Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Nazi UFO Mythos, Part One



The following is, essentially, the article published under the title ‘Phoney Warfare’ in Fortean Studies 7. Having allowed a decent interval for those who had intended to buy Fortean Studies to do so, I’m happy to have it appear on the Magonia site so that it can reach a wider – and undoubtedly discerning – audience.

The relationship between the history of the paranormal, and the ‘consensus’ history that most of us, informed by historians and the mainstream media, agree on as real, is usually pretty distant. Forteanism could be said to lie somewhere between these two histories, in that it notes the allegedly factual, but possibly anomalous accounts recorded in the media of ‘consensus’ history, while often rejecting the ‘consensus’ explanations given for dismissing the strangeness of those events, and the rationale and reasoning adopted in doing so. Fort was lucky to live and work before the worst excesses of Ufology and the New Age appeared. His method of approaching existing, already-recorded facts with an open and wide-ranging mind would often have been thwarted by the sheer lack of facts, and the predominance of imaginary elements, in both of those disciplines. He was generally able – and willing – to trust the reports his research uncovered. To take that approach now would invite ridicule.

The investigations I’ve set about during the last twenty-odd years usually had their origins in my unease at the wild interpretations being made of reports which had never been properly researched. The ‘Egryn Lights’ of evangelist Mary Jones and others were being turned into evidence for the ‘earthlights’ lobby. The Fatima visions and the ‘Dance of the Sun’ were becoming a ‘classic UFO event’, artificially extending the history of the UFO thirty years back before 1947. The ‘Angels of Mons’ legends, in contrast, were being too readily debunked. The usual sceptical explanation was too trite, and I think mistaken.

Similarly, most of my research has been in areas where, although the phenomena in question has been visible – audible, tangible even – to certain individuals, its visibility has been selective. There was always room for a debate about why certain persons subjectively perceive extraordinary sights, and events, and information, while others do not. The situation here, where vast metal disks were meant to be thundering across the European skies before the summer of 1945, is completely different. They were either there or they weren’t.

What prompted me to start questioning the accepted wisdom about ‘Nazi UFOs’ was that awful period in Fortean history, two or three years ago, when newsstand magazines of limited quality and dubious intentions blossomed all over the UK. In addition to FT itself and ‘UFO Magazine’, suddenly there was Alien Encounters, Sightings, UFO Reality and all sorts of other, short-lived titles, all struggling to fill their pages with startling and saleable material. Rotten writers started submitting articles half-heartedly strung together from a handful of second-hand sources, and a couple of hours on the Internet. The publishers accepted these articles with open arms and small amounts of money, and old myths were revived and new myths born. Among them were myths based around the creation and flight of Nazi UFOs.

The more I looked at the emerging tales of astounding Nazi technical achievement, and compared them with Germany’s ignominious and ruinous defeat, the less sense that contradiction made. It isn’t – and I know I need to make this clear – that I’m asserting that the Axis had no plans, designs, or hopes for the production of high-performance flying disks. Nazi Germany was good at plans, and designs, and – perhaps fortunately for the rest of the world – wasted much time on speculation, and dreams of achievement and power. But it looks as though no high-performance disc so much as left the ground, and if that proposition is true then the Nazi UFO mythos, now celebrating a half-century of vigorous existence, is the most sustained, widespread, complex and multi-faceted hoax ever contrived in our field. A hoax, strangely enough, in which few of the principal participants even knew each other, but which has attracted hundreds to play their part in its development and many, many more individuals to believe that some or all of its claims are true. Tentative as some of my findings of fact may be as yet, what is published here is what I’ve established so far.

This is not a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Like all the best myths it starts when somebody either thought of it, or first recounted publicly a pre-existing tale. It looked to the past to find support for its claims and then, as time went on, spiralled out of control as further elements were added. My intention in setting out this ‘first investigation’ of the Nazi UFO mythos is to make available, in one place, the principal sources for all of the reports and claims that seem relevant and of which – of course – I’m aware. I’m sure there will be more. I make no pretence of having done all this work myself, or of having any kind of monopoly on the subject. If others want to use this piece as a basis for pursuing their own research, I’ll be more than pleased. If I’ve quoted or adopted anyone else’s work without crediting it, please accept my apologies.

I’ll start by giving a substantial overview of what is probably the only genuine unsolved mystery in all of the speculation about wartime aeronautical technology. This is the first of five specific ‘cores’ of key material that I’ve concluded lie at the heart of the mythos. Having set those cores out first, I’ll deal with many of the other contributors to the development of the mythos, both deliberate and unplanned. One brief explanation in advance – while I’ve almost certainly made errors of my own in translation, and the names of people and places, I’ve generally refrained from correcting the spelling and grammar of quoted material. Sometimes, style and presentation conveys almost as much as content!

01: Foo Fighters - A Red (and Yellow, and Blue) Herring

 The ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon seems to have been so named after a wartime US comic strip which featured a character called Smokey Stover, whose catchphrase was “where there’s foo there’s fire”. No doubt this seemed funny at the time, but it is in giving a memorable and appealing name to a very disparate, and under-researched, range of reports of aerial light phenomena that Stover has found lasting fame. Without that name, such different reports might never have been linked together.

In a way, the ‘foo fighter’ evidence doesn’t help us much. It is reasonably clear that whatever was seen, the accounts are seldom, if ever, of solid, metal objects. Many of them actually come from the skies over Japan and other Far East countries. Nonetheless, reports of the existence and behaviour of the ‘foo fighters’ over Europe during the war underpin key strands of the ‘Nazi UFO’ mythos, and while this can’t be the thorough examination that the subject deserves to receive one day, any investigation has to start somewhere. I can claim particularly little credit for the research into foo fighters which, effectively, sets the scene for my own research into the more exotic world of the Nazi UFO, but I hope that by setting it out here, it will become more accessible, and will eventually be seen in its proper – very distant – relationship to later claims of wartime flying disk development.

Two thorough and credible researchers have investigated the wartime ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon. One is the UK researcher and ufological iconoclast Andy Roberts, and the other is US folklore graduate Jeff Lindell. Both have, helpfully, published summaries of their material on the net, and it would be fair comment to say that they have reached somewhat different conclusions. Before turning to their more careful analysis, and ignoring the dubious material presented in post-war editions of Ray Palmer’s largely fictional Amazing Stories , it is first worth considering the key, popular article on the subject which, as Roberts comments, “forms the substance of almost every piece written on the subject of foo-fighters”. It appeared in the American Legion Magazine for December 1945, one with which Renato Vesco – who had worked in the USA – was familiar, but the German Rudolf Lusar, apparently, was not.

The article was titled ‘The Foo Fighter Mystery’, and was written by one Jo Chamberlin. This account is enlivened with contemporary “quotes” from the witnesses, making it that much more immediate and appealing. It begins with an account of reports from Japan, apparently after Germany had been defeated . . .
During the last months of the war the crews of many B-29s over Japan saw what they described as “balls of fire” which followed them, occasionally came up and almost sat on their tails, changed color from orange to red to white and back again, and yet never closed in to attack or crash, suicide-style . .
“The balls of fire continue to be a mystery — just as they were when first observed on the other side of the world — over eastern Germany. This is the way they began.
At ten o’clock of a November evening, in late 1944, Lt. Ed Schlueter took off in his night fighter from Dijon, France, on what he thought would be a routine mission for the 415th Night Fighter Squadron. Lt. Schlueter is a tall, competent young pilot from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, whose hazardous job was to search the night sky for German planes and shoot them down. He had done just this several times and had been decorated for it. As one of our best night fighters, he was used to handling all sorts of emergencies. With him as radar observer was Lt. Donald J. Meiers, and Lt. Fred Ringwald, intelligence officer of the 415th, who flew as an observer.
 The trio began their search pattern, roaming the night skies on either side of the Rhine River north of Strasbourg — for centuries the abode of sirens, dwarfs, gnomes, and other supernatural characters that appealed strongly to the dramatic sense of the late A. Hitler. However, at this stage of the European war, the Rhine was no stage but a grim battleground, where the Germans were making their last great stand. The night was reasonably clear, with some clouds and a quarter moon. There was fair visibility.
 In some respects, a night fighter plane operates like a champion boxer whose eyesight isn’t very good; he must rely on other senses to guide him to his opponent. The U. S. Army has ground radar stations, which track all planes across the sky, and tell the night fighter the whereabouts of any plane. The night fighter flies there, closes in by means of his own radar until usually he can see the enemy, and if the plane doesn’t identify itself as friendly, he shoots it down. Or, gets shot down himself, for the Germans operate their aircraft in much same way we did, and so did the Japanese.
Lt. Schlueter was flying low enough that he could detect the white steam of a blacked-out locomotive or the sinister bulk of a motor convoy, but he had to avoid smokestacks, barrage balloons, enemy searchlights, and flak batteries. He and Ringwald were on the alert, for there were mountains nearby.
The inside of the plane was dark, for good night vision. Lt. Ringwald said,
“I wonder what those lights are, over there in the hills.” 
“Probably stars,” said Schlueter, knowing from long experience that the size and character of lights are hard to estimate at night.
“No, I don’t think so.”
 “Are you sure it’s no reflection from us?”
 “I’m positive.”
 Then Ringwald remembered — there weren’t any hills over there. Yet the “lights” were still glowing — eight or ten of them in a row — orange balls of fire moving through the air at a terrific speed. Then Schlueter saw them far off his left wing. Were enemy fighters pursuing him? He immediately checked by radio with Allied ground radar stations.
“Nobody up there but yourself.” they reported. “Are you crazy?”

And no enemy plane showed in Lt. Meiers’ radar.

Lt. Schlueter didn’t know what he was facing — possibly some new and lethal German weapon — but he turned into the lights, ready for action. The lights disappeared — then reappeared far off. Five minutes later they went into a flat glide and vanished.

The puzzled airmen continued on their mission, and destroyed seven freight trains behind German lines. When they landed back at Dijon, they decided to do what any other prudent soldier would do — keep quiet for the moment. If you tried to explain everything strange that happened in a war, you’d do nothing else. Further, Schlueter and Meiers had nearly completed their required missions, and didn’t want to chance being grounded by some skeptical flight surgeon for “combat fatigue.” Maybe they had been “seeing things.”

But a few nights later, Lt. Henry Giblin, of Santa Rosa, California, pilot, and Lt. Walter Cleary, of Worcester, Massachusetts, radar-observer, were flying at 1,000 feet altitude when they saw a huge red light 1,000 feet above them, moving at 200 miles per hour. As the observation was made on an early winter evening, the men decided that perhaps they had eaten something at chow that didn’t agree with them and did not rush to report their experience.

