark blue-black of space. Using this maneuver, some MiGs were able to climb as high asut seldom got very close. At this height the MiGs were completely out of control; their small, swept-back wings providedlift: and (heir control surfaces were too small to maintain aircraftilots often spotted MiGs that reached the apex of their zoom climbs and (her. fell away toward (he earth The USgreatest fear was that one of the MiGs would actually collideoom climb."*

ilots complained that they fell like duckshootingundericumstances and suggested that the underside of the silvery aircraft be camouflaged in some man net Kelly Johnson had originally believedould fly so high that it would bethus eliminating the need to paint the aircraft and therebythe added weight and drag that pain: produced The paint penalty was calculated tooot of altitude for every pound ofull coat of paint costeet of altitude, substantially less thanoot penally paid for the addit.on of dirty bird devices

Byohnson agreed (hal something had to he done.eries of tests over Edwards AFB. Lockheed began coatingstandard blue-black miliiary specification paint on lopighter cloud-blue paint below. Subsequent testsicvcaled (hats were less conspicuous when paintediiiloverane-finish blue-black color, which helped (hem blend with ihe dark canopy of


Less conspicuous paints were not the only answer to (he growing threat of Sovietore powerful engine would increase's ma*imum altitude, which was the surest way to protect the aircraft from all Soviet threats. During8 andockheed began refitting the Agency'semainingoriginally the Agency had taken delivery oflanes and the Air


dwij f

tonuoci. OSA rtcorOi (Si.

Foice ofthe more powerfulI3 jet engine. This new power plantounds more thrust while addingounds more weight. With us greater power, the engine permittedo reach operational altitude more quick-ly. thereby reducing the telltale contrails thatroduced as it passed through the tropopause00 feet. With the newassed through this portion of the atmosphere faster and did so before entenng hostile airspace, thui reducing the chance of visual detection.ower plant also mace it possible foroarger payload and gaineet in altitude, rjermirting it to cruise0 feet. The new engines were in very short supply because of the needs of trie Airprogram, but Colonel Geary used his Air Force contacts to obiain an initial supply ofngines. The Air Force never equipped its orig.* withngines."

n Japan received the hrsi of these reenginedknownCs, innd two more arrived in Turkey forn August. AUs had the new engines by the summerut by thenevens remained in service.

Althoughas used less and less for its original role ofstrategic irtel.igence on the Soviet Bloc, it had acquired the new mission of pioviding US decisionmakers with up-to-date information on ensis situations all around the world The first use ofo gather tactical intelligence occurred during6 Suei Crisis.s from the Turkish-basedonductedoveiflights lo monitor the situation in the troubled Middle East, and they became especially active during the summers.

Onresident Eisenhower ordered US troops lo land in Lebanon in responseequest for assistance by Lebanese President Camllle Chamoun. Three months earlier. Eisenhower had turnedimilar; because the rioting thai had led President Chamoun to ask for American aid had died down beforebecame necessary In July, however. President Eisenhower saw the overall situation inJc'e East as rrueh moreOnuly forces aligned toward Egyptian Presidem Gama;

- OSA MUrevv.TSrtry tSl

Arxkel MM overthrew ihc Government of inq and assassinated the royal family. Long coocetnec by the growing influence of Nasser, who had close ties to the Soviet Union and now headed both Egypt and Syria in the new United Arab Republic, President Eisenhoweriha; US intervention was necessary to stabilize the situation in Lebanon and to show Nasser that the United States was willing to use force to defend its vital interests in the region. Before intervening in Lebanon, the United States consulted with the United Kingdom, which also decided to intervene in the Middle East by sending para troopers to assist the Government of Jordan onuly.

With US Marines and Army troops deployedotentially hostile situation ia Lebanon. US military commanders andcommunity analysts immediately requested tacticalflights to look for threats to the US units and evidence that Other Middle Eastern countries or the Soviet Union might beto intervene.s ofn Tutkey carried out these missions.

Because tactical reconnaissance required an tmmediaw readout of the films taken, the Photographic Intelligence Center (the new name for the Photo-Intelligence Division from August IMS) quickly reopened the film-de.elopingt Adana and staffed il with lab technicians and phototMerpreters Throughout the summerS.s brought back proctography of military camps, air fields, and ports of those Mediterranean countries receiving Soviet arms The detachment alsolose watch on Egyptian-based Soviet submarines, whichhreat to US 6th Fleet ships in the Mediterranean Ins flew occasional electroniccollection missions along the Soviet botder and over the Black-Sea without entering Soviei airspace. In late August, as the crisis in the Middle East eased, the United Slates began withdrawingroops. It was not untilctober, however, that the last American soldier left Lebanon."'


9 sawircraft active primarily over Middle Eastern countries, with occasional overflights of Albania to check for reported Soviet missile installations.ainly collected high .altitude weather data, although tt also flew two missions over Hand Southwest China (seene overflight program against the Soviet Union seemed to betandstill, but pressures within the government were building to resume deep-penetration flights to resolve the growing "missile-gap" controversy.

Organizationally,rojectajor change after Richard Bissell became CIAs Deputy Director for Planst first glance, Bissell's seleclion seems unusual because he had spent most of his Agency career headingrojeci, but his first major assignment had been coordinating support for the opera-lion that overthrew the leftist Government of Guatemalaurthermore.roject was the major covert collector of intelligence against ihe CIA's primary target, the Soviet Union.

During his years as head of the Development Projects Staffissell had opposed proposals to bring all Agency air aciivi-ties togetheringle office, fearing that he would lose control ofroject. Once he became Deputy Director for Plans, hischanged; he was nowosition io consolidate all air aetivi-ties under his own control. Onhe DPS became iherojects Division (DPD) of the Directorate of Plans (at the time known as the Deputy Directorate/Plans orespite the tremendous increase in the scope of his duties after assuming control of the DDP. Bissell retained personal control of his previous Development Projects Siaff projects:rogram, anothertohotosatellite.hird project tool-low-on aircraft forlihough the amalgamation Of all Agency air opeiaiions and the transfer ofroject to the DDP made sense, the question remained as lo whether one individual could effectively control all these different activities.

The Final Overflights of the Soviet


Despite President Eisenhower's reluctance tos over the Soviet Bloc, lie once again authorized overflights in the summerause of moreear. The overriding factor in his decision was the growing "missile-gap" controversy, which had its rootscries of dramatic Soviet announcements during the second halfhe first announcement revealed the successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile in August Then in October, the Soviets announced the successful orbiting of the world's first artificial earth satellite. Sputnik. One month later the Sovietsecond satelliteogelevision camera. To many Americans, including some influential members of Congress, the Soviet Union's space successes seemed to indicate that its missile program was ahead of Aat of the United States. By the springfter the United States had successfully launched several satel-lites. fearspace technology gap between the two superpowers had eased. By the end of the year, however, new concerns arose that the Soviet Union wasissile arsenal that would be much larger than that of the United States. This was the famous missile gap that received widespread publicity beginning in'

The missile-gap controversy was fueled by Soviet boasts about the success of their missile program.oviet delegate to the Geneva Conference on Surprise Attack stated: "Soviet ICBMs are at present in massive days later. Soviei

Ft* an overview of im eoniioveny. tec Roy e. LieUider. -The Missile Caorirfeor iVrfner Qfontrl, Si

Premier Nikita Khrushchev asserted thai the Soviet Union had an ICBM capable ofegaton nucleariles. These siaiemenis seemed all the more ominous because, during this same month of December, ihe first attempt to launch the new US Titar. ICBM failed, ln reality, all of lbe Soviet statements were sheer propaganda; Ihey had encountered difficulties with theCBM. and ihe program wastandstill.esult, there were no ICBM

launches from Tyuratam betweenS andebruary

pace of almost nine months."

To conceal the difficulties in their missile program. Sovietcontinued to praise its alleged successes. At the beginning ofhrushchev opened the Soviet Communist Party Congress in Moscow by claiming that "serial production ofballistic rockets has beeneveral months later Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky stated that these missiles were capable of hitting "precisely any point" and added. "Our army is equippedhole series of intercontinental, continental and other rockets of long, medium and shorthen askedress conference to comment on Malinovsky's statement. President Eisenhower replied. "They also said that they invented the flyingand the automobile and the telephone and otherhy should you be so respectful of this statement this morning, if you are not so respectful of the otherevertheless, the Sovietwere taken at face value by most Americans, including many members of ihe intelligence community.

S hattUitteth-eol. ed. (PrimMOn. Ptuxtvx, VwtnMi. TO

' Ford Eaonun.fficial* Ccoeeiknripnrtnury


Ai concern aboiii Soviet missile progress increased, even iheIn Soviet ICBM testing was seen as evidenceoviet advantage. Although the CIA correctly reasoned that the Soviets were experiencing difficulties in developing an operational ICBM. ihe Air Force assumed that the Soviets had halted testing because the missile was ready for deployment.'

The controversy intensified early inhen Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy testified before the Senate Preparedness Investigating Corsrmttee on Soviet missile capabilities for the neat lew years. McElroy told the Senators that in thehe Soviet Union mightdvantage over the United States in operational tCBMs. McElroy stressed that the gap would be temporary and that at its end the United State* wouldechno-logical advantage because it was concentrating on developing the more advanced solid-fueled missiles rather than increasing theof obsolescent liquid-fueled missiles, but it was his mentionissile gap that made the headlines. Administration critics such as Senator Stuart Symington quickly charged that the actual gap would eventually be even larger.'

Faced with rising public and Congressional concern about the missile gap, Defense Department officials pressed President Eisenhower to authorize renewed overflights to gather up-to-dateormaiion about the status of the Soviet missile program.ational Security Council meeting onebruary. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Twining. Secretary of Defense McElroy. and Deputy Secretary of Defense Quaries stayed behind to talk to the President about overflights. They hoped that the need to refuteof the missile gap from Symington and other Democratic Senators would persuade the President to loosen his policy on the use of. McElroy pointed out that no matter how often Allen Dulles briefed these critics, they would not believe his reassurances about the absenceissile gap without positive proof such asMore overflights would be needed to obtain the kinds of photographs tequired.

The President was not swayed by these arguments. Noting that (he reconnaissance satellite project was "coming a'.onge statedlights should be "heldinimum pending the

taM. VS p.

' Wh. tNM f dp"cbrav}pp III)

to gather intelligence on the Soviet missile program. Discussionsthe following day with the addition of Secretary of State llener. who stated in support of the CIA proposal that "iheobjective outweighs the danger of gettinghe strong backing of the proposed overflight by both CIA and (he State Department finally convinced President Eisenhower to approve the mission*

ore thanonths after thec Sovietquippedf flew over the Urals, and then crossed the missile test range at Tyutatam. This mission, known as Operation TOUCHDOWN, produced excellent results. Its photography revealed that the Soviets were expanding the launch facilities at Tyuratam. While this overflight was under way,iversionary mission along the Soviet-Iranian border."'

Despite its success, this overflight remained an isolated incident. President Eisenhower was unwilling to authorize additionalof the Soviet Union, in part because he did not wish to increase tension before Premier Khrushchev's visit to the Unitedevertheless, the President still wanted as much intelligence on the Soviet missile program asBecause the Soviets were conducting an extensive program of missile tests inisenhowerteady stream of the less piovocative electronicT)-gathering(Id in all) along the Soviei border during the remainder of the year."

Within the United States, concern about the Soviet missilecontinued to grow. On9 the Soviets scored another space success when theirocket reached the moon, and Khrushchev stressed this success when he arrived in the United States three days later. He also boasted of Soviet missile progress in private convetsaiions with President Eisenhower, while making no

'ten.ofjndi.rr. ,'or trie9dem. Memorandum oTh theHCSS. Alpha. DOEL CIS)

" Mission folder9l. OSA ttcordi (TS Codt-OMl

" OS* Haw.p. (TS Code-ordl



mention of overflights by ihe Untied States. Altec the tnp was over. Khrushchev and other leading Soviet officials cominued to makeclaims about the eictent of their missile force, adding to the confusion and concern within ihe US intelligence community Thus inoviet Premier Khrushchevonference of journalists. "Now we havelock of rockets, such an arnouni of aiomic and hydrogen weapons, that if they attack us. we could wipe our potential enemies off ihe face of thee then added thai "in oneockets with hydrogen warheads came off the as-Kmbly line in the factory weecause rhe Soviei Union had been lauriching at least one missile per week since early fall. US policymakers placed great weightemarks.

Despiie rhe intelligence community's intense interest in the Soviet Union's nuclear and missile programs. President Eisenhower did not authorire. any more overflights of ihe Soviet Union during ihe

Because there had been so few overflighis3any questions about the Soviet missile program remainedWithin Lie intelligence community there was stilldisagreement over the sire of the Soviet missile force. Thus, during testimony before the US Senate inC! Allen Dulles. Secretary of Defense Thomas Gates, and Air Force Chief of


Si.IT Kaftan Tuning eachrer* figures for the numberg A

deployed So*iet missiles Although the CIA figures were basedgained from overflights. Dulles could not reveal this factSenate and. therefore, faced very sharp questioning.'"

esult of these Senate hearings, Dulles was determined to obtain permission for more overflights in order to settle the mis* sile gap question once and for all and end the debate within the intelli genre community. To accomplish this. Dulles proposed photographing the most likely areas for tbe deployment of Soviet naafDaK. At this time there was still no evidence of SS^ ICBM deetoymeni outside the Tyuratam missile test range Because theas extremely luge and liquid fueled, analysts believed these missiles could only be de ployed near railroads.hotography showed railroad tracks going right to the launching pad at the test site. Dulles,argued thatnstallations could easily be located by flying along railroad lines. Dulles was supported by members of the

" Lxi.nlff.sie Gap

President's Board of Consuliams on Foreign Intelligence Activities.eeting of the boarden. lames Doohitk urged President Eisenhower to use overflights of the Soviet Union to the maximum degree possible The President's response, as summarized in General Good paster's notes of the meeting, showed that the upcoming summit meeting was already an important factor in his attitudelights: "The President said that he has one tremendous assetummit meeting, as regards effect in the free world. That is bis reputation for honesty. If one of these aircraft were lost when we are engaged in apparently sincere deliberations, it could be put on display in Moscow Hid rum the President's

few days later,W to the the Soviet Union.

a mission over

excellent photography from this mission did notingle miuile site, but analysts dida new Soviei bomber, dubbed the BACKF1N. at Katan' "

the outcome of litis mission, the missile-gap debateThe Air Force still insisted ihat the Soviets had deployed as manyissiles. The Army. Navy-IA. however, doubted thai any had been deployed, because none could be found.hotography was needed io settle the debate. In mid-February. President Eisenhower reviewed plans for fouris-tk

1 made the President more willing to considei

| aod he agreed to allow one mission to be flown during rhe month of March. The President's continued restate-uons upon rhe use ofisturbed DCI Dulles, who sent aio the .National Security Council0 asserting that the cardinal objective of obtaining information on Soviet missile deployment could be better achieved ifere given freer rein."

" AITIiinii arPii-lf.BodJoii. Ummma. p. 2JJ.

' MHMn9y IMOfc OSAS CoJfMft.


Chapter 4

mother overflight of ihc Soviet Union. President thai it be conducted beforearch Because of ting permission from Pak-stan to use tie airfield :i, the mission could not be staged in March, and tne msioent agreed to eitend his deadline untilne day before the excitation of thisquippedamera tootast successful overflighi ol the Soviet Umoo. Operatioo SQUARE DEAL As had been the case during the previous twoiversionary mission along the Soviet-Iranianff^^yjHPJHmit5 headed first for Saryshagan. where it ottairaedtheTrsi pk tures of two new Soviet radars, the HEN HOUSE and HEN ROOST instillationshen flew to the nuclear testing site a: Serrupalatirislc. Returning to the Saryshagan area, it crisscrossed the railroad network there and then pioceeded to Tyuratam. where itew two-pad. road-served launch area thatew Soviet missile was in the offing."

In bis memoirs Nikita Khrushchev remarked thathould have been shot down, "but our antiaircraft batteries were caughtand didn't open fire soonhrushchev explained that Soviet missile designers hadigh-altitude antiaircraft missile and batteries of this missile had been deployed near known targets of

The CIA already had strong indications of improvements in the Soviet air defense system, and early0 the Development Projects Division had asked Air Force ex perns at the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC)rank assessment of Sovietagainst. Onol. William Burke, acting chief of the DPD. relayed the ATIC assessment to Richard Bissell

The grease it threat tos the Soviet SAM. Although the ATIC analysisemote possibility thai the SAMless effective than estimated, iheir present evaluation is that the SAM (Guideline)igh probability of successful inter-cepieet providing thai detection is mode in sufficient time to alert the site."


N'tira S. KArusMtM'. AAfuacAr*PM Lair Teuumei lBona-. rn>

' kSrsontasrl. Hefty DwttM'um CM Wiilmnu-lCW.pcitJ CHALICEtC Suft.COMlHFXrrwnli.M jBjBjBjBr (Onfall n'SCoda-ort)

One Of the reasons why Operation SQUARE DEAL had beenforpril flight was chat mission planners believed

chance of escaping detection by the Soviet air defense system.March letter recommending SQUARE DEAL cs the preferred route for the next overflight had stated. "There is achance of completing this operation withoutscaping detection had become tmportant because, if the Soviet SAMs received sufficient advanced warning, theyajor threat to.

hopes that flightsmight go

undetected proved false. Onpril overnight,LlNT-COllection unit (System VI) indicated Soviet trackingery early stage of the mission. Although the Soviets failed to intercept. their success al tracking it should have servedarning against fuiure overflightsnywhere else, for tha:nprilormed Richard Bissell that "experience gainedesult of Operation SQUAREDEAL indicates that penetration without detection from the

^^area may not be as easy in ihe future as hetetofot."'

the intelligence community and

Unfortunately,iKe"hC logical step of recommending ihe cessation of overflights now that ihe risks had increased substantially. The lure of the prospectivegain from each mission was loo strong, and (he Soviets' lack of success at interception to date had probably made ihe project staff overconfident. Furthermore, both DCI Allen Dulles and (he President's Roard of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities were pressing for more photos of the Soviet Union in order to seule (he missile-gap debate .aging Congress.


* XkrnonndUm to* RicluM M. Simll.Oinxw iPbni).CotemelChief.r Ptopoxd CHALICEC Stair. COMIREX iter**


Even beforepril overflight took place. President Eisenhower had consented onarch io an additional overflight during the month of April. His willingness to allow yei another overflight was

strengthened when the Soviet Union did not protestprilAs Presidential science adviser George Kistiakowsky laterabout the lack of protest. "This was virtually inviting us to repeat the sortie.""

Although President Eisenhower had authorized another over flight for April, he left the designation of its targets up to the experts at the ClA. Of the three missions that remained under consideration,SUNould overfly southern targets. Tyuratam and Vladimirovka, while the other two would covernetworks in the north-central portion of the Soviet Union. The Intelligence community had been interested tn this area ever sincehen there were indications (hat the Soviets were building anaunch facility there. This was the first indication thatight be located any where other than Tyuratam tesdng facility, where the missiles were launchedeneral purpose launching pad The intelligence community was anxious to obtain photography of a

' Gtcp 3 IPaaMiinirHtmtO

. JJS.

Chapter *


deployedue because it covld provide exemplars for photointerprcietsse in searching subsequent overheadfor similar installations.3

The two proposed overflights that would cover the northernlines received the strongest rons(deration. Both plant contained new lean-res. Operation TIME STEP calledo take off from


^The aircraft would then fly over Novaya Zemlya on its *ay to cover the railroad lines from the Polyamyy Ural Mountains to Kotlas.

in-wn before

pril. Once the maneuvers ended, bad weather over the Soviet Union kept the mission from taking place whenas originally it hedulcd. Richard Bissell, therefore, asked President Eisenhower for more time, and, onpril. General Goodpaster relayed the President's instructions to Bissell that "one additional operation may be undertaken, provideds carried out prior to May I. No operation it to be earned out afterhe President did not want io Bj missions any atei than that because the Paris Summit was scheduled to begin on

By this time. CIA planners were concentrating on Operation GRAND SLAM as the most likely route for the proposed missionit offered ihe best chance of photographing suspected locations

OH Wowrv.0S(TS

" AntbroK. fbratomvflchlon. Uaydat. p. 10

of Soviei ICBM sites. The other proposed overflight. Operation TIMEut of Greenland, wai more likelyun into bad weatheraffect both navigationc4ography) because the flightpatli would remainorth lanuide during the entire mission Fcrthermore. mission planncis opposed this route because of its greater risk. In his letter to Richard Bisscll on iailed:

Operation "TIME STEP" is our last Choice because we0 percent probability of being correct, that ure will be delected on entry, tracked accurately throughout the period in denied territory 'approximately fournd willtrong PVO fSoviet Air Defense! reaction This flight plan would permit alerting of SAM sues, and pre positioning of missile equipped fighters in thr Murmansk area (point of exit) thus enhancing the possibility of successful intercept In addition, wt must assume that even were me Soviets unable to physkoHjwith such an incursion, sufficient evidence will beto perwut themiplomatic protest should they desire lo do so."

The concerns raisedTIME STEP should

also have been raised about Oiwraiion GRAND SCAM, which would be the most adventuresome overflight to date because it proposed covering so much of the Soviet Union. If the Soviets could trackarly in the mission, they would have plenty of lime to prepare to intercept the aircraft.

The pilot selected for Operation GRAND SLAM was Francis Gary Powers, the mostilot in the program. Powers had joined the project in6 and had flownperationalin. including one each over the Soviet Union and China as well as six along the Soviet border

To preventrom beinj jcn^hMI)flfprojectdecided to terry uV aircraftthe scheduled flight. Once the pianewasrerueTeoTrul itsloaded, it would take off at daybreak, with little if anylocal residents because of darkness and iu shortthan six

' Memorandum tornull. DeptMy Dmrcior

fclrf. DPS. aftV^ttJCl Ootn.^T

Ovxiat-Xcii ALSCfTS

hours or the grouni) Originally scheduled for Thursday.pnl.

