the tale of
the nazi saucer
IF THIS TALE were an episode of the X-Files, the script for it might begin like this:
Ext. Day. High above a snowy European countryside. A brief title says 'Czechoslovakia, February 1945'. We hear a 'whirring' sound. A flying saucer slowly rises into view, stops in mid-air, then zips away.
Cut to several men walking briskly in step together. All we see are their shiny boots in muddy snow. They come to a stop. Camera pans up, revealing them as SS officers, all looking up towards the sky. The saucer comes into view and makes a soft landing. A hatch opens and a Luftwaffe pilot climbs out. He gives the officers the 'Heil' salute. They click their heels and reply in kind.
Cut to Main Titles and Music.
Such is the stuff of the internet-driven legend that says there was once such a day. A legend of secret research sites and gravity shields, of captured technology and black budget ops.
A legend easily consigned to conspiracy theory... were not one of it's main proponents also an Aviation Editor at Jane's Defence Weekly, the world's most respected and authoritative publication on military technology.
Above: A Sack AS-6 monoplane. Arthur Sack was a model plane enthusiast who won a national powered model plane contest in 1939. The design caught the attention of higher-ups at the Air Ministry. The first manned test was scheduled for 1944, but the plane was poorly constructed and never made it off the ground.
THE FIRST CLAIM of flying saucers being the result of German research came -- conveniently enough -- just two weeks after the sighting by Kenneth Arnold had led to a frenzy of nationwide reports, culminating in the announcement of a crashed disk recovered at Roswell. It arrived in the form of a July 11, 1947 letter from a Dr. T. Kelterborn, who according to his letterhead was presently a dentist...
To The American Civil Governor in Frankfurt
In the Dormund Newspaper, Westphalian Overview, of 9 July 1947, I read an interesting article about so called 'flying saucers,' which were seen above the ground in greater numbers over about 30 US States, which supposedly reached speeds of 1900 km hr. and whose appearance have caused great unrest among the US population.
Since the governing and research institutions of the US don't want to know anything about the origin of these flying saucers, I would like, as the inventor of these apparatuses, to announce myself to the US Administration.
I handed over my invention in 1944 to a German Inventors office, whose headquarters, as I understood, was in Berlin. For my submission, including rough sketches of the construction site in Bochum, I never received a response, nor was I ever apprised by the technical test office in Berlin.
My work must have been further developed in Berlin.
When the Russians marched into Berlin, my completed invention must have landed in the hands of a foreign military power, which is now using them over the US.
As the inventor, I alone am in the position, under certain circumstances, to reveal my invention.
Should the US authorities be interested in my invention, I am ready to provide information.
The authorities weren't interested, as it turned out.
The next claim -- according to a 1950 army intelligence memo -- was made at the Darmstadt internment camp in 1948. According to Special Agent Charles Wolkonowski, he had had a chance conversation with a German by the name of Georg Stalling...
During a conversation with Source the undersigned brought up the subject of Flying Saucers and Source made the statement that he had heard of Flying Saucers as far back as 1948.
Wolkonowski's memo gave the substance of the conversation that followed...
In approximately January 1948, three (3) or (4) lectures had been given in the DARMSTADT (L50/M65) Internment Camp, on the Subjects of "Flying Saucers" and German "V2" rockets, which had allegedly been under construction by Germany, during the war on the Islands of USEDOM (N54/L10) and WOLLIN (N54/034). The persons giving these lectures had allegedly worked on both of the above projects and had discussed and explained fully the various formulas and technical points of both of those projects.
These lectures were attended by approximately fifty (50) persons who were allegedly carefully screened out of the one-thousand (1000) inmates of the camp. Due to the fact that at that time, lectures of any nature had to be officially posted on bulletin boards, the "cover" topic chosen for these lectures had been "Journey to Mars and the Moon".
The name of the person who had given these lectures is unknown, but his available data is the following: Approximately 40 years of age, 6'2" tall, oval face, dark hair. This person also had a Doctor's title and had been an SS Hauptsturmfuhrer or an SS Sturmbannfuhrer. This man had allegedly been released from the DARMSTATD Internment Camp in May 1948.
The following persons had allegedly attended these lectures:
a. Professor, Doctor (fou) BOHM (BOEHM), pathologist, formerly from the University of JENA (M51/J66) had been released from the DARMSTADT Internment Camp in August, 1948. Present whereabouts unknown.
b. Doctor, med. Fritz BETHGE, living at Domplatz 5, FRITZLAR (L52/HO8).
c. Doctor Med. Max FINK, former Chief of Medicine for BRANDENBURG (N53/Z23) left the DARMSTADT Internment camp in January 1948 for WIESBADEN (K51/M36).
d. Professor, Doctor, Med. (fou) WEHRFRITZ, currently living in MIDDA (L51/G90) Kreis Budingen.
e. Doctor Hans HEYANK, researcher living in DARMSTADT.
As far as is known, no follow-up to the report was ever made.
Curiously, another 1950 report made by another army intelligence agent again reflected a chance encounter with a man -- this time in a library -- producing another claim for German invention of the saucers...
The following information was given to this Agent by 1st Lt. Fredric B. FRANKLIN, 01309614, Hqs 555 Engineer Group, APO 175, U.S. Army. Lt. FRANKLIN is a pilot assigned to this organization:
While visiting the [ILLEGIBLE] Staff School Library in [ILLEGIBLE] recently Lt. FRANKLIN noticed the Librarian, a MILLER or MULLER, (fou) reading a highly technical Magazine or Manual pertaining to Guided Missiles. When Lt. FRANKLIN engaged the man in conversation he was told by MILLER or MULLER that he (MILLER or MULLER) had invented the flying saucers. He had worked on them during the Third Reich, he said, but later left Germany and lived in an undisclosed foreign country until the end of the war. He returned to Germany four (4) years ago and has been working for the Americans ever since. He stated further that he had worked for a Capt JOHNSON and attempted to enlist his, Capt JOHNSON's, aid in getting his invention tested by the American authorities. The Americans, he claimed, were not interested. MILLER or MULLER then said he has recently written two letters to two other foreign powers concerning his invention, but as yet has received no answers. MULLER or MILLER claims his invention is much better than that in the Americans possession because of an injection system which keeps the missile from freezing up at high speeds. Although Lt. FRANKLIN considers MULLER or MILLER a "Crack Pot", he stated that the man seemed to know a great deal about modern American Aircraft, such as only an engineer would know.
The following description of MULLER or MILLER was given:
Height: five (5) feet seven (7) inches
Weight: one hundred and forty (140) to fifty (150) pounds
Age: between fifty (50) and sixty (60) years old
Hair: partially bald; color, medium brown
Other: wears heavy metal rimmed glasses; talks with lisp
That same year, 1950, similar allegations would hit the press and start the launch of the legend into the public domain.
THE FIRST PUBLIC ALLEGATION of German scientists having worked on flying discs during the war came five years after the defeat of the Nazis, in a March 24, 1950 story in the Los Angeles Mirror...
Left: Belluzzo's interview in il Giornale d'Italia included a diagram of Germany's 'flying disc'. The interview was the basis for the story.
