Romanian Scientists Construct A Real Flying Saucer, But It’s Not The First Of Its Kind

When most people think about aliens, they think about large-headed beings with big black eyes who fly down in unique saucer-shaped spaceships. The concept of the flying saucer and its connection with aliens was mostly a product of science fiction until two Romanian scientists built one of the vehicles for themselves. Take a look at how they constructed their creation, the inspiration behind it, and intriguing stories of supposed UFO sightings throughout history.

Incredible Video Footage

Saucer hovering
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

In August 2019, a video that went viral was uploaded to YouTube. It showed what appeared to be footage of a flying saucer. The object looked like a UFO right out of a science fiction movie as it was circular, was capable of flying in all directions, and could make extreme maneuvers in the sky.

Although the flying saucer looked like it was ready to fly off to an alien planet, that’s not what its creators intended for it to do.

A Project By Romanian Scientists

Saucer in the sky
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

As it turns out, the flying saucer wasn’t some kind of alien ship. In fact, it is officially known as an All Directions Flying Object, or ADIFO, engineered by Razvan Sabie and aerodynamicist Iosif Taposu, who are both from Romania.

Iosif Taposu was once a senior scientist at Romania’s National Institute for Aerospatial Research. Currently, Taposu is now the head of Theoretical Aerodynamics at the National Aviation Institute, so it’s no surprise he built a flying saucer.

It Took Decades Of Work

Saucer taking off
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

In an interview with Vice in August 2019, Sabie explained precisely what went into the construction of the All Directions Flying Object and how it works.

He stated, “[t]he aerodynamics behind this aircraft is the result of more than two decades of work and is very well reasoned in hundreds of pages and confirmed by computer simulations and wind tunnel tests.” Now, it is finally in the air, and there is even video evidence to prove that it successfully works.

It Didn’t Copy Descriptions Of UFOs

Saucer on the ground
Pinterest/Nina Jagger
Pinterest/Nina Jagger

The viral YouTube clip was uploaded by the account Tech World, and it captured the saucer’s incredible maneuvers. The mechanism hovered in place and performing vertical take-offs.

According to the inventors, unlike what most people might assume, the design wasn’t done in an attempt to copy traditional ideas of what UFOs look like. In fact, its origins date back much farther than that. Regardless, it’s still incredible to see something existing in most people’s imaginations come to life.

UFO Sightings Throughout History

Egyptian wall painting
Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images
Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images

UFO sightings aren’t just a modern phenomenon but have been documented in history throughout the ages, with some of the earliest taking place in ancient Egypt. There is even a Tulli Papyrus manuscript that was recorded during the Eighteenth Dynasty, which claims that Thutmose III had seen “fiery disks” hovering in the sky.

Some people also believe there are UFOs in the Bible, and at least five similar sightings were documented during the time of ancient Rome.

Sightings In Ancient Rome

Black and white UFO
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

A few of the sightings in Rome include an airborne craft in the skies above Rome in 218 BC and a silver object shaped like a jar that was hovering around what is modern-day Turkey.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, numerous sightings can be found in artwork and literature of the time. The reports then began to come from all over the world, and in the following centuries, there were more and more sightings.

Sightings Increased In World War II

Allied airplanes
Fox Photos/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Getty Images

In the 1940s, particularly during World War II, UFO sighting became increasingly more frequent, especially among pilots. In one instance, a group of Allied pilots described seeing a circular, glowing object during an air battle with the enemy.

A number of the pilots reported seeing the same thing, claiming they were fiery globes while others saying they were orange, white, or red orbs. However, according to pilots, they weren’t just hovering there either.

They Called Them Foo Fighters

Airplane in flight
Mondadori via Getty Images
Mondadori via Getty Images

Among themselves, the airmen referred to these strange objects as “foo fighters,” because it almost seemed like they were toying with the Allied pilots. The pilots also reported that the UFOs would dash around in the sky, performing maneuvers that no normal plane could, and then completely disappearing.

Eyewitnesses also believed that the unidentified aircraft were being controlled by highly-skilled pilots, although they were never hostile. These were the earliest of countless similar sightings among pilots in the future.

Coining The Term “Flying Saucer”

Objects in the sky
The Print Collector/Getty Images
The Print Collector/Getty Images

In 1947, the term “flying saucer” was unintentionally coined after there was a reported UFO sighting over the skies of Washington. Pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane at the time of the sighting when he noticed something strange.

