by Kevin McClure

This is

  1. a request for help with research
  2. a report on research so far
  3. a note of caution to those who have concluded that there is a continuous line of development from a world war II German technology involving the flight of high performance circular and spherical aircraft, to the stimuli for a wide range of aerial events that have been reported between the end of the war and now.
  4. a response to the information presented by Tim Matthews in his widely distributed report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!

I’m certainly not the first researcher to attempt to establish what is, and isn’t, true among the many claims made concerning the achievements of German wartime technology. I’m sure I won’t be the last. I’ll openly admit that I have a very limited understanding of any kind of technology, including aeronautical issues, and that I have to depend on others to assist me in that respect. But then, I suspect that much of the research that is necessary here deals with a mixture of history, belief, and disinformation. And I’m familiar with all of those.

I do hope to reach a reasonably firm conclusion to the question, at least so that if any further information on the subject comes to light, we can tell how it fits in, and whether it’s likely to be true. And it’s only fair that I admit to my current view. I’m not exactly open-minded, and on the basis of my research to date I’d like to suggest the following hypotheses as a starting-point – 

  1. Prior to 1950, no claim was made of any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
  2. No contemporary documentary evidence (from before 1946) has been produced regarding any successful flight by high performance circular or spherical aircraft in Germany during the war.
  3. The only sources of original information and evidence for the wide, circular ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ come from a brief newsagency report quoted in Der Spiegel in 1950, under the name of a “Captain Rudolph Schriever” (also possibly appearing at the same time in the Italian press), and from German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Major Rudolf Lusar, published in Germany in 1957, and in London and New York in 1959. Schriever seems to suggest that the craft did not progress beyond blueprint stage, but Lusar appears to have taken the ‘Schriever’ account, turned the planned speed and height figures into ones that had actually been achieved, changed some of the technical details, and added the vague, non-technical drawing of this supposed craft which has been reprinted in various contexts since.
    I am not aware that Schreiver’s existence has ever been confirmed, and no proof has been produced to show that Lusar would have had direct access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about such a ‘flying disc’, which he claims “climbed to an altitude of 12,400m” “within three minutes”, “and reached a speed of 2,000 km.h”, on 14 February 1945. There is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with German encyclopedias, has found no mention of Lusar, or of any ‘Flying Disc’ with such a performance record.
  4. The only source of original information and evidence for the spherical craft described as feuerball and kugelblitz is the writer Renato Vesco, author of (the English title) Intercept – But Don’t Shoot, published in Italy in 1968 and in the USA in 1971, and of two other books in Italian. He was also the first to make the link between those alleged craft and various reports of light anomalies during the war, suggesting that they were the cause of the ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon. No proof has been produced to show how or why Vesco would have had access – denied to conventional historians – to any source of information about these flying spheres, and there is no independent evidence which suggests that these claims for feuerball and kugelblitz have any basis in fact. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war, together with Italian encyclopedias, has found no mention of Vesco, or the feuerball and kugelblitz.
  5. It is highly probable that the kugelblitz (fireball/ball lightning), which Vesco, first, and many others since have believed to be an aircraft, circular or spherical, tested early in 1945, was actually an anti-tank gun. Two prototypes of a weapon of this name were, it seems, tested early in 1945. (Source German Tanks of World War II in Action by George Forty)
  6. There is no contemporary (pre-1946), or other, documentary proof of any kind for the existence or flight, during the war, or at any other time, of the unconventional ‘flying saucer’ craft known as Vril and Haunebu. The material suggesting that these craft, and the related methods of propulsion, existed appears to have made its first appearance some 40 years after the war. An extensive search of conventional literature on the war has found no mention of Vril or Haunebu.
  7. Schriever and Lusar make no mention of the feuerball and kugelblitz. Vesco makes no mention of the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’. Neither Lusar nor Vesco mention the Vril or Haunebu craft.

Do you know more – or better?
None of the hypotheses set out above are final conclusions. I want them to be discussed, and if evidence emerges to prove any of them wrong, or to improve our understanding of this subject in any way, it will be included in Secrets or Lies 2, which I hope to put out in 3 months or so from now. However, they do have a particular context, which needs explaining. 

For some reason, a number of writers have recently placed new articles about ‘Nazi UFOs’ in the UFO media. The first of these that I came across was by UK researcher Tim Matthews, whose article ‘The New Ufology’ in Sightings magazine, Vol.2 No 7 depended heavily on ‘Nazi UFO’ material taken from the Net, which I recognised from a little research I’d done several years ago. Since then, I understand that Matthews has written a book called UFO Revelation, to be published by Blandford in 1998, which will make substantial use of the supposed reality of German wartime technology. He has also – as many of you will be aware – published on the Net (and graciously sent me a hard copy) a report titled Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY! 

