The Peenemuende Saucer Project
A report comes to us from Russian immigrant Paul Stonehill concerning the experience of a Russian POW in Northern Germany. The report was first published some time ago in UFO Magazine, volume 10, number 2 in 1995, but this witness describes a story so different from other German saucer reports that it is worth emphasis at this point. The witness is unnamed but the source of the original report is known to Paul Stonehill and he vouches for its authenticity. The unnamed witness is called mister "X".
Mister X was taken prisoner by the Germans in the Ukraine in1941, early in the German offensive. From there he was housed in a concentration camp where he contracted typhus. X improved and even managed to escape but was re-captured and taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. There, he worked as a medical orderly before a typhus relapse made this work impossible. X was scheduled for a one-way trip to the crematorium but was saved from this fate by a woman German medical doctor who cured him of the typhus. Not only did she do this but, for some reason not made clear in the article, she supplied him with false identity papers stating that X was a mechanical engineer.
In August of 1943 X was moved to KZ (concentration camp) A4 at Trassenhedel in the vicinity of Peenemuende to work on project Hochdruckpumpe's removal from that area. Hochdruckpumpe, or high pressure pump in English, was a long distance cannon with fired in sequential states as the projectile moved by each charge and along an very long barrel. From here X was reassigned to work at Peenemuende itself.
In September of 1943, X and some other prisoners were engaged in demolition of a reinforced cement wall. At lunch time the other prisoners were driven away from this site but for some reason, possibly a dislocated foot, X was left behind.
After the others had gone, four workers appeared from a hangar and rolled out a strange looking craft onto the concrete landing strip nearby. It was round, had a teardrop-shaped cockpit in the center and was rolled out on small inflatable wheels, like an "upside down wash basin". After a signal was given, this silvery metal craft began making a hissing sound and took off, hovering at an altitude of about five meters directly over the landing strip. As it hovered, the device rocked back and forth. Then the edges began to blur. Suddenly the flying craft's edges seem to blur as it jumped up sharply and gained altitude in a snakelike trajectory. X concludes that because rocking was still exhibited, the craft was advancing erratically.
A gust of wind blew in from the Baltic. The flying craft was turned upside down and began to loose altitude. Mr. X was enveloped by hot air and the smell of ethyl alcohol as he heard the craft grinding into the earth. Without thinking, X ran for the craft in an effort to assist the downed pilot. The pilot's body was hanging out of the broken cockpit and the craft was engulfed in blue flames of fire. X glimpsed the still hissing jet engine before everything was swallowed in flames.
What can be gleaned from this account? Mr. X certainly saw a German flying disc. But the "smell of ethyl alcohol" and the "blue fames of fire" set this engine apart from any so far described. German jet engines ran on jet fuel, a light oil something similar to kerosene. The Walter rocket engines ran of very exotic hypergolic fuels which burst into flames automatically once they made contact with each other. Ethyl alcohol is the alcohol of fermentation as, for instance, potatoes are fermented and distilled into vodka. Ethyl alcohol is not the best substance for aircraft fuel since it is low calories by weight and volume in comparison with the other fuels mentioned. The advantage of alcohol for the shortage plagued Germans was that it was available. Ethyl alcohol and liquid oxygen were exactly the fuels which powered the V-2 rocket developed at nearby Peenemuende.
Given this report, we have a reason to consider Peenemuende as a German site which produced flying discs. But before proceeding with our inquiry as before we must take a step back from our strictly detailed survey of German flying saucers in order to get better perspective of this overall body of information.
To this point any reader somewhat familiar with German flying discs might find the level of detail and proof enlightening but might feel that the basic story is known and has already been told. These readers will be pleasantly surprised by this chapter of our story. Not only is new evidence presented here but a new interpretation of existing evidence sheds a whole new light upon the study of German flying discs.
This new evidence and this new way of looking at things are primarily the result of the input of German aeronautical investigator Klaus-Peter Rothkugel. Within the last year or so he has proposed to me and to another investigator, Heiner Gehring, ideas which were previously overlooked. Mr. Rothkugel has investigated and documented his ideas to both of us and has convinced us of their merit. In turn, both Mr. Gehring and myself have spent some time and effort in advancing this research ourselves and sharing the results. These researchers have published their findings in Germany and have allowed me to make use of these ideas here.
The careful reader will note that mention has already been made of Mr. Rothkugel and his contributions. In this section some ofthe ideas which he first put forth will be examined as will hie emphasis on the overall organization and understanding of the material.
It was Vesco who first gave us an explanation of foo fighters.
Vesco relied upon his own understanding of the subject which was gained during the war and documented them with facts gleaned from his research into British intelligence files. His explanation has been largely vindicated both by reports of sightings within Austria and through United States military documents obtained independently through the Freedom Of Information Act. Why then should not the other explanations given us by Vesco be worthy of further inquiry? While discussing German saucer development,Vesco described German research designed to overcome the drag limitations imposed upon aircraft by boundary layer effects.
Boundary layer effects refer to the flow of air across the wing of an aircraft in flight. The air forms sheets of air moving across the wing, the slowest moving sheet being closest to the wing. At high speeds these slower moving layers collide with oncoming air molecules of the atmosphere causing areas of turbulence with translate into atmospheric drag as a practical matter. Elimination of the boundary layer would mean that the aircraft could fly faster or expend less energy to fly at any given speed (1)(2).
