Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 1, 2016 18:56:40 GMT 12
Interesting, I'd never heard of those Little Owls (German Owls) but I guess the man from the Waikato branch of Forest And Bird did not mention them because they are in the South Island only and because at 23cm they are smaller than a Morepork whereas the owl we saw was about 45cm at least.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 1, 2016 15:18:14 GMT 12
Here's an interesting snippet - particularly given its location, from the Wairarapa Daily Times, 15 April 1899:
" A strange atmospheric phenomenon was noticed at Kaikoura one day last week, says a contemporary. One of the Union Company's boats was steaming northwards, accompanied, it appeared, by a phantom vessel of exactly the same build."
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 1, 2016 15:23:24 GMT 12
A tiny bit more from the New Zealand Herald, 17 April 1899
"According to the Kaikoura Star, a strange atmospheric phenomenon was noticed recently. One of the Union Company's boats was steaming northwards, accompanied, it appeared, by a phantom vessel of exactly the same build. The apparition was clearly discernible with the aid of a telescope."
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 15, 2016 23:03:46 GMT 12
Here's an interesting one for the Auckland Boaties!! The Taniwha Was/Is REAL!!
From the Auckland Star, Volume IX, Issue 2474, 26 February 1878, Page 2
Great Sea Monster near Brown's Island. It was reported the other day that a Sea Monster had been seen off the coast ol New South Wales, upwards of 100 feet in length, giving the ship's position at the time. It will, doubtless, be interesting to you to place on record the circumstance of a similar monster having shown itself to the crew and passengers of the steamer Durham, on her trip from Auckland to Coromandel, on the 13th inst.
At about 1.30 p.m., after passing Brown's Island, and whilst quietly enjoying our dinner, we were suddenly called up on deck by the cries of "a whale," "a whale," but it was soon apparent that the monster was no whale. About ¾ a mile distant from the steamer, we were quickly surprised at the appearance of a leviathan head, shaped like that of an eel (or as some remarked, like a seal.)
THE MONSTER REARED ITS MIGHTY FORM out of the sea to about 20ft in perpendicular height, remaining erect several seconds, and then dashed its head forward into the water, creating a disturbance therein like tha plunge of a ship downwards,.and parting the sea in large foaming waves. Then, after a short time, before we could recover from our astonishment, the stupendous animal arose again, and brought its head down in the manner described, and this for twelve or fourteen times in succession, as if the creature had been attacked, and was in great pain, at least that was the general opinion expressed.
THE BREADTH OF THE HEAD I should say, appeared to be from 6 to 8 feet at least, and had two enormous fins projecting from just below the same. From the circumstance of the hinder part not appearing, we could form no idea as to the length of the creature; but, judging from the immense bulk seen out of the water, it may have been quite as long as the monster reported as seen off New South Wales — to which account I beg you to refer. I am inclined to send you this report because it appears to have occurred to each beholder on the steamer, that some one, other than himself would surely do so, at least I have seen no account of the occurrence, which is none remarkable from the circumstance that several cutters were in the immediate neighbourhood at the time, and must have witnessed the phenomenon. Doubtless, if enquiries were made of the master of the steamer Durham further particulars could be obtained. Of course this will create numerous sapient exclamations amongst your readers, such as "oh! the
GREAT SEA SERPENT MYSTERY AGAIN," but so far as the real live specimen was concerned there was no mistake with the observers on this occasion, for it was unpleasantly apparent that our steamer would have stood about the same chance if the monster had been encountered, as a whale boat running upon a whale in a state of excitement.
If some mystified old geologist had been at the exhibition, his mind might have been thrust upon the the wonders of the oolite world, and have imagined an enormous Marine Saurian of that age not yet extinct. Such as a specimen of the Plesiousaurus, only about ten times larger, or perhaps a conger eel of some thousands of years' growth. I may add in conclusion that the captain turned the steamer's head in the direction of the monster,, which suddenly disappeared as we neared the supposed spot. We then continued on our course. I trust you will make inquiries into this important event, which to my surprise has not been reported earlier.
CAPTAIN SOMMERVILLE'S STATEMENT. Since receiving the above communication, one of our reporters interviewed Captain Sommerville, of the Durham, and from him we learn that the particulars of the affair, as given above, are substantially correct. He refrained from furnishing the newspapers with an account of what was seen, believing that the statement would be ridiculed by them. Captain Sommerville gives the following account, which,he is willing to testify to upon oath — On the day of the 13th inst., I was engaged at dinner in my cabin when the mate called out to me to come and look at what he thought was a whale. The vessel was then passing Brown's Island. On going on deck, I saw a large monster, which I thought was a common spouting "black-fish," but on looking closer I found that this was not the case.
