It’s not really a secret that Area 51, the place that conspiracy nuts think is where the government is storing some aliens, is really an experimental aircraft testing facility. True, the government will never admit it, but it’s the truth.
One thing the government will admit, though, was that for a while, they were trying to build a freaking flying saucer.
Project 1794 was a plan to build a VTOL (vertical take off and landing) aircraft shaped like, well, a flying saucer. The idea was to have a disc that could book it: 2,400 mph, to be exact. Granted, its range was limited: Only about 1,000 nautical miles. Still, that would mean you could go up and down the East Coast in less than half an hour.
It got as far as the prototype stage, but there was what turned out to be a fairly serious problem: Getting the thing to get any real height. Basically, the highest it could go was five or six feet… if you lucked out. The military scrapped plans to make this by the beginning of the 1960s.
Project 1794 [National Archives]