Operation Highjump

Operation Highjump
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Date: December 2, 1946

Location: Antarctic

Operation Highjump, officially titled:
  • The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program
  • , which was, basically an invasion of the Antarctic, consisted of three Naval battle groups, which departed Norfolk, VA, on December 2, 1946.

    They were led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd's command ship, the icebreaker USS Northwind.

    Participating units were:

  • Sikorsky R-4 helicopter landing on icebreaker USS Northwind during Operation Highjump
  • Task Force 68
  • Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, USN, Commanding
  • Eastern Group (Task Group 68.3)
  • Capt. George J. Dufek, USN, Commanding
  • USS Pine Island - Currituck class seaplane tender - Capt. Henry H. Caldwell, USN, Commanding
  • USS Brownson - Gearing-class destroyer - Cdr. H.M.S. Gimber, USN, Commanding
  • USS Canisteo - Cimarron-class fleet oiler - Capt. Edward K. Walker, USN, Commanding
  • Western Group (Task Group 68.1)
  • Capt. Charles A. Bond, USN, Commanding
  • USS Currituck - Currituck class seaplane tender - Capt. John E. Clark, USN, Commanding
  • USS Henderson - Gearing-class destroyer - Capt. C.F. Bailey, USN, Commanding
  • USS Cacapon - Cimarron-class fleet oiler - Capt. R.A. Mitchell, USN, Commanding
  • Central Group (Task Group 68.2)
  • Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, USN, Commanding Officer
  • USS Mount Olympus - Mount McKinley-class amphibious force command ship - Capt. R.R. Moore, USN, Commanding
  • USS Yancey - Andromeda-class attack cargo ship - Capt. J.E. Cohn, USN, Commanding
  • USS Merrick - Andromeda-class attack cargo ship - Capt. John J. Hourihan, USN, Commanding
  • USS Sennet - Balao-class submarine - Cdr. Joseph B. Icenhower, USN, Commanding
  • USS Burton Island - Wind-class icebreaker - CDR Gerald L. Ketchum, USN, Commanding
  • USS Northwind - Wind-class icebreaker/Command ship - Capt. Charles W. Thomas, USCG, Commanding
  • Carrier Group (Task Group 68.4)
  • Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd, Jr. USN, (Ret), Officer in Charge
  • USS Philippine Sea - Essex-class aircraft carrier - Capt. Delbert S. Cornwell, USN, Commanding
  • Base Group (Task Group 68.5)
  • Capt. Clifford M. Campbell, USN, Commanding
  • 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, November 16, 1942, at Todd Shipyard Corporation, in San Pedro, CA. It was launched, February 26, 1944, and given the commissioned name, USS Pine Island on April 26, 1945. The ship served through the final months of the Second World War, and the immediate post war period, but was decommissioned on May 1, 1950. When the Korean War broke out, the ship was recommissioned, on October 7, 1950, at Alameda, CA. She was finally decommissioned, for good, on June 16, 1967 and laid up in the Reserve Fleet.

    But, 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.

    How does one go about losing a major surface ship, over 640' long, almost 70' wide, with a displacement of over 15,000 tons?

    As a federal employee with immediate access to the National Defense Reserve Fleet archives, which are all unclassified, provided additional information as it relates to the subject story.

    Mr. Choron states:

    Australian, British, Canadian, Norwegian & Russian forces were also involved.

    Operation Highjump has become a topic among UFO conspiracy theorists, who claim it was a covert U.S. military operation to conquer alleged secret underground Nazi facilities in Antarctica and capture the German Vril flying disks, or Thule mercury powered spaceship prototypes.

    This has always been denied by the U.S. Military.

    But new declassified pictures from Operation Highjump show some very odd details that do not fit in with the official story.

    Just before the end of World War II, two German provision U boats, U-530 and U-977, were launched from a port on the Baltic Sea following a steady stream of supplies that was carried out throughout the closing stages of the war. Reportedly they took with them members of the antigravity disk research and development teams carrying notes, drawings & designs for German flying disks. The last of the most vital disk components were on these vessels.

