By Kevin McClure
A MONTHLY COMMUNICATION
Digging up the pavement on the Road to Hell
Number 10/11 June 1998
Strange Investigation Phenomena
Let’s start this issue with some serious concerns about Strange Phenomena Investigations – SPI. This used to be Malcolm Robinson’s group, but now that he’s moved to pastures new in London, it appears that one Billy Devlin is running SPI Scotland, whereas Robinson is to start SPI England while continuing to play a major role in the Scottish group, too.
As many of you will be aware, last year I sent out a letter to BUFORA members titled BUFORA’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELFARE OF WITNESSES, in which I tried to sum up the problems and dangers caused by the use of regression hypnosis in ufology. Particularly, I commented on the degree to which regression had created belief in alien abduction where no real event had occurred, and on its use by BUFORA members, despite BUFORA’s clear and long-standing policy that the technique should not be used. That letter grew into issue 6 of AW.
I received some excellent, intelligent responses to what I had written. Most were supportive, a few were critical, but only one person saw fit to respond by writing and distributing – widely both in the UK and abroad – an ill-informed article recommending the use of regression hypnosis, titled Hypnosis, is it a reliable tool?. That person was Malcolm Robinson, who presented none of the extensive scientific, medical, legal and psychiatric sources which make it abundantly clear that hypnotic regression is not only useless but dangerous, but did make the specific claim that the hypnotist that he used in SPI investigations was qualified to undertake regression hypnosis, thus lending his use of the technique some respectability. He also insisted (see AW4) that “only qualified people are allowed near our witnesses”. Specifically, Robinson stated that in Hypnosis, is it a reliable tool? that
“I would now like to address some of Kevin McClure’s misinformed statements . . . He states that the A70 case was developed using (as he calls it) ‘amateur regression hypnosis’. Dear oh dear, why do people write things without checking their facts first? Although the regressionist concerned was also a psychic, she was/is a professional and qualified hypnotherapist, she was not a ‘fly by night practitioner’. She was qualified, end of story.”
Since then, despite a series of requests to do so, Robinson has failed to provide any evidence of the qualifications of ‘Helen Walters’, the psychic/hypnotist in question. So, I was greatly surprised by his much more recent statement in Strange Phenomena Scotland for March/April 1998, where he stated that “I’ll be sending Kevin all the relevant details soon”,. He went on to give the impression that what I was doing – debating the issue of the psychological welfare of witnesses on the basis of scientific and medical evidence – was a waste of his valuable time.
When I read this article, published under the editorship of the aforementioned Billy Devlin, I wrote to Devlin asking him to substantiate the statement, and provide me with details of the qualifications held by Helen Walters. More of that letter and Devlin’s reply in a moment, but a few days later Robinson phoned me, taking the wonderfully macho approach of asking if I was “man enough” to debate the hypnosis issue with him on the phone.
Well, yes, I was man enough, though a public debate appealed – and still appeals – much more. Once Robinson had got over his surprise that I didn’t believe the sad ramblings of David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins, we got to the issue of Helen Walters.
This is, perhaps, a good point to remind those of you who have been confused by a mistake in Fortean Times and a misapprehension by Eric Morris, that I am not a qualified social worker, but that fraud investigation was one of the jobs I’ve had while working in social security. Occasionally, the skills accrued then come in useful, and in due course I found out why Robinson had not responded to my requests for information. He couldn’t because, as he explained to me, and regardless of his much-publicised written statements
- he doesn’t know what qualification(s) – if any – Helen Walters has
- he has no proof that she has any qualification(s) at all, and
- when he asked her for details of the qualification(s) he may have believe(d) her to have, she refused to provide him with any information, on the grounds that such a request was an invasion of her privacy.
So much for, “Dear oh dear, why do people write things without checking their facts first?” There are only a few possible explanations for the contradiction between Robinson’s comment and the facts, and they centre round the question of whether he did check with Walters that she was a “professional and qualified hypnotherapist”. If he did check, why doesn’t he know what her qualifications are, and why won’t she tell him again? If he didn’t check, why has he repeatedly asserted that she was a “professional and qualified hypnotherapist”? Was this an attempt to mislead, or a basic mistake by an investigator who didn’t think to check the most basic facts before jumping to conclusions? Was it an attempt to cover-up for having allowed an unqualified and possibly completely inappropriate person to become involved in pseudo-medical procedures with vulnerable individuals who he had assured of her professional standing? Was it simply a desperate attempt to legitimise SPI’s continued dependence on a useless and dangerous procedure without which the abduction elements of the A70 case – which Robinson confirmed changed his own view from scepticism to belief – would never have existed?
