Saucers and the
German flying disc from World War II makes a test flight
in and artist's illustration. Did it really happen?(Copyright
Lee Krystek, 2008)
Hitler and the Third Reich led Europe into a decade
of terror in the first half of the 20th century that culminated
in World War II. Technology played a greater part in that war
than in past conflicts and the Germans developed an amazing array
of secret weapons in a short time. Were flying discs part of the
Luftwaffe arsenal? And if so, was this secret looted and used
by the Allied victors after the war?
More than any war before it, World War II was the
war of secret weapons. A few of these advances, like the American
atomic bomb and the British ability to crack the German communication
ciphers may have actually tipped the outcome of the conflict.
The Axis powers also had their secrets and many of the most clandestine
German war-time technical advances are now well known.
V-2 rocket ready to launch.
Hitler's forces flew the first military jet, the German
Heinkel 178, in 1939. In 1943 the Germans also deployed the only
jet fighter to go into regular service during the war: The Messerschmitt
262. This ME-262 could easily overtake the fastest Allied aircraft
and only Hitler's misguided orders that the planes be outfitted
as bombers instead of defensive fighters saved Allied aircraft
from devastating casualties.
Cruise missiles, a staple of current advanced arsenals,
were also first used by the Third Reich during the war. V-1 flying
bombs were launched from German-held territories across the channel
into England. The "buzz bombs," as they were sometimes called
because of the sound of their impulse jet engines, could outrun
most Allied aircraft, making the V-1's almost impossible to stop.
The V-1's weakness was its guidance system (a problem solved in
modern cruise missiles by the use of computer-controlled radar).
Because it couldn't hit a pinpoint target, the V-1 could only
be used to cause random terror and not zero in on truly important
The German V-2 rocket was the predecessor of the intercontinental
ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that filled the nuclear arsenals of
the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. It
traveled up to 225 miles at five times the speed of sound and
a single hit could demolish a city block. During the war, the
V-2 killed 2724 civilians and injured another 6467. Like the V-1,
though, it lacked a guidance system that would have allowed it
to effectively strike at important targets.
Hitler's engineers even developed a rocket-powered
fighter, the ME 163. Though it only saw limited service and
was never very successful as a fighter, it was the first aircraft
to fly faster than 600 miles an hour.
After the war, rumors surfaced that the Nazis had
one more secret weapon that was still hidden: flying disc-shaped
aircraft. According to these stories, some of the victorious Allied
nations had plundered the German laboratories where these aircraft
were being developed and secret testing of these devices explained
many of the reports of flying saucers that appeared in the United
States and the Soviet Union in the 1950's.
craft was supposedly designed by Mierth.
(Copyright Lee Krystek, 2008)
Many of the reports of Nazi flying saucers can be
traced back to a book entitled German Secret Weapons of World
War II written by Rudolf Lusar in the late 1950's. Lusar had
been a major in a German army technical unit during the war. His
book covered many of the acknowledged advances like the V1 and
V2, but also included a chapter on "Wonder Weapons."
According to Lusar, a German aircraft designer named
Rudolf Schriever, along with other engineers Habermohl, Mierth
and Bellanzo (who was Italian), were working on several disc-shaped
aircraft toward the end of the war. At a facility near Breslau,
Poland, a group headed by Miethe constructed a prototype of a
circular air vehicle 137 feet in diameter with an elongated hump
on top for the cockpit. The aircraft was to be powered with "adjustable
jet engines." In Lusar's account, the device was destroyed when
the plant where it was being constructed was blown up by retreating
German troops before it could be overrun by the Soviets in 1945.
At a second location just outside Prague, Czechoslovakia,
according to Lusar, another group headed by Schriever and Habermohl
were working on an additional disc aircraft. Diagrams included
in the book show a central egg-shaped control pod surrounded by
a nearly flat disc. The flat disc appears to be composed of fan
blades that rotate to create lift. Ports on the lower part of
the pod appear to be connected to jet engines that provide the
concept of a Schriever "Flying Disc" over the alps.
Lee Krystek 1997.)
Lusar states that the Schriever machine was tested
in 1945 and supposedly reached an altitude of 12 kilometers (39,000
feet) in a little over three minutes. He continues by saying it
had a top speed of 2000 kilometer an hour (1,200mph) - substantially
faster than the speed of sound.
These claims seem somewhat incredible. According to
conventional history, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier
the X-1, an American rocket-powered plane in 1947. It seems unlikely
that Schriever's group would have been able to make such a drastic
leap in performance so early and so quickly. In addition, comments
from Schriever himself, who relocated to the United States after
the war, indicate that any prototypes of the craft were destroyed
before flight test as the Germans abandoned their facilities in
the face of advancing Allied troops.
According to Lusar, the Germans' had also developed
small automated, unconventional aircraft. One version was called
the Feuerball while another, capable of vertical takeoff,
was referred to as the Kugelblitz. According to stories,
these craft were only armed with devices designed to guide them
to allied aircraft and interfere with their electronics and engines.
