Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Nazi UFO Mythos, Part Two



06. False Histories

Project Uranus
In another careful analysis of a dubious element of UFO history, Andy Roberts says:
“We have at least one outright hoax in foo-fighter lore. For years rumours had been flying round that the Germans had been fully aware of the foo-fighter phenomenon and that they had a special study group formed to look into the problem under the name of “Project Uranus”, backed by a shadowy group by the name of Sonderburo 13. This was first detailed in La Livres Noir De Soucoupes Volantes (The Black Book of Flying Saucers – 1970) by French ufologist Henry Durrant. The rumour spread in Europe and eventually took physical form in the English language in Tim Good’s acclaimed book Above Top Secret where it is used to help substantiate further vague rumours of an Anglo/American foo-fighter study. Good had not checked his facts and had in fact just copied the information direct from Durrant’s book. 
When I checked this out with Durrant he informed me that the whole “Project Uranus” affair was a hoax which he had inserted in his book precisely to see who would copy it without checking. The hoax apparently had been revealed in France some years before but hadn’t percolated its way through to English speaking ufologists. Perhaps other foo hoaxes await discovery.” [37]
The ‘Schweinfurt Raid’
This tale involves, well, little flying saucers, in a B-17 raid on October 14 1943, aimed at the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt in Germany. It was publicised by popular US author Frank Edwards in Flying Saucers – Here and Now [38] in 1967, but I understand that the original glamourised version comes from one Martin Caidin, in his book Black Thursday, published in 1960. Caidin reports that:
“During the bomb run of several groups, starting at about the time the Fortresses approached the Initial Point, there occurred one of the most baffling incidents of World War II, and an enigma that to this day defies all explanation.” “As the bombers of the 384th Group swung into the final bomb run after passing the Initial Point, the fighter attacks fell off. This point is vital, and pilots were queried extensively, as were other crew members, as to the position at that time of the German fighter planes. Every man interrogated was firm in his statement that “at the time there were no enemy aircraft above.”
“At this moment the pilots and top turret gunners, as well as several crewmen in the Plexiglas noses of the bombers, reported a cluster of discs in the path of the 384th’s formation and closing with the bombers. The startled exclamations focused attention on the phenomenon and the crews talked back and forth, discussing and confirming the astonishing sight before them.”
“The discs in the cluster were agreed upon as being silver colored, about one inch thick and three inches in diameter. They were easily seen by the B-17 crewmen, gliding down slowly in a very uniform cluster.” “And then the `impossible’ happened. B-17 Number 026 closed rapidly with a number of discs; the pilot attempted to evade an imminent collision with the objects, but was unsuccessful in his maneuver. He reported at the intelligence debriefing that his right wing “went directly through a cluster with absolutely no effect on engines or plane surface.”
“The intelligence officers pressed their questioning, and the pilot stated further that one of the discs was heard to strike the tail assembly of his B-17, but that neither he nor any member of the crew heard or witnessed an explosion.” “He further explained that about twenty feet from the discs the pilots sighted a mass of black debris of varying sizes of clusters of three by four feet.” “The SECRET report added: `Also observed two other A/C flying through silver discs with no apparent damage. Observed discs and debris two other times but could not determine where it came from.”
“No further information on this baffling incident has been uncovered, with the exception that such discs were observed by pilots and crew on missions prior to, and after, Mission 115 of October 14, 1943.” [39]
Caidin’s account is footnoted “1 Memorandum of October 24, 1943, from Major E.R.T. Holmes, F.L.O., 1st Bombardment Division, Reference FLO/IBW/REP/126, to M.I.15, War Office, Whitehall, London, SW (copy to Colonel E.W. Thomson, A-2, Pinetree)”, but Andy Roberts actively investigated the reference, and reports that
“a letter to the M.O.D at their Air Historical Branch 5 came to nothing, suggesting that either of the documents may be held at the Public Records Office at Kew, London. A professional researcher was despatched to try to find the document. She searched all relevant Air Force records available (some are still bound by various `rules’ with embargoes on viewing of up to 100 years) but could find nothing, despite the help of staff there and noting that “the reference FLO etc. does not correspond with any references at the record office.
In the USA, Dennis Stacy (then MUFON UFO Journal editor) had taken an interest in the case and followed up several leads, aided by the Freedom of Information Act. Firstly the A.F. Historical Research centre at Maxwell AFB searched their 8th A.F. files but could come across no documentary record of the event (interestingly enough I tried the same source and whilst they gave me squadron histories of the 415th Night Fighter squadron and their documented foo-fighter sightings, they could provide nothing on the Schweinfurt raid — odd if the Schweinfurt events were real).
The National Archives (Washington) searched their files but drew a blank. A letter written to French researcher J. M. Bigorne from the National Archives stated “A search in records of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS), European War, Target Damage File, 11a (2606), Schweinfurt, failed to disclose any documentation or information regarding little flying discs by B-17 pilots.” All this presents us with a quandary. If the Archives are quite free about some foo-fighter info why, if it exists at all, should they be that bothered about concealing the Schweinfurt material? So far three independent researchers over the past ten years have had the same answer — none of the flight records for that day record the event in Caidin’s book. As I have seen other pilots’ logs which mention unusual UFO-type sightings during missions it would be inconceivable for at least a few aircrew on that raid to have mentioned it even in passing – especially as in this case it was obviously something of an item at de-briefing.
Letters in numerous aircrew magazines (UK & US) requesting info on the raid were placed and despite many replies no-one knew anything. Aviation writers Martin Middlebrook and Chaz Bowyer who have written many highly detailed books about the air war, and have interviewed thousands of aircrew, wrote to say they had never heard of the incident, despite having had foo-fighters mentioned to them in other contexts.
Dennis Stacy contacted the 384th Bombing Group survivors association and with no account of the UFO sighting forthcoming from them was put onto General Theodore Ross Milton who led the raid that day and went in first with the 91st Group Formation. He wrote; “I don’t recall seeing black discs or hearing about any strange phenomena from any of my group.” [40]
Roberts and Stacy pursued the source further
Martin Caidin, originator of the rumour also presents problems. His book Black Thursday was first published in 1960 and yet quotes an alleged SECRET report. How did he get hold of it then and why has it not been seen since? As for Caidin himself, several people have tried to get in touch with him without success. Both myself and (then) MUFON Journal editor Dennis Stacy have tried to track him down via his publishers and a UFO magazine he has written for, but to no avail. He last appeared in the dodgy US magazine UFO Universe where he was featured on the front page as having ‘chased bogies at 20,000 feet,’ (an astonishing spectacle no doubt!), but whilst the article gave details of UFOs he’d seen post-WWII, government film of UFOs, cover-ups, and you name it (along with mucho promotion for his many books, including UFO based novels) the Schweinfurt raid was never mentioned. Funny that, really.” [41]
However, with the terrier-like tenacity for which he is renowned, Roberts kept searching, and in September 2000 finally found, in the Records Office at Kew.
The document which Caidin obviously based his account on. It reads as follows. All spelling and punctuation is in the original. The file in which the document can be found is: AIR 40/464. At the top right of the document is a rubber stamp giving details of circulation to:

1. Col Kingman Douglas
2. A.I.3. ? (W/Cdr Smith)
3. A.I. 2. ? (W/Cdr Heath)
(Author’s note: the ? refers to a squiggle or letter I cannot decipher, although it could well be ‘to’. Also the background of the stamp on which the above was written says:
“Received 17 Oct 1943?
“Copies sent to A.I.8 (USA))
The rest of the document is as follows:

Recd. AMCS. 171129a hrs Oct.43
From – OIPNT
8 BC 0-1079-E
Annex to Intelligence Report Mission Shweinfurt 16 October 1943
306 Group reporta partially unexploded 20mm shell imbedded above the panel in the cockpit of A/C number 412 bearing the following figures 19K43. The Group Ordnance Officer believes the steel composing the shell is of inferior grade. 348th Group reports a cluster of disks observed in the path of the formation near Schweinfurt, at the time there were no E/A above. Discs were described as silver coloured – one inch thick and three inches in diameter. They were gliding slowly down in very uniform cluster. A/C 026 was unable to avoid them and his right wing went directly through a cluster with absolutely no effect on engines or plane surface. One of the discs was heard striking tail assembly but no explosion was observed. About 20 feet from these discs a mass of black debris of varying sizes in clusters of 3 by 4 feet. Also observed 2 other A/C flying through silver discs with no apparent damage. Observed discs and debris 2 other times but could not determine where it came from.
Copies to:-
P.R. & A.I.6.
War Room
A.I.3. (USA) (Action 2 copies)
Presumably Caidin must have seen a copy of this document from one of the American recipients . . . The Rubber stamp clearly states it was received on 17 October, pre-dating Caidin’s reference by seven days. But the sheer number of channels through which documents went could be the reason for this confusion and now the original document has been located I don’t think we need get hung up on the original reference any more. I have found no record of most of the personnel listed. However a Squadron Leader Heath was involved in the UK’s investigations of the Scandinavian ‘ghost rockets’ in 1946.”