    Much of the technology and hardware that the allies were looking for concerning the Nazi's secret weapons program had been transported to the base during the course of the war. This included the notes and drawings for the latest saucer or aerial disk designs and designs for the gigantic underground complexes and living accommodations based on the remarkable underground factories of Nordhausen in the Harz Mountains. The two U boats duly reached the new land of Neu-Schwabenland in Antarctica, where they unloaded everything. They then arrived in Argentina several months later, minus the original cargo and most of the crew.

    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.

    The fact is that there was plenty of evidence, 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.

    Upon the Navy's return, all information was classified top secret, and the only person to being talking about the mission, the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, was quickly institutionalized in Bethesda Naval Hospital psychiatric ward, where he was prevented from seeing or talking to anyone, including his wife, after a short while he was thrown out the window while trying to hang himself with a bed sheet.

    The Nazi's embraced the occult and believed that the earth could be hollow, they also believed that hollow center could be inhabited by aliens. In fact they believed this so much that one of their missions was specifically designed to find an entrance to the earths interior and make contact with the inhabitants for support in the war, should they be located.

    Highjump's objectives, according to the U.S. Navy report of the operation, were:

    Training personnel and testing equipment in frigid conditions.

    Consolidating and extending the United States' sovereignty over the largest practicable area of the Antarctic continent, publicly denied as a goal even before the expedition ended.

    Determining the feasibility of establishing, maintaining, and utilizing bases in the Antarctic and investigating possible base sites.

    Developing techniques for establishing, maintaining, and utilizing air bases on ice, with particular attention to later applicability of such techniques to operations in interior Greenland, where conditions are comparable to those in the Antarctic.

    Amplifying existing stores of knowledge of electromagnetic, geological, geographic, hydrographic, and meteorological propagation conditions in the area.

    Supplementary objectives of the Nanook expedition, a smaller equivalent conducted off eastern Greenland.

    On December 30, 1946, aviation radiomen Wendell K. Hendersin, Fredrick W. Williams, and Ensign Maxwell A. Lopez were killed when their Martin PBM Mariner George 1 crashed during a blizzard. The surviving six crew members were rescued 13 days later, including aviation radioman James H. Robbins and co-pilot William Kearns. A plaque honoring the three killed crewmen was later erected at the McMurdo Station research base, and Mt. Lopez on Thurston Island was named in honor of killed airman Maxwell A. Lopez. In December 2004, an attempt was made to locate the remains of the plane. There are ongoing efforts to repatriate the bodies of the three men killed in the crash.

    On January 21, 1947, Vance N. Woodall died during a ship unloading accident. In a crew profile, deckman Edward Beardsley described his worst memory as when Seaman Vance Woodall died on the Ross Ice Shelf under a piece of roller equipment designed to pave the ice to build an airstrip.

    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.

    On March 5, 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:

    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.

    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 that could account for the United States invasion of Antarctica nor for the development of any craft that could fly from Pole to pole with incredible speeds.

    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 UFO 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 disks, 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 UFO 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?

    In late 1947, only months after Roswell, then Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal sent a naval task force to Antarctic including Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Krusen & Admiral Byrd, for Operation Highjump. It was touted to be an expedition to find coal deposits and other valuable resources, but, 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. Germany had done a very detailed study of Antarctica 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 WWII. The answer, quite honestly, has nothing at all to do with UFOs. 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 WWII, 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 May 3 & May 8, 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 documented that three of the boats did, in fact, arrive in Argentina. These were U-530, U-977 and U-1238. U-530 & 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, Kriegsmarine archives, recently discovered, indicate that a total of more than 40 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 then, why these men would make such a perilous crossing. It must surely be seen as a act of either desperation or fanaticism. 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 a UFO, 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 1936, seems to have yielded a 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, 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 Sanger 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 UFO 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 UFO that was the catalyst for the exodus to the South in the final days of WWII. 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, 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. 10 to 12 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, 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 disk.

    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, scientists and engineers involved in such research.

    In any case, Operation Highjump, began. The task force of over 40 ships. 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 U.S. 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 WWIII that the U.S. 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:

    The U.S. Navy also strongly emphasized that Operation Highjump was going to be a navy show, Admiral Ramsey's preliminary orders of August 26, 1946 stated that:

    Some facts, however, are well known.

