Claimed sightings of unusual, high-speed, high-altitude, maneuvering vehicles during the last few years have led some to conclude that the United States has developed a fleet of new aircraft and is either testing them or already flying several types in operational service.<1> It is suggested that because these programs are considered "super-super-black," military and other government officials routinely deny their existence.<3>
While it is obvious that the extent and nature of "black programs" are hidden from potential adversaries, and the public, what is less clear is the extent of knowledge and understanding that exists at the highest levels of the US government.
Are top decision makers fully aware of all that goes on in the bowels of government-financed aerospace design shops?
In recent years the Congress and senior government officials charged with oversight and funding of military programs take actions that seem patently inconsistent with the existence of these reported secret aircraft.
But it would not be unusual for only a very few political officials to be privy to these programs.
<4> "Secret Advanced Vehicles Demonstrate Technologies For Future Military Use," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 October 1990, page 21.