Real Flying Saucers
The First one was a Skoda!
Real Flying Saucers
With the outbreak of war in 1939, the Nazis would begin development of new weapons like the V-2 rocket designed by Wernher Von Braun the Nazi Chief Technology Officer at the top-secret headquarters in Peenemünde. Unknown by most at this time, was an even more secret development taking place in Prague using the unlikely resources of the Skoda company to develop a fantastic new flying craft.
By 1944 the war was not going too well for Germany and Hitler, seeking to reassure his ally Mussolini, invited him to Germany to visit the Skoda factory along with his weapons expert Luigi Romersa to see his fantastic new aircraft.
Luigi Romersa, now 84 and living in Italy, described what he saw at the Skoda factory: "It was something exceptional, round with a central cockpit made from plexi-glass, and with jets all around it as means of propulsion".
One of the men who helped create this first flying saucer was Andreas Epp. He had invented a disc shaped flying gunnery target and sent the prototype to the Luftwaffe high command suggesting it could be adapted for manned flight.
Epp discovered that his plans had been stolen and were being developed in Prague. He travelled to the Skoda factory and witnessed, and photographed, the first test flights of the flying saucer.
The saucer used a combination of technologies, including the Koanda Effect, helicopter principles and jet propulsion. It was fast, versatile and could potentially carry a heavy payload of bombs. But, perhaps most importantly, for a country that had lost most of it's runways to enemy bombing, it could take off vertically. According to Romersa, Hitler planned to use his new weapon in a devastating attack on New York which would be the final battle of The Third Reich. An attack which never came. As the Russians closed in on Prague, the scientists destroyed the evidence of their developments.
In 1947 pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying over mountains in Washington State when he saw nine objects shooting across the sky at incredible speeds. He described them as saucers being skipped on water, which is were the name flying saucers originated. The US government were concerned with these reports as it suggested the Russians had acquired the Nazi technology and were building the saucers. It turned out to be true. The Russians had gained the services of Andreas Epp.
By July 1952 an increasingly paranoid America sought to play down reportings of Russian flying saucers so adopted a two-pronged approach. Firstly denying that the Soviets had any such flying machines and then starting rumours that any such sightings could be of extra-terrestrial origin.
America, in turn, had managed to obtain the services of Wernher Von Braun, and a good deal of V-2 technology but not much more. However in 1957 their luck would improve. Andreas Epp had a falling out with the Soviets and move from East Germany to West Germany where he handed himself over to the Americans.
By the early 60's almost all of the major aerospace contractors, including Boeing, Convair, Lockheed and North American were working on concepts for saucer shaped vehicles. Spurred on greatly, by the realisation that saucers could make ideal stealth aircraft.
In 1961 the world was shown what it's builder's claimed was the first real flying saucer, invented by John Frost. The Avrocar had serious problems and while this new design was being shown to the public the project was abandoned. In truth the Avrocar was not a flying saucer at all, it was the world's first hovercraft. It was also the by-product of a far more secret and ambitious project which had everything to do with flying saucers. Project Y2 or weapons system 606A was run by Avro and utilised German saucer technology.
But, the fantastic, supersonic, flying saucer of Frost's imagination was a long way from becoming reality. His design was one of the purest uses of the Koanda or flying saucer effect yet. It had six powerful jets which sucked air over the saucer shape, these provided the saucer with it's lift and it's manoeuvrability. But, testing this craft was not going to be easy or safe.
This project died a death when the Avro Corporation got into financial difficulties and John Frost left the company and moved to New Zealand.
The American Air Force were far from happy, they still wanted a saucer and if Avro wouldn't build it, they would build it themselves. John Frost's supersonic flying saucer was about to disappear into the blackest recesses of the American military machine.
In the late 80's in Gulf Breeze, Florida there was a spate of UFO sightings largely unexplained, but Boyd Bushman believes he recognised the technology from his time spent working at Lockheed. It seems the American military are still working on this project and playing on the UFO believers as there cover story.