More Lies than Secrets: Investigating ‘Nazi UFO’ Legends. Kevin McClure

- continuing an investigation into the Nazi UFO legends

by Kevin McClure

Last year I published a paper, ‘Secrets or Lies – investigating the Nazi UFO legends’. If you missed it, please have a search on the Net: it’s out there somewhere, though I’m not on-line myself, and can only be contacted by post. Anyway, I promised at the time that I’d produce a follow-up, summarising the results I’d obtained, and th responses I’d received. Because the responses have been so many, so wide-ranging, and in many instances so vast, it’s taken till now to put this second episode together. I hope it’s of interest, and that it won’t be so long before the almost inevitable third one comes along!

On the basis of the evidence that I now have, all three of the main blocks of material that support the reality of German wartime flying discs, and the authorities used to support them, are open to severe criticism. These are

  1. The Feuerball and Kugelblitz weapons allegedly made, tested and used by the Germans during the course of the war, as described by Italian writer Renato Vesco.
  2. The Schreiver/Miethe/Habermohl/Bellonzo (or Belluzzo) Flying Disc (and constructions by various combinations of those names) as described by Major Rudolph Lusar and supported by Tim Matthews, and many others.
  3. The ever more outlandish claims for the reality of the supposed Vril and Haunebu battlecraft and spacecraft, and the publication Brisant. Particular supporters of these claims include Vladimir Terziski, Henry Stephens, Mike Schratt, Wendelle Stevens, Len Kasten and James Hurtak, and an increasing number of others. 
RENATO VESCO – Feuerball and KugelblitzIn ‘Secrets or Lies’ I raised what I saw as key questions about Vesco, who has been the source for many later writers. I asked, “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?”

Thanks to the highly-respected Italian researchers Maurizio Verga and Eduardo Russo, and a copy of the ‘Argosy’ article, we now have clear answers to these questions: they both know Vesco personally. As Verga says:

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

Having found out that Vesco had nothing of the authority we might have imagined from some of his publicity, it’s worth looking carefully at the information he has given us about the supposed Feuerball and Kugelblitz, as set out in the paperback version of ‘Intercept UFO’.

“another center, run by Speer and the S.S. Technical General Staff, had adopted the idea of employing “proximity radio interference” on the very much more delicate and hence more vulnerable electronic apparatuses of the American night fighters . .

Thus a highly original flying machine was born; it was circular and armored, more or less resembling the shell of a tortoise, and was powered by a special turbojet engine, also flat and circular, whose principles of operation recalled the well-known aeolipile of Hero, which generated a great halo of luminous flames. Hence it was named Feuerball (Fireball). It was unarmed and pilotless. Radio-controlled at the moment of take-off, it then automatically followed enemy aircraft (only enemy – how did it know?), attracted by their exhaust flames, and approached close enough without collision to wreck their radio gear.

The fiery halo around its perimeter – caused by a very rich fuel mixture – and the chemical additives that interrupted the flow of electricity by overionising the atmosphere in the vicinity of the plane, generally around the wing tips or tail surfaces, subjected the H2S radar on the plane to the action of powerful electrostatic fields and electromagnetic impulses (the latter generated by large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and antiheat armor). Since a metal arc carrying an oscillating current of the proper frequency – equal, that is, to the frequency used by the radar station – can cancel the blips (return signals from the target), the Feuerball was almost undetectable by the most powerful American radar of the time, despite its nighttime visibility.

In addition, the builders of the device hoped – and their hopes were fulfilled – that when the Allied flyers, not knowing their nature or purpose, noticed that the fiery balls were apparently harmless, they would not fire on these enormous-looking (because of their large halos of fire) “inoffensive” devices for fear of being caught in some gigantic explosion. More than one, in fact, as they fearfully watched those huge lights close in, the American pilots thought that some German technician on the ground was perhaps getting ready to push a button and cause the Foo Fighter to explode.

Project Feuerball was first constructed at the aeronautical establishment at Wiener Neustadt, with the help of the Fluggfunk Forschungsanstalt of Oberpfaddenhoffen (F.F.O.) in so far as radio control of the missile was concerned (but was it really a missile?) One person who saw the first short test flights of the device, without its electrical gear, says that “during the day it looked like a shining disc spinning on its axis and during the night it looked like a burning globe”.

Hermann Goring inspected the progress of the work a number of times, for he hoped, as in fact happened, that the mechanical principle could also later be used to produce an offensive weapon capable of revolutionising the whole field of aerial warfare.

When the Russians began to press on toward Austria, the construction of the first Fireballs was apparently continued by a number of underground plants in the Schwarzwald that were run by the Zeppelin Werke. The klystron tubes were supplied by the section of the Forschungsanstalt der Deutschen Reichpost (F.D.R.P.) of Aach bei Radolfzell on Lake Constance, and later also by the F.D.R.P. section of Gehlberg, whose products, however, were not as perfect as those delivered by the F.D.R.P., a fact that caused a number of Fireballs to be used simultaneously in formation.”

