50 Declassified Government Photos That Reveal Truths About The 1960s
By | August 31, 2022
History books have one story to tell, but have you ever wondered if there's more to the well known tales that we learn in school? Each year, photos and files are declassified by governments across the world that prove that there's more to history than what you've been taught. The following photos have been recently declassified and colorized... they'll change how you see history forever.
The following chilling declassified photos from history may not be suitable for all eyes. The colorization process will help you feel like you're in the middle of a true conspiracy theory... just make sure you know how to find your way out.
If you're looking through the history books for the following stories and colorized photos you're not going to find them. Look closer to find out how history really played out...
During World War II a mysterious, multinational group of pilots were christened the Flying Tigers before the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The volunteer group was made up of pilots from each branch of the U.S. military who flew in Curtis P-40B Warhawks adorned with Chinese colors. It was strange to see a group like this before America entered World War II.
The members of the Flying Tigers may have been military, but they weren't an official American squardon. Instead, they were members of the Republic China Air Force and were given contracts that ranged from $250 a month to $750 a month. The group was disbabed on July 4, 1942. Their records are still intact.
Not only did the hyperinflation crisis lead to extreme poverty, but it also caused a kind of mass hysteria known as zero, or cipher stroke. People suffering from this peculiar mental disorder had a strange need to write an infinite stream of zeroes. It's theorized that this was simply a way for people to process the horrible situation.
JFK, moments before his assassination
President Kennedy wasn't the only person to suffer from the sting of a bullet that day. James T. Tague was shot by a stray bullet meant for the president while standing in the traffic of the caravan. He told ABC:
I was standing on the triple underpass at the time and was wounded by a fragment that bounced off the pavement. It certainly didn't sound like a rifle shot. It was a loud cannon-type sound and it stung me on my right cheek. I wondered what had just happened and a man in a suit who turned out to be a deputy sheriff in plain clothes ran up and asked what had happened. Across the street people were sobbing, 'His head exploded.' The policeman said 'Whose head?' It was the president's. Then he looked at me and said, 'You have blood on your face.'
During his trip through space Sam was weightless for three minutes. His survival paved the way for the successful NASA space program that followed in the 1960s, specifically the Project Mercury program - the first human space flight. If only Sam the monkey knew just how important his dangerous and horrifying work was.
A heavily redacted official FBI document discussing UFOs
Many of the government's reports on UFOs are similar to this one, they're almost completely blacked out with very little information left over for the public to read. What don't they want the public to see? Is there real information about extra terrestrials or is it just somewhat embarrassing?
Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War
Prior to the attack on the Maddox, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the head of U.S. forces in Vietnam, tutored the Vietnamese military on how to carry out raids on the North Vietnamese. Reports following the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin stated that North Vietnamese PT boats had “mistaken Maddox for a South Vietnamese escort vessel." Months later, Johnson was officially elected to the presidency and sent soldiers into combat without declaring war.
Wedding rings that Nazis removed from their victims
When Nazis brought in their victims they took their money, their gold fillings, and any jewelry that they could find as long as it was gold. It's hard to imagine that the Nazis thought that they could add to their war chest with this collection. It's clear that this was just another horrific decision on the part of the German military.
American troops wade toward the beaches of Normandy on D-Day
Taken in the heat of the invasion, this photo gives the audience the same view that the soldiers had as they exited their boat. Images like this may no reside in the National Archive, but many of the men who survived this battle longed to forget the dangers of storming Normandy. Seeing this declassified photo in color is just a stark reminder of how real the war really was.
Pablo Escobar and his son posing in front of the White House
At the time, Escobar was trying to go legit... sort of. He had a seat on the Medéllin city council and he was a substitute Congressman which may have allowed him to have a diplomatic passport. However, it's just as likely that Escobar was using fake passports, it's not like he didn't have the money to pay for them. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the FBI first saw this photo.
Thanks to the vacuum of space, the family photo and Duke's bootprint have basically remained in stasis since April 23, 1972. It's fascinating to think that this photo will be on the moon long after everyone in it is long gone. They stand as a message and a welcome to anyone who's fortunate enough to tread on our sister in space.
Cold war photo kept under wraps
At the time, Russian officials denied the existence of a chemical weapons program but remarks by Soviet chemical weapons scientist Vladimir Uglev suggest otherwise. He told the Guardian that in the '90s two officers that he worked with at the site died due to accidents with the chemicals on the premises. However, he noted that it was unlikely that anyone would be able to track down the chemicals.
