Mystery Canopy at the Parachute Museum

Museum Artifact Discovered to be from Cold War

Satellite Surveillance Program

On occasion as we examined our parachute museum objects in storage we discovered a particular parachute canopy that is curiously drawn up tight and bunched in its storage container. So we asked ourselves why would we have a canopy that is not properly folded and stored diligently for preservation purposes (like it should be) in our collection system? On investigation what we have found out is that this bunched up canopy came from a secret program of the CIA Directorate of Science & Technology as a recovery parachute from a secret spy satellite from the program Corona used for photographic surveillance of the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic on China and other areas beginning in June 1959 and ending in May 1972. The parachute is bunched up and drawn tight because it was SNATCHED out of the air in flight as it descended by an aircraft for recovery of the top secret surveillance photography film. This back story is fascinating and you can get much more of it at Wikipedia at this link:

Recent Posts

See All

COVID-19 Closure Updates

Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center is Open as of May 12: Status of Aviation Trail sites regarding visitors during the COVID-19 precautions - Updated: May 12, 2021. The Wright-Dunbar/Avi


Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park 

16 S. Williams St., Dayton, OH 45402

Visitor Center:

For details and seasonal date schedules see

or please call (937) 225-7705 for the current park schedule.

See the Visitor Center page for details on hours and for a map.


From W. Third St., turn south on Williams St and then turn left on Fourth St. Go 1/2 block and turn left into the Visitor Center parking area.

CLICK HERE for a parking map.

Travel Note - Third St. Bridge closure:

The Third Street Bridge will be CLOSED beginning Jan. 1, 2020 until approximately Oct. 2021. Visitors can use the Fifth St. Bridge or the Salem Ave. Bridge as detours from downtown Dayton. A file with more detailed instructions for visitors traveling from the north or south via I-75, or from the east and west via US35 can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.


Aviation Trail, Inc.

- In Partnership with the National Park Service


  • Facebook Social Icon

Follow Aviation Trail

Follow Parachute Museum

Subscribe to "The Flight Log", the ATI electronic Newsletter, for updates and announcements


Volunteer logo_w ATI logo.jpg
wilbear for trademark_b.jpg


Aviation Trail does not sell, share, or distribute subscriber information to third parties.

© Aviation Trail, Inc.