Expressly identifying the reports of aerial lights known in some parts of the US Air Force as ‘foo fighters’ as being evidence of the amazing, hitherto and hereafter unheard of secret weapon he called the Feuerball, Vesco sets out some more technical details

“The Foo Fighters did contain a strong explosive charge to destroy them in flight in case serious damage to the automatic guidance system made it impossible for the operators to control it. It seems, however, that during the time they were last seen, at least one American flyer opened fire on a Foo Fighter from a safe distance without succeeding in shooting it down, although he had it well within his sights. A convincing detail, this, especially in view of the fact that under the armored covering of the Foo Fighters there was a thin sheet of aluminum attached to it (but electrically insulated) that acted as a switch. When a bullet pierced the outer covering, contact between the two sheets was established and the consequent closing of the circuit that operated the maximum acceleration device of the craft (generally in a vertical direction) caused the Foo Fighter to fly off, taking it out of the range of further enemy fire.”

Now and then, Vesco includes references which support his claims, but he never does so with regard to the Feuerball. Let’s analyse what he is actually saying here, and what sense (if any) it makes, because, thanks to Vesco, and Vesco alone, we know that this device designed to achieve “proximity radio interference”

  • was circular and armored, more or less resembling the shell of a tortoise
  • was “enormous-looking”
  • was unarmed and pilotless.
  • was radio-controlled at the moment of take-of
  • “automatically” followed enemy aircraft, attracted by their exhaust flames,
  • approached close enough to the enemy aircraft, without collision, to wreck their radio gear.
  • carried large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and antiheat armor
  • could be used simultaneously in formation with other feuerballs
  • contained a strong explosive charge to destroy it in flight in case serious damage to the automatic guidance system made it impossible for the operators to control it
  • had under its armored covering a thin sheet of aluminum attached to it (but electrically insulated) that acted as a switch. When a bullet pierced the outer covering, contact between the two sheets was established and the consequent closing of the circuit that operated the maximum acceleration device of the craft (generally in a vertical direction) caused it to fly off, taking it out of the range of further enemy fire
  • had chemical additives (in its fuel?) that interrupted the flow of electricity by overionising the atmosphere in the vicinity of the plane, generally around the wing tips or tail surfaces, subjecting the H2S radar on the plane to the action of powerful electrostatic fields and electromagnetic impulses, making it almost undetectable by the most powerful American radar of the time

I don’t want to labour the point here – we could go on for a long time making fun of this rubbish – but this is not a description of anything real. We aren’t told what its actual size was. We know that it had no wings, but that it did carry a powerful engine, two layers of metal to protect it and trigger its escape when hit, liquid fuel (lots of it, presumably), large klystron radio tubes protected with special antishock and antiheat armor, a strong explosive charge, radio control equipment, and the absolutely mysterious devices which interfered with radio transmissions and made it nearly invisible to radar. It must, therefore, have been a dense, heavy, tortoise-shaped package. We can only speculate how it developed the lift not only to reach heights of 10,000 to 25,000 feet (the range within which bombing raids usually took place), at speeds in excess of 200mph just to follow the bombers, and faster to accelerate away from them.

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

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

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

Unless strong and reliable evidence appears to the contrary, I think we can dismiss the feuerball – and its even less defined relative the kugelblitz, to which Vesco mistakenly gave the name of a flak panzer in development early in 1945 – as objects that never had any physical reality, and were probably never even designed. The false and apparently deceptive biographical information provided by Vesco’s various publishers has succeeded in misleading many later writers and researchers, and in providing support for the false claims of others. It turns out that he was a man with an interest in man-made UFOs, who was strongly opposed to the extra-terrestrial hypothesis (ETH), used to explain many early ‘flying saucer’ sightings. He provides, in the feuerball and kugelblitz accounts given in a book we now know was completed by 1956, what sounds like a convincing hypothesis for explaining away, without the involvement of spacemen and interplanetary travel, the very ‘physical’ sightings and photographs of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Because Vesco’s first book (the only one of interest to us here) was completed in 1956, before the earliest version of Lusar’s book appeared, and because Lusar’s book was published long before the actual publication of Vesco’s first book in 1969, we shouldn’t be surprised that their two theories of German flying saucers are entirely exclusive: Lusar doesn’t mention Vesco’s feuerball and kugelblitz, and Vesco has clearly never heard of Lusar’s SMBH disk. There isn’t even a mystery here. There just isn’t anything at all!

THE ‘SAUCER-BUILDERS’ :the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’

In ‘Secrets or Lies’ I commented that:

“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.”

Thanks to the efforts of various correspondents I’ve been shown to be considerably under-informed in this respect. Actually, there are several sources for the supposed reality of actual, flying, wartime discs, but I suspect that their claims belong in the history of flying saucers, and not in the history of aeronautical technology. Let me explain what I mean.

