I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

For many people the UFO phenomenon entered the public awareness in 1947. But sightings of unexplained aerial phenomena by verifiable sources go back to at least the early years of WWII. Research into the subject of Foo Fighters reveals several names and places that recur throughout reading on the subject. One of those names is Renato Vesco.

Vesco would seem to be a source for much of the theory and conjecture surrounding Foo Fighters and the supposedly related German research into alternative propulsion which leads to their development of UFO technology of a purely terrestrial nature. In an article written for Argosy Magazine Vesco is identified as:

Renato Vesco is a fully licensed aircraft engineer and a specialist
in aerospace and ramjet developements. He attended the University of Rome
and, before WWII, studied at the German Institute for Aerial Developement.
During the war, Vesco worked with the Germans at the Fiat Lake Garda secret
installations in Italy. In the 1960’s, he worked for the Italian Air Ministry of
Defense as an undercover technical agent, investigating the UFO mystery.

I have found this statement quoted across many source sites for information on German development of UFOs and the supposed Lake Garda secret facility. However Vesco’s own book, “Intercept, But Don’t Shoot” titled after the presumed US Air Force policy for encountering UFOs lists Vesco’s year of birth as 1924, making him 15 years old when WWII begins in 1939, a young age to have attended the “University of Rome.” Another problem with this statement is there is no “University of Rome.” There are four state funded universities in Rome to which the term is often applied, but only one of those, Sapienza University of Rome, was in existence at the time of Vesco’s supposed attendance at such a young age, so why not use the applicable name?

The Argosy article goes on to supposedly quote Vesco on many subjects.

“On November 27, 1944, a B-27 of the United States Air Force, returning from a
raid on Speyer, West Germany, encountered a huge, orange colored light moving
upward at an estimated speed of 500 MPH. When the pilots reported, sector radar
had reported negatively, because nothing had registered on the screen.
But the object seen by the returning bomber was only the first of numerous
others spotted by American pilots over wartime Germany and promptly baptized
‘foo-fighters.’ Fighter pilots Falls and Backer. of the 415th Squadron, reported
such an encounter a month later forcing the Air Force to admit that such objects
might exist. Later encounters with foo fighters led experts to assume they were
German inventions of a new order employed to baffle radar.

Another error, the United States Air Force was not in existence in 1944. The United States Army Air Corps served during WWII and did not become a separate branch of the military until 1947. Perhaps the confusion comes from the fact that there are no references to German UFO research prior to the 1950’s when there was indeed a United States Air Force.

How close they came to the truth, they learned only when the war was over and
Allied Intelligence teams moved into the secret Nazi plants. The foo-fighters
seen by American pilots were only a minor demonstration, a
fraction of a vast variety of methods used to confuse radar and interrupt
electro magnetic currents. Work on the German anti-radar Feurball, or fireball,
had been speeded up during the fall of 1944 at a Luftwaffe experimental center
near Oberammergau, Bavaria. There, and at the aeronautical establishment at
Weiner Neustadt, the first fireballs were produced. Later, when the Russians
moved closer to Austria, the workshops producing the fireballs were moved to
Black Forest. Fast and remote controlled, the fireballs, equipped with kliston
tubes and operating on the same frequency as Allied radar, could eliminate the
blips from screens and remain practically invisible to ground control.

“Allied teams moving in” would be a reference to the Alsos Mission which was part of the Manhattan Project, run by Lieutenant General Leslie Groves. Alsos is the Greek word for Grove, a fact which served only to annoy the reputedly humorless Groves. The mission objective was to follow closely behind the advancing allied lines and recover any records, materials and personnel related to the German research into creating an atomic bomb. Recovered material revealed only the German failure in that effort.

The Feuerball was a leading theory in the source of Foo Fighter sightings during World War II. Ignoring for the moment that Foo fighters were reported equally by Germans, and American and Japanese forces in the Pacific theater and all with equal confusion as to their source, the feuerball were supposedly a remotely controlled object intended to confuse pilots and by some sources interfere with electronics on the bombers.

According to DiscAircraft.GreyFaclon.us

Once the target was detected the Feuerball slowed to employ Messerschmitt’s electrostatic field weapon which burned high concentrations of chemicals with additives (Myrol, acetylene, vinylic ethers, and aluminum powder) to produce a fiery “halo” around the weapon as well as a high strength electrostatic field that affected the working cycles of aircraft engines and aircraft radar systems. As a direct result of contact, the bomber radar ceased to function and the pilots struggled to maintain control of the aircraft as the engine ignition systems failed one by one.

This form of attack is unsupported by any records, and if the Germans had weapons with infra-red tracking capabilities why not employ it in other forms of projectile as is common today?

Back to Vesco:

The Nazi Feurball failed to interfere with the Allied air offensive. The foo
fighters had been launched too late and could no longer change the course of
events, but in themselves they were significant not only because they were the
outcome of a technical evolution which could have led to more dangerous weapons,
but also because they showed that Nazi technology had moved in a direction far
beyond anything expected by Allied Intelligence.