On December 22-23, 1944, another 415th night fighter squadron pilot and radar-observer were flying at 10,000 feet altitude near Hagenau. “At 0600 hours we saw two lights climbing toward us from the ground. Upon reaching our altitude, they leveled off and stayed on my tail. The lights appeared to be large orange glows. After staying with the plane for two minutes, they peeled off and turned away, flying under perfect control, and then went out.”

The next night the same two men, flying at 10,000 feet, observed a single red flame. Lt. David L. McFalls, of Cliffside, N. C., pilot, and Lt. Ned Baker of Hemat, California, radar-observer, also saw: “A glowing red object shooting straight up, which suddenly changed to a view of an aircraft doing a wing-over, going into a dive and disappearing.” This was the first and only suggestion of a controlled flying device.

By this time, the lights were reported by all members of the 415th who saw them. Most men poked fun at the observers, until they saw for themselves. Although confronted with a baffling situation, and one with lethal potentialities, the 415th continued its remarkable combat record. When the writer of this article visited and talked with them in Germany, he was impressed with the obvious fact that the 415th fliers were very normal airmen, whose primary interest was combat, and after that came pin-up girls, poker, doughnuts, and the derivatives of the grape.

The 415th had a splendid record. The whole outfit took the mysterious lights or balls of fire with a sense of humor. Their reports were received in some higher quarters with smiles: “Sure, you must have seen something, and have you been getting enough sleep?” One day at chow a 415th pilot suggested that they give the lights a name. A reader of the comic strip “Smokey Stover” suggested that they be called “foo-fighters,” since it was frequently and irrefutably stated in that strip that “Where there’s foo, there’s fire.” The name stuck.

What the 415th saw at night was borne out in part by da
y. West of Neustadt, a P-47 pilot saw “a gold-colored ball, with a metallic finish, which appeared to be moving slowly through the air. As the sun was low, it was impossible to tell whether the sun reflected off it, or the light came from within.” Another P-47 pilot reported “a phosphorescent golden sphere, 3 to 5 feet in diameter, flying at 2,000 feet.”

Meanwhile, official reports of the “foo-fighters” had gone to group headquarters and were “noted.” Now in the Army, when you “note” anything it means that you neither agree nor disagree, nor do you intend to do anything about it. It covers everything. Various explanations were offered for the phenomena — none of them satisfactory, and most of them irritating to the 415th. It was said that the foo-fighters might be a new kind of flare. A flare, said the 415th, does not dive, peel off, or turn. Were they to frighten or confuse Allied pilots?

Well, if so, they were not succeeding — and yet the lights continued to appear. Eighth Air Force bomber crews had reported seeing silver-colored spheres resembling huge Christmas tree ornaments in the sky — what about them? Well, the silver spheres usually floated, and never followed a plane. They were presumably some idea the Germans tried in the unsuccessful effort to confuse our pilots or hinder our radar bombing devices.

What about jet planes? No, the Germans had jet planes all right, but they didn’t have an exhaust flame visible at any distance. Could they be flying bombs of some sort, either with or without a pilot? Presumably not — with but one exception no one thought he observed a wing or fuselage. Weather balloons? No, the 415th was well aware of their behavior. They ascended almost vertically, and eventually burst.

Could the lights or balls of fire be the red, blue, and orange colored flak bursts that Eighth Air Force bomber crews had reported? It was a nice idea, said the 415th, but there was no correlation between the foo-fighters they observed and the flak they encountered. And night flak was usually directed by German radar, not visually. In short, no explanation stood up.

On Dec. 31, 1944, AP reporter Bob Wilson, was with the 415th and heard about the foo-fighters. He questioned the men until 4 a.m. in the best newspaper tradition until he got all the facts. His story passed the censors, and appeared in American newspapers on January 1, 1945, just in time to meet the customary crop of annual hangovers. Some scientists in New York decided, apparently by remote control, that what the airmen had seen in Germany was St. Elmo’s light — a well-known electrical phenomenon appearing like light or flame during stormy weather at the tips of church steeples, ships’ masts, and tall trees. Being in the nature of an electrical discharge, St. Elmo’s fire is reddish when positive, and blueish when negative. The 415th blew up. It was thoroughly acquainted with St. Elmo’s fire. The men snorted, “Just let the sons come over and fly a mission with us. We’ll show em.”

Through January, 1945, the 415th continued to see the “foo-fighters,” and their conduct became increasingly mysterious. One aircrew observed lights, moving both singly and in pairs. On another occasion, three sets of lights, this time red and white in color, followed a plane, and when the plane suddenly pulled up, the lights continued on in the same direction, as though caught napping, and then sheepishly pulled up to follow. The pilot checked with ground radar — he was alone in the sky. This was true in every instance foo-fighters were observed.

The first real clue came with the last appearance of the exasperating and potentially deadly lights. They never kept 415th from fulfilling its missions, but they certainly were unnerving. The last time the foo-fighters appeared, the pilot turned into them at the earliest possible moment — and the lights disappeared. The pilot was sure that he felt prop wash, but when he checked with ground radar, there was no other airplane.

The pilot continued on his way, perturbed, even angry — when he noticed lights far to the rear. The night was clear and the pilot was approaching a huge cloud. Once in the cloud, he dropped down two thousand feet and made a 30 degree left turn. Just a few seconds later be emerged from the cloud — with his eye peeled to rear. Sure enough, coming out of the cloud in the same relative position was the foo-fighter, as though to thumb its nose at the pilot, and then disappear. This was the last time the foo-fighters were seen in Germany, although it would have seemed fitting, if the lights had made one last gesture, grouping themselves so as to spell “Guess What” in the sky, and vanishing forever.
But they didn’t. The foo-fighters simply disappeared when Allied ground forces captured the area East of the Rhine. This was known to be the location of many German experimental stations. Since V-E day our Intelligence officers have put many such installations under guard. From them we hope to get valuable research information — including the solution to the foo-fighter mystery, but it has not appeared yet. It may be successfully hidden for years to come, possibly forever. The members of the 415th hope Army Intelligence will find the answer. If it turns out that the Germans never had anything airborne in the area, they say, “We’ll be all set for Section Eight psychiatric discharges.”
Meanwhile, the foo-fighter mystery continues unsolved. The lights, or balls of fire, appeared and disappeared on the other side of the world, over Japan — and your guess as to what they were is just as good as mine, for nobody really knows.” [8]

Had this article not been published, then we would probably have heard little more about this unusual range of events, in different times, in different places, which has been gathered together under the foo-fighter name. Fortunately, others have gone on to gather more accurate, less dramatised accounts, and to make informed judgments about the possible causes underlying the reports.
Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts is a seasoned UK researcher with a reputation for unravelling seemingly complex cases. He went out and found a number of first-hand experiencers

“I wrote to every air-related magazine in the UK with a request for information from ex-aircrew. To date I have had some thirty replies from pilots and crew detailing their experiences with strange balls of light (incidentally not one of them knew them by the name “foo-fighters,” or any other name for that matter).
Official confirmation of wartime phenomena was not so easy to come by
“My research so far with the RAF/MOD/PRO in the UK has drawn a total blank regarding official documentation and investigation of the subject, as have preliminary investigations in the USA. UFO skeptics will of course say that this is because it doesn’t exist, proponents, especially cover-up buffs, will say it is because it is being kept secret.
The simple facts are that if documentation does exist in the UK I am unlikely to be able to get at it easily because of our archaic procedures for obtaining any government documents. We are not blessed by a FOI Act as is the USA, and obtaining any document depends on whether a department can be bothered to answer your letters or if so, can be bothered to undertake a meaningful search of their records. The situation is further complicated by the fact that many records in our Public Records Office are hard to locate due to how it is organised and furthermore are subject to “rules” such as the 30 year rule whereby information is not available for 30 years from date of classification. Worse still many W.W.II records are languishing under a 75 year rule for reasons I have not yet fathomed! In addition to this fact I have spoken to some ex-wartime RAF intelligence people in the UK and they claim no knowledge of the phenomena.”
Roberts has a very low opinion of most ‘foo fighter’ research. I fully support his view, which he illustrates by identifying one certain ‘foo’ hoax, and another probable one: these are summarised in the ‘False Histories’ section, below. Yet Roberts is not entirely disillusioned by his discoveries, and concludes of the many apparently guileless reports of aerial lights that:
“Out of all this some clear facts are apparent. Hundreds of aircrew saw and recorded what we now call foo-fighters during W.W.II. There must be many thousands of ex-aircrew who have stories to tell. The problem is finding them and the odd ad. or article is only going to draw a few out and I have yet to attempt to get to American information from squadron survivors units etc. The situation regarding German information is further complicated by a language barrier but it is only a matter of time. 
I firmly believe that foo-fighters were a real, although non-solid phenomena and I reject the hallucination/misperception hypothesis almost entirely. These people’s lives depended on being able to see and identify aerial objects very quickly. One mistake and it was their last. Some crew have admitted misperceiving Venus etc., but realising it in seconds, and certainly not a whole crew being fooled for any length of time.” [9]