    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 USS Philippine Sea. They also were fitted with large skis for landing on the ice field prepared for them. The skis were specially fitted at 3" above the surface of the carrier deck. When landing on the ice at Little America the 3" 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 January 29, 1947.

    JATO bottles had been attached to the side of the aircraft and the carrier was maneuvered for a 35 mph run to help get the planes airborne. From the vibration of the great carrie,

    Byrd later wrote:

    Admiral Byrd's team of six R4-D's were fitted with the, super secret Trimetricon spy cameras and each plane was railing 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, 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 disks.

    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 6 to 8 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.

    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 a fact that the Central Group of Operation Highjump were evacuated by the USS Burton Island from the Bay of Whales on February 22, 1947. The Western Group headed home on March 1, 1947 and the Eastern Group did likewise on March 4, a mere eight weeks after arrival.

    In the end, the task force came steaming back to the United States 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, 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, there is considerable supporting evidence for these claims about a German base in Antarctica. On the very eve of WWII, the Germans themselves had invaded part of Antarctica and claimed it for the Third Reich. Hitler had authorized several expeditions to the poles shortly before WWII. Their stated objective was either to rebuild and enlarge Germany's whaling fleet or test out weaponry in severely hostile conditions. Yet, 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, 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 Gronland during his expedition for the German polar Navigation Company of Hamburg. The Gronland 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 WWII, 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 93 MPH 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 1,000,000 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 December 17, 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 WWII, 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 November 22, 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 May 8, 1941 after she had captured 136,550 tons of British and allied shipping.

    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 the 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 center 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" in length and 2" 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 15 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 April 4, 1944 at 4:40 a.m., 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 September 23, by a British submarine, H.M.S. 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?

    Although Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, on May 8, 1945, events after that date suggested something was happening that did not form a part of recognized world history. Something fueled by a statement made by German Grand Admiral Karl Donitz. Donitz had become Commander of the German Kriegsmarine, on January 31, 1943 and he led the German U Boat fleet until the end of WWII. 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 May 23,1945. 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 July 10, 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 May 22, 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 July 10, 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 Donitz 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 May 10, 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. Hess was entrusted with the all important Antarctic file. Hess, himself, kept the Polar file.

    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 disk, 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 or fates.

    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 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.

    Back 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 UFO activity of the past eighteen months had originated, and exactly who/what was behind it. There would have, 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. Both of these criteria were met.

    Both the Eastern and Western Groups of Operation Highjump had been active around Neu-Schwabenland. So was a Russian boat that proved to be unfriendly. The Eastern group were frustrated in their efforts to make a reconnaissance of the area, despite incredible efforts to secure photographs for later examination.

    However by then, it was very late in the season. The sun had only been briefly glimpsed in the past few weeks, but everyone could tell that the continually grey skies and clouds were darkening daily. In another month all light would be gone from Antarctica. The waters girdling the continent would begin to freeze rapidly, binding unwary ships in a crushing embrace.

    Commander Dufek was loath to surrender. He ordered his ships northwards away from the pack. Perhaps one or two more flights might be possible. But on the morning of March 3rd virgin ice was seen to be forming on the water's surface, and the Eastern group steamed out of Antarctica. The Western Group, however, were to make a remarkable discovery.

    At the end of January 1947 a PBM piloted by Lieutenant Commander David Bunger, flew from his ship, the Currituck and headed towards the continent's Queen Mary Coast. On reaching land, Bunger flew west for a time, then, coming up over the featureless, white horizon, he saw a dark, bare area which Byrd later described as, a land of blue and green lakes and brown hills in an otherwise limitless expanse of ice.

    Bunger and his men carefully reconnoitered the area before racing back to the Currituck with news of their find. The oasis they had discovered covered an area of some 300 square miles of the continent and contained three large, open water lakes along with a number of smaller lakes. These lakes were separated by masses of barren, reddish brown rocks possibly indicating the presence of iron ore.