The first ten years after the Arnold sightings in 1947 saw the growth of an interest in physical flying saucers that we can hardly understand now, plagued as we are by more psychological tales of abduction and ancient gods. Then, the search for an explanation generally started from the premise that what had been seen – and a lot of shiny, revolving flying-saucerish things were reported as really having been seen – were physically real. On that basis the choice was whether they were terrestrial or extra-terrestrial, and for those who weren’t prepared to believe in the reality of extra-terrestrial craft and their extra-terrestrial occupants, there was a further choice – were they friends or enemies, US or Soviet? And how could anyone tell?

Into this series of choices a further element was introduced: the concept that the craft being seen – particularly, then, in both North and South America – had their origins in German wartime technology. Either by way of being produced from hardware and designs, or by designers, that had been brought to the political West or East at the end of the war. Or, even, because they were being manufactured and flown by surviving Nazis who had decamped from Europe to South America or Antarctica by plane or submarine, and were now living in colonies where their technological developments had continued. Still within a decade of the end of a war which had repeatedly thrown up rumours – particularly vindicated with regard to rocket technology in the form of the V-1 and V-2 – of the secret weapons being developed by the Germans, such claims were relatively credible, and were made on a number of occasions. Rather as people now are so desperate to find non-paranormal ‘explanations’ for UFO phenomena that they will even resort to ‘earthlights’ and ‘electrical pollution’ as alternatives so, then, the idea of secret craft based on German technology seemed quite feasible.

Because Lusar can be reasonably identified as the person who first brought together random names to create, in print at least, the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’, it seems sensible to look at claims of German flying disc technology made before the first appearance of Lusar’s book, apparently in 1957. I now know of several such claims, made in newspapers and magazines, and I imagine that there are more. It could well be worth looking for reports in the South American newspapers for the first half of the ’50s. I hope to obtain copies of more of these before the next round of ‘Secrets or Lies’, and to get them properly translated so that we can rely on the detail in them. But some points are already clear: no two of these accounts are wholly consistent as to names, places, dates, or anything much else, and all are told for one (or both) of two purposes – to glorify the achievements of Nazi scientists by claiming that they were responsible for technology beyond even professional comprehension, and to make their own mark on history.

So far I have read, or know of, accounts given between 1950 and 1957 by Schreiver, Belluzzo and Richard Miethe, three of the four engineers supposedly responsible for Lusar’s ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’. They give different information, take the lead in being responsible for what was achieved, and none of them state they worked with the other three. Other – and also contradictory – claims were made during the same period by a Georg Klein and a Hermann Klaas, and there is a rumour of a single account from 1947, too – post Kenneth Arnold, of course. Essentially, all claim to have been responsible for an assortment of different disc programmes, at a variety of different locations, testing and flying their different discs. There are later, similar claims, too. We need to put these together and compare them, but one fact is, now, glaringly obvious: not a single claim or report of the existence of a German flying disc dates from before flying saucers had become a popular obsession – or before they had actually been named ‘flying saucers’. It seems that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to claim that you’re a rocket scientist.

I made the point previously that I have a real problem with the fact that there is no conventional historical record for any German wartime disc, or for the scientists and engineers who identified themselves as having made them. For “Klaus Habermohl” we have no information at all apart from his supposed involvement in the early 1930s in developing the “radial-flow jet engine”. I have seen nothing to even place him in Germany, or anywhere else, during the war, let alone identify him as working on a flying disc with his imaginary friends.

The first that we hear of the supposed Flugkapitan Schriever is in 1950, when he was working for the US Forces in Germany, delivering copies of the newspaper ‘Stars and Stripes’ to army bases. Though Terziski tries to find some glamour in this job, suggesting it was a cover for smuggling valuables of various kinds for some Nazi underground, it argues strongly against those who refer to the success of Operation Paperclip and the active intervention of the Soviets in securing the services of former rocket and disc scientists. If Schreiver really was the designer, engineer and, it seems, test pilot of a successful disc, then what the heck was he doing driving a lorry, and popping up in the press only when he wanted to seek some publicity for himself? If what he was saying was in any degree true, then surely one side or the other would have snapped him up like a shot.

Most peculiar – and perhaps unusually significant – is the situation regarding “Miethe”. Tim Matthews, in his generally excellent book ‘UFO Revelation’, refers to the

“three years of painstaking research by UK astronomy, aviation and photographic specialist Bill Rose, which included on-site research in Germany, Canada and the USA . . he was able to discover that Dr Walter (?) Miethe who all sources (eh?) agree was involved with Schriever, Klaus Habermohl and Guiseppe Belluzzo (an Italian engineer) had been the director of the saucer programme at two facilities located outside Prague. In May 1945, after testing of the prototype had taken place, both Miethe and Schriever were able to flee in the direction of allied forces .