GRAND SLAM was canceled because of bed weather over (he north em Soviet Union. This had been the case for the past several weeks When this flight was canceled,elumed to Adana beforeThat eveningnc,hei attempt io stage the mission early onh, but bad weather again forced cancellation of the mission, andeturned to Adana Because of continued bad weather over the target areas, no mission was planned for Saturday.pril."

Meanwhile, the plane ferriedonccumulated so many hours of flight time that itrom service for periodicifferenttherefore, fci icdnight.pnl. This

aircraft,. hadrash landing irtjjheSeptember (seelthough it had Seen refurbished by Lockheed and now had the morengine that would give it greater altitude, pilots did not completely trust this aircrafthangars Powers noted in his memoirs. "Its current idiosyncrasy was one of the fuel tanks, which wouldn't feed all itshe aircraft was equippedodetvstem-Vl electronic intelligence unit.

Operation GRAND SLAM,4 andrh deep pen etration overflight of the Soviet Union, began almostinutes late onelay due to difficulty in getting takeoff approval from Washington. This delay was caused by communications problems that are typical at sunrise and sunset during spring and autumn, when the ionosphere will not supportcommunications. In attempting to relay the authorizationthe radio operator in Adana was unable to reach B

0 Realizing

the prearranged nighttime nor daytime frequencies were working, the operator beganessage in the clear, using one of the guard frequencies in the transition area between the daytime and nightiime frequencies The radio operators C* hearing the Morse

tower 4IS* ('. May IM0i. OSAS.f/thi. p. 16



they tuned from one pieanangedto the other. Then one ofecidedin the guard frequency where the Morse transmission wasHe was able toreak in ihei*jng the mes-


he detachment chief. Col.elron, who had been waiting anxiously inside the radio vanGo" or "No Go" message, leaped from the van and ran across the field to give the signal for takeoff to Powers, who -as sitting inC at the end of the runway."

Powers started his takeoff roll0 Once airborne. Powers guided his aircraft toward Afghanistan. Following standard operating procedure, Powers clicked his radio switch when hr reached penetration altitude0 feet, which signaled theunit athat everything aboard the aircraft was working and the mission would proceed as planned. Aside from this simple signal. Powers andilots tnaintained strict radioduring penetration missions.

Powers' first target was Ihe Tyuratam Missile Test Range after which he headed for Chelyabinsk, just south of Sverdlovsk. The planned route would take him over Kyshtym. Sverdlovsk, northwest to Kirov, north Over Yur'ya and Pleseisk. then to Severodvinsk,to Kandalaksha, north to Murmansk, and.

May Day turned out toad time to overfly tbe Soviet Union. Oa this major holiday, there was much less Soviet military air trafTiC than usual, so Soviet radars could easily identify and irack. In addition, (he Soviets responded to the intrusion byan on civilian air trafficarge portion of the Soviet Union. Soviet radar began crackingas stilliles south of the Soviet-Afghan border and continued to do so as theflew across the Central Asian republics. When Powers reached rhe Tashkent area, as many asoviet interceptor aircraft scrambled in an unsuccessful attempt to in(ercept his plane.

Powers never made it past Sverdlovsk, fouralf hours into the mission, anurface-to-air missile detonated close to and just behind his aircraft and disabled0 feel above the Sverdlovsk

area. The plane begun spiialing down (Owaid the ground and Powers lookeday oui. Unable to use the ejection seat becauseforce had thrown him against the canopy, he released the canopy and prepared to bail out. waiting to arm the destruction device at the last rainux. so that it would no: go off while he was still in the plane. When he released his seatbelt. however, he was irr.mediately sucked Out of the aircraft and found himself dangling by his oxygen hose,to reach the destruction switches. Finally, the hose broke and he flew away from the falling aircraft. After he fell several thousand feet, his parachute opened automatically, and he drifted to earth where he was quickly surrounded by farmers and ihen by Sovietis aircraft bad cot been destroyed by the crash, and the Soviets were able to identify much of its equipment when they put it on displayays later. Even if Powers had been able to activate the destruction device, however, it would not have destroyed the aircraft. The small explosive charge was only designed to wreck the camera.

How had the Sovietsowning? Although some CIA project officials initially wondered if Powers had beentoo low through aa error or mechanical malfunction, hethat he had been flying at his assigned altitude and hod been brought downear missoviei surface-to-air missile. This turned out to be the case, for inhe US air attache in Moscow learned that the Sverdlovskattery hadhree missile salvo that, in addition to disabling Powers' plane, alsoirect hitoviet fighter aircraft sent aloft to intercept" Mission planners had not known about this SAM sitethe mission because they always laid out flight pl3ns to avoid known SAM sites.


The first indication that something was wrongvrid^owers*even before he was overdue atThe CIA

*Optrano* OwntrjM.pp.rantenpiof

Drtrwfinj TSoes of FraneiiebruaryBeard of Inquiry onof Francis Gary Po-crs. OprraHOMOSA

Operarions Center learneday0 hours Washington time

Cuoarinjhoi"3 (TS Code-onlC. OSA Hiumy.. (TSj.

ma! ihe Soviets had discontinued radar tracking of rhe fTighi'stwo hoursouthwest of Sverdlovskwas no word from ihe Soviet Union concerning (hekey project personnelhe Agency controimorning (wirh rhe exceptor, of Bissell. who was out ofnot arriveoze the latest information andof^ijon^hey quicklyew projeci, knowngather and evaluate all available informa-

tion about the

Bissell ond the other project officials did not know whether Powers was dead or if (he plane and camera had been destroyed, bul (hey believed (hat (here was no wayilot couldrash from an altitude0 feettherefore, decided to stick

whn the standard cover storylights- that rhcy were weather flights staged by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

the Naiional Advisory Commiitee for

Aeronautics, renamed8 This cover story had been approved by

(he Presidem

By the end of the day. thehad

tatement based on the standard cover story but modified to fit the available information on Powers' flight and to show Adana as the aircraft's base ir. order to conceal Pakistan's role in (he mission. This revised cover story, alongission flight plan consistent with it. was sent io the field commander!

ihe cover story thai had been prepared and distributed in advance of ihe mission. The first announcement of the new cover story came lataay by the Adana base commander, bul it did notrint until the following day Onay. NASA releasedigh-altitude weather plane that was missinglight inside Turkey. The statement had been designed to provide an expla nation for the presence of wreckage inside ihe Soviet Union by notinge pilot reported over (he emergency frequency that he wasoxygenhus, if the Soviets protested and pointed io wreckage .nsidc their borders. NASA could claim that the pilot had lost consciousness and the aircraft had then flown into the Soviet Union befote crashing

Geary miervle- (St

tatement had been preparedbest case" scenario, ilial is to say. one in which neither the pilot not the plane and filmHowever, pilots had bailed out ftom extremely high altitudes and survived, and there was even evidence ftomrashes that much of the aircraft itself could be salvaged The smallcharge aboardas not sufficient to destroy much more char, the camera The lightly roiled him. which could reveal the exact purpose of the mission even if the pilot and aircraft did not survive, was very hard to destroy Kelly Johnson later conducted anthat revealed film taken outompletely bumcd-out aircraft could still provide usablefter almost four yeanissions, Richard Bissell and the test of the Development Projects Division had become overconfident and were not prepared for the "worst case" scenario that actually occurred inhis failure played directly into the hands of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who shrewdly decided to release information about theittleime, thereby encouraging the United States to stick with its vulnerable covet story too long. As he later wrote. "Our intention here was to confuse the government circles of the United Stales As long as the Americans thought the pilot was dead, (hey would keep putting out the story that perhaps the plane hadstrayed off course and been shot down in the mountains on the Soviet side of thehe first word from the Soviet Union came onay, when Premier Khrushchev announcedeeting of ihe Supteme SovietS "spyplane" had been downed near Sverdlovsk. He made no mention of the fale of its piloi.

Khrushchev's announcement aroused considerable interest in ihe media in tne United States, and that same day ihe State Department and NASA issued another statement thai continued the "weather plane" cover story, adding that the pilot became lostoutine mission near the Caucasus Mountains Soon afterward, the US Ambassadoroscoweport co the State Departmentthat the pilot might be alive after all. Two days later,hrushchev confirmed this report by revealing lhaiwas alive and had admitied his mission of spying on ihe Soviet Union

" Only iniervl**.

" KTinitnchcv. Khiuiktte*Tke Lou Ttts&mi.

This revelation completely demolished (he US cover story, and senior administration officials (hen debated what ihe appropnaie course of action should be. Allen Dulles offered to lake responsibility for the overflight and resign, bui President Eisenhower did not warn to give ihe world the impression thai he was not in control of hisOn Wednesday.ay. the Presidenttatement to the press in which he assumed full responsibility forbut left open the question of future overflights, ever, though four days earlier he had approved (he recommendation of his key foreign policy advisers to terminate all provocative intelligence operations against ihe Soviet Union."

ffair nad its greatest consequences when the long-awailcd summit rrieering in Pans began iesseek later onay. Soviet Premier Khrushchev insisieC on being the first speaker andong protest about the overflight, ending with afor an apology from President Eisenhower. In his reply

Eisenhower Hated that overflights had been suspended and would not be resumed, but he refused toormal apology. At that point the summit ended, as did all hopesisit to the Soviet Union by Presidem Eisenhower.


The loss ofltimately resulted in the end ofn Turkey. As soon as the Development Projects Division learned hatwas alive in Soviet hands, it immediately evacuated the

protect the secret of involvementoped thai flights might evemua.'yfrom Adana. bui President Eisenhower's order endingof the Soviet Union made this very unlikely. Less than four weeksoup ousted the government of Turkish Premier Adnan Menderes on tbe night of0 Because the new gov err. me nt had not been briefed on. Project Headquarters refusedlights from Adana. even those necessary for maintain-in- the aircraft's airworthinessesult, nos flew out of Adana. Instead of being ferried home, three of the fours were disassembled and loadedt cargo planes for the reium nip in the United States *

fount severaltall at ion needi close down the of active exist

emainedangar at Incirlik airbase for oked afterkeleton crew, in case the Adanao be reactivated. Finally the decision was madeacility. During Detachment B'sonth* nee,ilois had flown its aircraft,d three pilots transferred from the deactivated Detachment A. Fourteenilots were later assigned toetachments, but the closing down ofarked

The loss of. the resultant failure of the Paris Summit, and the endperations in Turkey were just ihe firsteries of setbacks forrogram.he

- OSAcrop II.TS Codc-wJI

Japanese Government, faced with growing anti-American sentiment and complaints in the press about tne presence of "spyplancs" on Japanese territory, asked the United States to removes. The very next day the CIA closed Detachment C.s "ereand returned to the United Statess"

lr. the midst of the furor in Japan,ust six weeks after the Paris Summit. Soviet fighter aircraft shot down an Air Forcen an electronic intelligence collection mission overwaters near the Soviet Union's Kola Peninsula. Two survivors were captured. The Soviet Union claimed that the aircraft hadits airspace, while the United States denounced the Soviets for downing the plane over international waters. The acrimonyan already tense international atmosphere"

One additional blow torogram came in the summerASA, concerned about the damage to its reputation from its involvement inffair and hoping to obtain internationalfor its space program, decided to end its support of the cover storys were conducting weather research under its auspices."

These developments resultedomplete halt tofrom overseas bases for more than six months. Pilots andfromere consolidated intot Edwards Air Force Base, California.

"S Codeword).

* 'Myiiery at" -JifNitiu Ml die


"wcdej of high-level CIA. NASA, and Sum DcponmeM oftWiUi OoASA "iito continue iu uMciilionfcfha Tor Ihe time btinj. but (he Adminbincor of NASA. Dr. Keiih Clenriin, bclie>ed ihii hit ageocy "would beisengage (mmrojiim ii npsllr ISlimes A. Cumunglum. MensrarOuti for ifr Ricoid. Telephone ConvtrMhon witfl Dr. Hugh Dryden. Depur. Director.hronoHjVjVBO. OSA teioru* ;S)

" OSA..TS Codeword).

ow comprised eight pilots fromnd three pilots from Detachment C. Because Powers' capture had compromised Project CHALICE, the Agencyew cryptonymffort: henceforth, it was called Project IDEALIST."


ilo: Franca Gary Powers rw-rx extensive interro-gation at the hands of the Soviets His instructions from the CIA on what to do in the event of capture were meager, and he had been told that he might as well tell the Soviets whatever they wanted to know because they could get the information from his aircraft anyway. Nevertheless. Powers tncd to conceal as much classified information as possible while giving the appearance of cooperating with hisTo extract the maximum propaganda value fromffair, the Soviets prepared an elaborate show mal for Powers, which began onowers continued to conceal as much information as possible, but. on the advice of his Soviet defense counsel, he stated that he was sorry for his actions. The Soviet court sentenced him toears' "depnvation ofith the Srst three to be spent in prison."

During the nextonths, confidential negotiations to obtain the release of Powers took place as the United Stares explored the possibility of trading convicted Soviet master spy Rudolf Abel for Powers. These negotiations were conducted by Abel'sdefense counsel, former OSS lawyer fames Donovan, inwirh Abel's "wife" (probably his Soviet control) ir. Fast Germany Incting DCI Pearre Cabell wrote to Secretary of State Dean Rusk supportingrade, and on2 the actual exchange took place in the middle of the Gticnecke Bridge connecting East and West Berlin As pan of the deal.raduate student Frederick Pryor. who had been jailed in East Germany for espionage, was released at another location.

Po-rn. Ow/ato, Ownfijftr.;, pp. jjiOJJ.

After Powers returned to the United States, he underwentdebriefing, for many questions about his mission remained unan swered. To conduct the debriefing, the Agency immediately reconvened the Damage Assessment Team that had met for two months in the summer0 to estimate what Powers krew about the overflight program and could have told Soviet interrogators. Given Powers' long involvement withrogram, the team had concluded0 that his knowledge was extensive and he hadrevealed most of it to the Soviets Af:er two weeks of debriefing Powers inowever, the team found that the damage was much less than had been estimated, and they were quite satisfied

Powers' behavior" After leading ihe debr.efing reports. Allen Dulles expressed upport of Powers" actions and told Powers. "We are proud of what you haveut Dulles had already resigned as DC! in" The new DCI. John A. McCone,loser look at Powers' actions and setoard of Inquiry headed by retired Federal Judge E. Barrett Prettyman. After eight days of hearings and deliberation, the board reported onebruary that Powers had acted In accordance with his instructions and had 'com. plied with his obligations as an American citizen during thishe board, therefore, recommended that he receive his back pay


Tbe Preiiyrruin Board's finding was based onlarge bodycnce indicating that Powers was telling ihe truth about ihe events0 ihe testimony of ihe experts who bad debriefed Powers after hishorough investigation of Powers" background wiih testimony by doctors, psycliietr.sts. former Air Force colleagues, and his commander at Adana: Powers' own testimony before the board; the resultsolygraph examtnaiion thai he had volunteered ioand the evidence provided by photographs of the wreckage of tns aircraft, which Kelly Johnson had analyzed and found consistent with Powers' story. Nevertheless. DCI McCone remained skeptical. He asked ihe Air Forceonvene its own panel of experts io check Johnson's assessment of ihe photographs of. The Air Force quickly complied, and ihe panel suppotied lohnson's findings. McCone then scued upon the one piece of evidence that contradicted Powers'report by the National Security Agency (NSAJ that suggested that Powers may have descendedo-er altitude and turned backroad curve toward Sverdlovsk before beingordered the Prettyman Board to reconveneatch for another look at ibis evidence The board remained unconvinced by NSA's ihir, evidence and stuck to its originalewowers appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which commended his actions The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also held brief hearings onffair, with DCI McCooe representing the CIA."

Tkorui Po-tn.Wke *rt*:

haayaaaictt% (Si

" UmiW StaKtrottf- RelUMni Ctmrnnirf.rmmi af inr Sr-wwttuwwof JwwrJ. >et>onS Sttiiovifc^tBi."mmmW

Although all of these inquiries found Powers to have actedthey did not release many of their favorable findings to thewhich hadery negative image of Powers" behavior from sensational press reports and statements by public figuies who were not aware of (or chose to ignore) the truth about Powers* actions while in captivity. One member of the Senate Foreign Reunions Committee. Senalor John J. Williams, expressed concern about the impact of this silence on Powers' reputationuestion to DCI McConeDon't you think he is being left withittle bitloud hanging over him? If he did everything he is supposed to do, why leave itoubts aoout Powers did remain in the public mind because he received no public recognition for his efforts to withhold information from the Soviets. He was also

snubbed by President Kennedy, who one year earlier had warml <two Air Forcelieis released by the Soviet Union. McCufte remained hostile to Powers, and in3 he awarded the Intelligence Star to all ofilots except Powers. Finally onust two days before McCone's resignation became ef fective, Powers received the Star (which was3 on the back) from DDCI Marshall S. Caitcr."

Powers" return from captivity raised the question of what hisemployment should be. This issue had already beenyear earlier bycMahon, executive officer of thenoied ihat he and Coleary (the Air Force projectwere concernedajor cUfcmma for the CIA and the

" OSA Hhtory.4 (TStMahor. to Chief. Co-er SiiR. QPD. SI Shrdi lOftl. Operasio-1


_ . S3 (TS Codeword*.

I iespite this negative recommendation, the Air Force agreed2 to reinstate Powersecision that was approved by the Agency. Stale Department, and While House. Then Powers' divorce proceedings began, mid the Air Force, concerned about adverse publicity, postponed reinstatement until the end of the proceedings. In the meantime Powers began working for Lockheedilot. Ine met with Colonel Geary to discuss his future plans and decided to slay withowersa: Lockheedesting ceased inarl lci in the year, he had published ar. account of his expenences on

roject under the ratie Opt-ratio*Later height planeraffic reponerot Angeles radio station andelicopterelevision stationeameraman from the station died when his helicopter ctashed on the way to an assignment.'



One of the most important changes in the nverflight ptogram after the loss of Francis Garyas the institution of more foimal procedures for the approvalissions. During the first four yearsctivity, very few members of rhe Eisenhower adminis-(ration had been involved in making decisiocs concerning theprogram. The President personally authorized ail flights over the Soviet Union and was consulted by Richard Bissell and either the DCI or the DDCI about each Such proposed mission. In addition to CIA officials, the President's discussions ofissions or cf the programhole generally included the Secretary of State or his Under Secretary, the Chairman of :r* loint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense or his deputy, and the President's secretary. Colonel (later General) Goodnaster

The approval process under President Eisenhower was thus very unstructured. There was no formal approval body charged withoverflight proposals: the President kept this authority in his

became mote formal as ihe National Security Coarteil became involved. Hencefonh. proposed mission* had io be submitted to ihe National Security Council (NSC) Special Group (ot approval In ihe, the Special Group consisted of the DCI. (he Deputy Secretary of Defense, ihe Under Secretary of State, and the Military Adviser lo (he President. After ihe Military Adviser. Gen Maxwell Taylor, became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffis place on (he Special Group was taken by McGeorge Bundy. the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs,*"

Before rrcuestmr permission from the Special Groupission over denied territory, the CIAetailed submission jiving justification for (he proposed mission and maps showing (he targets to be photographed, flight times, aod emergency landing sites Such submissions came to be known as "black books" because they were placed in black, looseleaf binders. The decision of the Special Group was generally final, although on occasion controversial issues were presented to (he President for hit decision.

This approval process did not come inio play immediately after0 because (hereong pauseperations as ihe detachments relumed from overseas. It was noi until late0 that (heperation occurred, this time over Cuba By this time the full approval procedure had been esiablished. and ihe Special Group approved ihe mission (see

The approval process was not (he only pan ofrogram that changed after0 The process for establishing require-ments for overhead reconnaissance missions also became moreIn0 ihe US Intelligence Board look over ihe Ad Hoc Requirements Committee and merged it with me Satellite Intelligence Requirements Committee to form the Committee on Overhead Reconnaissance. DCIasked COMOR with ihe "coor-dinaied development of foreign intelligence requirements for overhead-reconnaissance projects over deniedhe DCID defined "overhead reconnaissance" io include "all reconnaissance for foreign-intelligence purposes by satellite, or by any vehicle over

Tt* laeaWct. hateraKa bj NSCilM inUh> a* mr sai* Ceawwwt Uuk Sproal Croup MuxCouiucm* and Hw* ta*ComHm. VowedCorjro,.Seleeiurf) Co-oiOp.rji.onk -Im Reipeei, I. iWuhinturn. DC: US Goxmmroi. pp

denied areas, whether by photographic.T. infrared. RAD&ST. or otherhe only exceptionOMOR's area of responsibility was "reconnaissance and aerial surveillance in direct support of actively combatant

By this time the Air Force hadarge oveiheadprogram of its own.leets. and.there were conflicts between the areas of responsibility of COMOR and the military services for collection requirements. The Air Force had alreadyajor victoryhen it claimed that the White House had given responsibility for peripheralof the Soviei Union to Ihe military DCI Dulles, who was always rrrluctaru to become involved in matters that seemed to lie ia the military's area of responsibility, did not resist this claim, and theoe Re<|iiircmcnts Committee stopped preparing requirements for peripheral flights. Thisajor requirements commiitee study, which sough: to em mace what could be gainedbliquealong the entire border of the Soviethe lastission along the Soviet Union's coasts occurred onhereafter, the only peripheral missions conducted by the CIA were those along the Soviet Union's J

Until the springhere was virtually no coordination of military reconnaissance activities, even within the individual services. Each commanderheaternified and Specified Command conducted his own indepercent receeiraissance activities To meet the glowing need for overall coordination of these activities at thelevel, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the Joint Reconnaissance Center (JRC) underOperations) of the Joint Staff. The JRC immediately began to coordinate and obtain approval forissions per month, assigningiskof Critical. Sensitive. Unique, or Routine. The JRC thenonthly Activities Book giving details of the proposed missions and briefed the Joint Chiefs cf Staff on the more nsky missions The ClAopy of the Activities Book.

