The Nazis have always made good villains in fiction and the movies for a very good reason. They are not only a good stand in as the epitome of evil, but, well, they were involved in all manners of strange experiments, pursuits, and expeditions into the realms of high strangeness. The list of Nazi dabbling in the world of the weird is long, but one of the more bizarre stories to emerge in recent years is that they were involved in hunting down aliens in the mountains of Russia. It sounds like the plot of a movie, yet there has been actual evidence presented for this, and here we have a deeply odd tale of a mysterious briefcase, a Nazi scheme, and alien skulls.
The incredibly bizarre story starts in 2014, when a team of explorers led by Russian scientist Vladimir Melikov were allegedly on an expedition deep in the mountains of the Adygea region in the Caucasus of Russia, when they made a shocking discovery on Mount Bolshoi, near the village of Kamennomostsky. There in the frigid gloom of a remote mountain cave they would purportedly find two skulls the likes of which none of them had ever seen before. The mysterious skulls were unlike any known animal in the region and were obviously not human, and although Melikov thought at first that they must surely be the fossilized remains of some extinct animal he soon changed his mind when he examined them up close. He says of the skulls:
They are unlike anything known to man. Note the round hole at the bottom of the head. It is the base of the spine. The position indicates that this creature moved on two legs. Another strange thing is the absence of cranial vault and jaws. A mouth, several holes distributed in a circle. The eye sockets are unusually large, and they two separate growths shaped horns. However, the facial bones are flat, as in hominids. Even when compared with the skull of a bear, it is hard to think that you do not have in your hands the remains of an alien creature.
In Melikov’s opinion, these skulls were indicative of some type of bipedal humanoid unknown to science, and making it all even weirder was a discovery made in the nearby woods not long after. According to the Russian publication Komsomolskaya Pravda, there was found amongst the trees a large brown briefcase with a leather handle and appearing to be very old but in good condition. Within the briefcase were found to be a picture showing a soldier in a mountain cap and a Nazi uniform, a ring bearing the insignia of the Nazi mountain troop division called the Edelweiss, and several German full-color maps of the Adygea region dated back to 1941, but most interestingly of all was that it held on its front the emblem of the Nazi organization called the Ahnenerbe emblazoned upon it. What is the Ahnenerbe? I’m glad you asked.
Hitler and many of the Nazi leaders had an interest in the occult that is quite well documented, and in fact the Nazi Party had originally started as a sort of occult fraternity in the days before their meteoric rise to a devastating political force. This intense interest in the occult and the arcane led to the significant expansion of a secret cabal known as the Ahnenerbe, which had been originally founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich Himmler, who would later become the notorious leader of the SS, along with Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré. The Ahnenerbe literally means “inherited from the forefathers,” and was also known by the more unwieldy title of Ahnenerbe Forschungs-und Lehrgemeinschaft, which doesn’t roll off the tongue as well and has the vaguely ominous meaning of “The Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society.” The organization started out ostensibly as an institute dedicated to researching the archeological, anthropological, and cultural history of Germanic heritage, but in actuality it had more to do with finding evidence that would support the German theory that the Aryan race was a superior and god-like people from whom the Germans descended.
In this sense, they were more an agent of propaganda looking to find so-called scientific evidence or proof to support their twisted ideologies. To this end, this shadowy organization funded numerous expeditions and archeological digs all over the world in places as far flung as Germany, Greece, Poland, Iceland, Romania, Croatia, Africa, Russia, Tibet, and many others, looking for lost arcane runes, artifacts, relics or ruins that would bolster their claims that they were the prefect race above all others. Tibet was of special importance to the Ahnenerbe, as it was believed that it was here that a mysterious lost civilization existed that had been the origins of the pure, perfect Aryan race and which perhaps still lived in vast subterranean cities.
It was not long before the operations of the Ahnenerbe branched out from their brand of “science” and out into the outer edges of the occult, and perhaps considering the pedigree of its founding fathers it is no surprise. Herman Wirth was a Dutch historian obsessed with finding the location of Atlantis, and future SS leader Himmler had an intense well-known fascination with all things occult to a disturbing degree. In fact, Himmler was somewhat of a crackpot, who had grand desires to one day replace the Christian religion with one of his own making, and he was one of the driving forces behind the Ahnenerbe’s steady divergence from its original purpose and increasing role as a tool of the occult and paranormal. As this ominous organization pulsed and grew ever larger, it fanned out around the world on numerous fantastic quests that seem like something straight out of an Indiana Jones film.
They delved into the remote areas of the world looking for lost lands, various ancient relics, mystical texts, magical items, weird curiosities, bizarre paranormal locations, and strange supernatural artifacts and objects of all kinds. With the official Nazi endorsement and expansion of the institute, the Ahnenerbe expanded to approximately 50 branches dealing with all aspects of the occult and paranormal, including everything from long range weather prediction, to archeology, to ESP research, UFOs, and the supernatural, and substantially stepped up their operations over the years, scouring the far flung corners of the earth in search of a wide variety of such legendary wonders as the Holy Grail, the location of Atlantis, and the Spear of Destiny, with which Longinus had stabbed into Christ’s side as he suffered upon the cross. The group also searched for various portals to other realms, as well as for ancient lost lands, including Atlantis and expeditions influenced by an equally mysterious organization known as the Thule Society looking for a fantastical land called Thule, which was believed to be the true birthplace of the Aryan race and the discovery of which would endow them with vast superhuman powers such as telekinesis, telepathy, and flight, abilities which they had lost over centuries of mixing with “lesser races.” They were hardcore into the paranormal, in other words.
But why had they left this briefcase out in those woods and did it have anything to do with those those freaky skulls found in the nearby cave? The answer to that largely depends on who you ask. According to Melikov and several other Russian paranormal researchers, this is all obviously evidence that the Ahnenerbe has something to do with those skulls, and that they had been on some nefarious mission to the area having to do with aliens, possibly looking for alien tech they could reverse engineer for their war effort or even for the skulls themselves. It is known that the Nazis were active in the Adygea region, so maybe they were up to some bizarre stuff having to do with UFOs and aliens. It wouldn’t be the strangest scheme they’d ever been involved in, so sure. However, how would the Nazis know that those skulls were there? Why didn’t they actually find them and how had that briefcase just wound up lying out there in the middle of nowhere? No one knows, and Melikov has been very vague and evasive on these questions, suggesting that he doesn’t really know either. Other Russian paranormal researchers have even claimed that the skulls are in fact of demonic origins, making it all even more off-the-wall.
Melikov has claimed that he sent photographs of the skulls to paleontologists in Moscow but has gotten no response, probably either because they are covering it up or simply think it is just a load of hogwash. Of course there are plenty of people who have criticized this all as being a load of complete bunk and an obvious hoax. Skeptics have rightly pointed out that the skulls in the photographs look distinctively manufactured, perhaps from the pelvic bones of animals, whereas some academics have suggested they were the skulls of sheep or other animals, deformed and misshapen by pressure over a very long period of time. Unfortunately, the skulls themselves don’t seem to have ever been produced for actual analysis, and all we are left to go on are these claims and stories of Nazi paranormal organizations, leading it to probably best be taken with a huge grain of salt. However, it speaks volumes about the utterly bonkers pursuits of the Nazis that looking for alien skulls wouldn’t really be a surprising thing for them to be doing and wouldn’t even rank among the weirder things they were allegedly up to.