Written by: Michael Lohr (SoSF Regular Contributor)
UFOs, Nazis, Atlantis, alien biological weapons, and the quest for the lost land of Thule all sound like a recent episode topics of Stargate SG-1. But these are just some of the stories associated with a sizable military project called Operation Highjump that was conducted by the U.S. Navy in 1946 in Antarctica.
In 1943, German Navy Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz stated that the German submarine fleet had “built for the FÃ¼hrer an impregnable fortress at the other end of the world,” in the region of Queen Maude’s Land, later renamed Neuschwabenland
According to German naval archives, two months after Germany surrendered to the Allies in April, 1945, the German submarine U-530 left the Port of Kiel bound for Antarctica. Once the submarine arrived at the South Pole, 16 members of its crew were ordered to construct an ice cave in the region of Neuschwabenland. When construction was complete, several boxes of relics from the Third Reich, including Hitler’s secret files, were supposedly stored there. The sub then entered the Argentinean port of Mar-del-Plata and surrendered to authorities. It is also rumored that the submarine U-977 delivered the remains of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun to Neuschwabenland, for DNA cloning purposes. In August, 1945, one month and seven days after the surrender of U-530, U-977 also entered the waters of Mar-del-Plata and surrendered to authorities.
In 1946, U.S. Navy Admiral Marc A. Mitscher appointed Captain Richard H. Cruzen as commander of Operation Highjump, whose purported purpose was to map the frozen continent of Antarctica while looking for uranium deposits in the region. But several conspiracy researchers assert that they were actually looking for the underground Nazi base that supposedly warehoused German treasure and Hitler’s DNA.
Cruzen had expeditionary experience in Antarctica, having served with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd on the U.S. Antarctic Service Expedition from 1939 to 1941. In 1947, Operation Highjump commenced as part of the U.S. Naval Antarctic Developments Project.
Mapping or Reconnaissance
Operation Highjump commenced as part of the U.S. Naval Antarctic Developments Project, organized by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. The task force consisted of over 40 ships, including two destroyer class vessels and the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Philippine Sea, and a number of planes that were outfitted with a trimetricon (a secret spying camera), a magnetometer (to record any magnetic anomalies), and the recently developed jet-assist takeoff bottles (JATO) which helped with takeoffs from the short runway on an aircraft carrier or for takeoffs on hard surfaces such as ice.
According to government documents, members of Operation Highjump took over 70,000 aerial photographs of select inland areas of Antarctica. Yet most of the photographs were declared unusable for mapping purposes, due to the dearth of adequate ground control points (cartographers need these points when creating maps).
It has been long thought by researchers that the Navy’s mapping story was nothing more than a cover to shield the real operation, which was reconnaissance and recovery of Nazi/Alien hybrid technology. It was also rumored that abandoned Nazi buildings and a downed Nazi plane was photographed, but this rumor has never been substantiated.
In 1947, Admiral Richard Byrd said, “the project was necessary for the USA to take defensive actions against enemy fighters which come from the polar regions.” Was he referring to potential Soviet aircraft or Nazi Luftwaffe attacking the States from Antarctica? He never clarified this cryptic statement, which has only served to fuel further conspiracy theories.
Shortly after Admiral Byrd’s press conference the Soviet naval journal, Red Fleet, stated that “US measures in Antarctica testify that American military circles are seeking to subject the Polar Regions to control and create permanent bases for their armed forces.” In another odd twist, the governments of New Zealand, Australia and Chile asked for their militaries to join the Operation Highjump expedition but were denied participation. Official government sources say the US was doing nothing more than mapping the frozen continent, though looking for uranium deposits seems to have been on the agenda as well. While others insist they were looking for the underground Nazi base that warehoused German Vril flying discs known as flugscheiben and Thule mercury-powered spaceship prototypes also known as jenseitsflugmaschines.
In 1948, a second task force named Operation Windmill was also sent to take photographs of Neuschwabenland, again supposedly for mapping purposes. Although they apparently succeeded in their task, the government has yet to make these photos available to the public and no reason has ever been given for their nondisclosure. Some believe that the reason the photos have never been released is that this military operation was actually a reconnaissance and recovery mission.
In 1949, when James Forrestal began to suffer from a mental breakdown, he was sent to convalesce at Bethesda Naval Hospital. But when he began to discuss Operation Highjump with the hospital staff, talking wildly about UFOs, Atlantis, and an underground Nazi city, he was denied visitors, including his wife. Shortly afterwards, he fell out of his hospital window to his death. The official report said that he committed suicide but persistent rumors say that he was murdered by government agents to keep him from talking further about what was really found in the Antarctica wilderness during Operation Highjump.
The truth of the matter may never come to light, but what is known is that several U.S. military personnel surprisingly lost their lives during Operation Highjump; a supposed mapping operation that should have been an entirely safe endeavor. Also, multiple planes were downed during the operation, including the George One which, according to Naval documents, mysteriously “just blew up” over the ice during its initial flight in Antarctica.
Beyond the legends of Nazi gold and Hitler’s DNA, could the Germans have been hiding advanced technology, or at least the blueprints for such, in Antarctica? Could the Nazis have hidden highly advanced foo fighters or even a nuclear bomb there? According to British Intelligence, we know that advanced, stealth foo fighters and Vril flying saucer-shaped craft were on the drawing board at the German Institute for Aerial Development. We also know that Austrian Viktor Schauberger discovered that physics operates with a dual principle of centripetence and centrifugence, also known as vortex dynamics. One of the experiments headed up by Schauberger included the apparent levitating of aircraft by the use of a water and hydrogen mixture coupled with vortex energy. This could have been a foo fighter prototype. According to records seized by Allies from the archives of the German High Command, the Nazis were also developing a series of A9 and A10 nuclear missiles with the goal of destroying New York City and Washington, DC. It was said that Schauberger’s air ships were the vehicle of choice for the delivery of these bombs. Though we know that such missiles were in the early development stages, blueprints for such weapons were never found. What is known is that these blueprints never fell into British or Russian hands. However, several of Schauberger’s prototype repulsine vortex machines were confiscated both the US and Russian military. After the war, Schauberger lived in the US and was rumored to be employed by the US government working as a consultant on a top secret UFO project in Texas, though his whereabouts also were also placed at Area 51, in the New Mexico desert.