Flying discs 'Old Story' says Italian
ROME, March 24 (AP) -- An Italian scientist said today that types of flying discs were designed and studied in Germany and Italy as early as 1942.
Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, he added, were interested in the instruments, and the idea was developed concurrently both in Italy and Germany.
Flying discs or saucers have been reported sighted recently in many parts of the world. There has been no scientific confirmation of the existence of such things, nor any universally accepted explanation of what their purpose might be.
The Italian scientist, Giuseppe Belluzzo, noted Italian authority on projectiles and cannons and builder in 1905 of the first steam turbine in Italy, made his declarations in Rome's independent Giornale d'Italia.
"There is nothing supernatural or Martian about flying discs," he said, "but they are simply rational application of recent technique."
Prof. Belluzzo expressed the opinion that some great power is launching discs to study them.
Reports of flying discs in Italian skies have been frequent. The latest report came last night from Northern Turin, where several persons said they saw a saucer speeding across the moon-lit sky leaving a fiery trail.
A slightly different and more ominous version appeared that same day in the Olean, New York Times-Herald...
Flying Saucer Designs Given To Il Duce And Hitler In 1942
ROME Italy -- Professor Giuseppe Belluzzo, seventy-three year-old Italian turbine engineer, said today that designs for "flying saucers" were prepared for Hitler and Mussolini in 1942.
"According to those designs," he said in an interview, "the discs could carry a cargo of explosives of any kind -- and today an atomic bomb -- to destroy entire cities."
Of the present rash of reports of "flying saucers," which the United States Air Force has declared are without foundation in fact, Belluzzo said:
"It has passed my mind that some great power is experimenting with flying discs -- without explosives or atomic bombs.
"There is nothing supernatural or Martian about flying discs. It's just the most rational use of recently-evolved techniques."
Belluzzo said he personally had drafted plans for a "flying disc" thirty-two feet in diameter, but claimed they disappeared with
Benito Mussolini when he fled to Northern Italy in 1943.
"Both Hitler and Mussolini were interested in flying discs," he said. "The idea was born in Italy about the same time it was heard of in Germany.
"The principle of the flying disc is very simple. Its construction
is easy and can be done with very light metal."
The missiles could be aimed like the war-time German V-2 rockets, he said, and would descend when the fuel was exhausted, or cut off by an automatic timing device. No human pilot would be required.
Two years later Professor Belluzzo died, never having said very much more about the subject.
Left: Der Spiegel's March, 1950 article included an illustration of Rudolf Schriever's alleged disc design. Above: April 1950 graphic by INS.
LESS THAN A WEEK following Belluzzo's claim, on March 30, 1950, Germany's Der Spiegel published a feature about the wave of UFO sightings across the world.
The story contained another allegation of German work on flying saucers, by way of an interview with a German named Rudolf Schriever, who claimed to have designed a flying spinning disc more than 40 feet in diameter. Schriever claimed he had worked on the disc from a base in Czechoslovakia in 1942, and that the design reached completion in 1945, just before the Russians marched in.
Elusive on proof and details -- he claimed his original blueprints had been stolen -- he stated that after the war he had met with 'representatives of foreign powers' who had shown much interest in his design.
A week later, Schriever's story appeared in the U.S. press. From the April 2, 1950, edition of the Lima, Ohio News:
Ex-Luftwaffe Flier Offers To Build 'Saucer'
FRANKFURT. Apr. 1 (INS) -- A German aircraft designer who says that engineers thruout the world in the early '40s experimented with "flying saucers" offered today to build a "workable prototype" for the United States.
Former Luftwaffe Capt. Rudolph Schriever made the offer in a telephone interview with International News Service.
He called his version of the "flying saucer" a "flying top" and predicted it would be capable of a maximum speed of 2,600 miles an hour with a radius of 4,000 miles.
THE 40-YEAR-OLD graduate of the University of Prague said that he made blueprints for such a machine before the collapse of Germany in World War II, but that they were stolen from his laboratory by persons unknown.
He said that duplicates of his blueprints were given to colleagues in Prague for safe-keeping and he presumed that they are now in the hands of the Soviets, enabling them or another nation to make a "saucer."
Schriever, who is now a driver for the United States Army in Bremerhaven, said that he could build a workable model "within six or nine months providing the military security board authorizes facilities."
THE EX-OFFICER expressed surprise over world speculation on the nature of the oft-reported -- tho never proved -- "saucers."
"The publicized craft are assuredly United States experimental craft and perhaps of other nations as well, but certainly are not pipe dreams or visitors from Mars."
Schriever said that his "flying top" version would consist of three co-axially mounted sections able to rotate independently.
THE CONTROL cabin, he said, would be in the upper section of the main gondola section. Beneath the lower gondola would be a rotating cartwheel-like affair forming a hub 14 yards in diameter with three-yard-long paddles in place of spokes.
Three starting jets would be slung beneath this "cartwheel" to set off the rotation. The hot gasses given off by the jets, Schriever added, would give the impression of "balls of fire" in flight.
He estimated that each gondola of his "flying top" would weigh about three tons and would be nearly 12 feet wide and just under 11 feet in height.
Schriever said that the ship would be able to ascend at a little better than 300 feet per second and that the "paddles" would revolve at a rate of 1,650 revolutions per minute giving the ship a top speed of 2,600 miles an hour and a radius of 4,000 miles.
It would take another interview two years later for Schriever to claim that he had actually produced and tested a working model in 1942 as well as a full-scale prototype in 1945, which he then claimed had flown successfully before the end of the war.
Schriever is thought to have died in 1953, though a witness later reported sighting him in Bavaria around 1965. In any case, there his personal part of this story ends -- though it would grow far more detailed in the legends to come.
Above: Dr. Heinrich Richard Miethe interview in il Tempo with pictures of alleged test flight. Left: Photo alleged to be that of Dr. Heinrich Richard Miethe.
AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME that Rudolf Schriever was enlarging his story to claim the successful flight of a prototype, another German, calling himself Dr. Heinrich Richard Miethe, stepped forward to say he was the lead designer of a German team tasked with developing a flying disc.
The first mention of Dr. Miethe can be traced to a June 27, 1952, article in the France Soir. He claimed his saucer flew in late 1944.
Like Rudolph Schriever, Miethe had no documentation of his claims, and stated all his coworkers had either died or been captured by the Soviets. Left unsaid was that this meant no one could corroborate his account.
Miethe, however, said he had a pictures of a test flight, later published in an Italian newspaper in September, 1952.
And Miethe, at least, may have had more credibility in his verifiable credentials as a rocket engineer than the self-proclaimed Schriever. The interview in France Soir had started with a story about the expulsion of a German team of rocket engineers from Egypt...
TEL-AVIV, June (special to "France-Soir") A group of German experts on "V-weapons", who were working for the Egyptian government in the manufacture of radio-controlled missiles, were very recently expelled by the authorities of Cairo. These specialists of the Physikalische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (PAG), headed by Dr. Kurt Fuellner and Mr. Herman Plitzken, had refused to deliver, after the completion of their work, their secret plans to Egypt.
After several unfruitful attempts, the authorities confiscated all the goods and the personal effects of the German scientists and refused to pay them the arrears of their wages as long as they refused to deliver the documents.