    Several days later, Bunger returned to the area, and found that the water was warm to the touch and the lake itself was filled with red, blue and green algae giving it a distinctive color. Bunger filled a bottle with the water which later turned out to be brackish, a clue to the fact that the lake was actually an arm of the open sea.

    This is important for two reasons, warm, inland lakes connected to the surrounding oceans would be perfect for submarines to hide within, and similar lakes have been noted in Neu-Schwabenland, the site of the alleged German, and suspected Alien base.

    While there is no conclusive evidence of a German/Alien base on Antarctica, It is beyond doubt that something highly unusual was happening on, or around, the frozen continent. In general, it appears that the probability for such a base to have existed, and perhaps continue to exist to this day are rather high. The evidence, a large volume of it is there for all to see.

    The Germans explored and claimed part of Antarctica on the very eve of the war when the vast majority of their activity was geared towards the rebuilding of the German economy and military infrastructure. This activity began shortly before the recovery of the Bavarian flying disk in 1938, but picked up pace immediately afterward.

    There was ongoing ship and submarine activity in the South Atlantic and polar regions throughout and after the war had apparently ended. This activity continued well into the 1950s, and if some accounts are to be believed, continues to this day with what can only be considered U Boat sightings, and a very high incidence of UFO sightings in the South Atlantic and South Polar regions, including the Southern portions of South America.

    The U.S. literally invaded the continent of Antarctica, with considerable naval resources leaving mainland America exposed and vulnerable as the world edged into the Cold War. The task force limped home as if defeated only weeks later, and the local South American press wrote of such a defeat. This coincided with a substantial increase in UFO activity, generally attributed to the first major wave of such activity in modern times, with an inordinate amount of this activity taking place in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly in South America.

    Admiral Byrd spoke of objects that could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds being based on Antarctica.

    Hundreds of thousands of Germans and a minimum of 40 U boats were missing at the end of the war. Documentation and eyewitness accounts prove that at least a portion of these craft made it as far as South America, in some cases, several months after the end of the war in Europe.

    The connection between Antarctica and the UFO phenomenon was sealed with claims made by one Albert K. Bender who stated that he went into the fantastic and came up with an answer and I know what the saucers are.

    Bender ran an organization called the International Flying Saucer Bureau - IFSB, a small UFO organization based in Connecticut, U.S.A. and he also edited a publication known as the Space Review which was committed to the dissemination of news about UFOs. In truth, the organization had only a small membership and the publication circulated amongst hundreds rather than thousands, but that its members and readers valued it was in little doubt. The publication itself advocated that flying saucers were spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin.

    However. in the October 1953 edition of Space Review, there were two major announcements.

    The first was headed Late Bulletin and stated:

    A source which the IFSB considers very reliable has informed us that the investigation of the flying saucer mystery and the solution is approaching final stages. This same source to whom we had referred data, which had come into our possession, suggested that it was not the proper method and time to publish the data in Space Review.

    The second announcement read Statement of Importance:

    The mystery of the flying saucers is no longer a mystery. The source is already known, but any information about this is being withheld by order from a higher source. We would like to print the full story in Space Review, but because of the nature of the information we are very sorry that we have been advised in the negative.

    The statement ended in the sentence: We advise those engaged in saucer work to please be very cautious.

    These announcements were of little significance in and of themselves.

    Bender's publication was considered fringe, at best, even at the time. However, what gained them wider attention was the fact that immediately after publishing this October 1953 issue, Bender suspended further publication of the magazine and closed the IFSB down without any further explanation. This is completely consistent with the prudent approach, shown by many who have been gently warned to cease operations by the Majestic 12 Group and other agencies involved in keeping a lid on any real investigation into the Unidentified Flying Object phenomenon.

    Bender might very well have known what the flying saucers were, at least a portion of them, but he later revealed in a local newspaper interview that he was keeping his knowledge a secret following a visit by three men who apparently confirmed he was right about his UFO theory, but put him in sufficient fear to immediately close down his organization and cease publication of the journal.

    It has been argued that the story of being visited by three strangers and being warned off was a front to close a publication that was losing money, however the fact that Bender had been scared to death and actually couldn't eat for a couple of days was verified by his friends and associates. It is also widely known that such stories are often spread by the United States, and other governments to discredit those who might just have the truth, or at least a portion of it.

