After the photograph was published in the papers, speculation grew that the disk
was a secret weapon, and one that may have accounted for many of the UFO
sightings during previous years. In response to the speculation, the US Air Force released the
an official photograph of the craft. It was called the ‘Avro’ and had
first been launched in 1955. A CIA memo of that year confirmed that the craft was based work undertaken by
German scientists, notably Miethe, during WWII. The design was later abandoned
in the late 1960s with the Air Force maintaining it was still at an experimental
stage when abandoned. The 1990s were to reveal the craft was part of the secret
‘Project Silver Bug’ (video ~ right), a project to develop a craft that had VTOL
(vertical take-off and landing) capabilities that would dispense with the need
for runways – and reduce the risks of such runways been targets of attack thus
immobilising any aircraft that may rely on it.
Other German scientists similarly brought their expertise
– and designs – into the US after the war. ‘America’s Aircraft Year Book’
notes how many of them worked at Ft. Bliss (von Braun et al above) and Wright
Field:- the first and second homes of the Roswell wreckage. Among those in the
German group at Wright Field were Rudolph Hermann, Alexander Lippisch, Heinz
Schmitt, Helmut Heinrich, Fritz Doblhoff and Ernst Zundel.
Hermann was attached to the Peenemunde Research Station for
Aerodynamics where Germany’s V-2 rockets were hatched and launched against
England. A specialist in supersonics, he was in charge of the supersonic wind
tunnel at Kochel in the Bavarian Alps. He was also a member of the group
entrusted with Hitler’s futuristic plans to establish a space-station
rocket-refuelling bases revolving as a satellite about the Earth at a distance
of 4,000 miles – a scheme which he and certain high ranking AAF officers in 1947
still believed possible."
One of these scientists Dr. Alexander Lippisch had designed
another German craft that could be mistaken at the time for a flying disc,
certainly at least when viewed from the side. Lippisch had developed a number of projects
leading up to the war, having been inspired by witnessing a flight by Orville
Wright in September 1909 when a boy of 14. By November 1944, Lippisch, along
with his students, had constructed the DM-1 (left), a delta with 60° swept
This craft was later to be flown at a speed of 497mph under the power of a
rocket motor, and was shipped back to the US at the end of the war along with
its creator. The DM-1 was to inspire the design of many US delta-wing aircraft
such as the F-102 and F-104. Lippisch joined Collins Radio Company as an expert on special
aeronautical problems and in 1966 founded the ‘Lippisch Corporation’. He went on
to develop the X-113A Aerofoil Boat before dying in 1976 at the age of 81.
Another craft that looked suspiciously like a ‘flying disk’ was
the AS-6. This craft was built by Arthur Sack following encouragement from Ernst
Udet, Germany’s Air Minister in 1939.
Constructed at the Mitteldeutsche Motorwerke Company, and
completed at the Flugplatz-Werkstatt at the Brandis Air Base in early 1944, the
plane was not a success, and not further developed.
A similar craft to the AS-6, the V-173, was built by
‘Chance-Vought’, and known as the ‘flying pancake’. The V-173 has the honour of
being the one occasion that the US authorities actually ‘admitted’ that
technologies developed in Germany during the war years could account for the
wave of UFOs seen over America in the 1940s. The Navy released this picture of a V-173 in 1947 during the
wave of UFO excitement generated by Kenneth Arnold’s sighting and the headline
of the saucer crash at Roswell.
The Navy stated that the V-173 was the only craft in
operation at that time that could in any way come close to the flying disks
being sighted everywhere. Certainly the V-173, or another development at Chance-Vought
was mistaken for a UFO by a local resident Thomas C. Smith whilst working for
the company a year before the famous Roswell incident.