I have offered Robinson the opportunity to explain himself in AW, and suggested that SPI should refrain from making use of Helen Walters until they have proof that she genuinely has meaningful, professional qualifications. Unfortunately, it appears that a lengthy period of consultation between Robinson, Devlin, and their committee has to be completed before these questions can be answered. Let’s hope no harm is done while their discussions take place. I’ll report back in due course.
Which brings us on to the plans and beliefs of Billy Devlin and SPI Scotland, the other extraordinary content of Strange Phenomena Scotland for March/April 1998, and one of the most disturbing rumours I’ve heard in years.
There has already been some debate among the Scottish UFO groups about SPI’s increasing determination to take its UFO message out to children. The group wants to continue to give talks in schools, and further involve children in its investigations. To quote Robinson
“SPI are thinking of setting up a junior section where we can advise and assist youngsters in their interests. If enough people are interested, we may hold classes for would be investigators, where we would learn from each other, organise field trips, and generally have fun with the subject”
He goes on to invite calls to the phone numbers published in the magazine.
So, children read the magazine (why else ask them to phone in?), and SPI wants to train them as investigators. Yet, at the heart of SPI’s investigations is a psychic/hypnotist who declines to reveal any qualifications she might have, and the organisation is run by two individuals who are totally convinced of her powers and, despite all the evidence, believe in her regression hypnosis as a first-line method of obtaining factually accurate but supposedly repressed ‘memories’ of complex abduction events for which there is no objective evidence. Walters also does a variety of mediumistic routines, and it is apparent that Devlin (“I actually saw what looked like an arm come out and take hold of Helen by the arm”) believes that he, too, possesses psychic powers.
The magazine offers readers – including the children – other disturbing delusions, too. In what appears to be an advert for ‘The Alien Abduction Helpline’ Devlin publishes, without comment, the claim that (apparently through the psychic channelling of Grahame Wyllie) “Josef of Aragon, head of one of the twenty four civilisations . . . is able to extend both physical and psychic protection to any individual who asks of their own free will.” Protection, that is, against abduction by aliens. I wonder what the Advertising Standards Authority would make of the accuracy of that explicit boast?
Similarly, Devlin advertises ‘Truthseekers Tayside’, whose advert could also prove deeply disturbing to any vulnerable person, including children. It makes wild assertions, for which there is no proof, about the existence and purpose of various kinds of ETs, and encourages distrust of government agencies, and belief that they have been “infiltrated” by “one or two insidious ET races”. I wonder what proof there is for the accuracy of these explicit claims? And then there is the ‘Alien Activity in America’ column, which asserts the power of aliens over human beings, the reality of child abduction, and claims that in one case the ‘alien activity’ led to suicide. What effect might these assertions have on a vulnerable child – or adult, for that matter – who was encouraged to believe them?
I wrote to Devlin asking what checks he had made of these claims, but he appears not to feel responsible for only publishing information that is factually true. I sent him copies of ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, from the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998), ‘Fading reveries: repressed-memory madness in the UK’, from The Lancet, June 6 1998, and Abduction Watch 6. Between them, these make a powerful case for never using regression hypnosis to attempt to ‘recover’ memories of traumatic events, and strongly discourage real professionals from doing so. Devlin’s reaction, among some ‘stream of consciousness’ drivel about my lack of “experience in the use of hypnosis” (why would I want to use hypnosis when it’s both useless and dangerous, Billy?) is to say
“I found the articles very interesting and you can be assured that I will consider them when I next have to use hypnosis”.
I really hope this doesn’t mean that Devlin himself is practising hypnosis. The use of the words “I next have to”, when he never actually has to at all, and when it would be advisable that he never should, certainly raises several questions.
In view of SPI’s commitment to involving children in its research, and its apparent lack of self-regulation, I wrote and explained to Devlin that, “should I hear that SPI, or any person acting on behalf of SPI, or with SPI’s encouragement or approval
- Has used any form of hypnosis or regression, or any other memory enhancement technique on a child
- Has in any way led or encouraged any child to believe that he or she, or any other child, has been sexually assaulted in any degree by a non-human being, or has supported a child in such a belief
- Has published any account asserting the fact of the abduction or assault by aliens of a child with whom SPI has had any form of contact , or
- Has instructed a child in the practice of hypnosis
I will bring the matter to the attention of the Director of Social Services for the appropriate county, and/or the Police, and/or the media, as appropriate.” As I will.