Swept wings, a German innovation, represent an aircraft designer's response toward lessening the effects of drag on high speed aircraft wings. It was found that air passing over the wings at an angle retarded boundary layer formation. Therefore, turbulence was less apt to form. The swept back-wings of the Me- 163 rocket interceptor may have been the result of this research. An advanced model of the Me-262 jet fighter was to incorporate fully swept-back wings. But German aircraft designers of those times wanted to go further. They wanted to eliminate the boundary layer completely.
They proposed to do this with suction wings (3). The literature on German efforts toward elimination of the boundary layer using suction wings is voluminous, as Vesco has pointed out. Beginning in the early 1940s German designers cut slots into experimental aircraft and auxiliary engines were employed to suck in the boundary layer through the wing itself and redirect this air into the fuselage and out the rear of the aircraft.(4). This proved to be more complicated than first anticipated. It was found that the area of turbulence, eddy currents caused by the boundary layer, moved across the wing from front to back as air speed increased. A slot at one position on the wing might work at one speed but not another. This meant that many, many slots covering the expanse of the wing would be needed to totally defeat this boundary layer problem. This proved impractical for a number of reasons.
One reason this was so was that multiple engines had to be used.The first engine had to provide power for flight as in any airplane. The second engine, mounted in the fuselage, was necessary to draw in air through the slotted wings and exhaust it towards the rear. Interestingly enough, it was found that the boundary layer could be eliminated by "sucking it in" or by "blowing it off" using a strong flow of air to disrupt it (5).
Full scale suction wing aircraft were built for purposes of testing this concept. These were the Junkers "Absaugeflugzeug"(suction aircraft) AF-l and the Fieseler "Absaugestorch" (suction-stork) AF-2.
Concurrent with these experiments, work was being done into the feasibility of circular wings. This work also began in the 1930s with the basic ideas being credited to Professor Ludwig Prandtl. Early scientific papers on circular winged aircraft were written beginning in 1936 by Wilhelm Kinner (6) and in 1938 by M. Hansen(7). Both of these scientists worked at the Aerodynamic Research Facility at Goettingen. By 1941 Dr. Alexander Lippisch was also engaged in experimentation on circular wings at the Messerschmitt firm. His design, designated J1253, was tested at the wind-tunnel at Goettingen (8). Dr. Lippisch was visited by Dr Giuseppe Belluzzo while at Messerschmitt in Augsburg and Lippisch worked together with Dr. F. Ringlib on a "Drehfluegel" or"rotating wing" which was tested at Peenemuende (9). As with suction wings, a body of scientific literature from those times documents this early circular-wing experimentation.
The genius of the German designers was to combine the ideas of suction and circular wings into a single aircraft. Housing complete aircraft within its wing would eliminate the fuselage and so eliminate an unnecessary, drag-causing structure.
Prandtl and Lippisch were not comparably to Schiever and Habermohl. Prandtl and Lippisch are not even comparable to Dr. Richard Miethe. Pradtl and Lippisch were senior scientists who were well established in their worlds, either of whom would have been capable of heading a major project. In fact they did. In fact neither the Schriever-Habermohl or what we have called the Miethe-Bellonzo projects were major projects. This is another significance of what is being discussed here because what is being discussed here is a completely different organization and understanding of German flying discs than has been presented heretofore.
Remember that controlling authority for both the Schriever-Habermohl and the Miethe-Bellonzo projects came from officials in Peenemuende? J. Andreas Epp makes the point in his book that he originated the idea of the Schriever-Habermohl-type of flying disc and actually made a model of this flying craft. Setting aside for the moment the subject or originality, Epp sent his model to General Ernst Udet of the Luftwaffe whom he had met as a child. General Udet must have been impressed with this idea because he sent the plans and model to Peenemuende for evaluation. Peenemuende authorized the Schriever-Habermohl team to further develop the idea and as you might recall, Epp chided Schriever for straying from his original blade dimensions while crediting Habermohl for keeping them. The point is that Peenemuende set up Schriever and Habermohl to construct and further develop this design as they set up Dr. Miethe to set up further develop the Leduc engine based design. The Germans even refer to the Schriever-Habermohl design as a "Flugkreisel" or flying top in English and the Miethe design as a "Flugdiskus".Our vernacular, "flying saucer" originally corresponded to the German folk-word "Flugschiebe" or flying disc. If the Flugkreisel, Flugdiscus and Flugschiebe are all different machines and we know who built the first two then who built the third, the Flugscheibe? The answer is that Peenemuende built the Flugscheibe. Officials at Peenemuende saved the best for themselves while controlling the other two.
Let's look at some evidence. The May, 1980 issue of Neue Presse featured an article about the German fluidics engineer Heinrich Fleissner (10). Fleissner was an engineer, designer and advisor to what he calls a "Flugscheibe" project based at Peenemuende during the war. It is interesting to note that Fliessner's area of expertise, fluidics, is exactly the specialty involved in investigating problems with boundary layer flow. Fleissner reports that the saucer with which he was involved would have been capable of speeds up to 3,000 kilometers per hour within the earth's atmosphere and up to 10,000 kilometers outside the earth's atmosphere. He states that the brains of the developmental people were found in Peenemuende under the tightest of secrecy (11). We will return to this article again, at a later point, but what is of most interest to us here are three facts. First, that Fleissner worked at Peenemuende on a flying saucer project. Second, that a hint of this design has survived to this day. Third, the surviving design can be linked to photographic evidence of a German saucer, circa World War Two.
