- British Aviation Expert, Tim Matthews
writes, "I read with interest ex-CIA man Karl Pflocks' fascinating
and lucid article entitled "For Your Eyes Only" featured in the
September 1998, Fortean Times, FT114 -, pp.34-38. It seems to me that
the UFO debate is only allowed to exist within certain parameters whereby:
On the one hand the 'believers' believe that an ET craft crashed at Roswell,
or elsewhere, and that subsequently the material and or bodies were taken
to a classified location for testing and evaluation. On the other hand,
the skeptics argue, through an examination of declassified documents and
by pointing out the sometimes obvious inconsistencies in witness' statements,
that no flying saucers crashed. They often further conclude that there
are therefore no saucers, period. This dead end debate fails to consider
the strong possibility (or reality in my opinion) that the US military
was engaged in the construction of flying disc-type aircraft. Technically
speaking these were only UFOs to the uninformed observer and were in fact
low aspect ratio aircraft. I fully recognize that the skeptics and believers
are not prepared to admit to this and as a result both myself and the few
aviation researchers who research this area of interest plow a rather lonely
- First, there is no doubt that one element
of the reality behind low aspect ratio aircraft is German in origin. The
work of Alexander Lippisch, the Horten Brothers, Gunter Boch, Walter Dornberger,
Von Braun, Dr. Richard Walter Miethe and others was way ahead of the allies.
Before I go any further let me first add the standard disclaimer; Mention
of German wartime technologies is in no way evidence of my support for
right-wing beliefs, so-called "Nazi superiority", a 'secret agenda
of holocaust revisionism' or any of the other smears and BS that have been
put out by a few malicious characters. In fact, what is so ironic is that
it is precisely because of war crimes that some of the men above were involved
in, directly or indirectly, that their work remains classified by the US
government. Any supposed UFO "cover-up" has very little to do
with "crashed saucers" and a great deal more to do with the political
and military realities of the immediate postwar period.
- Beginning with work into VTOL aircraft
within the Heinkel company at Marienhe, Rostock, in the late 1930s the
work progressed and one of the places that it ended up was at one of three
BMW facilities near Prague. This led to the development of a rather primitive
circular-wing aircraft that was able, in early 1945, to take off and fly
for several minutes before returning home. There are several witnesses
to this event. Film was made of this test-flight and is beyond our grasp
at this stage. The scientists involved were almost certainly on the "black
list" of wanted technical specialists drawn up by allied intelligence
operatives and hunted down by a combination of FIAT and CAF Teams from
June 1944. Operations Overcast and Paperclip were examples of allied attempts
to get hold of German experts. Karl Pflock uses intelligence documents.
So will I. Incidentally, these quotations are taken from the CIA FOIA
Popular (UFO) Documents site; www.foia.ucia.gov." Reported Sightings
of Unconventional Aircraft" Pflock -- dated October 19, 1955--paragraph
4; "Project 'Y' is being directed by John Frost. Mr. Frost is reported
to have obtained his original idea for the flying machine from a group
of Germans just after World War 2. The Soviets may have obtained information
from this German group. (Project Y was a saucer-type design.)
- From a Counter Intelligence Corps region
Vl document dated 10th November 1947 (declassified 1994); Flying Saucers
- paragraph 2 "The opinion was expressed that some sort of object,
such as the flying saucer, did exist. At the present time, construction
models are being built for wind tunnel tests. It is further suspected that
the flying objects may have been developed from original plans and experiments
conducted by the Germans prior to the capitulation. Headquarters, 970th
CIC detachment, European Command, is desirous of locating German aircraft
specialists or test pilots who might have some knowledge of similar aircraft.
This canvass is to be made discreetly and to conceal our interest in the
subject." Resulting information was to be sent to Air Material Command.
This puts an entirely different perspective on things. This is nothing
to do with crash retrievals, alien spacecraft but man-made technologies.