Jerr Lindell
US folklorist Jeff A Lindell is a retired USAF electronic warfare systems analyst. He has conducted extensive interviews with airmen who witnessed light phenomena during WWII, and tends towards a rationalist explanation of all such reports, utilising the possible misinterpretation of different kinds of natural events. In his paper ‘The Foo Fighter Mystery: Revised’ in the context of historical accounts identified as ‘Jack o’Lantern’ and ‘Will o’ the Wisp’, he sets out some key ‘foo fighter’ reports from earlier sources
“Let us proceed with the World War II version of this legend type. Early in October of 1944, pilots in the 422 Night Fighter Squadron (NFS), based out of Florennes, Belgium began to report “balls of light” pacing their fighters over Western Germany. By early November several 422nd pilots and radar operators had reported encounters with Me163 rocket fighters and Me262 jet fighters on night missions over the Reich. On the 7th of November of 1944 the Associated Press Corps in Paris released this statement:
Paris (AP)– The Germans are using jet and rocket propelled planes and various other ‘newfangled’ gadgets against Allied night fighters,” Lt. Col. B. Johnson, Natchitoches, La., commander of a P-61 Black Widow group, said today.” In recent nights we’ve counted 15 to 20 jet planes,” Johnson said. “They sometimes fly in formations of four, but more often they fly alone.” (The Day, New London, Connecticut, p.1).”
In an interview with Philip Guba, Assistant Intelligence Officer of the 422 NFS, he states:
“At first we thought they (the pilots) were seeing things, and they kept saying that these things were chasing them around. Whether they actually identified… not while I was on duty, they did not identify a jet as such. But I think that was the only conclusion we could reach… that was a jet. It could not have been a Will-o’-wisp or something like that. What they reported seeing was simply the exhaust, you see. They did mention that these guys (the jets) seemed to play around with them. They did mention that these guys (the jets) never shot at them and I can’t recall whether the Radar observer actually saw them on the screen. It was mostly visual in other words.”
Meanwhile, the 415th N.F.S. based out of Dijon France began to report the “balls of fire” which they had affectionately dubbed, “foo fighters.” On the 27th of November the first foo fighter was sighted over Western Germany by an Ed Schleuter and Don Meiers flying a Beaufighter, here is Don’s account:
“A foo fighter picked me up at 700 feet and chased me 20 miles down the Rhine Valley,” Meiers said. “I turned to starboard and two balls of fire turned with me. We were going 260 miles an hour and the balls were keeping right up with us. On another occasion when a foo fighter picked us up, I dived at 360 miles an hour. It kept right off our wing tips for awhile and then zoomed into the sky. When I first saw the things, I had the horrible thought that a German on the ground was ready to press a button and explode them. But they didn’t explode or attack us. They just seem to follow us like the Will-o’-the-wisp.”(N.Y. Times, 2 Jan.1945, p.1,4.)
Well, to complicate things even more, the 416th N.F.S. stationed in Pisa Italy also began to spot “foo fighters” in February of 1945. Here are some excerpts from the 416th NFS’ historical data and operations records respectively:
17 February 1945: “Our crews are beginning to report mysterious orange-red lights in the sky near La Spezia and also inland. These “foo fighters” have been pursued, but no one has been able to make contact. G.C.l. and intelligence profess to be mystified by these ghostly apparitions. The hypothesis that the foo-fighters are a post-cognac manifestation has been disproved. Even the teetotalers have observed the strange and mysterious foo-fighters which have also been observed in France and in Belgium.” (17 Feb.1945, 416th historical data. U.S. Army.) 
17 February 1945: “At 21:30 saw reddish white light going off and on in spurts about 6 or 8 miles away, near La Spezia at 10,000 ft. going NE. chased it at 280 MPH for 11/2 minutes. It took erratic course and faded out. At 21:40 saw some type of light 10 miles South of La Spezia and it went North and turned East of La Spezia at 9000′. Faded near La Spezia. Pilot came within 5 miles of La Spezia, suspected Ack Ack trap. At 21:55,10 miles south of La Spezia chased another and it went across La Spezia and pilot followed. Faded 10 or 15 miles North of La Spezia. Our aircraft at 300 MPH couldn’t catch it. No ack ack at La Spezia. At 22:50, 5 miles south of Pisa, saw same light from distance of 10 miles. Chased it for 2 or 2 1/2 minutes. It took north course, disappeared over Mt. this light 10,000′. Light described as glow that alternates between weak and bright. No contacts on Al (radar). Apparently no jamming.” (17 Feb.1945. Daily Operations Report, 416th NFS, 12th AF-SCU-01.) 
The above sighting was made by George Shultz and Frankie Robinson.”
Lindell presents a convincing case for accepting that whatever the cause of the reports, because of their low numbers and limited geographical range, Me163 rocket fighters and Me262 jet fighters were seldom responsible. He reports:
Kurt Welter was appointed to form the first Me 262 Night Fighter test detachment (Erprobungs-Kommando) on 2 November of 1944. This was the only German Jet Night Fighting outfit in WWII and until the last week in February, Kurt Welter was the only pilot flying the Me 262 aircraft at night. Welter’s detachment did not become operational until mid-December of 1944 with only two Me 262 Al-a’s. His orders were to intercept the nightly assaults of Mosquito bombers hitting Berlin known as the “Berlin Express.” This allows Welter very little time to organize, recruit, equip and fly all of the missions which Allied pilots claim were flown. (From Hugh Morgan’s “Me262, Stormbird Rising”)

This still leaves us with the question of the Me 63 rocket fighter. The Second Squadron of Jagdgeschwader (JG) 400, the first and only Me 63 Combat Wing, was stationed at Venlo airfield in the Netherlands and saw limited action until it was withdrawn to the home wing in Brandis, south of Leipzig, in July of 1944. At Brandis, JG 400 saw it’s peak of operational performance on the 28th of September of 1944 when it was able to scramble 9 Me 63s in order to intercept an Allied day-light bombing raid. This rocket fighter was only used as a day interceptor for bombers, no records exist concerning the night testing of the Me 163 at the German experimental airfield, Estelle Retime, which is where all of the experimental aircraft were tested for night flying. (Morgan, Price, Ziegler.) Mano Zeigler who flew as one of the three chief test pilots assigned to Erprobungs-Kommando 16 and later a Rocket pilot in JG 400 commented on the practicability of flying such a nocturnal mission in a Me 63, “Trying to land in the dark you’d spread yourself in small pieces around the countryside!” (Ziegler p.113) This aircraft also had an effective combat radius of no more than 25 miles under perfect visual conditions and thus limited JG 400′s operations to the Leipzig area for the duration of the war.”[10]

Lindell goes on to present information about later sightings of mysterious – and possibly responsive – lights in the Far East where, of course, the war continued after Germany’s defeat. Interesting, and broadly similar, as that material is, it doesn’t really form part of our investigation into the flight of high-performance German disks. His careful conclusions are, however, helpful. He admits to a fairly sceptical approach to the material, but conclusions drawn from such thorough research have considerable value. He says:
“At this point it is of vital interest to relate the above terms with that of “aviator’s vertigo.” In May of 1946, Dr W E Vinacke submitted the first ever report concerning folk beliefs among aviators concerning anomalous experiences associated with flying. In his report ‘The Concept of Aviator’s Vertigo’, Vinacke states:
“Vertigo is primarily a psychological problem. It appears to be associated with the mental hazards of flying, and with the ‘mysterious’ events which sometimes happen in an aircraft. there is thus a two-fold source of emotional loading in the term ‘vertigo’, ie dangerous conditions and unexplained, though actual, phenomena. (Vincacke p.2)
In the pursuit of fairness I have also interviewed the same pilots periodically and concerning various topics involving nightflying. This effect has been significant. Pilots who never reported seeing foo fighters were asked if they had experienced vertigo. The vertigo stories could easily be classed as foo fighter stories. These persons tended to be either commanders or high ranking experienced night fighters. The point is that there are a wide variety of “conditions” in which a story can be recounted concerning an anomalous personal experience. Persons who had not seen foo fighters could offer no such similar experience other than a “mistaken identification” interpretation such as St.Elmo’s fire, jets, Venus, etc. Persons who had experienced “visual-vertigo” in night flying offered experiences which are, for all practical purposes, identical to first hand experience narratives concerning foo fighters, baka bombs, jets, Venus, balls of fire and the Jack-o’-lantern. Edgar Vinacke writes,
“Pilots do not have sufficient information about phenomena of disorientation, and, as a corollary, are given considerable disorganized, incomplete, and inaccurate information. They are largely dependent upon their own experience, which must supplement and interpret the traditions about ‘vertigo’ which are passed on to them. When a concept thus grows out of anecdotes cemented together with practical necessity, it is bound to acquire elements of mystery. So far as ‘vertigo’ is concerned, no one really knows more than a small part of the facts, but a great deal of the peril. Since aviators are not skilled observers of human behavior, they usually have only the vaguest understanding of their own feelings. Like other naive persons, therefore, they have simply adopted a term to cover a multitude of otherwise inexplicable events.” (Vinacke p.5.) [11]
Surprisingly, this is probably the most thorough account of ‘foo fighter’ reports yet published, and I’ve almost completely ignored the reports from outside the European theatre of war. There is an excellent book to be written about the whole ‘foo fighter’ issue, which ideally would include the research conducted by both Andy Roberts and Jeff Lindell. I would strongly suggest, however, that none of the ‘foo fighter’ evidence correlates in any objective manner with the later claims for the existence of high-performance flying disks.

A final point about ‘foo fighters’. There are various photos of planes seemingly accompanied by blobs of what may be light, or emulsion flaws, or tiny aircraft, or whatever. They are paraded periodically – Mark Ian Birdsall of the UK UFO magazine seems keen on them – as evidence of the physical reality of the phenomenon. To date, I have found no evidence of the specific provenance of any of these photos – who took them, on what date, where, with what camera, in what circumstances, and so on. In the case of the photo most commonly reproduced, it is not even clear what type of aircraft is shown. Others images look as if they might well have been manipulated. At present, these photos are evidence of nothing but the willingness to accept inadequate evidence to support an inadequately evidenced belief. Of course, if relevant provenance could be established, my opinion might well change.