As the fall of Germany approached, the Nazi Leaders reverted to an ambitious
project created by Gauleiter Franz Hofer who had become high commissioner for
the Italian Tyrol and the Southern Alps. The project foresaw setting up an
incredible fortress in the mountains, including parts of Italy, Austria and
Bavaria. Hofer submitted his plan to Hitler’s aide, Martin Bormann in November
1944, but he had prepared for this moment back in 1938 when Nazi agents
carefully mapped all mountain passes, caves, bridges, highways, and located
sights for underground factories, munitions dumps, arms and food caches. To
complete work on this fortress, Hofer demanded a slave labor force of a quarter
of a million- 70% Austrian workers and 30% men of the Tyrolese home guard.

So-called U-Plants were to be set up underground as gigantic workshops and
launching pads for the secret weapons which were to turn the tide of the war in
favor of the Nazis. Among these were some 74 tunnels along Lake Garda, in
Northern Italy, which were to be adapted and transformed into a vast assembly
plant by FIAT of Turin in close collaboration with the department of Minister
Albert Speer. Seven other tunnels along Lake Garda, near Limone, were to produce
several weapons tested at the Hermann Goering Institute of Riva del Garda.

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, a glacial lake located on the Italian/Austrian border. A popular vacation destination with significant villages and towns surrounding it shores.

Garda has many mysteries surrounding it which are of benefit to its large tourist industry, and if there were even the remains of a German UFO development base in the region it has been kept secret from the residents who I feel certain would find some way to exploit them to bolster their tourist industry if they could. Not exactly Area 51.

As said at the beginning of this article, what is quoted here of Vesco’s writings was published in 1969, in Argosy Magazine. Argosy had its origins in publishing pulp fiction in western, adventure and sci fi genres. Writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E Howard, Zane Gray and Erle Stanley Gardener had stories and articles published in those pages. By the time Vesco’s appeared in Argosy, it had shifted its focus from pulp fiction to articles on the “Minnesota Iceman” and other fringe ideas without bearing much burden for verification.

Vesco would seem to have been the Bob Lazar of the early Cold War, with non-existent credentials and citing unnamed “high ranking” sources he was an avid believer in UFOs, but argued against extraterrestrial origins by creating alternative theories that fit what he believed to be the facts, and from Vesco’s beliefs and writings would seem to spring the core of the Nazi UFO lore.

Read the full text of Vesco’s Argosy Article
And find out more of the facts in Vesco’s life at Nazi UFO Myths

[email protected]

  • da

    There is also no aircraft called a B-27. According to Wikipedia, it was a design based on a B-26 but never got beyond paper.

  • You may be correct, I had the same question and it took a bit of digging. I have found references to a B-27 that suffered development problems but was used in the war, and later more widely in Korea, but quickly supplanted by development of jet technology. None of that eliminates the possibility that the reference is either more of Vesco’s imagination, or simply a typo when what was meant was B-17. If you follow the link to the text of the Argosy article you will find that the author of that article was a poor typist and/or ignored spell check, who also mistook the word infinitesimal for the word infinite in the first paragraph. Since the erroneous reference to Air Force in 1944 was enough to discredit the quotation I left it at that.

  • BW

    Not that I have a lot of confidence in Vesco’s assertions, but I can understand a foreigner being a bit confused by the air corps – army air force – air force name changes that were made as the organization developed. Today, it is straightforward to search for the terms on the internet and gain an appreciation for their meaning; it would have been considerably less easier at the time Vesco was writing unless he had contacts with USAF personnel who understood the changes the organization had gone through during the war.

  • BW

    Vesco’s books seem to have put down some of the foundation of belief for what Nick Cooke referred to as “The Legend” — claims of radically advanced Nazi technology.

    It is true that at the end of the war, a British officer who was part of the “technology recovery” actions made a statement to the effect that, based on the captured technology he had seen, the Allies had won in the nick of time. Unfortunately, the statement was not more specific in regards to which technologies he had referred to.

    Pet theory: the sheer amount of aerial activity over Europe during World War II, coupled with what had to have seemed like an astounding pace of technical development (buzz bombs and jet aircraft at the end of the war) captured the imagination of people like Vesco; and, when reports of flying saucers emerged, those imaginations went into overdrive. Vesco wasn’t alone in publishing series of books that made extraordinary claims.

    On edit: Being enthusiastic about a topic doesn’t excuse making extraordinary claims that can’t be backed up with reliable sources.



  • A foreigner, yes, but one who claims to have been deeply involved in military aircraft research? Though that claim is easily dismissed he also claims to have been deeply involved in research about aerial combat of WWII? Nope, can’t give him the benefit of the doubt there.

  • BW

    Henry, perhaps — but even if he had investigated aerial combat in WWII, that does not automatically lend an understanding of a force’s organization. How many people who enthused about the Me-262 knew the Luftwaffe had ground forces including a full-fledged Panzer Corps, or, even more obscurely, that the LW fielded fortress infantry battalions that helped defend the Westwall in the autumn of 1944?

    I agree that Vesco was more of a notion peddler than any kind of serious investigator. But I have done research on military history using foreign sources and it can be difficult since the material often includes assumptions that don’t carry over with rote translation. “Just sayin’ ”