    In 1963, a full decade after his visit from the three strangers, Bender was seemingly prepared to reveal more of his story in a largely unreadable book entitled Flying Saucers and the Three Men in Black. The book was scant on facts, however, it described extraterrestrial spacecraft that had bases in Antarctica. This was apparently the truth Bender was terrorized into not revealing.

    Bender also provided images of the saucers he was aware of. He produced drawings of UFOs that he was aware of, not saucers, as were the common depictions of the time, but rather flying wings which showed three bubble like protrusions on the underside, reminiscent of the German designed Haunebu II, which was allegedly only in the design stage at the end of World War II, alongside a cylindrical, cigar shaped object.

    Ernst Zundel was not a Paperclip Scientist:

    It is realized that Americans were not interested in being educated. They want to be entertained. The book was for fun. With a picture of the Fuhrer on the cover and flying saucers coming out of Antarctica it was a chance to get on radio and TV talk shows. For about 15 minutes of an hour program I'd talk about that esoteric stuff. Then I would start talking about all those Jewish scientists in concentration camps, working on these secret weapons. And that was my chance to talk about what I wanted to talk about.

    Ernst Zundel, a German scientist turned author, known for his internet ZGrams who had entered the U.S. under Operation Paperclip, a United States Army/CIA program to bring German scientific talent into the United States in spite of any so called war crimes which they were alleged to have committed at the end of the war and who worked at Wright Field, later Wright Patterson A.F.B. where the Roswell debris were eventually housed, also made claims about the nature of the activity in Antarctica. In the 1970s Zundel's book UFOs: Nazi Secret Weapons? made the claim that at least some UFOs were German secret Weapons which were developed during the Second World War, and that some of them had been shipped out towards the end of the war and hidden at the poles.

    Publication of the book coincided with a tidal wave of renewed interest in all things paranormal. Coming on the heel of what was to be the last major UFO wave of the 20th Century, and Zundel was a guest on countless talk shows where he shared his views on spaceships, free energies, electromagnetism, emergent technologies and some of the positive contributions made by the Germans in these fields.

    Zundel, who was one of the first of the revisionist historians of World War II, was actually only really interested in promoting his holocaust theory. However, he found that his UFO and Hollow Earth ideas proved a greater attraction to television producers. The idea seized hold of the popular imagination and took on a life of its own. Zundel's publishing company, Samisdat, started to make a name for itself by issuing newsletters and books on the subject. An expedition to Antarctica itself was even proposed to seek out Hitler's UFO bases there.

    The fact is that such claims would have died out had they not been based on at least some real events. Now, keep in mind that South America has always been a hotbed of UFO activity. Many of the reports coming out of the area are unverified, and unverifiable.

    However, many have credence.

    The claims that something extremely unusual was taking place around the foreboding reaches of the frozen continent took a major leap forward in the 1960s when the Argentine Navy was charged with the official investigation into strange sightings in the sky.

    A 1965 official report prepared by Captain Sanchez Moreno of the Naval Air Station Comandante Espora in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, stated that:

    Between 1950 and 1965, personnel of Argentina's Navy alone made 22 sightings of UFOs that were not airplanes, satellites, weather balloons or any type of known aerial vehicles. These 22 cases served as precedents for intensifying that investigation of the subject by the Navy.

    Following a series of sightings at Argentine and Chilean meteorological stations on Deception Island, Antarctica, in June and July 1965, Captain Engineer Omar Pagani disclosed at a press conference that:

    More details of these UFO sightings were given in a report in the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo in its July 8, 1965 edition:

    The communique states moreover that the prevailing meteorological conditions when the phenomenon was observed can be considered excellent for the region in question and the time of year. The sky was clear and quite a lot of stars were visible. The Secretariat of the Argentine Navy also states in its communique that the occurrence was witnessed by scientists of the 3 naval bases and that the facts described by these people agree completely.

