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The Timeline of the German saucers

This is the first comprehensive timeline of all major events related to the birth and development of the legend of the German saucers (1945-1954).

The timeline has been prepared by Maurizio Verga and presented at the third meeting of UFO Historiography (Turin March 5, 2016).

See a full-screen version of the Timeline of the Legend of the German Saucers.

Last update: march 2016

The timeline and its contents are protected by copyright. It can be used only by quoting the site source and its link, as well as “Maurizio Verga” as the author.

Giuseppe Belluzzo, the Italian engineer

An Italian turbine engineer claims that “flying saucers” were Italian blueprints, later passed to Germans.

German saucers planned in Italy?
Here it is the original
article published on the Italian daily “Il Giornale d’Italia”
on March 24-25, 1950.
Giuseppe Belluzzo was a noted turbine expert (born in Verona, on November 25, 1876), whose nearly 50 books were highly considered. During the Fascist government he was elected at the Parliament and was even appointed Minister of the National Economy between 1925 and 1928. He built the very first Italian steam turbines, later  enhancing them for installation on cruisers and battleships. He died in Rome on May 21st, 1952.His claims to the press arrived just during the very first Italian (and European) UFO wave, in the spring of 1950. The day after several newspapers published the Belluzzo’s claims, often on their first page. “Il Corriere della Sera”, “La Nazione”, “Il Messaggero”, “La Stampa” and “La Gazzetta del Popolo” were just some of them.
Sketch of Belluzzo Blueprint A detailed sketch of the Belluzzo’s disc was published on the newspaper “Il
Mattino dell’Italia Centrale” on March 27, 1950.
Another daily, “Il Corriere d’Informazione” dated March 29-30 published a summary of such claims, plus a statement by general Ranza, of the Italian Air Force, who denied the Belluzzo story.A news dispatch was wired by Associated Press on March 24: this means that the Belluzzo claims could have been published also on some European newspapers just a few days before the Schriever claims.The original article told that some circular aircraft had been studied and designed since 1942 in Italy and Germany. By 1950 it should has been developed far enough to be able to deliver atom bombs.

It was ten meter across, unmanned and made by very light metals.

Another sketch of Belluzzo’s idea of its circular turbo-powered aircraft.

The “pipes” installed on the edge of the disc had a variable diameter. The air resulted accelerated when flowing through them. In the largest section of each pipe some oil was sprayed and then ignited. The temperature raised quickly and at the end of the pipe the air reached a speed around 700 meters/sec., able to supply a 400 meters/sec. rotation speed to the whole circular aircraft. When the oil was over, the craft fell quickly down to the ground with its explosive payload. Antoher version reported the unmanned craft as a “flak weapon”.

Because of the Associated Press dispatch released the same day of Giuseppe Belluzzo article, it is possible his claims were published in some European newspapers, including German ones. In such a case there could be room for additional investigation about the possible influence of the Belluzzo claims on the Schriever interview, published just a few days later. The near synchronicity of both stories look quite odd, but possible. Claims of wonder German super-weapons were popular in the years following the end of WWII.

More, one of the favorite hypothesis to explain the then new “flying saucer” enigma was just the “secret weapon” one, including that saying Russian had captured secret German technology and later flown it successfully.

Confirming Belluzzo's ClaimsJust a few days after Belluzzo’s claims, an obscure Italian daily featured a letter from a reader, a Mr. Lino Saglioni.
He claimed the Belluzzo story was correct and he was one of the British commands trained to be sent to a remote site in North-East Norway, where Germans were developing the original Italian idea. The guy didn’t join the commando force, which was completely destroyed during its mission. Renato Vesco links such a story with the development of his never-confirmed “Feuerball” and “Kugelblitz” circular aircrafts. Mr. Saglioni (whose original letter was sent to the daily “Il Giornale dell’Emilia”) was never investigated, so serious doubts about the historical reality of his claims still remain.Renato Vesco himself had a couple of letters exchanged with such a gentleman, but nothing special came out. The story was resumed one year later on the pages of the aeronautical magazine “ALI” (1951) by Alberto Fenoglio, a rocket amateur who wrote a book (1950) and several articles about German Secret Weapons of WWII in the late ’50s on the pages of an Italian rocket and space magazine “Oltre il Cielo”.