While I am responding particularly to Flying Saucers: SECRET HISTORY!, this is certainly not the only material to have been produced recently. UFO Magazine, Alien Encounters (twice), The Probe and Atlantis Rising have also published lengthy pieces which include a variety of theories, including the one that the Nazi UFOs were actually back-engineered from an alien craft that crashed in Poland in 1938, and was appropriated by the Germans when they invaded. Corso’s Day After Roswell seems to suggest that the German technological advances were so great that they may have had ‘help’. Nick Redfern’s FBI Files expresses an acceptance, at least, of the ‘Nazi UFO’ hypothesis on a similar basis. Without exception, all of these pieces, and the arguments on which they are based, depend on the assumption that successful flight(s) by high performance circular and/or spherical aircraft took place in Germany during the war. If the available evidence is insufficient to reasonably conclude that those flights did not take place, then we should be concluding that all those pieces, all those arguments, are deeply flawed. The same point applies to W A Harbinson’s Genesis/Projekt UFO material, which has been widely accepted as authoritative until now. 

Specific questions
A number of questions need answering in order to progress this research. Any help you can give with any of them will be greatly appreciated. They also suggest some of the areas I believe require consideration before anyone concludes that there really were any ‘Nazi UFOs’. 

  1. Any search on the Net using the key words ‘Nazi UFOs’ or similar will produce several items by “Al Pinto” or “Tal”, apparently “Sponsored by Vangard Sciences, PO Box 1031, Mesquite, TX 75150, USA”. At first sight the extensive information given on these sites appears factual and well-researched, and apparently quotes an article written by Vesco for Argosy Magazine, August 1969, which goes some way beyond what is included in Intercept. Additional material re Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger is added to quotes from Vesco and Lusar, particularly a claim that Schauberger had developed the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’ at Malthausen Concentration Camp, using prisoners to do the work. Who are “Al Pinto” and “Tal”, and what is “Vangard Sciences”?
  2. What genuine, provable, biographical information is available for Renato Vesco? Pinto states that “Renato Vesco is a fully licensed aircraft engineer and a specialist in aerospace and ramjet developments. He attended the University of Rome and, before WWII, studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development. During the war, Vesco worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy. In the 1960s, he worked for the Italian Air Ministry of Defense as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery.”
    However, on the cover of Intercept – But Don’t Shoot is the unambiguous statement that
    “Renato Vesco was born in Arona, Italy, in 1924. A licensed pilot, in 1944 he commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force. In 1946-47 he served in the Reparto Tecnico Caccia. Mr Vesco has been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics since 1943, and is a student of aeronautical problems, particularly in the field of jet propulsion. He is a contributor to various aeronautical publications.”
    There is clearly something very wrong here. Born in 1924, Vesco would have been 14 or 15 when WWII broke out. Surely, by that age, he had not attended the University of Rome and studied at the German Institute for Aerial Development? If he worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret installations in Italy, why didn’t Schreiver or Lusar mention him?
    Would he really have “commanded the technical section of the Italian Air Force” at the age of 19 or 20, and “been a senior member of the Italian Association of Aerotechnics” at the age of 18 or 19? Surely, if he really were that remarkable, that important, his name would have appeared in the index or references of at least one of the countless books about the war that I’ve examined? Yet it doesn’t. Who was Vesco, and what did he really know about wartime German aircraft? Where did his material come from?
  3. Similar questions arise about Lusar. He is never more than vaguely described, sometimes as being involved in the wartime German Ministry of Propaganda, and elsewhere as being in the Patent Office. However, he was only a Major, and it seems likely that the material in his book was all, by 1957, available to those who went to look for it. Is there any convincing biographical information available about Lusar that suggests that he had any special access to information about the ‘Schriever, Habermohl, Miethe and Bellonzo Flying Disc’?
  4. Is there any convincing biographical information of any kind about Captain Rudolph Schriever to confirm that given in the Der Spiegel report? He was said to have been a former Luftwaffe Captain, born in 1909 or 1910, and a graduate of Prague University. He is also said to have been an aircraft designer whose blueprints for a “flying top” were stolen from his laboratory before Germany’s collapse. In 1950 he was a US Army Driver at Bremerhaven. If all these claims are true, I suspect that it should be possible to trace Schriever, and to establish whether he really worked with the others near Prague in 1944 and 1945 on the development of a ‘Nazi UFO’.
  5. Is there any convincing biographical material at all about “Habermohl” that suggests that he was the Klaus Habermohl who “designed the first radial-flow engine”, and which places him with the team near Prague in 1944/45?
  6. Is there any biographical information at all to suggest that “the Italian Bellonzo” referred to by Lusar is, as asserted by Matthews, the same person as “Guiseppe Belluzzo”, who Maurizio Verga has said was a “turbine expert who had been working upon various circular craft from 1942.”
  7. The link between German spherical craft and the ‘foo fighter’ stories appears to have been made first by Vesco in 1969. Generally, the ‘foo fighter’ stories referred to lights and not to solid objects, but Vesco produced a handful of very detailed accounts (including reported conversations between the pilots involved!) which have formed the basis of most modern accounts of this phenomenon. I have a strong suspicion that in order to find these accounts Vesco looked no further than contemporary popular magazines such as Ray Palmer’s essentially fictitious Amazing Stories. The issue for May 1946 has been mentioned. Has anybody else looked at this issue, and come up with any answers? I intend to deal with ‘foo fighters’ in detail in Secrets or Lies 2.
  8. Has anybody ever seen a copy of the supposed magazine/newsletter Brisant, which is used to introduce Harbinson’s book Projekt UFO? Henry Stephens’ ‘German Research Project’ sales list claims that “Harbinson’s publisher lost his copy of Brisant, no complete copy has been located”. All that is usually published from it is a supposed drawing of a plan of a flying saucer, to quote Harbinson “altered by the West German government to render them ‘safe’ for publication”. I’ll be putting this point directly to Harbinson’s publisher, but is there any convincing evidence at all that Brisant, including the drawing, was anything other than a work of imagination produced more than 30 years after the war?
  9. Has anyone, previously, suggested that the AP release of December 1944 about the Germans having “a secret weapon in keeping with the Christmas season” which “resembles the glass balls which adorn Christmas trees”, “are coloured silver and are apparently transparent”, and “have been seen hanging in the air over German territory, sometimes singly, sometimes in clusters”, was actually a light-hearted bit of fun designed for Christmas? The phenomenon described certainly doesn’t bear any resemblance at all to the ‘foo fighter’ reports.
    More important, this item apparently appeared in the South Wales Argus for 13 December 1944 and the New York Herald Tribune for 2 January 1945. Any competent historian will be aware that in wartime, censorship ensures that the existence of mysterious, enemy secret weapons is not announced by AP, and published openly by the newspapers of combatant nations. Mainstream history has taken no notice of these reports, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I suggest they were no more than reprints of a slight, seasonal joke.
    1. Conclusion, and a search for reference material
      As I have said, this document is just a starting-point. To be able to pursue this subject further much more reference material is needed, and I’ll set out a few items which, if you can provide copies of them, would be really helpful. I can pay a bit, but loans or photocopies would be hugely appreciated! The following items come to mind . . . 

