In science fiction, conspiracy theory, and underground comic books, stories or claims circulate linking UFOs to Nazi Germany. These Nazi UFO theories describe supposedly successful attempts to develop advanced aircraft or spacecraft prior to and during World War II, and further claim the post-war survival of these craft in secret underground bases in Antarctica, South America or the United States, along with their creators. Within the canon of media various code-names or sub-classification of UFO craft are identified: Rundflugzeug, Feuerball, Diskus, Haunebu, Hauneburg-Geräte, V7, VRIL, Kugelblitz, Andromeda-Geräte, Flugkreisel, Kugelwaffen, Reichsflugscheiben.
Accounts appear from as early as 1950, likely inspired by historical German development of specialized engines such as Viktor Schauberger’s “Repulsine” around the time of WWII. Elements of the claims have been widely incorporated into various works of fictional and purportedly non-fictional media including video games and documentaries, often mixed with more substantiated information.
Nazi UFO literature very often conforms largely to documented history on the following points:
-Nazi Germany claimed the territory of New Swabia in Antarctica, sent an expedition there in 1938,
and planned others.
-Nazi Germany conducted research into advanced propulsion technology, including rocketry, Viktor
Schauberger’s engine research, flying wing craft and the Arthur Sack A.S.6 experimental circular
-Some UFO sightings during World War II, particularly those known as foo fighters, were thought by
the allies to be prototype enemy aircraft designed to harass Allied aircraft through
electromagnetic disruption; a technology similar to today’s electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons.
In 1947 Robert A. Heinlein published a science fiction novel Rocket Ship Galileo that featured a Nazi moon base.
The earliest assertion of Nazi flying saucers appears to have been an article which appeared in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale d’Italia in early 1950. Written by Professor Giuseppe Belluzzo, an Italian scientist and a former Italian Minister of National Economy under the Mussolini regime, it claimed that “types of flying discs were designed and studied in Germany and Italy as early as 1942”. Belluzzo also expressed the opinion that “some great power is launching discs to study them”.
The Bell UFO was among the first flying objects to be connected with the Nazis. It apparently had occult markings on it and it was also rumoured to have been very similar to a German Document about a vertical take off aircraft. The Bell supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania in the 50’s. The same month, German engineer Rudolf Schriever gave an interview to German news magazine Der Spiegel in which he claimed that he had designed a craft powered by a circular plane of rotating turbine blades 49 ft (15 m) in diameter. He said that the project had been developed by him and his team at BMW’s Prague works until April 1945, when he fled Czechoslovakia. His designs for the disk and a model were stolen from his workshop in Bremerhaven-Lehe in 1948 and he was convinced that Czech agents had built his craft for “a foreign power”. In a separate interview with Der Spiegel in October 1952 he said that the plans were stolen from a farm he was hiding in near Regen on 14 May 1945. There are other discrepancies between the two interviews that add to the confusion.
In 1953, when Avro Canada announced that it was developing the VZ-9-AV Avrocar, a circular jet aircraft with an estimated speed of 1,500 mph (2,400 km/h), German engineer Georg Klein claimed that such designs had been developed during the Third Reich. Klein identified two types of supposed German flying disks:
-A non-rotating disk developed at Breslau by V-2 rocket engineer Richard Miethe, which was captured
by the Soviets, while Miethe fled to the US via France, and ended up working for Avro.
-A disk developed by Rudolf Schriever and Klaus Habermohl at Prague, which consisted of a ring of
moving turbine blades around a fixed cockpit. Klein claimed that he had witnessed this craft’s
first manned flight on 14 February 1945, when it managed to climb to 12,400 m (40,700 ft) in 3
minutes and attained a speed of 2,200 km/h (1,400 mph) in level flight.
Aeronautical engineer Roy Fedden remarked that the only craft that could approach the capabilities attributed to flying saucers were those being designed by the Germans towards the end of the war. Fedden (who was also chief of the technical mission to Germany for the Ministry of Aircraft Production) stated in 1945:
“ I have seen enough of their designs and production plans to realize that if they (the Germans) had managed to prolong the war some months longer, we would have been confronted with a set of entirely new and deadly developments in air warfare. ”
Fedden also added that the Germans were working on a number of very unusual aeronautical projects, though he did not elaborate upon his statement.
In 1959, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, editor of the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book wrote:
“When WWII ended, the Germans had several radical types of aircraft and guided missiles under development. The majority were in the most preliminary stages, but they were the only known craft that could even approach the performance of objects reported to UFO observers.”
Morning of the Magicians
Le Matin des Magiciens, a 1960 book by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, made many spectacular claims about the Vril Society of Berlin. Several years later writers, including Jan van Helsing, Norbert-Jürgen Ratthofer, and Vladimir Terziski, have built on their work, connecting the Vril Society with UFOs. Among their claims, they imply that the society may have made contact with an alien race and dedicated itself to creating spacecraft to reach the aliens. In partnership with the Thule Society and the Nazi Party, the Vril Society developed a series of flying disc prototypes. With the Nazi defeat, the society allegedly retreated to a base in Antarctica and vanished.
Vladimir Terziski, a Bulgarian engineer who bills himself as president of the American Academy of Dissident Sciences, claims that the Germans collaborated in their advanced craft research with Axis powers Italy and Japan, and continued their space effort after the war from a base in New Swabia. He alleges that Germans may have landed on the Moon as early as 1942 and established an underground base there. Terziski relates that when Russians and Americans secretly landed on the moon in the 1950s they stayed at this still-operating base. According to Terziski, “there is atmosphere, water and vegetation on the Moon,” which NASA conceals to exclude the third world from moon exploration. Terziski has been accused of fabricating his video and photographic evidence.
Ernst Zündel’s marketing ploy
When German Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel started Samisdat Publishers in the 1970s, he initially catered to the UFOlogy community, which was then at its peak of public acceptance. His books claimed that flying saucers were Nazi secret weapons launched from an underground base in Antarctica, from which the Nazis hoped to conquer the world and possibly the planets. Zündel also sold (for $9999) seats on an exploration team to locate the polar entrance to the hollow earth. Some who interviewed Zündel claim that he privately admitted it was a deliberate hoax to build publicity for Samisdat, although he still defended it as late as 2002.
Miguel Serrano’s book
In 1978 Miguel Serrano, a Chilean diplomat and Nazi sympathizer, published The Golden Band, in which he claimed that Adolf Hitler was an Avatar of Vishnu and was at that time communing with Hyperborean gods in an underground Antarctic base in New Swabia. Serrano predicted that Hitler would lead a fleet of UFOs from the base to establish the Fourth Reich. In popular culture, this alleged UFO fleet is referred to as the Nazi flying saucers from Antarctica.