A short time thereafter, the police made it known to some of the Germans that they had no legal right to be in Egypt, Germany not yet having diplomatic relations. The team leaders returned at once to Hamburg, where they charged a lawyer with raising a protest at the United Nations against Egypt for "swindle and ill treatment".
This much of the story is at least partially corroborated in an article titled 'Ballistic missile development in Egypt' published in Jane's Intelligence Review in October 1992...
-- 1951: As part of the program to moderniize Egypt's military in the wake of defeat in the 1947-49 war with Israel, Egyptian Premier Mustafa Nahas initiates a program to build military rockets in Egypt. Egypt contracts German armaments expert Dr. Wilhelm Voss to oversee the program and hires a firm owned by Herr Fuellner that employs several German rocket experts. The experts begin developing a small rocket, probably solid fueled, with a range of several kilometers.
-- March 1952: Having achieved some progreess in the design of a tactical rocket, Egypt begins considering production of a longer-range guided missile. However... difficulty in acquiring high-quality steel, propellants and fuses, cause the delay of the guided rocket program and the eventual cancellation of the tactical rocket program. Tests of the rocket developed for Egypt by Herr Fuellner's firm are unsatisfactory, and Egypt proposes that the firm be put under government control. Herr Fuellner refuses and is forced to leave the country along with some of the German experts.
So the article in Jane's Intelligence Review at least corroborates that there had been a German team under the supervision of 'Herr Fuellner', forced to leave Egypt about the same time as in the article in France Soir.
The France Soir story goes on to describe Miethe's alleged role in the development of a Nazi saucer...
Some of these experts, who collaborated to one degree or another in the manufacture of these rockets, fled to Tel-Aviv. One of them is Doctor Richard Miethe, 40 years old, ex-colonel and scientist for the Third Reich, and aeronautical engineer. A few days before the German surrender, Doctor Miethe managed to escape the front by aircraft. He joined the Arab Legion in Addis-Ababa and Cairo, where many Nazi senior officers are currently residing (including many under Allied death sentences).
Doctor Miethe claims to have worked, from April 1943, as the head of a group of technicians of the Tenth Reich Army, in Essen, Stettin and Dortmund, where the principal research for German secret weapons was carried out. The first V-1 and V-2's were delivered from these factories.
For seven years, Dr. Miethe has sought to reconstruct the plans of an exceptional machine which he built with six other engineers (of which three have died and the other three are being held by the Russians beyond the Urals). In his opinion, it is this apparatus which the press persists in calling "flying saucers",
The story continues with Miethe's first-hand account of his alleged work on a flying disc...
The engines of the weapons which I designed in Germany, in collaboration with other engineers, were taken by the Soviet troops from the underground arsenals at Breslau.
One of the engines was intended for a supersonic helicopter. The appearance of this apparatus, at a distance of several thousand meters, could, without magnifying glasses, more or less resemble the saucer of a set of table ware. In fact, a helicopter is very different, in its structure as well as its form.
To describe it in common terms, this apparatus has the exact shape of an Olympic discus, an immense metal disc of circular form, with a diameter of approximately forty-two meters. More than twenty months of experiments, continually revised designs, and extremely complicated studies of gyroscopy and innumerable tests, which resulted in the death of 18 pilots, were necessary to build these machines.
The problem was that of finding the ideal aerodynamic form that could break the sound barrier, and easily transport bombs to ranges of over 20,000 km, guided by radio and radar, and driven by means of a compressed gas based on helium. 22 cubic meters this gas were enough to maintain an average of sixteen hours of flight.
The principle of propulsion was, roughly speaking, that of the jet, but instead of two, or four, or eight turbines, the apparatus uses twelve of them, laid out at equal distances inside a moving metal ring, turning around the central mass. There are neither visible flames nor smoke, because the gases coming from combustion are recovered by an extremely clever compression system, discovered in 1938 by a British engineer.
The first conclusive flights were accomplished above the Baltic, three days exactly after the beginning of the offensive by von Runstedt in the Belgian Ardennes, and with greatest success. But it was only when Patton's army succeeded in crossing the Rhine that Hitler, warned by Marshal Keitel of the long range of this apparatus, which we had by then named the V-7, decided to undertake mass production in the underground factories of the south of Germany.
A copy of the plans was in the personal files of Keitel at Bad-Gandersheim, in the Harz Mountains, close to Hanover. At the time of their advance into this area, the Americans were advised of the existence of these military secrets and tore apart the castle from cellar to roof. They at least could have recovered their expenses, but did not discover, in the walled cellars, tens of thousands of boxes of silk stockings.
The Russians were luckier, getting their hands on the engines, and capturing three of my colleagues. I therefore assert, that if flying saucers are in the skies, they were built in Germany, as developed under my orders, and probably reproduced by Germans in chains in Soviet captivity.
But was Miethe part of the German group in Egypt? No proof is provided, no quotes included from members of the German team, most of whom the article states moved back to Germany -- while Miethe made the intriguing choice of taking up residence in Tel Aviv.
And the article in Jane's Intelligence Review describes the work as involving a small tactical missile 'probably solid fueled, with a range of several kilometers' -- hardly the stuff of disc-shaped supersonic helicopters.
In any case, French and Italian news reports on Miethe, containing the same basic information, would be published for several more months. Then Miethe disappeared from the scene.
It would be another four years before Miethe would re-emerge as part of the legend, but in an altogether new role.
Left: Georg Klein's original interview in Welt am Sonntag.
EIGHT MONTHS AFTER the France Soir article on Miethe, another self-proclaimed engineer who allegedly worked on the German flying discs stepped forward.
On April 25, 1953, Germany's Welt am Sonntag published an interview with a man calling himself Georg Klein under the headline Erste 'Flugscheibe' flog 1945 in Prag enthullt Speers Beauftragter (translation: 'First 'flying disc' flew in 1945 in Prague reveals Speer Officer').
Though an English translation of Georg Klein's interview in Welt am Sonntag is not available, a subsequent article in Athen's I Vrdayni was published three weeks later, and may have been a wire service version of the Welt am Sonntag piece.
We find that text in -- of all places -- a declassified CIA memo which appears to be a standard form, with the preprinted heading 'INFORMATION FROM FOREIGN DOCUMENTS OR RADIO BROADCASTS'...
Left: The declassified CIA memo carrying the I Vrdayni article.
German Engineer States Soviets Have German Flying Saucer Experts and Plans - Athens, I Vrdayni, 13 May 1953
Vienna (Special Service) -- According to recent reports from Toronto, a number of Canadian Air Force engineers are engaged in the construction of a "flying saucer' to be used as a future weapon of war. The work of these engineers is being carried out in great secrecy at the A.V. Roe Company factories.
Flying saucers have been known to be an actuality since the possibility of their construction was proven in plans drawn up by German engineers toward the end of World War II.
Georg Klein, a German engineer, stated recently that though many people believe the flying saucers to be a postwar development, they were actually in the planning stage in German aircraft factories as early as 1941.
Klein said that he was an engineer in the Ministry of Speer and was present in Prague on 14 February 1945, at the first experimental flight of a flying saucer.
