Source – bibliotecapleyades.net
– “…“Adm. Byrd declared today that it was imperative for the United States to initiate immediate defense measures against hostile regions. Furthermore, Byrd stated that he “didn’t want to frighten anyone unduly” but that it was “a bitter reality that in case of a new war the continental United States would be attacked by flying objects which could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds”:
(Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Majestic 12 & Operation “High Jump”)
In 1947, Admiral Richard E. Byrd led 4,000 military troops from the U.S., Britain and Australia in an invasion of Antarctica called “Operation Highjump”, and at least one follow-up expedition.
That is fact. It is undeniable. But… the part of the story that is seldom told, at least in “official” circles, is that Byrd and his forces encountered heavy resistance to their Antarctic venture from “flying saucers” and had to call off the invasion.
This aspect of the story was pushed forward, again, a few years ago, when a retired Rear Admiral, allegedly living in Texas, who had been involved in the “invasion”, said he was “shocked” when he read material from a documentary, entitled “Rire from the Sky”.
He allegedly claimed that he knew there had been “a lot of aircraft and rocket shoot-downs”, but did not realize the situation was as serious as the documentary presented it.
Operation “High Jump”, which was, basically an invasion of the Antarctic, consisted of three Naval battle groups, which departed Norfolk, VA, on 2 December 1946. They were led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s command ship, the ice-breaker “Northwind,” and consisted of the catapult ship “Pine Island,” the destroyer “Brownsen,” the aircraft-carrier “Phillipines Sea,” the U.S. submarine “Sennet,” two support vessels “Yankee” and “Merrick,” and two tankers “Canisted” and “Capacan,” the destroyer “Henderson” and a floatplane ship “Currituck.”
A British-Norwegian force and a Russian force, and I believe some Australian and Canadian forces were also involved.
Interestingly, the Pine Island (AV-12), one of the seaplane tenders involved in the expedition, has a rather colorful history. The USS Pine Island, a Currituck Class Seaplane Tender, was laid down, 16 November 1942, at Todd Shipyard Corporation, in San Pedro, California. It was launched, 26 February 1944, and given the commissioned name, USS Pine Island on 26 April 1945.
The ship served through the final months of the Second World War, and the immediate post-war period, but was decommissioned on 1 May 1950 When the Korean War broke out, the ship was re-commissioned, on 7 October 1950, at Alameda, California. She was finally decommissioned, for good, on 16 June 1967 and laid up in the Reserve Fleet.
But… here’s where the story gets interesting… The USS Pine Island was struck from the Naval Register, on an unknown date… Her title was transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet… on an unknown date… and… the ship’s final disposition is unknown… Now… how does one go about “losing” a major surface ship, over 640 feet long, almost seventy feet wide, with a displacement of over 15,000 tons? [see Rejoinder below]
As a federal employee with immediate access to the NDRF (National Defense Reserve Fleet) archives, which are all unclassified, let me provide additional information as it relates to the subject story of 3/15.
Mr. Choron states:
“The USS Pine Island was struck from the Naval Register, on an unknown date… Her title was transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet… on an unknown date… and… the ship’s final disposition is unknown… “
Here’s what I can tell you: PINE ISLAND was delivered to Zidell Explorations in Portland, OR (now Zidell Marine) on 3/7/72 under a standard scrapping contract. Zidell paid $166K for the ship, which would be typical. In 1971 PINE ISLAND was towed to Bremerton to be stripped out by the Navy, which is not uncommon for a ship to be scrapped. The fact that she (nor the other AVs) is not listed on the Naval Vessel Register is strange, but probably just an oversight on the Navy’s part (as is not uncommon). Should you E-mail the nice folks running the NVR today, they would probably thank you for pointing out the ommission and add the missing ships.
Now, all this is not a refutation of OPERATION HIGHJUMP; that will be left up to others.
The story, of course, gets stranger, still. The Pine Island is not the only ship involved in “Antarctic Research” or “exploration” to have disappeared. There were numerous others. The question is not so much “how many”, that is fairly well established.