He claims to have seen a group of around nine crescent-shaped aircraft flying impossibly fast. He went so far as to describe them as “like saucers skipping on water.” In a newspaper article reporting the even, the UFOs were described as saucers, and the name stuck.

One Of The Most Famous UFO Sightings Of All Time

Saucer in black and white
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Not long after the sighting by Kenneth Arnold in Washington came one of the most notorious UFO sightings ever recorded. However, in this case, the object wasn’t found flying across the sky but instead appeared to have crash-landed.

A local rancher named W.W. “Mac” Brazel discovered the wreckage near a military base in the New Mexico city of Roswell. The crashed UFO was reportedly around 600 feet long.

The Press Had A Field Day

Newspaper clipping
Pinterest/Sabreblade
Pinterest/Sabreblade

Of course, with people claiming that they had discovered a crashed UFO, reporters were all over the story. Local newspapers were quick to print that the object found had been an alien craft. However, the United States military strongly disagreed.

Instead, they claimed that the wreckage was nothing more than a downed weather balloon. However, the remains of the craft and what was printed in the paper seemed to say otherwise.

The Truth Comes To Light

Investigating the remains
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Fifty years after what was thought to be an alien ship had crash-landed in Roswell, the United States military finally came clean about what had actually happened. According to them, the craft had been built for what was known as Project Mogul.

The goal of the project was to collect information about Soviet nuclear testing. At the time of the crash, they were running experiments by attaching microphones capable of detecting sound waves from atomic explosions on high-altitude balloons.

Not Everyone Was Convinced

Saucer over farm
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Although Project Mogul had some minor success, its cost, along with the introduction of air sampling and seismic detectors to detect nuclear explosions, resulted in it being shut down.

Of course, this explanation for what had crash-landed in that field in Roswell came far too late to stop any conspiracies that had begun to circulate. Then, only a few years later, another event brought the discussion of aliens to the forefront once again.

Another Roswell Sighting

Aliens falling
LMPC via Getty Images
LMPC via Getty Images

Further alien conspiracies began to unfold after another sighting in Roswell in the 1950s. However, this time, witnesses claimed to have seen bodies with aluminum bones and latex skin falling from the sky.

While this is unlikely to have happened, it was more than enough evidence for believers to claim that extraterrestrial life had been visiting Earth. The government was once again quick to retrieve whatever had fallen from the sky, which only raised further suspicion.

What The Bodies Really Were

Man working with crash-test dummy
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

According to official reports, the supposed extraterrestrial bodies that witnesses saw falling from the sky weren’t aliens at all. In reality, they were mannequins being tested by the government to see whether pilots could survive falling from particular aircraft.

Unsurprisingly, this somewhat reasonable explanation was far from sufficient evidence for people who were convinced that aliens had repeatedly visited Roswell. On top of that, sightings continued to increase in that area, adding fuel to the fire.

The Government Began To Investigate

Green light in the sky
Colin McPherson/Sygma via Getty Images
Colin McPherson/Sygma via Getty Images

In 1948, the United States Air Force began investigating the phenomena of UFOs for themselves. However, with the Cold War, the government had a different thought as to what the aircraft were. The military had one explanation for these UFOs, and it certainly wasn’t aliens.

To them, the unidentified flying objects could only be one thing, the Soviet Union. They assumed that the Soviets had become advanced enough to create such aircraft, which was extremely concerning.

Reason For Concern

Satellites
plus49/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
plus49/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Any type of unidentified flying aircraft was a concern to the United States military and government. So, in 1948, the United States established Project Sign, intending to investigate if “UFOs” were, in fact, Soviet aircraft.

Although many experts were convinced that they were Soviet aircraft, there were still some who thought it was entirely possible that aliens were piloting the flying objects. This resulted in the creation of the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis.

The Creation Of Project Blue Book

Man pointing at data
Antonin Cermak/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
Antonin Cermak/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Project Sign then gave way to Project Grudge, and in 1952, officially changed its name to Project Blue Book. Under this new name, the study of unidentified flying objects would go on to become the longest-running investigation on record.

The project would continue for around two decades, proving how seriously people were taking the issue at the time.

Identified And Unidentified

Flying saucer in the snow
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Between the years 1952 and 1969, Project Blue Book managed to collect stories of over 12,000 UFO sightings that had been recorded. Out of these 12,000 sightings, investigators then placed each claim in the category of either “identified” or “unidentified.”

The “identified” category included reports that could be traced back to be man-made, astronomical, or atmospheric events. The “unidentified” category, which consisted of 6% of the 12,000, were sightings that had no real explanation, which baffled both scientists and the military.