I’ll ignore the nasty little threats made by Devlin in response, because these people are abduction fundamentalists, who are convinced of the reality of alien abductions. Fundamentalists often turn nasty when their beliefs are challenged in any way, and it’s Devlin’s beliefs – rather than any real or tangible evidence – that I’m challenging here. However, a recent rumour concerning SPI’s possible approach to abductees only strengthens my determination to ensure that children are protected from its activities.
In Ron Halliday’s magazine Phenomenal News for Spring 1998, he publishes a report of a talk given by Gary Wood, one of the “A70 case” abductees, who had no recollection of a series of complex interactions with his alien abductors until he had been hypnotised and regressed by Helen Walters. It appears that he has been hypnotised a number of times, coming up with new material on each occasion. On one occasion, under hypnosis, he “saw”
“a naked woman, her eyes red with crying, trying to cover herself up. Gary couldn’t do anything to help her. She sat with her back to him. There was also a fat young girl of 9 or 10 with long hair and flabby dimpled skin.”
From his TV appearances Wood appears to be a pleasant and likeable person. If Walters really were professionally qualified in any area of therapy, and belonged to a professional body with a code of conduct and a disciplinary procedure, I doubt that her membership would survive this shambles. How was Wood led to come up with such a bleak, tragic image, feeling he should have helped this woman, but couldn’t do so. What is the child doing in this reverie? And why does regression hypnosis conducted by hypnotists well-versed in the abduction mythos repeatedly produce these scenes of sadistic sexuality?
The rumour in circulation is that SPI not only believes that the naked, crying woman and the fat girl of 9 or 10 are real people, but that they have considered looking for them in the Edinburgh area If this rumour is accurate – and I have no proof that it is, and I am not saying that it is, (I hope that, perhaps, SPI would have the grace to confirm or deny its accuracy) – then I would be grateful if everybody with contacts in the Scottish UFO scene could be alert to SPI claiming to have found this child ‘abductee’ or any other, and would keep me informed.
The alien explanation – a lazy solution to genuine mysteries
There have been three major UK ‘alien abduction’ cases: Aveley, Alan Godfrey and the ‘A70′ case. All three of these featured different, but intriguingly anomalous experiences reported by reasonable and credible people travelling in cars. Each, because of the use of regression hypnosis, ended up being explained away in a mush of alien visitation and abduction and all the junk that goes with it. It was this that changed the lives of each of the ‘experiencers’ involved, and not the experience they actually remembered. Because individuals with unprovable, subjective beliefs took over the direction of each of these cases, each has been given an ‘explanation’ in keeping with the beliefs of those individuals.
Which means that the real mystery in each case – the consciously-recalled, apparently real-life, real-world, real-time experience – has been largely forgotten in the rush to the all too common, now nearly standardised ‘alien explanation’. Because hypnosis is so easy, and the alien explanation so well-known and so readily accepted, we are probably missing out on the opportunity to investigate some really unusual events. I suggest that its many fans are actually saving the hard-line sceptics a lot of work. They are burying the genuine unknowns in the dross and detritus of alien abduction.
What brought this point home to me recently was reading through some draft material Robert Moore has prepared for a new BUFORA handbook. Well-informed about pre-abduction ufology, he set out with clarity many of the key issues that should have been considered in the Aveley, Godfrey and A70 cases, the issues of which competent investigators should all be aware. Moore’s thorough work reminded me that until hypnosis and the alien explanation became fashionable, intelligent, competent investigators were happy to work on reports of this kind for months or years, with great thoroughness. They usually found reasonable, if unusual solutions to the problems that the evidence presented, but that simply emphasised the importance of the few surviving unknowns. Now, few cases receive that sort of attention. Investigators skip the difficult stuff, call for the hypnotist, and then the experiencers’ problems begin.
It seems that the experiencers in all these cases really wanted no more than a rational explanation for what they consciously perceived had happened to them. I suspect that none of them needed the alien explanation they were given, and that their lives need not have been changed in the way that hypnotic regression has changed them. In addition to what we already know of the effect on the experiencers at Aveley, and on the A70, evidence has recently emerged in the Godfrey case which suggests that here, too, hypnosis and the alien explanation have led to nothing but confusion and, quite possibly, some degree of personal distress.
