When it comes to the UFO topic, there can surely be few more emotive issues than that relative to so-called "Nazi Flying Saucers." So, the story goes, in the latter stages of the Second World War, Hitler's hordes began working on radical, circular-shaped aircraft designs, but failed to capitalize on them to any meaningful degree as a result of the Allies fortunately gaining the upper hand, and ultimately, achieving victory.
The theory continues that, in the post-war era, the secret Saucer technology was clandestinely transferred from Germany to the U.S., successfully developed, and duly deployed. In other words, Nazi Saucer proponents say, what we are seeing today are not alien craft from far-away worlds, but highly-advanced flying machines of a definitively terrestrial nature, whose origins can be traced back to wartime Germany.
It must be said that a lot of what has been written on this subject is over-the-top, exaggerated nonsense. But, what is intriguing is the significant body of official documentation on the matter which has surfaced under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.
The following Air Force report of 3 January 1952 (on the subject of UFO sightings investigated by the Air Force in the late 1940s and early 1950s) from Brigadier General W.M. Garland to General John A. Samford, Air Force Director of Intelligence makes this point abundantly clear, and also touches upon the work of the aviation geniuses, the Horten brothers:
“It is logical to relate the reported sightings to the known development of aircraft, jet propulsion, rockets and range extension capabilities in Germany and the USSR. In this connection, it is to be noted that certain developments by the Germans, particularly the Horten wing, jet propulsion, and refueling, combined with their extensive employment of V-l and V-2 weapons during World War II, lend credence to the possibility that the flying objects may be of German and Russian origin."
The document continues: "The developments mentioned above were completed and operational between 1941 and 1944 and subsequently fell into the hands of the Soviets at the end of the war. There is evidence that the Germans were working on these projects as far back as 1931 to 1938. Therefore it may be assumed that the Germans had at least a 7 to 10 year lead over the United States.”
The CIA showed similar concerns in 1954: “A German newspaper (not further identified) recently published an interview with George Klein, famous German engineer and aircraft expert, describing the experimental construction of 'flying saucers' carried out by him from 1941 to 1945. Klein stated that he was present when, in 1945, the first piloted ‘flying saucer’ took off and reached a speed of 1,300 miles per hour within 3 minutes."
Then there is an intriguing FBI document concerning a man who appeared at the Miami Office of the FBI on 26 April 1967, and furnished the following information relating to a circular-shaped aircraft that he allegedly photographed during November 1944:
The FBI noted: “Sometime during 1943, he graduated from the German Air Academy and was assigned as a member of the Luftwaffe on the Russian Front Near the end of 1944, he was released from this duty and was assigned as a test pilot to a top secret project in the Black Forest of Austria."
During this period, recorded the FBI, the man was witness to a strange, flying vehicle. It was, he told the interviewing agents, "...saucer-shaped, about twenty-one feet in diameter, radio-controlled, and mounted several jet engines around the exterior portion of the craft. He further described the exterior portion as revolving around the dome in the center which remained stationary. It was his responsibility to photograph the object while in flight. He asserted he was able to retain a negative of a photograph he made at 7,000 meters (20,000 feet)."
The FBI further detailed: “According to him, the above aircraft was designed and engineered by a German engineer whose present whereabouts is unknown to him. He also assumed the secrets pertaining to this aircraft were captured by Allied Forces. He said this type of aircraft was responsible for the downing of at least one American B-26 airplane.
“He has become increasingly concerned because of the unconfirmed reports concerning a similar object and denials the United States has such an aircraft. He feels such a weapon would be beneficial in Vietnam and would prevent the further loss of American lives which was his paramount purpose in contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic and during the same time frame, British authorities had uncovered a similar body of data. A 1957 Secret Air Ministry report, for example, states that, “A review by the Daily Worker newspaper of a book recently published on German wartime weapons contained references to a German flying saucer which was flown at a speed of 1,250 mph to a height of 40,000 feet.”
Similarly, in 1998, the British Government declassified a two-volume document – titled Unorthodox Aircraft, previously withheld at Top Secret level and dating from the period 1948-1951 - that dealt with British Intelligence interviews with former prisoners of war who had seen unusual and radical aircraft in the vicinity of German and Russian airfields and military installations.
Interestingly enough, interspersed throughout the reports are a variety of foreign newspaper clippings on circular shaped aircraft and the attempts of the Nazis to build and utilize such vehicles. Moreover, copies of the file were distributed to a whole host of British agencies and departments, including the Joint Intelligence Bureau, the Air Ministry's Scientific and Technical Intelligence office, MI10 at the War Office, and Air Intelligence.
Of course, one could make the reasonable argument that in the search for the truth about Flying Saucers, government and military agencies have followed numerous leads, and a whole variety of theories to explain the phenomenon. And just because they have studied the data suggesting the Nazis constructed fantastic UFO-like craft, doesn't make the theory true.
But, it doesn't necessarily mean the data is false either...