    Practically everyone in the UFO Community is aware that in March 1950 Commodore Augusto Vars Orrego of the Chilean Navy shot still pictures and 8mm movie footage of a very large cigar shaped flying object that hovered over and maneuvered about in the frigid skies above the Chilean Antarctic. The photos and the report of Orrego's sighting have, quite literally, been seen by millions over the half century since he saw, and photographed the objects.

    Orrego stated:

    The report does not state what became of these photographs, but it is safe to assume that they are in the possession of the Chilean Government, and there is no reason to assume that they have not been shared with that of the United States, as well as others. No names are given in this report, but it has the ring of truth, and is consistent with any number of similar sightings.

    With that we knew their names. It is one of the exasperating facts of UFO research that so many of the South American and South Atlantic sightings are attributed to anonymous sources or the names of the witnesses involved, have been expunged from the official records. So many of the witnesses being cited would be, with reference to their stated credentials, credible sources, but because of the practice of expunging names from records which might fall into public hands are practically impossible to trace.

    The absence of names. in many, if not most cases deliberately expunged from official reports, simply lends to an aura of unbelievability, even though it is a common practice, especially in most countries.

    Yet another documented account of a UFO sighting over Antarctica is by Rubens Junqueira Villela, a meteorologist and the first Brazilian scientist to participate in an expedition to the South Polar region, and now, a veteran of 11 expeditions to Antarctica, two with the U.S. Navy, 8 with the Brazilian Antarctic Program and another on the sailing ship Rapa Nui.

    While on board the icebreaker USS Glacier, which had set sail from New Zealand at the end of January 1961, Villela claims that he witnessed a UFO event in the skies over Antarctica which he immediately recorded in his diary, even including the emotions felt by all those involved.

    The U.S. Navy officially registered the incident as a meteor or some other natural luminous phenomenon according to the report submitted by the Glacier's captain, Captain Porter. This is a common practice, and has been, ever since the inception of the UFO cover up, under the auspices of the Majestic 12 group.

    This policy of official denial and logical explanation no matter how far fetched, would seem, has been followed by all branches of the United States Government since the first days after the Roswell Incident.

    It certainly applies to any sightings or alleged sightings in and around Antarctica.

    Villela, on the other hand, easily dismissed the official line:

    How could they mistake a meteor with an object carrying antennae, completely symmetrical and followed by a tail without any sight of atmospheric disturbance?

    According to most official sources, and certainly according to world renowned skeptic and self styled debunker, Phillip Klaus, this particular episode is a classic example of plasma, however the late meteorologist, James McDonald argued that the highly structured nature of the object and the low cloud overcast present at about 1500' were not compatible with Klaus's hypothesis.

    The list of sightings in the South Atlantic area is practically endless. It is, and has been, particularly since the end of WWII, one of the most active areas on earth with respect to UFO activity.

    Another classic sighting took place on January 16, 1958 when the Brazilian naval vessel Almirante Salddanha was escorting a team of scientists to a weather station on Trindade Island. As the ship approached the island, or rather an outcrop of rock, a UFO reportedly flew low, over the water, past the ship, circled the island, then flew off in front of dozens of witnesses. One of the witnesses to this particular event, the expedition photographer, took a number of photographs of the object. Later, the film was handed over to the military by the Captain. After the initial analysis, the Brazilian government released the film stating that they were unable to account for the images.

    Why did the United States Government, in late 1947, only months after Roswell, send a naval task force to Antarctic including Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Krusen and Admiral Byrd, called Operation Highjump. As we observed earlier, the operation was said to be an expedition to find coal deposits and other valuable resources, but the facts indicate otherwise.

    There seems to be no doubt that they were trying to locate an immense underground base constructed by the Germans, before, during and immediately after WWII, with the aid of Alien entities which were described as Aryans. This base, allegedly located in an area that the Germans called Neuschwabenlandt, an area of Antarctica which Germany explored, and claimed, before the outbreak of WWII was thought to hold flying objects which could fly from Pole to Pole in a matter of minutes.