Issue 20 of the Newsletter of the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, published in April 1983, includes an article – hitherto, how shall I put it, somewhat overlooked – by the Society’s Chairman, Dr H B Gibson. Its title is ‘Hypnosis and Flying Saucers: A Case Study’.
The writer tells of being contacted by “a solicitor in a northern town . . a man of high intelligence, engaging personality and expensive tastes” who “asked me to come up to this town and hypnotise a policeman . . he . . wanted the policeman age regressed to a particular date to see what could be discovered about his experiences.” The writer was not keen to take the case on but “This policeman had been hypnotised twice by psychiatrists and some very strange facts had emerged: the psychiatrists had been convinced of the genuineness of what they appeared to have found out. But apparently this solicitor did not feel satisfied with what had apparently been produced and wished to secure the services of someone who might have a more scientific approach to investigation”.
The detail of the account of this attempt at regression hypnosis, and the personal issues that arose and are recounted here, are not mine to reveal. If I’m going to preach about witness confidentiality, I ought to practise it. Suffice it to say that the alien explanation found for this case appears to have been neither warranted nor helpful and that, in some way, the findings of this respected psychologist should be taken into account in assessing the overall significance and meaning of the case. Finally, it does make a clear point about the use of regression hypnosis. Notably, that even the solicitor who arranged it appeared to have had serious doubts about its accuracy in this case, and that it does not appear to have assisted the experiencer in dealing with what he consciously remembered about his experience. The weight of evidence arguing that hypnosis is useless and dangerous grows ever more compelling, supported from the least expected directions.
Bob Dean – an important article in ‘The Unopened Files’
You wouldn’t really expect me to commend articles that appear in ‘Quest International’ publications, but it seems that since Tony Dodd parted company with the Birdsalls, they feel free to publish much more balanced, investigative, even debunking material. There is still some wildly speculative stuff, but I’ll certainly keep buying both UFO Magazine and The Unopened Files while they include material like this.
Briefly, the article is the outcome of a long investigation at high military levels, conducted by Timothy Good and Admiral Lord Hill-Norton – neither of them sceptics in any way. This investigation has concluded that Master Sergeant Robert Dean – Bob Dean – did not, while posted to SHAPE from 1963 onwards, see a copy of a ‘Cosmic Top Secret’ document titled ‘An Assessment – An Evaluation of a Possible Military Threat to Allied Forces in Europe’. This document supposedly assessed the vast evidence of alien visitation and intervention on Earth, and Dean has been travelling the world talking about its contents for several years, featuring at conference after conference and accruing followers in many countries, not least the UK.
The reason that Good and Hill-Norton conclude that Dean did not see ‘The Assessment’ is simple. It never existed. An alleged copy of the front cover of the document is described as “not authentic”, and the document Dean provided describing his security clearance level at SHAPE as “Cosmic Top Secret (Ultra)” is described by Good as “patently bogus”. For Quest International to run this story, considering the extensive platform they have given to Dean in the past, shows some courage.
I mentioned in AW4 that Phil Klass had uncovered Dean’s service record, and that his role in SHAPE was actually that of ‘Chief Clerk Language Service Branch’. Obviously he would never have been given the level of security clearance he claimed, a level that Good and Hill-Norton have established never even existed. It now seems to be time for a number of magazine editors and authors to apologise for the inadequacy of the research and verification they exercised before printing Dean’s claims, and for us all to look more closely at these people who appear to remember more than it is likely that they ever knew. Wendelle Stevens and Clifford Stone are just two more individuals whose stories might benefit from similarly thorough investigation.
Nazi UFOs – more secrets than answers
I’m not a very political person. I tend to say what I mean, and I persistently fail to anticipate the tactics that people will use to protect what they perceive as their interests. Of course, when I started digging into the strange world of belief in ‘Nazi UFOs’ I was aware that this is an area of mixed motivations, and that I might, if my research undermined the accepted evidence, provoke some difficult reactions.