Saddam Hussein following his capture
Operation Red Dawn was carried out in Ad-Dawr, Iraq when multiple units made their way through two different areas before finding nothing. But then one member of the group kicked a piece of the floor away and found a spider hole and out popped Hussein. The former leader of Iraq was captured with little resistance along with his bodyguards.
Police officers mask up for the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918
Historian John Barry explained that during the flu of 1918 there was an extreme amount of disinformation going around:
The press did not treat the 1918 flu seriously during the outbreak, for reasons that are very different than today. There was real fake news coming out of the U.S. government about the 1918 flu. As a general rule, the media was extremely complicit with the U.S. government in telling those lies... There was no partisan division over the 1918 flu. It was to no one's political benefit to try to expose the truth about the pandemic then.
Atomic bomb test dummies sit down for dinner, 1953
The homes of Yucca Flat, Nevada, weren't just filled with mannequins. Researchers turned them into actual homes complete with food in the kitchen and clothes in the closets. Through these strange tests the U.S. military discovered that through careful planning there wouldn't be a total loss should the Soviet military decide to strike.
The crash site at Roswell
In spite of the fact that the RAAF released a statement detailing the recovered debris of the flying disc, they quickly changed their story. Army officials said that there was no "saucer," and instead stated that the wreckage was from a weather balloon. It wasn't until 1994 that the U.S. Air Force released a report stating that the weather balloon story was false. They argued that the debris was actually from a spy plane, but who's to say what's true?
Emergency response team at the Pentagon following the attacks of September 11, 2001
Researchers have reported that claims of a missile being fired at the Pentagon are false. Any and all damage done to the federal building on that horrible day occurred when the hijacked plane hit its tarket. Even with video of the events circulating there are still theorists who believe otherwise...
Gawkers after the JFK assassination
Jenyce Gush spoke to ABC about witnessing the assassination when she was only 14-years-old, she said that after witnessing the shooting she fled to a loca drugstore to escape the chaos:
It was like a moment frozen in time. It was so quiet and I looked at the store manager and she had tears running down her face. I remember putting my hands on my face and felt the tears. How could that have happened? I was heartsick.
Project 1794: The Air Force had a supersonic flying saucer
Unfortunately, costs got in the way of the project coming to fruition. Costs of the prototype were calculated to be around $3,168,000, which is about a cool $26 mil thanks to inflation. By 1960, the dream of an American UFO was put on ice.
Pre World War II aircraft listening devices
These devices worked like a personal radar machine. Each user used a pair of headphones that were jacked in to a set of vertical and horizontal horns that received the sound of an antagonistic craft. The user moved the horns until the sound was focused on the exact direction of the plane. It wasn't super specific but it worked.
Atomic bomb preparations on Tinian Island
Every bomber group on the island took part in deadly combat missions. Aside from the two missions that dropped atomic bombs on Japan, there were soldiers who detonated deadly "pumpkin bombs" on variuos targets. It was believed that at least 50 atomic bombs would be needed to defeat Japan, with the men of Tinian Island sticking around for much of the war.
Hiroshima after the atomic bomb
In spite of the pure destruction caused by the bomb, the U.S. military attempted to hide the effects of the attack on the Japanese people. Dutch writer and editor Ian Buruma explained:
News of the terrible consequences of the atom bomb attacks on Japan was deliberately withheld from the Japanese public by US military censors during the Allied occupation—even as they sought to teach the natives the virtues of a free press. Casualty statistics were suppressed. Film shot by Japanese cameramen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings was confiscated. Hiroshima, the account written by John Hersey for The New Yorker, had a huge impact in the US, but was banned in Japan. As [John] Dower says: 'In the localities themselves, suffering was compounded not merely by the unprecedented nature of the catastrophe ... but also by the fact that public struggle with this traumatic experience was not permitted.'
An early version of Mount Rushmore
While explaining why he created an incomplete chamber filled covered in red numbers that provide instructions for further removal of rocks and holes for dynamite, Borglum said:
You might as well drop a letter into the world’s postal service without an address or signature, as to send that carved mountain into history without identification. Each succeeding civilization forgets its predecessor. Civilizations are ghouls.
CIA photograph of Soviet cruise missile
Taken by Dino A. Brugioni while he was a member of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, he took part in numerous international incidents. While speaking with PBS he explained exactly how he did his job:
The scan team were people who were very familiar with the whole area. What drew their eye was that certain objects didn't belong... The photographs were passed to a backup team of missile people... I had a looseleaf binder that had all kinds of information on Soviet missiles. It had photographs taken in the streets of Moscow, it had material from Penkovsky.
