Readers of The Facade know that one of the important sub-plotlines in the story concerns Nazi occult mythology and the idea that UFOs extend from human technology traceable to research done by German scientists during World War II. Part of the lore associated with these trajectories is that, during the war the Nazis successfully constructed a base in the Antarctic, to which they were able to clandestinely transport UFO technology. The Allies, we are told, uncovered the truth of this escape and transport, and sent a mission (“Operation Highjump“) the location under the leadership of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd. That mission allegedly encountered UFOs manned by Nazi pilots, whom they fought to a draw. This engagement is supposedly part of the historical record in Byrd’s own words.

You can read all about this “event” on the internet (here and here, for example).

So did it happen?

Well, Operation Highjump was for real, but there’s no credible evidence that Byrd said anything about flying saucers in the Antarctic or saw any. The links above make much of “a Soviet intelligence report” (complete with a YouTube video translated from Russian) and “never before known testimony by two US Navy servicemen.”

Can anyone corroborate the testimony of these “never before known” servicemen? Are the Soviets trustworthy? The same people who talked out of both sides of their mouths when it came to Hitler’s remains at the end of the war? The same people that engaged the US in an unprecedented propaganda war for fifty years? And a YouTube video? The source for one of the links above is largely Frank Joseph, a former neo-Nazi turned wacky ancient America theorist. Now there’s objectivity (for anyone who reads occult literature, you know that those two facets of Mr. Joseph’s intellectual journey are closely related). Well, that’s what passes for evidence these days.  Innuendo, blind trust, and YouTube.

As an alternative, I’d like to direct your attention to what real researchers do. They return to primary sources and then submit their work to peer review, not YouTube or the exopolitics website. The article below is an excellent piece of work from a scholarly journal on the Nazi Antarctic base myth:

Colin Summerhayes and Peter Beeching, “Hitler’s Antarctic Base: The Myth and the Reality,” Polar Record 43 (224): 1-21 (2007).

Here’s the article’s abstract:

“In January-February 1939, a secret German expedition visited Dronning (or Queen) Maud Land, Antarctica, apparently with the intention inter alia of establishing a base there. Between 1943 and 1945 the British launched a secret wartime Antarctic operation, code-named Tabarin. Men from the Special Air Services Regiment (SAS), Britain’s covert forces for operating behind the lines, appeared to be involved. In July and August 1945, after the German surrender, two U-boats arrived in Argentina. Had they been to Antarctica to land Nazi treasure or officials? In the southern summer of 1946–1947, the US Navy appeared to ‘invade’ Antarctica using a large force. The operation, code-named Highjump, was classified confidential. In 1958, three nuclear weapons were exploded in the region, as part of another classified US operation, code-named Argus. Given the initial lack of information about these various activities, it is not, perhaps, surprising that some people would connect them to produce a pattern in which governments would be accused of suppressing information about ‘what really happened’, and would use these pieces of information to construct a myth of a large German base existing in Antarctica and of allied efforts to destroy it. Using background knowledge of Antarctica and information concerning these activities that has been published since the early 1940s, it is demonstrated: that the two U-Boats could not have reached Antarctica; that there was no secret wartime German base in Dronning Maud Land; that SAS troops did not attack the alleged German base; that the SAS men in the region at the time had civilian jobs; that Operation Highjump was designed to train the US Navy for a possible war with the Soviet Union in the Arctic, and not to attack an alleged German base in Antarctica; and that Operation Argus took place over the ocean more than 2000 km north of Dronning Maud Land. Activities that were classified have subsequently been declassified and it is no longer difficult to separate fact from fancy, despite the fact that many find it attractive not to do so.”

I bring all this up for a couple reasons. The mythology that has accrued to Operation Highjump does not actually undermine either the man-made UFO hypothesis or a link to Nazi technology. That link may be direct or indirect. The former is, in my view, possible, but the latter is much more so. I won’t define “indirect:” here, as the subject matter relates to The Portent, the sequel to The Facade. Despite the Nazis never being able to build an Antarctic base, there is evidence (see the above journal article) that they were actively seeking alternative locations for strategic military purposes. As such, these sorts of items are good for showing intent. The real question becomes, what would be the most sensible way to continue the research and the goals of the Third Reich after the war? I think there’s a coherent answer to that question hidden in plain sight. Lastly, Nazi occult mythology is important not because of the Nazis, but because its intellectual trajectories are old. There are reasons other than geographical remoteness that the Nazis were interested in Antarctica. They borrowed certain thinking on that point (and many others). Nazi occultism is just one iteration of a worldview and set of ideas that have been around for a very long time. And they’re still around. Sets of ideas are important. They’re often the impetus for massive shifts in thinking through human populations. That’s especially workable these days in the Information Age. We’re often told to “follow the money” to ferret out some truth. That’s very useful. I’d also suggest we “follow the ideas” — and it’s really interesting when both paths converge.