10 Bizarre Nazi UFO Rumours and Other Third Reich Conspiracy Theories

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer (Image: Jim Nichols)

The Third Reich’s obsession with esoterica and the occult is well known, so it’s perhaps not too much of a stretch to imagine how the discredited movement’s bizarre pseudo-religious fascinations might take it into the realm of the paranormal, alien encounters, UFO and the like. Rumours of alien technology, and conspiracy theories about how the Third Reich is biding its time before once again unleashing its poisonous ideology upon the world, are imaginative, but tell us more about the those who spread them than the regime that were supposed to be behind them to begin with. This article examines 10 of those conspiracy theories, from secret societies and hidden bases to Nazi UFOs and connections to ancient gods.

10. Die Glocke (The Bell)

There’s surprisingly little information out there on what was supposedly one of the Nazi’s major UFO projects. But then again, a lack of information just makes for a better conspiracy theory. Called Die Glocke, or The Bell, the project was said to be the brainchild of SS Lieutenant General Hans Kammler.

die-glocke-nazi-bell (Image: Zusurs; Die Glocke, the top secret Nazi Bell)

The craft, whose shape gave it its name, was said to have been powered by a mysterious substance called Xerum 525, which was highly radioactive and necessitated the heavy lead lining of the craft. According to the story, Nazi scientists got the craft running, but the energy it gave off had some undisclosed – and horrific – side effects, which led to the deaths of a handful of scientists.

Living things exposed to the field would decompose, and even the residue left behind would cause some pretty nasty side effects. The Nazis were said to use workers taken from nearby concentration camps to clean the test chamber after Die Glocke had been run.

kammler-v-2-rocket (Images: German Federal Archives, cc-sa-3.0; Unknown; left: V-2 launch, right: Kammler)

When the war was coming to an end, those who were working on the project were killed. Die Glocke – and General Kammler – were reportedly taken to another top secret Nazi hideout, where work has presumably continued on the mysterious craft.

As far-fetched as this rumours seem, there’s the smallest grain of truth to it – a grain that was only recently discovered in 2014. Kammler was at the head of a secret weapons program and, along with Heinrich Himmler, was one of the driving forces behind the V-2 rocket. The discovery of an underground weapons stronghold and testing facility in Sankt Georgen an der Gusen, Austria, by an Austrian filmmaker has given eerie, unsettling new credence to the idea.

abandoned-v-2-rocket-engine (Image: Vincent van Zeijst, cc-sa-3.0; V-2 rocket engine in abandoned bunker)

UFOs and conspiracy theories aside, it’s thought that the complex was built by inmates from the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, and it’s estimated that somewhere around 320,000 people died building the underground bunker.

9. Ernst Zundel, Holocaust Denial and UFOs

The idea of the Holocaust Denial movement is an inexplicably weird one, but that’s a whole other set of conspiracy theories. Ernst Zundel has been at the forefront of the movement for decades, in between stints in jail back in Germany, where he most recently served time for inciting racial hatred. Throughout the 1970s, he was the head of a company that specialized in Nazi and Neo-Nazi publications. But aside from that, he was also a proponent of the idea that the Nazis were building, testing and flying UFOs.

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer-3 (Image: Jim Nichols)

In 2013, Zundel’s wife published an article which, she claimed, had been written by her husband in response to those who argued that the UFO developments of the Third Reich were a little far-fetched. The article talks of how Zundel is well equipped to speak and write on the topic of Nazi UFOs, since he’s an expert on the subject after having written several books (in between his duties, he says, trying to redeem Germany’s reputation and clear up some nonsense about Holocaust accusations).

Zundel claims he’s long been in personal contact with Rudolf Lusar, one of the most prolific researchers of Nazi Germany’s Ufology. He claims to be able to confirm that there was considerable UFO development underway throughout the war years, and that the Third Reich had succeeded in building saucer-shaped craft that could break the sound barrier.

hitler-mussolini (Image: German Federal Archives, cc-sa-3.0)

He also cites another book by Renato Vesco, a man who was allegedly the Air Technical Intelligence Chief for Mussolini (above, with Adolph Hitler) during World War Two. According to his book, there were all kinds of fantastic advancements under test by the Nazis, from new alloys and metals to weird gadgets.

Ultimately, Zundel claims to be well informed on the development of Nazi UFOs, commenting on American technology and how it was primitive in the face of the Third Reich’s advances. And he insists that, one of these days, everyone’s going to know that he was right.

