by Simon Black
In early 1948, a group of US Air Force officers was working on a secret research project in the California desert codenamed MX981.
The purpose of MX981 was to test how extreme gravitational forces from fast-moving fighter jets would impact the human body.
Aviation was still pretty new; in fact, the US Air Force had only been created about six months prior, and the Defense Department wanted to find out just how much physical punishment a fighter pilot would be able to handle.
Most people have never been in a fighter jet. But I can promise you from personal experience, the gravitational force can feel absolutely crushing to the body, even causing a pilot to pass out.