Since this is an interesting and important topic in its own right, I will present here the unpublished sections of my article, which were cut for space. There is a small bit of overlap with the published piece, but the material below is almost entirely different from the material in the printed piece. I urge you to buy the magazine and read my article on wonder weapons alongside the discussion of post-Nazi fringe views of the wunderwaffen.
After the war, the United States brought former Nazi scientists to America to continue their work in rocketry as part of Operation Paperclip, which unintentionally reinforced the prestige of Nazi science even in the face of a growing understanding of Nazi atrocities. In an effort to resolve the contradiction between the respect afforded to German scientists and the unimaginable evil of Nazi Germany, some popular writers began to propose that Nazi scientific achievements had a supernatural origin.
In France in 1960, Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels published The Morning of the Magicians, a book of occult philosophy that speculated wildly about lost civilizations, ancient visits from space aliens, and Adolf Hitler. Bergier and Pauwels described the collapse of the Nazi Empire as the Twilight of the Gods from Germanic mythology, and to explain that trauma, they turned to the supernatural. They cited the wonder weapons Hitler had built—the rockets and the planes and “infrared ray detectors” and entirely new fields of organic chemistry—and then they said that Hitler could achieve so much because he was in contact with space aliens, or demons, or both—what they considered supernatural cosmic evil. According to the authors, Hitler had studied under occult mentors, had the mind of a medium, and could communicate with powers beyond the Earth. This, they said, remade the tragedy of the Second World War into something noble, “where it ceases to be absurd and becomes worth living, despite the suffering entailed, because it is a spiritual level.” Despite this, “it has obviously not been our intention to revalorize the philosophy of Nazism,” the authors warned. “But it is inherent in, and has influenced events.” Later writers would not be so cautious about embracing the image of omnipotent Nazis. In the immediate aftermath of the war, some, like the Chilean diplomat and “Esoteric Hitlerist” Miguel Serrano, even considered Hitler a messianic spiritual leader, who never died but lived on under the ice in Antarctica, waiting to lead humanity to an Aryan enlightenment.
These ideas were hugely influential, and they merged seamlessly with science fiction’s efforts to process the horror of the war years. In science fiction, the idea of Nazis as masters of time and space emerged immediately after the war. Robert Heinlein published Rocket Ship Galileo, about a Nazi moon base, in 1947, and the concept reappeared in 1950 in the Dimension X radio serial. Even Star Wars modeled its storm troopers on the Nazis. By the 1970s, an imaginary vision of all-powerful Nazis with impossible super-weapons was widespread. It was in those years that German-Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel published UFOs: Nazi Secret Weapon? alleging that the Nazis made use of alien technology. Later books from his pen would elaborate a fantastical myth of Hitler’s alien-powered Antarctic spaceport. Zündel admitted to Skeptic magazine that the books were lies meant to raise cash, but it didn’t matter. The myth of Hitler as extraterrestrial wizard-king had taken root, and the Nazis became a sort of fetish, simultaneously the root of evil and, like Satan, somehow negative proof of the divine.
Indeed, the fetishization of the Nazis’ supposed command of technology and science had led to disturbing situations where polemicists and presenters found themselves praising Hitler and the Nazis in the hope of touching the divine, or an ET simulacrum of it. Evangelical broadcaster Jon Pounders, for example, rhapsodized over Nazi wonder weapons on his Now You See It YouTube broadcast: “Even though they were evil things, they did some really amazing things as well that really boggles my mind,” he said a couple of years ago. One of the stars of Ancient Aliens, Giorgio Tsoukalos, speculated on air that the Nazis reverse engineered flying saucers to create their own aircraft, and he cited the work of Jan Van Helsing, a Nazi sympathizer convicted in France of anti-Semitic agitation, to prove the wonderful extent of Hitler’s science. To seek Nazi wonder-weapons had become akin to hunting for the treasures the Nazis themselves sought, like the Spear of Destiny and the Holy Grail—magical talismans that connected the cosmos to the seeker. Also, in recent years, the myth has appealed to Indiana Jones fantasies, a character whose adventures were inspired by Nazi treasure hunts and, of all things, the same ancient astronaut books from which Ancient Aliens emerged.