The question is “how and why”… particularly “why”…
On 5 March, 1947 the “El Mercurio” newspaper of Santiago, Chile, had a headline article “On Board the Mount Olympus on the High Seas” which quoted Byrd in an interview with Lee van Atta:
“Adm. Byrd declared today that it was imperative for the United States to initiate immediate defense measures against hostile regions. Furthermore, Byrd stated that he “didn’t want to frighten anyone unduly” but that it was “a bitter reality that in case of a new war the continental United States would be attacked by flying objects which could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds”.
Interestingly, not long before he made these comments, the Admiral had recommended defense bases AT the North Pole.
These were not “isolated” remarks… Admiral Byrd later repeated the each of these points of view, resulting from he described as his “personal knowledge” gathered both at the north and south poles, before a news conference held for International News Service.
He was hospitalized and was not allowed to hold any more press conferences. Still, in March 1955, he was placed in charge of Operation Deepfreeze which was part of the International Geophysical Year, 1957-1958, exploration of the Antarctic. He died, shortly thereafter… in 1957… many have suggested he was murdered…
So… who was the enemy that owned or flew these flying objects? Germany was apparently defeated, and there was no evidence that the new emerging enemy, Russia, certainly had such superior technologies. They were, like the United States, only on the verge of the “rocket age”, and totally dependent upon technology, and expertise captured from Germany at the end of the War. There was no other known threat could that could account for the United States’ invasion of Antarctica nor for the development of any craft that could fly “fly from Pole to pole with incredible speeds.”
Of course, the Roswell Incident had been in the news the past summer, but… it had been “officially” explained, and hushed up by the time Highjump began.
Rumors began to circulate that even though Germany had been defeated, a selection of military personnel and scientists had fled the fatherland as Allied troops swept across mainland Europe and established themselves at a base on Antarctica from where they continued to develop advanced aircraft based on extraterrestrial technologies.
It is interesting to note that at the end of the war the Allies determined that there were 250,000 Germans unaccounted for, even taking into account casualties and deaths. This would be quite a population base for a fledgling colony, and provide the essential degree of skill, expertise, and pure manpower for an industrial base of any sort, let alone the production of, even by today’s standards, extremely high technology.
All Unidentified Flying Object researchers are, of course, aware of the multitude of reports concerning sightings of ‘flying saucers’ with swastikas or iron crosses on them, ‘aliens’ speaking German, etc. Most have also heard of abductees who have been taken to underground bases with swastika emblems on the walls, or as in the case of noted abductee Alex Christopher, have seen “Reptiloids” and “Nazis” working together aboard antigravity craft or within underground bases.
Barney Hill was apparently, not the only one to describe the so-called “Nazi” connection to Unidentified Flying Object abductions. However, reports such as Christopher’s and Hill’s must be taken with a rather large grain of salt… There is a far more plausible explanation than the so-called “reptiloids”.
Another noted example is the American Reinhold Schmidt, a man whose father was born in Germany, and who tells in his book “Incident At Kearney”, that he was taken on a ‘flying saucer’ on several occasions. Schmidt states that “the crew spoke German and acted like German soldiers”. He also stated that they took him to the “Polar” region.
Now, one must admit that if a person were making up such a story, why would they claim to be taken, of all places, to the pole? Of course, one must also realize that at the time of Schmidt’s comments, the rumors of “secret Nazi bases” at the poles were already fairly common… After returning he was allegedly subjected to persecution by the U.S. Government. In his defense, it must be noted that his description of the aerial discs, as he called them, matched pictures captured from the Germans in the final days of the Second World War.
In 1959, three large newspapers in Chile reported front-page articles about Unidentified Flying Object encounters in which the crew members appeared to be German soldiers. In the early 1960s there were reports in New York, and New Jersey, of flying saucer ‘aliens’ who spoke German, or English with a German accent. Nor, can it be neglected to mention that in one of the most spectacular legal cases of the Twentieth Century… the “atomic espionage” trials… Julius and Ethel Rosenberg spoke of “warships of space.”
Since they had access to top secret information, and, at that point, no reason to lie, what was it, exactly, that they meant?
So… now we get to the point…
In late 1947, only months after the famous Roswell Incident, then Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal sent a naval task force to Antarctic including Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Krusen and Admiral Byrd, called “Operation Highjump”. It was touted to be an expedition to find “coal deposits” and other valuable resources, but… the facts indicate otherwise… In actuality they were apparently trying to locate an immense underground base constructed by the Germans, before, during and immediately after the Second World War, with the aid of Alien Entities, which were described as “Aryans”.