02: Renato Vesco, Feuerball and Kugelblitz

One individual – only partially aware that he was doing anything of the sort – turned the press reports of ‘foo fighters’ into armed, controlled, high-performance flying discs. His name was Renato Vesco, an Italian who wrote three books in his own language, only one of which was translated into English. He also had an article published in the August 1969 edition of the US men’s magazine Argosy, which was probably little more than a hack writer’s rendering of material in the book. The article was titled Aerospace expert claims Flying Saucers are Canada’s Secret Weapon, and in the introduction to the piece there first appears the statement which lies at the heart of the authority which Vesco has come to command over the years. It said:
Renato Vesco is a fully licensed aircraft engineer and a specialist in aerospace and ramjet developments. He attended the University of Rome and, before WWII, studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development. During the war, Vesco worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy. In the 1960s, he worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defense as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery.” [12]
It is in the context of this statement that many writers have first considered the material set out by Vesco in the first of his three books, often without having actually seen the book itself. Here are some key selections of what Vesco says about the supposed Feuerball and Kugelblitz in the paperback version of ‘Intercept UFO’.
“another center, run by Speer and the S.S. Technical General Staff, had adopted the idea of employing “proximity radio interference” on the very much more delicate and hence more vulnerable electronic apparatuses of the American night fighters . . . Thus a highly original flying machine was born; it was circular and armored, more or less resembling the shell of a tortoise, and was powered by a special turbojet engine, also flat and circular, whose principles of operation recalled the well-known aeolipile of Hero, which generated a great halo of luminous flames. Hence it was named Feuerball (Fireball). It was unarmed and pilotless. Radio-controlled at the moment of take-off, it then automatically followed enemy aircraft, attracted by their exhaust flames, and approached close enough without collision to wreck their radio gear.
The fiery halo around its perimeter – caused by a very rich fuel mixture – and the chemical additives that interrupted the flow of electricity by overionising the atmosphere in the vicinity of the plane, generally around the wing tips or tail surfaces, subjected the H2S radar on the plane to the action of powerful electrostatic fields and electromagnetic impulses (the latter generated by large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and antiheat armor). Since a metal arc carrying an oscillating current of the proper frequency – equal, that is, to the frequency used by the radar station – can cancel the blips (return signals from the target), the Feuerball was almost undetectable by the most powerful American radar of the time, despite its nighttime visibility.
In addition, the builders of the device hoped – and their hopes were fulfilled – that when the Allied flyers, not knowing their nature or purpose, noticed that the fiery balls were apparently harmless, they would not fire on these enormous-looking (because of their large halos of fire) “inoffensive” devices for fear of being caught in some gigantic explosion. More than one, in fact, as they fearfully watched those huge lights close in, the American pilots thought that some German technician on the ground was perhaps getting ready to push a button and cause the Foo Fighter to explode.
Project Feuerball was first constructed at the aeronautical establishment at Wiener Neustadt, with the help of the Fluggfunk Forschungsanstalt of Oberpfaddenhoffen (F.F.O.) in so far as radio control of the missile was concerned (but was it really a missile?) One person who saw the first short test flights of the device, without its electrical gear, says that “during the day it looked like a shining disc spinning on its axis and during the night it looked like a burning globe”.
Hermann Goring inspected the progress of the work a number of times, for he hoped, as in fact happened, that the mechanical principle could also later be used to produce an offensive weapon capable of revolutionising the whole field of aerial warfare.
When the Russians began to press on toward Austria, the construction of the first Fireballs was apparently continued by a number of underground plants in the Schwarzwald that were run by the Zeppelin Werke. The klystron tubes were supplied by the section of the Forschungsanstalt der Deutschen Reichpost (F.D.R.P.) of Aach bei Radolfzell on Lake Constance, and later also by the F.D.R.P. section of Gehlberg, whose products, however, were not as perfect as those delivered by the F.D.R.P., a fact that caused a number of Fireballs to be used simultaneously in formation.” [13]
Expressly identifying the reports of aerial lights known in some parts of the US Air Force as ‘foo fighters’ as being evidence of the amazing, hitherto and hereafter unheard of secret weapon he called the Feuerball, Vesco sets out some more technical details:
“The Foo Fighters did contain a strong explosive charge to destroy them in flight in case serious damage to the automatic guidance system made it impossible for the operators to control it. It seems, however, that during the time they were last seen, at least one American flyer opened fire on a Foo Fighter from a safe distance without succeeding in shooting it down, although he had it well within his sights. A convincing detail, this, especially in view of the fact that under the armored covering of the Foo Fighters there was a thin sheet of aluminum attached to it (but electrically insulated) that acted as a switch. When a bullet pierced the outer covering, contact between the two sheets was established and the consequent closing of the circuit that operated the maximum acceleration device of the craft (generally in a vertical direction) caused the Foo Fighter to fly off, taking it out of the range of further enemy fire.” [14]
Now and then, Vesco includes references which support his claims, but he never does so with regard to the Feuerball. Let’s analyse what he is actually saying here, and what sense (if any) it makes, because, thanks to Vesco, and Vesco alone, we know that this device designed to achieve “proximity radio interference”

  • was circular and armored, more or less resembling the shell of a tortoise

  • was “enormous-looking”
  • during the day it looked like a shining disc spinning on its axis and during the night it looked like a burning globe
  • was powered by a special turbojet engine, also flat and circular, which generated a great halo of luminous flames around its perimeter.
  • was unarmed and pilotless.
  • was radio-controlled at the moment of take-off
  • “automatically” followed enemy aircraft, attracted by their exhaust flames,
  • approached close enough to the enemy aircraft, without collision, to wreck their radio gear.
  • carried large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and anti-heat armor
  • could be used simultaneously in formation with other feuerballs
  • contained a strong explosive charge to destroy it in flight in case serious damage to the automatic guidance system made it impossible for the operators to control it
  • had under its armored covering a thin sheet of aluminum attached to it (but electrically insulated) that acted as a switch. When a bullet pierced the outer covering, contact between the two sheets was established and the consequent closing of the circuit that operated the maximum acceleration device of the craft (generally in a vertical direction) caused it to fly off, taking it out of the range of further enemy fire
  • had chemical additives (in its fuel?) that interrupted the flow of electricity by overionising the atmosphere in the vicinity of the plane, generally around the wing tips or tail surfaces, subjecting the H2S radar on the plane to the action of powerful electrostatic fields and electromagnetic impulses, making it almost undetectable by the most powerful American radar of the time
  • I don’t want to labour the point here – we could go on for a long time making fun of this nonsense – but this is not a description of anything real. We aren’t told what its actual size was. We know that it had no wings, but that it did carry a powerful engine, two layers of metal to protect it and trigger its escape when hit, liquid fuel (lots of it, presumably), large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and antiheat armor, a strong explosive charge, radio control equipment, and the absolutely mysterious devices which interfered with radio transmissions and made it nearly invisible to radar. It must, therefore, have been a dense, heavy, tortoise-shaped package. We can only speculate how it developed the lift not only to reach heights of 10,000 to 25,000 feet (the range within which bombing raids usually took place), at speeds in excess of 200mph just to follow the bombers, and faster to accelerate away from them.

    It seems to have been radio-controlled at launch (however launch was achieved, let alone landing – were these devices meant to be landed and reused?), and also, because otherwise why would it contain “a strong explosive charge to destroy it in flight in case serious damage to the automatic guidance system made it impossible for the operators to control it” during flight. Between 2 and 5 miles up. In the dark. Following aircraft travelling at 200mph or so, apparently over considerable distances. We are again left to speculate how the operators knew what they were controlling, what was happening to their particular feuerball at any given moment, or what form of radio control could, in 1943 – 1945, work that accurately over that distance. Vesco does not address the question of how direction or speed of flight (if the motion of an armoured wingless tortoise can be accurately described as flight) was controlled or determined.

    Other questions arise. How did the feuerball distinguish an enemy aircraft from a friendly one? How did it stop following the exhaust flames? Where did it go when it stopped? Why, when it was travelling laterally behind the engines of an enemy aircraft, attracted by its exhaust flames, did it suddenly depart “generally in a vertical direction” when hit? Which “chemical additives interrupted the flow of electricity by overionising the atmosphere in the vicinity of the plane”? Just how did that work? How did it wreck the radio gear of enemy aircraft? Where? When? And how, for pity’s sake, could these devices ever have flown “in formation with other feuerballs”?

    Those of you who actually know about aeronautical engineering – as Vesco is supposed to have done – will be able to phrase these questions far better than I. Perhaps Vesco himself would like to put his mind to answering them: I certainly can’t. At present, though I’m happy to be persuaded otherwise, and to publish any hard evidence to that effect, my view is that the feuerball – which even Lusar had never heard of – is a fantasy. How this fantasy came to be published, I’m really not sure. But I wondered for a year or two how he had come to construct these pseudo-technical descriptions, which originate absolutely and only with Vesco. Eventually I realised that what he had done was to look at the few reports of ‘foo fighters’ that he quotes – from the ‘American Legion Magazine’ and ‘Amazing Stories’, because he didn’t have the benefit of the excellent investigative work done by Roberts or Lindell – and to build round those descriptions of the behaviour of those lights, speculative technical explanations which he considered matched their reported performance. The only reasonable conclusion available to me is that Vesco – or one of his obviously careless editors or publishers – put these ‘technical’ descriptions in his book knowing that they had no factual basis. Passing time, the laziness of later authors, and the inexplicable readiness to believe in the wonders of Nazi intellect has gradually turned these dumb speculations into accepted facts.

    Unless strong and reliable evidence appears to the contrary, I think we can dismiss the feuerball – and its even less defined relative the kugelblitz, to which Vesco mistakenly gave the name of a flak panzer in development early in 1945 – as objects that never had any physical reality, and were probably never even designed. I think that we could, quite reasonably do this on technical and scientific grounds alone.

    Yet Vesco continues to be highly influential, regarded as the leading authority of the Axis on secret technological developments in aeronautics. And, given his background, his experience and his authority, as summarised in the article in Argosy, what could be wrong with that?
    Had readers looked as far as the cover of the book from which these claims came, they would have found a substantially different version of Vesco’s authority to that given in ‘Argosy’. This didn’t say that he had, before WWII, “studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development.” Or that, during the war, he had “worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy.” Nor did it claim that “In the 1960s, he worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defense as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery.” Instead, it said that:
    “Renato Vesco was born in Arona, Italy, in 1924. A licensed pilot, in 1944 he commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force. In 1946-47 he served in the Reparto Tecnico Caccia. Mr Vesco has been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics since 1943, and is a student of aeronautical problems, particularly in the field of jet propulsion. He is a contributor to various aeronautical publications.” [15]
    There is clearly something very wrong here. Born in 1924, Vesco would have been 14 or 15 when WWII broke out. Surely, by that age, he had not attended the University of Rome and studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development? If he worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy, why didn’t other authorities mention him?

    Would he really have “commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force” at the age of 19 or 20, and “been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics” at the age of 18 or 19? Surely, if he really were that remarkable, that important, his name would have appeared in the index or references of at least one of the countless books about the war that I’ve examined? Yet it doesn’t. Who was Vesco, and what did he really know about wartime German aircraft? Where did his material come from?”