Rose learned not only that test-flights had taken place but that there was film footage of them . . Rose was shown some stills taken from the original 16mm film and, given his expert photo-technical background, concluded, after careful consideration, that this was probably real and historical footage . .

We know a little more about Dr Miethe. One of the important pieces of information came in the form of a rare group photograph showing various young German scientists in 1933. The photograph shows Werner von Braun and Walter Miethe (or Richard Miethe – different sources mention different first names). It would seem that these two knew each other well”

I’ve recently spoken to Tim Matthews, a researcher who is always open, straightforward, and more than willing to share his findings: an unusual attitude these days. I understand that Bill Rose actually made contact with the person who provide him with the information, the photo of von Braun, Miethe and others, and sight of the ‘test-flight’ stills, after placing adverts in the aviation press stating his interests. He went to see an elderly man in West Germany, who wanted to give him information though his daughter did not approve. This man had, supposedly, been one of the last German pilots to fly out of Prague, and knew about the test-flight, the film of it, and that it was securely stored. I don’t know what name he gave, or whether he provided sufficient detail to Rose for military records to be checked. It certainly seems odd that someone who seems to have worked for or with ‘Miethe’ didn’t even know his first name, and I am now aware that, in 1993 – 94 (before, I think, Rose’s visit to West Germany) Vladimir Terziski, responsible for the German-funded video ‘UFO Secrets of the Third Reich’ was offering, for sale, film and video of supposed German saucers in flight.

There is an interview with a “Dr Richard Miethe”, ‘German aeronautical engineer’ and ‘ex-Colonel’, in France-Soir for 7 June 1952. I only have a transcript, in French, but apparently the paper also published a photo of Dr Miethe in his swimming trunks: it would be interesting to compare that photo with the one given to Rose, which appears in Tim’s book ‘UFO Revelation’.

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

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

This is, of course, a very different tale to that confirmed to Bill Rose. And it may be that there were two men called Miethe building flying discs in Germany in the last two years of the war, who went very different ways when it ended. It may be that the person who gave the interview was making it all up: I think he probably was, using elements from other, earlier accounts.

Rose and Matthews claim that Miethe worked with von Braun in 1933, and that the photo provided by the person who responded to Rose’s advert shows them together with other rocket scientists in that year. Fortunately, this is a well-researched and well-recorded period of history, and it should be no more difficult to find records of Miethe than it is that of von Braun. Indeed, von Braun was born in 1912 and if Miethe was 40 in 1952, they should have been absolute contemporaries. One book I recently found covers this period, and von Braun’s activities, in detail, as well as detailing rocket and ‘secret weapon’ development right through to the end of the war: this is ‘The Rocket and the Reich’ by Michael J Neufeld (Harvard, 1995), but it makes no mention at all of Miethe (Walter or Richard), Habermohl, Schreiver, or Belluzzo/Bellonzo, who supposedly built Lusar’s amazing flying disc, or even of Georg Klein or Hermann Klaas. Nor, for that matter, does Philip Henshall in ‘Vengeance – Hitler’s Nuclear Weapon Fact or Fiction’ (Alan Sutton, 1995) which covers a similar range in rather less detail. You might think that these people never existed or that, if they did, they played no part in the development of any German flying disc. And if none of them made a flying disc (or two, or several, or whatever) then it is highly unlikely that anyone ever did at all. The claims made by Matthews and Rose allow us to test the existence of Miethe at a real time, in a real place: he would seem to fail that test totally.

WORKS OF IMAGINATION – Vril, Haunebu, Projekt Saucer and other nonsense

Len Kasten

The incidence of disinformation with relation to Nazi achievements in general, and flying discs in particular, is high. Here’s some parts of an article by “Len Kasten” (information, anybody?) from the New Age glossy ‘Atlantis Rising’ – as usual, he adopts Vesco as an authority, and introduces Viktor Schauberger, an icon of pseudo-science who I’ll be looking at in due course, into the myth

“The more important anti-gravity weapons research was carried on near Prague primarily by Viktor Schauberger and Richard Miethe. In 1944 Miethe, in cooperation with the Italians, developed the large helium powered V-7 and the small one-man Vril models which achieved a speed of 2,900 km/hr in flight tests . . Captain Hans Kohler developed the Hanibu 2 with a diameter of 25 metres which carried a complete flight crew and was powered by a simple electrogravitation motor called the Kohler Converter . .

Building on Vesco’s claims, Kasten describes the (totally fictional?) Kugelblitz as being an “explosive gas weapon”, and having

“a 50-50 mixture of butane and propane, which was ignited by the exhaust of the bombers . . direct gyroscopic stabilisation, television-controlled flight, vertical take-off and landing, jam-free radio control combined with radar blinding, infrared search ‘eyes’, electrostatic weapon firing, hyper-combustible gas combined with a total reaction turbine, and last, but not least, anti-gravity flight technology. This was the incredible Kugelblitz or ‘lightning ball’. If it had emerged even six months earlier, could the war have turned out differently? We will never know, because by this time the Allied armies were rapidly converging on Berlin. So the Kugelblitz puffed out a formation of bombers, and flew off into history – or did it?”