It had a head resembling that of an immense eel, with a pair of flanges, which looked very much like ears. The neck, and a part of the body, were out of the water, and reached about 30 feet in the air. The colour of the whole body was jet black. The body appeared to be 10 feet in diameter, and I believe the monster had lost itself, and got in water too shallow to allow it to swim. It remained in this position for a few moments, the steamer being about a mile from the spot. Suddenly, the neck and head came down into the water with a loud crash, and spray was thrown for a long distance round. I immediately ran back to the cabin for my glasses, and on examining the monster more closely, I was convinced that it was neither a black fish nor a thresher. I am too well acquainted with these fish not to know the difference. It was like one of the sea-serpents which have been so often described in the newspapers.
If it had struck the stern of the vessel when beating the water with the upper portion of the body, the blow would certainly have shattered it to pieces. The vessel proceeded in the direction of the supposed serpent, but it dived, and disappeared in the direction of the Sand-pit." ------------------- This statement is corroborated by the crew and steward of the vessel Several passengers were on board at the time, including Mr Woollams, of Coromandel, and they also saw the strange appearance.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 15, 2016 23:21:01 GMT 12
Another slithery monster!
From the New Zealand Herald, Volume VI, Issue 1632, 13 February 1869, Page 4
The Tanawha in Lake Otaki. —Mr. F. H. Bradley, in the following letter to the Independent, corroborates the statement lately made by some lads that they had seen a monster of this kind in a lake near Otaki, Wellington Province. He says: "In reference to a letter which, appeared in a recent issue of your paper relative to the existence of a tanawha in a lake near Otaki, I write to inform those who may be interested in the matter that I was told as far back as 1853 of something of the kind having been seen there. A man in my employ, after going round that part of the country, told me and my family on his return that he had gone into the lake to swim, and when he was about to strike out he saw something like an alligator, with ridge on its back or neck like a dragoon's hairy cap, as he described it, and about twenty feet in length, approaching towards him. He said he had barely time to escape on to the bank, it followed him a considerable distance until he struck off from the lake. At the time, we scarcely believed his story, although he constantly repeated it, and declared that it was true so we came to the conclusion that he was under a delusion. Subsequent observations, however, would seem to verify his statement.
[My thoughts, this was probably a big eel, like the massive ones we have in Lake Karapiro)
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 16, 2016 11:47:46 GMT 12
Hmmm, in an interesting twist of coincidence, I wonder if the sea monster the crew and passengers saw from the Durham was actually in fact something like this that has come upin today's news, a tailless whale? From the distance they saw the creature it could well have looked like a head on a neck... food for thought
Humpback whale with missing tail spotted near Kaikoura Last updated 11:31, March 16 2016
A whale with most of its tail missing has been spotted near Kaikoura.
A humpback whale with a missing tail near Kaikoura has bewildered experts.
Department of Conservation Kaikoura ranger Mike Morrissey went out by boat on Monday after a reported sighting of a whale without a tail.
Morrissey estimated the whale was about 2 or 3-years-old.
A normal humpback whale tail.
Both tail flukes were missing and the tail was tapered like an arrow tip, Morrissey said.
"It's bewildering as to how it came to lose both its tail flukes," he said.
Despite the severe injury, the whale appeared relaxed and was moving well.
The wounds where the flukes had severed from its tail had healed, indicating it lost the flukes some time ago, Morrissey said.
The flukes could have severed from the tail as a result of the whale getting tangled up in rope.
It would be impossible to determine the exact cause of the injury, he said.
Whales with damaged tails were occasionally spotted. Whatever caused the whale to lose its tail flukes could have happened anywhere in its travels, he said.
"Fortunately, the whale wasn't showing any signs of distress. It was swimming well and breaching, diving and rolling as humpback whales typically do."
The whale was seen again near Kaikoura on Tuesday.
DOC has asked boaties to take care not to disturb the whale and to keep their distance in order to protect it.
It was believed the whale would move north from Kaikoura, as humpback whales had started their annual migration to their South Pacific breeding grounds.
Humpback whales travelled through New Zealand waters as they migrated between summer Antarctic feeding grounds and winter South Pacific breeding grounds.