    Thanks to the highly-respected Italian researchers Maurizio Verga and Eduardo Russo, we now have clear answers to these questions: they both know Vesco personally. As Verga says:
    “Vesco exists, definitely! . . He is an old man now, born in 1924. What’s written by him by people like Al Pinto on the Internet and BBSs, as well as by Harbinson, is complete rubbish. His introduction in the 1971 English translation of his first book is quite accurate, even though he was not commanding any “technical section” in the Italian Air Force . . He was an aeronautical engineer and he got an interest in flying saucers (always seen as a secret development of man-made aircraft) in the late 40′s. He published several articles (about German secret weapons, flying saucers, aviation and other subjects) since the very early ’50s, soon becoming a real skeptic against the then-common idea of ETH visits (he commented and explained some sightings due to atmospheric or conventional phenomena). 
    The manuscript of his first book was ready in 1956, but he stopped publication because he was to go abroad for a long time, due to his job. When he was back in the ’60s, after collecting a huge quantity of additional stuff, he had hundreds and hundreds of written pages, later to be turned into his three books.  
    Vesco claims his sources are BIOS and CIOS reports dating between 1945 and 1947, plus other military and intelligence documents, mostly British. He told me “important persons” (I guess high-ranking officers from the Italian Air Force and other foreign Air Forces) contributed to his research with information and documents still classified. He promised not to make public their names, even though he says that most of them are surely dead. I know he borrowed the BIOS/CIOS reports he quoted in his books from some Italian AF officers, through the library or libraries of the IAF itself . . It is true he is the only aviation student who introduced the ‘Feuerball’ and ‘Kugelblitz’ devices, at least as far as I know. Please also note that ‘Kugelblitz’ was a name given to other German weapons, including a flak panzer.
    Vesco thinks the Schriever & Co stories simple bullshits, while Vril and Haunebu pure science-fiction.” [16]

    The deceptive biographical information provided by Vesco’s various publishers has succeeded in misleading many later writers and researchers, and in providing support for the false claims of others. Like all too many of those involved in the world of Nazi UFOs, Vesco gave an impression of authority, and that authority was accepted without challenge.
    It now appears that Vesco was a man with an interest in man-made UFOs, who was strongly opposed to the extra-terrestrial hypothesis (ETH), used to explain many early ‘flying saucer’ sightings. He provides, in the feuerball and kugelblitz accounts given in a book we now know was completed by 1956, what sounds like a convincing hypothesis for explaining away, without the involvement of spacemen and interplanetary travel, not only the ‘foo fighter’ reports of which he was aware, but also the very ‘physical’ sightings and photographs of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. It is unfortunate that, in seeking to use his knowledge of aeronautical engineering to popularise what he apparently saw as a rational explanation for a body of irrational reports and interpretations, he only succeeded in co-founding the Nazi UFO mythos, a living and growing belief system which, for sheer irrationality and unpleasantness, came to far exceed anything from those innocent early days of ufology.

    03 Major Lusar, the Saucer Builders, and the test flight

    The book German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Rudolf Lusar contains less than two pages of text in the section headed ‘Flying Saucers’, but its influence has been quite remarkable. Here, in full, is the text of that brief section:
    Flying saucers have been whirling round the world since 1947, suddenly turning up here and there, soaring in and darting off again at unprecedented speed with flames encircl-ing the rim of the saucer’s disc. They have been located by radar, pursued by fighters and yet nobody has so far succeeded in establishing the existence of such a ‘flying saucer’ or managed to ram or shoot one down.   
    The public, even the experts, are perplexed by an ostensible mystery or a technical miracle. But slowly the truth is coming out that even during the war German research workers and scientists made the first moves in the direction of these ”flying saucers”. They built and tested such near-miraculous contraptions. Experts and collaborators in this work confirm that the first projects, called “flying discs”, were undertaken in 1941. The designs for these ”flying discs” were drawn up by the German experts Schriever, Habermohl and Miethe, and the Italian Bellonzo. Habernohl and Schriever chose a wide-surface ring which rotated round a fixed, cupola-shaped cockpit. The ring consisted of adjustable wing-discs which could be brought into appropriate position for the take-off’ or hori-zontal flight. respectively. Miethe developed a discus-shaped plate of a diameter of 42m in which adjustable jets were inserted. Schriever and Habermohl, who worked in Prague, took off with the first “flying disc” on February 14. 1945. Within three minutes they climbed to an altitude of I2,400m and reached a speed of 2,000 km/h in horizontal flight (!) It was intended ultimately to achieve speeds of 4,000 km/h.
    Extensive preliminary tests and research were necessary before construction could be started. Because of the great speed and the extraordinary heat stress, special heat-resisting materials had to be found. The development, which cost millions, was almost completed at the end of the war. The then existing models were destroyed but the plant in Breslau where Miethe worked fell into the hands of the Russians who took all the material and the experts to Siberia, where work on these “flying saucers” is being successfully continued. 
    Schriever escaped from Prague in time; Habermohl, however, is probably in the Soviet Union, as nothing is known of his fate. The former designer Miethe is in the United States and, as far as is known, is building “flying saucers” for the United States and Canada at the A. V. Roe works. Years ago, the U.S. Air Force received orders not to fire at “flying saucers”. This is an indication of the existence of American “flying saucers” which must not be endangered. The flying shapes so far observed are stated to have diameters of 16, 42, 45 and 75 m respectively and to reach speeds of up to 7,000 km/h. (?). In 1952 “flying saucers” were definitely established over Korea and Press reports said they were seen also during the NATO manoeuvres in Alsace in the autumn of 1954. It can no longer be disputed that “flying saucers” exist. But the fact that their existence is still being denied, particularly in America, because United States developments have not pro-gressed far enough to match the Soviet Union’s, gives food for thought. There also seems some hesitation to recognise that these novel “flying saucers” are far superior to conven-tional aircraft – including modern turbo-jet machines – that they surpass their flying performance, load capacity and maneouvrability and thereby make them obsolete.” [17] 
    I am grateful to the carefully-presented information provided by Maurizio Verga on the UFO Online website [18] () for much of the material I have used, in this section, to try and answer the questions raised by Lusar.

    The earliest claim by an individual of the construction of a wartime flying disk was made by Guiseppe Belluzzo on or around March 27 1950, at a time when there had been a number of flying saucer reports in the Italian media, and European interest in the subject was high. On that date the Italian newspaper ‘Il Mattino dell’Italia Centrale’ published, with a vague and uninformative line-drawing as illustration, Belluzzo’s apparent claim that circular aircraft had been developed since 1942, first in Italy, and then in Germany. The Italian idea was, supposedly, developed by the Germans in North-East Norway. The story also appeared in ‘Il Corriere della Sera’, ‘La Nazione’, and ‘La Gazzetta del Popolo’, and, in ‘Il Corriere d’Informazione’ of March 29-30 1950, with a comment by a General Ranza of the Italian Air Force dismissing Belluzzo’s claims. It seems that Belluzzo did not claim that the disc flew during the war but that, by 1950, it had been sufficiently developed to deliver an atom bomb. This development was said to be some 10 metres wide, constructed with very light materials, and unmanned.

    We know something of Belluzzo’s background and competence. Verga notes that he lived from November 25 1876 to May 21 1952, and was a turbine expert who published nearly fifty technical books. He was elected to the pre-war Fascist parliament, and from 1925 to 1928 served as Minister of the National Economy. I have traced a listing for a book of his – on turbines – full of technical drawings and translated into English in 1926. It is quite feasible that he could have contributed to a range of technological projects, but it seems that he never claimed to have built a flying disc, nor to have named those who worked with the Germans in Norway. As in all such reports, no viable propulsion, launch, lift, flight, control or landing data is provided, and the criteria for publication seems to have been that the object should resemble the flying saucers which, as ever, had caught the media’s attention.

    It is quite possible that a former Fascist minister would be happy to seek a little belated glory for his nation and his regime, but for all of the later interpretations of his role in the history of Nazi UFOs his claims were very limited, and so far as the assertion of a design for a reasonably-sized, unmanned flying disc was concerned, they are neither unique nor implausible. Belluzzo may, in part at least, have been telling the truth.

    It is worth noting that several later sources changed the name of the one individual who we can be sure actually had some relevant technical background from Belluzzo to Bellonzo.


    News travels fast. Verga speculates that the Belluzzo story was also published in Germany, where it would certainly have been of great interest. Anyway, just days after Belluzzo’s claims were first published, one Rudolph Schreiver made very similar claims in a general flying saucer article in ‘Der Spiegel’ for March 30 1950. He, too, claimed only that he developed blueprints, starting in 1942, which he believed later fell into the hands of the Americans or Germans. The article first introduced a wonderfully infeasible drawing/diagram which looked like something designed by a latterday Otto Lilienthal and, of course, lacked any meaningful technical information. This regularly resurfaces (most recently as an amazing new and secret discovery on the Sightings website [19]) in the belief-oriented media. It is said that drawings of flying discs were found among Schreiver’s possessions after he died in the late 1950s.

    It seems that Schriever described himself as “Flugkapitan Schriever”, and that in March 1950 he was working for the US Forces in Germany, delivering copies of the newspaper ‘Stars and Stripes’ to army bases. Vladimir Terziski, that least reliable of sources, tries to find some glamour in this job, suggesting it was a cover for smuggling valuables of various kinds for some Nazi underground. Harbinson says that he purported that his ‘flying disc’ had been ready for testing in early 1944, but, with the advance of the Allies into Germany, the test had been cancelled, and the machine destroyed. Initially, though, he appears to have claimed little more than Belluzzo earlier the same week. Again, his involvement is just a side-bar to media coverage of a UFO flap. Again, it is others who have made entirely different claims for him. After all, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a lorry driver.

    There is an interview with a “Dr Richard Miethe”, ‘German aeronautical engineer’ and ‘ex-Colonel’, in France-Soir for 7 June 1952. I only have a transcript, in French, but apparently the paper also published a photo of Dr Miethe in his swimming trunks.

    My French isn’t great, but it seems that in the interview with Dr Miethe, conducted in Tel Aviv in June 1952, he says that he is 40 years old, gives specific details of his military background, and claims that he built a flying-saucer – the V7 which he built in 1944, the motors of which the Russians found at Breslau. He claims that from April 1943 he commanded a group of technicians of the 10th Reich Army, at Essen, Stettin and Dortmund, where the main research into German secret weapons was conducted. He doesn’t name any of the other six engineers he says were involved, but says clearly that three are dead, and three are believed to have been taken by the Russians.

    Not unusually, the heart of the interview is his comments on some recent Brazilian flying saucer reports, and his opinion that if flying saucers are seen, then they will have been Russian-built from the knowledge of his three captured colleagues. But perhaps the most important point of all is that this Miethe seems to have had nothing to do with the USA, Operation Paperclip, or anything similar. The article says, I think, that a few days before the German surrender he left the front to join the Arab Legion based in Addis Ababa and Cairo, where a number of Hitler’s senior officers had regrouped. At the time of the interview, in Tel Aviv, it seems that he had been ejected from Egypt, where he says he had been working with others to reconstruct the engine with which his earlier flying disc had been powered. The trigger for the expulsion may have been a breakdown in diplomatic relations between Germany and Egypt.

    As ever, we have no idea how the saucer flew or functioned, but more than two years later, in September 1952, the Italian magazine published some fuzzy, unconvincing photos of something looking not unlike a curling stone, on an angle against a featureless background (those featureless backgrounds are everywhere in 50s ufology). These, ‘Tempo’ claims, were taken over the Baltic on April 17, 1944, when the Miethe saucer was test-flown. The article persisted with the assertion that the Russians had obtained the secrets of these miraculous flying discs.