During the experiment, Klein reported, the flying saucer reached an altitude of 12,000 meters within 3 minutes and a speed of 2,200 kph. Klein emphasized that in accordance with German plans, the speed of these saucers would reach 4,000 kph. One difficulty, according to Klein, was the problem of obtaining the materials to be used for the construction of the saucers, but even this had been solved by German engineers toward the end of 1944, and construction of the objects was scheduled to begin, Klein added.
Klein went on to state that three experimental models had been readied for tests by the end of 1944, built according to two completely different principles of aerodynamics. One type actually had the shape of a disc, with an interior cabin, and was built by the Miethe factories, which had also built the V-2 rockets. This model was 42 meters in diameter. The other model had a shape of a ring, with raised sides and a spherically shaped pilot's cabin placed on the outside, in the center of the ring. This model was built at the Haubermohl and Schriever factories.
Both models had the ability to take off vertically and to land in an extremely restricted area, like helicopters.
During the last few days of the war, when every hope for German victory had been abandoned, the engineers in the group stationed in Prague carried out orders to destroy completely all their plans on their model before the Soviet forces arrived. The engineers at the Miethe factories in Breslau, however, were not warned in sufficient time of the Soviet approach, and the Soviets therefore succeeded in seizing their material. Plans, as well as specialized personnel, were immediately sent directly to the Soviet Union under heavy guard, coincidental with the departure from Berlin of the creator of the Stuka, who later developed the Mig-13 and -15 in the Soviet Union.
According to the report, nothing is known of the whereabouts of Haubermohl since his disappearance form Prague; Schriever died recently in Bremen; and Miethe, who escaped in a Messerschmitt 163, is in the US.
Klein was of the opinion that the saucers are at present being constructed in accordance with German technical principles and expressed the belief that they will constitute serious competition to the jet-propelled airplanes.
Klein further stated that it was very possible to construct flying saucers for civilian air travel; they could carry 30-40 passengers at a speed of 4,000 kph. He added, however, that the tremendous amount of material necessary for their construction did not warrant their being built exclusively for civilian air travel. His opinion was shared, he stated, by Giuseppe Belluzzo, the Italian specialist with whom Klein has been corresponding for some time.
The story basically rehashed and embellished the Belluzzo, Schriever, and Miethe accounts already published, with Klein placing himself into the mix.
Of note here is the introduction of an engineer named Haubermohl, as a contemporary and competitor with Schriever. Haubermohl's provenance in this tale is unknown, but there is no known purported first-hand account by anyone of that name, and his part probably extends back to the various embellished stories published earlier. And in later versions of the tale the name would become 'Habermohl', dropping the 'u' in the CIA version of Klein's account.
In any case, the tale has Haubermohl conveniently captured by the Soviets, and never heard from again.
And once again, there was no proof or corroboration provided for Klein's tale, though Klein offered himself as corroboration for the earlier accounts.
But it would be three more years before the tale fully blossomed into the mainstream, through the publication of a well-received book.
Left: The English translation of Rudolf Lusar's book.
THE LEGEND WOULD CONTINUE only in occasional stories in Italian and German newspapers -- substantially restating the Schriever, Miethe and Klein accounts -- and in anonymous pamphlets published in the next few years which proclaimed flying discs as a German weapon, providing much embellishment to the story along the way.
But it would burst into the mainstream in 1956, when a book by a man calling himself 'Major Rudolf Lusar' was published first in German, then translated into editions around the world.
The book received the following review by Reuters as published in the Washington Post on February 18, 1957:
Hitler's Arms Chief Tells of Plan to Bomb U.S. By Super-Plane, Says Reich Had Flying Saucers
(Reuters) MUNICH, West Germany, Feb. 17 - Nazi Germany developed flying saucers that flew more than 1000 miles an hour and a bomber that could attack the United States and return without refueling, it was revealed today.
These and other details of Hitler's efforts to achieve a "wonder weapon" that would turn the tide of World War II in its closing stages are revealed authoritatively in a book called "The German Weapons and Secret Weapons of World War II and Their Development," by Rudolf Lusar, who during the war was head of the Technical Arms Department of the German War Ministry.
The flying saucers, designed by three German engineers and an Italian, were 138 feet in diameter. The first one flew February 14, 1945, at Prague, and reached a height of more than 40,000 feet and a speed of 1250 miles per hour...
In his book, Lusar said the weapons helped bolster Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Gobbels in his fanatical belief that a "wonder weapon" would turn the tide at the last minute...
But in fact, Lusar only claimed to have been an engineer in the Reichs Patent office, basing his book on patents he said had passed his way.
And for someone stuck in a patent office far from the events he claimed, he managed to cram quite a bit of detail into the two pages he devoted to the Nazi saucer program:
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. Habermohl 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 horizontal 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 12.400 meters 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.
Again - quite a bit of detail, for a man stuck in a patents office.
But understandable in light of the fact that it basically plagiarized the Georg Klein accounts published three years earlier (probably accounting for Lusar's omitting any mention of Klein in his version).
So here was a plagiarism of an account three years earlier by Klein, which itself was just a combination of the previously published accounts of Schriever, Miethe and Belluzzo (whom Lusar called 'Bellonzo'), with the new added twists that not only had Schriever and Habermohl had not only designed a flying saucer but had been its first pilots on its first flight -- an intriguingly extraordinary claim on its face.
And such is how legends are sometimes born, or as phrased in the Reuters' review... 'revealed authoritatively'.
With that said, it was in Lusar's book that the legend of the mysterious Dr. Miethe emerged once again, this time "building 'flying saucers' for the United States and Canada at the A.V. Roe works".
Which, if Dr. Miethe was who he says he was and did what he says he did, might make sense after all -- if one had never heard of John Frost.
Left: Cover of October, 1953 Fate Magazine.
FOUR YEARS BEFORE LUSAR'S BOOK, a new chapter in German flying disc lore had begun with an article in the Toronto Star on February 11, 1953.
The article reported leaked information that a 'flying saucer' was under development at the A.V. Roe (Avro) facility in Malton, Canada. The headline read 'Report Malton Flying Saucer to do 1500 MPH, Takes Off Straight Up'. From the February 12, 1953 San Mateo, California Times...
TORONTO -- The Toronto Star said today a 1500-mile-an-hour "flying saucer" may be built in Canada.
The copyright story gives these reported details:
The proposed craft would be able to take off vertically, fly horizontally at 1500 miles an hour and use the gyroscopic effect of a revolving power plant to acquire stability. It would be about 40 feet in diameter.
A wooden model is behind tarpaulin screens at an experimental hangar at nearby Malton.
Blueprints of the craft have been studied by the British air ministry. British sources say the saucer would have a gas turbine engine of unconventional design revolving several times a minute around the pilot, who would sit in a plastic bubble. The saucer's rim would remain stationary. A Canadian government scientist says it would take two years to put such a craft into the air.
The paper commented:
"Reports have bean so persistent and apparently authentic concerning the Canadian craft that western scientists consider the possibility that Soviet Russia has carried similar developments to a more advanced stage."