Almost ten years after the war, on March 28, 1955, Heinrich Fleissner filed a patent application with the United States Patent Office for a flying saucer (Patent Number 2,939,648).Fleissner's saucer was unlike Schriever's, Habermohl's, or Miethe's. The engine employed by Fleissner rotated around the cabin on the outside of the saucer disc itself. It was set in motion by starter rockets as with Schriever and Habermohl. The difference is that this engine was really a form of ram-jet engine. It featured slots running around the periphery of the saucer into which air was scooped. The slots continued obliquely right through the saucer disc so that jet thrust was aimed slightly downward and backward from the direction of rotation. Within the slots, fuel injectors and a timed ignition insured a proper power curve which was in accordance with the speed and direction of the saucer much like an automobile's fuel injection is timed to match the firing of the spark plugs. Steering was accomplished by directing the airflow using internal channels containing a rudder and flaps which ran alongside of the central cabin. The cabin itself was held stationary or turned in the desired direction of flight using a system of electromagnets and servo-motors coupled with a gyroscope (12).
It is interesting to note that while the patent was filed on March 28, 1955, it was not granted until June 7, 1960, over five years later! What could possibly have been the reason for the delay? The only possible reason concerns the American Silver Bug Project which was being developed at the same time. This was a project which was tasked with further development of the Miethe design or an outgrowth of it and simply referred to as a "radial jet engine". But we now know this Miethe project was not the equal of the Peenemuende project in terms of speed. The Americans must have realized this sometime after the filing of Fliessner's patent. There can be little doubt that the reason for the delay of the Fleissner patent was the evaluation and possibly the pirating of his design by the Americans. At about the same moment that Fieissner's patent was granted, it was announced that the joint Canadian-American saucer project, Silver Bug and its derivatives, had been abandoned by those governments.The only possible reason for this abandoning was that they had found something better and the better design, by far, was Fieissner's.
The Post-War Saucer Patent Of Heinrich Fleissner
Fleissner was a technical advisor on the Peenemuende saucer project. An eye witness, known by Fleissner, told him this: "Shortly before the Capitulation, on April 24,1945, a squadron of four flying discs took off-manned with two pilots whose names are unknown-under heavy artillerybarrage from the German and Russian sides from the Berlin- Lichterfelde Airport to a still-today unknown destination." (Neue Press, 5/2/80, page 3)
Fieissner's design was likened to a ram-jet earlier. It could function in this way but it was also much more than a ram-jet.Fleissner states in his patent that the saucer could be powered by any number of fuels: "liquid, dust, powder, gas or solid"(11). It could have used, for example, used the recently re- discovered fuel first made by Dr. Mario Zippermayr consisting of finely powered coal dust in a suspension of liquid air (13) or "Schwaramkohle" ("foam coal") and liquid air (14). Different fuel mixtures and types could be accommodated simply by varying or adjusting the type of injectors and ignition used. We know that the Germans used hypergloic fuels during the war, that meaning fuels which ignited simply by coming in contact with one another."C-Stoff" and "T-Stoff" were German designations for the hypergloic fuels used in the Messerschmitt Me-163 rocket interceptor, for instance. These fuels could also have been used in this engine as well. Fleissner further elaborated in his 1980 article stating that liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen were suitable for this design (11). Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen are rocket fuels of the highest order. This means Fieissner's saucer could function as a rocket with the proper fuel.
Shall we assess the implications? In its simplest form,Fieissner's saucer could have operated as a ram-jet on jet fuel. At its highest level, Fieissner's saucer could have operated outside the atmosphere on liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Or it could have done both. Fieissner's saucer could have taken off as a ram-jet, gained speed and altitude but at some point, reached a limit of diminishing returns. At this point, the saucer would have been able to slowly bleed liquid oxygen into the ram-jets for further performance enhancement. Further, it could slowly have replaced jet fuel with liquid hydrogen. This would be accompanied by a closing of the air intake apparatus. At this point there is no reason this saucer can not become a space ship, that is, able to operate beyond the fringes of the earth's atmosphere. Is this performance enough to impress the U.S. Air Force and the civilian population of the late 1940s and early 1950's? The answer is certainly in the affirmative.
Detailed Picture Of A German Saucer
This is a blow-up of the picture attached to J. AndreasEpp'S "Still Alive" letter from Prag, March, 1944. Note air intake ring and crest for steering on the roof of the cabin. Diameter is about six meters. Is this the saucer described in the Aftonbladet article? Possible location is Stettin near Peenemuende.