Henry Stephens

In very similar vein is a feature by Henry Stephens of the German Research Project in ‘The Probe’. Referring to the work supposedly done on a flying disc by A.V. Roe in Canada, he claims that one of the recorded contributors to the project is shown as “Miethe-Designer 1950(?)” Spinning off into the realms of imagination, Stephens says

“The reference is obviously about Dr Heinrich (Heinrich? How many names does this man have?) Richard Miethe, who was the designer and builder of the wartime German saucer project, the V-7. Dr Miethe worked during the war at a German facility in Breslau, now part of modern Poland. After the war, he was recruited by the Americans and Canadians to recapitulate his earlier work for Germany in America . . Renato Vesco, an Italian engineer who worked with the Germans during the war and who afterwards held a cabinet position with the Italian government, states that Kahla was the location where a turbo-jet powered German saucer lifted off in its maiden flight in February of 1945. Vesco later wrote a book about his experiences, originally titled ‘Intercept but Don’t Shoot’”

Actually, for all his wild speculation, Vesco never claimed that he was writing from his own experience, but details like that simply don’t bother Stephens, as he spirals off into wild assertions about German free energy, atom bombs, Vril, Haunebu, Tesla, Montauk, the New World Order and the rest. And all this from the man whose mail-order business makes him one of the most influential figures in this strange field.Vladimir Terziski

At the end of ‘Secrets or Lies’, I asked for help in finding a number of references. Amazingly, almost all of these turned up from one place or another, but one of the few that didn’t was Vladimir Terziski’s book, probably from 1993, ‘Close Encounters of the Kugelblitz Kind’. However, I do have a fair amount of material written or organised by Terziski, including a chapter titled ‘Nazi UFOs’ in Brad Steiger’s 1994 pot-boiler ‘The Rainbow Conspiracy’, the video documentary ‘UFO Secrets of the Third Reich’, which I understand was Terziski’s brainchild, the edition of ‘From Beyond’ on the same subject – and using much of the same footage – in which Terziski actually appears, and a number of statements and an interview from the Net. With wonderful stupidity he describes Renato Vesco as “the Italian Wernher von Braun, the research scientist in charge of the Italian Air Force and Space Research and Development program during the war”, which says much for the thoroughness of his research.

Terziski claims to be the:

“President, American Academy of Dissident Sciences, 10970 Ashton Ave. #310, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. When I wrote to the Academy asking for further information, my letter was returned, the Academy not being known at the address. He also claims that he is “a Bulgarian born engineer and physicist, graduated Cum Laude from the Master of Science program of Tokai University in Tokyo in 1980. Served as a solar energy researcher, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, before immigrating to the US in 1984.”

It would be interesting to know the extent of the truth of these claims, because both scientific facts and principles seem to lie in ruins if what he says about Nazi UFOs is true. I apologise for the length of the following quote from the posting ‘Half a Century of the German Moon Base 1942 – 1992′. I wouldn’t usually give so much space to such nonsense, but his video ‘documentaries’ and his contacts with, and use of, other commentators like ‘Professor’ James Hurtak, Wendelle Stevens and Henry Stephens have given Terziski an influential position in the ‘weren’t Nazis wonderful’ strand of disinformation, and has clearly done more than anyone else to talk up the Vril and Haunebu myths. And he’s done it very efficiently, too. This material amounts to another form of Revisionism, in which the Nazis won in the end.

“The Germans landed on the Moon as early as probably 1942, utilizing their larger exoatmospheric rocket saucers of the Miethe and Schriever type. The Miethe rocket craft was built in diameters of 15 and 50 meters, and the Schriever Walter turbine powered craft was designed as an interplanetary exploration vehicle. It had a diameter of 60 meters, had 10 stories of crew compartments, and stood 45 meters high. Welcome to Alice in Saucerland. In my extensive research of dissident American theories about the physical conditions on the Moon I have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is atmosphere, water and vegetation on the Moon, and that man does not need a space suit to walk on the Moon. A pair of jeans, a pullover and sneakers are just about enough. Everything NASA has told the world about the Moon is a lie and it was done to keep the exclusivity of the club from joinings by the third world countries. All these physical conditions make it a lot more easier to build a Moon base.

Ever since their first day of landing on the Moon, the Germans started boring and tunneling under the surface, and by the end of the war there was a small Nazi research base on the Moon. The free energy tachyon drive craft of the Haunibu-1 and 2 type were used after 1944 to haul people,” materiel and the first robots to the construction site on the Moon. When Russians and Americans secretly landed jointly on the Moon in the early fifties with their own saucers, they spent their first night there as guests of the …. Nazi underground base. In the sixties a massive Russian – American base had been built on the Moon, that now has a population of 40,000 people, as the rumor goes.

