Just look at the image above: from a strictly fictional point of view, could there be something cooler than Nazi flying saucers fighting at the Second World War? Nazis, they are evil, and now they have flying saucers!
Besides a nice upcoming CGI comedy movie, this is something that could be seen as a background story for a (good) Indiana Jones movie, and in fact, LucasFilm Games sold “Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe” at the beginning of the 1990s – it didn’t include Nazi flying saucers, but it had a Horten flying wing (which was recently recreated, by the way).
My own interest for ufology started when I was young(er) and first read these wild tales of incredible Nazi flying disks. There are even scale models for sale. I actually believed the stories.
Because, you see, stories and rumours about flying saucers from the evil Nazis are promoted as real fact by not so few. You can read all about how Hitler ran away to the South Pole and the Nazis visited Mars on Kevin McClure’s comprehensive research on the subject published on Magonia, or his short summary and update published on 2003 at ForteanTimes.
Now fellow Maurizio Verga has published an amazing article which adds a lot of information to the subject, especially at its origins. The article is in Italian – here’s an automated English translation – but it’s well worth the effort to understand it even if you don’t quite get the language (like me).
One of the most interesting finds by Verga in my opinion is the image at the top of this post. The comment that it would be something very cool from a fictional point of view had a reason: pay attention to the signature.
The illustration comes from Amazing Stories, published in July 1943. That’s four years before the start of the modern obsession with flying saucers, and therefore way before anyone associated them with Nazis, much less Aliens.
As Verga remarks, in the 1950s that exact scene – a flying saucer fighting a squadron of
Superfortress Flying Fortresses (thanks Craig!)– would be depicted as a supposedly real event over Schweinfurt in 1944.
[Above, art by Daniele Sabatini, 1998. Compare it with the 1943 Amazing Stories illustration]
It’s not news to the psychosocial theorist that all and every allegedly real element from ufology can be found years before in science fiction. Some examples, however, can be quite impressive, and the Amazing Stories illustration foretelling later Nazi UFOs tales is clearly one of them.
Nazi UFOs are not just a curious sub-area of ufology. At the early years of the field, the idea that flying saucers were very terrestrial secret weapons was one of the most popular explanation for them. Before they were Alien, they were Nazi.
Aliens didn’t even made it to the opinion poll, as the extraterrestrial hypothesis would only be widely popularized in 1950 by Donald Keyhoe.
Now, another interesting bit, Verga also remarks how even Keyhoe mentioned the story he heard that flying saucers were real… British aircraft, captured from the Nazis after the war. They were later transferred to Australia and also Canada, the story went.
Nazi UFOs: an idea so cool that it quickly jumped from Amazing Stories to… amazing stories as told by not quite amazing, and not at all original, mystery sellers.
Be sure to check Verga’s work: WikiUFO, UFO nazisti: leggende dischi volanti tedeschi Nazi UFOs saucers.
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