Another rumor associated with Nazi involvement in Antarctica and Operation Highjump is that Antarctica was the lost Aryan homeland of Thule. While Antarctica has been linked to the lost continent of Atlantis, the linkage to Thule is less apparent. Thule (also known as Thula, Thyle, Thila, Tila, Tyle, or Tylen, among other cognates) was first written about by the Greek explorer Pytheas after his travels between 330 BC and 320 BC. In 150 AD, Greek writer Antonius Diogenes wrote The Wonders Beyond Thule, a most likely fictional account of adventurer’s tales. While of literary interest, this work did little to reveal any secrets about Thule. Based upon writings by the Roman poet Virgil and by Roman Historian Pliny, scholars traditionally believed that Thule was most likely a reference to either Iceland, Greenland or Scandinavia. In medieval geographies Thule was referred to as distant place located beyond the “borders of the known world.”
Nazi mystics believed in historical Thule (also referred to as Hyperborea) as the ancient origin of the Aryan race. The Thule Society or Thule-Gesellschaft was founded in 1918 by German occultist Rudolf von Sebottendorff to pursue research on Thule. The Nazis utilized the Thule Society as a focus point for all sorts of “black ops” projects. This is where the basis for Antarctica not only being a secret UFO base, but the lost land of Thule first originated. Legends and urban myths about Nazi-driven Thule Society exploits have persisted into the 21st century.
Just what was the US military doing in Antarctica in 1946 and 1947? Were they searching for uranium deposits or were they engaging remnant Nazi fighters in a battle for hidden alien/Nazi technology? Did the Nazis truly bury military secrets in the Antarctic or hide vast amounts of gold there in hopes of funding a future effort to resurrect the Fourth Reich. Or did they, as some claim, discover the lost land of Atlantis or Thule?
We may never know for sure but in 2001, the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the Support Office for Aerogeophysical Research confirmed the existence of a magnetic anomaly on the eastside shore of Lake Vostok in Antarctica, consistent with a man-made construct. Could this anomaly be part of an underground Nazi base that U.S. agents searched for during Operation Highjump?
Currently several organizations including U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Support Office for Aerogeophysical Research (SOAR), the Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the British Antarctic Survey are performing research in Antarctica. In fact, the British Antarctic Survey is researching the magnetic anomaly, as well as other Antarctic phenomenon including the recently discovered subglacial lake, as part of the multinational task force mission known as the Antarctic Magnetic Anomaly Project. This project also involves research teams from Ohio State University, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), NASA and various members of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy as well as the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. The Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) is also currently performing magnetic and subglacial like research projects in Antarctica.
Something has indeed been discovered in Antarctica. One of the questions that begs to be asked is did the Nazis find, whatever it is, first? Did we send our military to Antarctica in 1946 to seize this discovery, thus laying claim to it before any other government could do so? In his groundbreaking bestseller Map of the Ancient Sea Kings, Charles Hapgood (1904-1982), History Professor at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, first put forth the theory that Atlantis resided in Antarctica and was destroyed by crustal displacement. In his bestseller, When The Sky Fell: In Search of Atlantis, Rand Flem-Ath furthered this idea that under the ice of Antarctica exists the remains of Atlantis. Could they be right?
In 1999, with assistance of the Freedom of Information Act, I requested and was able to obtain a sizable file on Operation Highjump. Nothing too startling existed in the dossier but it did contain declassified military documents, ship manifests, official communiqués, etc. But in 2005 when I sent in a second request for information on Operation Highjump I received much less documentation than before. I guess in a post 9/11 world, information has become more restricted than before, though with this particular project it’s difficult to imagine why that would be the case.
One scientific discovery that was made during Operation Highjump was quite possibly the first evidence of global warming. Researchers on the expedition discovered that a region of Antarctic glacier had melted and came to the conclusion that it was due to the negative impact of pollution on the environment.
More recently, in October 2006, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography reported that they discovered several previously unknown lakes of water underneath the vast ice sheet of Antarctica. These lakes lie beneath 2,300 feet of compressed snow and ice. To detect the subglacial lakes the Scripps Institute used data from NASA’s ICESat, which sends laser pulses down from space to the Antarctic surface and back, much as sonar uses sound pulses to determine underwater features. The satellite detected descended anomalies in the surface that moved around as the hidden lakes continuously drain and fill beneath the surface glaciers. The Scripps Institute made observations from 2003 through 2006 of the Whillans and Mercer Ice Streams, two of the fast-moving glaciers that carry ice from the Antarctic interior to the floating ice sheet that covers parts of the Ross Sea. This project was conducted as part of a global warming assessment. This melting and draining was not because of global warming but of natural processes. Their report made no mention of the magnetic anomaly.
About Michael Lohr:
Michael Lohr is a professional journalist, outdoorsman, music critic, treasure hunter and adventurer. His writing has appeared in such diverse magazines as Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Economist, National Geographic Adventure, Cowboys & Indians and Men’s Journal, to name a few.
His webpage can be found at: http://www.internet.is/artist/writer/michael_lohr.htm