A few weeks ago I wrote and distributed my research in this area to date under the title Secrets or Lies (and there’s been a lot of research, hence the delay in producing this double issue). I’ve included an updated version below. Helpful and enterprising friends put it out in the right places on the Net and elsewhere, and I’ve had a marvellous response from researchers all over the world. As a result, I’m now even more persuaded than when I asked the questions in Secrets or Lies that whatever plans or drawings there may have been – and the evidence even for them is painfully thin – there is no persuasive evidence that any high-performance circular or spherical aircraft flew in Germany or its occupied territories during the Second World War. To say that the legends of Nazi UFOs are founded on sand is probably an insult to sand. Founded on popcorn is probably nearer to the truth.
This proposition may cause concern among a number of individuals and groups. It is clear that the concept of the existence of vastly superior German technology, demonstrated while Hitler was still alive and the Third Reich still unbeaten, is an issue of real importance to some people. It underpins a wide range of beliefs, all of which I suppose I will have to try and address. It can support the idea that the Germans could only have achieved those flights with alien help, or by back-engineering a crashed alien craft on the one hand. It can nurture the hope that post-war UFO sightings are evidence of Nazi UFO bases hidden in the Antarctic, where the Reich, and maybe Hitler too, lived on. It can be a profitable theory for some, like the German Research Project, the publishers of the video UFO Secrets of the Third Reich, the author WA Harbinson, and the writers of the increasing number of badly-researched recent articles on the subject in the UFO, New Age, and right-wing anti-NWO press.
It can also be used to argue the less exotic view that there is a proven line of secret aeronautical development from the wartime flying saucers and spheres, through many later saucer/UFO sightings, to the current ‘Flying Triangles’ and beyond. To quote Tim Matthews’ monograph ‘Secret History’ (widely available on the Net, and now in UFO News Issue One, available for £2 from 78, Greenall Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9)
“Surely it is to the military -industrial complex and not the heavens above that we should look for the origins of the flying saucer . . The case for man-made UFOs is stronger than ever whereas the evidence for ‘alien flying saucers’ is wholly untenable . . It is up to UFO researchers to reorient their thinking, to come to terms with man-made flying saucer reality and the ongoing cover-up relating to it . ”
Matthews has responded to me both personally and, in rather grumpier terms, on the Net. He’s concerned that I will debunk his book in Fortean Times (only if I’m asked, and only if it’s got bunk in it), thinks I’m devaluing his research by referring to the more lunatic fringe conclusions and sources as well as his own much better research in Secrets or Lies, and thinks that I’m wishing away the evidence he has presented because I’m a UFO sceptic, or something.
In a month or two I’ll deal with all the additional material that’s come in when I publish Secrets or Lies 2, but in view of the relatively narrow divide between Matthews’ current view (as I understand it) and my own, I think it’s worth clarifying the key point where I suspect that Matthews has gone beyond the evidence, and is depending on secondhand assertion to support his propositions. Recent suggestions that Robert Jungk’s Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and David Masters’ German Jet Genesis add to the weight of evidence are undermined by their containing no more proof than their Schreiver/Lusar antecedents, from which they simply seem to copy.
Simply, where I consider that the evidence for the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ is so improbable and self-contradictory that it is safest to presume that it neither existed nor flew, Matthews believes that Schrievers’s account of it is “a most credible story” and that researcher Bill Rose has, through “on-site research in Germany, Canada and America”, been able to confirm that movie film was taken of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ flight(s). He asserts that Rose has seen stills which he has no doubt are taken from that film and, essentially, that the standard legend of the personalities, research and development, and dismantling and dispersement of the technology relating to the February 14, 1945 flight of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ has been positively confirmed and is therefore true.
What is missing, however, is the checkable detail of precisely who Rose received this information from, how and where he made contact with them, how they established access to their material and knowledge, and why none of this information is in the public domain more than half a century after the alleged events occurred. To date, Matthews has not responded to my suggestions that the provenance and reliability of the information given to the undoubtedly competent and knowledgeable Bill Rose should be made known and thoroughly tested. Until Matthews or Rose allow us to look at this most vital piece of their jigsaw of information, I will find it hard to believe that they have established the complete picture. Virtually all the ‘Nazi UFO’ material to emerge in the past thirty years looks, to me, like junk. Rose’s information might just be the exception, but if it isn’t opened to inspection, or it isn’t resoundingly convincing, then I suggest that we really can write off the Schriever/Lusar accounts of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’, and, inevitably, all the accounts which derive directly from them.
Anyway, here’s a revised and updated version of Secrets or Lies. Any further information will be gratefully received.