Thinking Outside The Box Hybrid Liquid-Solid Propellant Rocket
Top Right: 1. Liquid Oxidizer 2. Injection Jets for Oxidizer 3. Combustion Chamber Constrictions 4. Ignition Mechanism Solid fuel shown running along sides of combustion chamber (dark color). "Schaumkohle" (porous compressed coal) are suitable as fuel as would a mixture of Aluminum power and polyurethan combined with liquid nitrogen tetroxide. Thrust controlled by amount of oxidizer injected. Hypergolic mixtures would require no ignition system. Alternately, oxydizers could be solid andfuel liquid. "Nichts ist unmoeglich" Nothing is impossible
There are design elements in the Fleissner saucer which link it to the work of Prandtl and Lippisch. It should be noted that the slot air intakes mounted near the edge of the saucer would have sucked in the boundary layer before it got any real chance to form. Below, the jets would have blown off the boundary layer at a similar point. Further, because the entire wing, the saucer, is spinning, any further development of a boundary layer would have been moved at an angle and so almost nullified as happens with severely swept-back wings of a conventional high-speed jet aircraft. Therefore, at supersonic speeds, this saucer might not have even generated a sonic boom.
There is some proof that the Fleissner-type of saucer was actually built and flown at Peenemuende or a nearby test facility at Stettin. Fleissner's patent is likened to wartime reality by a photograph. Actually, it is three photographs. These photographs have appeared in a fragmentary, vintage Dutch article on German saucers and they are attached to a wartime letter from Prag sent to this writer by J. Andreas Epp and later published in Ahnstern (15). No specific mention of the photograph is made in the letter and so it could be that the late Mr. Epp included it as a general example rather than a specific reference. Epp never claimed the saucers in these photographs as his design. Epp himself claimed to have the only photographs of that device.There is reason to suspect, however, that this design does bare a relationship to the Fleissner design.
The pictures show a small saucer with some telling features. One point of correspondence with the Fleissner patent is that the air intake is located near the periphery of the saucer wing. This is seen as seen in the ring just inside the saucer's edge. The other is that the directional control is clearly viable in the rudder mounted on the top of the cockpit or central cabin. In the picture the control is external and not as sophisticated as the Fleissner patent but the idea behind both are the same. In the pictured saucer, turns would be made by turning the cabin as a whole, thus, turning the rudder just as the prehistoric flying reptile, the Pterodactyl, turned its flight direction using a rudder located on top of its head.
Further confirmation of a Peenemuende saucer project comes from a Stockholm evening newspaper, Aftonbladet, dated October 10, 1952.It reports that a flying saucer, a "space ship", was developed by the Germans during World War Two at Peenemuende by Dr. Wernher von Braun and his rocket team. A test-model of this craft lifted off in April of 1944. It was six meters in diameter. The ultimate craft to be built, was a space ship of 42 meters in diameter, capable of flying an astonishing three hundred kilometers in altitude! Not stated in the article but interesting to note is that this 300 kilometers represents a higher altitude than the first American earth orbiting satellite.
Hitler's A-7 Weapon?
Swedish newspaper "Aftonbladet", dated 10/10/52, describes a German saucer built by Wernher von Braun at Peenemuende,six meters in diameter, which lifted off in April, 1944. The article states that high fuel consumption was the major problem, a problem which would be solved utilizing atomic power.
The construction drawings for this device are in the USA,according to the article, and the drawings are also known to the Russians. The chief difficulty with the saucer, according to the report, is the tremendous fuel requirements during its assent.This problem, it goes on to say, could be solved through the utilization of atomic energy.
Let us look at the picture of the three saucers again. In the lower left picture two dark objects can be seen resting on it stop. Mr. Rothkugel suggests these may be bombs or fuel. Let us assume the latter, that they are fuel drums for refueling the saucer. In the USA metal drums of this type commonly contain petroleum products. They measure about three feet in height.Two are shown but six lengths could be stretched across this saucer with perhaps inches to spare. A meter is slightly over a yard. This saucer roughly corresponds in size to the description given in the Aftonbladet article. The picture on the right,minus the fuel drums and poised above some buildings, clearly shows that this saucer actually flew.
A whole technical history and organizational hierarchy can be pieced together from this picture, the Fliessner patent, and the Aftonbladet article. The Fleissner design minimizes the effects of boundary layer resistance reflecting the outcome of work starting with Ludwig Prandtl. It is a circular aircraft and a linear descendant of the circular aircraft designed by Dr.Prandtl and Dr. Alexander Lippisch. Fleissner states that he worked at Peenemuende. Peenemuende functioned as the head of all German saucer research. A fact of life at Peenemuende was that all German scientists deferred to Dr. Wernher von Braun who was an expert, the only expert, at everything. Dr. von Braun did have an organizational supervisor, Dr. Walter Dornberger, later to work for Bell Aircraft in the USA. Above Dr. Dornberger was Dr. Hans Kammler, the SS chief of all jet aircraft and vengeance weaponry. All these named men and organizations were part of the German saucer program, their public denials not withstanding.
One more loose end is tied up relating to the Fleissner design.This is the relationship of Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo to the German saucer projects as a whole. Remember, Dr. Belluzzo was a senior scientist and engineer who specialized in materials and steam turbines. The Fleissner saucer design is normally thought of as a sort of ram-jet. But this ram-jet spun due to thrust imparted to it by its exhaust. This exhaust-supplied motion scooped in and compressed the incoming air before ignition. Low speed flight would have been impossible without this feature just as it is with any ram-jet. So another way to look at this engine is that it was a turbine-ram-jet no matter how incongruous this may sound at first. It should also be noted that in the rocket mode,when the saucer is burning only liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the products of this combustion are only heat and water. Another way to say heat and water is steam. To repeat,Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo was a steam-turbine expert. As mentioned earlier, Mr. Rothkugel reports that Dr. Belluzzo visited and, presumably consulted with. Dr. Alexander Lippisch at Augsberg.Dr. Belluzzo's involvement with the German saucer projects should not be assumed to be confined to the Miethe project.