The ships may have not have suffered longterm from the radiation, but the goats, pigs, and mice in the area were significantly effected. Following the test, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reported:
A large ship, about a mile away from the explosion, would escape sinking, but the crew would be killed by the deadly burst of radiations from the bomb, and only a ghost ship would remain, floating unattended in the vast waters of the ocean.
The vehicle was created as a way to simulate a lunar landing, complete with a vertically mounted engine. It also had the ability to the simulated gravity of the moon. Apollo 11 astronaut and first person to walk on the moon noted that without the help of the Lunar landing Research Vehicle his mission wouldn't haven't been succesful.
American POWs during the Bataan death march
The men were separated into groups of 100 and the trek took five days to complete in its emtirity. No one knows how many troops died, but it's estimated that thousands of men lost their lives due to the treatment of their captors. The men who survived were taken to POW camps where thousands more of them died from malnutrition and starvation.
The plane responsible for multiple UFO sightings
In the 1950s, commercial airliners flew at altitudes around 10,000 to 20,000 feet and U2s were flying around 60,000 feet. Pilots and passengers alike on commercial planes who saw the U2s were rightfully confused about what they were seeing. It's believed that sightings of the U2 planes led to the creation of Air Force's Operation Blue Book, the code name for the systematic study of unidentified flying objects from the early '50s until 1969.
Cheyenne Mountain Military Complex
The researchers and scientists working inside this rocky lab constructed behind 2,500 feet of granite have one job. They collect and analyze data from a global surveillance system so they can warn government officials about missile threats against North America. It's a lonely job but it's one of the most important in the country.
Hitler after conquering Austria
What followed the chancellor's attempt at a compromise turned into the end of Austria as a free nation. Multiple Nazi faithfuls were installed in the government, the chancellor resigned, and it essentially became a German state. This photo shows the beginning of one of the worst eras of the 20th century.
President Kennedy with CIA Director John McCone
Philip Shenon, a former Washington and foreign correspondent for the New York Times, believes that McCone came close to perjury when he spoke with the Warren Commission. In 2013, the CIA declassified a document stating that McCone and other CIA officials kept "incendiary" information about the assassination under wraps. Even worse, McCone and his followers in the CIA were dedicated to keeping the agency focused on the "best truth." We'll never know what really happened.
Mysterious balloons from a CIA file on UFOs
In any story of UFOs there's always a mention of weather balloons and swamp gas, these may be the "weather balloons" that the CIA speaks of. However they weren't often used as stand-ins for UFOs. In some instances they were used as a safe way to drop massive amounts of propaanda over enemy territory. Weather balloons may have gone out of style with the Cold War, but today the same jobs would likely be given to a drone.
President Nixon visits the quarantined Apollo 11 crew
President Nixon was so excited that the Apollo 11 crew had returned safely from their mission that he rushed down to meet the men regardless of whether they had space cooties or not. As excited as the Apollo 11 crew must have been to meet the president, they were likely just ready to get out of their quarantine and eat some real food. But hey, there's nothing wrong with meeting the president every once in a while.
Early pioneer of aerial recon photography
Today, regular people can take aerial photography without too much of a hassle. During World War 1 it was a dangerous business to lug around a giant camera on an airplane while trying to get the perfect shot. That being said, when something worked out it really worked out.
Astronaut in reduced gravity simulator
Taken in 1963, this photo shows researchers doing their best to parallel the feeling of weightlessness. The most important thing that researchers learned at Langley was just how much energy a person expends while in space. It's tests like the one in the photo that made sure astronauts could survive outside the atmosphere.
Inititally, Edison used carbon filament in his first incandescent bulb. It didn't take long after his first bulb-related patent was granted that he came up with a plan the use carbonized bamboo instead. These bulbs still serve as the basis for what we use today, it's just a shame that the researchers who worked on the original bulbs don't get credit for inspiring Edison.
A prototype for the ejectable chair
This declassified photo shows the chair in mid flight, which more or less proves that it works. However, it's unclear if the seat would actually be something that can be used in a real world scenario or if it would have to be applied in only the most extreme of circumstances. Since we don't hear about soldiers and spies ejecting themselves from their cars all day every day it's safe to assume that this seat never made it past the testing stage.
The first nuclear bomb
We often hear about the researchers and scientists at Los Alamos, but it's rare to photos of the workers who made the atomic dream into a reality. These guys put their bodies on the line to make sure that there wasn't a massive incident in the desert. We don't know their names, but thanks to this declassified photo we know their faces.