Anyone who spotted the whale without a tail as it travelled up the coast was asked to call DOC on 0800 362 468 so the whale's movements could be tracked.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 16, 2016 12:06:19 GMT 12
From the Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXIV, Issue 154, 23 December 1865, Page 3 (note: Blueskin Bay is an estuary in coastal Otago, about 25 km north of Dunedin) - is a Sea Tiger a real animal?
Tale of a Sea Tiger. The Tuapeka Recorder, November 24, publishes this account from a correspondent:- "I met a friend on Saturday, a resident at Blueskin, who gave me some very interesting particulars regarding a huge sea monster, which two of the settlers there had succeeded in capturing a week or so since, after a tremendous fight. It would appear that these men had come upon the monster quite suddenly, as it lay a short distance inland from Blueskin Bay, and, arming themselves with large sticks, they attempted to kill it. It showed fight, however, at once, and with distended jaws, displaying a mouthful of enormous teeth, followed one of the men at a good pace, actually leaping up nearly three feet of a stone embankment after him. After a good deal of difficulty, they succeeded in killing it, and now came the question to what species of animal did it belong? It had a head resembling that of the Polar bear, and tusks about four inches in length. Its body was shaped like that of the walrus or sea-horse, having large nippers at the junction of the shoulder, and also near the tail. Its colour was yellow and black. Some thought it a walrus but then, if a walrus, it had come to a remarkably strange latitude, or, as the Newhaven fishwife said of the large shark found in the shallows at Granton, "Oot o' the cratur's element." Others again named it a seal, but then the colour was out of place. On hearing it described last night, another friend, who has seen many a strange animal in his time, at once said it was a sea tiger, and to this species it certainly belonged."
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 21, 2016 20:01:46 GMT 12
Two very interesting articles here about the same subject, here in New Zealand. Surely a hoax?
From The Auckland Star, 27 September 1870
There was a strange rumour flying about to-day as to a dog of Mr. Baker's of the Miranda having caught a strange monster. It resembles a man with the exception of the face which bears a very piggish expression, having two large tusks growing from the mouth, and one out of the top of its head. It was taken alive, and the rumour is that Mr. Baken has it in a cage, and will bring it over to the Thames to-morrow for exhibition.— Thames.Star, Sept. 26.
From the West Coast Times, 25 October 1870 THE "MISSING LINK" MISSING. We have not, it seems, heard the last of the monster lately said to have been found at the Miranda, Auckland. The photographs of it have been exhibited in Auckland which are thus noticed by the Daily Southern Cross:- On Saturday last we observed in the shop of Messrs Stevens and Co., Queen-street, what purported to be the two photographs of the monster lately caught in a swamp at the Thames by some dogs.
The words "Tapuna" were underneath the photograph, but some Maoris who were examining the photographs seemed to think another designation should have been given to the creature.
It is in a nude state, covered over with hair somewhat resembling that on a monkey, with features similar. Later in the day, Messrs. Stevens sent us a copy of the photograph. Messrs. Taylor and Redfern are the photographers, and we would recommend them to forward copies to the various scientific societies in Europe, so that the name of that enterprising firm might find a place in the various "Transactions for 1870" of the several societies.
We have heard, says the Thames Advertiser, that the original of the photographs was a pen-and-ink sketch, in which the artist depicted an ape, drawing largely on his imagination for the details, as a good model was at hand. The recommendation of the Cross to the photographers, that they should send copies to the various scientific societies of Europe, with a view of the name of that enterprising firm appearing in the "Transactions for 1870," is so like a sly joke, yet given in all seriousness, that we are still at a loss to know whether the writer of the paragraph has been the victim of a sell or intended to perpetrate a joke.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 21, 2016 20:06:12 GMT 12
Here's a great one!!
West Coast Times, 27 July 1872
A real live moa, or something very like one, is reported to have been seen in the Wanganui district. The Chronicle says:— "Some time ago two youths were out in the neighborhood of Mangawhero and got separated for some little time, during which one of them was forcing his way through some thick scrub; all at once he startled large animal which jumped up and revealed to his horror-stricken optics the gigantic outlines of a bird some eight or nine feet high. The boy gazed a second at the monster, which returned the compliment, and then they both made off in different directions: the boy in hurry and fright falling and rolling down the side of a declivity. When he regained his companion, the latter says he was ashy pale, and looked as though he had smoked his first cigar, or seen a 'ghaist.' Little notice was taken of the boy's story at the time, but latterly a person of credibility has distinctly asserted that he saw footprints of a gigantic bird whose stride covered three or four feet in the same locality as that above mentioned."