8. The Nazi Moon Base

If you thought that NASA’s missions to the moon were for scientific reasons, clearly, you haven’t been paying attention.

nazi-moon-base-Schrödinger-crater (Image: James Stuby; Schrödinger’s Crater, location of a Nazi moon base in pop culture)

According to the conspiracy theorists, the real reason NASA and the US government were involved in a race to the moon was to check on the Nazis that were living there. Apparently, in 1957, the Russians approached the Americans with confirmation that the Nazis had used their UFO technology to flee to – and set up camp on – the moon. Documents recovered from Berlin were said to detail Hitler’s discovery of a moon substance called H3, which he realized would be able to provide all the power he could possibly need for his nefarious moon-plans. America was, of course, more than a little worried about the prospect, so NASA was formed and the space race was on.

Also of questionable veracity is the claim that America was working on a shadowy programme called Project A119. The unconfirmed reports claim that among America’s plans for the moon was complete destruction, using a nuclear weapon in a display of American firepower that was designed to make the Soviet Union think twice about continuing the Cold War.

the-moon (Image: Gregory H. Revera, cc-sa-3.0)

When NASA’s manned spacecraft made it to the moon, they apparently found the Nazi moon base, and managed to take photographs of the proof that the Nazis were there. The destruction of the Challenger space shuttle was, some believe, actually caused by the interception of a Nazi weapon fired from the moon.

Perhaps not, though the idea of the Nazi moon base did, of course, get a nice boost in popularity around the time of the release of the movie Iron Sky, in large part because of the movie’s advertising.

7. Giuseppe Belluzzo

Here’s another conspiracy theory with little supporting documentation. Giuseppe Belluzo was the Minister of National Economy during Mussolini’s time in power, and he was also an expert in the field and advancement of turbines that were used in the development of various battleships and cruisers. He died in 1952, but a few years earlier, according to the story, he had gone to the press with some pretty bizarre claims.

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer-2 (Image: Jim Nichols)

He had said that turbines weren’t the only things he was working on, and that there had been plans in place for circular aircraft – plans that had been in the works since about 1942. The craft was unmanned, but it was capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Sketches were published in a newspaper in 1950, and several others reportedly came forward to offer more supporting evidence to the claim.

One of them was a British-based commando who said that he had been offered a part in a top secret mission to Norway, where their objective was to destroy the base where the Nazis were building their UFOs. The story was linked with other reports of the development of saucer-shaped craft with code names like ‘Kugelblitz’ and ‘Feuerball’. Belluzzo’s story was reported in newspapers across the globe, repeated in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Mirror.

The story added another strange detail as well, claiming that the Russians had captured at least one prototype of the craft and managed to get it up and running.

6. Hitler, UFOs and Vishnu

savitri-devi (Images: gnosticliberationfront.com)

One fairly continuous themes throughout the idea of Nazis and UFOs is the idea that Hitler escaped on one, and he’s waiting for the right moment to return to earth, establishing the Fourth Reich and finishing what he started. That’s pretty much the gist of the teachings of a woman who went by the name of Savitri Devi, but aside from her belief that Hitler flew off in a UFO, most of what else she says is non-traditional even for conspiracy theorists.

Born in France in 1905 as Maximiani Portas, her discovery of the texts of H.P. Lovecraft and of Bullfinch’s mythology would ultimately shape her belief system. Coming to believe in the existence of the Greek gods, she eventually ended up traveling through Jerusalem – and coming away with a deep-rooted antisemitism. She took her Hindu name after wandering through India. And it was also there where she decided that the Nazi use of the swastika was clearly indicative of the goodness that surrounded them and their teachings, and that Hitler was an incarnation of Vishnu.

vishnu-conspiracy-theories (Images: Ramanarayanadatta astri; Sanjay Acharya, cc-sa-3.0)

Vishnu is one of the three primary gods in the Hindu triumvirate, usually portrayed as the greatest of them. While the others are the creator and the destroyer, Vishnu is the protector, the one who represents the light and the sun, and is responsible for preserving the mind, the body, the existence of mankind and ‘Om’, the world’s sound.

India’s relationship with Nazi Germany was understandably rocky, balancing anti-British sentiment with the horrors that slowly began to reach the people after the war. Savitri Devi had no doubts, and she wrote work after work telling of the virtues of Hitler, the Third Reich, and their work. According to the pamphlets that she published, she had been in contact with members of the inner circle of the SS, who had assured her that work had been completed on their flying saucers, and that her incarnation of Vishnu was safe, alive and well.