He concludes:
At least we now know Caidin’s reference exists! Besides that there is little to say really. The objects reported are intriguing but not completely mystifying. There were many types of flak being used by the Germans in W.W.II and several files in the PRO refer to coloured flak, flak which threw off unusual fragments, and so on. This explanation is made more likely by the fact that the ‘F.L.O.’ in Caidin’s reference stands for ‘Flak Liaison Officer’, at least suggesting that the Air Ministry were treating it within a flak context. The objects could also have been some kind of ‘window’ dropped by the Germans in an attempt to disrupt radar or radio communication among air crew. The explanation as to what the small objects were is now more of a task for the air historian than it is for the ufologist. What is clear from the original account is that the discs, whilst unusual, were clearly not any type of ‘craft’, under intelligent or purposeful control or dangerous to the air craft or crew.
In my opinion these objects do not belong in the category of sightings referred to as ‘foo-fighters’, both by their physical description and by their behaviour and characteristics. Although often lumped in with foo-fighter reports they are clearly different. This story has been a staple of UFO writers for the past three four decades. Now we have further clarification and I believe that this particular mystery is more or less laid to rest.
Andy Roberts is more charitable to Caidin’s exaggerated and redefined version of the report than I, but Caidin is nowhere near as foolish as those who put together the second block (1998 release) of ‘Majestic 12' documents. Nevertheless, Nick Redfern and Jonathan Downes present a copy of a section of these silly documents, which says:
“Aerial interference with military aircraft has demonstrated the ability to observe our air operations in war and peacetime conditions. During the war over 900 near-miss incidents were reported by allied pilots and crews in all theater of operations. One of the most dramatic near-miss encounters occurred on 14 October 1943, 8th AF Mission 115 over Schweinfurt, Germany, B-17 crews reported many formations of silvery discs flying down into the B-17 formations. Several times during the bombing mission, large objects were seen following the discs descent into the formations. Unlike previous reports, no engine failures or airframe damage was reported. After the surrender of Nazi Germany, GAF fighter pilots were interrogated by AF intelligence concerning Mission 135. GAF did not have any aircraft above our bombers at that time.” [42]
I’ve never found the whole ‘MJ-12' idea credible, but at least the first release of documents was prepared with sufficient care to provoke meaningful discussion. This ridiculous exaggeration of an already elaborated tale makes the second release of documents look absurd. I would also point out that the Nazi UFO mythos and MJ-12 are essentially incompatible: if the Americans had already gained the ability to build high-performance flying discs from the Germans, why would they have become so excited about crashed ET discs? And why didn’t all those portentous ‘first-release’ documents mention them at all?
The Massey Project
Redfern and Downes continue to publicise another claim made by Frank Edwards, just before his account of the Schweinfurt Raid. Despite being aware of the negative outcomes of research conducted by both Andy Roberts and Tim Good, they say
  • “As far as the British Government is concerned, there is strong evidence to show that extremely rigorous investigations were made into the Foo Fighter phenomenon by an elite team of Air Ministry and Royal Air Force operatives.” [43]
They quote Edwards:
“As early as 1943, the British had set up a small organisation to gather information on these objects. It was under the direction of Lieutenant General Massey, and it had been inspired to some extent by the reports of a spy who was in reality a double agent, working under the directions of the Mayor of Cologne. He had confirmed that the Foo Fighters were not German devices, which of course the British knew they were not. The British Air Ministry, in 1966, told me that the Massey project was officially terminated in 1944. Perhaps it is only coincidence that the double agent was exposed and executed in the spring of 1944.” [44]
Three problems arise immediately. Tim Good has established, from a dependable source, that there was no Lieutenant General Massey. Almost all the foo fighter reports date from 1944 onwards, so it’s not clear why “extremely rigorous investigations” should start in 1943 and end in 1944. And what on earth was a spy doing being controlled by the Mayor of Cologne? On the evidence, the ‘Massey Project’ sounds like a complete, and deliberate, fabrication.
Crashed saucers and back-engineering
Nick Redfern makes a great deal of limited evidence in suggesting that there has ever been one extra-terrestrial flying craft crash on Earth since 1900, let alone more than one. He has not, however, been unwilling to suggest that the Nazis had access to one or more crashed flying saucers, and back-engineered technology from them. This, supposedly, was how they were able to develop such sophisticated flying discs! Of course, he is not alone in making suggestions of this kind, but I hardly need point out that when the evidence suggests that Germany had no sophisticated flying discs, then there is nothing to explain. Anyway, Redfern concludes from the rather desperate, and generally quite implausible intelligence reports that he has collected
“If . . the data related in official FBI memoranda of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s is accurate, how were the Nazis able to develop technology that, years later, was still defying America’s finest” As I will later show, there are firm grounds for believing that a number of extra terrestrial vehicles crashed to earth on US soil in the late 1940s. Is it stretching the bounds of possibility to speculate that a similar event may have occurred on Nazi territory several years previously? If such an event did take place, and the Germans were able to grasp the rudiments of the technology, this would perhaps go a long way towards explaining their pressing desire to perfect a man-made flying saucer. The truth may ultimately turn out to be far stranger than has previously been realised.” [45]
Well, yes, it really does stretch the bounds of possibility, but that doesn’t stop Corso from reporting, in The Day After Roswell, what he and General Twining had wondered about after inspecting the crashed saucer at Roswell:
“At the very least, Twining had suggested, the crescent-shaped craft looked so uncomfortably like the German Horten wings our flyers had seen at the end of the war that he had to suspect the Germans had bumped into something we didn’t know about. And his conversations with Wehrner von Braun and Willy Ley at Alamogordo in the days after the crash confirmed this. They didn’t want to be thought of as verruckt but intimated that there was a deeper story about what the Germans had engineered. No, the similarity between the Horten wing and the craft they had pulled out of the arroyo was no accident. We always wondered how the Germans were able to incorporate such advanced technology into their weapons development in so short a time and during the Great Depression. Did they have help? With an acceleration capability and maneuverability we’d never seen before, this craft would keep American aircraft engineers busy for years just incorporating what you could see into immediate designs.” [46]
While we’re in a corner of reality that accepts the reality of the Roswell crash, and its cargo of dead or possibly living entities, I have to mention the analysis of Polish writer Zbigniew Blania-Bolnar in Alien Encounters for April 1998. Telling us that ” . . the post-war American Army had at its disposal a considerable number of V2 rockets, several V3 and V4 prototypes, and about 30 kugelblitzes of different kinds”, he concludes that the dead entity in the Laredo crash (the Laredo crash?) was “a laboratory monkey used by the Air Force in a secret experiment.” And, of course, “if a tested kugelblitz crashed at Laredo, then a similar object could have crashed at Roswell.” [47]
None of the suggestions that the Germans back-engineered crashed alien craft pre-date the Lazar and Lear back-engineering stories. Three more have come to light already. In her book ‘Sightings: UFOs’ Susan Michaels reports that writer Jan Van Helsing (a contact of the inner circle of the ‘Montauk Project’)
  • “describes the discovery of a crashed saucer in the Black Forest in 1936 and says that this technology was taken and combined with the information the Vril Society had received through channeling and was made into a further project called the Haunebu.” [48]
There is also a report of a crash in Italy in 1933, the details and information of which were made known to Mussolini, and which assisted Belluzzo in his design and development. [49] And at the ‘Gdansk UFO-Marathon’ in October 1997, it was announced that there had been a crash in Poland in the summer of 1938, in Czernica. Evidence and wreckage recovered from the crash was seized by Nazi Germany after the invasion of Poland the next year, and the information so gathered was used in the building of the ‘Haunebu’ and ‘Vril’ craft. [50] The current popularity of back-engineering is such that I expect to see more such reports.
07: Unnamed Soldiers
The term ‘unnamed soldier’ is one which I – I think – coined to describe the anonymous supposed ex-forces personnel who purveyed such nonsense about alien abductions and secret military activities over the last decade or so. But the phenomenon is nothing new, as is evidenced by a few typical reports which I’ve selected here.
Redfern and Downes have reprinted some accounts volunteered to the US intelligence services. The nature of intelligence collection is, of course, that it involves collecting every scrap of nonsense, every wild claim that can be collected, and then sifting through it for what might be important. I don’t think that any of these reports could be said to be important, or even truthful, but it is always useful for authors to present material like this as ‘intelligence reports’. This is, it seems, from a letter from 1947, the writer have been inspired by early flying saucer accounts:
“Recently I have heard and read about reports of disc-shaped aircraft or whatever they are, in our Western regions. They reminded me of a nearly-forgotten incident in Germany, after the war. I report this to you because I feel this may be of international scope.