    George Klein – February 1945

    Harbinson notes that “alleged eye witness Georg Klein, a former engineer with Albert Speer’s Ministry for Armament and Ammunition . . told the press that he had actually seen the test flight of the Schriever disc, or one similar, near Prague on 14 February 1945.”
    Redfern and Downes quote a CIA report dated 27 May 1954, which says:
    A German newspaper (not further identified) recently published an interview with George Klein, famous German engineer and aircraft expert, describing the experimental construction of ‘flying saucers’ carried out by him from 1941 to 1945. Klein stated that he was present when, in 1945, the first piloted ‘flying saucer’ took off and reached a speed of 1,3000 miles per hour within 3 minutes. The experiments resulted in three designs: one designed by Miethe was a disc-shaped aircraft, 135 feet in diameter, which did not rotate; another designed by Habermohl and Schriever, consisted of a large rotating ring, in the centre of which was a round, stationary cabin for the crew. When the Soviets occupied Prague, the Germans destroyed every trace of the ‘flying saucer’ project and nothing more was heard of Habermohl and his assistants.” [20]
    The German newspaper appears to have been ‘Welt am Sonntag’ for (different dates are given) April 25 or 26 1953. The article is titled “Erste ‘Flugscheibe’ flog 1945 in Prag”, and there is a photo of ‘George Klein’ pointing at the same vague diagram that Lusar reprints.


    It may be that there is another source of which I’m not aware, but ‘Klaus’ Habermohl seems to have made his first and last appearance in Klein’s 1953 account. Real history and science reveal nothing of his existence or his achievements. He may well have lived nowhere but in the active brain of Herr Klein, of whose existence the worlds of science and engineering are similarly ill-informed.
    The Lusar question – solved.

    The copy of German Secret Weapons of the Second World War that I read came from the British Library. It is worth noting that it didn’t have a dust jacket, which may have contained additional information, but the text of the book itself gives no clue as to the author’s background, his sources, or of any special authority or knowledge he might have had, or of access to information that was not already in the public domain. To afford some impression of authority, others have given Lusar various different jobs and titles by various different commentators, but as with so many others in the mythos, there is no objective evidence to verify any of them. The simple fact is that all the ‘factual’ content of Lusar’s section about ‘flying saucers’ came from the content of the newspaper comments by Belluzzo, Schriever and Klein. He seems to have been aware of the Tempo article including the photos of the ‘Miethe saucer’, but not of the earlier interview with Miethe.

    He has Miethe as a builder of saucers, but says he is in Canada, and not in Egypt or Israel. He ignores the fact that neither Belluzzo nor Schriever – initially at least with regard to the latter – claimed that discs had been built or flown. Instead, he adds Klein’s claims of construction and flight to the names and supposed background of Belluzzo and Schriever and, as he had seen the photos of Miethe’s disc in Tempo, purports that Miethe’s design flew, too. Why he excluded Klein’s name from Secret Weapons . . is not clear, but because he wasn’t named, he never achieved the fame of the others. Even Habermohl, whose name was neither German nor Italian, and who probably never existed at all in the context of the development of flying discs, has achieved greater fame than George Klein. Perhaps we can, in future, acknowledge the vital, perhaps paramount part he played in building the Nazi UFO mythos. After all, it was Klein who decided that the high-performance wartime discs actually flew: Lusar only gave Klein’s decision lasting, international publicity.

    Very few writers have made clear that Lusar actually wrote his explanation of German disc developments in the context of worldwide flying saucer reports. Indeed, little emphasis has been placed on the fact that all of the material published prior to Lusar’s book only appeared in that context, providing a relatively local angle on reports of flying saucers further afield. Given the total absence of tangible, objective, contemporary evidence to support any of Lusar’s assertions, I think we can safely say that Nazi UFOs did not lead to any of the reports of flying saucers from 1947 onwards. It would be far more accurate to say that the flying saucer craze led to the making of increasingly false and hollow claims about the existence, and achievements, of Nazi UFOs.
    Finally, the question of why Vesco, published in 1969, didn’t mention Lusar or the Saucer Builders. The answer seems to be that because Vesco’s first book (the only one of interest to us here) was completed in 1956, before the earliest version of Lusar’s book appeared, and because Lusar’s book was published long before the actual publication of Vesco’s first book in 1969, we shouldn’t be surprised that their two theories of German flying saucers are entirely exclusive: Lusar doesn’t mention Vesco’s feuerball and kugelblitz, and Vesco has clearly never heard of Lusar’s SMBH disk. There’s no mystery here. There just isn’t anything at all!

    04: A. Harbinson and Projekt Saucer

    SF author W A Harbinson has written a series of chunky paperbacks based on the Nazi UFO mythos. The series is run under the overall title Projekt Saucer, the key titles relating to WWII being Inception and Genesis [21]. I find his writing interesting and often quite exciting, though the accounts of violence and cold Nazi ruthlessness can be a little strong for my taste. Were these books sold only as fiction, they’d be of little interest to us here.

    However, not only do the novels include an ‘Author’s Note’ which suggests that the author’s own research has established a factual basis to his ‘fiction’, but he has also published a non-fiction book , Projekt UFO. The blurb on the back says:
    “For nearly half a century, ever since the first UFO sightings of June 1947, it has been assumed that flying saucers, if they exist at all, are of extraterrestrial origin. Projekt UFO: The Case for Man-Made Flying Saucers proves conclusively that this is not so.” [22]
    The book extends well beyond the end of WWII, and for the most part it deals with the usual post-war questions regarding the reality of UFO sightings, the development of terrestrial technologies, and key cases, such as Socorro. It also introduces – in Harbinson’s Foreword – the ‘Brisant’ document, one of the truly great ufological red herrings:
    In May 1978, at Stand 111 in a scientific exhibition in the Hanover Messe Hall, some gentlemen were giving away what at first sight appeared to be an orthodox scientific newspaper called Brisant. The paper contained two seemingly unrelated articles: one on the scientific and ecological value of the Antarctic, the other about a German World War II flying saucer construction project, named ‘Projekt Saucer’.
    The first article, written from a neo-Nazi standpoint, included a suggestion that West Germany should claim back their right to Queen Maud Land in the Antarctic, which the Nazis stole from the Norwegians during World War II and renamed Neu Schwabenland. The second article, which asserted that the German scientists were the first, but not the only ones, to construct highly advanced saucer-shaped aircraft, was accompanied by reproductions of technical drawings 6f a World War II flying saucer.
    The unnamed author failed to name the designer of the flying saucer and claimed that the drawings had been altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication. Adding weight to his claim, he also pointed out that during World War II all such inventions, whether civilian or military, would have been submitted to the nearest patent office where, under paragraphs 30a and 99 of the Patent-und Strassezetsbuch, they would have been routinely classified as ‘secret.’ After being confiscated and passed on to one of Himmler’s many 55 research establishments, at the end of the war they would perhaps have disappeared into secret Soviet files, or into equally secret British and US files, or lost with ‘missing’ German scientists and SS troops. 
    The rest of the article was just as intriguing. It claimed that throughout the course of World War II the Germans sent ships and planes to Queen Maud Land, or Neu Schwabenland, in the Antarctic, with equipment for massive underground complexes, similar to those they had con-structed in Thuringia and the Harz Mountains in Germany. It said that at the end of the war some of the scientists and engineers who had worked on Projekt Saucer escaped from Germany by submarine and ended up in an underground base in the Antarctic, where they continued to construct even more advanced flying saucers, and that the Americans and Soviets, upon learning about this, then used their captured German scientists and technical papers for the secret construction of their own flying saucers.” [23]
    Mark Ian Birdsall, in his paper ‘The Ultimate Solution’ asserts that it was Harbinson himself who found ‘Brisant’, though Harbinson doesn’t make that claim:
    “Harbinson while researching ‘Genesis’ paid a visit to the semi-Northern city of Hannover in the late 70′s. It was here that he reportedly attended a science lecture exhibition at the ‘Hannover Messe Hall’. Whilst looking around the hall, Harbinson arrived at stand number 111, it was here that he was handed a magazine called ‘Brisant’.” [24]
    I wrote to Harbinson via his publishers to ask for further information about ‘Brisant’, because it is clearly – if it ever actually existed – a key document in the development of the mythos. Henry Stephens of the German Research Project (see below) offers copies of what he says are some pages, and claims that the originals of ‘Brisant’ were lost by Harbinson’s publishers: so I asked about that, too. Unfortunately, I received no response, so the authority and provenance of ‘Brisant’ remain unknown.