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 4, 2016 18:45:26 GMT 12
A two-part story here
Otago Daily Times , 9 May 1892
Mr J. A. Subritzsky writes to the papers from Awanui, under date, May 3:— "On the last trip of the schooner Medora my son (the captain) saw the said sea serpent between the Poor Knights and Cape Brett. The sketch enclosed is as near as he described it to me. The Medora was going with a fair wind and nearly ran over tho serpent. They passed within about 12ft, and the serpent lifted its head and part of its body out of the water and turned round to have a good look at the vessel, but made no movement to attack her. From the head to the striped part it was nearly black, the striped part of the tail was yellow with dark yellow stripes, the tip of the tail was like that of an eel, with a fin on each side. As far as they could see the part was almost the length of the Medora. The serpent must have been about 90ft long. You can depend upon this story being correct. My son did not want me to send this to the paper, as he says people will only say it is nonsense."
Otago Daily Times , 3 June 1892
Some few weeks ago our Auckland correspondent telegraphed some particulars of a strange creature reported to have been seen by Captain Subritzky, of the schooner Medora. This was generally regarded as another sea serpent story. On the last trip of the schooner between Whangaroa and Auckland the vessel fell in with a strange object, which was at first thought to be a boat bottom upwards. In view of the chaff to which the skipper had been subjected, he launched a boat determined to make a capture. An interesting fight followed. A harpoon which had been fastened into its neck was broken in two, and it made for the boat open-mouthed, seemingly supporting itself with its back flippers, while with the front ones and its mouth it attacked the boat. After a desperate fight the skipper, with a blow from a spade in the boat, dealt a stunning blow, and the strange animal was captured. It was found to be about 6ft long and 8ft in circumference. On being taken to Auckland, it has been identified as the Sphargis coriacea, or leathery turtle, and is the first of the kind found on the coast of New Zealand. The legs of the leathery turtle are very long, especially the two forelegs. The jaws are very formidable. The eye is very curious, as the lids are set vertically instead of horizontally, and the effect is very singular when the eyes are opened or shut.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 20, 2016 21:09:01 GMT 12
The latest episode of the excellent "Lore" podcast from Aaron Mankhe (Episode 32 - Tampered) explores the folk lore of the Gremlins, the critters that allegedly attack aeroplanes. Quite good, as usual.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 16, 2016 20:08:10 GMT 12
DOES THIS SOLVE THE ROSWELL MYSTERY?
I am not really "into" the whole Roswell Incident thing, I have always thought it is a cover story putout by the US military and government that worked so well they kept it rolling.... so I'm curious as to whether it is well known by the alien conspiracy types that literally just down the road from Roswell, New Mexico, there was an experimental rocket propulsion lab testing new methods for speeding up flight? That's right, I found two wartime articles about it in NZ newspapers!
Surely the existence of this facility means the supposed crash of a strange craft has to be linked to Professor Goddard's work, not little grey men? I mean, in 1947 work on jets and rockets would have been prime projects for the US military and science industry, and thus a crash of any experimental craft in a populated area would be covered up to either hide the new technology, and/or their embarrassment about the failure.
This comes from the Auckland Star newspaper, 8 February 1941:
PROSPECT DRAWS NEARER. The spectre of rocket planes which could fly around the world in perhaps six hours promises to worry the statesmen arranging a peace at the end of the present war (says a writer in the "Christian Science Monitor").
The vision is not wholly new, but it has been changing rapidly in the last few weeks.
In 1931 the Hungarian rocket scientist, Professor Hans Oberth in Vienna, forecast rocket war planes which would fly the Atlantic in possibly one hour. He suggested that such planes would force the world, in self-protection, to out-law all war. Now rocket motors are close to practical use, due to two American inventions this autumn.
One invention is by Professor Robert H. Goddard, Clark University, whose laboratory is remote Eden Valley, 15 miles outside Roswell, New Mexico.
Driven By Jet Of Flame. It produces one of the awesome things which strike the eyes of the few persons who have seen one of his rockets taking off. Before it rises, for a second or two, a jet of pure flame strikes down on the valley sand and rolls 50ft along the surface as a billowing river of fire 10ft deep.