".0 tS>

Ntr^xaiSunDCI McCone man. Janwi QCharr-an.PropovrJ 'a. Apora-a: efCnocaiiOMIftEX mmd,

Moil military reconnaissance missions were approved orat (he JCS le*el. owl ihe most sensitive missions were submit-red through (he Secreiarj of Defense ro (he Special Croup for approval. In addition to litis Department of Defense approval path, the military services could also submit recp-irernenia through the DCI(heir representatives on COMOR.esult, the militaryhad two channels for submitting reconnaissance missions to the Specie, Group The Agency had Only

The main corJIicif between the requirements committee and the military services arose over missions in the Far East. In the, North Vietnam had not beenenied area by ihe US Intelligence Boardo the military services could plan missions there without consulting COMOR. Such missions, however, came very close to China, whichenied area and. therefore, came underrea of responsibility Once the war in Southeast Asia escalatedhe military services receivedfor the entire area (see chapter 5)

To reduce the number of disputes between the competing CIA and Air Force reconnaissance programs andanage ihc growing satellite program, the two agencies worked out an agreement tooverall coordination for reconnaissance activities at the national level. The first such interagency agreement came in the fallnd it was followed by three additional agreements during the next four years **

Interest in coordinating Ihe reconnaissance efforts of the military services and the CIA also affected the field ol photographicIn the wake of the loss of Francis Garyhe President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities (PFIAB) had urged the establishment of an interagency group to study ways to improve the entire US intelligence community. Formedhe Joint Study Group on Foreign Intelligence Activities met for the net: sever months under theof Lyman Kirkpatrick. ClA Inspector General. One of the study group's key lecomrnendationt in the report it issued in0 was the creationational photointerpretatiori

" bnt (TS Ceat-srti-

of cUuiart deiai Uilmoa of thii aiprcrc* wm tc cowWahoary ei utrllxr mcruiuiKcf ruuiicjnoa

center that would Wing together photointcrpictcrs (rom the Agency and the military services. The report further recotn.-iended that the CIA be placed in charge of the new center. Ignoring Air Force claims that it should headenter, President Eisenhower approved the report's recomrnendation. and. onational Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID)stablished the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) Henceforth, the director of NPIC would be designated by the DCI and approved by the Secretary of Defense, and the deputy director would come from one of the military services. The first director of NPIC was Arthur S. Lundahl. head of the CIA's Photo- Intelligence Division."

One additional major change inrogram in the yeartfollowing the May Daynot directly it lated to the loss of Powers'the departure of Richard BisseU from the CIA and the subsequent reorganization of the Agency's reconnaissance and scientific activities The roots of Bissell's downfall went backhen he became Deputy Director for Plans and decided to place all Agency air assets in (he DDP In order to maintain control of hit overheadprojectsnd iu two proposed successors, the OXCART aircraft and the reconnaissance satellite) The previously independent Development Projects Staff became the Development Projects Division (DPD) of the DDP and now controlled all Agency air operations, including air support for coven operations.s were occasionally employed for gathering intelligence lo lup port DDP operations in addition to their primary mission of gathering strategic and tactical intelligence

Although ihe reorganization made sense in terms of increasing (he efficiency of Agency air operations, the use ofo support covert action disturbed Bissell's backers among the scientists advising President Eisenhower and Kennedy, especially James Killian and Edwin Land. They were concerned that Bissell was becoraing tooin coven action and was not able to devote sufficient lime to the overhead reconnaissance ptugtam. Then came the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion inhich discredited Bissell with the Kennedy administration in general and the two scientists in particular Later that year. Bissell lost another important source of support when Allen Dulles resigned as DCI inuring his final

UrntaM arm Unified'(TSil J

Chapter <

months as ihe Deputy Director for Plans, Bissell foundajor struggle with Killian and Land, who were serving on President Kennedy's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Boardto the Eisenhower administration's President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligencehese two influential Presidential advisers strongly advocated removing the Agency'sreconnaissance programs from the DDP and placing (hemew, science-oriented directorate, but Bissell resisted this proposal. With hishe Agency becoming increasingly untenable. Bissell resigned onfter turning down an offer from the new DCI, form A. McCone, to become the CIA's first Deputy Director for Research.14

Two days after Bissell's departure, the new Directorate came into existence, and il absorbed all of ihe Development Projects Division's special reconnaissance projects. Only conventional airfor the Clandestine Services remained with the DDP in the new Special Operations Division.rogram was no longerwith covert operations.

The first half2onfusing period for the Development Projects Division. After losing the individual who had created and supervised it for seven years, the DPD also lost its feeling of autonomy when ii was transferred from its own building to the new CiA Headquarters at Langley. Soon afterward. Col. Stanley W. Beerli. who had headed the DPDeturned to the Air Force. Then onhe overhead reconnaissance projectsajor icorgani ration with the formation of the new Office of Special Activities (OSA) io replace the DPD. Tne original organization of OSA wiihivision or staff heads reporting directly to the director of the office (at that lime known as the Assistant Director for Special Activities) proved too cumbersome, and. ondivided most of these offices between two major subordinates, the Deputy for Technology and the Deputy for Field Activities (see chart,he Office of Special Activities (OSA) continued io control reconnaissance activities and relatedand development after the Directorate of Research wasand renamed the Deputy Directorate for Science and Technology (DDS&T)3 (along with the other

" Killon interview (St: LandISftknard NL BiiadlCbnianjDO

perations After0

The loss Of Francis Garyver the Soviet Union0 marked the end of the aircraft's use over the Soviet Bloc. Soon after the May Day incident. President Eisenhower ordered an endverflights. Similarly, his successor. John F. Kennedy,51 press conference.ave ordered that the flights not he resumed, whichontinuation of the order given by President Eisenhower in May of lasthis wasinding pledge, as John A. McCone (who became DCI inointed out to President Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, on* in response to rhe new president's request for informationverflight policies:

Contrary to popular assumption. President Kennedy did not make any pledge or give an assurance, at least publicly, that there would be no Jutther overflights. He limited his responsetatement that he had ordered that the flights not be resumed. An order, obviously, is valid only until countermanded.1

Technically. McCone was correct, but no President was likely toesumption of overflights of the Soviet Union without very good reason, andituation never developed, in pan because satellite photography gradually began to fill the gap left by the endoverage.

Although there were several proposals to resume overflights of the Soviet Union in the years that followed, none reached the mission planning stage. The Kennedy administration came closest to resuming

' Memorandum tot President Johosoo Irom DCI McCone. 'a queryverflighta. DCIoooore).

overflights of the Soviet Union during ihc Berlin Crisis in ihc jammer and fallnelly Johnson noied in his project log:

Have aod rtauetl from Mr. Bissell to propose wan end means for increasing safety efn probableIt seems that President Kennedy, who publicly stated that's would ever be over Russia while he was president, has requested additional flights. Some poetic justice in this '

One week later Colonel Geary called to order Lockheed tosixsCs with ihc more powerful enginesnority basis, even if it meant taking people off the work on theaircraft in rxder to speed up the conversions

Shortly (hereafter, ihc resumption of overflightsajor topic of discussion within the intelligence community. Onbe Committee on Overhead Reconnaissancea detailed "Justificationhotography over thehich argued in favorissions over selected, high-priority targets such as ICBM complexes. The COMOR paper stared that photographynot provide sufficient detail lo answer many critical questions about the Soviet ICBM program To back up this contention, ihe reportnd satellite photography of the same Soviet largcts Side by side, clearly demonstrating the farresolution of's cameras Not all members of COMOR supported the resumption of overflights, however When COMOR formally recommended this course of action to ihe USIBhe Slate Department and CiA members dissented, having found "insufficient justification forverflights of the USSRthis time-'

t^f^MfarlM.eean BmMmi too*:like Dial0 He noted in in* project fet on IIo/rte ftatmprttUmt and.iai moralmm. mmt fmshew

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at*aha. aWr Wi to aknd emd dt;iop

' MemormdUra to USIB fromiCMaraphy oilai. ir

"COMO* (CewoH ITSi.o-n of U3 OerfSem at UrnC Seal?.

com law

Nothing came of the rxoposalesume overflights in the falls both thend the Special Group came out against It. but. as longhotography remained clearly superior io satellite photography, the thought ofoverage of the Soviet Union remained templing Inheeriouslya COMOR proposal tover Kamchatka toSoviet aniiballistic-missite facilities but finally decided to wait for the results of an Air Force peripheral mission The board later ac cepted DCI McCone's recommendation to seek satellite ratheroverage of the area *

WirJi both ihe CIA aod the State Department strongly opposed to sending the highly vulnerablever the Soviet Union, prospects for resuming flights remained slight unless the intemaiional situation worsenedegree that overflights would be worth the nsks involved. Since this never happened. Francis Gary Powers' flight0 proved to be the last CIA overflight of the Soviet Bloc Yet.emained useful, for it could operate successfully in other areas with less developed radar and air defense systems. Afterhe main focusctivity shified to two new areas: Latin America,s would play an extremely important role during the, and the Far East, wheres were active8hen the Agency's involvement in mannedfinally ended.


upport to the Bay ol Pigs Invawloo

Mrmorondur- for ihe Specialrom COMOK. -Ill-Mmiow of Potxy ReMnpnu on Ihe CollKlitn of lnftvnuUon Ihroujh Otifliihi of Deeiitd Area4

, Qvetfti|ht of.Via Qjno,

C Surf.ode-ordI Jimei S.*oard.(rlrani CtA Hiwiry Start MS-1p. SI) (TS Code-Ort! Or*Ueerhef USo-rd BIBlWUllll inorJ uUd COMO* ro prtpin-rKwnmrndJUoo. on Cw need tor an ciociromcfjeMn*;ajaion iheADM mvaiUbew*SjiyUugjo The- praidwO mlnrtumx.tiexvn. -wtod.mtoeVt hfami Of Cw*- W)ofiWwd,

During latehe Directorate of Plans wasountenevolutionary invasion of Cuba for the following year. Tothis effort, the Agency asked the National Security Council's

SpaCltl Group io2 overflights of Cuba. Known as Operation KJCK OFF. these flights were designed to obtainon Cuban air and ground order of batik androvidedata for choosing an invasion site.

To allay fears that mechanical problems could lead to the lossver Cuba, the submission io the Special Group fot ovtrfBghCI emphasized that,lameout anywhere over Cuba, il could still glide back andafelorida. The Special Group approved Operation KICK OFF but stipulated ihat only two overflights could be made.taged the Cuban missions from Uughlm AFB near Del Rio.ase used byircraft Agency phoioinierpreters went io Del Rio to read oui the photography after these missions The two flights, onndere very long missions,iles and lasting over nine hours Because of cloud cover over Ciba. the results of boih missions were poor The Agency, therefore, asked the Special Group to approve additional missions. After rece'.vjng authoriiaiion.onducted three missions (Operation GREEN EYES) onovembernd0 with good results.

Overflights of Cubadcr the new administration of President Kennedy Under ihe codename Operation LONG GREEN, two overflights onnd1 photogtaphed Cubaio aid the final preparations for ihe invasion. Two weeks latergain deployed from Edwards AFB. California, io Ijughtin AFB. Texas. Beginningpril.s madelights over Cuba io provide photographic coverage of the ill fated Bay of Pigs invasion and its aftermath. These flights were known as Operation FLIP TOP-'

Aerial Refueling Capability for

' OSAhap. lo.TSo 1

Long missions conducted over Cuba in0 and over Southeast Asia in1 pointed out the reed to increase the range of. Ir.ockheed began modifyings so ihat they could be refueled in flight to extend their operating range. The six Agency aircraft ihat were modified to achieve this capabilitytheF Allilots then underwent training in the techniques of in-flijh: refueling.

n (lightery delicate task. When fully loaded with fuel.ankers found ii difficult to reduce airspeednots, the safest speed for. As for ihe ihey wereery vulnerable position whenankernots because their frail wings could not stand much stressilots had to approach theankers very carefully in order toe vortexes from ihe wingnps of the tanker and ihe turbulence caused by ihe four large jet engines During the first few years of refueling operations,s crashed afier their wings broke off as they crossed inio the turbulent area behind ihe tankers, one of the pilots was kilted*

The in-(light refueling capabilityseful modification to. but it could not dramatically extend mission length. The main limiting factor remained pilot fatigue, which prevented missions from lasting longer than approximatelyouts

overage During the Cuban Missile Crisis

TS Ccxk-eei

Cubaigh-priority target even after ihe Bay ofoon afterward.s began flying monihjy miss-on* over Cubarograrn known as Project

M-flrffftr 'tliM/iog


NIMBUS. Most of the flights were staged from Uugtilin AFB.Texas, out three were nown from Edwards AFB. California,light refueling to extend the range of the aircraft. By the springaving received reports of increased Soviet activity in Cuba, the CIA requested permission for additional photographic coverage of the is-land. The Special Group authorised increasing the number of Cuban overflights to at least two per month, beginning in2 At the same time, the National Photographic Interpretation Center beganhotographic Evaluation of In/oimation on Cuba series.'

By earlyIA analysts hadubsiarual

oviet arms deliveries to Cuba during theverflight in August,6 on the 5th. (lew

soon to detect the Soviei construction program just getting undervarious sites inecond) was originally

ugust, but bad weather forced repeated nostponemenis untilugust. This mission's photography provtded the first hard evidence

of the nature of the Sovie: buildup in Cuba. Two days afie: ihcthe CIA reported in Ihentelligence Checklist that ihere were ar least eight surface-to-air missileites in the western half ofThe map onhows the routes taken by ihe two August overflights.)

eptember theverflightrovided more evidence of ihe Soviei buildup. The mission's photography showed three more SAM sites and alsone of the newest Soviet fighter aircraft, at the Santa Clara airfield.

The discovery of SAMs in Cubawofold effect on the US reconnaissance effort over Cuba. First, it added substance to DCI McCone's fears that Cuba mightase for Sovieiballistic missiles (be argued that SAM sites would only be set up to proleci high-priority facilities such as missilet this time, however. McCone's suspicions were not shared by otherin the Agency or the administration. The second and mosteffect of the discovery of SAMs in Cuba was to make the administrationore cautious in its uses for reconnaissance Jonn A. McCons of rhe island. As the loss of Francis Garyn0 had demonstrated,as very vulnerable to theissile.

Within the administration, concern mounted about'sto SAMs in Cuba and the possibilityoss couldajor diplomatic crisis. Such fears increased as the result of two incidents in other parts of the world. Oneripheral reconnaissance mission overflew Sakhalin Island in the Far East,oviet protestepiembet. The United States apologized for the intrusion. Then]

' Rrihirt Letimao. "CIA Kaadlfnf or the aflviei Bcildup io? (Hereafter cited aa LeHraaaCt

[(this ClA reconnaissance program is discussed later in this chapter in the section on Asianncreasing concernulnerability led to an impromptu meeting on2 of Secretary of State Dean Rusk. National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy. and DDCI Marshall S. Carter (in place of the DCI. who was on his honeymoon inhe Secretary of Stateto the CIA's plans for two extended overflights covering theareas of Cuba not covered by the last two missions. Rusk wanted peripheral flights Over international waters kept separate from

overflights of Cuban territory. He argued that ihe loss of an aircraftission lhai combined both types of flights would mate it difficult for the United States to stand on its rights to fly over internationalBundy and Carter therefore agreed to split the proposedprogram inio four missions: two overflights and two peripheral flights, all planned for maximum safety. The overflights were thus designed to be quick "in-and-out" operations across the narrow width of ihe island instead of flights along ihe entire length of Cuba, as had been the case previously. (As the map oneptember mission was the last one to fly along the length of thes an additional precaution, flightpaths would be laid out to avoid known SAM sites. Although these changes greatly reduced the danger to, ihey slowed the gathering of information on the Soviet buildup by reducing each mission's coverage*

To ensure that the photographs taken by these missions werehighest quality, the CIA deckled to conduct flights only whenalong the flight routes was less thanercentproved toajor problem during the monthUnfavorable

verflightssvented the launching of any missionshrougheptember Moreover, when1 finally flew oneptember, theweaihet forecast proved inaccurate and heavy cloudsihe mission from obtaining usable photography. Bad weather coniinued to rule out missions untileptember, when3 covered eastern Cuba and found three additional SAM sites. Three days later5 flew over ihe Isle of Pines and Bay of Pigs area, finding one more SAM siteoastal-defense cruise missile site.10

The cautious series2 flights in September had turned up many mote SAM sites but no concrete evidence of the presence of surface-to-surface missiles. Crowing impatient with the restrictions

UhmK Repcn. oo. IMS (TS Code.ord)

"nn A. tie Record.vBiliehiS of

DC'**in compilinghoto-ftptiKJi due lolelr io dvc *nfl>waWe -either predicted dulng milore conicraporar/ COMOR memonerfiifhu unlit to Septemberult of ine Ion of minion Mo.r Chinaeptember Memoranda* for DDCI Caner ftom tomes q. Reber. Chairman. COMOR.4 OctooerJC Staff. COM1REXfCsba

thai bad been placedverflights of Cuba. DCI McCone told (he Special Group2 thai iheir policy of avoiding SAM siies had restricted the Agency to usingnly ia Cuba's southeastern quadrant. He questioned "whether thiseasonable restriction ai this time, particularly since the SAM's were almostnothe Special Group then requested the preparation of an overall program for reconnaissance of Cuba in time for iu next rneetingctober

In the mrs continued the reconnaissancethat the Special Group had approved in September. In early October two peripheialalong the southeastern coastctober0 along the northern coastctober (see map on pagean additional live SAM sites This brought the totalut there was still no evidence of sur-face-to-surface missiles.

Evidence was mounting that the portion of Cuba that the September and early October missions had avoided was the most likely location for Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs)he Committee on Overhead Reconnaissancefrernrent and regular coverage of Cuba, pointing inlar to the need for renewed coverage of western Cuba;

The absence of coverage of ihe western end sinceoupled with the rate of construction we have observed, means that there may well be many more sites now being built of *hieh ms| are unaware Ground observers have in several recentreported sightings of what they be/in* to be theSHYSTER, MRRM tn Cuba. These reports must be confirmed or denied by photottached to this memorandumist of targets, with the area around San Cristobal at tht tap

ctober the Special Group met to discuss COMOR'sthe most important of whichlight over the "suspect MRBM site as soon as weatherhis mission was also designed to pass over one of (heites that was thought to be most nearly operational in order to deierrr.ine the status of SA-2

Nwi of SpwUl Gnu*ot DCI McCom. Earman. topeera> General "KaMi-nc of ba laaJfcMtt InMrmitio" Dunns ihe Cuban AranCIi

" UnmanTS Cade-ordl

defensesof Cuba. If this overflight did tiot provoke cneacikx. the study recommended 'maximum caverage of the western end of the island bys simultaneously/'" Because ihe danger posed by iheites was one of the major topics ai the Special GroupCI McCone brough: along Col. Jack C. Ledlordead of me Office of .special Activities, whoulnerability analysis that estimated the odds ofver Cubanhe Special Group approved ihe recommended flight over San Cristobal

AS Ihe Special Group meeting was breaking up. Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Oilpatric and ihe Air Forcequestioned the adequacy of the Agency's cover siory. which was that its pilots were Lockheed employeeserry flight io Puerto Rico. The Air Force and DOD representatives argued ihci it would be betterorce pilots and stale in the event of athai the overflightouiine Air Force peripheral surveillance mission that had gone off course. McCone then asked Colonel Led ford's opinion of the proposed change. Led ford agreed ihat the DOD cover story was better but pointed out that thes were much mote vulnerable than those of ihe Agency, which had superior

electronic counicrrneasuresigher maximum altitude. Led

then suggested that Air Force pilots use Agency aircraft afterfamiliarization training. After leaving rhe Special Group meeting. McCone and Gilpatric met with President Kennedy, who approved the San Cristobal mission and the use of Air Force pilots."

Two daysir Force and CIA representatives metiscuss the change in cover stories. Herbert Scoville. CIA Deputy Director for Research, agreed that in ihe long run (he Air Force cover story was best but emphasized that an Air Force pilot Should not be used until he had received adequate training. The con versai.on then tamed to the issue of who would run the next mission, ihe CIA or the Air Force. Strongly lavoring Air Force conirol ofissions over Cuba, the DOD representatives called DCI McCone and obta.ned his consent Shortly thereafter. McCone left

lud.t asi.

" Bri| o.eoic-r* LSAf j^tioo

AnarySt.. OCIrrMnat. Depur. Dirteierh* CVonotoj, orCaOan OvarniitnSCI record!

ovrnuim ^-

] Washington (ot California and did not reiurn until la October Air Force control of the Cuban overflights became official onctober, when President Kennedy transferred "responsibility, to includeand control and operational decisions, with regardoverflights of Cuba" from the ClA lo the Department ofhe Air Force then askedborrow two ofCs.

The Acung DCI. Li Gen.arter. US Army, reacted strongly to the Air Force takeoverajor CIA operation. At one point he remarked.inkellay toailroad. It's j perfectlyeared operation toSAC in the series of conversations with high-ranking Air Force and administta-1 lion officials. Carter argued against changing command and control of i the (lights atrucial time. The Agency operation. Carter i pointed out. was already tn place and working well, whereas the Air 1 Force lacked eaperience inveifl.ghts. pankrulariy withC which was net io the Air Forcentory Carter also u emphasized that Air Force piois lacked eapenence with the morengines inC. He told Roswell Gilpatric. "To putrand new green piloi Just because he happens to havelue suit and to completely disrupt live command and control andand ground support system onours' ronce to me doesn'tod damn bit or sense. Mr.DCI Carterthat W* Air Force's cover story was probably betier than the CIA's but suggested at one point. "Lets take one of my boys and put himlueealising, however, that the pilot would probably have to come from the Air Force. Carter concemiated his efforts on trying to convince UO'J and administration officials to conduct an orderly transition by allowing the CIA to continue its operationew necks using an Air Force pilot, and the Air Force gradually taking over command and control. Carter's efforts were in vain. The Air Force insisted on immediate control of the operation, andofficials weie unwilling ra become involved in what they

"o- OC tIron:Ct-wwOvl

l OOCImlciobo lOil. ITS

"mmnDDCI Oner fi Ro.well GtlpJirie. l>


Telephoneim: oci roc

bri-re- DDCIml Gen.n.ciober TS Codeword)


perceivedurisdictional dispute. Presidential Assistant fen NaLonal Security Affair* Mc<ieorge Bundy told DDCI Carter that "ihe whole tfiinf looks to me like iwo quarrelingurthermore, no one warnedpeak ourecision thai the president had already made.