The report spread quickly, but the details remained murky. On February 16th, Canada's Minister for Defense Production told the House of Commons that work only consisted of a 'mock-up model'. A little later, the president of Avro would write an entry in the in-house company bulletin, but said only that the company was working on a project "so revolutionary that it would make all other forms of supersonic aircraft obsolete".
What the press didn't know though, was that the report was purposely planted to generate political support for funding of the project -- and that research was still very much in the preliminary stages.
The saga leading to all this had started six years earlier when John Carver Meadows Frost -- known to his friends and coworkers simply as "Jack" -- had arrived from his native England to the A.V. Roe plant in Canada. Just 32-years old, he already had a storied career behind him. As a "public school" boy straight out of the mold of Goodbye, Mr. Chips he had graduated from the Oxford-based St. Edwards School with honours in mathematics, chemistry and physics. But it was said to be his ranking first in his class at Latin which meant the most to him personally. For in Mr. Chips fashion it had been his Latin professor who had taken him up in his first airplane flight and inspired his love for aviation.
Frost's aviation engineering career had seen him rise rapidly through the ranks, ultimately to become head of the project team in England for the next-generation English fighter jet. It was here that Frost also became a pioneer in swept-wing plane design, as well as designs for trans-sonic flight.
He had arrived at A.V. Roe in Canada in 1947 to join an already-established design team working on a new jet fighter. Unfortunately for Frost, the design was already well underway and conflicts with other key members erupted almost immediately, with Frost being dismayed at the reliance on "brute force" over elegant design. The conflict would continue through failed test after failed test, with several pilot deaths along the way. Finally, much to Frost's relief, he was pulled away to form his own "special projects" group at Avro, where his first focus was vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) designs for aircraft.
Leading Frost to his own designs for a "flying saucer".
Above: Project Y mock-up.
BEFORE EVEN BECOMMING HEAD of Avro's Special Projects Group, Frost had been toying around -- literally -- with a ring-shaped engine design. In the latter part of 1951, he had gone personally to a shop foreman to have him produce a 3-1/2 inch by 2-inch metal disc with scoops at the side and a ball bearing and shaft assembly in the middle. Later Frost was spotted with an air hose and clipboard, taking notes on the dynamics of the thing as it spun on its shaft (which was clamped to a vice). By early February, 1952 he had submitted a memo to upper management, titled Description and Thoughts on the Turbo Disc.
The engine design Frost envisioned was essentially was that of two rotating rings, the inner spinning clockwise and the outer counter-clockwise. Frost submitted the design to the engineering department of McGill University, and by April, along with design partner T.D. Earl, expanded his earlier work with a paper titled Proposal for a Gas Turbine Propelled Aircraft of Circular Planform. In the paper, the proposed craft was said to eliminate "many of the features of a more conventional aeroplane" resulting in "economical manufacture and maintenance". It was also estimated it would have greater thrust-to-weight ratios so that "its performance must surpass that of any known type of aeroplane". And in the designers' own words...
Fundamentally, the design is unorthodox in two respects:
a) It is proposed to control the aeroplane by altering the direction of thrust forces.
b) It is proposed to stabilize the aeroplane by means of a powerful gyroscope -- the large diameter engine rotor.
The project was given a go-ahead and preliminary small budget by Avro, under the code name "Project Y". The course of events after that involved many design changes, so that the "circular planform" became more like a spade, though ring configuration of the engine rotor remained as a gyro-stabilizer.
At the beginning of 1953 the mock-up was wind-tunnel tested in England. By that time McGill University's analysis had come back, stating "...performance at high flight speeds is good".
The only trouble was, the Canadian Research Board had provided $379,000 for the initial research, and the funds were dwindling fast. Hence, the sudden burst of publicity, based on "leaks", starting with the above-mentioned article in the Toronto Star. The campaign would continue with a well-publicized visit by British General Bernard Montgomery, who publicly waxed ecstatic afterwards. By September major players in U.S. defense research, including Lt. General Donald L. Putt -- in charge of such for the United States Air Force -- came to Avro for a major presentation.
The behind the scenes maneuvering which had resulted in the visit is not known, nor are the subsequent events in detail, but by the end of 1954 Frost's funding was coming from the Americans, and Project Y had evolved into "Project Y2", which would meet the unique needs of the U.S. Air Force, as stated in a February, 1955 military report for "a supersonic research aircraft having a circular planform" which would have "both vertical takeoff and military performance capabilities". In that same report was included the reasoning around which Project Y2 was formed...
There is a USAF requirement to develop means of operation from dispersed bases. This requirement stems from the growing and possibly catastrophic vulnerability of conventional air bases. The major feature of conventional air bases is the runway, which has grown wider, thicker, and longer as aircraft have become heavier and faster. The operational necessity of runways leads to concentrations of aircraft which have become critical targets. The logical approach to dispersed base operation would then appear to be toward reducing the length of runways or to their total elimination... Attempts to eliminate runways completely have resulted in helicopters, convertiplanes and what is known as VTO aircraft.
There are two general types of VTO aircraft - "tail-sitters" and "flat-risers". A flat-riser takes off in the vertical direction in a normal horizontal flight attitude, while the tail-sitter takes off vertically from a position which is 90 degrees to a normal level horizontal flight attitude... A possible solution to this problem has been proposed by A.V. Roe, Canada, Limited, in the form of their Project Y2 (Secret).
Then, describing the work currently underway...
Two versions of small research VTO aircraft have been designed by the contractor, which, by company designation, are Project Y (Secret), a "tail-sitter", and Project Y2 (Secret), a "flat-riser". Early in the investigation, Project Y (Secret) was rejected by the contractor in favor of the flat-riser. Project Y2 (Secret) design proposal incorporates a number of advance improvements brought about by the utilization of several radical ideas in fundamental areas which, as yet, have not been thoroughly investigated. The original proposal was essentially for the construction of a very large radial-flow gas turbine engine which, when covered, will form a flying wing with circular planform, similar in appearance to a very large discus. The engine is designed to fly "edge-on" to the wind instead of axially as is the present practice in conventional aircraft design.
And then, as far as John Frost must have been concerned, came the rub...
An alternate version for a multi-engine aircraft... would avoid concurrent development of the airframe and engine while providing the other essential characteristics of the vehicle.
Frost's original dual-ring pancake engine design was out. Project Y2 -- now known by the U.S. military as Project Silverbug -- was veering back towards the conventional.
Above: The "Avrocar" undergoing flight testing.
THE PATH THEREAFTER was long and twisted before the project was ultimately cancelled in March, 1960. Along the way it would include offshoots including an all-circular flying wing with a seemingly conventional fuselage as well as a flying jeep offshoot for the U.S. Army. Near its end the result was the "Avrocar", a proof of concept vehicle which exhibited stability problems. By the end of the project Avro was no longer a going concern, and John Frost moved on to New Zealand.
Which brings us back to the mysterious Dr. Miethe, whom Lusar claimed was "building 'flying saucers' for the United States and Canada at the A.V. Roe works".
Certainly there is nothing on record concerning Miethe -- or any of the self-proclaimed "flying saucer" designers. However, the legend gained new currency with the story of a Canadian researcher, as told by author Bill Zuk in his book Avrocar -- The Canadian Flying Saucer...