5. Vril, Thule and UFOs

This is one of those tricky ones where it’s absolutely unclear where the truth ends and the fiction begins, so we’ll just stick to telling the story.

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer-4 (Image: Jim Nichols)

Vril and Thule are two secret societies rumoured to have been active within the echelons of Nazi Germany, credited as a sort of underground stream working to bring Hitler to power. The Third Reich was only a stage, and the Fourth Reich – which is theoretically still coming – was going to be a world government. The Fourth Reich has now been re-named the Allied Union, and their logo has had something of an update, too – although the symbol has, some believe, been seen on the alien spacecraft visiting Earth for decades.

The original Thule was a location, reputed to be either somewhere in Scandinavia or, according to some, connected with the mythical lost city of Atlantis. But it’s also been linked to the Nazi party by mystics who supposedly studied the occult in hopes of finding the original home of the Aryan race. Thule has its main UFO base in Antarctica (more on that in a minute), and there are plans to make this the center of the upcoming worldwide government. Vril is the inner, elite circle of Thule, and since the end of World War Two, they’ve been working hand in hand with the US government.

thule (Image: Olaus Magnus, public domain; Thule as Tile from the Carta Marina)

Vril, reportedly from a Sumerian word meaning ‘like god’ (even though there is no “V” in Sumerian), was said to have been founded by a group of mystics with the dual purpose of awakening and contacting the masters of Thule, of tapping into hidden spiritual powers, and constructing a craft to go to Alpha Tauri, home of the aliens. It was supposedly the Nazis who, with their research into the occult, first discovered how to channel this alien energy and adapt alien technology to their own interstellar craft.

That’s the basics of the whole thing, in a very condensed nutshell. The footnote to the whole idea of Vril is that the term was first used in the 1870 book The Power of the Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. (That’s the, “It was a dark and stormy night” author.) The story pretty much goes along with the ideas that have transferred onto the Nazis, giving rise, in large part, to the popularity of the idea of Nazi UFOs.

4. Haunebu 1 and Brazil

After the end of the Second World War, a number of ranking German officials fled the country – and the fallout that they knew was coming after the atrocities committed in the name of the Third Reich. So, it’s not entirely surprising that many of them would be taking the idea of the Nazi UFO with them.

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer-61 (Image: Jim Nichols)

According to this story, the Nazis succeeding in building an alien craft based on whatever technology it was that they had been experimenting on. The largest of the craft was called Haunebu 1, and while it was functional, it wasn’t functional enough to be useful. It still had control issues, and one theory suggests that the Nazis didn’t just find or recover alien technology, they made a deal for it. The aliens – like any good negotiators – didn’t give up all their information right away, and held back some details. By the time the Nazis had figured this part out, they’d already ruined their end of the deal, and were left with a functional but useless flying saucer.

The Haunebe 1 was supposedly taken to Brazil – a country that’s known for its UFO sightings. According to the writer Randolph Winters, there’s a military base in Brazil that’s dedicated to continuing the research and construction of Nazi UFOs. The base, run by German intelligence, is responsible for most of the UFO sightings around Brazil, and there have been a lot in the past 70 years.

3. Operation Highjump

The official accounts of Operation Highjump indicate there were several different goals given to the 1946 mission. Partially, the mission was undertaken to provide American troops with cold-weather and extreme climate training, with the idea that should the Soviet Union decide to attack, it was likely that they would do so by crossing the North Pole, and it might be necessary to deploy troops to intercept. A more classified reason for the mission was that it would allow the Navy to claim some land – on the other side of the world – in Antarctica. But though the training operation (carried out in the southern hemisphere to avoid the northern winter) did begin giving the military an idea of what to expect from the pole – and it began the era of photographic mapping – it didn’t accomplish much else.

operation-highjump (Image: US Navy)

That, according to the conspiracy theorists, is because the fleet was thwarted by the Nazi UFOs that were deployed from the base there. According to the statements of some who had served on ships used during Operation Highjump, they’d had no idea what was going – they’d heard the firing and responded to the situation, but it hadn’t been clear at the time just what they were up against.