My buddy and I went on pass to see a friend of his. One evening the three of us were driving along some back roads when I sighted strange-looking object in the sky from eight to ten miles to our front and approximately 5,000 feet high. I immediately stopped the jeep for a better look The object rapidly came toward us, descending slowly. About a mile away it stopped its horizontal motion but continued a slow-oscillating descent similar to a descending parachute. Then it stopped in a spiral motion.
  • Immediately I drove to where it had dropped. It took almost five minutes to reach the place but we saw nothing. After ten minutes of cruising around the area it became too dark to see so we went back to town.
I am not sure my companions saw this because it happened so quickly it could easily have been missed, but I described what I had seen so vividly that they were as excited as I was . . The locale of this incident was approximately 120 miles north-west of Ubberbishophiem.” [51]
Redfern and Downes continue
  • “What were perhaps two of the most persuasive accounts positing a direct link between the Nazi war machine and unidentified flying objects came via two individuals interviewed by FBI agents, in 1957 and 1967 respectively.
In the 1957 case, agents at Detroit recorded that they had spoken with a man who was…
‘…born February 19,1926, in the State of Warsaw, Poland, and was brought from Poland as a Prisoner of War to Gut Alt Golssen approximately 30 miles east of Berlin, Germany, in May1942, where he remained until a few weeks after the end of World War II. According to the man, during 1944, month not recalled, while enroute to work in a field a short distance north of Gut Alt Golssen, their tractor engine stalled on a road through a swamp area. No machinery or other vehicle was then visible although a noise was heard described as a high-pitched whine similar to that produced by a large electric generator.
An ‘SS’ guard appeared and talked briefly with the German driver of the tractor, who waited five to ten minutes, after which the noise stopped and the tractor engine was started normally. Approximately 3 hours later in the same swamp area, but away from the road where the work crew was cutting hay, he surreptitiously, because of the German in charge of the crew and ‘SS’ guards in the otherwise deserted area, observed a circular enclosure approximately 100 to 150 yards in diameter protected from viewers by a tarpaulin-type wall approximately 50 feet high, from which a vehicle was observed to slowly rise vertically to a height sufficient to clear the wall and then to move slowly horizontally a short distance out of his view, which was obstructed by trees.
‘This vehicle, observed from approximately 500 feet, was described as circular in shape, 75 to 100 yards in diameter, and about 14 feet high, consisting of dark gray stationary top and bottom sections, five to six feet high. The approximate three foot middle section appeared to be a rapidly moving component producing a continuous blur similar to an aeroplane propeller, but extending the circumference of the vehicle so far as could be observed. The noise emanating from the vehicle was similar but of somewhat lower pitch than the noise previously heard. The engine of the tractor again stalled on this occasion and no effort was made by the German driver to start the engine until the noise stopped, after which the engine started normally.”
The next report comes from 1967:
‘On April 26,1967 [the witness] appeared at the Miami Office and furnished the following information relating to an object, presently referred to as an unidentified flying object, he allegedly photographed during November, 1944.
‘Sometime during 1943, he graduated from the German Air Academy and was assigned as a member of the Luftwaffe on the Russian Front. Near the end of 1944, he was released from this duty and was assigned as a test pilot to a top secret project in the Black Forest of Austria. During this period he observed the aircraft described above. It was saucer-shaped, about twenty-one feet in diameter, radio-controlled, and mounted several jet engines around the exterior portion of the craft. He further described the exterior portion as revolving around the dome in the center which remained stationary. It was his responsibility to photograph the object while in flight. He asserted he was able to retain a negative of a photograph he made at 7,000 meters (20,000 feet).
According to him, the above aircraft was designed and engineered by a German engineer whose present whereabouts is unknown to him. He also assumed the secrets pertaining to this aircraft were captured by Allied Forces. He said this type of aircraft was responsible for the downing of at least one American B-26 airplane.
He has become increasingly concerned because of the unconfirmed reports concerning a similar object and denials the United States has such an aircraft. He feels such a weapon would be beneficial in Vietnam and would prevent the further loss of American lives which was his paramount purpose in contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation.’ [52]
Paul Stonehill of the Russian Ufology Research Centre has presented some unlikely tales from the former Soviet Union, but few are as dramatic as the anonymous account apparently told to “Konstantin Tiouts, an engineer in Moscow, Russia” who passed it on to Stonehill. Stonehill is “convinced of the authenticity of the document”. The witness – “X” – was in the Red Army when, in 1941
“The Germans took him and his comrades to a POW camp. X was then immersed into living hell. He starved. He was betrayed. He was dying of typhus, but he managed to survive and attempted an escape. But they caught him and sent him to Auschwitz. There he was “employed” as a medical orderly, until he again contracted typhus.
X was sent to the ovens. He recalls the nauseating smell of the burning human flesh as he stood in line to be dispatched into a crema-torium oven. But X did again survive. In August of 1943, X and some other prisoners were moved to a camp in the vicinity of Peenemunde, where the Nazis’ camp was designated as “KZ-A4,” and located in Trassenhede. The camp’s purpose was to carry out the programs of the Hochdrukpumpe Project: removal of the consequences of British bombing raids. Hangman of Auschwitz, SS Brigadenfuhrer Hans Kampler ordered prisoners to be transferred to the Peenemunde testing grounds. Major General Dehrenberger, head of the testing ground, had little time for the reconstruction work, and therefore sanctioned the use of concentration camp prisoners.
In September of 1943. X inadvertently became a witness to something that is of great interest to UFO researchers. X was with a group of prisoners engaged in demolishing a reinforced concrete wall. During the lunch break, the group was driven away. under guard. However, X remained at the demolition site, because of a dislocated foot. Later he set the bone himself, but the truck with his fellow prisoners had already left. Sud-denly, four workers rolled out on a concrete landing strip next to a nearby hangar a weird looking apparatus. X described it as round in parameter with a drop-shaped cockpit in the center with small inflatable wheels. He said it looked like an upside down washbasin. After a hand signal from a short, stout man, quiver-ing in the wind, the strange apparatus. the color of heavy silvery metal, made a hissing sound and took off.
  • It hovered at an altitude of approximately five meters over the landing strip, the hissing sound reminding X of a blowlamp. He noted that the outline of the apparatus clearly showed through on its silvery surface. For a short while the device rocked, like a tilting doll. and then the borders of the outline slowly began to blur as if it were going out of focus. Then it jumped up sharply like a humming top and gained altitude in a snakelike motion. The flight, judging by the rocking of the apparatus, advanced erratically. A sudden gust of wind from the Baltic Sea turned the craft upside down, and it began to lose altitude rather sharply. X was enveloped in a mixture of smells-burning, hot air and ethyl alcohol. He heard the apparatus impacting with the ground, the crunching and breaking of compo-nents. It hit the ground not far away from X. Instinctively, the inmate ran toward the crashed apparatus, thus revealing himself. But he had only one thought in his mind-to try to save the pilot, a human being . . . [53]
And so it goes on, a man who makes Indiana Jones look like Thomas the Tank Engine, and sees flying saucers as well. Another classic – and amazingly brave except when giving his name – ‘unnamed soldier’ comes from an Internet posting also, as often happens, published by Nexus magazine. This is, supposedly, an account of the real secrets of the ‘foo fighters’, told by a former Italian Resistance member who became so close to the SAS in Southern Italy from 1943 to 1945 that he was able to see films taken of them shot by allied planes but (and does this seem familiar?) could only show “Italian researcher Fabio Di Rado” stills taken from these. In a particularly modern twist this nameless witness did not, however, say that he believed that they were of German manufacture. Instead, he supposedly told Di Rado:
  • “Those machines, if we can call them that, could perform such quick and agile movements that they were unlikely to have been built by human beings. You can believe me – foo-fighters couldn’t be Nazi – otherwise they could have won the war easily. The more likely hypothesis . . an Air Force coming from other worlds was among us.”
The absolute giveaway to this tale lies in the beginning of the account
“During the Spring of 1998 I went with another person to an inland village of Sicily to meet an 80-year-old man who claimed to have some unknown documents about foo fighters.
When we arrived at a farmhouse in the heart of the countryside, our witness showed us into a room which seemed to be his private study . . We were ordered not to take pictures; we could only make notes. To our disappointment, we had to accept this. I was given a copy on high-resolution CD-ROM of the pictures and documents that I saw there in the original version, with some censored parts.” [54]
Whatever would we do without the contribution of these rural Italian 80-year-olds and their high resolution CD-ROMs?
Probably the most influential of the original ‘unnamed soldier’ accounts formed, in the late 1980s, an input to the mythos which led to the identification of a specific aerodrome as the location for a test flight of a substantial flying disc. This seems to have come from an anonymous, untested press account, here summarised (in translation) in an excerpt titled The Reich’s Flying Saucers by Manuel Carballal, excerpted from his book Saucers Unveiled!.
