The earliest non-fiction assertion of Nazi flying saucers appears to have been an article which appeared in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale d'Italia in early 1950. Written by Professor Giuseppe Belluzzo, an Italian scientist and a former Italian Minister of National Economy under the Mussolini regime, it claimed that "types of flying discs were designed and studied in Germany and Italy as early as 1942". Belluzzo also expressed the opinion that "some great power is launching discs to study them".
The same month, German engineer Rudolf Schriever gave an interview to German news magazine Der Spiegel in which he claimed that he had designed a craft powered by a circular plane of rotating turbine blades, 49 ft (15 m) in diameter. He said that the project had been developed by him and his team at BMW's Prague works until April 1945, when he fled Czechoslovakia. His designs for the disk and a model were stolen from his workshop in Bremerhaven-Lehe in 1948 and he was convinced that Czech agents had built his craft for "a foreign power".
In 1953, when Avro Canada announced that it was developing the VZ-9-AV Avrocar, a circular jet aircraft with an estimated speed of 1,500 mph (2,400 km/h), German engineer Georg Klein claimed that such designs had been developed during the Third Reich. Klein identified two types of supposed German flying disks:
* A non-rotating disk developed at Breslau by V-2 rocket engineer Richard Miethe, which was captured by the Soviets, while Miethe fled to the US via France, and ended up working for Avro.
* A disk developed by Rudolf Schriever and Klaus Habermohl at Prague, which consisted of a ring of moving turbine blades around a fixed cockpit. Klein claimed that he had witnessed this craft's first manned flight on 14 February 1945, when it managed to climb to 12,400 m (41,000 ft) in 3 minutes and attained a speed of 2,200 km/h (1,400 mph) in level flight.
Aeronautical engineer Roy Fedden remarked that the only craft that could approach the capabilities attributed to flying saucers were those being designed by the Germans towards the end of the war. Fedden (who was also chief of the technical mission to Germany for the Ministry of Aircraft Production) stated in 1945:
“ I have seen enough of their designs and production plans to realize that if they (the Germans) had managed to prolong the war some months longer, we would have been confronted with a set of entirely new and deadly developments in air warfare. ”
Fedden also added that the Germans were working on a number of very unusual aeronautical projects, though he did not elaborate upon his statement.
In 1959, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, editor of the U.S.A.F.'s Project Blue Book wrote:
“ When WWII ended, the Germans had several radical types of aircraft and guided missiles under development. The majority were in the most preliminary stages, but they were the only known craft that could even approach the performance of objects reported to UFO observers.
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