Once the decision was clearly irrevocable, the Agency gave iis complete support to the Air Force in preparing for the upcomingilot had already arrived nriannounced a: theetachment a: Edwards Air Force Base onctober, and theetachmeni put himasty training program to familiarize him withC. By Sunday.he weather over Cuba had cleared, and the hist SAC overflight of the island took place.

Wheneturned, its film was rushed to the National Photographic Interpretation Cenier By Ihe evening ofctober, phoiointerprciers had found evidence of the presence of MRBMs in the San Cristobal area NPIC Director Arthur Lundahl immediately notified DDI Ray Clirte. who in (um notified DDCI Carter (DCI McCone had again lefts rhe readout progressed and thebecame firmer, ihe DD! notified National Security Adviser Bundy and Roger Hilsman of the Department of Stare's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, who informed Secretary of State Dean Rusk. On the following morning.ctober. DDCI Carter briefed the President on the resutis of thectober mission*

Now that the presence of Soviet medium-rar.gemissiles in Cuba had been con firmed, the rulesission approval changed. The Strategic Air Command received blanketto By as many missions as needed lo cover Cuba completely, without again consulting the Special Group During the week ihatthe discovery of the missiles.s conducted multiple missions each day (see map onhotography wasby low-level photography taken by high-performance Navy and Air Force ai reran. Throughout It* remainder of the Cuban Missile Crisis, theilots remained idle, but the phoiointerprciers at NPIC did yeoman service in studying the

" .reboot tor.trvuian Mwm DOCICaww livJ vkCtirpICIii-

"ore detailed kcowu of NPlCs ditcovery tf the Soviei miuilti inse* Diem Bfv^OAi.ewCSd-T


of feet of film returned by Ait Force and Navy reconnais-

fotaoow wv aircraft Presideni Kennedy used NPIC photographs to illustrate

his address in the nation onhen he revealed the Soviet missile buildup in Cuba and declared his "naval quarantine" to prevent the shipment of offensive weapons to Cuba.

Onctober, at the height of the cnsis. one ofCS lent by the Agency to the Air Force was shot down over Cuba, killing the pilot. Maj. Rudolph Anderson. This loss again illustrated's vulnerability to tbeissile. Nevertheless.verflights cont.nued. both during and after the crisis. Responsibility forcoverage of Cuba remained with the Air Force; Agency pilots never flew another mission over Ihe island

Although SAC earned out most ofctivity duringMissile Crisis, theissions had made vitalduring the initial stages of the crisis. In all.pilots hadours overflying Cubahey had provided concrete evidence of the Soviet on the island, evidence that was simply not available ihtough any

s again conducted operations in the Western Hemisphere tnhe Directorate of Plans had_

and neijhbonn

across NSC Specialenezuela border to de rilla forces. The Specu conducted without

graphic coverage of] cause of guerrilla

Within three days, severalircraft and pilotsto Ramcyuerto Rico, from which they mads six (lights over the border areasnd3 in an operationEA FOAM. The results of the effort were in-conclusive, and the task force returned to Edwards AFB oaecember'

China Offshore Islands Dispute6

During iht summeremon between the People's Republic of China and Nationalist China (Taiwan) increased to such an exiem that onuneission to film the Chinese mainland coast and adjacent island areas. Onugusi. People's Liberation Army (PLA) artillery began bombarding the offshore islands of Quemoy and Liitle Quemoy. where ihe Nationalists had stationed huge numbers of troops to ward off any invasion Onugust the Communists increased ihe shelling. After five days of intense bombardment, which made resupply of ihe islands from

Taiwan impossible, the PLA commander ordered the

garrisons to surrender, intimating that an invasion was

The Nationalists refused to surrender and received support from

rhe Urn led States in the form of warships from the 7th Fleet, which

began escorting Nationalist ships carrying supplies to the beleaguered


During this period. Detachs Hew four missions Over ihe mainland, searching for troop movements that would indicate that the PRC was planning to invade ihe islands. Phoios from theseshowed no evidcr.eeRC buildup, but the atmosphere In the region remained tense.s flew twoeptember andctober) to monitor PRC troopand again found no indications ol preparations for an invasion. The Offshore Islands Crisis receded in late8 after ihe PRC learned that il would not receive support from the Soviet Union if the crisis escalatedonfrontation with the United States

MtittOS*Cooe-wii. OS* Wow, etup IS. ee-S

OUMu^ttxtp." (TS

While ihe Offshore Islands Crisis was still in progress.egan conducting flights in support of its weathercover story.nds Rew high above Typhoon Winnie, which was causing great damage or. Taiwan These missions provided rhe fiist photographyobtained ofassive stormotogiaphs of the storm were the subject of articles in the magazinee and theulyof.-rieek. In September,ircrafttwo more typhoons.

Lateockheed began refining (he Agency'ss with ihe mote powerfulet engine TheofCs arrived atn the summerest flight of this aircraft) onhe pilot decided toew altitude record

CBid.rtiir. is., ihftup ts. p.s Cefcwate]


ihc aircraft consumed mote fuel than was called lot in ihe test flight plan, causing the enginelame oui during the return io base. The pilot then made an emergency

/hecls-up landinglider-club strip near|

The crash did not cause any injuries cr serious damage to diebut it did bring unwanted publicity torogram. Much of the publicity resulted from the actions of Detachment C's security unit, whose conspicuous Hawaian shirts and large pistols drew the

attention of Japanese reporters. One reporter even flew over the areaelicopter, talcing ptctjies of. These photographsin many Japanese aewspapers and "

rash I

Rights bys over

jed during the first half0 under Operation TOPPER. The first mission Oftarch was very successful. The second missionpnl took good photographs but encountered mechanical problems. At the stait of the mission, the landing-gear doors failed to closeresulting in increased drag and higher fuel consumption With no fuel gauge to warn the pitotofthecriijcal fuel situation, theran out of fuel far shorttre pilot torash landingice paddy. Tneareawas inaccessible to largeand the plane,. had to be cut into pieces in order to remove it With the help of local villagers, the retrieval team dissasscmbled the aircraft for transport to the base, where the pieces were loadednder covei of darkness The crash and subsequent recovery ofid not attract the attention of the press; there was only one report. which simply referred to the crashet plane. In appre>:ijnon. provided by the villagers, thegave the headman funds toew

End ofperations

Tbe loss of two aircraft in slightly more than six months ledith just two aircraft. Fonunately. the level of mission activity remained low becauseas no longeroverflights of the Soviet Union

One important remaining mission was high-altitude air samplingn which speciallys gathered upper-altitude air samples to look for evidence of Soviet nuclear testing. The direction of the prevailing winds madedeally situated for this activity, which began in the fall8 and continued9 Inas preparing to stageo conduct additional air sampling missions, when theemporarily haltedctivities.

.o -TS Caea"ehap. IS. pp. TaVJJ fTS Code-ord)


ffecovon/ ot.0


*p SIvifTSCodr-wai

The publicity generated byncident stirred considerable controversy in Japan, and there were soon otmortsuations against the continuing presences in Japanrojectdecidedhased outetweenulyeptember, but Wis timetable had to bewhen the Japanese Government formally requeued theofsuly *



Mistions Over Laos and North. Vietnam

the aftermath o! the Power* loss, both of (beetacti ments returnedhe Uniied Siaies and iheir aircraft and personnel were incorporated bsWt Edwaids Ait Force Base in California. This dciachment was now tesponsilile for providingin Asia, and its flrsi mission came in Laos After the neutralisi Laotian Government of Souvanna Phouma collapsed in earlyeporu began circulating that lefiisi aniigovemmeni forces were using Soviet arms. Then onew Laotianappealed for UN aid against what il said was an invasion from North Vietnam and possibly Communis: China. Alarmed over Che possibility of the civil war expanding because of the intiocuction of foreign troops, the Eisenhower admimsuaiion orderedo gather more information on the event, in Southeast Asia.

jveilots and planes were ferried to |

|in the Philippines to conduct an operation known as

[Ew&kJ theo ISs made

indearch (or the repotted

foreign troops, ihese missions concentrated on the lines ofkeadmg into Lacs fromtnam and China laon.s scanned North Viettvarnese airfields for Soviet aircraft to cetermine the nuignitude of the airdrop operation allegedh^jir^|langaihei Lao troops. NPIC Sent photoinierpretert to|

obtain an immediate leadout of ihe'o^achnlissiorfflieiihotography did not subsloniiaie ihe Laotian claims, ami onanuary the laoiian Government leiracted its chargesoreign invasion. Detachments relumed to California in early"



^vjjor threat to the security of the mission. The film from the flightsmade onndanuary had been sent io ihe United Stales forprocessing. Afteiward Hie film was put aboaid an7 onarch to ferry it to Washington. During ihe flight one of the aircraft's engines failed, forcing the crew lo jettisonoxesighly classified film over mountainous terrain around Williamsport. Pennsylvania, to keep the craft airborne. After making an emergency

Chapter 5


landing ai the Scramon-Willces-Barre Airpon. ihe pilot repotird the incidene to Headquarters The Office of Security immediatelythe Pennsylvania State Police, who sealed off the wooded area. Agency security officers soon arrived to search for the boxes They recovered allontainers; not one had broker."

Detachment GJ only other activity during the lummerlolitary overflight of North Vietnam, known as Operation EBONY, lr. preparation for thisecoyed31 Two days later it successfully conducted ihe overflight and subsequently returned to (he United States."

New Detachment

loo flying rniwoni in other pans of Asia, Indochina was an area of particular interest as American involvement therer-ing ihe

overflights of North Vietnam During the first halfmarie seven overflights of North Vietnam from

Hp'10'* couw uw

own aircraft because the unit began staging teams and aircraft ftom Edwards AFB tol

2sotalissions over North and South Vietnam. Byowever, pbotographic requirements were changing from strategicto tactical support ast Cong became more active, taking advantage of the weakness of the South Vietnamese central government following the coup that overthrew President Ngo Dinh Diem3 and subsequent coups by disgruntled array officers. During this period the South Vietnamese -strategic hamlet- concept began breaking down, and the Viet Cong forces stepped up the pace of their attacks.esult of the increasing level of combat in, the tSIB gave responsibility for aerial reeeaaroissance of the areas where fighting was taking place to the SAC. Henceforth. SACwould be used over South Vietnam, pans of Cambodia


,ist rruun focus ofciivuy in Atia remainedslr. March andIB metreconnaissance of Laos.NorthCOMOR's intelligence requirementsheavy cloud cover rrtade itof the region. At theayrequestedrequirements and stresscc

The Special

tour aut

I subject to monthly revje* by the Group.

,esult of the increasing intelligence community interestEast, bothknachments became very active ina number of missions over the bor-

: areas of China. North Vietnam, and Laos during April and Mayrhe same Lrre.more adventurous.

TSJ8oL J. ft C'Jtl (TS

Chapter S

The increased levelctivity in the Far East3erious weakness in Projects IDEALISTaircraft. The Agency only had seven fly January

nd one of these aircraft had already been lost during anino deal with this shortage. DCI McCone asked Defense Secretary McNamara and rhe Joint Chiefs of Staff on3 to transfers from the Air Force to the CIA- The Defense Department quickly approved this request. Before the two Air Force aircraft were placed in service, however, the Agency had them upgradedngines and various electronica process that took more than four months."

President Johnsontanddown ofhis standdown welcomed hy J

nted let tome time go by" before more overflights were scheduled.

that the only remaining qualified L'-2had "disqualified" himself because of nervous tension. No new pilots could be qualifiedlights before mid-August

|:hcn demarded faster and higher flyingwell at better arumissile equipment for the planes. This requestCIA personne. luspeCI thatProject OXCART, the successor tohat was still

To counter the shortage of pilots in|

suMesied to the Specia'ugustriat

usedissions overup agreed thatthe matter should be taken up with President Johnson. On theday. however. Presidential National Security Assistant McGeofge Burdy informed McCone it-at. because Secretary of State Rusk and Secretary of Defense McNamara opposed the idea, he would not take it up with the President."


. TS Coif onli

OS* Hiwy. chap IT. pp.9 (TS Coiltawd)

overflights were stopped was ability to track and, is wriings.8

werelose watchd activelys as soon as Trthen had iorowing PRC air

defense system that not only consisted ofrussile* bul alsoand high-flyingilots had become

adept at the power-room :echn*|ueT>rJwere threatening almostission. The riskss now seemed too great."

The decision to end Asian overflights was also rooted in the Johnson administration's change in its whole approach to the war in Indochina in the springnhe President limited ihe bombing of North Vietnam in order io improve the cnances for peace talks. The end of flights overvas viewed as another way to improve the peace process.

Vieinam inS military flights in tbe area wereTbe Nixon administration, therefore, tasked the CIA withNorth Vietnam's compliancethe cease-fire accords

[Their highly sensitive missions had to remain at leastautical miles away from the North Vietnamese coast, and ihey initially flew at low altitudeeceptive dirrciior in order to avoid PRC radars These constraints made the missionsbecause at low altitudeonsumed more fuel andmore turbulence and the pilots' pressure suitsverheat.

The first mission on3 was only marginallybecause of cloud cover and ha:e, which prevented it from pfiotographtng most of itsecond mission on the following day had somewhat better luck with the weather, but problems with the film processing reduced the mission's coverage. Afterward, theseason prevented any further missions untilhis mission obtained usable photography of SAM sues and North Vietnamese supply operations, although the resolution was not as high as it should have been becauseamera lens had not been properly focused. The last SCOPE SHIELD mission,inally succeeded in obtaining high-quality phoiography. The mission provided complete coverage of shipping in Haiphong Harbor. SAM defenses, and North Vietnamese naval order of bailie."


Moditlcallons for Aircraft Carrier Deployment

Inhe Office of Special Activities set in motion Project WHALE TALE to examine the possibility of adaptingircraft for-

ClA planners believed that,s could be modified to operate aircraft canters, the United States could avoid the political problems

" iW. pp asTS Caw-oWi

The first test of's capability for carrier operations cook place in3 from the USS Kilty Hawk operating in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego.J IC. which had been leaded aboard the earner ai North Island Na*ai Base, cook off from the flight deckull load of fuel and was airborneeet. No assistance from catapults was necessary. Although ihe takeoff was wry successful, the attempted larding was not. Thebounced, hit hard on one win* lip. and then just barely managed to become airborne again before reaching the end of the deck Kelly Johnson realned ihat the airframe wouldotered in order to make carrier landings possible These alterationsstrengthening ihe landing gear, installing an arresting hook at the rear ol the fuselage, and fining "spoilers" on (he wings io cancel the aerodynamic lift once (he aircraft was over the fligh( deck. Aircraft thu* rnodifiefl wereG. While several aircraft

By the summerhe number of flyablcs had toat

in'hree more at Loeitfieearepair, ine Agency had originally orderedsthe Air Force had purchased anotherf thesend Kelly Johnson's crew at the Skunk Works had managed to assemble four additional craft for the Agency from leftover spare parts and usable sections of crashed aircraft. This brought the total numberoaJ-2sby (he Agencyor an average cost ol|

At this point, the DCI and the Secretary of Defense6 decided to place an order with Lockheed for eight mote aircraft to be used in the Agency and Aircompletely new version of the aircraft. Kelly Johnson had been working On ways to improve the performance ofince5 because he was concerned that all the modifications and additions to the aircraft over the years had made it SO heavy that it had lost almost half of its range and several thousand feet in cruisinghe new model, known asR.onger fuselageider wingspan than the.R's wingseet longquare feet of lifting surface, in contrast tofoot wings withquare feet. The longer fuselage ofR made il possible to provide iwo pressurized bays with anubic meters of equipment space and alsoetter weightThe net result of all these improvementsuch betteraircraft. No longer didilot have to worry about keeping the aircraft's speed al altitudenoi window in the stall/buffet comer of the flight envelope. The envelope was nowtonots, which greatly improved flyability.

Johnsee. "Lex ferebruary IMS.S: lohnioa.anuary ro


Chapter 5


sed ihe upgradedngine and was able to flyexcess0hich itnots fatter thanC When flying at the higher altitude, however,s range was less thanhe restart capability ofngine wasbetter thanower plantesult,R could be restarted0 feel, whichOOO feet higher thanC Francis Gary Powers was one of the Lockheed test pilots who checked out this new aircraft when it first took to ihe air on7 The last ofRs was delivered on8

The increased performance ofR did not come cheaply.

cr airctaft. ihe new models costass. Much of the increased cosi wasdueto inflation, bur some was the result of technological advances Theorder foi eight of Ihe new version cfas followed on6 by an order from the DCI and the Secretary of Defense for foui more- This brought the tout numberRsby ihe CIA and the Air Force"

In additionew aircraft,rogramew. camera Agency managers felt thai, becauseamera was nowears old,Ramera that incorporated the manyadvances ihat had occurred in receni years Themodified version of the satellite program's stereo camera that had been used in thenoi proved toialiy successful. Despite iii stereo capability, ihis camera's shorter focal length could not provit

" OSA Hillary, tlup-SAhap. i. pp.

ITS Codeword!

ihe Kale of imagery needed to obtain the highly teehmcai data de-sired by analysis.esult, ihe Office of Special Activities asked the Hycon Manufacturing Companyaclena. California, to adapt its successfulinchnch format camerafor the OXCART aircraft for use inR. This camera watery advanced version of theameraew lens designed by lames Baker The new camera was designed to resolve objects smallernches.

Hycon began work on theameranlike the OXCART camera, the new unit was io use theinch format ofamera, so the tern had to be redesigned Jamet

Baker's contribution to this effortystem thatremarkably sharp imagery. Hycon completed Ihe camera in time for it to be installed in theRs dehvered io the Agency ia

t is known asamera.*1

q^accmant of IhesRa

As theRs began coming off the production line at Lockheed In the autumnlA and thef Defense had to decide who would get the new aircraft.eeting onovember. DCI Richard Helms and Secretary of Defense Roben McNamara agreed that the Air Force and the Agency would each gelRs. The sixS remaining from theroduction were to be kept in livable condition and be used as re placements if newer models were tost.

Despite the greatly increased capabilities of the new model of. the eta of overflights of hostile territory was over.R would have six year* of useful service with the Agency, but itsdid not include penetration flights over hostile territory.


When Ae OXCART'S brief operational career with the Agency endedas once again the center of the Agency'seconnaissance program. But by this time, reconnaissance alrcralt had declined in importance as collection systems. Overflightshing jf the past. Although!

htp S..


were slill flying missions targeted agaipst|

these missions did not nverflyplew missions ihat did not involve tion requirements.

intelligence collec-


to Other Agencies;

he Agencyrogram known as RED DOT (or the Department ot' Defense. RED DOT involved theand testing of various color, black and white, and infrared films, emulsions, and processing techniques for use in manned and ur.manr.ed high-attttude reconnaissance systems8* rrfwtc*aphed areas within the United States thatanalagous to prntioni of the Soviet UtWon in order so test films and techniques fot spotting certain targets This analogous filming was particularly valuable in connection with agricultural areas and nuclear test sites.

issions supported agencies outside the intelligence community.8s flew high altitude photograph*onjunction wiih the Apollo VII and IX spaceflights in responseASA request. These flights provujed photography of Ihe western Untied Slates for comparison with Ihe phoioaraphy taken by the Apollo crews The Depaiiment of the Interior alsoupport in9 io help deiermine ihe extent of damage causedeak in an offshore oil well in California's Santa Barbara Channel. After preliminary assessment of the film at NPIC. the mission photography was given io the US Geological Survey for further study

Also inegan providing coverage of the western United Stales al the request of the Department ofs filmed ihe Sierra snowfield to aidorecasting snowmelt and flooding potentials. Later that year.upported ihe Office of Emergency Preparedness byGOO square miles of the southern United States as panumcane Baseline Survey. These photograph* could be used for future damage assessmentajor hurricane. Amission in fiscal1 coriinued the Hurricane Baseline Survey by photographing the Gulf Coast.ajor earthquake struck the Los Angeles areas flew four sorties to obtain da mace-assessment photos."

^ Nei'uiffa

Chapter fj


Deployment Exercises and Missions

exception theU-2s

[all of theseu^crcToncenUated inn California. To test the ability of0

respondrisis in Europe or the Middle East, the Agencyoverseas deployment exercise known as SCOPE SAINT eachthere was an actual operational deployment, as wasirst of ihese exercises.took placehen Detachment G

onducted several training flights and then returned to California. SCOPEollowed in9 andihe feasibility ofircraft to accompany a

No overseas deployment exercise was nccessaiyorotctually deployed overseas lo provideor* the Middle East A: the time. President Nixon's National Security Adviser.issinger, was mediating between the Arabs and Israelis in order toease-fire along the Suei Canal,irtual undeclared war was taking place. Once agreement was reached in August. Kissinger promised both sides that the United Stales woutd monitor the agreedrrak pollback from rheOriginally. Kissinger intended for photosatelhtes to do the monitoring. One satellite was tasked to photograph the Suer Canal area onugust, but the quality of its imagery Lcked the detail needed to discover such small targets as gun emplacements and Jeeps.

and begin filming the Suez "SRTand it did In fact, the First

Ir. early August. Kissinger asked the Air Force tos to overfly the Canal, bat the Air Force demurred, saying it would lake several weeks toetachment from Del Rio. Texas, to Ihe Middle East. At this point, DCI Helms told an NSC meeting that the Agency'st Edwards Air Force Base could deploy air-

Lul* Aim ina IV Sill"?