- I received an E-mail with detailed information
from a man involved in early radar testing of flying wing designs constructed
in the USA using German plans. He told me that they had a low Radar Cross
Section (RCS) and were stable in flight with excellent lift. What is more,
such flying wing aircraft (and a disc is a flying wing too) were said in
USAF Air Intelligence Report 100-203-79 to 'most closely resemble' those
objects reported as UFOs. Back on 23rd September 1947 the Schulgen Memorandum,
and I quote from a copy of the original, stated that; "It is possible
within the present US knowledge - provided that extensive detailed development
is undertaken - to construct a piloted aircraft which has the general description
of the object in subparagraph (e) above which would be capable of an approximate
range of 7,000 miles at subsonic speeds." Beyond the good ol' UFO
myths about lightning speeds of travel - where no observer would see a
thing - many of the early sightings of so-called UFOs noted a heel-shaped
platform and an aircraft that traveled at estimated speeds of between 300
to 600 mph. I take these approximate speeds from reports by aircraft pilots
who saw structured craft and who might reasonably expected to make a better
estimate. Of course, the usual suspects will debunk all this but I think
that we're getting near the truth of the matter.
- Even more fascinating was Nathan Twinings'
association with 'Operation Paperclip' and the transportation of those
questionable Nazi scientists to the US. 'Operation Lusty', the postwar
effort to get hold of data on German wartime projects was, not unlike
the efforts made by CIC staff both during and after the war, very similar.
There was a clear need to control the information about these advanced
technologies and to recover the data and develop the aircraft in secret.
So who did all the work and where did it take place? Initially - White
Sands Proving Ground and Muroc Field. The source mentioned above did the
flying wing tests at that location.
- The USAF was not the prime mover in disc
aircraft. The US Navy was most responsible. The men who worked on the Chance-Vought
XF5U1 - Flying Pancake was often held up as an example of a 'failed' circular
wing aircraft - had high security clearances. I spoke to a 78 year old
former employee living in Pennsylvania. He worked on the skins for the
XF5U1 and contrary to popular opinion the aircraft flew, often at low speeds
at night in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area from 1946. Initially a prop
driven aircraft of circular planform the XF5U1 is said to have suffered
from several deficiencies. Nevertheless, the postwar rush to replace prop
engines with jets affected the XF5U1 and we now strongly suspect that a
jet-powered 'pancake' was indeed responsible for its' share of saucer sightings.
The man I spoke to was fully aware of this - he in fact worked on plans
for the jet-powered version. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US Navy was interested
in this aircraft and in fact supported its' development as a possible STOL
aircraft from 1942. The project went into the black and I have in my possession
a Project Sign document which says that the US Navy had an experimental
aircraft built by Vought.
- Document; Special Report - Project SIGN
- June 23, 1948, from Colonel R D Wentworth USAF, Acting Chief of Intelligence;
"Suggest leaving out sales talk for low aspect ratio aircraft. We
will find out their practical advantages from Navy tests. It is the opinion
of this office that since the vast majority of the objects reported can
best be described as being similar to the flying wing type aircraft of
low aspect ratio, this concept must be retained in the letter. In deference
to the views of the Director of Research and Development, however, it is
recommended that reference be made to past experiments conducted under
the auspices of the Engineering Division and the present experiments of
the Navy with low aspect ratio aircraft and boundary layer control."
It comes as no surprise to me to learn that the destination for 'Paperclip'
scientists was Fort Bliss - on the New Mexico/Texas border situated close
by the White Sands facilities. Chance Vought moved to Dallas, Texas in
1947. It was only marginally to do with German technology as the Pancake
- The US and Canada built several saucers
as other intelligence documents and reports, for instance the recently
(1995) declassified 'Project Silver Bug' technical report, make clear.
This was a circular-wing aircraft supposedly designed in Canada (by a
team said to include Dr. Miethe) but which our sources tell us was actually
built and flown at Papoose Lake from 1958/9. The plans were drawn up at
AVRO Canada primarily as a diversion. It was here, at S4, that some of
the secret planes tasked with combating Soviet intruders were built. The
saucers used jet propulsion. The Soviet threat was a constant preoccupation
for the US military and the threat was very real as Pflock will know.
