posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:38 PM
Of course, the OXCART project, and even test programs involving Soviet aircraft, have been declassified for many years.
The OXCART and TAGBOARD programs were declassified in 1976 when the surviving D-21B drones were placed in outdoor storage at Davis-Monthan AFB,
Arizona. The A-12 aircraft were to join the drones but instead remained in a building at A.F. Plant 42 in Palmdale until 1981. In preparation for
placing the aircraft outdoors, the CIA in 1976 crafted a memo for Air Force officials to use in response to queries about the aircraft. In 1981, after
the A-12 airframes were moved outdoors at Palmdale, a number of historical photos of the A-12 and D-21 were released along with some general details
about the OXCART and TAGBOARD programs. "The OXCART Story," a 1982 article in the CIA's "Studies in Intelligence" magazine was declassified in
1991 when A-12 aircraft started entering museums for public display. Over the next 16 yeards the CIA declassified thousands of pages of
OXCART-related documents, mostly in response to FOIA requests. In 2007, an A-12 was placed on permanent display at CIA Headquarters in a ceremony that
recognized the accomplishments of the pilots who performed operational reconnaissance missions in the aircraft.
The HAVE DOUGHNUT and HAVE DRILL/HAVE FERRY foreign materiel evaluation programs were declassified in the late 1990s. CONSTANT PEG was declassified
just a few years ago along with other related projects.
The recent L.A. Times article is based on oral history interviews which are highly subjective. T.D. Barnes was right to say that foreign technology
was "reverse engineered" - Soviet radar systems were simulated for test purposes - but he was exercising dramatic license in order to explain some
of the popular myths about Area 51. The tunnels he discussed were located at the Nevada Test Site, not at Area 51, and are a well known part of the
underground nuclear testing program.
Ken Collins' story about being debriefed under the influence of sodium pentothal ("truth serum") is not completely accurate. He was, in fact,
administered sodium amytal, a drug used to recover memories from people who have been through a traumatic event (in this case his ejection from the
stricken A-12). It is also unlikely that he told the civilians who picked him up that his airplane had nuclear weapons aboard. This would have drawn
unwanted attention to the incident (the exact opposite of what he wanted!) and there are no documents (including his own reports and the CIA
debriefing transcript) that support such a tale.