Jonlyours after receiving notification to deploy.ugust ands flewissions Over the cease-fire zone as part of Project EVEN STEVEN. Most flights usedamera, butere equipped with theamera The EVENs alsooren electronic-intelligence-collection packages, fromo Sysaem-XXIV Afterir Forceo*cr the task of photographing the cease-fire tone.*

The Middle East was again the causeetacbmen: Gtnhen another Arab-Israeli war broke out.


o be ready for possible coverage of theconnG receded no

aircraft returned to California onovember.3 war did

TS.O ITS CoOe-ordl.


Chapter 5


io (he overseas deploy inert: ofshen the CIA was Israeli-Syrian

touly, the detai areasegistered nu acre Tired. Cm

is well js (he aircraft irself came into the hands ofTIcAirTorce as pan of the transfer of ihe entireat ihat time.

The Phaseout ot The Office of Special ActivHios

Therogram had been under review since ihe autumn9 to determine if it should be continued along with the larger Airrogram. Inresident Nixon decided to keep ibe Agency's program in existence1 and askedormal review by theommittee (the new name forommittee/Special Group) InheC proiram through fiscalOn 12

The transfer of alls to the Air Forceparent organization, the Office of

' trnt.p? Jl-WOSCode-orej

* bid.p MrrSCednced)

Specialhaseout immediately thereafter.year career ofith the CIA had come io an end.

Beforeecame operational inIA projecthad esiimated tha: its life expectancy for flying safely over the Soviet Union would be between IS months and two years. After overflights began and the Soviets demonsiraied the capability of tracking and attempting to intercept. this estimate seemed too optimistic. Byichard Bissell was so concerned about's vulnerability that he despaired of its ability to avoid destruction for six months, let alone two years.

To extend's useful operational life, project officials first attempted to reduce the aircraft's vulnerability to detection by Soviet radars. Project RAINBOW'S efforts to mask the radar image ofot only proved ineffective, but actually made the aircraft more vulnerable by adding extra weight that reduced its maximum a'.iitude. Because Soviei radar operators continued to find ands equipped with antiradar systems, ihe CIA canceled Project RAINBOW in

Long before the failure of Project RAINBOW, Richard Bissell and his Air Force assistant. Col. Jack A. Gibbs. had begun to lookore radical solution to the problem of Soviei radarentirely new aircraft. In the late summerhe two officialsumber of airframe contractorsearch for new ideas. Among the mote unusual was Northroproposali-ganiic aircraftery-high-lift wing. Because it would not be made of metal, ihe wing wouldype of bridge truss on its upper side to give it rigidity. The proposed aircraft would achieve

's Intended Successor: Project

altitudes00 feci but only at subsonic Speeds, just enough to keep il airborne.'

The slow-flying Norlhrop design did noi solve ihe piobtem of tadai deiection, and7 ihe emphasis switched io supersonicInhe Scientific Engineering Institute iSLll.^that had been working on ways to reduce the TT^viiTr^iabTTity to ladat, began to investigate the possibility of designing an aircraftery small radar cross section. SE1 soon discovered that supersonic speed greatly reduced Ihe chances nfbyrom this point on. (he CIA's attention focusedon the possibility of building an aircraft that could fly at both extiemely high speeds and high altitudes while incorporating the best ideas in radar-absorbing or radar-de Reeling techniques.



' Donovat* iW"is* (Si.

gjg^jgj"Th, OXCART* (SJ.

epon Sct ihe OXCARTeihced AliemftTSl).

By Ihe autumnissell and GibbS had collected so many ideasuccessor tohat Bissell asked DCI Dulles forto establish an advisory committee to assist in the selection process. Bissell also felt that the supportommittee of prominent scientists and engineers would prove useful when it came time lo ask for funding for such an expensive project. Edwin Land became the chairman of the new committee, which included some of iheand engineers who had served on previous advisory bodies for overhead reconnaissance: Edward Pureed. Allen F. Donovan, H. Guyford Stever. and Eugene P. Kiefer. The Air Force's chief scientist. Court land D. Perkins, wasember. The committee first met in7 and held six more meetings between8 and the late summerhe meetings usually took place in Land's Boston office and almost always included the Air Force's Assistant Secretary for Research and Development. Dr. loseph V. Charyk. and his Navy counterpart. Garrison Norton. Designers from severalmanufacturers also attended some of the meetings '

The (wo most prominent firms involved ir. the searchew aircraft were Lockheed, which had designed ihe. and Convair. which was building ihe8 "Hustler" bomber for the Air Force and also working on ar. even faster model known asSuperarlyS. Richard Bissell askedfrom boih firms IO submit designsigh-speedaircraft. During ihe spring and summeroth firms worked on design concepts without government coniracis or funds.

Following extended discussions with Bissell on Hie subjectupersonic successor to. Lockheed's Kelly Johnson beganan aircraft thai would cruise att altitudes0 feet. Onohnson presented his new high speed concept to Land's advisory committee, which expressed interest in the approach he was taking. At the same meeting. Navy representativesonceptigh-altitude reconnaissance vehicle thaithe possibility ofamjet-powered, inflatable, rubber vehicle thai would be lifted to altitudealloon and then be propelledocketpeed where (he ramjets could produce thrust. Richard Bissell asked Johnson io evaluate ihis concept, and (hree weeks later, after receiving more details from NavyKelly Johnson made some quick calculations that showed that the design was impractical because the balloon would have toile in diameter to lift ihe vehicle, which in turn woulding surface area greater than one-seventh of an acre to carry ihe payload.'

Byockheed hadumber of possible configurations, some based on ramjc; engines, others wiih bothand turbojeis. Personnel at Lockheed's Skunk Works referred to these aircraft concepts asnd soarryover from the original nickname of "Angel" given touring its development. These nicknames for the various designs soon became simplytc.

Inhe Land committee met again to review all the concepts ihen under consideration and to winnow out the few that were most piaciicable. Among the concepts rejected were the Navy's proposal for an inflatable, ramjet-poweredoeing proposaloot-long hydrogen-powered inflatable aircraft, and a

L. MiMon.ol iheSRTi


lacUxtd designydrogen -powered aiicrafl (thexamined two ocner Kelly Jonmor, designs aitailless subsonic aircraftery-low-radarJew sjprrrsonic design (thedideither one. the former because of its slow speed and theof its dependence on exotic fuels for its ramjets and itshigh cost. The committee approved the conrinaaiion ofamjer-powcredparasite" aircraft thatpecially configured version ofdesign wasarasite because it could not take off onbutarger aircraft to carry it aloft and accelerate itspeed required to Stan the ramjet engine. The Convair designthe FISH'

Two month* later, after reviewing the Convau proposal and yet jtother Lockheed designigh-speed reconnaissance aircrafthe Land committee concluded in late5 that it would indeed be feasible to build an aircraft whose speed and altitude would make radar tracxing difficult or impossible. The committee, therefore, recommended that DCI Dulles ask President Eisenhower to approve further pursuit ol the project and to provide funds Jar addi tional studies and tests.'

OnS. Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell briefed the President on ihe progressuccessor to. Also present were Land and Purcell from the advisory committee. Presidential Science Adviser James Killian. ond Air Force Secretary Donald Quarlev DCI Dulles reviewed the results ofissions to date and seated hb beliefuccessor toould be used

- all over the world and "woulduch greater invulnerability to

' detection "

Bissell then described the two competing projects by Lockheed and Convair, noting that the chief question at the moment was whether to use air launch or ground takeoff The next phase, hewould be detailedig. at the end of which ii wasthatircraft be orderedost of0 million.

'OS* Wim/y, crap. M.TSohnson. -Arerutif-tleptember

1 (TS Code-ore*n. "OXCARTSI:

Alifiough Presidem Eisenhower supported the purchase ofof aircraft, he questioned rhe plan to procure any before rheytested. Promising thai more thought would be given to thebefore such an order was placed. Secretary Ouarles notedthe Defense Department, and the Bureau of theunding plan for the project The Prestder.:the Air Force "could support the project by transferringt the close of thegroup to return after completing thework phase tostages of the project with him.'


With funding for the proposed new type of aircraft now available. Richard Bissell asked Lockheed and Convair to submit detailedools During the first halfoth Lockheed andorked to reduce the radar cross section of their designs, withance from Franklin Rodgets of the Scientific Engineering Institute.In pursuing his antiradar siudies. Rodgets had discovered athat he believed could be used to advantage by the newaircraft. Known as the Blip/Scan Ratio but also referreds the Rodgers' Hffect, this phenomenon involved three elements: the strengthadar return, the altitude of the object being illuminated by the ladar, and the persistence of the radar return on the radar screen (Pulse-Position Indicator display)

Most tracking radars in theand ofide* in circumference. Any object encountered in this area reflected the radar pulseanner directly proportional to itslarger the object, the stronger the reluming radar signal. This return appeared on the cathode-ray tube of the radar screenr blip, and the persistence of this blip on the radar screen also penned on the strength of the radar return, with blips from larger objects remaining on the screen longer. During thenduman radar operator watched the radar scicen and kept track of the blipsGxnec ancraftheield of view.

oodpuier. "SitmorindJin-trh theMOSS. Alpha. DDEL CIS).





Rodgers Cetxrrnircedigh-altitude objecto (fittt tiroes as faila! aircraft would producemall blip with so little persistence that the cada/ operator would have great difficulty tracking il if indeed he could even see it. Rodgersthat for an aircraft to take advarmge of this Blip/Scan Ratio phenomenon it must fly at altitudes0 feet andadar cross section of less thanquare meters, preferably not muchquare meters However,ircraft to achievemall radar cross section, its designers would have to make many concessions in its structural design and aerodynamics."

By the summeroth Arms had completed theirIn early June, Lockheedesignround-launched aircraft known ast ofaigeiles, an aluude0 (eet,ompletion dale ofelly Johnson had refused to reduce theof hit design in order iureater antiradat capability, andl's radar crosslthough not great, was substantully larger than that of the much smaller parasite aircraft being designed by Convair'

The Convair proposal calledmall, manned,reconnaissance vehicle to be air launched from one of two conrigjrcdSB Super Hustlers. The FISHadical lifting bodyery-small-iadar cross section, would fly at0 feet andangeiles. Two Marquardt ramjets would power itsash over the target area. Once the FISH decelerated, twohitneyuroojets wot-IC bong it back to base. The ramjet exit ooiiles and wing edges would be constructed oferamic material that could withstand the high temperatures of very high speeds and wouldradio-frequency energy from radar pulses Convair stated that the FISH could he ready by*

toposa. depended or. two uncertain factors First and foremost was the unproven technology of ramjet engines. At the ume, no aircraft in existence couldarge, ramjet-powered craft into the sky and then accelerate to sufficient speed for the ramjet engines

Ootrmti* on tM HtfBtMc tod-ten'tTSj"VcMAf-tl loj" One-Mr1

"mn: (TS Co-It. own:r General Or-oft*H Statusfl June ifllfl |Sl

K> be ignited. Since ramjet engines had only been icsted in windthere was no available data to prove that these engines would rework in Ihe application proposed by Convair. The secondactor wasomber that was supposed to achieveefore launching the FISH0 reel This version of thewas still in the design stage

roposa!ajor setback inhen the Air Force canceledrojeci. Conversion of the older,upersonic launching plaifunn for the FISH was led out by the high cost and technical difficulties involved. 'Moreover, the Air Force was unwilling to pan with two aircrafi from IO* small inventory of its most advanced bomber. Even hadprogram not been canceled, however, the FISH proposal wouldnot have been feasible. Convair engineers hud calculated that the padded weight of the FISH would pteventrom achieving (the speed requited io ignite the parasiie aircraft's ramjet engines.

The Convair proposal was iherefcre unusable, but the Lockheedith us high radar cross section was alto unacceptable to the committee. Onhe committee rejected both

designs and continued ihe competition Lockheed continuedork onesign that would be less vulnerable to detection, and Convairew CIA contract to design as air beeaihing twin-engine aircraft that would meet ihe general specifications being followed by Lockheed."

Following recommendations by the Land committee, both Lockheed and Convair incorporated iheower plant inio their designs. This engine had originally been developed for the Navy's large, jet-powered flying boat, theartineamaner. and was the most powerful engine available.S the Navy had canceled the Seamasicr program, which had lefthitneyuyer for thengine Li

Although ihe Land committee had not ye: found an acceptable design, i: informed President Eisenhower oo9 that the search was rnaking good progress. Concerned aboutto detection and possible inteicepiion and aware thai the photosatclliie project was encountering significant problems, the President gave his final approval to ihe high-speed reconnaissance aircraft project


By the late summeroth Convair and Lockheed hadnew designsollow-on toonvair's entry, known as the KINGFISH. used much of the tecrinoiogy developed for,ncluding stainless steel honeycomb skin, planiform wing design,rew capsule escape system, which eliminated ihe need for the pilot toressurized suit. The KJNGFISH had twongines inside the tutelage, which significantly reduced the radar cross section. Two additional

' OSA Hftwr. ehap *u. p.TSI

J <T3ows* V.rier-it**Wun.njwr.i ,TS tMtBfat*

'1. Ooodpnier.CofitervnaltOSS. ALPHA. DDEL fTSi

Chvj| km I

design features tha; ccrntribviedmall radar mum were fiberglass engine inletsngs whose leading edges were made of Pyrocrram-'"

Lockheed's new entry was much like in first, but with several modificationsewt. too, would employ two of thecheeds major innovation in reducing radar returnesium additive in the fuel, which decreased the radar cross section of the afterburner plume This improvement had proposed by Edward Purcell of the Land committee. Desiring to weight. Kelly Johnson had decided not to consttuet2raditional lightweight metals such as aluminum were out of question because they could not stand the heat that would be gen-as2 flew a:. so Johnsonitanium

iUMtMr,eryol a*r. ,ht Archanpl OtO Aoc-Hi-Con.jlrfivjttaly reducedn an nrpUm ihe tot ot on. Ml Ttmj in (Wirela my 8uni*ti forinki *td- MlfWlMM "

Onockheed and Convair suhm.ttcd theiroint Departmerit of Defense.. arsd ClAs the table shows, the two aircraft were similar in perfc<minec



3 1









W.OOO ii


of the CIA representatives initially favored the Convair "GFISH design because of its smaller radar cross section, but theyventually convinced to support the Lockheed design by the Air -ce members of the panel, who believed that Convair's cost ovei-and production delays on8 projeci might be repeated in this new project. In contrast. Lockheed had producednder et and on time. Another factor favoring2 was security, kheed had experience inighly secure facility (ihe nk Works) in which all of the key employees were alreadyhe Agency.

Despite its vote in favor of ihe Lockheed proposal, theemained concerned abouts vulnerability to radarand therefore required Lockheed io prove its concept for 'ucings radar cross sectionnhe CIAour-month contract to Lockheed

nVra-v. (Nap. SO. pp.rS


to proceed with antiradar studies, aerodynamic structural icsis. 2nddesigns. This research and at) later work on2 took placeew codename, Project OXCART, established at the end of9 to replace its more widely known predecessor, Ptojecthe CIA's project manager for OXCART was John PatangOSky. who had long been associated withrogram.


During the springelly Johnson's Skunk Worksthen numbered onlyad begun building aof the proposed aircraft. The mockup was to be tested forcross section by Edgerton.rieriiiiScientific Engineering Institutemalla:Objected to this site be-

cause its pylon would not support me full-scale mockup and because the facilities were in full viewearby highway. Ongreed to move iu radar test facility

When the new radar test facility with its larger pylon was ready, Johnson put2 mocktippecially designed trailer truck thai carried it from^ By IShe mockup was in place atop the pylon, and radar testing could begin. These tests soon proved that Lockheed's concept of shape, fueland nonmetallic pans was workable, but ii would take more than IS months of testing and adjustment before the OXCARTatisfactory radar cross section.

It was in the course of this radar testing that the OXCART received its characteristic coora-like appearance. Edward Purccll and Franklin Rodgers had come upheoryontinuously curving airframe would be difficult to trackadar pulseit would peesent few cotnet reflectors or sharp angles from which pulses could bounce in the direction of the radar. To achieve the continuously curving airframe. Kelly Johnson added thin, curved extensions to the engine housings and leading edges of the wings and

hjp HO.TS Codeword)OS*rap. x. p.TS Code-omi

eventually to the tutelage itself, creating what is knownhine on each side. At first Johnson was concerned that these additions might impair the airworthiness of the plane, but wind tunnel testingthai the chines actuallyseful aerodynamic lift tovehiele Because titanium was very britlle and therefore difficult io bend. Johnson achieved the necessary curvature by combining tri-irijular-sbaped pieces of titanium called fillets These fillets were glued to the fiame-ork of the chinespecial adhesive, epoxy resin.

On later OXCaRT models The fillers were made fromresistive honeycomb plasticlass-fiber surface that would not melt at high speed When struckadar pulse, thechines (ended to absorb the pulse rather than reflect it. Aapproach was used for the leading edges of the wings. Again electrically resistive honeycomb material was fabricated intoar shapes, known as wing teeth, and fitted into the titanium wings. Both the metal and composite filleu and teeth were held in place with -he newly developed epoxy cements.

The greatest remaining area of concern ins radar cross (ecOon was the two vertical stabilizers To reduce radar reflections. Kelly Johnson canted the stabilizersnd fabricated them out of resin-impregnated nonmetallic materials. Once these changes were completed, the only metal in each vertical stabilizer was asteel pivot. The Air Force, which later ordered several versions of the OXCART aircraft for its own use. never adopted the laminated vertical stabilizers."


Byockheed had demonstrated that its concept of shape, fuel additive, and nonmetallic parts would reduce the OXCART'S radar cross section substantially. Richard Bissell. rsowev-cr. was very upset io leam that the changes had lededuction in thefexmance. which meant it would rtot be able to attain the penetration altitude he had promised to Pres-dcrw Eisenhower. Kelly Johnson then proposed to reduce the aircraft's weightounds and increase the fuel loadounds, making it possible

"Johnson, "Mttlo-mi-niofpp.Mwy.. JS (TS Coof-orJI.

to achieve ihc desired target altitude0 leet. Afterwaid. he noted in Ihc project lot: "We have no performance marginshi> project. Instead of beingimes as hard as anything we have done, isimes as hard. This marches the design nurr.her and

These changes saiisfied Bissell. who notified Johnson onanuary thai rhes iuthc-irmg theuCtion off the nev. aircraft The actual contract was signed onftriginal quotation for the projectmllior forircraft, but technological difficulties eventually made this priceossible to meet. Recognizing that fabricating an aircraft from tita- -mum might involve unforeseen difficulties, then ihe contract that allowed costs to be reevaluated. During the ne> five years, this clause had to be invokedumber ofs costs soared to more than double the original estimate."


According to ihe specifications, the OXCART aircraft was topeed of4 knots or Oil miles per second, which would make it as fastifleangeautical miles, and reach altitudesJO0 feet Theraft would thus be more than five times as fas: as ihcnd would goiles higher.

One major disadvantage or' theroat speed was high temperatures Flying through the earth's atmosphere ateaicd portions of the aircraft's skin to'F. An aircraftat these high speeds and high lemperatures required fuels, Iu bricants. and hydraulic fluids that had not yet been invented. The OXCART's fuel requirement calledow vapor-pressure fuelow volume at operating temperatures; the fuel would also be usedeat sink to cool various pans of the aircraft.required lubricants ihat did not break down at the very highlemperatures ofpeeds This requirement led to the

toSmo- -Mmft-i WonM*jqi tfTS CwSr-trti

invention of synthetic lubricants. Lockheed also hadearch long oxcapt productions

and hardydraulic fluid thatcl not vaporue at high speed

but would stiiii low altitudesuitable hydraulic

pump was Just as difficult. Kelly Johnson finallyump

that was being developed for North0 bomber


Some of the greatest problems related to (he high speeds and high temperatures at which the OXCART operated resulted from wonting with the rrsaserial chosen for theAfter evaluating many materials, Johnson had chosen an alloy of titanium


Chapter 6


QXCAHf pilot Suit

haracterized by great strength, relatively light weight, and good resistance to high temperatures, out high in cost. As strong as stainless steel, titanium weighed slightly more than half as much. Obtaining sufficient quantities of titaniumuality suitable for fabricating aircraft components proved very difFculi because methods for maintaining good quality control during the milling of titanium were not fully developed. Up to SO percent of the early deliveries from Titanium Meials Corporation hud to tx? rejected It was nothen company official* were informed ol the objectives and high priority of the CXCART program, that problems with thesupply ended Even after sufficient high-quality titanium was received. Lockheed's difficulties with the metal were not over. Titanium was SO hard lhai tools normally used in aircraft fabrication broke: new ones therefore had to be devised. Assembly linewas not possible, and the cost of the program mounted well above original estimates."*

The high tempera:ures that the OXCART would encounter also necessitated planning for the pilot's safety and comfort because the inside of the aircraft would beoderately hoi oven. To save

' Mlruiieh.OXCARTSi. OSA Hin/m. ihjp. yj. j. iin-cra)

weight Kelly Johnson did not attempt to insulate the interior of theTne pilot would thereforeype of space suit with io own cooling, pressuregen supply, and other necessities for survival.


providing cameras for2umber of unique problems. InXCART managers asked Perkin-Elmer. Eastman Kodak, ard Hycon to develop three Sifte-en: photographic systems (or the new aircraft. These cameras woulda range offrom high-ground-resoluiion stereo tospotting data.

The Mb Elmer) entry, known as theamera,igh-ground-resolutiOn general stereo cameta usingS-:nch lensnch film. It produced pairs of photographswathiles wide with anpercent stereo overlap. The systemoot film Supply and was able toines per rruJlirneier andround resolution ofnches.