Recently, while doing research at Canada's National Archives, historian Larry Koerner says he "came across a file containing a document which provided an account of a meeting that may shed some further light on the development of the Avrocar. The meeting, which took place in the then West Germany during 1953, at a Canadian government installation, was attended by a German aviation engineer along with officers of the RCAF, RAF, British Intelligence Services and John Frost, an Avro Canada executive. The purpose of the meeting was to give Mr. Frost, who was already working on the design of a ground-cushioned vehicle, the opportunity to cross-examine the German engineer.
"This man claimed to have been working on a similar type of aircraft for the German Government between 1944 and 1945 at a site near Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic. Moreover, the German asserted that not only had such a saucer-like vehicle been built, but it had also been flight tested. However, he also said that, at the end of the war, both plans and the aircraft itself had been destroyed. Unfortunately the file in question provided no further indication as to how useful this information was to either Avro Canada or the British and Canadian governments."
And in his book The Hunt for Zero Point, Nick Cook -- the aforementioned aviation editor for Jane's Defence Weekly -- tells of a personal interview with the son of John Frost...
I asked Tony Frost instead how he thought his father had come by his radical ideas.
He told me, almost in passing, that a file recently uncovered in Canada's National Archives had shown that his father had made a journey to West Germany in 1953. There, at a Canadian government installation in the company of British and Canadian intelligence officials, Frost met with a German aviation engineer who claimed to have worked on a vehicle similar to the disc-shaped aircraft on the drawing boards at Avro. The German said that the project had been under way at a site near Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1944—45, and that the saucer had not only been built, but flight-tested. He told Frost that both the plans and the craft itself had been destroyed in the closing weeks of the war.
How the information was used by Frost was never made clear. Like the Avro supersonic disc program, he never spoke about it -- to his family or anyone.
Author Bill Zuk also quotes R.N. "Ron" Williams, who worked at Avro, from a 1976 newspaper interview...
Frost had given considerable thought to the many reports, both old and new, of unidentified flying objects in the sky, more commonly called flying saucers...
What he was looking for was something that couldn't be explained by optical illusion, shadows on clouds, an over-active imagination, a con artist, or whatever...
Frost had an instinctive feeling that perhaps someone somewhere had developed what came to be known as a flying saucer. Out of two hundred or more sightings he investigated, he found only two that could not be explained away by any of the above reasons. Both were in Europe -- in the area of Germany. He concluded, rightly or wrongly, that there was a good chance the Germans with the advanced aeronautical technology they displayed during the war -- rockets, buzz-bombs, etc. -- which was far ahead of the British and the Americans, that perhaps the Germans had built and were experimenting with a saucer-like vehicle.
The problem with the accounts above are several.
Although the "historian Larry Koerner" is cited for the purported 1953 meeting, the alleged document is neither named nor reproduced for examination. Most tellingly the German "engineer" goes unnamed, and no biographical information is provided (in fact no alleged participant except for Frost is named), nor is any date that can be matched with Frost's movements, other than that it allegedly took place in 1953. Nothing is quoted, everything is paraphrased, and the only "details" are suspiciously reminiscent of the several accounts published decades earlier.
But surely at any such meeting there would no doubt have been many questions -- how was stability achieved in the German "flying saucer", what was the thrust to weight ratio, what was used for directional thrust, what was the engine configuration, what control systems were needed, and on and on and on. Yet the alleged document is portrayed as if it were a line item in the minutes of the meeting... "Met German engineer about flying saucer that flew in Prague in 1945. Says plans were destroyed."
The Ron Williams account of Frost is equally problematic in its assertion that there were "two hundred or more sightings he investigated". Such investigation would have required a considerable amount of personal time and effort on Frost's part. And if in that investigation Frost had indeed found "only two that could not be explained away... in the area of Germany", then he was either a supreme investigator -- there are no commonly known reports from Germany pre-1953 that are particularly remarkable -- or he was particularly careless, having ignored several world-famous pilot encounters which had occurred by that time, for instance, as well as the accounts of guided missile experts and astronomers who had made their own experiences public in national magazines. In fact, if his interest was as described, it is remarkable that there is not a trail of correspondence to those well-known others in the aviation and missile industries who had their own experiences as part of his "investigation".
But as even Nick Cook admits, Frost himself "never spoke about it -- to his family or anyone". And in fact Frost's initial conceptual work on his 'saucer', as well as his memos - Description and Thoughts on the Turbo Disc and Proposal for a Gas Turbine Propelled Aircraft of Circular Planform were completed months before the person calling himself Dr. Heinrich Richard Miethe gave his first public interview to France Soir. Frost's work also predated by a year and a half the alleged meeting with the unnamed "engineer" in West Germany.
And thus such tales of Frost -- like the tale of the Nazi saucer itself -- amount to nothing more than unsubstantiated claims to be added to the ever-growing list, in this case made after Frost himself, having died in 1979, could make no reply.
Above: John Frost at Avro in 1952. In this demonstration pressurized air flows out of the end of the red tube, and then over the top of the metal disk. The Coanda effect makes the air "stick" to the disk, bending down at the edges to flow vertically. This airflow supports the disk in the air.
ANY ATTEMPT TO DOCUMENT the twists and turns that are the legend of the Nazi saucer must leave many anciliary paths unmentioned. This single Uforia entry on German flying discs comprises 10,000 words in and of itself... but the diverging narratives could fill several volumes.
But before closing, some discussion is necessary of the work of Nick Cook, the aforementioned journalist and Aviation Editor at Jane's Defence Weekly, and author of The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Anti-Gravity Technology. For it is he who brought to prominence a new player into the pantheon of German "saucer" designers.
Intrigued by an old clipping left on his desk -- promising coming anti-gravity vehicles in the 1950s -- Cook became curious and then obsessive about the possibility that the technology indeed was being developed but had been subsumed into the murky world of "black budget" operations. He traveled the world in search of answers, a journey which also drew him into the legend of the Nazi saucer...
Had the Germans developed a totally new form of propulsion, blended it with a radically different kind of air vehicle, and deployed it in the form of some new and secret weapon system in the latter stages of the war?
It was an astonishing leap on Cook's part, for none of the self-proclaimed personages involved -- not Belluzzo, nor Schriever, nor Miethe, nor Klein, nor Lusar -- had so much as whispered the merest hint that "anti-gravity" had been achieved, let alone involved in their "saucers". Belluzzo had called it "simply rational application of recent technique". Schriever's diagram indicated rotating "paddles" acting much like helicopter blades, powered by three engines. Miethe had said his design was for a "supersonic helicopter" that from a distance "could, without magnifying glasses, more or less resemble the saucer of a set of table ware" and that it operated "by means of a compressed gas based on helium". Klein made no mention whatsoever of the means of propulsion, but said the "saucers" had been "in the planning stage in German aircraft factories as early as 1941", implying nothing unconventional. Lusar said one of the "saucers" was based on "adjustable wing-discs which could be brought into appropriate position for the take-off or horizontal flight respectively", while the other was "a discus-shaped plate of a diameter of 42m in which adjustable jets were inserted".