Let's review the Peenemuende Project to this point. It is a wide ranging project with at least two spin-offs, the Schriever-Habermohl project and the Miethe project. The Schriever-Habermohl project(s) employ a whirling set of vane-blades and one or more rocket or jet engines in a kind of "spinning top" manner.It may have been capable of supersonic flight. The Mietheproject differs in that it employs an internal spinning turbo-jet first invented by Rene Leduc. Depending of the saucer configuration, its thrust can be vented in any direction for steering purposes. It also may have been capable of supersonic flight.
This design was given further study and was probably developed after the war in the form of the John Frost "Manta". A design such as this may have been responsible for the sightings by Kenneth Arnold near Mt. Rainier in the State of Washington in June of 1947. It was probably responsible for the pictures taken by William Rhodes as seen and described in the July 9, 1947 edition of the newspaper, The Arizona Republic. This same design, described as a "Flying Shoe" may have figured in the Roswell crash. Ideas from this design may have been further developed by A.V. Roe, Limited company in Canada.
Besides retaining overall control of these two saucer projects, the officials at Peenemuende retained and developed their own saucer project. Using similarities between surviving pictures from the time and the patent filed by a former member of that project, Heinrich Fleissner, we can piece together something of its design. Its identifying characteristic is its engine which has been described earlier as a turbine-ram-jet. It could operate using a variety of fuels. It could function as a jet engine within the atmosphere or covert to a rocket engine using liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Its speed and altitude limits would have been much greater than either the Schriever-Habermohl or the Miethe saucers, yet its construction would have been less complex than the advanced designs of the radial-jet engines being developed in the Canada as part of the Silver Bug Program.Recognition of these facts, especially after the 1955 patent application by Fleissner, probably lead to the abandonment of the A.V. Roe, Limited project(s). A cover project, the "Avro car" was released to the public, discredited by its own designers, and put away to be forgotten.
In discussing the Aftonbladet article we have jumped ahead of our story slightly in order to connect the three saucers pictures with the Fleissner saucer patent in a proper context. The Aftonbladet article has other implication which will be discussed. Now, however, we must once again return to basics in order to illustrate the next stage of saucer development envisioned by the German scientists.
Vesco makes mention of liquefied air or liquid propellants or explosives numerous times in discussing flying saucers (16)(17)(18)(19)(20). Vesco refers to saucers powered using"liquid air". On page 135-136 of Intercept UFO he says:
Mr. Rothkugel points out that the logical projection of Vesco's statements on liquid air would involve a saucer in with air would be drawn in through the skin or through slots in the upper wing (saucer), then rapidly cooled by special equipment into liquid air. The liquid air would be burnt in a combustion chamber and the hot air and steam would be exited through a turbine used to produce the electricity which this process would require.
The saucer would be drawn along through the atmosphere by the low pressure area to its front and top as well as by aerodynamic forces caused by its wing at low speed. With the addition of more liquid air into the combustion chamber, the expansive forces involving the conversion of a liquid to a gas would provide additional performance enhancement. This amazing and little-know method was invented and patented by the Austrian Karl Novak in1943 (21) and will work even with inert gasses. Of course, even nitrogen, sometimes considered an inert gas and which constitutes the major component of our atmosphere, can be burnt with sufficing electrical ignition as is witnessed in lightning.The cooling needed to liquify the air would be generated using acryostat, probably liquid helium. Liquid helium is the coldest of gasses, minus 452 degrees F, just above absolute zero. In addition to the cryostat, magnetic cooling machinery, such as is employed to produce liquid nitrogen would be employed (22). From the cooling power of liquid helium and evaporative techniques,liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen can be made which are the major constituents of our atmosphere.
A saucer which could gather its fuel along the way has one obvious advantage. It could stay aloft for days if not weeks. More conventional chemical power could be employed for take-offs and landings and for bursts of speed necessary for military applications. In fact, there is no reason that the propulsion systems of the Fleissner saucer and the liquid air saucer envisioned by Vesco could not be combined into one aircraft.
It is unknown at this time if actual steps were taken to realize a liquid air powered flying saucer by the Germans. Whether it was undertaken or not it certainly did lead thinking on to the next step in this process and for this step there is more than a little evidence. This step was mentioned in the Aftonbladet article. It involves atomic power. Yes, the Germans intended to build a nuclear powered flying saucer (23).
These are the conclusions first reached by Dr. Milos Jesensky and engineer Robert Lesniakiewicz in 1998. The former author is a Czech and the latter author is a Pole. Both belong to a large UFO organization which functions in both countries. After the Soviet pullout there were no restrictions on excavation of unused military sites belonging to the Germans during the Second World War. This organization got busy interviewing witnesses who had connections to those times as well as identifying German underground facilities. They opened up as many of these as they could find, and they were numerous. Most of the Polish sites were within the borders of Germany at that time since the borders, before and during the Second World War, extended into about 20% of Western Poland. Other sites were in the heavily German dominated areas of Moravia and Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.