    Harbinson seems to have been inspired by the content of the paper, despite the implausibility of the bit about the patent office and the plans having been “altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication”. That sounds more like an excuse for the technical infeasibility which afflicts every diagram of discs in the mythos. Undeterred, Harbinson continues:
    “This theory would explain why, even before glasnost, all the nations of the world – even the Soviets and the Americans – had cooperated with one another only in the Antarctic. In short, the flying saucers seen by so many people since World War II are not extraterrestrial space-craft, but are, in fact, extraordinarily advanced, top secret, man-made machines. They come from right here on Earth... 
    During my two years of intensive research, I uncovered written and photographic evidence which proved beyond doubt that Nazi Germany had in fact initiated a research programme for the development of saucer-shaped aircraft. I found that at the close of the war seasoned Allied pilots were sub-mitting official reports about harassment by ‘balls of fire’ that tailed them and made their aircraft and radar mal-function. In addition, one of the leading members of Germany’s Projekt Saucer development team disappeared into the Soviet Union and another went to work with Ger-man rocket expert, Wernher von Braun, for NASA in the United States.
    y research also uncovered articles about man-made flying saucers, in-cluding the German Kugelblitz and the Canadian AVRO-Car prototype published not only by the ‘lunatic’ fringe but by highly respected aeronautical magazines such as Lufthahrt International, the Royal Air Force Flying Review, and the US News and World Report. So, flying saucers, whether primitive or highly advanced, were certainly constructed in Nazi Germany and post-war Canada, in the latter case with the aid of the United States.In 1980, my 615-page novel, Genesis, based on a mass of research material, including that mentioned above, was published. It became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, eventually becoming a ‘cult’ book, and is still in print ten years after its publication. Reviewing the novel on its publication in the United States, Publishers Weekly said: ‘Harbinson has drawn so heavily on factual material and integrated it so well into the text that the book begins to read like non-fiction…’ [25]
    That Publishers Weekly was so impressed says much for the quality of Harbinson’s writing, but little for his research. In his chapter ‘Technology and Sightings of World War II’ we find a familiar statement, with a few added details:
    “Renato Vesco was an aircraft engineer specializing in aerospace and ramjet developments. Educated before World War II at the University of Rome, he then studied aeronautical engineering at the German Institute for Aerial Development. During the war, he was sent to work with the Germans at Fiat’s immense underground installations at Lake Garda, near Limone in northern Italy, where he helped in the production of aeronautical devices that were tested at the Hermann Goering Institute of Riva del Garda. After the war, in the 1960s. Vesco worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defence as an undercover tech-nical agent, investigating the UFO phenomenon.” [26]
    Harbinson accepts Vesco’s claims without further ado, and then goes on, in his chapter ‘Division of the Scientific Spoils of War’, to accept Lusar, too, saying:
    An article about ‘Projekt Saucer’ was later published in the indispensable volume, German Secret Weapons of the Second World War (1959) by Major Rudolph Lusar, and included reproductions of the flying saucer drawings of Schriever and Miethe.” [27]
    Harbinson sets out more of Lusar’s material, and then reports, helpfully, some research of his own
    “Schriever’s recollection of the test flight date is contra-dicted in certain details by alleged eye witness Georg Klein, a former engineer with Albert Speer’s Ministry for Armament and Ammunition, who told the press that he had actually seen the test flight of the Schriever disc, or one similar, near Prague on 14 February 1945. A certain doubt may be cast on Klein’s date, since according to the War Diary of the 8th Air Fleet, 14 February 1945 was a day of low cloud, rain, snow and generally poor visibility – hardly the conditions for the testing of a revolutionary new kind of aircraft.”
    One of those who may have been involved in the actual Projekt Saucer is Heinrich Fleischner, of Dasing, Augsburg in the Federal German Republic. Interviewed for the 2 May 1980 edition of Neue Presse magazine, Fleischner, who was then seventy-six, claimed that he had been a technical consultant on a jet-propelled, disc-shaped aircraft that had been constructed by a team of technicians in Peenemunde, though the parts had been built in many other places. According to Fleischner, Hermann Goering had been the patron’ of the aircraft and had planned to use it as a courier plane. At the end of the war, the Wehrmacht des-troyed most of the plans and a few of the ‘unimportant’ drawings fell into the hands of the Russians.

    Hermann Klaas, from Muhlheim, West Germany, a bio-technician specializing in aerodynamic phenomena, was another who claimed to have worked on various remote-controlled models for disc-shaped aircraft during World War II. The most common model was 2.4 metres in diameter and propelled by an electro-engine supplied by the Luftwaffe. According to Klaas, these models were simi-lar to those then being developed by Schriever, Haber-mohl, Miethe, and Belluzzo in Bohmen (Czechoslovakia) and Breslau (now Wrocklaw, Poland). [28]

    Overall, bearing in mind the quality of most of his sources, Harbinson’s research is better than most: it takes a while to realise that the world of ufology is full of dreams, misapprehensions and outright lies. For me, though, why the Germans would have called their enterprise ‘Projekt Saucer’ is a mystery in itself. The drawings produced during the 1950s, and even in the hypothetical ‘Brisant’, in no way resemble saucers, ‘saucer’ is not a German word, and the term ‘flying saucers’ didn’t appear until 1947 when a journalist mistook Kenneth Arnold’s description of the way unidentified objects moved in the air over the Cascade Mountains for a description of what they looked like. Maybe this is what they call artistic licence, fine for fiction, but distinctly out of place if it’s conveyed as the truth. I have no hesitation in concluding that there was no ‘Projekt Saucer’ in the real world, and that Harbinson has, presumably quite inadvertently, made a major contribution to the development of the mythos

    05: Vril, Haunebu and Interplanetary Travel.

    Vladimir Terziski

    One of the few references that I haven’t managed to find before writing this piece is a book, probably from 1993, called Close Encounters of the Kugelblitz Kind, by Vladimir Terziski. Terziski first appeared in or around that year, claiming to be the “President, American Academy of Dissident Sciences, 10970 Ashton Ave. #310, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. When I wrote to the Academy asking for further information, my letter was returned, the Academy not being known at the address. He also claims that he is “a Bulgarian born engineer and physicist, graduated Cum Laude from the Master of Science program of Tokai University in Tokyo in 1980. Served as a solar energy researcher, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, before immigrating to the US in 1984.” [29]

    Terziski seems, with a little help from Al Bielek of the completely loopy ‘Montauk Project’, who was co-founder of the Academy, to have introduced a completely new strand of ‘Nazi UFO’ material. It also appears in one of the series of Montauk Project books. It is so outrageously unbelievable, implausible, and devoid of supporting evidence that it has proved to be very popular among those who believe in an Illuminati conspiracy, the New World Order, and the links between our rulers and Reptilian Aliens. The last trace I’ve found of Terziski is at a speaker at a ‘patriot’ meeting in 1998, but his influence lives on, creating an alternative, revised history in which the Nazis won in the end.
    Terziski describes Renato Vesco as “the Italian Wernher von Braun, the research scientist in charge of the Italian Air Force and Space Research and Development program during the war”, which says much for the thoroughness of his research. But then, research isn’t really what Terziski is (or was) about. Brad Steiger quotes him as telling of:
    “an ‘alien tutor race’ that secretly began cooperating with certain German scientists in the late 1920s in underground bases and began to introduce their concepts of philosophical, cultural, and technological progress” . . “(he) maintains that antigravity research began in the 1920s with the first hybrid antigravity circular craft, the RFZ-1, constructed by the secret Vril society. In 1942-43 a series of antigravity machines culminated in the giant 350-foot-long, cigar-shaped Andromeda space station, which was constructed in old Zeppelin hangars near Berlin by E4, the research and development arm of the SS.” [30]
    He is also quoted (by Branton – see below) as making comments about the continued use of slave labour by the ‘pure-bred Aryan S.S.’ who live underground, conducting genetic experiments continuing those of WW2, in pursuance of the “Germans-Nazis-Illuminati pact”, which was established “with the serpent races long years before the American ‘secret/conventional’ hybrid government had done so.” [31]

    Nor has Terziski’s account of the trips to the Moon or Mars proved as unbelievable as we might hope. He says:
    “The Germans landed on the Moon as early as probably 1942, utilizing their larger exoatmospheric rocket saucers of the Miethe and Schriever type. The Miethe rocket craft was built in diameters of 15 and 50 meters, and the Schriever Walter turbine powered craft was designed as an interplanetary exploration vehicle. It had a diameter of 60 meters, had 10 stories of crew compartments, and stood 45 meters high . . .
    Ever since their first day of landing on the Moon, the Germans started boring and tunneling under the surface, and by the end of the war there was a small Nazi research base on the Moon. The free energy tachyon drive craft of the Haunibu-1 and 2 type were used after 1944 to haul people,” materiel and the first robots to the construction site on the Moon. When Russians and Americans secretly landed jointly on the Moon in the early fifties with their own saucers, they spent their first night there as guests of the …. Nazi underground base . . .
    According to the authors of the underground German documentary movie from the Thule society [presumably 'UFO Secrets of the Third Reich', which Terziski is alleged to have produced himself - KM], the only produced craft of the Haunibu-3 type – the 74 meter diameter naval warfare dreadnought – was chosen for the most courageous mission of this whole century – the trip to Mars. The craft was of saucer shape, had the bigger Andromeda tachyon drives, and was armed with four triple gun turrets of large naval caliber (three inverted upside down and attached to the underside of the craft, and the fourth on top of the crew compartments).
    A volunteer suicide crew of Germans and Japanese was chosen, because everybody knew that this journey was a one-way journey with no return. The large intensity of the electro-magnetogravitic fields and the inferior quality of the metal alloys used then for the structural elements of the drive, was causing the metal to fatigue and get very brittle only after a few months of work of the drive. The flight to Mars departed from Germany one month before the war ended – in April 1945 . . The radio message with the mixed news was received by the German underground space control center in Neu Schwabenland and by their research base on the Moon.” [32]
    By March 2000, the Vril and Haunebu craft had become real in many minds, not least that of the author of William Bacon’s Home Page/Nordic Saucer Report. In addition to the Feuerball and Kugelblitz, and assorted Schreiver, Belluzzo, Miethe and Habermohl creations, he included in his list, ‘Reported German Disc Aircraft Types January 28, 2000 (updated to March 2000)

    Electrogravitic Craft Based on Currently Unknown Physics.

     1. Original Vril Society Craft. Said to be a “time machine”, it underwent two years of experiment. Dismantled early in 1924 (!) and shipped to Augsburg. The design was said to have been based on channeled information from a supposed planet orbiting the star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri). Disposition unknown.

     2. RFZ-1 (RFZ=runflugzeug=round aircraft). Disc created in mid 1934 by Vril Society. Crashed from low altitude on first test.

     3. RFZ-2. Completed at the end of 1934 by the Vril Society. length was 16 feet, and it was the first with “magnetic field impulse steering”. It was operational in 1940 as seen in a photograph taken over an ocean, said to be the South Atlantic.

     4. RFZ-4. A test craft driven by propeller to study the aerodynamics of a disc-shaped craft. associated with Schutzstaffel (SS) unit E4.

     5. RFZ-5. Also known as Haunebu I (note: nebel=haze or smoke). Flew 08/1939. Diameter 83 feet. Photograph exists, said to have been taken over Prague. With a crew of eight, said to have reached 12,000 mph and upper atmosphere. Claimed to have been equipped with two laser (apparent anachronism) guns.

     6. RFZ-6 (Haunebu II). Work began before the end of 1942. Various shapes, 85 feet to 100 feet in diameter and 30 to 36 feet high, were produced. A 3200 knot speed is assigned, making for near-space capability. One plan shows a Donar Ray Gun (!) in a turret on the underside. Some had sleeping quarters. a deep-space variant was said to be 234 feet in diameter. At least one side-view drawing with data survives and it bears an uncanny resemblance to an orthographic projection which has been made from the famous Adamski and Darbishire UFO photographs.

     7. Haunebu III. An SS E4-planned deep-space disc craft. Various photographs show design variations. Over 400 feet in diameter. A side view drawing with data survives. Reportedly, U.S. found none. A Haunebu IV also is reported

     8. Andromeda Project A large craft planned by SS E4 for interstellar travel, Over 100 ton capacity. 360 feet long

    Other Craft. These types may have combined what we now consider known and unknown physics. The Vril craft were of 20 to 40 feet in diameter. 