SECRETS OR LIES? – investigating the Nazi UFO legends
by Kevin McClure (Version 2)
- a request for help with research
- a report on research so far
- a note of caution to those who have concluded that there is a continuous line of development from a world war II German technology involving the flight of high performance circular and spherical aircraft, to the stimuli for a wide range of aerial events that have been reported between the end of the war and now.
- a response to the information presented by Tim Matthews in his widely distributed report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!
I’m certainly not the first researcher to attempt to establish what is, and isn’t, true among the many claims made concerning the achievements of German wartime technology. I’m sure I won’t be the last. I’ll openly admit that I have a very limited understanding of any kind of technology, including aeronautical issues, and that I have to depend on others to assist me in that respect. But then, I suspect that much of the research that is necessary here deals with a mixture of history, belief, and disinformation. And I’m familiar with all of those.
I do hope to reach a reasonably firm conclusion to the question, at least so that if any further information on the subject comes to light, we can tell how it fits in, and whether it’s likely to be true. And it’s only fair that I admit to my current view. I’m not exactly open-minded, and on the basis of my research to date I’d like to suggest the following hypotheses as a starting-point -
- Prior to 1950, no claim was made of any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
- No contemporary documentary evidence (from before 1946) has been produced regarding any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
- The only sources of original information and evidence for the wide, circular ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ come from a brief newsagency report quoted in Der Spiegel in 1950, under the name of a “Captain Rudolph Schriever” (also possibly appearing at the same time in the Italian press), and from German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Major Rudolf Lusar, published in Germany in 1957, and in London and New York in 1959. Schriever seems to suggest that the craft did not progress beyond blueprint stage, but Lusar appears to have taken the ‘Schriever’ account, turned the planned speed and height figures into ones that had actually been achieved, changed some of the technical details, and added the vague, non-technical drawing of this supposed craft which has been reprinted in various contexts since.
I am not aware that Schreiver’s existence has ever been confirmed, and no proof has been produced to show that Lusar would have had direct access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about such a ‘flying disc’, which he claims “climbed to an altitude of 12,400m” “within three minutes”, “and reached a speed of 2,000 km.h”, on 14 February 1945. There is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with German encyclopedias, has found no mention of Lusar, or of any ‘Flying Disc’ with such a performance record.
- The only source of original information and evidence for the spherical craft described as feuerball and kugelblitz is the writer Renato Vesco, author of (the English title) Intercept – But Don’t Shoot, published in Italy in 1968 and in the USA in 1971, and of two other books in Italian. He was also the first to make the link between those alleged craft and various reports of light anomalies during the war, suggesting that they were the cause of the ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon. No proof has been produced to show how or why Vesco would have had access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about these flying spheres, and there is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims for feuerball and kugelblitz have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with Italian encyclopedias, has found no mention of Vesco, or the feuerball and kugelblitz.
- It is highly probable that the kugelblitz (fireball/ball lightning), which Vesco, first, and many others since have believed to be an aircraft, circular or spherical, tested early in 1945, was actually an anti-tank gun. Two prototypes of a weapon of this name were, it seems, tested early in 1945. (Source German Tanks of World War II in Action by George Forty)
- There is no contemporary (pre-1946), or other, documentary proof of any kind for the existence or flight, during the war, or at any other time, of the unconventional ‘flying saucer’ craft known as Vril and Haunebu. The material suggesting that these craft, and the related methods of propulsion, existed appears to have made its first appearance some 40 years after the war. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war has found no mention of Vril or Haunebu.
- Schriever and Lusar make no mention of the feuerball and kugelblitz. Vesco makes no mention of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’. Neither Lusar nor Vesco mention the Vril or Haunebu craft.
Do you know more – or better?
None of the hypotheses set out above are final conclusions. I want them to be discussed, and if evidence emerges to prove any of them wrong, or to improve our understanding of this subject in any way, it will be included in Secrets or Lies 2, which I hope to put out in 3 months or so from now. However, they do have a particular context, which needs explaining.
For some reason, a number of writers have recently placed new articles about ‘Nazi UFOs’ in the UFO media. The first of these that I came across was by UK researcher Tim Matthews, whose article ‘The New Ufology’ in Sightings magazine, Vol.2 No 7 depended heavily on ‘Nazi UFO’ material taken from the Net, which I recognised from a little research I’d done several years ago. Since then, I understand that Matthews has written a book called UFO Revelation, to be published by Blandford in 1998, which will make substantial use of the supposed reality of German wartime technology. He has also – as many of you will be aware – published on the Net (and graciously sent me a hard copy) a report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!