According to the authors of the underground German documentary movie from the Thule society (presumably ‘UFO Secrets of the Third Reich – KM), the only produced craft of the Haunibu-3 type – the 74 meter diameter naval warfare dreadnought – was chosen for the most courageous mission of this whole century – the trip to Mars. The craft was of saucer shape, had the bigger Andromeda tachyon drives, and was armed with four triple gun turrets of large naval caliber (three inverted upside down and attached to the underside of the craft, and the fourth on top of the crew compartments).

A volunteer suicide crew of Germans and Japanese was chosen, because everybody knew that this journey was a one-way journey with no return. The large intensity of the electro-magnetogravitic fields and the inferior quality of the metal alloys used then for the structural elements of the drive, was causing the metal to fatigue and get very brittle only after a few months of work of the drive. The flight to Mars departed from Germany one month before the war ended – in April 1945 . .

One question, that I have not answered yet in the affirmative is how were the Germans able to regenerate the air inside the craft for 8 months for this big crew . . . Quite probably they were using advanced life support systems, developed initially for their larger Walter turbine and free energy submarines, that were cruising the oceans without resurfacing.

The radio message with the mixed news was received by the German underground space control center in Neu Schwabenland and by their research base on the Moon.”

Steiger quotes Terziski as telling of “an ‘alien tutor race’ that secretly began cooperating with certain German scientists in the late 1920s in underground bases and began to introduce their concepts of philosophical, cultural, and technological progress”, he “maintains that antigravity research began in the 1920s with the first hybrid antigravity circular craft, the RFZ-1, constructed by the secret Vrill society. In 1942-43 a series of antigravity machines culminated in the giant 350-foot-long, cigar-shaped Andromeda space station, which was constructed in old Zeppelin hangars near Berlin by E4, the research and development arm of the SS.” He is also quoted (by Branton) as making comments about the continued use of slave labour by the ‘pure-bred Aryan S.S.’ who live underground, conducting genetic experiments continuing those of WW2, in pursuance of the “Germans-Nazis-Illuminati pact”, which was established “with the serpent races long years before the American ‘secret/conventional’ hybrid government had done so.”

Because of Terziski’s considerable influence in developing popular belief in Nazi and post-Nazi power and influence, any real-life information of any kind about him and the Academy of Dissident Sciences (founded with Al Bielek, co-creator of the imaginary ‘Montauk Project’ nonsense) would be greatly appreciated. I note that most of this material is more than five years old. Where is Terziski now, what is he doing, and is there any possibility of challenging the utter absurdity of the claims he makes?

David Hatcher-Childress

Those of you familiar with the fields of both pseudo-science and pseudo-history – and pseudo pretty much anything, really – will already know of the boundless imagination of Hatcher-Childress. In the remarkably available ‘Man-Made UFOs 1944 – 1994, 50 Years of Suppression, by “Renato Vesco and David Hatcher Childress”, Hatcher-Childress appears to, er, borrow the text of Vesco’s first book (it’s unclear how much Vesco knew about this collaboration) and adds to a completely uncritical republication assorted crackpot photos and speculations of his own. His “Summary of the Claims and Evidence” has some familiar elements . . .

“After various experimental prototypes, including the rocket powered Miethe and Schriever discs, production began on the small ten meter diameter interceptor-fighters of the Vril series. The larger Haunibu series began with the 25 meter Haunibu 1 & 2. These craft had canons mounted underneath and were designed as “tank Killers”.

The 74 meter Haunibu-3, designed as an anti-shipping craft for use over long distances, was actually built and tested. It had inflatable rubber cushions on the underside for landing. The 300 meter Haunibu-4 was on the design board for interplanetary travel. It was disc shaped and could also carry several of the smaller Vril craft. Also reportedly in the design stage was an immense 330 meter cigar-shaped battleship.

Towards the end of the war, the Germans had developed interplanetary craft with no moving parts which were capable of going to the Moon or even Mars.”

I have no idea whether Hatcher-Childress actually believes this rubbish. I suppose he must, because otherwise he’d be knowingly misleading his readers.

Wendelle Stevens

Billy Meier supporter Wendelle Stevens, as well as having been “sent to Alaska to supervise the installation of special equipment onboard B29 bombers” to look for “mysterious flying objects known as ‘fire balls’ or ‘foo fighters’”, claims in Alien Encounters’ issue 25 that the Vril and Haunebu discs “were used just once against the Allies, in which they devastated a vast 800 bomber raid over Germany, shooting down an unprecedented 200 in just one night”. Bomber Command clearly missed this tragedy when compiling its records.Projekt saucer

The precise genesis of this material is uncertain, but successful SF author W A Harbinson states in his ‘non-fiction’ book ‘Project UFO’ that “In May 1978, at Stand III in a scientific exhibition in the Hanover Messe Hall, some gentleman were giving away what at first sight appeared to be an orthodox scientific newspaper called Brisant.” The second article in this paper dealt with “a German World War II flying saucer construction project, named ‘Projekt Saucer’ . . which asserted that the German scientists were the first, but not the only ones, to construct highly advanced saucer-shaped aircraft, was accompanied by reproductions of technical drawings of a World War II flying saucer.” Harbinson has, since then, written the successful five-volume ‘Projekt Saucer’ fiction series, which does little to question these sources.