Admiral Byrd, who had, in theory, been in charge of the operation was said to have made a handful of statements, on the record, that suggested there was more to the operation than just difficulties in dealing the with extreme conditions at the pole. Some of his remarks were said to reference a new war, flying saucers, and the need for defensive bases that would protect the rest of the world from whatever it was that Operation Highjump had stumbled upon.

south-pole (Image: Chris Danals/NSF (used for illustration only), public domain)

This theory is supposedly supported by the idea that roughly quarter of a million German people went unaccounted for after the war – clearly the most logical explanation was that they were manning the base that foiled Operation Highjump. There are even online copies of what was supposedly Admiral Byrd’s log and journal from the voyage, called The Inner Earth: My Secret Diary. The diary tells first of running into classic signs of aliens, like instrument and technology malfunctions, and then recounting an incredible story of mammoth sightings, glowing cities, and blond, impossibly tall military personnel with German accents who escorted them to their fortress.

2. The Antarctic Fortress

The idea of this Antarctic Fortress is possibly one of the most enduring of all the Nazi UFO myths. According to Admiral Byrd’s fact-or-fiction diary, the inside of the base is bright and beautiful, too beautiful for him to put into words, but darkened by the presence of the Master, who promises an end to Earth and those living on it.

new-swabia-flag (Image: NuclearVacuum; a fictitious flag of New Swabia)

One of the more well known versions of the story says that in 1938, a group of German explorers were sent to map Antarctica. When they did, they found a series of vast underground caverns heated by rivers. The largest of the caverns became Base 211, and by the end of the war, it was the new home of the Thule, the SS, and the Nazi’s research, development and manufacturing facilities. After Germany’s official surrender and the end of the war, Hitler, Eva Braun, and a handful of other high-ranking Nazis boarded a U-boat and headed for Base 211.

This isn’t a new theory, either, and it was circulating as early as 1952. The seeds of doubt were placed when Allied officials made comments suggesting that they hadn’t confirmed Hitler’s death, and by this time, their obsession with the idea of a hollow earth was well known. It seemed plausible that he could have gotten away, and possible that there was some kind of backup plan. It was about this time that the aforementioned Ernst Zundel started putting in his two cents about conspiracy theories, and it’s one that’s hung in there ever since.

nazi-ufo-flying-saucer-5 (Image: Jim Nichols)

And, like many conspiracy theories, there’s a grain of truth to this one – the first part, at least. In December of 1938, there was a German expedition to Antarctica, but it was to determine whether or not it was worth extending the country’s whaling territory that far south. There were other, follow-up expeditions planned, but escalating tensions on the home front put a stop to them.

1. Roswell and Nazi UFOs

Anyone with a passing interest in flying saucers will be familiar with the mystery surrounding what has been termed ‘New Mexico’s Area 51’.

roswell-incident-2 (Image: Drew Peacock, public domain)

The purported 1947 crash and cover-up has fueled the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists for decades, and one hypothesis in the mix holds that the Americans were testing UFO technology that had been seized from the Germans at the end of the war. Some even believe that it was Die Glocke, crashing in the desert in what would have been a pretty ignoble end.

Some go farther still, suggesting that it wasn’t exactly the Americans experimenting on German flying saucer technology they’d captured, but that Roswell was the home of a super-top secret society that was continuing the Nazi’s work in creating the Fourth Reich, and they’d just sort of made the best of a bad situation and relocated after the war. That, or they’d been kidnapped and conscripted into American military service, decoding and reverse engineering alien technology that they’d long been working on.

roswell-incident-3 (Images: US Government; Sacramento Bee; left: weather balloon, right: Roswell report

Some conspiracy theorists, meanwhile, are on the other side of the fence, arguing that alien technology might have been involved in the Roswell incident, but that the Third Reich didn’t have anything to do with it. They point to the small, child-size aliens as evidence of this. But there’s a Nazi-esque explanation for this theory also, owing to the experiments carried out by Nazi doctors on child prisoners.

It’s been suggested that the grey-skinned little aliens were actually human children, engineered, malformed and genetically altered by Josef Mengele to be placed on the craft and play some undetermined role in the crash.

roswell-incident (Image: CGP Grey, cc-4.0)

Either way, theorists invariably point to the incredible speed at which military technology advanced from that point. We broke the sound barrier in 1947 and put a man in space in 1961. Surely, that technology must have had a kick-start from somewhere…. right?

Related – Nazi Architecture: 10 Unsettling Relics of the Third Reich

 
 


 
 
 

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