     1. RFZ7T. Work began in 1942 on a discus craft by Miethe, Joined by Bellonzo then Schreiver and Habermohl. A “reliable, functional light craft”.

    2. Vril I. A 36 foot single seat craft, which was armed and tested before the end of 1942. Flew 7000 mph from its Brandenburg test site. Could instantly change direction.

     3. Vril II. An air-water motor in the center of the craft spun rapidly like a tornado, thus according to Schauberger’s implosion principle, neutralizing gravity, as with the Vril I craft. diameter also similar. Vril VII and Vril IX also reported.

     4. V7. Possibly numbered as one of the Vergeltungswaffen(retaliation weapons). Fitted with 12 BMW jet engines. Reached 78,000 feet, later 80,000 feet on first tests over the Baltic sea, 04/17/1945. A spherical glass like-dome surrounded by a rotating wing of turbine blades.” [33]
    This presentation of completely fictitious data as historical and technical data makes it that much more credible, but Bacon is by no means the most extreme of believers.


    The imaginary history invented or presented (or both) by Terziski has itself been carried forward by others, for reasons that continue to baffle me. Probably the most high-profile, and perhaps the most productive of these is ‘Branton’, whose ‘Omega Files’ material in various areas of conspiracy and that peculiar neo-fascism that exists among ‘patriots’ who also believe in the intervention of alien beings is all too easy to find on the Net. I had been wondering who Branton was, and an answer seems to have come recently from an Alan DeWalton, under the title ‘Branton’s Testimony’:
    Branton is a guy who has been involved in abductions since he was a child [generational family stuff], MANY of which involved Alien/CIA agendas in the underground bases. He was “programmed” As an alternate personality, or a “sleeper agent” by the CIA and has interacted with underground bases and especially Dulce WHILE IN THE altered state of consciousness. Many abductees will tell you that during abductions their “conscious mind” seems to switch off and another “personality” that is programmed by the alien agenda kicks in. These alternate identities are individuals in a sense, but also are linked to the alien collective which is how Branton gets much of his information, literally “hacking the hive”… having spent years being manipulated by the alien group-mind he has now turned it around WITH God’s help and is using it as a weapon against them, although you’ll never know how painful it has been for him… a literal hell… but having taken up the “cross” as his sword and shield he is prevailing against the “beast”, just like “Saint” George the Dragon slayer of old you might say. Branton was “saved” [born again] in 1985 and “Branton the alter ego” is apparently still involved with the underground scenarios on a nocturnal basis, trying to put together a literal “underground resistance” movement, both in the underground bases and above. This resistance movement involves freedom fighter forces within certain military bases, several “hybrids” [many his own 'kids'], Nordics, Telosians, several of “the orange” group, and even some of the Sasquatch type aliens . . ” [34]
    These biographical details may make Branton’s willingness to accept Terziski’s claims as true. Branton reports:
    Although it may sound rather incredible, Terziski alleges that he possesses confirming information such as the “…first video expose of Nazi UFOs. German/Japanese saucer landings on the moon and Mars in 1944-46, Marconi group’s landing on Mars in 1956… video footage of Nazi interplanetary dreadnoughts and of secret Soviet-American saucer landing on Mars.” Although many of the ‘Greys’ have been described as being of neo-saurioid configuration, other ‘Greys’ pose a different mystery as to their origin and seem more of a bio-synthetic or ‘manufactured’ configuration. Vladimir Terziski suggests that some of these greys may be “…a product of the US government’s biogenetic cyborg R&D program.” [35]
    The Omega File titled ‘Nazi History’ is another example of the presentation of the incredible as if it were fact. This is just an excerpt, and I have excised some of the rambling about rich industrialists and the Illuminati:

    370000 Germans recover crashed disk. Work begins on German disk program based on recovered ‘alien’ technology.
    380000 Standard [EXXON] Oil sends I.G. Farben 500 tons of lead additive for gasoline.
    390000 Germans working on mini-television for bomb / rocket guidance.
    390901 Germany invades Poland.
    390901 Soviets invade Poland.
    410000 Germans test Schriever-Habermohl Model I prototype flying disk or lenticular aircraft Model II in 1944.
    410600 Germany successfully tests Schriever disk design.
    410800 I.G. Farben tests Zyklon B gas.
    420000 German ‘fireballs’ harass allied pilots and aircraft.
    420225 [German?] UFOs appear over Los Angeles. 1,430 rounds fired against them. Some on the ground killed or wounded by unexploded anti-aircraft shells.
    430000 CIA’s Allen Dulles [Bavarian Illuminati] cuts a deal with Nazi SS intelligence. This would eventually lead to a massive infiltration of the CIA by Nazi S.S. agents, who would in turn begin a global program of toppling third world governments and replacing them with their own fascist puppet dictatorships. Germans complete research on alloy of magnesium and aluminum.
    440000 OSS agent Douglas Bazata receives contract on General George
     Patton’s life. Feuerball aircraft constructed at aeronautical factory at
    Wiener Neustadt. Germans test Bellonzo-Schriever-Meithe designs based on Coanda disk.
    440300 Wilson* replaces German saucer [rotor] propulsion with advanced jet propulsion. *(‘Wilson’ is presumably the fictional character in the ‘Project Saucer’ novels of W A Harbinson, who has somehow crossed over into Branton’s version of reality)
    441123 Allied pilots run into ‘fireballs’ over Strasbourg.
    450000 Both L.F.A. at Volkenrode and center at Guidonia working on disk craft. Soviets gain some German disk data [and apprehend?] Dr. Guenther Bock. United States captures some German disk technology and scientists. British technical advisor discovers German plans for advanced lenticular aircraft.
    450200 Kugelblitz [crew-carrying Fireball] test flown in Thuringia, reached speeds of 1250 mph.
    450216 Kugelblitz tested near Kahla, disk-shaped, 1250 mph. Germans begin to transfer saucer projects to South Polar underground bases.
    450223 Perfected engines removed from Kugelblitz and sent to polar base. Kugelblitz, minus engines, blown up by SS personnel to prevent the design from falling into the hands of the Allies.
    450225 Workers at Kahla complex brought to Buchenwald and gassed so as
     not to reveal secret of Nazi disk projects. Kahla closed. Slavian slave-laborers from various underground facilities also taken to Karshagan and other camps and killed.
    450400 General Hans Kammler disappears from Germany.
    450425 Gen. Kammler joins Wilson and Gen. Nebe on U-977 bound for South Pole.
    450507 Germany ‘surrenders’.
    460000 America turns 2/3rds of Germany’s aircraft manufacturing over to Soviets. Nazis help form CIA operations division with Rockefeller assistance. Imported SS intelligence officers help form Radio Liberty and Voice of America. Gen. Hoyt Vandenburg becomes director of CIA. U.S. and Canada begin joint disk development programs in underground plants.
    460726 Truman signs National Military Establishment Act. Creates NSC, CIA.
    470000 CIA Mind-Control drug project begins at Bethesda Naval Hospital. German disks start flyovers over United States. National Security Act. CIA begins to monitor UFOs.
    470100 Operation Highjump begins at South Pole to find the German Bases.
     Military Commander Admiral Richard E. Byrd leads 4000 troops in
     reconnaissance over Antarctica, and encounters resistance from ‘Aryan’ [German/Austrian] saucer fleets. Apparent casualties on both sides. [36]
    I’ve begun to be accustomed to dealing with extreme beliefs and outlooks, without ever getting immured to the moral and intellectual desert that inevitably underpins them. Yet there is something almost uniquely twisted about the statement, “Workers at Kahla complex brought to Buchenwald and gassed so as not to reveal secret of Nazi disk projects.” In that there were no construction projects for Nazi discs, there were no slave workers building Nazi discs, and therefore no workers could have been taken to Buchenwald and gassed for the reasons Branton gives. He also asserts that huge numbers of slave workers were taken to build the Nazi bases under the South Pole. What sort of need is fulfilled by simply making up these demented distortions of the miserable truths of the Holocaust is quite beyond my understanding. If we actively resist no other element of the Nazi UFO mythos, perhaps we can at least make our rejection of this one as obvious, and effective, as is possible. Other ‘false histories’ follow.

    References for Part One

    [1] Lusar, Rudolf (1959) Trans Heller, R P and Schindler, M German Secret Weapons of the Second World War Philosophical Library New York p.165
    [2] Vesco, Renato (1971) Intercept UFO Grove Press New York p.85
    [3] Kasten, Len (1996) ‘Nazi UFOs’ in Atlantis Rising No.7
    [4] Stephens, Henry (1998) ‘UFOs and the Third Reich’ in The Probe Vol 3 #4
    [5] terziski
    [6] Stevens, Wendelle, interviewed in ‘The Godfather of UFOs’ in Alien Encounters #25
    [7] Redfern, Nicholas (1998) The FBI Files Pocket Books London p.210
    [8] Chamberlin, Jo ‘the Foo Fighter Mystery’ in the American Legion Magazine, December 1945
    [9] Roberts, Andy Foo Fighters – the Story So Far Project 1947 website
    [10] Lindell, Jeff A. ‘The Foo Fighter Mystery Revised’ I.U. Folklore Institute
    [11] Ibid
    [12] Vesco, Renato ‘Aerospace expert claims Flying Saucers are Canada’s Secret Weapon’ in Argosy Magazine August 1969.
    [13] Vesco, Renato (1971) Intercept UFO Grove Press New York p.85
    [14] Ibid p.86
    [15] Ibid (back cover)
    [16] Correspondence with author
    [17] Lusar op cit p.
    [19] ‘Sightings’ website
    [20] Redfern, N and Downes, J (2000) Weird War Tales 1 – UFOs: 1939-45 Weird War Tales Library
    [21] Published by New English Library, London
    [22] Harbinson, W A (1995) Projekt UFO – The Case for Man-Made Flying Saucers Boxtree London (back cover)
    [23] Ibid (Foreword)
    [24] Birdsall, Mark Ian (1988?) The Ultimate Solution Self-published p.13
    [25] Harbinson op cit p.5
    [26] Ibid p.61
    [27] Ibid p.72
    [28] Ibid p.74
    [29] Interview with Terziski on Sam Russell’s ‘Open Mind Forum’ radio programme on June 5 1993.
    [30] Steiger, B and SH (1994) The Rainbow Conspiracy Windsor Publishing Corp New York p.62
    [31] Branton – Omega Files
    [32] Branton – Omega Files
    [33] Website – William Bacon’s Home Page/Nordic Saucer Report.
    [35] Branton – Omega Files
    [36] Branton – Omega Files – ‘Nazi History’