In 1947, a flying saucer crashed-landed near the little town of Roswell, New Mexico. At least, that was what was reported on July 8 of that year. U.S. military officials did not deny that something came down, but it was a weather balloon, they said.
There were, of course, people who smelled a conspiracy and claimed that the United States Government was trying to conceal the fact that aliens had visited Earth, and that the military had their spacecraft and had even performed autopsies on alien bodies.
Roswell has become part of folklore, and, fantastic as the idea of aliens is, many people have refused to accept the official explanation. A recent documentary, ‘UFOs in the Third Reich’, avoids the extraterrestrial explanation but offers one almost as extraordinary.
According to the documentary which screened on the German N24 Channel the copper colored ‘flying disk’ recovered at Roswell was three meters wide and was, in fact, an experimental aircraft. This machine, codenamed Bell, was propelled by electrical particles and was a forerunner of the Stealth fighter.
Bell was apparently designed by German scientists captured by the Allies at the end of World War II and taken to the United States to work on secret weapons. These scientists had worked on the infamous V2 rockets, ballistic missiles the Nazis used against the Allies in the last years of the war.
One of these scientists, according to the documentary, was SS General Hans Kammler. Kammler was in charge of construction and defense projects in Nazi Germany. He organized the building of secret V2 factories. He also organized the forced labor at the Auschwitz concentration camp. As such he is alleged to have been involved in the murder of thousands of people.
The documentary attempts to back up its claims with an impressive amount of material. A Polish military and aerospace historian, Igor Witkowski writes in his book, ‘Prawda O Wunderwaffe’ (2000) that the Nazis were working on a ‘bell-shaped aircraft’ and that Hitler placed all his best scientists and engineers on the project.
A German engineer, Georg Klein, who after the war successfully pursued a career in aeronautical engineering, reported seeing ‘a Nazi UFO.’ Klein claimed that the Nazis were testing a new aircraft.
A number of British and American bombers flying over Germany reported seeing disks in the sky. These would have been test flights of the Bell.
The documentary also considers the possibility that the Roswell aircraft was the result of another project of Kammler, the Schriever-Habermohl saucer, worked on between 1941 and 1943 in Prague. Rudolf Shriever was the engineer for the project, and Otto Habermohl was the pilot. Eyewitnesses captured by the Allies during World War II claim to have seen the Prague saucer fly a number of times.
Joseph Andreas Epp was a consultant to the Shriever-Habermohl project and declared that 15 prototype saucers were constructed. They were circle shaped, with adjustable wing-vanes and a cockpit in the center.
The rotation of the vanes provided lift and when airborne, rockets on the rim were fired like a pinwheel. In the air, the vanes acted like the rotors of a helicopter.
So what are we to make of these claims? Were the Nazis scientists secretly working on saucer-like aircraft, and did they continue to do so under the protection of the U.S Government? The idea that the Nazis built flying saucers is not new.
Allied pilots flying over Germany and Japan did indeed report seeing strange vehicles hovering in the air, but these were put down to natural phenomena.
On the other hand, World War II generated a fierce technological race between the Allies and Germany. So who knows what weapons the Nazis might have been testing at the end of the war?