The Government Got Involved

Man reviewing photo
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Around the time that the United States Air Force was first developing Project Blue Book, the government decided to do some of its own investigating on the matter. So, in 1953, a panel of experts gathered to discuss potential extraterrestrial phenomena, consisting of astronomers, physicists, and rocket scientists.

Together, the group spent three days analyzing the data taken from Project Blue Book, as well as interviewing military personnel and going over photographs and films that supposedly captured UFO activity.

The Panel Came To A Conclusion

UFO over windmill
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

The meeting of these great minds ended with some significant results. After combing through the data, the group concluded that around 90 percent of the UFO reports were indeed explainable.

The majority of them were attributed to ion clouds, balloons, bright planets, lights, meteors, and planes. In the end, the panel came to the agreement that the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis was unlikely, considering that there was very little evidence to prove otherwise.

People Still Weren’t Convinced

Man and woman with newspaper clipping
Universal History Archive/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Universal History Archive/ Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Although experts announced that none of the UFO sightings were likely related to extraterrestrials, they still had a hard time convincing believers otherwise. Some people were still sure that this was all a government cover-up and that Aliens had been repeatedly visiting Earth for whatever reason.

In 1966, the United States military requested another review of the Project Blue Book findings. This time, the committee took two years reviewing the information, with 37 researchers studying 59 specific studies.

The Closing Of Project Blue Book

Man holding up photograph
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Although there were still a lot of people who believed that the UFO sightings were the result of aliens, the second committee to review the evidence once again confirmed that the UFO sightings were nothing more than everyday phenomena.

Therefore, they recommended that there be no further investigation of the supposed reports. This suggestion, on top of a reduction of alleged sightings, led to the closure of Project Blue Book in 1969.

Investigations Continued, But Not By The Government

Picture of J. Allen Hynek
Columbia Tristar/Getty Images
Columbia Tristar/Getty Images

Although official investigations, such as Private Blue Book, came to an end, that wasn’t enough to dissuade firm believers in their thoughts about aliens. This time, it was citizens who decided to take matters into their own hands.

One of the leaders of these investigations was J. Allen Hynek, a former scientist on the government committee. He went on to establish the Center for UFO Studies in 1973. During this time, while the Chicago-based organization was doing its own studies, two European scientists were busy building their own flying saucer.

Its Design Was Inspired By Dolphins

Dolphins jumping out of water
Nick Ut/Getty Images
Nick Ut/Getty Images

Although the ADIFO craft by Razvan Sabie and Iosif Taposu may look like the flying saucer that most people think of, its design has a much more natural origin. The shape is based on an airfoil, which can be seen in nature as a dolphin’s flipper fin, allowing its entire body to act as a low-drag wing.

This allows the animal to navigate through water with efficiency and speed. This design allows for the saucer to fly in all different directions, but that’s only one of the advantages.

It’s Shape Allows It To Do Things Other Aircraft Can’t

Saucer over grass field
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

On top of the use of an airfoil, the scientists’ saucer also has a pair of jet engines and operates like a quadcopter. This is due to the four fans located on the bottom, which launch the craft into the air and allow it to hover.

According to the saucer’s inventors, with the right jets, the craft’s unique shape would allow for the saucer to achieve supersonic speeds without producing the sonic boom that occurs when moving faster than the speed of light.

It Could Be Used For Military Purposes

Saucer flying on its side
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

According to Tech World, which uploaded the video to YouTube, the ADIFO could also be used for military purposes. The narrator explains that “[It] can be used as an unmanned aerial vehicle, unmanned combat aerial vehicle or even a fighter aircraft, due to its… hypermaneuverability… and a very low rate of signature.”

Furthermore, if the aircraft could transition to supersonic speeds without making any noise, it would be a perfect tool to use during espionage missions.

It Could Eventually Be Piloted From Inside

Top of saucer
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

The builders of the ADIFO also claim that in time, the aircraft could be piloted by a human from inside if a large enough one was constructed.

However, this would only be possible if future manufacturers were to install a jet and a hybrid propulsion system into it. It isn’t just these Romanian scientists who are looking to make the craft available for use by the military. The United States have had their eyes on such a design for quite a while.

The United States Wanted In On The Action

Navy Aircraft
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

In 2017, the United States Navy was granted a patent for a new and improved aircraft that would be able to accomplish many (and even more) of the same capabilities as the ADIFO claims to have.