Some of Fenoglio’s claims appeared unsubstantiated, others highly suspicious (as well as some fakes about ancient UFO sightings and other incidents in Russia) and mostly taken by earlier books and newsclippings. The whole story, thanks to Fenoglio, evolved even more.

The Schriever Story


The first would-be inventor of a Nazi “flying saucer”. More than Belluzzo, he launched the concept of man-made UFOs by the Nazis. Like Beluzzo he died a few years after his claims and the mistery begins.


Der Spiegel articleSchriever explaining his own disc projectOn the left the first page of the original “Der Spiegel” article dated March 30, 1950 (click on it for a larger picture). Mainly devoted to the overall “flying saucers” mystery (there was a huge on-going sighting wave all over Europe just that spring), the article introduced an interview with Rudolph Schriever. He claimed to have developed the blueprints for something like a  circular “supersonic helicopter” back in 1942, but the project was not finished at the end of the war. Blueprints would have been likely captured by Americans or Russians and further developed. German pride for a breakthrough new aircraft or what else?  The "Flugkreisel": Nazi UFO?
The original “Der Spiegel” artwork of the claimed Schriever’s flying saucer (“Flugkreisel”). In accordance with the famous German precision, it was duly joined by details and even a cut-through view.
Just following the 1950 “Der Spiegel” article, Arizona artist Jim Nichols produced this nice color artwork of the Schriever’s “flugkreisel”. Nichols produced three additional artworks devoted to Nazi UFOs at least, soon become very popular. Here it is another artist’s rendering of the Schriever 1950 description of his own “flying saucer”, here flying over the German mountains. These artworks look really fascinating when thinking to secret highly advanced aircrafts from the evil and somehow mysterious Third Reich. The great   interest for “What If” situations is another of the  reasons of the “evergreen” interest for such stories.
A different sketch of the Schriever disc published by an Italian aeronautics magazine in the late ’70s. As seen in the other drawings, each illustrator often gave a different visual interpretation of the original description, likely under the influence of the classic “flying saucer” imagery. One more  different  sketch  of the Schriever “flugkreisel” published by an Italian aviation magazine in the late ’70s.


Side view of the “flying disc”. It is really amazing the quantity of drawings produced by illustrators aimed to portrait the Schriever “wonder machine”. Most of them were quite faithful to the original 1950 description, while a few others were real wishful thinking.

Artist conception bottom view of the Schriever disc. The original description published by the  “Der Spiegel” article was quite detailed and was taken again by the press in 1952, just after the claims from the never-traced Richard Miethe.Schriever died just one year later in a car accident, but his claims had already entered in the legend

Newsclipping about the Schriever "flugkreisel"

The German magazine “Heim und Welt” of April 2, 1950 (just very few days after the original Schriever interview) portraied the “flying saucer” take off, flight and landing by these three artworks.

This is close-up of one of the “Heim und Welt” artworks, later reprinted also by the French magazine “Tout Savoir” (November 1954).

Schriever's disc from Masters' book

In 1982, David  Master’s “German Jet Genesis” published by the prestigious Jane’s military publisher  introduced this sketch to illustrate the alleged Schriever’s flying saucer. It is very likely Masters based his information on Lusar’s book about German secret weapons of WWII, who also had a short yet provoking chapter about German “flying saucers”. Lusar’s source was likely to be early ’50s newsclippings. Master’s book illustrator got a quite free interpretation of the original Schriever description: this is a nearly classic “flying saucers”, much more next to the descriptions of UFO witnesses than to the details published in 1950.

A sketch of the Schriever saucer

Another sketch of the Schriever disc, from “Das Ufer” #18 of September 1952, introducing “flying saucers” as a possible secret German weapon developed during World War II.

Another skecth of the Schriever The Schriever story (as well as the othesr coming from later would-be inventors) and the concept behind it were really fascinating and well fitting the regular publications of news about more and more dreadful German secret weapons featured by the press since the end of WWII. Throughout the years the designers of many magazines tried to portrait the mythical Schriever “flukreisel”, most of them taking the original “Der Spiegel” artwork as a reference. Here  there are two additional views of such fantastic yet unlikely aircraft.