This base was allegedly located in Neuschwabenland, an area of Antarctica which Germany explored, and claimed, before the outbreak of the Second World War… In fact, Germany had done a very detailed study of Antarctic and were alleged to have built a small underground base there before the War.
At this point, one must ask why, exactly, the United States, and, in fact, her allies, suspected that German activity at the pole was continuing, after the conclusion of the Second World War… The answer, quite honestly, has nothing at all to do with Unidentified Flying Objects… That part of the story came to light from a completely different set of sources…
The fact is that there was plenty of evidence, at the time, to indicate that as late as 1947, elements of the Kriegsmarine, or German Navy, were still very much active in the South Atlantic, operating either out of South America, or some base, previously unsuspected, in the Antarctic. Many stories were circulating at the time…
One of which even has a German U-boat stopping an Icelandic whaler named Juliana in Antarctic waters, in 1947 and insisting that its captain, named Hekla, sell the U-boat crew supplies from her available stores. In exchange for the supplies (which had been paid for in U.S. dollars, along with a ten dollar bonus to each member of Juliana’s crew… ) the U-boat commander told the whaler where a large school of whales were to be found. Hekla and his crew later found the whales in the exact position claimed by the U-boat commander.
The presence of such boats, all late construction Type XXI and Type XXIII U-Boats, with the “snorkel” that allowed them to make the entire passage from Germany submerged… was no secret.
Many were thought to be operating out of Argentina, possibly under the Argentine flag, but crewed by German crew.
The fact that in the dying moments of the Second World War, ten U-Boats, based in Oslofjord, Hamburg and Flensburg, were made available to transport several hundred German officers and officials to Argentina to found a new Reich is widely accepted. These officers, mostly involved in “secret” projects, and many of whom were members of the SS and Kriegsmarine, itself, sought to escape the “vengeance” of the Allies, and continue their work, abroad.
The U-boats were filled with their luggage, documents and, more than likely, gold bullion, to finance their efforts. All the U-boats departed their home ports between 3 and 8 May 1945. They were to proceed to Argentina where they would be welcomed by the friendly regime of Juan Peron and his charismatic wife Eva Peron. Seven of the ten of the U-Boats, based on the German/Danish border, set off for Argentina through the Kattegat and Skagerrak. None were ever seen again… “officially”.
It has been, however, documented that three of the boats did, in fact, arrive in Argentina… These were U-530, U-977 and U-1238. U-530 and U-977 surrendered to the Argentine Navy at Mar del Plata in early July and August, 1945… U-1238 was scuttled, by her crew, in the waters of San Matias Gulf, off Northern Patagonia.
Seven boats are as yet unaccounted for… and… Kriegsmarine archives, recently discovered, indicate that a total of more than forty boats are completely unaccounted for… all of which were late construction, state-of-the-art craft, and could have made either Argentina or Antarctica, completely submerged… and completely unnoticed by existing “allied” technology of the time… for the entire duration of their crossing.
The question arises, of course, why these men would make such a perilous crossing. It must surely be seen as a act of either desperation or fanaticism, or both… and such men as crewed U-Boats were neither. Nor, were the scientists and military officers who were their passengers. The fact is, it would seem that most of those who fled the ruin of Germany to the far South, were scientists and engineers, and their dedication sprang from the project on which they were working…
To understand this dedication, it is necessary to go back, before the outbreak of the Second World War, to an isolated section of the Bavarian Alps, It was there, in the summer of 1938, that an Unidentified Flying Object, crewed by a distinctly human, and Aryan appearing race, made a forced landing, very similar to the one which was to occur, some ten years later, in the desert, near Roswell, New Mexico, in the United States.
While the occupants of the two craft were completely unrelated, the technology involved, seems to have been strikingly similar. Also, the outcome of the recovery effort, undertaken by Germany, just as a similar recovery effort was undertaken by the United States, had strikingly different results.
