By Jim Moseley
The following article appeared in the August 1955 edition of FATE Magazine.
Most people who accept the reality of flying saucers immediately jump to the conclusion that the performance of these strange craft is so revolutionary that their point of origin must be another planet.
I, too, made this mistake when I first became interested in saucers. However, the longer I study this fascinating subject the more I am convinced that the answer to the mystery can be found right here on Earth.
During the past few years government investigations of flying saucers have been started by most nations of the free world. The only country that has published its official conclusions is Switzerland. After five years of study the Swiss Air Force (Defense Aerienne du Territorie Helvetique) stated last October that when hoaxes, optical illusions and misinterpretations of conventional objects had been duly accounted for, the only remaining saucers were those resulting from a continuation of German rocket research begun during World War Two.
As substantiation, the Swiss Air Force cited recent statements by Herr George Klein, formerly chief of the Third Reich’s Ministry of Munitions. According to Klein, Germany’s experiments with circular aircraft were begun in the early war years. On February 14, 1945, Klein witnessed a successful test flight at Prague. On that date a pilotless remote-controlled saucer soared to a height of almost 40,000 feet within three minutes.
These experiments were carried out for the most part at Peenemunde — where Germany’s deadly V-1 and V-2 weapons were developed also. One of the early models, released at Stettin, crashed tragically on the town of Spitebergen. But by the closing months of the War the flying saucers were a proven, thoroughly tested reality.
These German saucers were propelled by a complicated modification of the jet principle. They were capable of remaining stationary and of making near-right angle turns, due to a special device which operated on the principle of the gyroscope. Herr Klein states that at least two types of flying saucers are being built today. One is about 45 feet in diameter, with five jet nozzles around its perimeter. Another larger model is about 140 feet in diameter, with 12 jet nozzles. He claims that saucers developed since 1950 by Canada’s Avro Corporation have flown 1,500 miles per hour and have even been inspected by Field Marshall Montgomery!
Klein speaks of Miethe, Habermohl and Schriever, who were the other leaders in Germany’s circular aircraft research. Of these, Schriever remained in Germany, where he died in 1953. Habermohl, together with one of the experimental saucer models, disappeared into Russia near the end of the War. Miethe, also well known for his work on the “V” weapons, immigrated to the United States and presumably has continued his research here. It is a publicly known fact that Von Braun, Dornberger, Riedel, and other rocket experts from Peenemunde are working for the U.S. these days on top-secret missile research. For security reasons the American public never has been told the full details of this research.
Klein’s amazing story first received wide publicity last fall through a newspaper in Zurich, Switzerland, where the former munitions chief now lives and works as an engineer. I obtained the news from another source and printed it in my saucer magazine NEXUS as early as July of last year. But though the Zurich newspaper’s story was widely reprinted in Switzerland, France and England during October and November, it is significant that I have not yet seen it in any American paper.
It is also noteworthy that Klein’s sensational declarations are flatly contradicted by recent published statements by Oberth, Riedel and other top scientists, who claim to believe that saucers come from another planet. However, Klein, living in one of this world’s few truly neutral countries, has nothing to gain by lying. These other experts, all under contract to Western governments, have every reason to conceal their full knowledge of the war-time research in Germany, and purposely to mislead the public by writing articles about their alleged belief in space men.
Klein’s general position is confirmed by many other articles that have come to me from my overseas press clipping services. The most spectacular of these confirmations is contained in a headline story printed in a French newspaper last January.
An Italian inventor, who insisted on remaining anonymous, told the press at that time that he invented a remote-controlled saucer way back in pre-War years. In 1938 he submitted his plans to military authorities in Berlin, who were authorized to build a small scale model. In 1939, a saucer one and a half meters in diameter was built and successfully tested at the Heinkel-Dornier factory, near Berlin. The Italian was robbed of his invention by one of his superiors, and made to work on a different project. However, the following year he succeeded in sneaking into a highly-guarded workroom where he found a saucer eight to nine meters in diameter, constructed exactly according to his plans. While lost in admiration of his brain-child, he was captured by a security guard and thereafter sent to the front. The Italian says that he did not hear of flying saucers again until the American excitement begun by Kenneth Arnold in 1947.