While I am responding particularly to Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!, this is certainly not the only material to have been produced recently. UFO Magazine, Alien Encounters (twice), The Probe and Atlantis Rising have also published lengthy pieces which include a variety of theories, including the one that the Nazi UFOs were actually back-engineered from an alien craft that crashed in Poland in 1938, and was appropriated by the Germans when they invaded. Corso’s Day After Roswell seems to suggest that the German technological advances were so great that they may have had ‘help’. Nick Redfern’s FBI Files expresses an acceptance, at least, of the ‘Nazi UFO’ hypothesis on a similar basis. Without exception, all of these pieces, and the arguments on which they are based, depend on the assumption that successful flight(s) by high performance circular and/or spherical aircraft took place in Germany during the war. If the available evidence is insufficient to reasonably conclude that those flights did not take place, then we should be concluding that all those pieces, all those arguments, are deeply flawed. The same point applies to W A Harbinson’s Genesis/Projekt UFO material, which has been widely accepted as authoritative until now.
A number of questions need answering in order to progress this research. Any help you can give with any of them will be greatly appreciated. They also suggest some of the areas I believe require consideration before anyone concludes that there really were any ‘Nazi UFOs’.
- Any search on the Net using the key words ‘Nazi UFOs’ or similar will produce several items by “Al Pinto” or “Tal”, apparently “Sponsored by Vangard Sciences, PO Box 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150, USA”. At first sight the extensive information given on these sites appears factual and well-researched, and apparently quotes an article written by Vesco for Argosy Magazine, August 1969, which goes some way beyond what is included in Intercept. Additional material re Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger is added to quotes from Vesco and Lusar, particularly a claim that Schauberger had developed the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ at Malthausen Concentration Camp, using prisoners to do the work. Who are “Al Pinto” and “Tal”, and what is “Vangard Sciences”?
- What genuine, provable, biographical information is available for Renato Vesco? Pinto states that
“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.”
However, on the cover of Intercept – But Don’t Shoot is the unambiguous statement 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.”
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 Schreiver or Lusar 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?
- Similar questions arise about Lusar. He is never more than vaguely described, sometimes as being involved in the wartime German Ministry of Propaganda, and elsewhere as being in the Patent Office. However, he was only a Major, and it seems likely that the material in his book was all, by 1957, available to those who went to look for it. Is there any convincing biographical information available about Lusar that suggests that he had any special access to information about the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’?
- Is there any convincing biographical information of any kind about Captain Rudolph Schriever to confirm that given in the Der Spiegel report? He was said to have been a former Luftwaffe Captain, born in 1909 or 1910, and a graduate of Prague University. He is also said to have been an aircraft designer whose blueprints for a “flying top” were stolen from his laboratory before Germany’s collapse. In 1950 he was a US Army Driver at Bremerhaven. If all these claims are true, I suspect that it should be possible to trace Schriever, and to establish whether he really worked with the others near Prague in 1944 and 1945 on the development of a ‘Nazi UFO’.
- Is there any convincing biographical material at all about “Habermohl” that suggests that he was the Klaus Habermohl who “designed the first radial-flow engine”, and which places him with the team near Prague in 1944/45?
- Is there any biographical information at all to suggest that “the Italian Bellonzo” referred to by Lusar is, as asserted by Matthews, the same person as “Guiseppe Belluzzo”, who Maurizio Verga has said was a “turbine expert who had been working upon various circular craft from 1942.”
- The link between German spherical craft and the ‘foo fighter’ stories appears to have been made first by Vesco in 1969. Generally, the ‘foo fighter’ stories referred to lights and not to solid objects, but Vesco produced a handful of very detailed accounts (including reported conversations between the pilots involved!) which have formed the basis of most modern accounts of this phenomenon. I have a strong suspicion that in order to find these accounts Vesco looked no further than contemporary popular magazines such as Ray Palmer’s essentially fictitious Amazing Stories. The issue for May 1946 has been mentioned. Has anybody else looked at this issue, and come up with any answers? I intend to deal with ‘foo fighters’ in detail in Secrets or Lies 2.