The Bavarian crash of 1938, seems to have yielded an functioning, or almost functioning and repairable (with the technology of the time) power plant, and a nearly completely destroyed, or unrepairable airframe. The Roswell crash resulted in exactly the opposite… a nearly intact airframe and a ruined power plant. Because of this, the German research, which was to follow, took a vastly different turn from that which was undertaken in the United States, some ten years later… Germany needed an airframe which was capable of supporting the “engine” (for lack of a better term), while the United States would eventually need an “engine” capable of giving maximum performance to the airframe.
This, of course, would explain the vast array of “experimental” aircraft… of extremely “unique” design… to literally pour out of the design bureaus of Messerschmidt, Focke Wulf, Fokker and a multitude of smaller firms in the period between 1939 and 1945. The most notable, of course, is the Sänger “Flying Wing” which was later copied by the United States, and is, of course, the ancestor of today’s “stealth” bomber and fighter designs… notably, the B-2 Heavy Bomber.
It is also beyond doubt that both Unidentified Flying Object recoveries are the initial impetus for the long standing and ongoing research in “anti-gravity” propulsion seen in work of current aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Lockheed in the United States, and PanAvia in Europe.
In any case, it was the work on “reverse engineering” the downed Bavarian Unidentified Flying Object that was the catalyst for the “exodus” to the South in the final days of the Second World War. Germany was in ruins, and the research was viewed, by those conducting it, as vital… vital enough to risk packing up all that they had and risking a perilous submerged crossing of the Atlantic.. to an isolated experimental and research base on a frozen continent…
Granted, by modern standards… even by the standards of the day… U-Boats were small and cramped. They had very little cargo capacity. Still, a tiny fleet of them… ten to twelve boats… could easily transport the essential equipment, making several “runs”, and serve to supply and, later re-supply the Antarctic bastion of the research.
Speculation exists, with much to support it, that at least one of the boats in the valiant little fleet contained the biggest prize of all… at least one living survivor of the 1938 crash… an Extraterrestrial… a literal Human Being… not a “Grey”… born on a distant planet. The best evidence indicates that there were several survivors of the crash, and that they worked, and are most likely still working, with the original German scientists and engineers, or their descendants, in an effort to construct a viable “flying disc”.
These are not the “Grey Aliens” of Roswell. These beings, biologically, completely human, are described as “Aryan” in appearance, and completely human, although at least two to three generations more advanced, technologically than Earth born Human Beings. While their technology is similar to that of the Grays in general theory, it is somewhat different, apparently, in application.
This would tend to indicate that Earth technology and science is, at most, only one “major breakthrough” away from parity with the extraterrestrial cultures in question, and also explain the “urgency” of the project, as viewed by the German (and undoubtedly United States, as well…) scientists and engineers involved in such research.
In any case, Operation Highjump, began… The task force of over 40 ships, included the flagship “Mount Olympus”, the aircraft carrier “Philippine Sea”, the seaplane tender “Pine Sea”, the submarine “Senate”, the destroyer “Bronson”, the ice breaker “Northwind”, and other tanker and supply ships. An armed contingent of 1400 sailors, and three dog sled teams were also on board.
The expedition was filmed by the Navy and brought to Hollywood to be made into a commercial film called “The Secret Land”.
It was narrated by Hollywood actor Robert Montgomery, father of “Bewitched” star, Elizabeth Montgomery, who was, himself, an officer in the Naval Reserve.
It seems incredible that so shortly after a war that had decimated most of Europe and crippled global economies, an expedition to Antarctica was undertaken with so much haste (it took advantage of the first available Antarctic summer after the war), at such cost, and with so much military hardware – unless the operation was absolutely essential to the security of the United States.
At the time of the operation, the US Navy itself was being taken apart piece by piece as the battle-tested fleet was decommissioned with its mostly civilian crew bidding farewell to the seas forever. The Navy was even reduced to further recruitment to man the few remaining ships in service.
Tensions across the globe were also mounting as Russia and America edged into a Cold War, possibly a Third World War that the US would have to fight with “tragically few ships and tragically half trained men.” This made the sending of nearly 5,000 residual Navy personnel to a remote part of the planet where so much danger lurked in the form of icebergs, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures even more of a puzzle. The operation was also launched with incredible speed, “a matter of weeks.”