The "Fat Man" bomb
Following the bombing of Hiroshima, the military saw that Japan had no desire to surrender. Rather than go back to their ground game they decided to drop "Fat Man" F31 on the city of Kokura. However, due to weather constraints a change in plan was made and the town of Nagasaki was chosen in mid-flight. The decision killed nearly 40,000 people.
An advanced airplane or the UFO taken to Area 51?
This declassified photo shows an A-12, one of the precursors to the SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane. These crafts already look fascinating, but it's shown here upside down which makes it look even more alien. The A-12s first came to Area 51 in 1962 and they were so top secret that local air traffic controlers were told to submit written reports about "unusually fast, high flying planes" instead of reporting them as UFOs over the air.
Senator John McCane after he was shot down in Vietnam
McCain used his ejector seat to escape the craft, but with a broken leg and two broken arms there was little to do when he was pulled from the water by men from Noth Vietnam. He was beaten, stabbed with a baynoet, and after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy they devlivered him to a prison camp known as "The Plantation." U.S. Air Force Major George "Bud" Day told ABC his thoughts when he first saw McCain at the prison camp:
I was just astounded at his condition. I took one look at him and mentally said to myself, ‘They’ve dumped this guy on us to die so they can blame it on our neglect.’ He was emaciated. His eyes really had that fevered bright death look. He stunk. He just hadn’t been washed or cleaned since I had no idea when. I never expected him to make it through the night. But he did. Dying was not his plan.
Pilot attempting to fight fatigue
In 1943, the Air Service Newsletter discussed fatigue and how their pilots were attempting to stay ahead of it. One entry reads:
Pilots are instrcuted to use oxygen above 10,000 feet: If they fail to do so and become fatigued because of chronic anoxia the remedy lies not in pills, but in more thorough education and more comdfortable oxygen equipment... It is now clear that fatigue as it is seen today in combat flyers is no simple state that can be described in terms of cause and effect. Rather, it is produced by the many unpleasant stimuli about which one is accustomed to gripe.
Johnston Atoll, the secret Air Force base
Secret bunkers embedded in the side of a mountain
The most famous of these bunkers is the shelter carved into the Cheyenne Mountains. Construction began in 1961 and by 1966 the bunker was not only ready to keep the government's top brass safe, but it held the operation known as NORAD. At the time this place was ready for anything: EMP blasts, enemy combatants, and even earthquakes and floods.
The first diving suit
Early human-shaped atmospheric diving suits helped maintain pressure inside the suit. Or at least that's what they were supposed to do. Many divers who tested early ADS technology like the one seen in this photo were forced to deal with the rigors of decompression in spite of the best efforts by researchers and inventors.
Operation Highjump brought American forces to the Arctic ❄
Even though the Navy denied that they were trying to establish a presence over the largest area of the Antarctic and spread American sovereignty to far flung areas of the globe, that's exactly what they were doing. In an interview with Lee van Atta of International News Service, Admiral Richard E. Byrd explained:
The most important result of [his] observations and discoveries is the potential effect that they have in relation to the security of the United States. The fantastic speed with which the world is shrinking... is one of the most important lessons learned during [the] Antarctic exploration. I have to warn my compatriots that the time has ended when we were able to take refuge in our isolation and rely on the certainty that the distances, the oceans, and the poles were a guarantee of safety.
Construction of the Berlin Wall
Situated 100 miles within the eastern half of the country, it was still split between the Soviets and the Allies. By 1948, the Soviets created a blockade of West Berlin to starve out the west, but the Allied forces continued to supply West Berlin with food, fuel, and whatever else was needed from the air. By the late '50s the Soviets finally tired of dealing with the west and decided to first erect a fence, and then a wall on June 15, 1961. Save for a few Christmas summits, the wall stood until the late '80s when people on both sides refused to be locked away from one another.
Apollo 17, the final mission to the Moon, 1972
Not only is there a ridiculous amount of third-party evidence that proves that the landings did happen, but in the 2000s the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter took hi-def photos of the Apollo landing sites. This is one of those stories where you either have to choose imperical evidence or go with your gut. Did the moonlandings really happen? Look to the stars for an answer to that one.
Inside a classified military base
The Pine Gap base in Australia is one of the most important US intelligence centers outside of the country. It's used to collect mountains of digital data through a ridiculous amount of computer hardware. If there's anything else happening at this site no one is going to know about it until more information is declassified.