Of course, the Germans had taken out what they wanted before retreating and then sealed up the entrances with explosives. As an example of how far this research group was willing to go, they not only opened up and explored the upper levels of Der Riese, mentioned earlier, but also explored the flooded lower levels, in the cold, silent darkness using scuba gear. Besides Der Riese,other very large sites were discovered and explored including"Robert 1", "Robert 11", and "Robert 111".
They found that the larger sites were really composed of a complex of sites. For instance, at Der Riese some of these sites within the larger facility were involved in mining uranium ore. Some were involved in refining the ore. Some other sites were involved in nuclear research (24).
Wartime German work in nuclear research was not confined to bomb building, as it was in the USA. The Germans were also interested in harnessing the atom as an energy source. Remember, Germany was dependent upon foreign sources of oil for energy. German planners long realized this was a weakness and had been trying to correct the problem since the early 1930s. Great plans were in the works, if not actually built, for atomic reactors used to generate electricity. These were sometimes called "uranium machines" by the Germans. Not only were these uranium machines to be used to generate electricity but they were also destined to power submarines and aircraft.
Dr. Jesensky and Mr. Lesniakiewicz assembled and analyzed the great volume of evidence they had gathered over the years. They analyzed the physical evidence of the sites and interviewed as many people as possible. From the thousands of observations made and facts collected, they tried to draw conclusions. They found a close proximity and close association of the German nuclear program to the German flying saucer program. They concluded that one aim of the German nuclear program was to build a nuclear powered flying saucer (23).
There is some independent evidence supporting this conclusion. After the war, German physicist Werner Heisenberg wrote a paper concerning German interest in atomic energy. In that paper Heisenberg stated that in the summer of 1942 discussion had occurred among technical people specializing in issues of heat.This discussion concerning the handling of technical questions about the efficiency of conversion of heat from uranium to determined materials, for example, water or steam (25). It is hoped the reader would recall Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo's specialties(materials and steam turbines) in connection to this discussion.
Further evidence can be gleaned from British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee Report. This report seems to follow a pattern we will see used again twice. The report does its best to discredit the informant in question, in this case a physicist and chemist, Josef Ernst, on one hand, while on the other hand the British thought it had enough merit to include this testimony concerning German research in some detail. Evidently, the intelligence agency in question is trying to cover all the bases in the event of any contingency. No matter if the scientist in question were to be cited or discredited, there would be language in the report substantiating both.
The report describes several areas of totally new German technology but what is of most importance to us here is Ernst's report of a new high speed fighter. The project designation isP-1073, and it was being developed by Messerschmitt. Three different engines were to be employed. The first was a B.M.W. 003engine using petrol as fuel. The second engine was to use crude oil. The third aircraft was to use an atomic engine. This engine was described as 60 cms. long and 20 cms. in diameter. Ernst said it produced about 2,000 horse power! This aircraft was supposed to have a speed of 2,000 kilometers per hour (about1250 m.p.h.) and a ceiling of 18,000 meters (over 54,000 feet).It was made at a Camp Mecklenburg. Only one model was ever made and it was destroyed, as was Camp Mecklenburg, by the SS before being taken by the Allies (26).
Establishment historians have all told us that the German atomic program was inept and disorganized. There may be some evidence for the charge that they did not share information between themselves due to strong rivalry (27) but the real facts are quite different than heretofore publicly disclosed (28). Theoverwhelming fact is that until now establishment historians havenot had enough information to reach final conclusions about the German atomic program. Many facts have been concealed and these facts are only now being brought into the open. One fact is that there were even more German atomic programs than previously known, and the fact is that one of these programs was run by the SS (28).
Top: British efforts to accredit and discredit their informant, Josef Ernst. This theme appears repeatedly in Allied documents in association with German informants. The intelligence people were merely covering themselves for all eventualities. Bottom: A German atomic airplane built at Mecklenburg. The Mecklenburg facility utilized some personnel which were considered to be a security risk.
One establishment historian, Thomas Powers (29), perhaps unwittingly gives us some insight into the discussion at hand,Powers concentrates on the historical sequence of the German atomic program and with the people involved and their relationships with one another. He also follows the progress ofthe many organizations researching atomic physics for the purposes of energy production and bomb making. Powers documents six such groups.
One group concerns this discussion. It was run by the Heereswaffenamt or Army Weapons Department. Its Director of Research was Dr. Erich Schumann who was also the scientific advisor to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. Schumann was a professor of military physics at the University of Berlin. He also held a commission in the army so with these credentials he was able to move comfortably in both academic and military circles. Schumann should be thought of as an administrator rather than a research scientist (30).
The field of research was left to Dr. Kurt Diebner (31). Diebner was a physicist for the Heereswaffenamt since 1934 and headed his own atomic research project. German physics during the war years was geared towards practical results. During the early phases of the war it was thought that nuclear weapons were unnecessary. The thinking at the time was that the war could be won without anatomic bomb using conventional weaponry. Therefore, work on atomic weapons was de-emphasized in the early years of the war.Work on atomic means of energy production was always a high priority, a priority which only got higher as the war drug to a conclusion.
Germany always felt more threatened by dependence upon foreign sources for energy. Therefore, harnessing the energy potential of the atom for an ongoing source of energy was always a concern for German atomic scientists, much more so than for the Americans. This aim is clearly mentioned in discussion among the scientists involved in the work.