“In its February 1989 issue, the German magazine Flugzeug published the following report made by a German aviation official who, allegedly, been the protagonist of the astonishing sighting involving a “flying saucer” at the Prag-Gbell (formerly Praha-Kbely) aerodrome in 1943. The controversial report follows:
Place of Sighting: C 14 Flight School at the Prag-Gbell aerodrome. Date of Event August/September 1943, supposedly on a Sunday (I seem to recall there were no services on that day. The weather was good, dry and sunny. Kind of Observation: “I was with my flight comrades on the air strip, more precisely, near the school buildings, some 2000 meters away from the arsenal (located to the extreme left). See adjoining diagram. The device was inside the hangar: a disk some 5-6 meters in diameter. Its body is relatively large at the center. Underneath, it has four tall, thin legs. Color: Aluminum. Height: Almost as tall as a man. Thickness: some 30 – 40 cm., with an rim of external rods, perhaps square orifices. The upper part of the body (almost a third of the total height) was shrunken over the upper half of the disk. It was flat and rounded. See the attached sketch for the lower half.
Along with my friends, I saw the device emerge from the hangar. It was then that we heard the roar of the engines, we saw the external side of the disk begin to rotate, and the vehicle began moving slowly and in a straight line toward the southern end of the field. It then rose almost 1 meter into the air. After moving around some 300 meters at that altitude, it stopped again. Its landing was rather rough. We had to leave the area while some custodians pushed the vehicles toward the hangar. Later on, the “thing” took off again, managing to reach the end of the aerodrome this time.
  • Afterwards, I made a note in my flight log of the members of the FFS C14 who were present at the moment: Gruppenfluglehrer (group flight instructor) Ofw. Michelsen; Fluglehrer Uffz. Kolh und Buhler; Flugschüler (flight students): Ogefr, Klassmann, Kleiner, Müller, Pfaffle, Schenk, Seifert, Seibert, Squarr, Stahn, Weinberger, Zoebele, Gefr, Hering, Koza, Sitzwohl, Voss, and Waluda.”
Certainly, even Flugzeug’s editors treat the report cautiously: “the device described by these observers is antithetical to those described by Schreiver, Habermohl, Miethe, and Bellonzo with their vast basic dimensions.” And these German experts cannot be mistaken, since it is known to all of those who are well-versed in aeronautics that during the history of Nazi aviation at least two circular-wing aircraft were built, and fifteen others were designed, although there remains the possibility that the object supposedly tested at Prag-Gbell was one of the prototypes destroyed by the Nazis in order to keep it from falling into Allied hands after the fall of the Third Reich.” [55]

8. Authorities from Earth and Elsewhere
Perhaps we should start at the top, in worlds other than ours, and then work our way back, very much, down to the depths. You can always be sure that wherever two or three are gathered together to listen to channeling, Ashtar will be there too. Here is a message channeled by ‘Lady Nada’ in 1996, under the title ‘Home Questions From Our Visitors’. The presentation and spelling are verbatim!
Ques: What is the Relation of the Ashtar Command & the Human Race?
Ans: The Ashtar Command are among many entities that come to Earth and have been circle above the Earth-for the most part invisible to the naked Eye Since early 1950's A.D. . . There have been many people who were contacted by Extra-Terra-Astrals. Some of their stories were fabricated and some were authentic. These Beings from Aldebaran were insulted after they were labeled untrustworthy. They Went back in time and had a meeting of psychics with the Thule Society who were a secret society. The meeting of the Thule Society led to what is Called the Third Rite (Reich). The Ashtar Command were also in contact with two psychics, named Maria Austish and Zigrum who were in contact with Hitler. Hitler and Nazi Germany were building crafts during WWII. Hitler assembled a team of elite and intelligent scientist and engineers who were experts in the field of Aerodynamics. They began designs for the flying disc in 1941 A.D. During the year 1945-47 three German experts Schriver, Habermohl, and Meithe and an Italian A. Bellonzo were involved in R&D of a saucer-shaped craft. On February 14,1945 A.D. Shriver & Habermohl flew a disc that within 3 minutes climb to an altitude of 12,400 meters and reached a speed of 2,000 km/h in horizontal flight. This technology was given to them by the Ashtar Command. [56]
Billy Meier and P’taah
Billy Meier, the Swiss contact and photographer of beings, and craft, from the Pleiades, has never really convinced me of the objective reality of either his contacts or his photos. I am certainly not alone in taking that view, and my opinion has not been improved by a conversation that Meier reports in Volume 1, No 6 of his FIGU Bulletin, published in English in October 1997. A reader – “Til Meisterhans, Germany” – quotes from a balanced, and quite sceptical, article “article in the January 1980 edition of UFO magazine”, and asks:
“What should one think of the claim that during World War II the Germans built flying disks, respectively flying “Foo Fighters,” and actually flew them?
Those of you who are accustomed to the staking of claims for responsibility for anomalous objects and events will not be surprised to find that Meier cannot resist responding with “information” to which only he has access. He writes:
  • “The following is worth mentioning: According to the Pleiadians/Plejarans, such “Foo Fighters” or disks were constructed in Germany but were never test flown, let alone put into service. Anyone claiming such flying devices reached speeds of several thousand kilometers per hour, flew at altitudes of 12.000 meters [36,000 ft.], and actually reached Mars, is talking complete nonsense. The authentic story about these events is discussed in the 254th contact conversation with P’taah on November 28, 1995:
“Billy: . . .You know, my dear friend, now and then one hears strange things regarding the German flying disks. Is it true that the Germans actually attempted to fly them, and did the disks reach altitudes of up to 12,000 meters?
Ptaah: Such claims are absurd. The “Flying Tops,” as they were called, were never finalized in Germany. However, flying disks were eventually built some time later in other countries, e.g., in South America. In the former Soviet Union and in America attempts were also made to construct such flying devices after pertinent blueprints fell into the hands of Germany’s occupying forces. These blueprints were incomplete in that those who held the plans needed to input a great deal of effort to construct the flying disks. These units were and are flown in terrestrial air space only to this day, excluding, of course, a particular group of people in South America of which you are well aware.
Billy: Can you also tell me whether the blueprints for this type of flying disks secured by the occupying forces were the same ones you people telepathically transmitted to the Germans via impulses? Who was actually in charge in Germany?
Paah: The transmissions were directed to two men, Schriever and Miethe who, on their own, had drawn up plans for the “Flying Tops.” These blueprints fell into the hands of the Americans and Soviets who began studying and constructing the units. Also, through theft, the group in South America obtained copies of the same “Flying Tops.”
Billy: One can say with certainty that this group consisted of high-ranking Nazis who fled from Germany after the war ended and disappeared in South America.
Ptaah: You should not mention any more about this subject.
Billy: Of course not. — On account of World War II, disk-shaped flying objects were observed also in Germany, indeed, worldwide . . .
Ptaah: You are correct in this, yes. However, these flying objects were not of terrestrial origin. They belonged to us and to our allies from the federation.
Billy: This would mean that the flying disks which had been observed were not related to the flying disks, respectively “Flying Tops” disks, or Foo Fighters, of the Germans. Claims to the contrary, therefore, are actually foolish assertions by liars, fantasists, and know-it-alls. We’ve wanted to know about this for a long time.
Ptaah: What I have told you only refers to the Schriever and Miethe Foo Fighters.
Billy: You mean there were others?
Ptaah: Yes, others did exist. However, they were part of a private research program conducted by power hungry Nazis who drew upon Schriever’s and Miethe’s blueprints. Efforts to develop and test fly their Foo Fighters were underway with positive results in Germany at that time.
Billy: By the group now in South America?
Ptaah: Your conjecture is correct.
Billy: And all of this took place right under the nose of the Gestapo?
  • Ptaah: Many influential members of the Gestapo and its SS-leadership were secret, active participants who attempted to prevent the rest of the world from gleaning any information about the construction, test flights, and other matters. When the war ended, they fled Germany and went to South America, taking with them all of their material and staff. This was not a difficult task, for the Foo Fighters had reached a point were they had the capability of circling the Earth non-stop and transporting all required personnel and materials to South America before the Allied Forces could seize them — or prior to the Allied Forces finding out anything about these secrets.
Billy: So that’s how this all happened. How far did the construction of Schriever’s and Miethe’s Foo Fighters progress?