      • American Legion Magazine, Dec 1945(?) re foo fighters
      •  Ray Palmer’s Amazing Stories – any issue referring to foo fighters
      • Terziski, Vladimir – Close Encounters of the Kugelblitz Kind (book)
      • Michael X – The German Saucer Story (book)

      Thanks are due to David Sivier, Dave Newton, Peter Brookesmith, Peter Williams, Wayne Spencer, Andy Roberts, Peter Rogerson, Eugene Doherty, Hilary Evans, Martin Kottmeyer and James Moseley, for their help and advice in getting this far.

      Updates, and an intriguing possibility
      Well, the regressionist doctor in the ‘Alison’s Balloon’ case didn’t respond to my second letter. I sent him, too, a copy of the lengthy article ‘Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse – Implications for clinical practice’, from the British Journal of Psychiatry no 172 (1998), so that he is clear about the current professional view of using hypnotic regression to recover memories of traumatic events. I also asked him to confirm, in view of the RCP warnings, that he would never use the technique in the context of a supposed UFO case again. Let’s hope that he is, at least, inhibited from undertaking such a procedure again. I’ll write to the GMC on this issue as soon as I have time.

      Silence, too, from the publisher Headline (who had sent a holding letter promising an informed response), and investigator Tony Dodd about the serious discrepancies between the two accounts of the ‘Jason’ case. It seems that neither is willing to have the evidence examined or tested by any person other than those involved in the creation of the book. As we can’t tell which version – if either – is true, I suggest that we might just as well ignore this wretched book, and spare a thought for Jason from time to time. Perhaps the apparent marginalisation of Tony Dodd within UK ufology will reduce the chances of this scenario occurring again in future.

      And silence, as well, from Remote Viewer and self-publicist Tim Rifat, who I asked for objective evidence of his supposedly far-reaching powers, offering to put him in touch with scientists who would be only too happy to run the appropriate tests. I suspect that there is no independent proof whatsoever available of Rifat’s claims of positively superhuman powers, which underpin his well-documented attempts to make substantial sums of money, so I was intrigued when, a couple of days ago, I came across a copy of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951. I’ve had little time to research this yet, but it still appears to be ‘in force’ – that is, I don’t think it’s been repealed – and it seems, interestingly, to apply in Scotland. Section 1 of the Act provides that

      (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any person who –

      (a) with intent to deceive purports to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise any powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers, or 

      (b) in purporting to act as a spiritualistic medium or to exercise such powers as aforesaid, uses any fraudulent device.
      shall be guilty of an offence.

      (2) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under the foregoing subsection unless it is proved that he acted for reward; and for the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to act for reward if any money is paid, or other valuable thing given, in respect of what he does, whether to him or to any other person. 

      Subsections (3) and (4) provide for fines and periods of imprisonment on conviction. This definition of “powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers” interests me greatly with regard to RV, though we clearly have no evidence, as yet, to suggest that any of the supposed Remote Viewers cannot do all the wonderful things that they claim. I’m sure we can anticipate a convincing, and testable, demonstration of their many remarkable skills in the near future.

      Source: Abduction Watch, No. 10/11, June 1998