In early 1942 the success of Diebner's reactor experiments lead him to propose a full-scale effort to develop both power- producing machines and atomic bombs. He continued to pressure Schumann who was more pessimistic about the possibilities of bringing this research to a practical result. Schumann finally became convinced and agreed to give a presentation to top Nazi officials of their findings. The text of Schumann's speech was to stress the more conservative energy production aspect of atomic research rather than the building of a bomb. This was considered more feasible and so gives us an insight into the German atomic program and its thinking (32).
One example of their optimism was the participation of Diebner in plans for building an atomic power plant for Germany's submarine fleet. The year 1945 was mentioned as a target date for this to happen (33)(34).
Diebner's relationship to Schumann is made clear by Powers.Powers also introduces us to two additional players who were not officially involved with this project but who somehow interject themselves into things making their view heard.
The first is industrial physicist, Carl Ramsauer. Ramsauer was the head of the German Physical Society and a leading researcher for the electrical firm Allgemeine Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft.Ramsauer urged the German research establishment to rid itself of ethnic physics and get down to the business of using science to win a war (35).
A second scientist interjected himself into the fray in support of Ramsauer. This was none other than Ludwig Prandtl whom we have met earlier (36). Prandtl was familiar with the potential of fission's use in the war effort and insisted that the Nazis let scientists do science without reference to ethnic background or politics. Why was German atomic research so important to an a scientist involved in aeronautics? What aims did Prandtl have in common with these other individuals which linked them together?What was the urgency that compelled Ramsauer and Prandtl to intervene in a matter outside their areas of expertise and in opposition to the will of Nazi officials?
To answer those questions, let us look at each individual involved and his major area of interest. Professor Erich Schumann's interest was the military application of atomic energy. Dr. Kurt Diebner's interest was the development of atomic energy for nuclear weaponry as well as for a variety of other applications. As an industrialist, Karl Ramsauer's expertise was putting technology into large-scale, practical, production. In this time and place that meant military production. We already know that Professor Ludwig Prandl's interests were round-wing, suction aircraft. The interests of these four could only coincide if we were discussing the military-industrial production of a nuclear powered, round-wing, suction aircraft.
In addition, it is now known that Dr. Diebner, more than any other well known German scientist, was at the heart of the German atomic bomb development. It was Dr. Diebner who participated in the development of a German uranium bomb which was being prepared in one of the underground facilities at Jonastal, specifically at a facility "Burg". Not only did Dr. Diebner do this but he did this within a working association with the SS atomic research team mentioned above (37). This SS connection runs back to Prag, the Skoda Works and the Kammler Group who held knowledge and control of every truly innovative weapons system being developed by the Third Reich including those at Peenemuende. As we know,this included the development of flying discs. The association of the facilities in and around Prag, the Kammler Group, atomic energy and German flying discs has been made by other researchers using other evidence (38). This connection seems very strong.
Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction
The 8th Army News, Triest, August 28, 1945, page three. For a short period of time, before the Cold War started heating up, censorship, both military and civilian was lax. It is from this time period from which we get much valuable information
The Germans were planning an nuclear powered flying saucer just as they were planning a nuclear powered submarine. The proof for both of these claims is the fact that the Americans discovered such plans, further developed them with captured German scientists, and built them in America after the war. We already know about the nuclear submarine and proof of American plans to build a nuclear flying saucer based upon German ideas has just been reveled.
Jim Wilson, writing in the November, 2000 edition of Popular Mechanics discloses something of major importance. Wilson tells of the days following the collapse of the 3rd Reich and a rumor which had begun circulating in Allied military intelligence circles. Interrogations of captured German aircraft engineers pointed to the development of a super-fast German rocket fighter at a secret base in Bavaria (the reader will recall the research aircraft 8-346 and P-073 mentioned earlier). This aircraft, according to Wilson's article, featured odd looking curved wings which blended into the fuselage.
Documents obtained by Wilson point to an American secret saucer project, separate and parallel to Project Silver Bug, of German inspiration and involving captured German personnel. This project, called the Lenticular Reentry Vehicle (LRV), was a flying saucer designed to carry four nuclear tipped missiles into earth orbit for a mission duration of six weeks at a time. The saucer had a four man crew, was forty feet in diameter and was powered by a combination of chemical rocket engines and nuclear power (39).
The chemical engines were the hypergolic rocket engines of the same type as employed by the Germans during the war in the Me-162 rocket interceptor and referred to earlier.
Besides the chemical rocket engine, two atomic engines were employed as atomic rockets. In this type of engine a liquid gas(perhaps liquid air as described above) which is very cold, is passed through the atomic reactor or passed through a radiator of molten metal heated by the reactor. The liquid gas turns to vapor instantly and is accelerated out the rear of the rocket at a greater velocity than can be obtained by burning two liquid gases, for instance, hydrogen and oxygen. Although a shielded nuclear reactor is certainly heavier than an air-cooled aero-engine, there might an overall weight savings as compared to a conventional liquid rocket system since a liquid oxidizer, such as liquid oxygen, need not be carried on the vehicle. The atomic engine would also produce electricity for the saucer using this expansive output coupled to a turbine generator.
How An Atomic Rocket Works
Top: The simple story is that hydrogen is passed through orby an atomic reactor. The very cold liquid hydrogen ininstantly heated and greatly expands, providing thrust for the rocket. No actual combustion occurs and no oxidizer is needed. Bottom: A detailed look at the reactor itself.