  • Ptaah: The prototype for the first test flight was available on July 15, 1941. We monitored this very closely. The Foo Fighter was, however, not constructed according to the data we had transmitted, for we had intentionally made them ineffective by then, as we could foresee the grave danger they would present for terrestrial mankind. [Comments by Billy: The Pleiadians/Plejarans transmitted data for the construction of flying disks to the Germans Schriever and Miethe at the end of the 1920s and beginning of 1930s with the intent to produce an aeronautical technology that would help prevent the looming warfare conflicts. Unfortunately, they soon realized that this technology would be used for the exact opposite purposes. For this reason, the Pleiadians/Plejarans counteracted the undertaking again.] We did not attempt to interfere in the development of Schriever’s and Miethe’s Foo Fighter until we suddenly recognized that the units also posed an immense threat to mankind. Once we realized the flight was going to be a full success, and that mass production of the Foo Fighter would result, we intervened during the preparations to the first test flight.”
This ‘dialogue’ continues on for some time, until Meier concludes:
” . . fantastic stories were concocted about flying disks/Foo Fighters which were said to have reached altitudes of 12,000 meters [7_ miles] and Mach 2 or more during their first test flight (which never did take place). Additionally, a fairy tale tells of the Germans having flown to Mars, landing and performing studies there, so that they could inhabit the planet one day. Complete nonsense, all of it. Billy” [57]
Henry Stephens
Henry Stephens runs the ‘German Research Project’, and sells copies both of much of the pro-mythos material, and of more identifiably Nazi and arguably ant–Semitic material. In an article in ‘The Probe’, referring to the work supposedly done on a flying disc by A.V. Roe in Canada, he claims that one of the recorded contributors to the project is shown as “Miethe-Designer 1950(?)” Spinning off into the realms of imagination, Stephens continues:
“The reference is obviously about Dr Heinrich (Heinrich? How many names does this man have?) Richard Miethe, who was the designer and builder of the wartime German saucer project, the V-7. Dr Miethe worked during the war at a German facility in Breslau, now part of modern Poland. After the war, he was recruited by the Americans and Canadians to recapitulate his earlier work for Germany in America. Renato Vesco, an Italian engineer who worked with the Germans during the war and who afterwards held a cabinet position with the Italian government, states that Kahla was the location where a turbo-jet powered German saucer lifted off in its maiden flight in February of 1945. Vesco later wrote a book about his experiences, originally titled ‘Intercept but Don’t Shoot’” [58]
Actually, for all his wild speculation, Vesco never claimed that he was writing from his own experience, but details like that simply don’t bother Stephens, as he spirals off into wild assertions about German free energy, atom bombs, Vril, Haunebu, Tesla, Montauk, the New World Order and the rest. And all this from the man whose mail-order business makes him one of the more influential figures in this strange field. His 1998 catalogue outlines the purposes of the GRP:
German Research Project is an organization devoted to distributing information concerning flying saucer-type devices made by the Germans during the Second World War. Beyond this goal, we also hope to distribute information concerning other German weaponry and technology, such as free-energy technology, which is still kept secret and classified by the former Allied Powers. We also hope to explore the reasons for this secrecy. Part of this technology now comprises the research being done by the Americans at Area 51. Much of this technology was retained by a German organizations which did not surrender at the cessation of hostilities. These groups and their histories will be explored also.
The Germans built several types of flying craft which today we would designate “UFOs”. Some were conventionally powered, that is with jet and rocket power, and some were powered electromagnetically. They were built in different places throughout the greater German Reich by different organizations within the government. They were kept under the tightest secrecy. Near the close of the War some of these devices were disassembled and transported by U-boat or simply flown to secure areas outside Germany.
Today, especially since the unification of Germany, more and more information is surfacing concerning these developments in spite of the efforts by our government and its media to discredit, divert and confuse the issue. For those individuals new to this topic, we suggest first reading item number 16 in our catalogue, “Introduction To Secret German Flying Discs Of World War 2? and any title from our video offerings.” [59]
Len Kasten
The incidence of disinformation with relation to Nazi achievements in general, and flying discs in particular, is high. Here’s some parts of an article by “Len Kasten” from the New Age glossy Atlantis Rising. As usual, he adopts Vesco as an authority, and introduces Viktor Schauberger into the myth. It may be that he actually produces the most detailed account of disc-propulsion, too!
“The more important anti-gravity weapons research was carried on near Prague primarily by Viktor Schauberger and Richard Miethe. In 1944 Miethe, in cooperation with the Italians, developed the large helium powered V-7 and the small one-man Vril models which achieved a speed of 2,900 km/hr in flight tests . . Captain Hans Kohler developed the Hanibu 2 with a diameter of 25 metres which carried a complete flight crew and was powered by a simple electrogravitation motor called the Kohler Converter . .
Kasten describes the (totally fictional) Kugelblitz as an “explosive gas weapon”, having
“a 50-50 mixture of butane and propane, which was ignited by the exhaust of the bombers . . direct gyroscopic stabilisation, television-controlled flight, vertical take-off and landing, jam-free radio control combined with radar blinding, infrared search ‘eyes’, electrostatic weapon firing, hyper-combustible gas combined with a total reaction turbine, and last, but not least, anti-gravity flight technology. This was the incredible Kugelblitz or ‘lightning ball’. If it had emerged even six months earlier, could the war have turned out differently? We will never know, because by this time the Allied armies were rapidly converging on Berlin. So the Kugelblitz puffed out a formation of bombers, and flew off into history – or did it?” [60]
We’ll return to the ‘formation of bombers’ when we come to Wendelle Stevens
David Hatcher-Childress
Those of you familiar with the fields of both pseudo-science and pseudo-history – and pseudo pretty much anything, really – will already know of the boundless imagination of Hatcher-Childress. In his publication Man-Made UFOs 1944 – 1994, 50 Years of Suppression, by “Renato Vesco and David Hatcher-Childress”, Hatcher-Childress actually republishes the whole of Vesco’s first book (without really making clear that’s what it is), adds some early UFO photos that might look like the ones he appears to believe were built in Germany during the war, and speculations of his own. His “Summary of the Claims and Evidence” has some familiar elements . . .
“After various experimental prototypes, including the rocket powered Miethe and Schriever discs, production began on the small ten meter diameter interceptor-fighters of the Vril series. The larger Haunibu series began with the 25 meter Haunibu 1 & 2. These craft had canons mounted underneath and were designed as “tank Killers”.
The 74 meter Haunibu-3, designed as an anti-shipping craft for use over long distances, was actually built and tested. It had inflatable rubber cushions on the underside for landing. The 300 meter Haunibu-4 was on the design board for interplanetary travel. It was disc shaped and could also carry several of the smaller Vril craft. Also reportedly in the design stage was an immense 330 meter cigar-shaped battleship.
Towards the end of the war, the Germans had developed interplanetary craft with no moving parts which were capable of going to the Moon or even Mars.” [61]
In ‘The Thesis of This Book’, he also asserts that
“Some German divisions removed themselves to South America and Antarctica in the few months and weeks before the end of the war . . the Americans, British and Russians began to build test discoid aircraft in the late 40s and 5Os. Isolated German pockets in South America have intense UFO activity. Antarctic bases are probably vacated or captured by Americans and Russians. Today, a seven-story or more underground base run jointly by America and Russia exists at the South Pole.” [62]
I have no idea whether Hatcher-Childress actually believes this nonsense. I suppose he must, because otherwise he’d be knowingly misleading his many readers. Unfortunately, this concoction of a book has created something of a new generation of believers, including the UK author Alan Baker. In spite of his publisher’s confident assertion of his “meticulous research” for his book Invisible Eagle, Baker accepted Hatcher-Childress without question, and now a new readership is stuck with Vesco developing flying discs at Lake Garda and investigating UFOs for the Italian Air Ministry, the reality of the Feuerball and Kugelblitz, and the top-secret Projekt Saucer. One man’s research is another man’s trip to the bookshop.
Wendelle Stevens
Wendelle Stevens, veteran ufologist and Billy Meier supporter has, he says, been privy to a unique range of experiences pertaining to Nazi UFOs. As well as having been “sent to Alaska to supervise the installation of special equipment onboard B-29 bombers” to look for “mysterious flying objects known as ‘fire balls’ or ‘foo fighters’”, he claims in ‘Alien Encounters’ issue 25 that the Vril and Haunebu discs “were used just once against the Allies, in which they devastated a vast 800 bomber raid over Germany, shooting down an unprecedented 200 in just one night”. [63] Bomber Command clearly missed this tragedy when compiling its records.