Perhaps it would not be uncharitable to conclude that the Americans had some unfinished business connected with the war in the polar region. Indeed this was later confirmed by other events and the operation’s leader, Admiral Richard Byrd, himself.
The official instructions issued by the then Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz were:
- to train personnel and test material in the frigid zones
- to consolidate and extend American sovereignty over the largest practical area of the Antarctic continent
- to determine the feasibility of establishing and maintaining bases in the Antarctic and to investigate possible base sites
- to develop techniques for establishing and maintaining air bases on the ice, (with particular attention to the later applicability of such techniques to Greenland)
- to amplify existing knowledge of hydro graphic, geographic, geological, meteorological and electromagnetic conditions in the area
Little other information was released to the media about the mission, although most journalists were suspicious of its true purpose given the huge amount of military hardware involved.
The US Navy also strongly emphasized that Operation Highjump was going to be a navy show; Admiral Ramsey’s preliminary orders of 26th August 1946 stated that “the Chief of Naval Operations only will deal with other governmental agencies” and that “no diplomatic negotiations are required. No foreign observers will be accepted.” Not exactly an invitation to scrutiny, even from other arms of the government.
Some facts, however, are well known… There were three divisions of Operation High Jump: one land group with tractors, explosives, and plenty of equipment to refurbish “Little America”, and make an airstrip to land the six R-4D’s (DC-3’s), and two seaplane groups. The R4-D’s were fitted with jet-assist takeoff bottles (JATO) in order to takeoff from the short runway of the aircraft carrier “Philippine Sea”.
They also were fitted with large skis for landing on the ice field prepared for them. The skis were specially fitted at three inches above the surface of the carrier deck. When landing on the ice at “Little America” the three inches of tire in contact with the snow and ice provided just enough and not too much drag for a smooth landing.
Following its arrival at Antarctica, the force began a reconnaissance of the continent. Byrd himself was onboard the first of the planes to take off on 29 January 1947.
Rocket propulsion tubes (JATO bottles) had been attached to the side of the aircraft and the carrier was maneuvered for a 35mph run to help get the planes airborne.
“From the vibration of the great carrier”, Byrd later wrote, “I knew when the captain had got the ship up to about 30 knots (35 mph… maximum, full emergency speed for such a vessel).
We seemed to creep along the deck at first and it looked as if we would never make it but when our four JATO bottles went off along the sides of the plane with a terrific, deafening noise I could see the deck fall away. I knew we had made it.”
Admiral Byrd’s team of six R4-D’s were fitted with the, then, super secret “Trimetricon” spy cameras and each plane was trailing a magnetometer.
The aircraft flew over as much of the continent as they could in the short three month “summer” period, mapping and recording magnetic data. They also carried magnetometers show anomalies in the Earth’s magnetism, i.e. if there is a “hollow” place under the surface ice or ground, it will show up on the meter. On the last of many “mapping” flights where all six planes went out, each on certain pre-ordained paths to film and “measure” with magnetometers, Admiral Byrd’s plane returned three hours late…
“Officially”, it was stated that he had “lost an engine” and had had to throw everything overboard except the films themselves and the results of magnetometer readings in order to maintain altitude long enough to return to Little America. If we are to believe the published and private accounts of what actually took place, this is almost certainly the time when he met with representatives of the “Aryan” Extraterrestrials, and a contingent of the German scientists working on the reverse engineering and construction of “flying discs”…
Over the next four weeks the planes spent 220 hours in the air, flying a total of 22,700 miles and taking some 70,000 aerial photographs. Then the mission that had been expected to last for between six to eight months came to an early and faltering end. The Chilean press reported that the mission had “run into trouble” and that there had been “many fatalities”.
(However… the official record, states that one plane crashed killing three men; a fourth man had perished on the ice; two helicopters had gone down although their crews had been rescued and a task force commander was nearly lost.)
It is an indisputable fact that the Central Group of Operation Highjump were evacuated by the Burton Island ice-breaker from the Bay of Whales on 22 February 1947; the Western Group headed home on 1st of March 1947 and the Eastern Group did likewise on 4 March, a mere eight weeks after arrival.