Quite why the Germans would have called it ‘Projekt Saucer’ is a mystery in itself. The drawings in no way resemble saucers, ‘saucer’ is not a German word, and the term ‘flying saucers’ didn’t appear until 1947 when a journalist mistook Kenneth Arnold’s description of the way his objects moved in the air for a description of what they looked like. But these drawings – supposedly “altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication” – seem to have formed the basis for the Vril and Haunebu myth.

‘UFO Magazine’ co-owner Mark Ian Birdsall, in his uncritical paper ‘The Ultimate Solution’ asserts that it was Harbinson himself who found ‘Brisant’, though Harbinson himself doesn’t make that claim

“Harbinson while researching ‘Genesis’ paid a visit to the semi-Northern city of Hannover in the late 70′s. It was here that he reportedly attended a science lecture exhibition at the ‘Hannover Messe Hall’. Whilst looking around the hall, Harbinson arrived at stand number 111, it was here that he was handed a magazine called ‘Brisant’.”

I have written to Harbinson via his publishers (no response yet, some weeks on) to ask for further information about ‘Brisant’, because it is clearly – if it ever actually existed – a key document in this investigation. Henry Stephens of the German Research Project (which sells all sorts of Nazi-related material, including some which is overtly anti-Semitic) offers copies of what he says are some pages, and claims that the originals of ‘Brisant’ were lost by Harbinson’s publishers: so I’ve also asked about that.Vanguard Science/KeelyNet/Al Pinto

In ‘Secrets or Lies’ I asked about Net material by “Al Pinto” or “Tal”, apparently “Sponsored by Vangard Sciences, PO Box 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150, USA” which “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”?”

The ‘Vanguard Science’ (correct spelling) material is one of the major sources of disinformation re ‘Nazi UFOs’, so it was interesting to receive, indirectly, an e-mail from a member. This was from a Jack Veach who said (inter alia) that

“Mr McClure makes some very positive statements debunking a great deal of untruths about Nazi UFOs, however I would like to offer him a website and an email whereby he might find more information about Mr Renate Vesco.

I am a member of Vanguard Science, not Vangard Science, as he has listed. this is a civilian group of folk, here in the Dallas-Ft worth area that are open-minded about the verity of science and have taken it upon ourselves to study Tesla, Keely, and a host of others we feel have been given the short-end of the stick with respect to technology and applications thereof.

Mr Jerry Decker and Mr Chuck Henderson could much better avail you of information about Mr Vesco and his work. I personally had an English translation of one of his works I gave away about ten years ago pursuant the German V-7.

My father and his C.O. both saw Foo Fighters over Europe during WWII, so that much is real. Neither my dad nor Col. Lasly knew anything about UFOs, nor had any interest in them. What they did say was that between the Foo Fighters and the Me-262s they encountered, they felt they would be killed before the war was over in Europe.

I hope that will clear some things up for Mr McClure with respect to Vanguard Science and Mr Vesco and hopefully all of us can clear the riddle of the Nazi UFOs from all the smoke and mirrors that unfortunately come to the fore on something of this nature.”

A friend sent an e-mail back to Mr Veach, expressing my interest in receiving further information about Vesco, but no response was forthcoming.

I’ll make sure that a copy of this paper reaches messrs Veach, Decker and Henderson, because I suspect that they have fallen for the nonsense purveyed in the ‘Argosy’ article: which, of course, also has Vesco at university and the German Institute for Aerial Development in his early teens, and working secretly – so secretly even Vesco himself wasn’t aware of it – for two separate Italian government ministries. One of the nastiest, most gratuitous, most insulting fictions in all of this is that slave labourers – and remember that word ‘slave’, because slavery and death were what it was all about – at the Nazi concentration camp at Malthausen worked and died building flying saucers. One of the lines of enquiry I intend to follow is to contact Holocaust survivor organisations to see what they think of this assertion, so widely publicised by Vanguard Sciences. If ‘Al Pinto’, ‘Tal’, Veach, Decker, Henderson and their friends didn’t make it up themselves it would be more than interesting to know where they say it originated, and what steps they took to verify it prior to publication. And if anyone out there has any information about the background, or maybe the political affiliations, of these people, that would be very helpful.