David Icke, who in The Biggest Secret takes the Nazi UFO mythos as true along with hundreds of other nonsensical beliefs, reports Stevens as saying that
“the Foo Fighters were sometimes grey-green, and sometimes red-orange. They approached his aircraft as close as five metres and then just stayed there, he said. They could not be shaken off or shot down and caused many squadrons to either turn back or land.” [64]
Stevens also purports that while working at the Air Technical Intelligence Center he saw a map of Germany which was marked with nine Saturn-shaped symbols. He later found out from Vladimir Terziski that these were where Nazi research centres were located,
“By the end of the war the Nazis had nine secret research facilities where they built two types of disc: the smaller ‘Vril’ craft, and the much bigger ‘Haunebu’ Both of these were powered by a ‘gravity null field’. In test flights the craft rose 60,000ft in just six and a half minutes, which radically outstripped the performance of any allied aircraft.” [65]
Vanguard Science/KeelyNet/Al Pinto
Any Internet search for ‘Nazi UFOs’ and similar subjects is likely to produce links to material by “Al Pinto” or “Tal”, apparently “Sponsored by Vanguard Sciences, PO Box 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150, USA” which depends heavily on the article written under Vesco’s name in ‘Argosy’. [66] Additional material re Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger is added to quotes from Vesco and Lusar, particularly a claim that Schauberger had developed the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ at Malthausen Concentration Camp, using prisoners to do the work. I still don’t really know quite who “Al Pinto” and “Tal” are, or what the underlying intention of ‘Vanguard Sciences’ may be. The coincidence of the name ‘Vanguard’ with a prominent neo-Nazi organisation has been mentioned to me on several occasions.
I did receive, through a friend who had published some earlier findings on Nazi UFOs, a message from a Jack Veach who said (inter alia) that
“Mr McClure makes some very positive statements debunking a great deal of untruths about Nazi UFOs, however I would like to offer him a website and an email whereby he might find more information about Mr Renate Vesco.
I am a member of Vanguard Science, not Vangard Science, as he has listed. This is a civilian group of folk, here in the Dallas-Ft Worth area that are open-minded about the verity of science and have taken it upon ourselves to study Tesla, Keely, and a host of others we feel have been given the short-end of the stick with respect to technology and applications thereof.
Mr Jerry Decker and Mr Chuck Henderson could much better avail you of information about Mr Vesco and his work. I personally had an English translation of one of his works I gave away about ten years ago pursuant the German V-7.
My father and his C.O. both saw Foo Fighters over Europe during WWII, so that much is real. Neither my dad nor Col. Lasly knew anything about UFOs, nor had any interest in them. What they did say was that between the Foo Fighters and the Me-262s they encountered, they felt they would be killed before the war was over in Europe.
I hope that will clear some things up for Mr McClure with respect to Vanguard Science and Mr Vesco and hopefully all of us can clear the riddle of the Nazi UFOs from all the smoke and mirrors that unfortunately come to the fore on something of this nature.”
My friend sent an e-mail back to Mr Veach, expressing my interest in receiving further information about Vesco, but no response was forthcoming. The post-mortem involvement of both mainstream and fringe scientists in the development of flying discs has raised a variety of names including Marconi, Einstein, Tesla, Schauberger, Keely and others. I am unaware of any real evidence that Schauberger worked at Malthausen using slave labour. If that suggestion is no more than wishful thinking, then I am left wondering why anybody should wish for it.
Mark Ian Birdsall
Birdsall has long been an influential figure in ufology. Currently Editor of the newsstand magazine Unopened Files – Access a Number of Well Kept Secrets and Features Editor of UFO Magazine, he has an established interest in wartime UFO events. In his 1998 book Alien Base’, Tim Good says
“Interestingly, there is circumstantial evidence that at least one of the V~7 project aircraft was prototyped. According to the researcher and author Mark Ian Birdsall, several projects involving a circular-wing aircraft were conceived during the war, the most elaborate of which was constructed by Dr Richard Miethe at facilities in Breslau (Wroclaw), Poland, and in Prague. A small prototype was rumoured to have flown over the Baltic Sea in January 1943, and two full-scale aircraft with a diameter of 135 feet were eventually built. Also, reports Birdsall, another V-7 project was a ‘spinning saucer’, based on helicopter principles, about 35 feet in diameter, designed by Rudolf Schriever, a small prototype of which was allegedly first flown in 1943.” [67]
Good’s reference for these comments is given as “Birdsall, Mark Ian, Flying Saucers of the Third Reich: The Legacy of Prague-Kbely (pending publication). That book has not, as I write, yet been published.
In, I think, 1988, Birdsall had published the unfortunately-titled booklet The Ultimate Solution which, in just 29 pages, presented three different pictures of Hitler. It also includes copies of US intelligence documents reporting the newspaper accounts of George Klein’s claims of the test-flight on 14 February 1945, diagrams of assorted Miethe-Schreiver-Bellonzo discs, and some probably avoidably uncritical material about ‘secret’ Antarctic exploration and the escape of Nazis from Germany at the end of the war. [68] In 1992, in Vol.7 No.4 of the US UFO Magazine, he wrote an article titled ‘Nazi Secret Weapon – Foo Fighters of WWII’, and included illustrations of a supposed ‘Schriever-Habermohl’ disc. [69] The introduction to the article says that Birdsall “just completed a hefty manuscript which enlarges considerably the scope of the available source material”. It would be interesting to see what material Birdsall has found, and whether his views might be influenced by what is being published in this piece.
Ernst Zundel/Mattern Friedrich
Ernst Zundel, also known as Mattern Friedrich (the name under which he authored UFOs – Nazi Secret Weapon? [70]) and Christof Friedrich (how he has signed the copy of that book which I have) has had considerable involvement in the distribution of material regarded as Holocaust revisionism. He has often been described as an anti-Semite.
Zundel sustained the ‘Nazi UFO’ myth through much of the 1970s, presenting a mixture of Lusar, Schauberger, and the ‘Hitler survived/Nazi Antarctica’ material, illustrated with vague photos of uncertain provenance, and the usual diagrams from the European press. He seems to have been unaware of Vesco, but could well have introduced the idea that Schauberger worked actively on disc development with slave labour. While not doubting the underlying sincerity of Zundel in promoting German wartime achievements, a report of comments he allegedly made to Frank Miele may well reflect his attitude to his readers. Miele quotes Zundel as saying
“I realised that North Americans were not interested in being educated. they want to be entertained. The book was for fun. With a picture of the Fuhrer on the cover and flying saucers coming out of Antarctica it was a chance to get on radio and TV talk shows. For about 15 minutes of an hour program I’d talk about that esoteric stuff. Then I would start talking about all those Jewish scientists in concentration camps, working on these secret weapons. And that was my chance to talk about what I wanted to talk about.” [71]
Whatever else may be true of Zundel, I think I can safely say that his work has no factual contribution to make to the ‘Nazi UFO’ debate. But that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t influenced its development, or that others less canny than he, but with similar beliefs, have not involved themselves in the subject because they believe what he said.

09: Official Comments and Intelligence.
The publication of Lusar’s book in 1957 not surprisingly provoked both military and intelligence interest. From the New Britain Herald for Thursday, March 14 1957 comes a media-friendly response to the publicity the book had been given.
No Flying Saucer Built by Hitler
WASHINGTON (AP) James H Doolittle says it “just ain’t so” that Nazi Germany developed a flying saucer and a bomber that could attack the United States and return without refuelling.
The veteran airman, chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, gave a House Appropriations subcommittee his estimate of reports published in Germany of great aviation accomplishments under Hitler. These were contained in a book by Rudolf Lusar, former German War Ministry special weapons chief.
Doolittle’s testimony was published today, along with that of Hugh L Dryden, director of the advisory committee. Dryden said “there is no truth” in a statement that German engineers designed a flying saucer which attained a height of 40,000 feet and speed of 1,250 miles an hour.
“This is an advertisement for a book which includes material discovered by our groups who went into Germany after the war”, he said.
Dryden said also the man supposed to have designed the bomber that could cross the Atlantic without refuelling had written a book of his own with no mention of any such invention.
Doolittle, asked about both the saucer and the bomber, said, “It just ain’t so.” [72]
A report dated 29 March 1957, declassified in 1978, from Robert E O’Connor of the Air Technical Intelligence Center to the Director of Intelligence is considerably more specific. It has become very common in the past few years to publish ‘intelligence’ documents on the pretext that they all have equal value, but this report records the outcome of genuine research by those competent to conduct it. I’ve quote the relevant sections – perhaps it isn’t too surprising that those who want us to believe in the Saucer Builders haven’t given it much publicity!
Subject: (Unclassified) Review of Book by Rudolf Lusar
1. Reference is made to conversations between Colonel W O Farrier and Dr S T Possony on the above subject (Unclassified)
2. This office basically concurs with your review of the book ‘The German Weapons and Secret Weapons of World War II and their subsequent development’ (Unclassified)
3. There is no evidence in AFOIN-4 files of German development of ‘Flying Discs’, nor is there any indication of Soviet development of such a vehicle. A check of available biographical files reveals no information on Miethe. The A V Roe engineering staff were contacted and they have no knowledge of Miethe in their organisation.” [73]
There seems to be no reason to believe that these comments were at any stage designed to be misleading, or were based on inadequate or inaccurate research. What the Air Technical Intelligence Center found seems to have been the truth: that there were no high-performance flying discs, and that nobody had a clue about ‘Miethe’, whatever his first name may have been, becoming involved in disc or rocket development anywhere, at any time.