The Nazi Time Machine
The practical and fantastical threads of interest in Nazi research had started to pull together with growing speculation about wonder weapons derived from space alien technology, but it took Polish researcher Igor Witkowski to push fantasies about Nazi wonder weapons to a new extreme. In his 2000 book Prawda o Wunderwaffe (“The Truth about the Wonder Weapon”), Witkowski claimed that Polish intelligence gave him access to classified documents outlining the history of a device called Die Glocke, or The Bell. This bell-shaped metal device, standing about 15 feet high and 9 wide, was said to have been developed by SS scientists at the defunct Wenceslaus Mine along the current Czech-Polish border. Witkowski was unsure what the Bell was intended to do, but he reported that its effects were detrimental to plants and animals and that the Bell could have been an anti-gravity engine.
No authentic records of the Bell have ever been produced publicly, and Witkowski alleges that he was shown records but could only transcribe them, not make copies. Similarly, no Nazi-era records of the device have ever been found, and the Wenceslaus Mine facility where it supposedly was tested had actually served as a conventional explosives production site. A circle of concrete pillars where the Bell was alleged to take off and land, called the “henge” by believers, appears to be only the remains of the base of a cooling tower.
Nevertheless, the idea of a bell-shaped anti-gravity machine—basically, a Nazi flying saucer—electrified those that speculate about the outer fringes of history. One was British writer Nick Cook, who popularized Witkowski’s claims in English and alleged in 2001 that a pseudonymous “Dr. Dan Marckus” working as a professor at a British university, whose identity he purposely obscured, informed him that the Nazis had developed a frightening new form of physics tinged with the occult, so dangerous that it could open vistas of cosmic horror. There was, of course, no evidence for an idea better suited to H. P. Lovecraft’s Depression-era science fiction stories of interdimensional terror than to serious science. Cook alleged that “Marckus” had explained the true purpose of the Bell: to generate a torsion field, a pseudoscientific quantum state allowing for faster than light travel, that could bend space and time to create “a fucking time machine.” Cook’s disguised source championed the false physics of torsion fields despite allegedly serving as a high-ranking university physicist. It was not the most credible of claims, rendered tasteless by Cook’s speculation that the SS followed Holocaust protocols in executing the time machine scientists, whose existence he never bothered to prove.
Nevertheless, Cook heavily influenced Joseph P. Farrell, an American author who wrote about theology in the 1980s before turning to UFOs, ancient high technology, and other speculative topics in the 2000s. In the mid-2000s, Farrell became fascinated by Nazi wonder weapons and published Reich of the Black Sun to explore this interest, citing the encouragement and help of the former head of America’s National Socialist Party, Frank Joseph (formerly known as Frank Collin). Farrell expanded on the foundation Cook laid, repeating and enhancing many of “Marckus’s” claims.
Farrell had already speculated in passing in an earlier book, The Giza Death Star Deployed, that the Nazi Bell and the Keckbsburg UFO were one and the same, but now in Black Sun, he chose to make the case at length. Rather than explaining how the Bell could possibly be a functional time machine, he instead attempted to prove his case by comparing the UFO to the Bell, and alleging that their similar size and shape suggested they were the same object. Disconfirming claims were dismissed—the “Egyptian” hieroglyphs of Kecksburg became Germanic “runes,” for example. “It may have been a Nazi secret weapons project, that inadvertently got away from its testers, was brought back under control, and deliberately crashed, only to be retrieved again,” Farrell wrote. He went on to write several more books about the Bell, expanding his claims with each new release. Both he and Cook believed that the American government had taken over such technologies after the war, and that doing so opened the users of Nazi science to the risk of becoming evil like the Nazis. There was more than a little fear of science in such postmodern speculations about the dangers of unchecked research.
Farrell’s claims might never have circulated beyond an extreme fringe of World War II and UFO enthusiasts if not for the insatiable appetite of the media for sensational content. Farrell’s books were published by David Childress, himself the author of a speculative books covering Nazi occultism, Nazi UFO research, and Nazi wonder weapons. Childress also happened to be a regular contributor to the Ancient Aliens television series. When it came time for that program and its spinoff series to explore Hitler’s wonder weapons, it was no surprise that a global audience numbering in the millions now heard that the Nazis had sent the Bell twenty years into the future, where it crashed in Pennsylvania.