In the end, the task force came steaming back to the United Sates with their data, which then, immediately became classified “top secret”. Secretary of the Navy (by this time, Secretary of Defense) James Forrestal retired… and started to “talk”…. not only about Highjump, but about other things, as well… He was put in Bethesda Naval Hospital psychiatric ward where he was prevented from seeing or talking to anyone, including his wife… and… after a short while he was thrown out the window while trying to hang himself with a bed sheet.
So the story goes… It was, of course, ruled a suicide, case closed. However, some of what he knew… about Highjump… about Roswell… and other things… did manage to “leak”… How much is truth, how much is speculation is difficult to tell. However, in every “myth” there is a grain of truth…
This much is certain… As incredible as it may sound, there is considerable supporting evidence for these claims about a German base in Antarctica… On the very eve of the Second World War, the Germans themselves had invaded part of Antarctica and claimed it for the Third Reich.
In fact Hitler had authorized several expeditions to the poles shortly before WWII. Their stated objective was to either to rebuild and enlarge Germany’s whaling fleet or test out weaponry in severely hostile conditions. Yet, if true, all of this could have been achieved at the North Pole rather than at both poles and been much closer to home.
For some reason, however, the Germans had long held an interest in the South Polar region of Antarctica with the first Germanic research of that area being undertaken in 1873 when Sir Eduard Dallman (1830-1896) discovered new Antarctic routes and the “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Inseln” at the western entrance of the Biskmarkstrasse along the Biscoue Islands with his ship Grönland during his expedition for the German polar Navigation Company of Hamburg. The Grönland also achieved the distinction of being the first steamer to operate in the southern ocean.
A further expedition took place in the early years of the twentieth century in the ship the Gauss (which became embedded in the ice for 12 months), and then a further expedition took place in 1911 under the command of Wilhelm Filchner with his ship the Deutschland.
Between the wars, the Germans made a further voyage in 1925 with a specially designed ship for the Polar Regions, the Meteor under the command of Dr. Albert Merz.
Then, in the years directly preceding the Second World War, the Germans laid claim to parts of Antarctica in order to set up a permanent base there. Given that no country actually owned the continent and it could not exactly be conquered as no-one lived there during the winter months at least, it appeared to the Germans that the most effective way to conquer part of the continent was to physically travel there, claim it, let others know of their actions and await any disagreements.
Captain Alfred Ritscher was chosen to lead the proposed strike. He had already led expeditions to the North Pole and had proved himself in adverse and critical situations. For the mission Ritscher was given the Schwabenland; a German aircraft carrier that had been used for transatlantic mail deliveries by special flightboats, the famous 10 ton Dornier Super Wals since 1934.
These Wals were launched by catapult from the Schwabenland and had to be accelerated to 93mph before they could become airborne. At the end of each flight a crane on the ship lifted the aircraft back on board after they landed in the sea.
The ship was refitted for the expedition in the shipyards of Hamburg, and around one million Reichsmark, nearly a third of the entire expedition budget – was spent on this refit alone.
The crew was prepared for the mission by the German Society of Polar Research and as these preparations neared completion, the organization invited Admiral Byrd to address them, which he did.
The Schwabenland left the port of Hamburg on 17 December 1938 and followed a precisely planned and determined route towards the southern continent. In little over a month the ship arrived at the ice covered Antarctica, dropping anchor at 4B0 30B” W and 69B0 14B” S on January 201939..
The expedition then spent three weeks off Princess Astrid Coast and Princess Martha Coast off Queen Maud Land. During these weeks, the two Schwabenland aircraft, the Passat and Boreas, flew 15 missions across some 600,000 square kilometers of Antarctica, taking more than 11,000 pictures of the area with their specially designed Zeiss Reihenmess-Bildkameras RMK 38b.
Nearly one fifth of Antarctica was reconnoitered in this way and, for the first time, ice-free areas with lakes and signs of vegetation were discovered. This area was then declared to be under the control of the German expedition, renamed Neu-Schwabenland and hundreds of small stakes, carrying the swastika, were dumped on the snow-covered ground from the Wals to signal the new ownership. Ritscher and the Schwabenland left their newly claimed territory in the middle of February 1939 and returned to Hamburg two months later, complete with photographs and maps of the new German acquisition.