The Heinkel-Dornier saucers, unlike Klein’s, were constructed with two discs on top of each other, turning in opposite directions around a stationary central cabin. The larger models were piloted, though the Peenemunde type was not. The saucers Klein describes were powered by jets, but the version based on this Italian inventor’s design ran on a combination of compressed air and electrical energy produced by friction. This power supposedly made it capable of speeds in excess of 2,000 miles per hour.
It is hardly possible, therefore, that the saucers Klein says he helped develop could have been a direct continuation of the research carried on at the Berlin factory. It’s more likely that, as in the U.S. when a new type of aircraft is being conceived, several different saucer projects were carried on in Germany at the same time.
Saucer Sightings in 1947 “Not a Coincidence”
The most important consideration here, in my opinion, is not which saucer type proved best. There are probably several kinds still in use today—some piloted and others remotely controlled. The important point is that the existence of man-made saucer-shaped craft can be traced back prior to 1945. Assuming that it took the German engineers about two years to “set up shop” in the United States, the frequent appearance of saucers over this country since 1947 is not a coincidence.
Those of you who are incurably addicted to the space hypothesis can offer a thousand objections to the material I have presented thus far. You may say, for example, that I have not referred to the infinite variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of flying saucers reported during the past several years. I feel that my only real omission has been failure to relate improvements made on the German saucers since 1945. This omission is unavoidable for the very obvious reason that, for the most part, I can only guess as to how this research has advanced in the intervening 10 years.
Sometimes the government’s curtain of secrecy opens for just a moment. If we are observant we can receive a hint or two that clears up some small bit of the saucer enigma. For example, a scientist formerly employed at top-secret atomic research in Los Alamos told me some of the results of investigations he made on his own time into unclassified saucer information. This gentleman found the answer to the Southwest’s mysterious green fireballs in “The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific,” Volume 59 (February, 1947) page 32.
In an article titled “The First Night-Firing of a V-2 Rocket in the United States” Dr. Franz Zwicky of the California Institute of Technology describes a Government-sponsored program for producing artificial meteors at White Sands, New Mexico. These artificial meteors, no doubt, are the Southwest’s famous green fireballs. It is significant that the Air Force never mentions this work described by Zwicky, although it often is asked to comment on the “strange coincidence.”
However, I do not claim to have all the answers by any means. Least of all do I fully understand why it should be necessary to keep this research from the public for so many years. I do know that the public’s readiness to believe saucers belong to intelligent space men is due in part to underestimating the advances in present-day scientific research. The public also overestimates the performance and diversity of the saucers themselves.
The almost total lack of sound from the saucers seems to indicate that a form of power other than jet is now in use at least in some of them. The right-angle turns and ability to hover are accounted for in Klein’s description; and the odd variety of sizes and shapes reported in daylight sightings can be due to honest but, nevertheless, serious errors on the part of saucer sighters. No one can state accurately either the size or speed of an unfamiliar object seen at any considerable distance. The shape one attributes to such an object will vary according to one’s perspective.
Even experienced radar operators make mistakes when one or more saucers appear on their scopes. By moving quickly out of range or into the “ground clutter” on the scope a saucer can appear to dematerialize. When several saucers are on the scope, all moving erratically (as in the famous July, 1952, sighting over Washington, D.C.), fantastic speeds are sometimes attributed to them by radar operators who, trained to follow a plane traveling at a constant speed in a given direction, cannot be expected to plot accurately the courses of several unknown objects all making peculiar maneuvers.
Errors made by inexperienced observers can be even more spectacular. During September, October and November of 1954, France was swept by an unprecedented wave of stories concerning saucer landings and “little men.” At the height of this craze, a Paris newspaper sent out two reporters to tour some of the country districts by car at night. Equipped with diving suits, firecrackers, flares and other props the reporters succeeded in being taken for space men on several occasions.
They would hide their car near a farmhouse, then walk up to the house after shooting off a few flares. The day after their escapade the local papers were full of landing reports. Though not one person had seen their saucer (as they didn’t have one) it, nevertheless, was vividly described and the descriptions of the men themselves varied in every case. Not once was the word “hoax” mentioned until the newsmen, back in Paris, wrote their own exposé.
This story illustrates how easily and how completely sincere people err. I do not intend to imply that all landing stories are hoaxes or the result of human credulity. On the contrary, at least 100 accounts of saucer landings came out of France and Italy last fall, and, though many of these contained bizarre details that were obviously the result of error, it is hardly possible that all of them were without foundation.