Unnamed Soldiers

Some of you might have come across my various comments on the ‘unnamed soldier’ phenomenon – the spreading of disinformation by ex-military or pseudo-ex-military personnel. Tony Dodd, for instance, has proved to be a prime target.

It may be that Bill Rose (see above) has been targeted in a similar, only far more sophisticated way: the professional manner in which the Vril and Haunebu material has been marketed, complete with its neo-Nazi undertones, and including the availability of supposed pictures of wartime German discs, leads me to think it could be a possibility. But a much more glaring example comes from a recent Internet posting, also published by ‘Nexus’ (they don’t have to pay much for writers, can they?), allegedly coming from one “Fabio Di Rado”.

This is, supposedly, an account of the real secrets of the ‘foo fighters’, told by a former Italian Resistance member who became so close to the SAS in Southern Italy from 1943 to 1945 that he was able to see films taken of them taken by allied planes but (and does this seem familiar?) could only show “Italian researcher Fabio Di Rado” stills taken from these. In a particularly modern twist this nameless witness did not, however, say that he believed that they were of German manufacture. Instead, he supposedly said

“Those machines, if we can call them that, could perform such quick and agile movements that they were unlikely to have been built by human beings. You can believe me – foo-fighters couldn’t be Nazi – otherwise they could have won the war easily. The more likely hypothesis . . an Air Force coming from other worlds was among us.”

The dead giveaway to this tale lies in the beginning of the account

“During the Spring of 1998 I went with another person to an inland village of Sicily to meet an 80-year-old man who claimed to have some unknown documents about foo fighters.

When we arrived at a farmhouse in the heart of the countryside, our witness showed us into a room which seemed to be his private study . . We were ordered not to take pictures; we could only make notes. To our disappointment, we had to accept this. I was given a copy on high-resolution CD-ROM of the pictures and documents that I saw there in the original version, with some censored parts.”

Ah yes, what would we do without rural Italian 80-year-olds and their high resolution CD-ROMs?Conclusions, Notes and Queries

I hope that you’ve found this investigation, to date, as interesting as I have. Subject to the emergence of further or different evidence, my view is that we have now disposed of all the substantive claims of actually flying German wartime discs that fall within the material by Vesco and Lusar – Feuerball, Kugelblitz and the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’. It is also clear (as if there was ever any real doubt) that the Vril and Haunebu craft are no more than fantasies of an often rather unpleasant kind, purveyed for reasons that warrant further investigation.

If my – still tentative – conclusions are correct, then they don’t just dispose of most of the Nazi UFO legends, but they also have some importance for the early years of Ufology. The ‘German secret weapon’ explanation for early sightings, particularly in South America, still has its admirers, and I think that they’re probably wrong: at least, in that if flying discs were developed, it wasn’t on the basis of technology tried and tested during the years of the war, There’s no hard evidence to show that either the Americans or the Russians brought any saucer-builders out of Germany, or that those they did bring out ever built any saucers. It very much appears that those who claim to have built various saucers, alone or with others, all made those claims for the first time in newspapers or magazines after – and usually several years after – the Arnold sighting in 1947. I intend to write to real war and engineering historians to ask them to check my findings, but it seems most likely that the ‘saucer-builders’ were fantasists, with various reasons for saying what they did, one of those reasons probably being the retrospective glorification of the achievements of a military machine that had been convincingly defeated not so many years before.

There are, still, mysteries to resolve, and I’ll hope to come to these over the next few months, and report back again. Apart from the Foo Fighter material, which contains to be intriguing and difficult to explain, there is the whole ‘Nazi escape’ myth, in which the use and preservation of secret, superior technology in reaching South America, the Antarctic or whatever plays such a major part. There is, too, the concept of an alien/Nazi liaison, which probably grew from the ‘Nazis and the Occult’ material that has enthralled so many over the past quarter-century. Several of the motifs of modern ufology – including the concept of back-engineering crashed and retrieved alien craft – have appeared in relation to wartime discs over recent years, the Germans obviously being years ahead of the Americans in this respect, if no other.

Other complex and persistent claims need to be resolved. Not least is the Montauk material, which features ever-increasing, ever-grosser Nazi links and claims of high-level alien technology. The work of Bill Lyne will bear close analysis, and we can also hope to dispose, one way or another, of the assertions made by author W A Harbinson in his ‘Projekt UFO’ book, and in his novels, too. Pinning down the origins of ‘Brisant’ may be a breakthrough, as will obtaining copies of all of the newspaper articles by the ‘saucer-builders’. Information dealing with any of these matters, anything else you think might be relevant, or (especially) that I’ve got wrong will be greatly appreciated.

Fresh thanks are due, among others, to Wayne Spencer, JC Carbonel, Maurizio Verga, Peter Williams, Martin Kottmeyer, Tim Matthews, Claude Mauge, and Eduardo Russo for their help and assistance.

October 1999

Please feel free to distribute the complete text of this paper to anyone, any organisation, or any site you think would be interested

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