10. Mistakes & Fantasies
Ufologists – especially, I suspect, those who want to believe that the Nazis flew high-performance UFOs – can take life dreadfully seriously. Unfortunately, this failing extends to not being able to spot a genuine mistake, or recognise a fantasy or a fiction that was never intended to be anything but that. Two classic blunders involved taking Lusar far too seriously, and undermining the credibility of otherwise serious and respectable books.
German Jet Genesis
The first is in a Jane’s publication – a publisher with a fine reputation of dealing with all kinds of arms and armaments. However, in German Jet Genesis by David Masters, published in 1982, the author not only reprints Lusar’s claims re flying performance, but also what appear to be pre-Harbinson details from ‘Brisant’. Particularly absurd are the three apparently freehand drawings, depicting a ‘Miethe flying disc’, a ‘Schriever flying disc’ and a ‘Schriever and Habermohl flying disc. Masters sets out some of the traditional array of excuses for the absence of evidence, saying
“Information on this aspect of German jet aircraft development is very sketchy. the project was always highly secret, and documents that may have existed were probably either destroyed, lost or taken by the Russians when the war ended. A last possibility is that the Allies discovered Schriever’s work and considered it too important to reveal”, [74]
but in reality I’d guess this was one of the publisher’s most embarrassing moments.
Robert Jungk

Jungk’s 1956 book Brighter than a Thousand Suns was first published in English in 1958. An impressive history of the development of the atomic bomb, it contains (at page 87 in my 1965 Pelican edition) a curious footnote, which has been used to add credibility to the ‘Saucer Builder’ legends. Referring to a sentence in the text where Jungk says “The indifference of Hitler and those about him to research in natural science amounted to positive hostility”, the footnote says
“The only exception to the lack of interest shown by authority was constituted by the Air Ministry. The Air Force research workers were in a peculiar position. They produced interesting new types of aircraft such as the Delta (triangular) and ‘flying discs’. The first of these ‘flying saucers’, as they were later called – circular in shape, with a diameter of some 45 yards – were built by the specialists Schriever, Habermohl and Miethe. They were first airborne on 14 February 1945 over Prague and reached in three minutes a height of nearly eight miles. they had a flying speed of 1250 mph which was doubled in subsequent tests. It is believed that after the war Habermohl fell into the hands of the Russians. Miethe developed at a later date similar ‘flying saucers’ at A V Roe and Company for the United States.” [75]
It is clear that this footnote derives from Lusar, and should therefore not be taken as true. I note that the original book was written in 1956 and I wonder whether, in fact, the footnote was added by someone other than Jungk at the translation stage in 1957 or 1958. It would be interesting to know whether the original ,Heller als tausend Sonnen (Alfred Scherz Verlag 1956) had this footnote, too. Either way, Jungk – of whose book the Spectator said
“He tells the story brilliantly; no intelligent man or woman can afford to miss it . . Should be compulsory reading for every budding scientist in every sixth form and every university in the world” may be forgiven this lapse, which should not be exploited in order to provide support for the nonsense that Lusar concocted.
The Miethe Legend
In ‘Projekt UFO’, Harbinson asserts that, of the ‘rocket scientists’ involved in flying disc development
“at the close of the war, Walter Miethe went to the US with Wernher von Braun, Dornberger, and hundreds of other members of the Peenemunde rocket programme . . . Miethe, though initially working under Wernher von Braun for the United States’ first rocket centre in the White Sands Prov-ing Ground, New Mexico, joined the A.V. Roe (AVRO-Canada) aircraft company in Malton, Ontario, re-portedly to continue work on disc-shaped aircraft, or flying saucers just as Habermohl was thought to be doing with the Russians.” [76]
These assertions, presumably based on Lusar’s, seem to have led to the development of an impressive, but entirely false, history for the elusive Miethe, covering many years. I think we can now dispose of them. . . .
Tim Matthews, in his book UFO Revelation, refers to the
“three years of painstaking research by UK astronomy, aviation and photographic specialist Bill Rose, which included on-site research in Germany, Canada and the USA . . he was able to discover that Dr Walter Miethe who all sources agree was involved with Schriever, Klaus Habermohl and Guiseppe Belluzzo (an Italian engineer) had been the director of the saucer programme at two facilities located outside Prague. In May 1945, after testing of the prototype had taken place, both Miethe and Schriever were able to flee in the direction of allied forces .
Rose learned not only that test-flights had taken place but that there was film footage of them . . Rose was shown some stills taken from the original 16mm film and, given his expert photo-technical background, concluded, after careful consideration, that this was probably real and historical footage . .
We know a little more about Dr Miethe. One of the important pieces of information came in the form of a rare group photograph showing various young German scientists in 1933. The photograph shows Werner von Braun and Walter Miethe (or Richard Miethe – different sources mention different first names). It would seem that these two knew each other well” [77]
Rose and Matthews claimed that Miethe worked with von Braun in 1933, and that the photo provided by the person who responded to an advert Rose had placed showed them together with other rocket scientists in that year. Fortunately, this is a well-researched and well-recorded period of history, and it should be no more difficult to find records of Miethe than it is that of von Braun. Indeed, von Braun was born in 1912 and if Miethe was 40 in 1952, they should have been absolute contemporaries. The Rocket and the Reich by Michael J Neufeld [78] covers this period, and von Braun’s activities, in detail, as well as detailing rocket and ‘secret weapon’ development right through to the end of the war. Yet it makes no mention at all of Miethe (Walter or Richard), Habermohl, Schreiver, or Belluzzo, Klein or Klaas. Nor, for that matter, does Philip Henshall in Vengeance – Hitler’s Nuclear Weapon Fact or Fiction [79], which covers a similar range in rather less detail. You might think that these people never existed or that, if they did, they played no part in the development of any German flying disc.
Since his book was published I’ve spoken to Tim Matthews about this matter, and corresponded with Bill Rose. I don’t think either would disagree if I were to say to that it seems that, while Rose is not in a position to disclose details of the elderly West German from whom it appears that both the photos and the surrounding information derived, those photos did not depict a craft in flight or, indeed, fully constructed. In view of the 1952 ‘France-Soir’ interview, the 1957 intelligence report, and the complete absence of anyone called Miethe in the mainstream history of rocketry, I think we can safely set any contrary evidence aside. In view of the considerable influence UFO Revelation and its effective and communicative author have had, particularly in the USA, I hope that the full story behind Rose’s source(s) will be made public. In the meantime, if what was published wasn’t exactly a mistake, it may be fair to say that somebody got hold of the wrong end of the stick, but I’m not sure who was holding the stick at the time.
I strongly suspect that a supposed AP release of December 1944 about the Germans having “a secret weapon in keeping with the Christmas season” which “resembles the glass balls which adorn Christmas trees”, “are coloured silver and are apparently transparent”, and “have been seen hanging in the air over German territory, sometimes singly, sometimes in clusters”, was actually a light-hearted bit of fun designed for Christmas. The phenomenon described certainly doesn’t bear any resemblance at all to the ‘foo fighter’ reports.
This item was apparently only published – in similar but not identical versions – in the South Wales Argus for 13 December 1944 and the New York Herald Tribune for 2 January 1945. Any competent historian will be aware that in wartime, censorship ensures that the existence of mysterious, enemy secret weapons is not announced by AP, and published openly by the newspapers of combatant nations. Mainstream history has taken no notice of these reports, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I suggest they were no more than slight, seasonal jokes, published by just two newspapers out of the thousands that, if the information really derived from a serious AP report, would have taken it up.

An extensive search in the mainstream, ‘consensus’ historical record of this, the most researched and chronicled period in history, found no mention of even the most prominent features of the mythos. Putting these two findings together, the only reasonable conclusion on the available evidence is that the long-held belief that high-performance, German, disk-shaped craft actually flew during the Second World War can be shown to be a false belief. I hope that this investigation into the ‘Nazi UFO’ mythos has demonstrated that the evidence presented to date – at least, that of which I am aware – is irrevocably flawed.
Of course, there is much more to investigate, particularly the links between the ‘flying discs’ and the supposed survival of the Third Reich in -or under – South America and the Antarctic. Joscelyn Goodwin’s book Arktos [80] has set out some useful information in this respect, but misses the drama of the creation of New Berlin, the trips to the Moon and Mars, the belief in the dramatic US-Nazi battles in Operation Highjump, and the links that those making these claims may have with particular cultural and political groups.
I don’t want to try to direct the responses that readers may have to the material I’ve put together here. My opinions of fascism and those who use their authority – real or false – to mislead others for their own profit or other advantage are pretty obvious. I hope that readers will also have appreciated that I have tried to distinguish between material that harms, and that which does not. However, I’d like to set out a couple of points that arise from the inconsistencies between the mythos version of history, the ‘consensus’ version of history, and the somewhere-in-between history of ufology.
Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip was a secret , now well-documented initiative by the US government to enable the Western Allies in the war to benefit from the knowledge of former Axis scientists who were, nominally, forbidden to enter the USA because of their previous affiliations. Even before the defeat of the Germans, it was apparent to both politicians and military leaders in the West that the Soviet Union was now the enemy of choice, and Paperclip was one of the steps seen as necessary to deal with that enemy. Overall, it appears to have been a sound policy decision, apparently (though reports are not entirely consistent) bringing the talents of luminaries like Werner von Braun to work in, and for, the West.
Paperclip was, if nothing else, carefully organised. It was a secret operation, being run for high stakes, and there is no reason to believe that it failed to target the best and most skilled scientists available. In the field of rocketry, certainly, it succeeded, laying the foundations for the US space program in general, and the US successes of the Sixties in particular.
Most detailed Nazi UFO accounts refer to Operation Paperclip, using it to support the argument for the extent of German wartime technical achievements with flying discs by implying that the development of US technology – up to and including the present generation of ‘Stealth’ aircraft – depended on the importation and input of German scientists. Yet the very German ‘scientists’ who were supposedly responsible for the development of those wonderful discs seem to have been completely ignored by Paperclip, and to have ended up in inappropriate employment in Europe, with only popular newspapers showing an interest in their skills. Either the saucer builders were also ‘the men that Paperclip forgot’, or because there were no saucers, Paperclip didn’t make a mistake in not taking them off to the USA.
Early ufology
In a recent disagreement I had with Tim Good and his publishers over the provenance of photographs printed in his book Alien Base [81], I raised what I thought was a valid point. Many of the photographs – the ones which didn’t depict faked alien corpses – were from Fifties ufology, supposedly taken by George Adamski, Paul Villa, Daniel Fry, Howard Menger and Hugo Vega. These have attracted both belief and ridicule over the years, and Good had not addressed various doubts about their provenance, such as possible associations with kitchen equipment, string, the use of perspective to make small objects look larger, and the simple tactic of throwing things in the air.
Tim Good agreed, honourably, to have these photographs examined by a university expert using modern techniques at his own expense, and although hampered by the copies being some generations from the original, these reports were published. The expert was not convinced that the photos depicted independently airborne craft of the size and at the distance claimed by the photographer.
The point I had raised was whether, even if the photographs showed no evidence of deliberate faking, it was likely that these craft – mostly chubby, awkward, tinny and lacking any visible method of propulsion or steering – were actually aerodynamically viable. Could they fly over short distances here on Earth, let alone between planets in our solar system or beyond? As it happened, there was sufficient doubt about the provenance of the photos, and the reality of what they purported to show, that the wider question didn’t have to be answered, but I’d suggest that the answer should be a resounding ‘No’. If these craft were real, and of the size and in the place that those who took the photographs suggested, then there isn’t the slightest chance that they had flown from Venus or Mars, let alone any further away. They couldn’t. They look as though they’d been made out of the bits left over in the average suburban garage, and that they would fall to bits if the string holding them up were to break: whether that’s what they actually were you might well ask, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
An alternative explanation has been given for the inadequacy of these ‘craft’. It’s always lurked somewhere in the background of extra-terrestrial ufology, as a fall-back position to take where interplanetary flight seems a deeply unlikely explanation for a UFO photograph, but nobody wants, or dares, to cry ‘fake’. In recent years this second-best explanation has been adapted into an explanation of choice, eagerly adopted by David Hatcher-Childress and others, in books and in videos. No longer are these clumsy aggregations of household waste even supposed to be extra-terrestrial craft. Instead, they are prime evidence of the might of Nazi UFO technology, either imported by the US after the war, or by the Russians, who were using them for reconnaissance or, even more wonderfully, by the Nazis themselves, flying to prove that the Third Reich never died, but lives and fights on in secret bases in South America or Antarctica. As you can imagine, if there was no wonderful flying disc technology in Germany during the war, then it could never have been exported. And if that was the case, then fakes is pretty well all the close-up photos of that era could have been.
That said, one hopefully simple conclusion – moral, even – does come to mind. Ufology has always sought for respectability. It has sought scientific respectability and, trying to explain away the absurdly sudden beginning it had in 1947, has also looked for a history going back before that date. The ‘foo fighter’ material is certainly interesting in this respect, but those sightings bear no real resemblance to the craft of early ufology: I’d suggest that for research purposes it should be regarded as an entirely separate subject from the tinny close-up saucers and Nordic occupants of just a few years later. If my approach to the wartime flying disc material is correct, then 1947 looks more sudden – and inexplicable – than ever, and the contact experience even more isolated. Far from achieving any kind of respectability, by accepting so readily the existence of high-performance wartime German flying discs without, with a handful of honourable exceptions, bothering to make even the simplest of enquiries, ufology has again made itself look amateur, gullible, and easily manipulated. So no change there, then.
Thanks, at least, are due to David Sivier, Dave Newton, Peter Brookesmith, Peter Williams, Wayne Spencer, Andy Roberts, Eugene Doherty, Hilary Evans, Martin Kottmeyer, James Moseley, JC Carbonel, Peter Rogerson, Maurizio Verga, Tim Matthews, Jeff Lindell, Claude Mauge and Eduardo Russo for their thoughtful and intelligent assistance in putting this investigation together.


[37] Roberts, Andy Ibid
[38] Edwards, Frank (1967) Flying Saucers – Here and Now! Lyle Stuart
[39] Caidin, Martin (1960) Black Thursday
[40] Roberts, Andy ‘In search of “Foo-Fighters”‘ in UFO Brigantia No.66 July 1990
[41] Roberts, Andy Ibid
[42] Redfern, N and Downes, J Ibid p.62
[43] Ibid
[44] Edwards, Frank (1967) Ibid
[45] Redfern op cit p.210
[46] Corso, Col. Philip J., with Birnes, William J. (1997) The Day After Roswell Pocket Books London and New York p.73
[47] Blania-Bolnar, Z (1998) ‘Monkey Business’ in Alien Encounters April 1998
[48] Susan Michaels (1997) Sightings: UFOs Fireside Books
[49] “L’UFO Crash di Mussolini” Unknown website
[50] UFO Magazine May/June 1998 p.49
[51] Redfern, N and Downes, J p.16
[52] Redfern, N and Downes, J p.18
[53] Stonehill, Paul ‘Nazi UFOs: A Russian Eyewitness’ in UFO Magazine (California) Vol 10, No.2, 1995.
[54] Di Rado, Fabio (allegedly) Unattributed Net posting.
[55] Carballal, Manuel (1995) from Saucers Unveiled!
[56] From: “ladynada” <ur-valhalla!!ladynada>
[57] Meier, Billy and P’taah in FIGU Bulletin Vol1, No 6
[58] Stephens, Henry (1998) ‘UFOs and the Third Reich’ in The Probe Vol 3 #4
[59] Stephens, Henry (1998) German research Project catalogue
[60] Kasten, Len Op cit
[61] Hatcher-Childress, D and Vesco, R (1994) Man-Made UFOs 1944-1994 – 50 Years of Suppression Adventures Unlimited Press 1994 p.366
[62] Ibid p.370
[63] Stevens ibid
[64] Icke, David (1999) The Biggest Secret Bridge of Love Scottsdale p.254
[65] Stevens op cit
[66] Vesco (1969) ibid
[67] Good, Timothy (1998) Alien Base Century London p.23
[68] Birdsall, Mark Ian op cit p
[69] Birdsall, Mark (1992) ‘Nazi Secret Weapon – Foo Fighters of WWII’ in UFO Magazine (California) Vol 7 #4
[70] Friedrich, M (1975) UFOs – Nazi Secret Weapon? Samisdat Toronto
[71] Miele, Frank in an article ‘Giving the Devil His Due’. Found on Zundel’s Flying Saucers Index website.
[72] ‘No flying saucer built by Hitler’, New Britain Herald for Thursday, March 14 1957
[73] Air Technical Intelligence Center Memorandum T57-7999, 29 March 1957
[74] Masters, David (1982) German Jet Genesis Jane’s London p.135
[75] Jungk, Robert (1965) Brighter Than A Thousand Suns Pelican Middlesex
[76] Harbinson op cit
[77] Matthews, Tim (1999) UFO Revelation – The Secret Technology Exposed Blandford London
[78] Neufeld, Michael J (1995) Peenemunde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era Harvard University Press Massachusetts
[79] Henshall, Philip (1995) Vengeance – Hitler’s Nuclear Weapon Fact or Fiction Alan Sutton
[80] Godwin.Joscelyn (1996) Arktos – The Polar Myth Adventures Unlimited Illinois
[81] Good op cit Various illustrations