- Has anybody ever seen a copy of the supposed magazine/newsletter Brisant, which is used to introduce Harbinson’s book Projekt UFO? Henry Stephens’ ‘German Research Project’ sales list claims that “Harbinson’s publisher lost his copy of Brisant, no complete copy has been located”. All that is usually published from it is a supposed drawing of a plan of a flying saucer, to quote Harbinson “altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication”. I’ll be putting this point directly to Harbinson’s publisher, but is there any convincing evidence at all that Brisant, including the drawing, was anything other than a work of imagination produced more than 30 years after the war?
- Has anyone, previously, suggested that the AP release of December 1944 about the Germans having “a secret weapon in keeping with the Christmas season” which “resembles the glass balls which adorn Christmas trees”, “are coloured silver and are apparently transparent”, and “have been seen hanging in the air over German territory, sometimes singly, sometimes in clusters”, was actually a light-hearted bit of fun designed for Christmas? The phenomenon described certainly doesn’t bear any resemblance at all to the ‘foo fighter’ reports.
More important, this item apparently appeared in the South Wales Argus for 13 December 1944 and the New York Herald Tribune for 2 January 1945. Any competent historian will be aware that in wartime, censorship ensures that the existence of mysterious, enemy secret weapons is not announced by AP, and published openly by the newspapers of combatant nations. Mainstream history has taken no notice of these reports, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I suggest they were no more than reprints of a slight, seasonal joke.
Conclusion, and a search for reference material
As I have said, this document is just a starting-point. To be able to pursue this subject further much more reference material is needed, and I’ll set out a few items which, if you can provide copies of them, would be really helpful. I can pay a bit, but loans or photocopies would be hugely appreciated! The following items come to mind . . .
- American Legion Magazine, Dec 1945(?) re foo fighters
- Ray Palmer’s Amazing Stories – any issue referring to foo fighters
- Terziski, Vladimir – Close Encounters of the Kugelblitz Kind (book)
- Michael X – The German Saucer Story (book)
Thanks are due to David Sivier, Dave Newton, Peter Brookesmith, Peter Williams, Wayne Spencer, Andy Roberts, Peter Rogerson, Eugene Doherty, Hilary Evans, Martin Kottmeyer and James Moseley, for their help and advice in getting this far.
Updates, and an intriguing possibility
Well, the regressionist doctor in the ‘Alison’s Balloon’ case didn’t respond to my second letter. I sent him, too, a copy of the lengthy article ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, from the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998), so that he is clear about the current professional view of using hypnotic regression to recover memories of traumatic events. I also asked him to confirm, in view of the RCP warnings, that he would never use the technique in the context of a supposed UFO case again. Let’s hope that he is, at least, inhibited from undertaking such a procedure again. I’ll write to the GMC on this issue as soon as I have time.
Silence, too, from the publisher Headline (who had sent a holding letter promising an informed response), and investigator Tony Dodd about the serious discrepancies between the two accounts of the ‘Jason’ case. It seems that neither is willing to have the evidence examined or tested by any person other than those involved in the creation of the book. As we can’t tell which version – if either – is true, I suggest that we might just as well ignore this wretched book, and spare a thought for Jason from time to time. Perhaps the apparent marginalisation of Tony Dodd within UK ufology will reduce the chances of this scenario occurring again in future.
And silence, as well, from Remote Viewer and self-publicist Tim Rifat, who I asked for objective evidence of his supposedly far-reaching powers, offering to put him in touch with scientists who would be only too happy to run the appropriate tests. I suspect that there is no independent proof whatsoever available of Rifat’s claims of positively superhuman powers, which underpin his well-documented attempts to make substantial sums of money, so I was intrigued when, a couple of days ago, I came across a copy of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951. I’ve had little time to research this yet, but it still appears to be ‘in force’ – that is, I don’t think it’s been repealed – and it seems, interestingly, to apply in Scotland. Section 1 of the Act provides that
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person who -
(a) with intent to deceive purports to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise any powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers, or
(b) in purporting to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise such powers as aforesaid, uses any fraudulent device.
shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under the foregoing subsection unless it is proved that he acted for reward; and for the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to act for reward if any money is paid, or other valuable thing given, in respect of what he does, whether to him or to any other person.
Subsections (3) and (4) provide for fines and periods of imprisonment on conviction. This definition of “powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers” interests me greatly with regard to RV, though we clearly have no evidence, as yet, to suggest that any of the supposed Remote Viewers cannot do all the wonderful things that they claim. I’m sure we can anticipate a convincing, and testable, demonstration of their many remarkable skills in the near future.