OK, you have to check this out. National Geographic just published this awesome slideshow documenting the crash site of one of the CIA’s A-12 spy planes operating out of Area 51 in 1963. The image above is from the collection featuring recently declassified photos of the A-12 program. It’s pretty amazing to see the mockup of the Mach-3 jet sitting there above the ancient looking jeep. The airframe is on the big stick so that Lockheed and CIA engineers can test its radar signature.
Below is a teaser of the pics you’ll find on the show. It’s the empennage of the A-12 that crashed in the desert near Wendover Utah after getting into an unrecoverable spin. National Geo does a great job at describing the efforts to cover up the fact that the super secret plane went down, noting how the pilot kept civilians from approaching the wreck by telling them the plane was carrying a nuclear weapon.