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Collins, Lovick, Slater, Barnes and Martin explain that one of the main things the U.S. government was doing there was testing new experimental aircraft, as well as breaking down foreign aircraft components (but not flying saucers) and studying how they were put together.
The UFO and flying saucer reports got started because of a new Mach-3 aircraft built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, the A-12 OXCART, was designed to “outfox Soviet radar using height, stealth and speed.”