But unfortunately for Cook, his starting point had been not the original stories but through the pseudonymous "Lawrence Cross" -- a former reporter at Jane's who had moved on to work in Australia. From Cross he had received a report dealing with what Cross called "the Legend", apparently consisting of the Lusar account with many subsequent embellishments.
Equally unfortunate, Cook proves himself to be far more interested in finding proof of his developing belief than in an objective approach to the subject, to the point of making the most tenuous of connections. Just one example -- in reading a classified U.S. memo on German technology, he takes the memo's conclusion that 'All information available... has been thoroughly investigated and this subject may be closed with negative result' as being an order designed to stop any further investigation which might reveal the truth.
There are dozens of like inferences and tenuously-supported conclusions in his search, and in the end he pretty much parrots the legend as told so far -- but this time with the anti-gravity twist.
But it is from Nick Cook that we learn of a man named Viktor Schauberger, the last of the self-proclaimed flying disc designers covered herein (though another, named Andreas Epp, would also emerge in the 1990s).
Left: Viktor Schauberger.
THE TALE OF VIKTOR SCHAUBERGER may be as much comprised of myth as the tale of the Nazi saucer itself.
Or it may not.
For when it comes to Schauberger, there are biographies and books and references in news articles, but they are all seemingly intertwined and feed off one another, and there are no easily-located primary contemporary references to be found (at least not in English).
The tale of Viktor Schauberger then, as it exists, goes something like this...
Born in 1885 in Austria, Viktor Schauberger was an enigmatic figure. Commonly described as a 'forester', he was also a visionary who saw air and water as 'energizing media', and found the vortices and spirals which exist throughout nature as the key to new methods for energy generation and propulsion systems.
Schauberger's first invention based on his theories was a 1922 design for a radical new log flume, widely incorporated in Austria and Bavaria. Where flumes were normally built for the shortest distance between two locations, his followed the natural paths of valleys and rivers. And by building them so that water twisted in a spiral as it carried the timber, Schauberger was able to transport immense weight over long distances.
In 1929 he filed patents for water-driven turbines, later developing the innovative 'trout turbine' based on his observations of a trout's behavior in a fast flowing stream.
In 1933, he published what might be considered one of the first environmental treatises, a book titled 'Our Senseless Toil - The Cause of the World Crisis'. In the book he argued that by working against nature -- in the building of dams, for instance -- man was creating more problems than he was solving. Schauberger argued for working with the natural flows of nature as a far more productive course.
Then, in 1940, he enters the legend of the German flying discs, as told by Nick Cook...
Schauberger, whose story was contained in notes on the Legend sent to me by Lawrence Cross, was an Austrian who had supposedly invented a totally new form of propulsion based upon a principle called "implosion."
No one I spoke to seemed entirely sure what implosion meant, but according to the stories that had grown up around this man, the implosion process was at the heart of a radical turbine that Schauberger had installed in a sub-scale flying disc sometime during the war. A test of this small flying vehicle, with its echoes of the Schriever Flying Top, had supposedly taken place and the results were said to have been highly impressive. In one account of the test, the craft had apparently risen toward the ceiling of the test facility "trailing a glow of ionization." This immediately elevated the report above the many others I had come across, for it signaled that, whatever was occurring within the implosion process, it had precious little to do with jet propulsion. If true, it could only have been an antigravity effect.
Though claiming to be initially skeptical, Cook finally arranged to meet Schauberger's grandson, Jeorg, who runs an institute devoted to Schauberger's work. Before arriving, Cook relates...
I took a break at a rest stop, got out the laptop and pulled up Cross' notes on the Legend. The relevant portion, the part devoted to Viktor Schauberger, boiled down to the following precis:
Late in the war, despite being close to pensionable age, Schauberger was called up for active duty in the German Army. Soon afterward, he received orders to report to an SS institution in Vienna. From there, he was taken to the nearby concentration camp of Mauthausen, informed by the camp commandant that his inventions had received the blessing of Reichsfuhrer Himmler himself, and ordered to handpick a group of engineers from among the prisoners. This would be the "team" that would help him complete his work on an energy device of radical design that Schauberger had begun working on before the war. If he did not comply with this order, the commandant informed him, he would be hanged and reprisals instituted against his family. Schauberger did as he was told.
By 1944, serious work had begun on a Schauberger machine that appeared to have a dual purpose: first as an energy generator and second as a power plant for an aerospace vehicle of saucer-like appearance. Descriptions of the workings of this generator, sometimes referred to as a "trout turbine," were always woefully inadequate. One such relayed the apparent fact that "if water or air is rotated into a twisting form of oscillation known as 'colloidal,' a buildup of energy results, which, with immense power, can cause levitation."
Details of the chronology were hazy, Cross explained, but Schauberger's team had apparently claimed success a few days before Germany surrendered. One of the scientists who'd worked with Schauberger reportedly said that at the first attempt to run the machine "the flying saucer rose unexpectedly to the ceiling and then was wrecked. The apparatus functioned at the first attempt... and rose upward trailing a blue-green and then a silver-colored glow."
The craft in question, Cross said, had a diameter of 1.5 meters, weighed 135 kilograms and was started by a small electric motor with takeoff energy supplied by the so-called trout turbine.
The next part, Cross' text alerted me, was really weird. "A few days later an American group reportedly appeared, who seemed to understand what was happening and seized everything (his emphasis, not mine)."
Schauberger was kept under "protective U.S. custody" for six months to a year, Cross maintained, and some of his work was reportedly branded by the Americans as "atomic energy research." Cross ended up saying he had no idea what happened to Schauberger after this period.
According to Cook, Schauberger's grandson allowed him to go through Schauberger's papers. Cook states...
At this, he gave an almost imperceptible nod and indicated we should head upstairs. It was getting late and there was a lot of material we needed to get through in the short space of time I was in Bad Ischl.
Cook then relates, amongst other biographical details...
In 1934, a year after Hitler came to power, Schauberger was summoned to the German capital to explain to his Fuhrer and fellow countryman how processes of natural motion and temperature and the vital relationship between soil, water and vegetation combined to create a sustainable and viable society; a society, in effect, that was at ease with itself.
At the meeting was Max Planck, the great German physicist and pioneer of quantum theory, who when asked by Hitler at the end of Schauberger's talk what he thought of his theories replied testily, "Science has nothing to do with Nature" and withdrew from the discussion.
The placement of this story certainly implies that it came from Schauberger's papers or from his grandson, but Cook gives no direct attribution for these "facts", which sound just as likely to have come from Cross' report on "the Legend". For it is not until after this that Cook states...
As Jeorg Schauberger and I settled into the archive, which was crammed full with the old man's files and papers, it was clear that Viktor Schauberger had documented every turn of his career in meticulous detail.
Through his letters, duplicates of which he always placed on file, it was possible to paint an intricate profile of the man and his inventions.
So had Schauberger truly met with Hitler and Planck? Cook implies certain knowledge of such, but gives no quote or supporting material for the assertion.
The tale Cook tells from there is long and complicated -- and fascinating -- covering dozens of pages, and at first includes sourcing its claims to Schauberger's papers directly. But then Cook veers back and forth so that what came directly from Schauberger's papers and what came from other "sources" -- or even surmises -- becomes progressively indistinguishable.