In studying these reports I noticed that consistencies ran through most of them. A typical incident would involve a saucer pilot of slightly shorter than average human height, dressed in a diving suit or plastic costume, who, usually after performing some small friendly or purposeless act, would climb into his 10 to 30 foot long saucer and zoom away within a few seconds.
Nowhere in the above, composite description is there anything which excludes the possibility that these were human pilots, presumably of the U.S. or some other Western power, dressed in high-altitude clothing. Certainly it is far less fantastic to assume that these were Earth men than to believe the scientifically and logically improbable idea that space men of human appearance have been landing in Europe in this peculiar manner.
However, to those Americans who so earnestly desire to believe that mankind is about to be saved from its sins by neighborly space men, the apparent lack of purpose in the European landings has not been appealing. Therefore, these people still receive their greatest encouragement from the handful of widely-publicized “space contacts” said to have occurred in the United States during the past few years.
One of these American landings, the most widely publicized of all, has photographs and sworn statements from six witnesses to prove it. This is very impressive until one investigates. I appointed myself a committee of one to look into this case. The harder I looked, the more rapidly the supposedly air-tight story fell apart like dry sand. It is my conviction that the other books about alleged contacts with space men would all fall apart with equal speed if anyone bothered to give them a detailed examination.
President Eisenhower’s News Conference
Last December 15th, President Eisenhower declared at a news conference that to the best of his knowledge there are no flying saucers coming here from other planets. The President was not pressed to say where the saucers do come from, but the implication was clear—that whatever the aircraft and missiles we call “flying saucers,” they are made here on Earth.
The President could have added the publicly-known fact that Air Force pilots are under strict instructions never to fire at unidentified flying objects. Is this order more logically to avoid annoying our “space friends,” or is it rather that the Government has no desire to damage or bring down its own craft? Surely if there were any real possibility that these saucers are foreign or from space, the Air Force would display a greater concern about them!
Less well known is the fact that pilots also are under instructions not to approach the saucers. Quite possibly this is an attempt to avoid repetition of the legendary tragedy that befell Captain Thomas Mantell in January, 1948,when he flew to his death chasing a flying saucer over Goodman Field, Kentucky.
It may never be known whether Mantell merely “blacked out” or whether he was killed because he flew too near the saucer. In either case, if he died directly or indirectly because of an American-made device, his death was a “calculated risk,” one of the sad but unavoidable horrors of modern technology. I remind those readers who cry out that such a thing never would be allowed to happen that, at least once during World War Two, American planes accidentally dropped bombs on American troops.
It is not possible to give in one short article all the many reasons for believing that flying saucers are made on Earth. Having once been taken in by the interplanetary theory myself I know most of the arguments put forth in its behalf. I would like to answer two more of the principal ones:
The increasingly world-wide nature of saucer sightings during the past few years can, in general, be explained by the fact that no place on this planet is beyond the range of American and/or Russian bases these days.
The fact that unidentified objects have been seen in the skies since Biblical times presents a more complicated problem. But it by no means proves that space ships were the objects of these old sightings or of the present wave of post World War Two sightings.
Two Different Saucer Mysteries
It is my opinion that there are two different saucer mysteries. The one that has mystified humanity for hundreds of years in all probability can be accounted for by natural phenomena of various sorts. On the other hand, the most recent theories put forth by physical scientists lean more and more toward the view that there may be a great many inhabited planets in this Universe. Thus there certainly is no theoretical reason why space ships from other planets may not have visited us in the past, nor why they may not be passing through our atmosphere occasionally at the present time.
My main contention is only that the huge increase in sightings since 1947 is not due to space ships, but to man-made inventions. I also insist that if a space ship actually were to land on this planet today, there would be no guessing, no blurred photographs, and no contradictions as is the case with the present alleged landings. The whole world would know about it overnight, no matter how remote the area in which the landing took place.
It is almost eight years since Kenneth Arnold coined the term “flying saucers” to describe the unidentified objects he saw over Washington State. The reams of words — true, half-true, and false — that have been written about saucers in the intervening years will someday become amusing data for historians studying the ideology and psychology of the Twentieth Century.
In all this mountain of literature there is not one single piece of solid proof that saucers come from another world.
Mysterious objects have been seen by thousands of truthful people. Of that there can be no doubt. But until positive evidence is offered to the contrary, I will stick with the facts that indicate these flying saucers are made on Earth.