By the time these episodes aired, starting in 2012 and continuing down to the present, Hitler’s real but only partially successful effort to develop technologically advanced weapons had transformed in the public imagination and in popular televised history into the pinnacle of scientific achievement and the foundation for a conspiratorial view of secret American military technologies even now being readied for imagined interstellar wars yet to come. The wonder weapons were a Rorschach test of sorts, letting audiences see in them a reflection of their hopes and fears for science and for civilization.
Hitler was Thwarted
8/21/2018 08:52:26 am
By entering the Guardian of Forever to rescue McCoy from being lost in the earth's past, Kirk and Spock thwarted Hitler from developing the A-Bomb first and conquering the world by allowing a charity worker for the homeless to die, who otherwise would have lived and prevented America from developing the A-Bomb first. I watched it on Star Trek.
An Anonymoous Nerd
8/21/2018 02:59:23 pm
I am the only Star Trek person I know who hates that episode.
HITLER WAS THWARTED
8/21/2018 03:14:08 pm
"City on the edge of forever" is a watered-down version of an original script by Harlan Ellison, 1934-2018.
8/21/2018 08:31:14 pm
Joan collins was gorgous in the episode. My 12 year old hormone lever went through the roof!
8/24/2018 04:07:02 am
As a kid I didn't like this episode, it wasn't about space and it was kind of plodding until McCoy shows up high on meth acting way out of character.. It is overrated, and it hasn't aged well with so many other time travel alternate history stories. Sci-fi got much better in the 90s and Battlestar Gallactica really cranked it up, and now with Netflix and Amazon we got even more good stuff. But for 1960s TV, they did ok, but I still have a hard time sitting through that whole episode.
8/21/2018 10:28:15 am
Good post and congratulations for the publication. For supplemental and supporting info, please read Nazi UFO Photos at:
12/21/2020 08:47:50 pm
Hey I saw the discussion at the end of the Nazi photos, and also can I ask you this if that article was supporting Nazi UFOs or debunking it because its confusing.
8/21/2018 11:31:24 am
Jason has a habit of self plagiarism. He’s already published large parts of his mound book he’s trying to get published. Here he plagiarized his many earlier articles.
8/21/2018 11:58:27 am
How many times have you made that same complaint?
8/21/2018 01:33:12 pm
Hal keeps plagiarizing himself.
8/21/2018 12:55:18 pm
Hal, your ideas hold no truck.
An Anonymous Nerd
8/21/2018 02:58:01 pm
The more I think about it the more I realize that it must be a language issue.
8/21/2018 12:18:28 pm
Any mention of Vril Society and Maria Orsic?
8/21/2018 01:04:29 pm
The Vril Society and Maria Osric were invented by Morning of the Magicians, so I can't imagine they'd be in the remit of the article.
8/23/2018 06:01:22 pm
Not so. Pauwels and Bergier did invent the Vril society, but there was a real group that formed the basis for their mythos: see my article 'The Vril Seekers' in Fortean Times 303, July 2013.
8/21/2018 07:57:46 pm
I wrote a blog post about the imaginary Maria Orsic last week https://malcolmnicholson.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/the-maria-orsic-hoax/
8/23/2018 06:14:01 pm
The way to discern the Orsic mythos is a hoax is to see how her story shifted and evolved over the years.
8/21/2018 02:11:34 pm
Congratulations Jason, on your cover story. The Nazi "wonder weapon" myths always fascinated me. Those were desperate times for Germany and there was this weird blending of real scientific research and development ( the V rockets and atomic bomb for example ) with the occult pseudo-science.
8/21/2018 02:50:49 pm
One distinction would be that, leaving war casualties aside for both Stalin and Hitler, Stalin killed far more people. The forced relocations from the Balticum alone...
8/21/2018 08:34:40 pm
U saying the new dealers were communists? Truth is they were. The old right was right! Fdr was a threat to the republic. A mental midget who had zero understanding of economics or the constitution.