Cook's final conclusion though, can be summed up by this passage...
The diary had made it clear that Viktor Schauberger had built a machine that had flown earlier in the war at Kertl (and almost certainly during Schauberger's secret period of research in Czechoslovakia). It was also quite clear that the device's modus operandi was wholly unconventional -- that is to say, the method by which it generated lift was insufficiently explained by current scientific knowledge.
The diary had given me something I could believe in at long last.
Via Schauberger, the Nazis had been deeply involved -- no question -- in what can only be described as flying saucer technology. And from this flowed the corollary that other parts of the Legend were perhaps also based on fact.
Viktor Schauberger died in 1958. Nick Cook lives on, now as an 'aerospace' consultant to Jane's Defence Weekly, and is involved in various activities regarding anti-gravity propulsion and zero-point energy, as well as participating in high-end documentaries on the UFO phenomenon.
And thus ends the tale of the Nazi Saucer... so far.
DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS GO BACK at least as far as World War II. The techniques used over the last 70 years only grow ever more sophisticated. Official-looking documents can be synthetically aged and slipped into archive files to be 'newly discovered'. News reports can be planted across the world. People can be variously motivated into becoming 'sources'. Even respected journalists may play a part in the plan.
Did the German's develop flying discs in World War II? The first public claim didn't come until 5 years after the war, and the legend built from there. But by that time the 'flying saucer' phenomenon was already well underway, and so the idea of flying discs was not radical. Could the legend of the Nazi saucer in itself be the beginnings of a disinformation campaign, meant to force the conclusion that UFOs were man-made, and thus distract attention from a new unknown in the skies?
And since then, the legend has grown into a cottage industry including books containing massive amounts of details and diagrams, along with pictures, dates and alleged personages. Sometimes it encompasses secret Nazi UFO bases in the Antarctic, and in South America, and even on the moon. Could this extreme version be part of a disinformation campaign to discredit the earlier legitimate reports on German flying discs?
And if UFOs after the war were extensions of previous German developments, based on technology captured by the U.S., why was so much of the government's time devoted to figuring out what they were? This too, is well documented. Could it be those efforts were themselves elements of a disinformation campaign to steer us away from identifying the source of those things flying in the sky?
The truth may be out there, yes.
But that doesn't mean it will ever truly be known.
1. This entry should be considered an introduction to the subject, and is certainly not intended to be all-inclusive or definitive. Other viewpoints of interest can be found through any search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
2. The text for the March 24, 1945 story in the Los Angeles Mirror is found at German Discs: UFO in the Third Reich.
3. The statement that Rudolf Lusar worked in the Reichs Patent office came from a source available at the time of the original posting of this piece in 2008, before it's current revision. Unfortunately, the backup material for this statement was lost several computer crashes ago, and can no longer be definitively sourced. If memory serves it came from the biographical portion of the dust jacket of the book itself. The crashed computers on which the backup material may reside are in storage, awaiting a hypothetical time in the future when they are resuscitated.
4. The Project Silverbug report can be found at CUFON.
5. A discussion of some of the principles behind Frost's design -- particularly the Coanda effect -- can be found in a charmingly illustrated Mechanix Illustrated piece titled How The Flying Saucer Works (at Scribd).
6. In commenting on Ron Williams account of Frost's purported investigation of flying saucer reports -- i.e., "there are no commonly known reports from Germany pre-1953 that are particularly remarkable" -- it is assumed that Frost's interest would have been in sightings featuring the aerodynamic characteristics of the reported "saucers" from witnesses such as pilots and engineers. There is, however, one remarkable report from Germany in that period which made the wire services in July, 1952...
Flying Disc, Crew, Seen By Red Refugees
BERLIN -- Western intelligence officials are investigating the claim of a Russian zone political refugee, the former mayor of an East German town in Thuringia, to have seen a flying saucer and two members of its crew on the ground at close range in a forest in the Russian zone, three miles from the border of the U.S. zone.
The mayor, Oskar Linke, who was forced to flee from Eastern Germany to escape Communist persecution, Wednesday sat in his emergency home in Berlin's British sector and quietly described his experience. He has been "screened" by intelligence officials.
Linke said: "It was an uncanny experience. I was returning home in the evening by motorcycle with my 11-year-old daughter in the side car when we glimpsed something shimmering white through the surrounding trees.
"We were in the neighborhood of Meiningen, a town in Thuringia. We crept through the undergowths, and to our amazement, saw a huge oval disk about 25 feet across lying on the ground in a clearing.
"It looked like a huge phosphorescent warming pan without a handle. In the center was a square contraption, a sort of upper works which rose about the 'saucer' like a top hat, and was slightly darker in color than the rest of the aluminum-like disk.
"Then, to our astonishment, we saw two figures who appeared to be wearing metallic overalls, approach the object.
"My daughter let out a scream when she saw them and the figures hastily entered it through a porthole on the top of the square upper works in the center.
"It was then that we noticed also that the disk had two rows of circular portholes around its edge, about the size of ship's portholes.
"As we looked the square upper works began to retract and simultaneously the object started to rise slowly off the ground.
"We both noticed that a similar square-shaped based was emerging out of the bottom of the disk and apparently forcing it off the ground.
"Then the object began to rise slowly into the air. It rose to about a hundred feet, hovered for a moment, and then spun away out of sight.
"There was hardly any sound as it rose, but the sides of the 'warming pan' glowed dark red and we felt a swish of air as it left the ground."
After seeing the "saucer," Linke wrote a description of it in the form of an eight-page eye-witness report, with diagrams drawn from memory. He hid the report for fear that the East German secret police would find it and arrest him as a spy.
"This has been the first chance I have had to mention the matter to anyone," he said.
"I was too frightened before."
His 11-year-old daughter confirmed the story in detail: I was so terrified I did not know what to do," she said. "Father told me I was not to mention it to anyone as long as we were in the Soviet zone as it would have meant our arrest."
Western intelligence officials refused to comment on the report until they had made further investigations.
Linke was a senior official of the East German Farmers' Association and was returning to his home from a meeting of the association when he made his flying saucer discovery.
6. Nick Cook suggests that the reported 1953 meeting of Frost with the "German engineer" may have been with Viktor Schauberger, but provides no source or reference for such a suggestion even though he had personally reviewed Schauberger's papers and further stated that "it was clear that Viktor Schauberger had documented every turn of his career in meticulous detail".
7. Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point is actually a very entertaining read when approached with the proper dose of discernment, giving some fascinating history on "black budget" programs in aviation as well as historical background on key individuals such as T. Townsend Brown. Cook's final suggestion in his research is not only was "anti-gravity" accomplished by the Germans, but that the same work also involved plans for a "time machine".
8. Unfortunately, breathless reporting of German work on "saucers" has also infected some mainstream publications which should know better. Such reports generally portray the CIA document which reprints the May, 1953 I Vrdayni article on Georg Klein as if it were a report by the CIA itself. Such errors are usually mirrored when dealing with the storied career of the Horten brothers, who were extensively investigated for any connection to the "flying saucer" phenomena by Air Force investigators in 1947 and 1950, resulting in the conclusion in both instances that the Horten brothers were not involved through their past or present activities.
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