Klaus Habermohl, a BMW engineer who worked as part of the Flugzeug Special
Projects Group in Prague, was captured by the Russians in Prague on or
about 11th May 1945. He undoubtedly helped the construction of a Soviet
disc and I recently came across plans for another Soviet low aspect aircraft
that would have used Nuclear propulsion. I do not know whether this worrying
development ever got off the drawing board.
- What I do know is that Senator Russell
and his party saw a flying disc during a trip to the USSR in 1955 and that
his most credible sighting was swept under the carpet by the same military
intelligence personnel with knowledge both of unconventional US and Soviet
aircraft. I very much doubt whether Russell and his party saw the disc
by accident. There were many elements to the ongoing struggle between
the Soviet and US military and their intelligence machines and this is
reflected in several texts including John Ranelagh's definitive book "The
Agency" (Sceptre 1988). Check out the few CIA documents in its' Popular
UFO Documents collection and note the near hysteria about advanced Soviet
aircraft and intentions.
- Perhaps the most important and hidden
aspect of this was the increasing threat of Soviet penetration of US airspace
via Alaska. In any case the CIA was most concerned about 'non-conventional
air vehicles' under development by the Soviets as the 14th June 1954 memorandum
entitled "Intelligence Responsibilities for Non-Conventional Types
of Air Vehicles" makes very clear. The CIA also had a close working
relationship with ATIC at Wright-Patterson where much of the official reporting
relating to UFOs took place and also where, most coincidentally, the technical
report for 'Project Silver Bug' was produced. Again I stress that the
CIA and its' counterparts were fully aware that the US and it's allies
were developing saucers and triangles.
- From the 14th June 1954 document - paragraph
2a) "....report the use by any foreign power or nation of non-conventional
types of air vehicles, such as similar to the "saucer-like" planes
presently under development by Anglo/British/Canadian efforts." This
is most likely a reference to the 'Silver Bug' VTOL circular planform low
aspect ratio craft. The advanced radial flow engine version. supposedly
of WW2 German origin, was the favored model and the Technical Report, written
in 1955 after the CIA had attempted to play down the significance of the
aircraft the year before, made it abundantly clear that the development
of 'Silver Bug' was not to be confused with 'science fiction' stories about
flying discs. What is more, the October 1955 CIA document entitled "Reported
Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft" noted that 'Project Y' - the
overall project designation for the AVRO family of saucers including 'Silver
Bug' - wind tunnel tests had already been funded to the extent of $800,000
thus indicating that this was NO paper plane.
- Let me also make it clear that the AVROCAR
hovercraft can only be seen as a failed cover story. AVRO, it should be
remembered, built the Arrow, a most radical aircraft decades ahead of its'
time. I have information from a number of witnesses who saw disc-type
aircraft in hangars at the AVRO-Canada facilities near Malton, Ontario,
which had nothing to do with AVROCAR. They were guarded by USAF personnel.
All we are left with now is a filling-in-the- gaps exercise. This is
hardly the whole story but these facts are irrefutable. More information
on this is set to emerge in the next few months and as we approach the
millennium the truth about "UFOs" is starting to emerge. This
has nothing to do with aliens, crash retrievals and recovered ET technology.
I hope for new evidence although I suspect that the usual debunkers will
posit a psycho-social type argument - or more likely simply ignore it.
Its true declassified documents are very good evidence and in most cases
were not seen for 30 years after they had been written.
- In conclusion, I feel he is wrong to
state that previously declassified documents contain within them "no
physical evidence of the nature and origin of UFOs" at any time before
1955. The documents indicate that flying saucers and the objects described
as UFOs were, more than likely, the product of terrestrial technology.
- --Tim Matthews
- Editor's Note: I have long felt that
some UFOs are classified government aircraft. My numerous requests for
data concerning these projects have been ignored. The Chance Vought Jet
Flying Pancake may have caused many early UFO reports.