The Feuerball and Kugelblitz stories
seem to parallel tales of "foo-fighters" told by Allied pilots
during the war. Despite this, it seems unlikely that Feuerballs
and Kugelblitzs were ever actually built or flown. The "foo-fighters"
observed were probably some purely natural phenomena. No Allied
plane ever reported being attacked or disabled by a foo-fighter
and it is likely that if the Germans had invented a device capable
of tracking planes as well as the foo-fighters apparently did,
they would have soon armed it with more effective weapons.
Nick Cook, a respected aviation journalist for Jane's
Defense Weekly looked into the claims for German flying
discs in his 2001 book The Hunt for Zero Point. Cook
became interested in unconventional aircraft after seeing some
articles written in the 1950's that quoted respected experts
of the era, like Lawrence D. Bell (whose company designed the
supersonic X-1) predicting that the next major breakthrough
in aviation could be anti-gravity devices. His research led
him to Lusar's book and the stories of German flying saucers.
Cook was perhaps one of the few aviation writers that
was willing to take the "Legend" of German flying saucers seriously.
While researching his book he visited many of the locations mentioned
in German Secret Weapons of World War II. He also connected
the stories of the German saucer designers to the work of a man
named Victor Schauberger.
inventor Victor Schauberger.
Schauberger was born in Austria in 1885 and was considered
by many to be a crackpot. Schauberger himself is quoted as saying,
"They call me deranged. The hope is they are right..." While his
professional training was as a "forester," Cook, after visiting
the Schauberger's grandson and examining his papers and the machinery
he had constructed, concluded that Schauberger was actually more
of an engineer. Schauberger believed that machines could be designed
better so that they would be "going with the flow of nature" rather
than against it.
One of Schauberger's projects was to produce a flying
machine, saucer shaped, that used a "vortex propulsion" system.
His theory was that "if water or air is rotated into a twisting
form of oscillation, known as a 'colloidal,' a build-up of energy
results, which, with immense power, can cause levitation."
According to some accounts, Schauberger built several
models, one of which was almost five feet in diameter and was
powered by a 1/20 hp electric engine. Some reports indicated that
one of the models actually flew. In an echo of the story of the
Schriever disc, Schauberger wrote to a friend that a full-sized
prototype of one of his designs was constructed using prison labor
at the Mauhausen concentration camp. This craft flew on February
19th of 1945 near Prague and obtained an altitude of 45,000 feet
in only 3 minutes. The letter goes on to say the prototype was
destroyed by the Nazis before it could be captured by the Allies.
After the war Schauberger moved to the United States,
where some contend he worked on secret projects for the U.S. government.
He died in 1958, apparently claiming his ideas had been stolen.
Cook concluded that if the stories about Schauberger's
work were true, his devices must have created an anti-gravity
effect. Cook even visited a location in the remote Sudeten Mountains
in Poland where antigravity experiments were supposed to have
taken place using a bell-shaped device that glowed a pale blue
of Disc Aircraft
The "Legend" of German flying saucers is fascinating,
but is any of it true? It certainly seems likely that there was
some experimentation with the concept within the Reich, as there
was in the United States. Disc-shaped aircraft have several advantages,
including low stall speed and low drag, even at high speeds. The
rounded shape can also lower the craft's radar profile making
The low stall/drag of the shape would have been particularly
interesting to the Germans at the end of the war. Months of bombing
had reduced German runways to rubble. A saucer-shaped craft might
have been able to lift off the ground with a short runway or even
do a vertical-takeoff-and -landing with no runway at all.
In his book Cook concludes that Nazis flying saucer
technology was appropriated by the United States and the Soviet
Union at the end of the war. This suggestion is not wholly without
merit, since it is now clear that US and USSR rocketry development
in the 50's and 60's owed a lot to German scientists. These engineers,
quietly brought into the United States via operation "Paperclip,"
assisted the United States in its space program and its Cold War
struggle against the Soviet Union. Similarly, according to author
Jim Wilson in an article in Popular Mechanics in July 1997, there
are records that suggest at least two people, brothers named Walter
and Reimar Horten, were sought by the United States after the
war because of their participation in German military saucer programs.
It is clear that at least some of the Nazi saucer
lore developed after the war, rather than during it. In his book,
UFOs: Nazi Secret Weapons? author Ernst Zundel claims that
Hitler escaped at the end of the war to establish a flying saucer
base in Antarctica. Zundel's tale is connected with the discredited
idea that the earth is hollow and the
interior can be accessed from the polar regions. As colorful as
such stories are, they are so far afield from reality that they
can't be taken seriously.
In contrast, Cook's assertion in The Hunt for Zero
Point that antigravity technology was spirited out of Germany
at the end of the war doesn't seem all that far-fetched. It is
difficult to believe, however, that such advanced knowledge, if
it really worked, would not have shown up in the intervening 60
years in U.S. military equipment or through the NASA space program.
The ability to shield an object from gravity, if it could be done,
would greatly decrease the cost and difficulty of putting objects
"Man-Made UFOs 1944-1994"
Lee Krystek 1997-2008. All Rights Reserved.