This is the jet of flame which drives the rocket, spreading out as it expands in the air. That flame, as its point of exit from the motor, is about half the surface temperature of the sun. There is nothing on earth its heat cannot melt.
Its burning, eroding power has been one of the obstacles to building a rocket motor suited to sustained flight. But Professor Goddard, in a recent United States patent, finds a new way to protect his motor. This is by letting the fuel, gasoline and liquid oxygen, at around 300deg below zero, enter a firing chamber so that it is spread over the metal walls before it ignites.
The film of liquid fuel is some protection against destruction by heat. A similar spread of the cold liquid protects the nozzle through which the flaming jet exists.
Intermittent Explosions. The other American invention is a rocket motor for installation on present planes—not as the plane's main motor, but only for aid in starting or other emergency. E. B. Meyers., of New York City, made it.
This motor fires in intermittent explosions, instead of a continuous jet of fire. That gets around the eroding heat by leaving effective cooling periods between shots. Mr. Meyers uses a different fuel, carbon disulphide and nitrous oxygen. This is cooler than Professor Goddard's fuel. It also has considerably less power.
But even with lose power, each explosion may give up to 200,000lb pressure for a brief fraction of a second. That means a 200,000lb forward kick, enough to aid a present type plane in taking off.
The intermittent explosion proposal is an example of practical adaptations of already well-developed rocket principles. Moreover, it w only one of numerous adaptations.
Italy has one, which has not been described, but only mentioned, in recent news reports. Compressed Air Experiment.
Rocket ship reports from Britain are more specific. One of these, appearing in the "Science Observer," a New York City publication, told of an experimental English plane driven by compressed air.
Air is taken in through the ship's nose, compressed, heated to give it extra power, and then projected in a jet to turn a turbine propeller. This is an adaptation of the rocket principle. A more direct way of using rocket jets to drive turbines already has been invented by Professor Goddard.
He used a 5000deg. jet of fire. Engineers had said this was impossible because the jet, they claimed, would melt the thin metal vanes, or fins, which like the blades of a water-wheel, receive the force of the jet. Professor Goddard's experiments showed that during the part of the revolution while the vanes are not in contact with the jet, they cool, and that the momentary contact is not enough to melt them.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 16, 2016 20:09:30 GMT 12
And then there's the other article from January 1945 article which shows Goddard was still experimenting with rockets then.
From the New Zealand Herald, 11 January 1945
NOT A NEW IDEA
THE GERMAN LONG-RANGE ROCKET
SECRETLY DEVELOPED AS WAR WEAPON
By ALLEN THOMSON German long-range rockets, which fly through the stratosphere to a height of 60 to 70 miles, and outstrip sound, have been crashing at scattered points in Britain for some weeks past. This terror weapon, the V2, successor to the flying-bomb, is not a new idea, but was conceived in the years of peace, when Germany was beginning her preparations for the second world war.
Rocket flight, with the possibility of inter-planetary communication, has intrigued the mind of man for centuries, but it is only in the last 25 years that it has been placed on a sound scientific basis. From visions of exploring outer space, scientists began to limit their experiments to more practical bounds, and to develop rockets with the object of piercing the stratosphere to obtain meteorological, astronomical, and other data from a zone 50 miles or more above the earth.
It was pointed out that the information sought from the higher reaches of the air could never be got by balloons, which, because of their dependence for lifting power upon the pressure of air, had their range limited to the lower portion of the atmosphere.
The efficiency of a rocket, on the other hand, increases as the atmosphere becomes rarer, and is greatest where no atmosphere exists.
Earliest Experimenters Later the popular idea developed of sending mails by rocket, and experiments along these lines were carried out in many countries, including Australia. In 1936 members of the Australian Rocket Society were successful in firing a rocket containing mail across the Brisbane River! The air chamber was damaged, but the mail compartment, containing 300 letters, which were subsequently posted, was intact.
The rocket travelled 360 yards at an estimated speed of 200 miles an hour, and reached an altitude of 400 feet. It was about 3ft long, and was buried to a depth of 2ft in soft ground on landing.
This experiment was somewhat primitive compared with similar tests carried out in Europe and the United States, but was an indication of the world-wide interest in rockets.
One of the earliest experimenters was Professor R. H. Goddard, of Clark University, in America, who began work in 1907 with power-propelled rockets. In 1920 he changed over to liquid fuel propulsion, and in 1935 announced that he had perfected a device for stabilising his rockets in flight, using a gyroscope to maintain their vertical direction.