To meet severe design constraints in the areas of size, weight, thermal environment, desired photographic resolution, and coverage. Perkin Elmer's Dr Roderick M. Scoa employed concepts neverused in camera systems These included the useeflecting cube ratherrism for theoncentric film supply and lakeup system to minimize weightonstant-velocity film transport thai provided for the coniiguous placement of steteo images on one piece of fim. and iwhars for the film transport and lakeup systems."*

Eastman Kodak's entry, called the Typc-ll camera,igh-contereo device1 inch lensnch film. It produced pairs of photographswathiles wide wkh anperceni stereo overlap. l< nadoot film supply and was able toines per millimeter andround resolution ofnches.


The Hycon eniiy. designed by 'araes Baker and known as ihe Type-lV camera,poiling camera with extremely-high-ground resolution. In Fad. il was an advanced version ot ihe highlyamera developed lor tberogram. Itg-inchens tc focus imagesnch film. Likeould provide seven frames of photographywath Jl miles wide with stereo overlap oniles of ihe swath. The Hycon camera carried the largest film supply ot the three0 feet. It was able toines per millimeter andround resolutionersion of this IX-inch Hycon camera, known asamera. later saw serviceR

Each of the three camera systems had unique capabilities and advantages, so all three were purchased for the OXCART. Before they could be effectively employed in the aircraft, however, new types of camera windows were needed Theamerahad to be completely free from optical distortion. Achieving this goal was difficultindow whose exterioi would beio remperaiurej'F while the interior surface would be. Afier three years and ihe expenditure of S2 million inand development, the Corning Class Works, which had joined ihis efforterkin-Elmer subcontractor, solved the problem ofamera window that could withstand tremendous heat differentials. Its quartz glass window was fused to the metal frame by an unprecedented process involving high-frequency sound waves."'

l.aiei in ihe program, the OXCART received yet another camera system4 the Texas Instruments Corporation developed ancamera for Projects that were being used towhether the People's Republic of China was producing weapons-grade nuclear material. This stereo device, known as theas adapied for use in OXCART. Tne camera had an effective focal length ofnchesoot supplynch film. The camera's resolutionilliradian spatially, andeet on ihe ground. It could be used for both day and nigh: imagery collection

Baker imnit. S|


just as iarogram, th* Atr Force provided corttiderableto Project OXCAKr. including training, fuel storage, and weather service. One of the most important areas of support was the provision of pilots: all of the OXCART pilots came from the Air Force, prospective pilots had to be cjwalified in the most advanced fighters and be emotionally stable and well motivated. In contrast

cover coniideiations had limitedilot selection process to indivtduah with reserve commissions, the Air Force waso devise personnel and cover procedures that enabled both regular and reserve officers to volunteer to become OXCART pilots. Because of ihe limited sue of2 cockpit, they had to be under six fee: tall and weigh lessounds Following extensive physical and psychological screening,otential nominees were selected forecurity and medical screening by the Agency. By the end of this screeaing innly Use individuals had beenand had accepted the Agency's offer of employmentighly classified projectery advancedecond search and screening raised the number of pilots for the OXCART so eleven. The thorough screening process produced an elite group ofall but one of thesefficers eventually became generals. The new pilots transferred from military to civilian statLS and received compensation and insurance arrangements somewhat better than those ofilots :'


From the very beginning, it was clear that Lockheed could not test the OXCART aircraft at ia Burbank facility, where the runway was too short and too exposed to the public. The ideal testing site would be far removed from metropolitan areas, away from civil and military air-'wayi. easily accessible by air. blessed with good weather, capable of 'accommodating large numbers of personnel, near an Air Forceandunway aiX0 feet long Rut no such place was io be found.

After consideringir Force bases prograrrmed for Closing.

BiS^Cll decidedpgrade

Although its personnel accommodations, fuel

"kfttaBBal' OXCARTp. o?S4hap W. pp. al-SO <TSS: GearyPeeta. (Si


Chapter 6


Secrcl-hlOFbRN Chapter 6


storage capacity, and runway length were insufficient for ihe OXCART program. Ihe site's remote location would greatly case the task of maintaining ihe progiam's security,oderateprogram could provide adequate facilities. Construction began in7 shuttle service ferried work ctews from Burbank lo Las Vegas and from Las Vegas to the site.

Tbeooi runway was completed by0 Kelly lohnson had been reluctant totandard Ait Force runway with expansion joins everyeet because he feared the joints would set up undesirable vibrations in the speedy aircraft. At hisSO-foot wide runway was therefore constructed offoot-wide longitudinal sections,eet long buiThis layout put most of ihe expansion joints parallel to theof aircraft roil and reduced the frequency of the joints.

Additional improvements included (he resurfacing of IS miles of highway leadinghe base so that heavy fuel trucks could bring in the necessary fuel. The need for additional buildings on Ihe base was met by ihe Navy. Three surplus Navy hangars were dismantled, moved, and reassembled on the north side of the base, and moreurplus Navy housing buildings were also transported ioH All essential facilities were ready in time for ihe forecast aenvcry date of the2"

Unfortunately, this delivery date began io slip further and further into the fulure. Delays in obtaining Ihe liianium. and latercaused the postponement of the final assembly of the firs; plane. Eventually. Kelly Johnson and Agency project officials decided iotesting without waiting forngines by usingengines, designed for the. to test2 at altiiudes up0 feet and at speeds up to.hange, however, meant that the engine compartment of the firsthad lo be reconfigured to accommodatengine. Lockheed hoped that this substitution would permit the delivery of the2 by1 and its initial test flight by

Lockheed ran into so many technological problems with the OXCART effort thai by1 Us costs had swollen6 million and were still climbing. Something obviously had to be done.

Niiwy.I (TSSi.


io reduce expenditures. After much refiguring, project officii!-decrease the number of deliverable aircraft. Arnenimeni No.

H io the contract reduced fromohe number, for a

total costillion."

Rapier the otce

The cancellation of ihese twoas offset by an Air Force order for the developmentupersonic interceptor variant oferveeplacemenl


craft, based onoign dui moaincu ioeconoand three air-to-air missiles This effort was calledThelater redesignated theJntercept enemy bombers long before they reachedStales, and initial Air Force plansorce of upol thesefact only three of these planes

were built and delivered duringime frame because Secretary of Defense McNamara canceled the programost-cut-ting measure. The Air Force bore all of the costs of theCIA was only involved in helping io write "black" contracts.*

Lockheed was not the only OXCART contractor having trouble coniaining costs;hitney was fighting an even bigger battle Inhitney overruns threatened io hall the entire OXCART project. At the suggestion of Cdr. William Holcomb in the office of ihe Chief of Naval Materiel, Richard Bissell asked the Navy to assisi in funding the JSS's development. After hearing Bissell and Hotcomb's suggestion thatight be used in future NavyVAdm William A. Schoech. Chief of the Navy Materiel Command that had originally financedngine, auihorited (he transferillion in end-of-ycar funds to the project, thusng ihe OXCART's head aboves it turned out, the JS8 was never usedavy aircraft.


"OS*rtup .'t>. Jt-SS (Tlorsi

"OSATS Codeword!

fi-x- ISE Oi> taw. .Vis IO,SS fTSnKal. Kflj leluuoA wU* am at ISS parwuljTl, when ally him In Stpiember IMIih*fhK uw eapncbe.'Otr&rt-etta. jnC Un lemnw "Aie"anielI SepMnrtxr DHL


Thenown as. was assembledested at Buttjank during January andince It could not besitc. the aircraft had to be partially disassembledpecially designed trailer that cost nearly SIOO.OOO. The entire fuselage, without the wings, was crated and covered,oadeet wideeet long. To transport this huge load safely over the hundreds of miles to the site, obstructing road signs weretrees were trimmed, and some roadbanks had to be leveled. The plane left Burbank on2 and arrived at| two days later.

After the fuselage arrived in Nevada, its wings were attached andngines were installed, but the aircraft was still not ready to be tested. This new delay was cau>ed by leaking fuelroblem that would never be solved completely. Becauses high speeds heal the titanium airframe to more'K Lockheed designers had to make allowances for expansion. When the metal was cold, the expansion joints were ai their widest. In the fuel tanks, ihese gaps were tilled by pliable sealants, but the fuel fors engines actedtrong reducing agent that softened the sealants, causing leaks Thus, when fuel was first poured into the airctafr,eaks developed Lockheed technicians then stripped and replaced all theedious and time consuming procedure because the sealant required four cunog cycles, eachifferent temperatureeriod ofoours. The engineers were never able toealant compound that was completely impervious to the jet fuel while remaining elastic enough to expand and contract sufficiently Thes tanks continued to leak. SO when it was fueted. it only received enough fuel to gel airborne. The plane would then rendezvousnker, lop off its tanks, and immediately climb to operating altitude, causing the metal to expand and the leaks to Slop."


Richard Bissell. whose concern for the viability of6 had led to the establishment of Project OXCART and who hadits growth all along, was no longer in charge when the first

"OSA Hisiery..TSOXCART. It

OXCART aircraft look to the air. He resigned from the Agency innd his departureajor rrxirgariration of the reconnaissance program The Development Projects Division of the Directorate of Plans, with its two aircraft (OXCART) andi-ere transfened to the new Directorate ofheaded by Herben (Pete. Scoville. The following year Scoville resigned and this Directorate was reoiganired and its name changed to the Directorate of Science and Technology, with Albert C'fBud) Whcelon. Ir ai its first head. The overhead reconnaissance

protects belonged to the Office o( Special Activities, headedwcwr Co|^ < q, AMimBi Drcctw for

Special Activities. These projeci management changes ir. the ClA had no immediate impact on the OXCART projeci because thewas still in the development stage, handled mainly byood deal of continuity was provided hy officers who had servedumber of years with the U? program and were now involved withb^eputy Assistant Director for Special Activities; Col Leo Geary, the Air Force's project officer for the two aircraft; and John Paraneotky. who oversaw the day-to-day affairs of the OXCART project.


With new sealani in its fuel tanks, the prototype OXCART was ready to take to the air. Onest pilot Louis Schalkor an unofficial, unannounced night, which was anckheed tradition. He flew the craft less than two miles at anof abouteet and encountered considerable problems because of the improper hookup of several controls. These were promptly repaired and on the neat day.pril. Schalk made themi cutelight.eautiful takeoff, thebegan shedding the triangular fillets that covered the frame work of the chines along the edge of the aircraft body. The lost

C-aa-er 6

hich had been secured to the airframe with epoxy resin, hade recovered and reaffixed to therocess thai took ihefour days.

Once ihc fillets were in place, the OXCART's official first flight lock place oniincsscdumber of Agencyincluding DDR Scoville. Richard Bissell was also present, and Kelly Johnson noted In (he project very happy io have Dick see ihis flight, with all that he has contributed tohis official flrsi flight was also ihe first flight with the wheels up. Piloted again by Schalk. ihe OXCART look offnots and climbed0 feet Duringminuie flight,2op speednots Kelly Johnson declared it to De the smoothest first test flight of ary aircraft be had designed or icjied.uring the second test flight, the OXCART broke the sound barrier.peed of

Four more aircraft,wo-seat trainer, arrived at the testing site before the end of the year During the second delivery onhe extra-wide vehicle carrying the aircraft accidentallyreyhound bus traveling in the opposite direction. Project managers quickly authorized payment0 for the damage done to the bus in order to avoid having to explain in court why (he OXCART delivery vehicle was so wide.

of ihe biggest problems connected with flight testing2 was keeping its existence secret. Realizing ihai the nation's air traffic controllers would be among ihe first unwilling people io learn abounheplane^heDepuiy Assistant Director for Special Activities.

| hud called on Federal Aviation Administiator Najeeb E. Halaby in2 to brief him about the craft's existence and ask his assistance in keeping it secret. Halaby coopeiaied fully with the Agency and personally briefed all FAA regional chiefs on how to handle reports of unusually fast, high-flying aircraft. Air controllers were warned not io mention the craft on (he radto but toritten reports of sightings Of radar Irackingt. The Air Force gave similar briefings to NORAD. the North American Air Defense Command."

aff mi.


mmjey osa o rrs omco-d

. could dcx explore the fVlTl maximum poietttial.

nSilte was 'BI lh'*P'ant

to OXCART specification* was proving much more difficult than had been expected becausead to reach levels never befoie achievedet engine, while operating under ex-tremely difficult environmenial conditions. To simulate the stress that the JS8undergo during maximum power output.0he power plant washe exhaust sueamngine. In the course of this extremely severe testing, the Jig's problems were gradually overcome By. Pratt ft Whitney had deliveredngines BaaHHHaaaaH testing sue. The first flight of2 withngines took place on IS


eached higher and higher speeds, morearose Major probJemt developed at speeds betweenecause the aircraft's shock wave interfered with the flow of air into the engine, greatly reducing its performance. Solving this problem required 'org and often highly frustrating experimenution

*l fJI UVSa-JItowtfijrnre n

OS*pp SI.T$ Code-erii

rturo-v,. Tl; Jay Miller. LoefeW SK-'I IAI2nrfl2rO?tl. Aensfjirlington. Tim Atrofat.

The second new version of the OXCART was another rccon-na.ssance aircraft 'n2 the Ait Force ordered sixaircraft, which weie designedonduct highspeed, high-altitude reconnaissance of enemy territoryuclear strike. This new aircraft differed from2 versions in thai it was longer,ull-blown two-scat cockpit, andarge variety of prwographie and electronic sensors Theight of all this equipment gave the Air Forcelowerspeedower operating ceiling than thenhe Air Force addedore aircraft to this contract,oul'4


As ihe funds being spent on Air Fore; versions of the OXCARTdramat'cally. the Defense Department became concerned that it could not offer any public explanation for these expenditures. At the same time. Agency and Defense Department officials recognised the growing dangerrash or sightings oftgrus couldihe program. This led the Defense Department in2 and3 to consider surfacing the Air Force's interceptor ver Sion of2 toover for OXCART sightings or crashes and an explanation for the rise in Air Force spending. Somehad also become aware of the aircraft's existence, raising concern that the secret would eventually come out ia the press. Agencyremained teluctant to reveal the existence of any version ofnd the issue soon came io the attention of the PFIAB James Killian and Edwin Land strongly opposed disclosing OXCART'Sand in3 they presented their views to President Kennedyeeting attended by DCI McCone and Defease Secretary Robert McNamara. Killian. Land, and McCone succeededersuading the President and Secretary of Defense to keep the OXCART'Secret for the time being

Later that year supporters of the idea of surfacing the OXCARrore powerful argument for theirneed toihc supersonic technology that had been developed for the

OSJap. M. ppTS

OXCART This technology would be invaluable for Air Forcesuch as3 bomber and for the civilian supersonic(5ST) then being discussed in Congress In the falleveral residential advisers expressed their concern to DCI McCone that Lockheed had0 million headstart in (heof supersonic technology, giving Iheremendousover other aerospace companies workingupersonic transport McCone passed these concerns on to President Kennedy onuslays before the fateful trip io Dallas. The President instructed CIA and the Defense Department tolan for surfacing the OXCART but to await further discussions with him before taking any action.'*

President Lyndon B. Johnsonetailed briefing on theOXCART program from McCone. McNaroata. Bundy. and Rusk onovember, after just one week in office. McNamaraersion of the OXCART McCone was morecalling for the preparationtatement that could be used when surfacing became necessary but arguing thattep was not

IMn A. MeCoot. "Mcawindum of Moniag in CiBlnra Boomtht Porpow ol Durvuiaj it* Sarlac-ni or ih*1 JanuaryCI recordi (TS. MCvanUhtuv (o, a*hcJ?OcsbarwonS. IS.Oi*J [TS

yet tic coed Agreeing with MrCone's position. President Johnson iaid ihe issue should be reviewed again in February,

One additional argument in favor of surfacmg ihe OXCART ihe realization that ihe aircraf: could not be usedly undetected over Ihc Soviet Unionhe United Slates had become aware of the effectivenessew Soviet radar system, code named TALL KINO. The introduction of mis compotcr-conirolled radar undercut one of the basic premises of the OXCART program, the assumption that radar opeiators would noi be able to track high-flying supersonic sargrts visually because of their small. noopertisteni radar returns Byomputerndar. rhe Soviets could now weight theradar returns and identify ihosc produced by high-flying, very feci objects '*

By* DCI McCone had become convinced that sur-facing was necessaiy. Soviet developmeni of ihe TALL KING radar system had eliminated his hope that OXCART would eventually be ablearry out its original intendedoverflights of the USSR The final decision on ihe issue of Surfacing ihe OXCART cameational Security Council meeting ont wtueli all of the participants supported the decision to surface. That same day President /ohnsonews conference at which hethe successful development of an "advanced experimental jet aircraft,hich has been tested in sustained flight at moreiles per hour and at aliuudes in eacess0

President Johnson had spoken of the All rather than thend rhe aircraft that was actually revealed to tbewas ihe Air Force'stpject that had already beenollowing the President's announcemeni. two of

"cCone. MenoraoO-mthe SciurO. Meetingihe I'n.nlentoman. MrandCI rrWfdt (TSl. OSA Hunwjp.TS Code-wdi


u-:c'Mine tc-orO. "DiiOiuioa at U* NSCwhCMi. hiaWftt* mimUto/dw hnini prncwJ tart T)arch *S- DCI -eco^iSl BJBJJjpjBJBJJ OXCARTcnUllcs a. Ii

f Wel XM pmi (Otilf-ex Mlee* iiUo! an rrm. But Ken,wnkw adeii|nno' far actiimr reaaomrc'errcChe earl*'or iheeat tMUJ ihc radaracleaimj iwadlf^aOom o(J.rchangelli4

ihese aircraft were hastily flown to Edwards Air Force Base From this point on. the Air Force versions of ihe OXCART were based at Edwards andiversion so that the faster and higheri aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBCOvld continue testing Out of the public c> e

esident's announcement did noi mention the CIAsir. ihe project, which remained classified, but keeping ihc Aaeney's extensive role in Ihe OXCARTa secret was not ar. easy task The first step had been to separate the Air Force's versions of] from th* Agency's by moving the Air Force aircraft to California Seat, 'hose firms that were to be given the new technology hade briefed on the program and agree to abide by the same secrecythen in force with Lockheed. Moreover, everyone wining of OXCART (including ihose no longer associated with ihe program, such as Allen Dulles. Richard Bissell. and General Cabell) had been bnefed about the impending Presidential announcement, so that they would not think that the need for secrecy about OXCART had ended "

The process of surfacing versions of the OXCART continued onulywhen Piesideni Johnson revealed the existenceew Air Force reconnaissance aircrafi. which he called rhectually, the President was supposed to say RSeciding that renaming the aircraft was easier than correctirtg President Johnson, the Air Forceewtrategicexplain thes designation.


The2 crash occurred onetachment piioc realizing the airspeed indication was confusing and erroneous, decided io eject. The pilot was unhurt, but the plane was destroyed when il crashed near Wendovei,over story for the pressthe plane as.ere groundedeek while the accident was investigated. The malfunction was found to be caused by ke thai had pluggrditot-static tube used to determine airspeed."


ere lost in lain testingiirashed while landingttch-eon:rol setvo devicetolling the planeing-down position Ejecting ftom an altitudeeet, the pilot was Mown sideways out of the craft. Although he was not vety high off the ground, his parachute did open and he landed during the parachute's first swing. Fotturuuel. he wu unhun. and no news of the accident filtered out of the base. Eighteen months later, onrashed immediately after lakeolf because of an improperly wired stability augmentation system As in the previous crash, the pilot ejected safely, and there was no publicly connected wirh the crash. An investigation ordered by DO McCone determined thai the wiring error had resulted from negligence, not sabotage."

2 made its first long-range, high-speed flight oahe High:inutes,inutes of which were flown at speeds greater than. and Ihe aircraftiles at altitudes00 feci. By this time, the OXCARTwas performing well The engine inlet, camera,navigator, and light-control systems all demonstrated acceptable reliability.


Nevertheless, as the OXCART began (lying longer, faster, and' higher, new problems arose. The most serious of these problemsthe aircraft's wiring. Continuing malfunctions of the inletcommunication* equipment. ECM systems, and cock[ instruments were often attributable to wiring failures. Wiring conr tors and components had to withstand temperaiures. Hructuial fleaiag. vibration, and shock Such elernandsmore' than the materials could stand Not all of the OXCART's ptobkrrt could be traced to materiel failures, however, and Agency of believed that careless maintenance by Lockheed employeesribute; to malfunctions.*'

Concerned that Lockheed would not be able to meet OXCART's schedule lor operational readiness, the Office of Speci Activities' Director of Technology. John Parangosky. met with Johnson5 to discuss ihe project's problems, not only assigned more top-level supervisors to the project but

Sl (TS CoW-wra);



OSA Mutwy.S Co*-enJi

decidedw charge of the OXCART jhimself Hi* presenceig difference, as can be seen in his notes in ihe project log:

; uncovered many Ittmi ofa managerial, materiel andad meetings with vendorsmprove the!'supervision and hod daily talis hfN them.

going over in detail all problems on theIncreased the supervision In Ihe electrical group. We lightened up the inspectionreat deal and made inspection stick.

U appears that the problems ore one-third dueThe addition of so many systems to2 has greatly complicated the problems, but we did solve the overall problem."

These improvementsn-site management got the project back on schedule.