    For years, rumors have circulated as to why German submarines, U Boats. would operate in South American and Antarctic waters long after the end of the Second World War. Some have said that the boats spirited away such notables as Adolf Hitler & Martin Bormannn. both of whom can be demonstrated to have died in Berlin at the end of the war. The death and physical remains of both men have been verified beyond doubt, the latter with very recent DNA testing. Thus neither of them escaped via U boats to South America. The fact is, Wolfgang Eisenmenger, a forensic science professor at Munich University, conducted the DNA testing of Bormann's remains. He seems to have done the work for the Frankfurt justice officials. He also had Bormann's dental, medical & fingerprint records.

    Bormann's children, or a distant family member, details a bit fuzzy, provided the blood for the DNA match which was proven conclusive, that the body was of Martin Bormann. The cause of death was deemed to be self inflicted poisoning.

    Adolf Hitler, of course, died in his Bunker in Berlin, of poison. and a self inflicted gunshot. Everyone has heard stories of vast amounts of gold or other valuables being smuggled out of Germany in the last days of the war, secreted away to South America. To support so called criminals abroad.

    So far, none of those stories has shown any sign of merit. If they were so, then men such as Eichman would not have worked on the assembly line in a Volkswagen plant, Muller would not have run a chicken farm, and Mengele would not have been dependent upon the generosity of his wealthy family.

    There is a story floating around that this said U boat commander worked on some highly classified U.S. National Secrets after the war, and that his boat was operating in the far South. He was reported to have been a commander of a VIIC or IXC U boat in the Atlantic during the war, named Otto Schneider.

    This theory is also easy to disprove. There simply was no U Boat commander by that name in the German Navy. Only two commanders with that last name saw service in the war, Herbert Schneider who died while in command of U-522, and Manfred Schneider, only commander the small XXIII boat U-4706 for the last 3 months of the war, and never left his home port.

    This story is just that, a story.

    The fact is, UFO researchers are well aware of strange sightings of flying saucers with swastikas or iron crosses displayed on them. They are also well aware of aliens speaking German, and have also heard of abductees who have been taken to underground bases with swastika emblems on the walls, or as in the case of one abductee, Alex Christopher, who claims to have seen Reptiloids and Germans working together aboard antigravity craft or within underground bases.

    Is this what America feared? Is it a secret Antarctic facility where these experiments and developments continued? What Operation Highjump was actually looking for? Is this secret, the one that cost James Forrestall his life? Did an unrecorded, three hour long meeting with a group of German scientists and engineers and Aryan Extraterrestrials in the frozen wastelands near the South Pole cost Admiral Byrd his life? Is this the origin of the warships of space, that the Rosenberg's mentioned in the very shadow of the electric chair?

    One thing is certain. The United States did not invade Antarctica, at the end of a World War and the very beginning of a Cold War. Using a disproportionate share of it's diminishing fleet for exploration purposes. If they were looking for something, they surely knew what it was they were looking for, and a scientific expedition does not go forth prepared for war.

    A Secret U.S. Post Office operated in Antarctica 1946-1948 causing speculation about the real reason behind two concurrent U.S. expeditions. Finn Ronne was a Norwegian immigrant who later joined the U.S. Navy and was a member and officer in Admiral Byrd's earlier expeditions to Antarctica.

    In 1946 to 1948, he led a privately financed expedition to Antarctica, following upon the heels of Operation Highjump. Ronne's expedition was to the Marguerite Bay area, where he reoccupied Byrd's 1939 Base. One of the most important results of this expedition was a showing that the Antarctic Peninsula was connected to the rest of Antarctica, thus solving one of the last great public mysteries of the continent.

    Writing in his book entitled: Antarctic Conquest, he stated:

    Secrecy seems to be in no scarcity as it relates to several Antarctic expeditions, perhaps in no small way due to a continued concern that the Nazis had a remnant left in Antarctica from their infamous 1938 & 1939 New Schwabenland colonization of Antarctica.

    The web is abundant with sites setting forth information about suspected and actual German involvement in Antarctica possibly dating back even to the late 1800's. It does make one wonder if there were in fact, covert or as they say today, Black-ops, reasons for one or more of the Byrd Expeditions, including Operation Highjump for this discussion, as well as the private expedition of Captain Ronne.

