4 January 2024


S. D, Tucker, The Saucer and the Swastika: The Dark Myth of Nazi UFOs. Amberley, 2023.

The year 1947 is thought of by many to be year zero for the modern age of UFOs. When Kenneth Arnold reported batwing/crescent shapes whose flight he describes as like that of a saucer skipping over water, it was mutated into the phrase that, for many, still describes the phenomenon of strange objects in the sky and sea. 
The origins of theese phenomena are still the subject of heated debate, and, as a result, there are many bizarre and exotic explanations for their origins. 

Step forward the Wunderwaffe, or Wonder-Weapon theory. As is widely known, the Nazis during World War 2 designed, amongst other things, some advanced weapons which were mainly utilised towards the end of the conflict. Along with the Me-262, the first jet to see combat, there were the notorious V1s and V2s, early missiles that devastated London and the South East of England. Flying wings and giant, jet-powered bombers helped to make up the unusual armoury that was conceived to turn the war around in favour of Nazi Germany.

S.D. Tucker has written many books, nearly all of them with an interest in strangeness. The subjects he has covered include science, cryptids, medicine, economics, poltergeists and fairies.

It is important to note the full title of this book. Saucers and Swastikas: The Dark Myth of Nazi UFOs examines the more outré and supernatural ideas that have been promulgated about the Nazis and their supposed survival after 1945. It starts with the literal worship of Adolf Hitler as a god and carries on to the relevance and hijacking of the swastika which, for thousands of years before, was a symbol of peace. It moves on to the shaky ground upon which the lie of Reich-made flying saucers was constructed. 

These were presumed to have occupied an area of Antarctica known as Neuschwabenland, a base where, allegedly, Adolf Hitler lived on and was in a position to defeat the rest of the world, thanks to the advanced technology of Nazi scientists. People who fancy themselves philosophers pronounce upon the unlikely continuation of Himmler’s Reich as a magical entity, and a successful one at that. In short, there are many people who write or have written about the survival of the Nazis as either a hyper-advanced, technologically superior nation which has hidden from the world, ready to rise and effortlessly conquer our world.

What is interesting is that the author, who has written similar books before, has researched these writings and has come to the reasonable conclusion that all of it is without any foundation. However, rather than this rendering these extraordinary statements invalid, Tucker is concerned that younger, impressionable readers will take them at face value and become attracted to Nazism. He thinks that some will be taken in by assuming that the Nazis produced machines so sophisticated or magic so powerful that it was a cause worth championing.

This book seems, then, to be a warning to anyone who thinks that the absurd mythology built up around the Nazis is harmless. Tucker is convinced that such works may act as recruiting tools, despite their unlikeliness. To recommend this to one type of reader is difficult, although those with a fascination in the more unlikely ideas that congregated around post-war Nazism would find this of interest, as would anyone concerned about the current rise of the far right.
  • Trevor Pyne

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