The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, on the recommendation of Colonel Charles Lindbergh and Mr Harry F. Guggenheim, agreed to furnish Professor Goddard with funds to complete his experiments at his laboratory in Roswell, New Mexico.
Several times Professor Goddard was reported to have launched 12ft rockets into space at a rate of 700 miles an hour, using a highly-explosive mixture of liquid-oxygen and petrol for a propellant.
Liquid Oxygen First Used The first flight at Roswell took place on December 30, 1930. The rocket was 11ft long and weighed 33lb. It reached a height of 2000 ft, and a maximum speed of about 500 miles an hour.
By September, 1931, a remote control system had been developed to protect the operator, and enabling the rocket to be started 1000 ft from the tower. Its path was followed by an observer 3000 ft away, who had a telescope with an arrangement of pencils to record the altitude and azimuth.
In April, 1932, liquid oxygen pumped through a vaporiser was first used for the liquid fuel supply, and on the same flight Professor Goddard used his gyroscopically-controlled vanes for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Germans had been watching Professor Goddard's experiments with the closest interest, and Professor Hermann Oberth carried out investigations along similar lines. The German Rocket Society (Verein fur Raumschffahrt) was founded in 1927. In the beginning it was simply a society of interested scientists and laymen who discussed rocket problems in meetings, papers, and by correspondence. Experimental work began in 1929.
German militarists were quick to see the possibilities of the rocket as a weapon of war, and began secret experiments at a so-called "Strength through Joy" camp at Pennemunde, on Germany's Baltic coast, and on the small island of Rugen, a few miles across the water.
Fantastic Stories Work was carried out behind a curtain of the strictest secrecy, but several fantastic stories leaked out, the most remarkable being published in a London Sunday paper in 1934. It stated that a sensational secret demonstration of the practicability of the rocket principle applied to flight was made on the island of Rugen, when Herr Otto Fischer was shot six miles into the air within a 24ft steel rocket and returned to earth safe and sound, though shaken.
The writer added: "The pilot, who risked his life in this experiment, is the brother of the designer and constructor of the rocket, Herr Bruno Fischer. The demonstration was made under cover of absolute secrecy, under the auspices of the German War Ministry."
Describing the flight, the writer said: ''There was a blinding flash and a deafening explosion, and the slim torpedo-shaped body was gone from the steel framework in which it had rested. A few minutes later it came into sight again, floating from a large parachute that had automatically been released when it had begun to descend. As it drifted nearer, the steel fins on the outside of the body could be seen moving, as its pilot manipulated the rocket so that it would land on the island.
Lindbergh's Warning "A few seconds later it came to rest on the sands a few yards away, and Fischer crawled through the door of the rocket, white and shaken, but smiling, triumphantly. The journey through space had lasted 10 minutes and 26 seconds. "It was a tremendous sensation," Fischer was reported to have said to his colleagues. "When the rocket left the ground I was conscious of a deafening roar, and an unbearable weight seemed to be crushing me against the floor of the rocket. Then I lost consciousness for a moment, due to the tremendous acceleration, which drained the blood from my head. When I came to my senses and looked at the altimeter before my face it flickered at 35,000 ft, and then began to drop rapidly. I had completed my climb and was descending...."
The story could not be verified, and independent inquirers were never able to locate the Fischer brothers. In 19.37, Herr Willy Ley, vice-president of the German Rocket Society, admitted that the story was a hoax.
Today, Allied intelligence officials believe that this story may have been deliberately circulated by the German Propaganda Ministry to distract attention from the real nature of the experiments being carried on' at Pennemunde —the perfection of the flying bomb, radio-controlled planes, and the V2 rocket bomb.
A warning of what might be expected from the development of rockets was given by Colonel Charles Lindbergh in June, 1937, when writing to a friend in New York from England. "Rockets as projectiles of war," he said, "have very definite' possibilities. They may carry explosives at a rate much greater than that of aeroplanes, and over a range tar greater than that of guns."
It is now evident that the Germans encountered major difficulties which prevented the perfection of the rocket bomb in time for it to have any influence on the course of the present war, but there seems little doubt that it could have a terrifying and vital influence in the future.
In the words of Professor A. M. Low, famous British inventor, wars of the future may be fought by armies thousands of miles from each other, using accurate radio-controlled rockets.