Byhe final validation flighis for OXCART deployment were finished. During these tests. Ihe OXCARTaximum speed ofn altitude0 feet, andflight lime abovefinutes The maximjm endurance test lasted Six houts andinutes. Onovember. Kelly Johnson wrote to Biig. Gen.edford. head of the Office of Special Activities, staling. "The lime has come when the bird fchoold leave its

Tnree years and seven months after its first flight inhe OXCART was ready for operational use. li was now time to find work lor the most advanced aircraft ever conceived and built.


tbe OXCART had been designed to replacetrategic reconnaissance aircraft to fly over the Soviet Union, this use hnd become doubtful long before the OXCART was ready for operational useffair0 made Presidents veryto consider overflights of the Soviet Union- Indeed. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy had both stated publicly that the United Stales would not conduct such overflights Inecretary of

pnl IS*1

i "OXCaRTp Jl (Si



/* Cnapin 6


McNamara lolcS DCI McCone that he doubled ihat ihe OXCART not.Id ever be used and suggested that improvements iniely eliminate the need lor the expensive OXCART program. Strongly disagreeing. McCone told

McNamara 'hat be had every intention of using OXCART aircraft to

fly over the Soviet Union.

McCone raised this issue with President Kennedy inime when ihe nation'sv.ercreat number of failures and the intelh jence corr.mi.nity was clamoring for beyer photography to confirm or disprove allegations of the existence of an anttballistic missile system at Leningrad. Unconvinced byrguments for OXCART overflights. President Kennedy exnressed the hope that some means might be devised for improving

-cCone. Menw>nSvm lor ihe Rewrd.olh Seereoryandpairic.< and Mr. McCc*CI recordsemorandum fa. UV (to.Aprin Palm Beach.CI record* IS!

fears became acute in the summer4 after Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (old foreign visitors such as columnist Drew Pearson, former Senator William Benton, and Danish Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag that, once the US elections had been held ins flying over Cuba would be shot down. Projecitherefore began preparing contingency plans (Project SKYLARK) for the possible employment of OXCART over Cuba, even though the new aircraft was not yet ready for operations.he Acting DCI. Gen. Marshall S- Carter, ordered the project staff to achieve emergency operational readiness of the OXCARTn case Premier Khrushchev actually earned cut his threat to shoots "

ctober IMI rthwon noted inUt "Arrtritclat ihe performance or! mil US ea;lnet (ai sugguicd b; project headquarter* fix paivblt uw over Cabal* "hardly jpeciaeMar"


"ioheton. "ArchangelI| OSA Muoiy..IS Codc-ort).

To meet this deadline, the Office of Special Activitiesetachment of five pilots and ground crews to conduct Bights tocamera performance and qualify pilots forperations. Simulating Cuban missions during training flights, the detachment

demonstrated its ability to conduct overflights of Cuba byovember deadline, which passed without any hostile action by the Soviets or Cubans The deiachment then worked to develop thefor sustained operations with its five aircraft All these preparations were valuable training for the OXCART program, even thCAgh the SKYLARK coMingcncy plan wjj never put into effects continued to satisfy collect kit requirements for Cuba,reserved for more critical siiuat.ors

When the Agency declared lhat OXCART had achievedoperational statushe aircraft was still not prepared for electronic warfare, as only one of ihe several planned electronic countermeasure devices had been installed.enior government panel decided that the OXCART could conduct initial overflighis of Cubaull compleme-it of warning and jamming devices, should the need for such missions arise

One reason for the delay in cornptetiri- OXCARTs electronic warfare preparaiions was the Air Force's concern that OXCART use of existing ECM devices could, in the event of rhe loss of an OXCART over hostile territory, compromise the ECM equipment used by Air Force bombers and righleis. Even if OXCART'S ECM devices were merely similar to military ecm systems, the Air Force still worried that their use would give the Soviets an opportunity to work Out counter-measures

Such concerns led the Agency to an entirely differentntiradar efforts in Project KEMPSTER. This project attempted to develop electron guns trut could be mcainied on the OXCART toan .on cloud in front of the plane that would reduce its radar cross section. Although this project proved unsuccessful, the CIA alsoumber of more conventional ECM devices for use in the OXCART"

TSJion OS* OXCAtlwccJi ITS CoO*-onli.

As the OXCART'S performance and equipment continued tothere was renewed consideration of deploying the aircraft overseas, particularly in Asia, where US military activity wasOnS. DCI McCone. Secretary of Defense McNamara. and Deputy Secretary of Defense Vance discussed the

li three years the

Forcest numerous reconnaissance drones, jpcrhrce men agreed to go ahead with all the preparatory steps

needed for the OXCART tohat It would be re>1jy in case the President decideduthorize such

project BLACK SHIELD, tbe plan for Far East operations, called (or OXCART aircraft to be bawd at Kadena airbatc on Okinawa. In the firs: phase, three planes would be flown to Okinawa foray periods,ear, an operation which would involveersonnel. Later there wouldermanent detachment at Kadena la preparation for the possibility of such operations, the Defense Departmentillion so provide stpoon facilities anJ realtime secure communications on the island by early"

In the summerfter the United States had begunlarge numbers of troops into South Vietnam. Southeast Asia became another possible target for the OXCART Became the contuv ucd use of Lior reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam was threatened by the deployment of Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles. McNamara asked the CIA5 whether it would beto substitute OXCART aircrafts The new DCI.abom. replied that the OXCART could operate over Vxtruun as soon as it had passed iu final operational readiness tests."

Formal consideration of proposed OXCART missions involved ihe same appioval process that was usedverflights. In iatefter ihe OXCART had passed its final validation tests,ommittee met turoposal to deploy ihe OXCART to Okinawa to Overfly Southeast Asialthough 'the committee did not approve deploymcni. it ordered thend maintenanceuick-reaction capability, ready to deploy to Okinawa withinays after notification.

'OS*. It (Sj.

There the matter remained for moreear. During the first halfCI Raborn raised ihe issue of deploying the OXCART to Okinawa at liveommittee meetings but failed to win

Chapter 6

sufficient support. The JCS and the PFlAB supported the CIA'Sof OXCART deployment. Top Slate and Defense Depannenrhowever, rhoughe that the political risk* of basing the aircrafi inwould almost certainly disclose it to the Japanese- -outweighed any gains from the intelligence (he OXCART might gather Onhe divergent views were ptesented to President Jceinson. who upheldommittee's majorityon against deployment for the time being "

The CIA then proposed an OXCART overflight of Cuba in order lo test the aircraft's ECM systemsostile environment Oneptemberommittee ce^dered and rejected this idea on the grounds thai sending OXCART over Cuba "would disturb (he ex isttng calm prevailing in that area of our foreign

With operational missions still ruled out. proficiency training re mained tne mam order of business This led to improvements inplans and flight tactics that enabled the detachment to reduce the tirnerecjuiredio deploy to Okinawa fromays toecordsto fall to the OXCART. Onockheed test pilot flew28 kilometers over the continental United State* in slightly mere than six hours, for an average speedilometers per hour (which included in-flight refueling at speeds as lowilometers per hour) This flightecord for speed and distance unapproachable by any other aircraft."

Two weeks laier.2 crasheduel gauge rralfurKticoed and the aircrafi ran out of fuel short of the run way. Pilot Walter Ray ejected but was killed when he could not become sepaiaicd from the ejection seat. To prcsetve the secrecy of the OXCART program, the Air Force informed the press that an SRas missing and presumedtoss, like the three preceding crashes, did not result frcmdirTicultiet caused by high-speed, high-temperature flight but from traditional problems in herent in any new aircraft

Proposals for OXCART opeiations continued to surface, and in? the CIAetailed request toommittee to use the OXCART to collect strategic intelligenceew

"OXCARTJSA Hiaon.p. itO-lll (TS

Soviet miuile system As earlyhe intelligence community began lo be concerned about (tie actual purpose of new missilethat first appeared near Tallinn. Estonia, and soon spread along theuadrant of the Soviet union Attempts totbe sites using reconnaissance satellites had been frustrated byprevailing cloud cover in ihe region. Because of the lack ofinformation about the missile sites, thereide divergence of views within the intelligence community about iheir purpose. Xhese views ranged from the CIAs belief that the installationslong-range,issiles designed to counterbombers,he Air Forces conienrion that Tallinn siteseployed antiballistic missile system.

ptiotointerpreiers insisted that imageryesolution of0nches was necessary to determine missile size, antenna pattern, zai configuration of ihe engagement radars associated with rheElectronic intelligence (ELINT) analysts aiso needed data about the Tallinn radars, but iheie were no collection sites that couldthe Tallinn emanations when ihe radars were being tested. Moreover, the Soviets never operated ihe radars in the tracking and lotfcooact thai prevented analysts from knowing iheor any other performance characteristics of the radar.

To settle the question of the purpose of ihe Tallinn installations. Office of Special Activities ptannersission that would me the titr resolution of the OXCART's camera mamH*mmmmmmmmmB>

classified name was Project SCOPF. LOGIC: its classified title was Operation UPWIND.

The proposed project involved launching2altic Seaa Projectlying from an RAF facility inThe OXCART would fly north of Norway and then turnthe Soviei-Finnish border Shonly before Leningrad, thehead west-southwest down the Baltic Sea. skirting the coastsLax.i. Lithuar.ia. Poland, and East Germany beforeto return :o( entire flight wouldiles, lake eight hours andinutes, and require four aerialin gs.

Although2 would not violate Soviet airspace during this dash, it would appear to Soviet radar network operators to be headed for an overflight penetration in the vicinity of Leningrad. Ii was

hoped thai, passage would provoke Soviet air defense per soonel to activate ihe Tallinn system radars in order to track the swift OXCART aircraft As2 made us dash down ihe Baltic, itsamera would be filming the entire south coast. If Agencywere correct in iheirassumpiion ihai the Tallinn system wasto counter high-altitude aircraft at long ranges, then ihe OXCART would be in jeopardy during this dash down the Baltic. Nevertheless. Agency weapons experts believed (hatpeed and suite of electronic couniermeasures would keep ii safe from the standard Soviet surface-to a* missile installations.

White2 was conducting its highspeed dash along the Baltic coast of Eastern Europe,ould he tyinj. farther out to sea. safely beyond the range of all Soviet SAMs.

Agency and Defense Department officials juppoited ihemission, but Secretary of Stare Dean Rusk strongly opposed it andommittee never forwarded the proposal to President JohnsO"


Although the Tallinn mission was still being considered innother possible employ men: for the OXCART came tindero. This time ihc proposal was for OXCART to collect tactical rather than strategic intelligence Tne cause was apprehension in Washington about the possible undetected introduction ofmissiles into North Vietnam When President Johnson askedroposal on the matter, the CIA suggested that the OXCART be used. While the State and Defense Departments were still examining the proposal's political risks, DCI Richard Helms

OUTmcomi (is


uised Ihe issue at PresidentTuesday lunch" onay. Helms jot the Presidents approval, ind the ClA put the BLACK SHIELD plan to deploy the OXCART to the Far East into effect later that same day.**

The airlift of persccne: and equipment to Kadena began onnd onay the2 .lew nonstopo Kadena in six houts and sixecond aircraft arrived onay Tiie2 left onay. but the pilot had trouble with >fie inertia! navigation system and communications near Wake Island. Herecautionary landing at Wake,re-positroned emergency recovery team was located. The problem was corrected and the aircraft continued its flight to Kadena on the following day.

Before the start of the operation, the CIAumber of Key US ond Allied officials on the operation. Included weie the US

By3 days after President Johnson's approval. BLACK SHIELD was ready to fly an operational mission. Onay, the detachment was alertedission on the following day. As the takeoff time approached. Kadena was being deluged by rain, bur, since weather over the target area was clear, flight preparations continued. The OXCART, which had never operated in heavy rain, taxied to the runway and look off.

. is tS)

This first BLACK SHIELD mission flew one flight path over North Vietnam and another Over Ihe demilitarired tonehe mission was flown at0 feet and tasted three hours andinutes. While over North Vietnam,2 photographedfnownsile Sites and nine othertargets.s ECM equipment did not detect any radarduring the mission, which indicated that the flight had gone completely unnoticed by both the Chinese and North Vietnamese

During ihc next fix weeks, there were alerts forLACK SHIELD missions, seven of which were actually flown. Only fourhostile radar signals By midhe BLACK SHIELD missions had provided sufficieni evidence for analysis to conclude thai no sutface-io-surface missiles had been deployed in North Vietnam.*"

typtca! mission over North Vietnam requ red refueling south of Okinawa, shortly after takeoff After the planned photographicthe aircraft wiihdrewecond aerial refueling In the Thailand area before returning to Kadena So great was the plane's speed thatpent5 minutes over Vwtnamsingle-pass" mis-lion, and 2L5 minulestwo-pass" mission Because of itsmile turning radius, the plane occasionally crossed into Chinese airspace when getting into positionecond pass

After the aircraft landed, (he camera film was removed and seni by special plane io processing facilities in the Uniied Staas By late sunnier, however,orce photo blwratory in Japan beganthe processing in order to place (he photointelligence in ihe hands of US commandeis in Vietnam withinoursission's

BLACK SHIELD activity continued unabated during the second halfromugust16 missions were alerted andere flown Oneptember one SAM site iracked ihe vehicle with its acquisition radar but was unsuccessful with iu FAN SONG guidance radar. It was not uniilctoberorth Vietnamese SAM siteissile at the OXCART. Mission pnotergraphy documented the event with photographs ofsmoke above the SAM firing site and pictures of the missile and its contrail. Electronic couniermeasures equipment aboard the OXCART performed well, and the missile did not endargei the


Chapter 6

aircraft ever built was to be put oui to pasture The aban-donrneni of (he OXCART did not result from any Wortcominjt of the ancraft; the causes lay in fiscal pressures and competition between the reconnaissance programs of the CIA and Ihe Air Force.

Throughout the OXCART program, ihe Air Force had beenhelpful: it gave financial support, conducted ihe refueling program, provided operational facilities ai Kadena. and airlifted OXCART personnel and supplies to Okinawa for ihe Vietnam and Korean operations. Air Force orders foi variants of the CIA'sthenterceptor and iheeconnaissancehelped tower development and procurement costs for the OXCART. Nevertheless, once the Air Force had buili up its own fleet ofaircraft, budgetary experts began to criticize the existence of two expensive Beets of similar aircraft.

In. irie mmy month that2 had beencoeraiiorul. the Bureau of the Budget circulated athat eipressed concern about the costs of2 andrograms. It questioned both the tool number of planes required for dse corrtbined fleets, and the necessityeparate CIA fleet The memorandum recommended phasing outrogram by6 and stopping any funher procurement of the SR-71

OXCARTp OXCaXT. il (Si OSAniscu.,c


In spite of Helms'* request ind ihe strength of his arguments, the Bureau of ihe Budget memorandum was submitted to Presidem Johnson. Onhe President approved theof the OXCART program8

This decision meant that CIA had iochedule for an orderly phaseout ofhis activity was known as Projeci SCOPE COTTON. Project headquariers informed Deputy Defense Secretary Vance on? thaiould gradually be placed in storage, with the process to be completed by the end ofnance directed thai SR-7ls wouldresponsibility for Cuban overflights7 and would add responsib.lity for overflights of Southeast Asiaecember

nci these capabilities were developed. OXCART was <oable to conduct assignmentsay notice for Southeast

Asiaeven day ncrce ftx Cuba"

All these arrange menu were made before the OXCART hada single operationalhich did not occurn the months thai followed (he initiation of cpeiations in Asia, the OXCART demonstrated its exceptional technical capabilities. Soon some high-level Presidential advisers and Congressional leaders began to question the decision to phase out OXCART, and ihe issue was reopened.

ontended that2 was ihe better craft because it flew higher, faster, and had superior cameras. The Air Forcethat its two-seatetter suite of sensors, with three different cameras (area search, spotting, andnfrared de-lectors. side-looking aerial radar, and OLINT-colleciion gear. In anto resolve this argument, the two aircraft were pitied against each otherlyoff codenamed NICE GIRL.2 and anlew identical flight paths, separated in time by one hour, from north to south roughly above the Mississippi River. The data collected during these missions were evaluated byof the CIA. DIA. and other Defense De pair men;aaiiat ions.

The results proved inconclusive. Both photographic systems proimagery of sufficient quality for analysis.2mile swath widthoot film Supply wereot to theperational Objectivemile swath and

oot film supply. On the other hind, thes infrared, lide-looking aenal radar, and ELI^ACOMINTequipmeni provided vome unique intelligence not available fromir Forceadmitted, however, ihat some of this equipment would have to be sacrificed in order to provide theith ECM gear."

Although the flyoff had not sealed the question of which aircraft was superior, the OXCART didemporary reprieve in latehe Johnson administration decidedeep both fleets for the time being, particularly because the OXCART waslyihg missions over North Vietnam With expenditures for the Vietnam war rising steadily, the question of reducing the costs of competing reconnaissance programs was bound to surface again. In the springhere was yet another study of the OXCART andrograms Onhe new Secretary ol Defense. Clark aiffcerJ, reaffirmed the original decision to terminate the OXCART program and store ihe aircraft. President Johnson con-fumed this decision onay."

Project headquarters8 as the earliestdate for phasing out all OXCART aircraft.lready al aajBajjBjj^aajjjjwere placed in storage, and the aircraft Okinawa were scheduledeturnune Unfortunately, tragedy struck before this redeployment took place.8est flight from Kadena to checkew engine,iles east of Manila. Search and rescue missions found no trace of the plane or its pilot. Jack W. Weeks. Several days later the remainingeft Okinawa to join the other eight OXCART aircraft in storage ai Palmdale. California. Becauseere smaller than either of the Atr Force's versions, the only pans that could be salvaged for Air Force use werengines. The OXCARTs outstanding Perkin-Elmer camera cannot be used in rheecause the two-seater Air Force aircraftmaller camera compartment than that of2 Constructed ficm one of the most durable metals known to man but unable to fly for wart of engines, ihe OXCART aircraft are fated to remain inactive at Palmdale for many, many years.

"Irfccnwbo-onmssrwm lo Donald t

i "OXCARTpp. ii-ii tit: OSA Hiua^.thtp M.TS

initial storage arranotmenis tort Pa'mda'c


The OXCART was ihe last high-altitude reeonnai.saiKe aircraft pro. duced for the CIA. although ihe Office of Activities did briely consider several possible successors co ihe OXCART during ihehe ririt of these, known at Projeci ISINGLASS, was picpaied by General Dynamics in utilize technology developed for its Convair Division's earlier FISH proposal and inighter in order to create an aircraft capable ofeet. General Dynamics completed its feasibility study in ihe fallnd OSA took no runner acnon because ihe proposed urcralt would still be vulrserabk to eiistin; So>counsetrrieasiiretere ambitious design from McDonnell Aircraft came jnaer rat km as Project RHEINBERRYmr o: rheseem* to have come under ihc ISINGLASS designation as well) This proposala iocket-powered aircraft thai would be launched2 mother ship and ultimately reach speeds as high as Machndol upeet Because building this aircraft would have involved tremendous technical challenges and correspondingly high costs, the Agency was not willing so embark onrogramimethe main empJum in otcihead reconruivsanceifted from aircraft to satellites.esult, when the OXCART programhe summerore advanced successor washethe.


In-ended io replaceoliecior of strategic intelligence, ihe OXCART *as never used for this purpose. Iu brief deployment was strictly for obtaining (actical intelligence and Its photographic product contributed very littlehe Agency's suategic Intelligence mission. By the lime OXCART became opcritional, phrxosaielJitc systems had tilled rhe role ongiaally conceived for it The most advanced aircraft ofh century had become an anachronism before it wis ever used operationally,*1

The OXCART did not even outlast. the aircraft it was supposedeplace. The OXCART lacked the quick-responseof the smallernii could be activated overnight, andeek it could deploy abroad, fly sorties, and return tu home base. The OXCART planes required precise logistic planning for fuel and emergency landing fields, and their inenial guidance systems needed several days for programming ond stabilization. Aerial tankers had to be deployed in advance along an OXCART's flight route and be provisioned with the highly specialized fuel used byAll of thisreat deal of time and the effort of several hundredission could be planned and flownhird fewer personnel.

"On it lunar, IKT Kitty MMasa med la hKock vafryaM

ii'k-uit. cwuMf 'i rf rt. preblrmen mwJ of

otxrofi brio; tk, UtttHlti reel fat-ihU tojui: O"

rr, time* rolwuri,

mxwi a) Oiio'i mnroe

Although the OXCART programtrategicaircraft with unprecedented speed, range, and altitude, ihemost important contributions lay in other areas: aerodynamic design, high-impact plastics, engine performance, cameras, electronic counterrrurasures. pilot life-support systems, antiradar dev.ccs. useonmerallie materials foe major aircraft assemblies, andin milling, machining, and shaping titanium. In all of ihesethe OXCART pushed back the frontiers of aerospace technology and helped lay the foundation for future "stcalih" research.


Cnapler 7



Before theverflighis in the summerrojecibelieved thai iheir aircrafi could fly virtually undetected over tbe Soviet Union. They did not expect this advantage io lasi very long, however, because they also expected the Soviets to developcounter measures againstithino IS months Recognizinge was against them,roject managersarge number of missions to obtain complete coverage of the Soviet Union as quickly as possible. At this time,rogram focused solely on the collection of strategic intelligence

Once operations began, however, projeci managers foundopeitning under severe constraints. Contrary to theould not fly undetected. Its overflighis led io .Soviet diplomatic protests and numerous attempts at interception.ishing to aggravate the Soviet Union dunng periods of tension or to harm relations during more favorable intervals. President Eisenhower placed strict limits on overflights, personally authoriiing each one and greatly limiting oSeir number. Yei. the President never went so far as to eliminate the overflight program. Ashief, he valued the intelligence thatverflights collected, especially at times when the press and Congresst the United Slates was falling behind the Soviet Union militarily, first in bombers and then in missilesesult of the President's ambivalence towardtheere marked by long periods during which jno overflights occurred, followed by brief bursts of activity.


The low le.el of overflight activity Cm! no* preventromot in the four ycaii it flew over the Soviet Union and Eastern Europeissions nude deepoverflights of the Soviet Union: six byrom Germany, three bytom the Far East and Alaska, and

is by HHHi 1

cessfut Powets mission.

The amount of information these missions gathered wasBy the summerroject had developed moreeet ofstripiles longs covered morequare miles of the Soviet Union, ap-pro*imatelyercent of its total area Informationwas used to^ 1 ^analytical report.'