Now bear in mind that all of this took place before the recovery of the Unidentified Flying Object, in the Bavarian Alps, in 1938… There is no conceivable reason, at least on the surface, for such an intense interest in the South Polar regions… unless something else had already transpired to make such an investigation worthwhile… The true purpose of this expedition has never been satisfactorily explained; there is merely a series of puzzles, related reports and snippets of information that are no longer open to verification. What is not open to doubt however, is that in the decade preceding the Second World War, the Germans did almost nothing that did not put the entire structure of the country on a war footing.
This activity affected all aspects of German life; military, civilian, economic, social and foreign policies, engineering, industry etc. Given that the seizing of Neu-Schwabenland occurred on the very eve of the war, it can only be concluded that that the polar expedition was of major importance and significance to the goals and development of the German nation.
Nor did activity end with the outbreak of the war… In fact, it intensified… The South Atlantic, including South Polar waters became quite active…
Between 1939 and 1941, well after the outbreak of war in Europe, Captain Bernhard Rogge of the commerce raider Atlantis made an extended voyage in the South Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific Oceans, and visited the Iles Kerguelen between December 1940 to January 1941.
The Atlantis is known to have been visited by an RFZ-2 (the UFO style craft which had served as a reconnaissance aircraft since late 1940.) The ship then adopted a new disguise as Tamesis before being sunk by HMS Devonshire near Ascension Island, on 22 November 1941 (the Atlantis was also known as Hilfskreuzer 16 and was, at various times, disguised as Kasii-Maru or Abbekerk.)
Although the activities of the German ship Erlangen, under the captaincy of Alfred Grams, do not appear to be of consequence during 1939-40, the same cannot be said of the Komet which was commanded by Captain Robert Eyssen.
Following her passage along the Northern Sea Route in 1940, this commerce raider operated in the Pacific and Indian oceans, including a voyage along the Antarctic coastline from Cape Adare to the Shackleton Ice Shelf in search of whaling vessels during February 1941. There she met the Pinguin and supply vessels Alstertor and Adjutant. (Komet was sunk off Cherbourg in 1942.)
The Pinguin itself under the command of Captain Ernst-Felix Kruder was a commerce raider that operated chiefly in the Indian Ocean. In January 1941 she captured a Norwegian whaling fleet (factory ships Ole Wegger and Pelagos, supply ship Solglimt and eleven whale catchers) in about 59B0 S, 02B0 30W. One of these catchers (renamed Adjutant) remained as a tender and the rest were sent to France. This ship also made anchorages at the Iles Kerguelen and may have landed a party on Marion Island.
Pinguin was sunk off the Persian Gulf by HMS Cornwall on 8 May 1941 after she had captured 136,550 tons of British and allied shipping.
The Kerguelen Archipelago – ideal for secret supply bases
This island of Kerguelen (named the Most Useless Island In the World in 1995) continued to feature prominently in Nazi plans.
For example, in 1942 the German Navy planned to establish a meteorological station there. In May of that year the ship Michel transferred a meteorologist and two radio operators with full equipment to a supply vessel Charlotte Schlieman that went on to the island, however the orders for the station were later counter-manned. It is interesting to note that Kerguelen Island was also the centre of a mid 19th Century mystery.
Then entirely uninhabited, except for seals and seabirds, British Captain Sir James Clark Ross landed there in May 1840. He found in the snow unidentifiable “traces of the singular footprints of a pony, or ass, being 3 inches in length and 2 inches in breadth, having a small deeper depression in either side, and shaped like a horseshoe.” Similar markings appeared overnight in the Devon area of England fifteen years later and have also defied adequate explanation.
Then in 1942 Captain Gerlach in his ship the Stier investigated nearby Gough Island as a possible temporary base for raiders and a camp for prisoners.
This ship activity does not appear considerable, however the level of U-boat activity in the South Atlantic was much higher. The exact nature and extent of how high will probably never be known, however some insight might be gleaned from the fact that between October 1942 and September 1944 16 German U-boats were sunk in the South Atlantic area. And… some of these submarines did appear to be engaged in covert activities.