According to the Navy, their new aircraft will also have the ability to glide underwater and withstand the harsh conditions of space. The patent application also claims that the Navy’s craft will also have “enhanced stealth capabilities.”

The Navy’s Craft Would Have Incredible Technology

Blueprint
Pinterest/Moni Legal Group
Pinterest/Moni Legal Group

The Navy’s patent also noted that the craft would be “enclosed in a vacuum plasma bubble/sheath.” Metro further explained that it would “feature a cavity wall filled with gas, which is then made to vibrate using powerful electromagnetic waves.

This then creates a vacuum around the craft, allowing it to propel itself at high speeds.” This is only in theory as it hasn’t been tested. Just because the patent was granted doesn’t mean that anything has been constructed yet.

Science Or Science Fiction?

Picture of Nick Pope
Paul Butterfield/Getty Images
Paul Butterfield/Getty Images

With all of this incredible technology in discussion, many of the concepts from the Navy and other scientists seem almost unbelievable. In April 2019, Nick Pope, an ex-UFO investigator for the British government, told Metro, “It’s sometimes hard to tell where the boundary lies between fringe science and science fiction.”

Considering that people are attempting to make flying saucers of their own which would be comparable to those we see in science fiction films, it’s hard to disagree.

Pope Believes The World Is About To Change

Black and white UFO
Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Pope sincerely believes that if any of these ideas are actually attempted and work, then we are on the brink of a new age in human history.

He went on to explain to Metro, “[e]ven if the theoretical physics turns out to be sound, aeronautical engineers will still have to build something if this [patent] is to have any tangible effect. If they have built the technology described in the patents, I’m sure the program is highly classified. The bottom line is that if any of this works, we’re in game-changing territory.”

The United States Has Been Interested In Saucer Aircraft For Some Time

1950s saucer craft
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Although the United States is currently attempting to create some of the most advanced aircraft ever known to man, they have been interested in such technology for quite some time. Intrigue in UFO-style aircraft dates back to the 1950s.

During that time, the military commissioned a flying saucer-inspired ship that they intended to use for military missions. Not only did they expect to put it to use, but they thought that it would become as popularly used as the Jeep.

The Avrocar Was Supposed To Be The Future

Avrocar in NASA research center
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The United States government at the time was sincerely interested in the project, thinking that it would be a new and improved way to transport troops. Supposedly, Air Force Dynamic lab engineer Bernard Lindenbaum went to the government to request funding for the improvement of helicopters.

However, upon arrival, he was told that the development of helicopters would be put on hold and that the military would soon use a new aircraft known as the Avrocar.

Plans For The Avrocar Began In The Early 1950s

Photo of Jack Frost
Pinterest
Pinterest

The much-anticipated Avrocar came from the mind of British engineer Jack Frost, with its design being started in the early 1950s. Around that time, Frost was working for the Special Projects Department of the aircraft manufacturer, Avro Canada.

Frost was able to convince the United States military that travel using a flying saucer wasn’t just theoretically plausible, but that he himself could make it happen. Unfortunately, the first two aircraft that he built didn’t work as Frost had expected.

Beginning Testing

Men and an Avrocar
Pinterest/Ambrosia Dawn
Pinterest/Ambrosia Dawn

Although there were some issues with the Avrocar, by 1959, it was ready for testing to see if it was a viable option as a new form of military transportation. While the craft did leave the ground, it couldn’t get much higher than just three feet, which isn’t exactly optimal for a flying vehicle.

On top of that, those piloting the Avrocar noted that the heat inside of the cockpit was unbearable and it was only capable of traveling around 35 miles per hour.

There Were Even More Problems

Avrocar in museum
Pinterest
Pinterest

Along with the cockpit being incredibly hot and the craft only hovering three feet above the ground and traveling at 35 miles per hour, there were other issues. One of the biggest ones was that the Avrocar made a horrible screeching noise when in operation that was almost unbearable to be around.

In 1961, funding for the project was cut off. One of the two planes made its way into the Cold War Gallery in the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and the other was put into storage in 2002.

From Myth To Reality

Saucer in blue sky
YouTube/Mashable
YouTube/Mashable

Since ancient times, there have been reports of flying saucers seen in the sky. Yet, today, they are becoming a product of our own creation. We’ve come a long way so far, although the Romanian scientists note that the ADIFO is just “the tip of the iceberg.”

They went on to add that currently, there are two government entities, venture funds, an aircraft manufacturer, and ten possible partners that are interested in their product. However, with the United States involved in their own projects, it’s only a matter of time before we see who had the first fully functioning flying saucer.