Anyone who has read a bit on UFOs during World War II (especially any Nazi technology angle) has no doubt run into the story of how Admiral Richard Byrd “led 4,000 military troops from the U.S., Britain and Australia in an invasion of Antarctica called “Operation Highjump” . . . and encountered heavy resistance to their Antarctic venture from flying saucers and had to call off the invasion.”1 The story is bogus (the UFO part), but gullible researchers have perpetuated this myth. I’m not sure why when the real story is not difficult to find. I have the proof in The Portent.
Here’s the way the myth is usually told:
On 5 March, 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:
“Adm. Byrd declared today that it was imperative for the United States to initiate immediate defense measures against hostile regions. Furthermore, Byrd stated that he “didn’t want to frighten anyone unduly” but that it was “a bitter reality that in case of a new war the continental United States would be attacked by flying objects which could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds.”2
This quotation is based on a deliberately manipulated translation of what Byrd really said. Here is the text of the interview in the original Spanish and an accurate English translation. One can see how misleading the above manipulative translation really is — designed to have Byrd talking about advanced flight technology when he said nothing of the sort. Anyone who can read Spanish can verify this.
Spanish text from El Mercurio:
El Almirante Richard E. Byrd advirtió hoy que es imperativo para los Estados Unidos de America el iniciar medidas de defensa contra la posibilidad de una invasión del país de parte de aviones hostiles provenientes de las regiones polares. El Almirante explicó que no quiere asustar a nadie, pero es una verdad amarga que, en el caso de una nueva guerra, los Estados Unidos podrían ser atacados por aviones que pueden volar sobre uno o los dos polos. Esta declaración se hizo como parte de una recapitulación de su propia experiencia polar, en una entrevista exclusiva con International News Service. Refiriéndose a la expedición de reciente finalización, Byrd dijo que el resultado más importante de sus observaciones y descubrimientos es el efecto potencial que tienen con respecto a la seguridad de los Estados Unidos. La velocidad fantástica a la que el mundo se está reduciendo – recordó el Almirante– es una de las lecciones más importantes aprendidas en su reciente exploración antártica. Debo advertir a mis compatriotas que terminó aquel tiempo en el que podíamos refugiarnos en nuestro aislamiento y confiar en la certeza de que las distancias, los océanos, y los polos eran una garantía de seguridad.
“Admiral Richard E. Byrd warned today that the United States should adopt measures of protection against the possibility of an invasion of the country by hostile planes coming from the polar regions. The Admiral explained that he was not trying to scare anyone, but the cruel reality is that in case of a new war, the United States could be attacked by planes flying over one or both poles. This statement was made as part of a recapitulation of his own polar experience, in an exclusive interview with International News Service. Talking about the recently completed expedition, Byrd said that the most important result of his observations and discoveries is the potential effect that they have in relation to the security of the United States. The fantastic speed with which the world is shrinking – recalled the Admiral – is one of the most important lessons learned during his recent Antarctic exploration. I have to warn my compatriots that the time has ended when we were able to take refuge in our isolation and rely on the certainty that the distances, the oceans, and the poles were a guarantee of safety.”
The Byrd myth-quote is terribly misleading. Only the lazy or dishonest will continue to foist it on people as fact. There are plenty of other more interesting and factual trajectories regarding Nazi wingless/saucer technology than this nonsense.
Here’s a link to the only peer-reviewed research article on this topic I know of. It’s quite good, with plenty of documentation:
Colin Summerhayes and Peter Beeching, “Hitler’s Antarctic Base: The Myth and The Reality,” Polar Record 43 (224): 1–21 (2007).