A fine example of this would be that of U-859 which, on 4 April 1944 at 04.40hrs, left on a mission carrying 67 men and 33 tons of mercury sealed in glass bottles in watertight tin crates. The submarine was later sunk on 23 September by a British submarine (HMS Trenchant) in the Straits of Malacca and although 47 of the crew died, 20 survived.
Some 30 years later one of these survivors spoke openly about the cargo and divers later confirmed the story on rediscovering the mercury. The significance being that mercury is usable as a fuel source for certain types of aerospace propulsion. Why would a German submarine be transporting such a cargo so far from home?
It is not odd, at all, if one considers the fact that aviation/avionics construction is what the Polar Base seems to be all about…
Although Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, on 8 May 1945, events after that date suggested something was happening that did not form a part of recognized world history. Something fuelled by a statement made by German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz…
Dönitz (16 September 1891 b 24 December 1980) had become Commander of the German Kriegsmarine (Navy), on 31 January 1943 and he led the German U-Boat fleet until the end of the Second World War. He also has the distinction of briefly becoming head of the German state for 20 days after Hitler’s death until his own capture by the Allies on 23 May 1945. His contribution to the mystery of post-war Antarctic activity came in a statement he made in 1943 when he declared that a substantial portion of the German submarine fleet had rebuilt “in another part of the world a Shangri-La land… an impregnable fortress.”
Could he have been referring to the alleged base in Antarctica?
Certainly there are records of continued German naval activity in the area after the war had apparently ended. For example, on 10 July 1945, more than two months after the cessation of known hostilities, the German submarine U-530 surrendered to Argentine authorities. The background to this event is puzzling. It is known that the boat had left Lorient in France on 22nd May 1944 under the captaincy of Otto Wermuth for operations in the Trinidad area, and after successfully rendezvousing with the incoming Japanese submarine I-52, it headed for Trinidad before finally returning to base after 133 days at sea.
The boat’s official record states that between October 1944 and May 1945 it formed part of the 33rd Flotilla and on Germany’s surrender Otto Wermuth’s captaincy and the submarine’s career came to an end. Yet two months later it arrived in Rio de la Plata in Argentina and surrendered to the authorities there on 10 July 1945.
The future may well reveal that fate of more of these submarines; however given the French and South American reports, and the number of missing U-boats, it may not be unreasonable to conclude that at least some of them relocated to the South Polar area.
History also gives us further clues as to a German-Antarctica connection, for it records that Hans-Ulrich Rudel of the German Luftwaffe was being groomed by Hitler to be his successor. It is known that Rudel made frequent trips to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America nearest Antarctica. And…one of Martin Bormann’s last messages from the bunker in Berlin to Dönitz also mentioned Tierra del Fuego.
Then there are also claims about Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s best friend who went to England and was arrested as a war criminal on 10 May 1941. Following his arrest, Hess was held in Spandau Prison in isolation until his death. Such unique treatment is suggestive that he had information that the Allies considered dangerous.
Indeed, in his book Secret Nazi Polar Expeditions Christof Friedrich states Hess,
“was entrusted with the all-important Antarctic file. Hess, himself, kept the Polar file.”
Now, granted, such information as Hess possessed, if any, would have been complete only to the time that he took off on his solo flight to England… but… that period… prior to 1941… would have covered the initial recovery of the Bavarian “flying disc”, and at the very least, the early stages of any project or projects arising from such a recovery. It would also contain any information with regard to any survivors of the crash, and their eventual fate(s).
Many believe that Hess, who had no part in any of the so-called “war crimes” was deliberately kept in Spandau Prison, for life, in an attempt to keep him quiet. It has also been speculated that the man who died, in Spandau Prison, was, in fact, not Hess at all… that Hess had been murdered, years before, in an effort to keep the truth… on several highly embarrassing matters… from getting out.
For the moment, however, let’s return to Operation Highjump… which seems to have been an attempt to ferret out a remaining German base on the Antarctic continent, and perhaps, to determine where, exactly the sudden rash of Unidentified Flying Object activity of the past eighteen months, had originated, and, exactly who/what was behind it… There would have, of necessity, been two prerequisites for a mission of this type.
Firstly, Operation Highjump would have to provide evidence that the mission included a reconnaissance of Neu-Swabenland and secondly, there would have to be an area of the frozen continent that could allow such a base to exist throughout the year.