Wilson cites some evidence that this saucer was built and actually flew (40). Orbiting at an altitude of 300 miles and with a six week mission, this saucer was in reality an orbiting space station capable of raining destruction down upon any country or countries deemed an enemy. One can extrapolate a rotation system by which such a dreadnought was always kept on station for such a contingency. Klaus-Peter Rothkugel has suggested that an orbiting doomsday space station such as this was to be called the "Gatland Space Station" and that it was part of a strategic military joint-effort between the United States,Britain, Canada and perhaps Australia. Before the Popular Mechanics revelation, this assertion might have been dismissed as lacking in proof but now this idea must be given a hearing.
Wilson states that project's general contractor was North American Aviation in California but the project was managed out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where German engineers who worked on rocket plane and flying disc projects were housed under secret contract with the United States government (41).
The Popular Mechanics article is based upon information obtained from working on the American perspective and going back in time. The Freedom Of Information Act was very skillfully employed in obtaining this information. What Mr. Wilson did not know was what the reader knows now, that there is a trail of information leading to the American nuclear saucer project which started in Germany in the 1930s. One example which links both lines of evidence and bringing them full-circle back to the German origin is one report recently obtained via FOIA on a particular German scientist working at that Wright-Patterson facility.
This is a December, 1946 report written by one of those captured German scientists working under contract for the USA, Dr. Franz J. Neugebauer, titled "Effect Of Power-Plant Weight On Economy Of Flight (Project No. NFE-64). Dr. Neugebauer was, in fact, one of those "booty scientists" brought to the USA under the auspices of Operation Paperclip. The Biographical Note in the report, "Effects Of Power-Plant Weight On the Economy Of Flight", describes Dr. Neugebauer as:
"Dr. Franz J. Neugebauer is the foremost German authority on this subject. An Expert on internal-combustion engines and a specialist for Diesel compound aircraft engines, he held leading positions at Junkers in Dessau and Munich from 1924 to 1943, andwas director of the engineering department of the Institute forAeronautical Research at Munich from 1943 to 1945.
Dr. Neugebauer is employed at present in the Propulsion Section, Analysis Division, Intelligence (T-2), MAC, Wright field, Dayton, Ohio" (42).
Two comments are in order. The first is that Junkers-Dessau is associated with a possible German saucer project designated "Schildkroete" which will be discussed later. The second comment is that Dr. Neugebauer was not brought to the USA to build diesel-powered aircraft. Diesel engines are much heavier than piston type aero-engines of those times. Dr. Neugebauer's relevant expertise is, in reality, his knowledge of the effects of heavy engines on aircraft performance and economy.
Nowhere in this report are the words "atomic rocket" mentioned but the implications are clear. As touched upon above, an atomic rocket's weight distribution would be somewhat different from that of a conventional rocket or aircraft. The nuclear reactor would be weighty but the fuel load would be lighter because no oxidizer, such as liquid oxygen, would be necessary. Also, the power output would be somewhat greater than an ordinary liquid fuel chemical rocket. The three variables as opposed to the already known figures for piston, jet or chemical rocket engines are greater engine weight, lesser fuel weight, and greater power output. A new equation was necessary if atomic rockets were to be fitted into an aircraft design calling for a certain speed,payload or range. It was Dr. Neugebauer's job to do this computation.
The following is a paragraph from the introduction of this report(43). It seems to say nothing but state the obvious until one thinks "atomic engine":
Without ever mentioning the word "atomic", Dr. Neugebauer did the mathematical computations necessary to establish the feasibility of an atomic powered aircraft. Thanks to the work of Mr. Wilson, we know that at least advanced planning was undertaken with the goal of building an atomic powered flying saucer. There is no doubt that the Americans would not have involved captured German scientists in this project unless it was absolutely necessary to do so. The reason it was necessary was the same reason which other German scientists were employed in America's ballistic missile program. It was because both groups of German scientists has previous experience. Both groups worked on very similar projects in Germany during the war. These scientists and their projects were far ahead of the Americans in both these areas. The input of these scientists was absolutely essential if these projects were to succeed in a timely matter, meaning, ahead ofthe Soviets.
Two final points or comments should be added to this discussion. First, while the Peenemuende saucer project was run in and around Peenemuende, research and component work were probably also done in other facilities elsewhere within the Greater Reich. References to saucer research at some of these other sites by this or other writers may be, in fact, part of the overall Peenemuende project.
Second, historically speaking, the German atomic projects have always been minimized to say the least. For whatever reason,there seems to have been a concerted effort to deny German expertise in the field of atomic energy. Originally, this may have been government inspired. Now, however, it seems to be a mantra taken up as part of some agenda whose specifics remain clouded. "Nay-saying" regarding German atomic projects has become sheik and those who expound it imply knowledge and sophistication in their opinions. Anyone doubting the high degree of understanding possessed within the Third Reich concerning matters "atomic" should take a look at the evidence being put forth by on-site investigators and German language researchers which have arisen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Much of this information is in book form available from Anum Verlag. Anyone with the interest and ability to read German language is urged to contact this publisher for a list of publications. After reviewing the evidence, German wartime expertise in atomic research sounds much less far-fetched than the nay-sayers would have you believe.
The Peenemuende Project
Sources and References