Numbers alone cannot describe Use importance ofproject.80 rnemoranoum. aftet Powers was shot down. DCI Allen W. Dulles described the program'sFive years ago. before the beginning ofalf knowledge of thr Soviet Union and uncertainty of its true power position posed tremendous problems tor the United States. We were faced with the constant risk of exposing ourselves to enemy attack or of needlesslyreat deal ol money and effort onmilitary preparations of ourulles went on to describe's contribution in gathering information on four criticalof the Soviei Union's power position; its bomber force, itsforce, its atomic energy program, and its air defense system.'

The first major contribution of intelligence collectedvetftighu was the exposure of the -bomber gap"yth. Contrary to ihc US Air Force's claims, the Soviet Union was notarge force of long-range bombers. Armed with informationverflights. President Eisenhower was able to resist pressure toarge US bomber fleet toorxsistert Soviei threat.


OS* *

Th* onprcl draft o( *i.Q.M" itb.Atrwmww or it*urn in os>. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbS

The "bomber-gap" coniroversy was soon followed by acontroversy, provoked by an extensive Soviet propaganda campaign matubstantial Soviet lead in developing and deployingissions searched huge stretches of the Soviet Union along the sail network, looking for ICBMs deployed outside trie known missile testing facilities. These missions enabled the CIA to conclude, as Dulles explained to Congress inhat "the Soviet ICBM program has not been and is notrash program: Instead, it is an orderly, well-planned, high-priority program aimed at achieving an early ICBM operationals with the controversy over Soviet bomber strength, informationhotography enabled President Eisenhower to resist pressure tothe US missile deployment program by building obsolescent liquid-fueled missiles rather than waiting to complete the deveiop-ment of more reliable solid-fueled missiles..

issions also gathered considerable data on the Soviet Union's atomic energy program, including the production ofmaterials, weapons development and testing activities, and the location and size of nuclear weapons stockpile sites.also revealed no evidence that the Soviet Union bad violated the nuclear testing moratorium.

1TS Coa-word)

One of the greatest contributions ofrogramhe capabilities of the US deterrent force. Beforemost target information was based on obsolete materials dating back to World War II or shortly thereafter. With the assistancehotography, the Defense Department could allocate weapons and crews more efficiently and identify many newhotos also proved invaluable in determining the precise location of targets. One further contribution to the capabilities of the US deterrent force was the informations collected on the Soviet airhotogiaptiy located Soviet fighter airfields and gainedon new fighter models. Special electronic intercept and recording equipment carried onissions enabled the CIA to analyze ihe technical characteristics, operational techniques, and radar order of battle of the Soviet Union's electronic defenses. This information was vital both for planning the routes for US deterrent forces and for developing electronic countermeasures.

rogram not only provided information on individual Soviet weapon* systems, bul also helped analysts assess basic Soviet intentions, paiticulaily during crisis situations, as Dulles wrote in

tfAcfiei'f the International situation become* tense becauseroblem in tome particular area. we are concerned whether the situation might get beyond control- that someone on the other side might suddenly and irrationally unleash big noiOur knowledge of Soviet military preparations, however,from the overflight program, has given us an ability toor call the bluffs of the Soviets with confidence. We have been able to conclude that Soviet statements were morethan threatening and that our courses of action could be carried throufh without serious risk of far and uithout Soviet interference.' closed his repon onccc-npiishrnents bythe program in perspective as pan of the entire national intelli gence effort, noting that "in terms of reliability, of precision, of access to otherwise inaccessible installations, its contribution has been unique. And in the opinion of the military, of (he scientists and of the senior officials responsible for our national security it has been, to put il simply,

a-tem Ottawa**

The impact ofverflights on international relations is harder to meatuie. On the one hand, (he intelligence they gatheredajor factor in keeping the United States ftomostly and destabilizing arms race in thendy showing that the Soviet Union was not engaged in major buildups of strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles. On the' other hand, violations of Soviet airspaces strained relations' with Moscow at times and led to the collapse of0 summit meeting. On balance, however, the impact ofn surxrpower relations was positive Without the intelligence gathered byhe Soviet Union's strategic military capabilities would haveystery, making it very difficult for the President to resist pressure from the military, the Congress, and the public to carry oat major increases in strategic weapons, which would have poisoned relations with the Soviet Urion far more than the small number overflights did.

involvement inhotography provided accurate andntelligenceS policymakers aed field eornmanders. as-sisiing them in crisis management, and the planning ofs also assisted in monitoring cease-fire agreements in the Middle East, with operations occurring after an undeclared war0 and3 Middle East war.

By the time the OXCART become fully operational, manned strategic reconnaissance of the Soviet Union was no longer seriously considered The political risks were too high, especially since the quality of intelligence from reconnaissanceocrcasirg steadily. Thus, the OXCARTs only opciaiional use was for collecting tactical intelligence in the Far East Like. the OXCARTred valuable intelligence during crisis situations. Thus, inXCART photography revealed the location ofueblo and showed that the North Ko-eans were not preparing any' large-scale military activity in conjunction with ihc ship's seizure. (


One very important byproduct of the CIA's mar.ned reconnaissance program was the many advances in technology that it generated Thanks to simplified coven procurement arrangements and the lack of detailed and restricting specifications, creative designers such ai Kelly Johnson produced siaie-of-ihe-an aircraft in record time. designed to carry out teconruissance missions for lw0 yearsbest, proved so successful that, even alter its original area of activity became too dangerous for overflights at the end of four years, rhe air craft served the CIA well forears and Hill is in service wiih other government agencies.

The OXCART is ar. even better eaaWpfc of the lechnological vanccs generated by the CIA's reconnaissance program. Although OXCART was designed almostears ago and first flownts speed and altitude have never been equaled. Thehis aircraft also led to the use of new matcnals in aircraftUnfortunately, the technological breakthroughs that made the OXCART possible took longer than expecied. By the time the airctaft was ready for operations, the missions originally planned for it were not practicable The tremendous technological achievementby the OXCART ultimately led to rhe aircraft's demise bythe Air Force to purchase its own version of the aircraft.

governrneritfford ro maintairi two such similar reconnais-igicc prognms. The cbmirtaiion of theXCART program did not. however, spell the end of the usefulness of the world's most advanced aircraft: iu offspring, the% still in service.

In addition to the aircraft themselves, many other itemswith the reconnaissance program have represented important ad.i in secfcnology. The flight suits and life-suppon systems of thend OXCART pilots were the forerunners of the equipment usedthe space program. Camera resolution improved dramaticaily as the result of cameras and lenses produced for the CIA's reconnaissance piogiam.


In this history, which concentrates on tbe CIA's involvement inreconraissance. it is easy to overlook the important role that the US Air Force played innd OXCART programs. From the very beginnings ofrogramhe Agency and the Air Force were partners in advancing the state of the art in overheadAir Force personnel served at all levels of theprogram, from project headquarters to the testing site and Meld derachrnerits. The Ait Force supplied's engines, at times diverting them from other high-priority* production lines. Perhaps most important of all. the Air Force provided pilots fors after the Agency's original attempt toufficient number of skilled foreign pilots proved unsuccessful. Finally, the day-to-day operations ofs could not have been conducted without the help of Air Force mission planners, weather forecasters, and support personnel in rhe held ctetachrrtems. The cooperation between the Agency and the Air Force that began withndth Project OXCARTajor feature tn US reconnaissance programs today.


CIA's entry into the world of overhead trconriaissance at the end4 ultimately produced major changes in the Agency Classical forms ofuse of covert agents and clandestinelost their primacy to the new scientific and


ihe Soviet Union, in photographs became ihe most imponani source of inielligence available. The flood of information thatissions gathered ledajor expansion of the Agency's photointerpretation capabilities, which finally resulted in the creation of the National Photographic Interpretation Centererve the entire inielligence community.

's iremendous success as an inielligence-gatheringled the Agency io search for follow-on systems ihat couldio obtain highly reliable information in large quantities. Thus, the CIA sponsored the dcvcloprnent of the world's most advancedalso pioneered research into pfcoto-saielhtes. Lessecade afterrogram began, the Agency's new emphasis on technical means of collection had brought aboul the creationew science-oriemed directorate, which would ultimately rival in manpower and budget (he Agency's other three directoraies combined.

The negative aspect of this new emphasis on techrtolcgy is eiploding costs. The Agency's frst strategic reconnaissance aircraft,. cost lesseLJOs successor. Ihc OXCART, each aircraft cost moreand Ihe cost explosion has continjed wiih each new generattonofreconnaissancc satellites.

Perhaps Ihe greatest significance of the CIA's entry into the world of overhead reconnaissance inas the new aa-uonal policyignaled Although US military aircraft hadviolated Soviet airspace in the decade after Word War IL such shallow-penetration overflights, concentrating primarily oncr-ofbattle data, had been authored and conuolled by US fold commanders, not by the President In the autumnowever. Piesidento avoid another Pearlthe constructionew aircraft designed solely io fly over ihe So-iei Union and gather strategic intelligence. Peacetime reconnaissance flights over the territoryoientialpower thus became national policy Moreover, to reduce rheof conflict, the President entrusted this mission not io the armed fotces. butivilianCIA. Fiom thai lime forward, oveihead reconnaissance has been ore of the CIA's most important missions


Atomic Energy Commission Air Force Base

Air Force office symbol for the Assisiani for Development Planning under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Development

cqu irementsxommiltee Air Research and Development Command (USAF)


Scientific Advisory Panel

University Optical Research Laboratory


on Imagery Requirements

on Overhead Reconnaissance


of Central Intelligence

iiof Central Intelligence Directive

Director of Central Intelligence

Director for Intelligence

Director (or Directorate) for Plans

Director for Science and Technology

Projects Division

Projects Staff


ncr. Incorporated


Controlled Research Center

Air Sampling Program

Advisory Committee

ait speed


ballistic missile

Systems Panel (USAF)

Reconnaissance Center

Air Transport Service (USAF)

Appendix A





























ballistic missile

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

Naval air station

National Aeronautics and Space


National Intelligence Estimate

National Photographic Interpretation Center

Nat.onal Secuiiiy Agency

National Security Council

National Security Council Intelligence


Office of Defense Mobilization

Office of Research and Reports

Office of Special Activities

Office of Scientific Intelligence

Piesident's Board of Consultants on Foreign

Intelligence Activities

lmer Company

oreign Intelligence Advisory



Photographic Intelligence Center Photo-Intelligence Division Presidenfs Science Advisory Commtltee Royal Air Force Request for proposal Scientific Advisory Board (USAF) Science Advisory Committee Strategic Air Command Special Assistant io the DCI for Planning and Cock di nation Surface-to-air missile Scientific Engineering Institute Sensitive intelligencecfcng aenal radar True air speed

Technological Capabilities Panel

United Slates Intelligence Board Wright Air Development Command (USAF)', Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, Provniona


AVER. Frederick, Jr.

Special assismit to Trevor Gardner in the Office of the Secretary of ihe Air Force. Avertrong advocate of overhead reconromance by balloons and an early supporter of Lockheed'sesign.

BAKER, James G.

Harvard astronomer and lens designer. Bakereading designer of high-acuity aerial lenses during World Warnd continued this ^ort after the war. He also headed ihe Air Force Intelligence Systems Panel and served on ihe Technological Capabilities Panel's Project Three commiitee thai urged the development ofircraft Baker designed the lenses for's cameras.


Head of all CIA overhead reconnaissance programs4ormer economics professor at MIT and high official of the Marshall Plan, Bissell became Allen W. Dulles's Special Assistant for Planning and Coordination in4 and received responsibil try for therotect at the end of thai year. Later he also headed the first photosatelliie project and oversaw itie development of the OXCART.9 Bissell became Deputy Director for Plans but kept the reconna.ssance projects under his control. He resigned from the CIA in2

CABELL, George Pearre

t Air Force general and DDCI3ecause of Cabell's many years of experience in aerial reconnaissance. DCI Dulles delegated most of the responsibility for the reconnaissance protects to him

CARTER. Marshall S-

Army general who served as DDCI2uring the period leading up lo the Cuban Missile Crisis. Carter served as Acting DCIumber of occasions while DCI McCone was out of town. In2 he fought unsuccessfully to keep ihe CIA involvedlying reconnaissance missions over Cuba. Carter became the Director of the National Security Agency

CHARYK, Joseph R.

An aetooautical engineer who had followed careers first in academia and then the aerospace industry. Ouuyk became the Chief Scientist of

the Au- Force inive monthshe moved up to Assistant Secretary of the Aj Force for Research and Develrjpfncct. and the flowing year he became Uncer Secretary of rhe Air Force. In these position* he was involved in coordination with the CIA oo tJOthnd OXCART projects.3 Charylc left government to become the first chairman of the Communications Satellite Corporation


An ex-Marine Corps pilot, he became the administrative officer forroject inunningham handled the day-to-day manage mem ofrogram and brought only rhe more complex problem! ID Richard Bissell's attention. Later be served as the Deputyf the Office of Special Activities and then Special Assistantheecto- for Science and Technology


An aeronautical engineer who had helped to design0 fighter while working at the Cuniss-Wright Corporation. Donovan was one of the founders of the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory after World War II He served on several Air Force advisory panels andtrong advocate of the proposed lockheedircrafthee president of tne Aerospace Corporai.on


A vice president of Shell Oil Compary and an Army Air Forcegeneral. Doolitile headed General Eisenhower's Air StaffWorld War II. After the wax Doolitile served on many Airdvisory panels, and4 hepecialnvestigating the CIA's covert activities. Doolitile also served on ihe Technological Capabilities Panel and the President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities


Headed the Directorate of Science and Technology from6 untilirst as Acting Deputy Director and then as Deputy Director beginning inuring his tenure, thein the CIA's overhead reconnaissance program shifted from aircraft to satellites.

DULLES. Allen W.

DCI3lthough initially reluctant to sec the CIA involved in aerial reconnaissance, which he viewed as the military's area of responsibility. Dullestrong suppoitcr of

pogram when he saw how much inielligence it could gather on ihe Soviet Union. Became ha own interests lay more in the area of hj-man inielligence, he left the management of the reconnaissancein the hands of DDCI Cabell and project director Richard Bissell.


During Woild War II, Gardner worked on the Manhattan Project, and tatcr he headed the General Tire and Rubber Company before waning his own research and development firm, the Hycon Company, which built aenal cameras Gardner served as tbe Secretary of the Air Force's Special Assistant for Research and Development and then as the Assistant Secretary for Research and Development during Eisenhower's first term of office. Gardner's concern about the dangerurprise attack helped lead lo the establishment of the Technological Capabilities Panel. Gardner also urged the building ot Lockheed'sircraft.


Air Force colonel (later brigadier general) who was James Cunningham's Air Force counterpart inrogram. He wasin diverting engines from other Air Force projects for use in. and hisears withrojectighof continuity.


An Army colonel who served as President Eisenhower's Staff Secretary4uring this period, he was the CIA's point Of contact in the White House for arranging meetings with the President on the subject of overhead reconnaissance. Goodpatiet'scareer included service as the supreme commander of NATO and then commandant of the US Military Academy at West Point.

HELMS, Richard M.

DCI6enure as DCI. the CIA's manned reconnaissance program came under heavy pressure because offrom the Air Force's reconnaissance program.

JOHNSON, Clarence L. (Kelly)

One of the nation's foremost aeronautical designers. Kelly Johnson graduated ftom the University of Michigan's School of Aeronauiics3 and began working for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. During World War II he designed8 fighter, and after the war his design successes continued withet fighter, the Coestellation airliner, and rhe CIA's two strategicnd the

Appendix B

KIEFER, Eugene 1*

An An Force officeregree in aeronautical engineering who3nend at Lockheed of ihc Air Force's searchMgh-aliiTude rrxx-rt-iaissancehus, leading to lbe initial de sign of theficr leaving the An Force. Kiefer became Richard Bissell's technical adviser for the OXCaRT and photosaiellitc programs


President of the Massachusetts institute of Technology. Killianigh-level and very secret study of the nation's ability tourprise attack While this project was still under way. he and Edwin Land persuaded President Eisenhower to supportijh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft,. Later. Killian headed Eisenhower's Board of Consultants for Foreign Intelligence Activities, served as his Cabinet-level science adviser, and chaired the President's Science Advisory Board was also chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory BoardJohn F. Kennedy.

LAND. Edwin H.

An cttrcmely talented inventor famous for tre envelopment offitters and the instant-flm camera. Land also devotedtime and energy to voluntary government service. During Worldand wotked for ihe Radiation Laboratories, and after the war he served on numerous Air Force advisory panels. As the head of the Technological Capabilitiics Panel's study group investigating US in-xlligence-gathenng capabilities. Lasdtrong advocate of the developmentigh-altitude reconnaissance aircraft (thender civilian rather than Air Force control. Land and fames Killian persuaded President Eisenhowerpproveroject and later the first photcsatellite project. Land also seived on the President's Board of Consultants for Foreign Intelligence Activities

LEGHORN. Richard S. An MIT graduate in physics. Leghorn joined the Army Air Force2 and went to work for reconnaissance esped Col. George Goddard. By the time of the invasion of Europe. Leghorn was chief of reconnaissance for the 9th Taciica! Air Force. After the war. Leghorn began preaching the need foray" reconnaissance in order to gather intelligence on the Soviet Bice He returned to the Air Force during the Korean wat and later wotked for Harold Siassen's Disarmament Office.6 he became the head of the Scientific

Engineeringn ways to re

duceIn he (winded

irthur E.

A Navy pboiointerprcter during World Warnd afterward. Lundahl became ihe chief of the Photo-Intelligence Divisiono sup poriroject, heeparate photoimerpretation center under Proiect HTAUTOMAT Under his leadership ihe Photo-Intelligence Division grew rapidly and achieved office status as ihe Photographic Intelligence Center81 Lundahl became Ihe first head of the National Phoiograhic Inierpreiation Cenicr. which combined the photointerpretaiion efforts of ihe CIA and the military services.

MeCONE, John A.

DCI1trong supporter of the CIAs manned re-conrvaissance program. McCone presided over the OXCaRTs main penod of development and pushedreater role for the CIA in its join! reconnaissance programs with ihe Dcpaitmem of Defense.

MILLER, Herbert I.

Miller worked in the Office of Scientific Intelligence's nuclear branch and became Richard Bissell's first deputy forrojeci He later left ihe Agency io work for the Scientific Engineering Institute.

NORTON, Garrison

An assistant to Trevor Gardner. Norton became an early supporter of ihe Lockheednd started the CIA's interest in overhead re-conruussance by informing Philip Strong about the aircraft. Norton bier became Navy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development and wa* involved with rhe OXCART program


After working on ihe developmem of Technicolor. Overhage went to work for Kodak. He headed the Beacon Hill Panel2 and later became director of Lincoln Laboratories


Parangosky worked for RKhaid Bissell's Development Projects SiaiT in the. He served as deputy chief of ihenii9 and became projeci manager of the OXCART program from its inception through the test flight stage.



PER KIN. Richard S.

President of ihe Perkin-Elmer Corporauon. Perkinlose frieod of lames Baker and wasember of several advisory panels, including the BEACON KILL project. He helped Bakerat cameras to use in theircraft.

POWERS. Francis Gary

An Air Force Reserve Officer whoilotowers Dewuccessful missions before being shot down over the Soviet Unionfter his return to the United States in exchange for Soviei spymaster Rudolf Abelowers was cleared of all allegations of misconduct in hit mission, capture, trial, and captivity. Heest pilot for Lockheed and later piloted light aircraft and helicopters for radio and television stations. He diedelicopter crash

PUR CELL, Edward M.

A phyitcist whoobe; porea for his work in nuclear resonance. Purcell servedumber of advisory bodies, including the USAF Scientific Advisory Committee and Edwin Land's Technological Capabilities Panel study group. It was Purcell's ideas for reducing the radar cross section of the IM that led to tte OXCART program Purcell also contributed to the satelliie

RABORN. William F. Jr.

DCI5abom pushed for the deployment of OXCART to the Fat East but failed to sway the top officials of the Johnson administration.

RF iti. k. James Q.

After serving as the Assistant Director for Intelligence Coordination in ihe. Reber became the chairman of the Ad Hoc Requirements Committee5 and con-jnued to chair this comrrut-:ee after it was taken over by the US Intelligence Board0 and renamed the Committee on Overhead Requirements.9 hethe chairman of the USIB's SIGINT Committee.

RODGERS. Franklin A.

Formerly of MIT. Rodgers was the chief engineer at the Scientific Engineenng Institute who converted the theories of Edward Purcell into practical systems to reduce the radar image ofndthe OXCART.


DCI from February tochkSiager supported the Nixonproposalerminate iherogram.

SCOTT, Roderie M

An engineer with Perkm-Elmer who worked wiih James Baker in(he first cameras for use in. Scoil helped designamera for the OXCART.

SCOVLLLE, Herbert, Jr.

In2 Scoville became ihe first Dcpuiy Director foe Research, which look over control of the Agency's reconnaissance programs from ihe Deputy Director for Plans. Frustrated by the lack of support from (he DCI and the other directorates, he resigned in3


An aeronautical engineer who was retailed to active duty wiih the Air Force during ihc Korean war. Seaberg drafted the fitst specif;cationsigh-flying jet reconnaissance aircraft

STEVER, H. Cuyford

A professor of aeronautical engineering at MIT. Siever served on nu-merous Air Force advisory panels and later oecame ihe Air Force's chief scientist.

STRONG. Philip C-

Chief ofhe Office of Scientific Inielligence. Strong kept himself well informed on developments in overhead reconnaissance and attended many Air Force advisory panel meetings as ar. observer.4 he learned about the Lockheedesign and passed ihe information on to Edwin Land's study group investigating UScapabilities


Wheelon became the Deputy Director for Science and Technology in3 following the reorganization and renaming of the

Deputy Director foi Research. He held ihis position until September


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