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Entries in Secret Documents (2)

Monday
Apr112011

Real-Life X-Files Reference 'Flying Saucers' in New Mexico

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Flying saucer sightings? Reports of three-foot-tall aliens? Secret memos about suspicious objects recovered near Roswell, N.M.? They're all included in the thousands of declassified government documents posted to the FBI's new online "Vault."

Earlier this month, the FBI announced its revamped online reading room that contains more than 2,000 government files. While the documents had been previously available to the public, not all had been digitized and easily searchable online.

Among the so-called "X-files" are once-classified reports dating back to the 1940s and 1950s detailing Air Force investigations into "flying discs" and the "bodies of human shape" discovered inside them.

In one report from March 1950, Guy Hottel, a special agent with the FBI, said he received information from an Air Force investigator about flying saucers found in New Mexico.

"They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50-feet in diameter," he wrote. "Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner very similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots."

The informant, whose name is redacted in the file, said he thought the saucer was spotted in New Mexico because a high-powered government radar in the area interfered with the saucer's controlling mechanism.

At least one document will disappoint those who believe a spaceship landed at Roswell, N.M., probably the most famous UFO conspiracy theory. The document from 1947, with the word "Roswell" handwritten across the top, says that a "flying disc" was recovered near Roswell, N.M.

"The disc is hexagonal in shape and was suspended from a balloon by cable," the document said. "The object found resembles a high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector."

Other reports once marked "restricted" and "confidential" detail sightings of mysterious flashing lights and other "unidentified aerial objects."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr042011

Spy Files: Nazi Plot in US Blown by Drunken Blabbing, Idiocy

Photos[dot]com/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Newly released spy documents reveal that in the midst of World War Two, a small group of Nazi spies embarked on an ambitious plan to unleash a campaign of terror and sabotage on the United States from within its borders but failed miserably due to drunkenness, incompetence and a turncoat team leader.

The declassified MI5 files, released Monday by the British National Archives, detail the comical failing of the well-known June 1942 German plot to land eight Nazi operatives on U.S. shores -- four along the Florida coast and four others on New York's Long Island -- where they were to begin sabotaging U.S. factories, canals and railways and execute "small acts of terrorism" aimed at Jewish-owned shops. The spies had been trained in explosives at a special "Sabotage School."

The teams, the report notes, were "better equipped with sabotage apparatus and better trained than any other expeditions of which the Security Service has heard."

However, the plan, called Pastorius after an early German settler in colonial America, began to fall apart before the operatives even made the trip across the Atlantic. The documents show that while in Paris -- which at the time was occupied by the German military -- one of the spies got drunk at a hotel bar and "told everyone that he was a secret agent."

German intelligence believed the loose-lipped admission may "have contributed to the failure of the undertaking," the report said.

Once they made the crossing, the operatives' luck did not get much better. One team, which had been dropped off on Long Island still wearing their Germany military uniforms after the submarine that delivered them accidentally ran aground, was almost immediately caught by an unidentified U.S. military official. The Germans had just managed to change into their civilian clothes when the officer approached and offered him $300 to simply leave.

The stranded submarine itself was only saved from attack by the U.S. by what the report called the "laziness or stupidity" of American forces.

The Florida team made it to shore where they emerged from the sea wearing only bathing trunks and "army forage caps."

Both teams were eventually arrested after the team leader, George John Dasch, called up the FBI from a New York hotel "saying that he was a saboteur and wished to tell his story to [FBI chief J. Edgar] Hoover." His request was refused, but Dasch did come to an FBI building where he told the whole story -- a confession that took five 10-hour days.

One of the men in the Florida team "assisted authorities in causing his own arrest by going into an FBI office when 'Wanted' notices were already out for him, pretending that he had just arrived from Mexico and wanted to clear up his military service papers," the report said.

The MI5 author of the report said it was possible Dasch had planned his surrender as soon as he was given the assignment in Germany and used the operation as his personal escape route from Germany. Each saboteur was caught and sentenced to death, except for Dasch and another operative who had turned on the team were excused and later deported back to Germany.

The report notes that a third sabotage team was believed to have arrived in the U.S. around the same time as the first two and was "still at large." British intelligence expected still more teams to follow.

But according to the FBI historians, "So shaken was the German intelligence service that no similar sabotage attempt was every again made."

Other MI5 files released Monday document what is referred to as Germany's plans to create post-war "world disorder" through acts of terrorism in order to create chaos in which the "Fourth Reich would re-emerge."

The plan, as told by a captured French Nazi spy who attended an SS conference in the last weeks of the war, was to use sabotage, assassinations and chemical warfare to continue the Nazi's fight long after the war had officially ended.

Other files show German intelligence training concerning a coordinated plan to poison food, chocolate, alcoholic drinks and even cigarettes in post-war Europe. Poison was to be injected into sausages and cakes and bread were to be laced with arsenic. The Nazis had also apparently developed brown pellets that, when placed in ashtrays, exploded with the heat from a cigarette or cigar, "killing anyone nearby," according to the National Archives.

"Nowadays it's easy to regard such schemes as impossibly far fetched," said former MI5 historian Christopher Andrew in a National Archives Podcast, "but at the time it was reasonable to believe that after the Allied victory there would remain a dangerous post-war Nazi underground which would continue a secret war."

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