    Many online sources are available with information concerning what is dubbed the Byrd Conspiracy, which was not a conspiracy by Admiral Byrd, rather what may have been an apparent conspiracy by the government to keep particular information that he had uncovered during Operation Highjump as a secret. Lending credence to this conspiracy theory is the observation that Admiral Byrd does in effect seem to disappear from public view shortly after his return from Operation Highjump in 1947, until approximately 1955 when he organized Operation Deep Freeze I, and he was reported to have been hospitalized, in a mental ward, shortly after his return in 1947.

    This forced hospitalization is said to have came upon the tails of Byrd having made some remarkably candid comments, which included what smacked of being a description of a UFO, to a South American newspaper about what he had found during Operation Highjump. His disappearance from the scene after his arrival back in the states, would make it appear he may have been promptly squelched.

    Remember that this time period coincided roughly with the Roswell UFO crash. Operation Highjump would have been first, early in 1947, and then Roswell to follow in the summer of 1947. This was a situation that was the last thing the government would have wanted.

    Another military official, in this case a quite prominent and popular man who had spent years criss crossing the United States giving lectures and whose word would have been quite respected and accepted, who apparently reported having seen/and or believing in UFOs. If Operation Highjump had continued to its full expected duration of 6 to 8 months, they would have still been in Antarctica at the time of Roswell.

    The expedition headed back to the U.S. in early 1947, well short of its expected ending. Some would say limped back, after suffering great losses of personnel and equipment. The official record only sets forth a limited loss of life and aircraft, but conspiracists feel the record has been doctored or we are not being told the full story.

    Contrast this lack of public accessibility after Operation Highjump, to the previous well known availability of Admiral Byrd in the period following his first two Antarctic Expeditions, where there are documented philatelic items from cities all over the country serving as commemorations of where Byrd visited lecturing to the public about his travels in Antarctica.

    That Byrd loved to travel and lecture about his polar explorations is quite evident. The polar regions and his expeditions were his very reason for existence, he had said from the time he was a child that he felt destined to be a polar explorer. He had a passion for all things polar, especially exploration, that could scarcely be contained.

    As some theorists suggest, during Operation Highjump, did he encounter and engage Nazi forces operating from bases that lodged advanced aircraft with advanced propulsion systems? Many think so, and I am beginning to see some curiosities about many aspects of Operation Highjump and now, perhaps even with Ronne's Expedition. The little tidbit mentioned above that Ronne offerd in his book, only begins to tell why the Oleana Base, Antarctica postmark is one of the rarest polar cancels that exist. With this being the first American post office established on the Antarctic continent, it is a shame that the cancel was not used more often. Is there perhaps a larger reason why this post office was kept secret? We do know that many countries, including Britain, had concurrent secret bases and or expeditions in the same general time period, notably Port Lockroy on the Antarctic peninsula. Port Lockroy was part of a top secret World War II British expedition called Operation Tabarin. Operation Tabarin was the beginning of Britains permanent presence on the Antarctic continent, and was built to serve as a southern outpost and to keep an eye on suspected Nazi presence on the ice.

    In a 2001 BBC interview, one of the last remaining survivors of that secret expedition, Gwion Davies, noted that the posting of mail from their secret base was a way of their laying claim to, or establishing that section of Antarctica as British sovereign territory. In other words, just as the Nazis are known to have dropped metal dart/markers with the Third Reich swastika emblem over a large area of Antarctica during their expedition in 1939, to act as a laying of a claim, for any country, such as Britain, to have a post office that actually accepted and postmarked mail definitely shows an intention on their part of not only establishing a base, but of staying.

    While the United States did not then, and does not now, recognize any country as having specific territorial claims upon Antarctica, for Ronne to have allowed his expedition members to have open mailing of letters from Oleana Base would have served a similar purpose as with Port Lockroy, but for some reason, he would not allow that to be done. Some mail did escape, and other mail from members of the Ronne Expedition is known to have been posted from nearby British bases. The posting of mail often serves a geopolitical purpose in addition to the simple fact it carries mail back home to loved ones, and it is a great curiosity to many polar philatelists and followers of Antarctic history that it was not done in this instance. The full story about the existence of the post office, may have passed with Captain Ronne.

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