Project 119L was a United States Air Force program to send surveillance balloons. manufactured by General Mills, over Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in order to take photographs and collect intelligence. Between 10 January and 6 February 1956, from five different launch sites, a total of 512 (516 according to other sources ) vehicles were launched, of which 54 were recovered later. Authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 27, 1955, Project 119L was the first espionage use of these balloons that had been tested in previous projects, such as "Moby Dick High". Project 119L was a follow up to Project Skyhook, Project Mogul, and Project Grandson. The balloons were used to monitor the Soviet Union for such things as nuclear tests, and returned photography of more than 1.1 million square miles of the Sino-Soviet block. Top-secret high altitude balloon programs such as Moby Dick, Moby Dick High and 119L are believed to be one of the main explanations for many UFO sightings starting around the mid-20th century. The U-2 spy plane was later developed to replace the Genetrix balloons.
Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World. p. 83 (and others)
- "HEXAGON (KH-9) Mapping Camera Program and Evolution". NRO. 1982-12.
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language