8/21/2018 08:52:28 pm
And let a Soviet spy live in the White House. And people will say "Oh, but McCarthy!" conveniently forgetting that history has proven McCarthy right.
8/24/2018 08:56:11 am
Why do you call yourself, AmericanNegro? Is it slur against African Americans?
8/24/2018 12:38:53 pm
From Smithsonian Magazine:
8/24/2018 09:02:34 pm
Not so much a slur as a moment in time. It was the 70's and you were too young to have any real fun. Just slumming it in junior high band/orchestra. Ah, the memories we keep.
8/21/2018 09:02:14 pm
8/22/2018 12:16:13 am
I remember well how Carter skillfully pulled the country out of the Reagan Recession.
8/22/2018 05:23:57 pm
You do recall that Carter proceeded the Hollywood B-movie actor, don't you ?
8/22/2018 07:01:28 pm
8/22/2018 08:47:02 pm
Since Lincoln, the first Republican President, there have been 19 Republican Presidents and 13 Democrat Presidents. So you're comparing apples and crabapples.
8/22/2018 10:09:03 am
"... calling FDR a mental midget is pretty lame. He was a very bright man and an astute politician."
8/22/2018 01:26:19 pm
Look up the great recession of 1920. And fdr chief economic advisor admitted the new deal was just more Hoovers attempt at keeping prices inflated along with deficit spending. Obviously the new deal didnt work as eight years into it the economy was still in the tank. Fdr was an idiot. His rash policy versus Japan ensured the militarists took control in late 30s. His decision to say nothing but normalize relations with stalin as stalin was killing millions of ukrainians, his view that the fed govt could regulate prices in the marketplace and attempt to rig the court are all wvidence of his threat to the republic. If it wasnt for the millions of first genetation immigrants (my grand parents aming them). Who had limited understanding of federalism and thought govt was like the old country where the strong man gave u stuff for supporting, fdr would have been gone after one term.
8/22/2018 02:47:06 pm
What's that you say, immigrants voting Democrat to get stuff?
8/22/2018 10:04:04 pm
Reg tugwell was fdrs new deal architect. He admitted fdrs policies were hoovers. Interventionist, money printing, distorting wages and prices, not allowing the free market to function and dispose of the maleinvestments from the 20s which were caused by the feds artifically low rates just like greenspan lowering rates caused the dot com and subprime bubbles.
8/22/2018 09:38:37 am
Hi Jsaon -
8/22/2018 11:06:30 am
Yes, in 1943 he worked under Gerhard Heller at Karlshagen where he was put in charge of hypergolic fuels in conjunction with I.G.Farben Industry before becoming brother Wernher's assistant in late 1943.
8/26/2018 10:31:10 am
A lot of people love to romanticize German weapons. Some of them were good ideas but far from original. The first flying wing was the Northrop N1 which flew in July, 1940, and there was a Russian design before that one. As for the V2 Robert Goddard, just a few months before he died, was able to get a close look at one and recognized many of the components as his own design. The Brits built the first jet engine but didn't pursue it until the war and had the Gloster Meteor flying in combat at the same time the Me-262 became operational. One thing about German weapons was that there were many design bureaus with several of them working on the same project. There was almost no coordination between them.
8/26/2018 02:35:11 pm
"As for the V2 Robert Goddard, just a few months before he died, was able to get a close look at one and recognized many of the components as his own design."
8/27/2018 02:35:02 am
I hope you aren't claiming that I plagiarized what I wrote from Wikipedia. I don't even remember where I read what Goddard said but I'm pretty sure it wasn't from Wikipedia.
8/27/2018 10:31:48 am
Jesus fucking Christ, read what I wrote.
8/27/2018 12:35:22 pm
I did. You would have been clearer had you written "quoting from" or "copied from" wikipedia. With the way some assholes have accused Jason of plagiarism I simply wanted to be certain.
8/27/2018 12:55:53 pm
Jesus fucking Christ AGAIN!
8/27/2018 01:16:38 pm
"I hope you aren't" was too confusing for you? Damn, dude. Overreact much?
8/27/2018 02:02:22 pm
The colon and the quote marks tell the tale. You found ambiguity where there was none.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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