As a kid, I evesdropped on a few of the stories about the “old country”, Sweden, as told by my great uncles. A few of the tales were about odd things that were witnessed by family members during World War Two and in the immediate post war years. Great uncle Jerry rarely contributed his own stories, but those he did tell, stayed with me. I remember especially being spellbound by descriptions of Ghost Rockets in northern Scandinavia in the late 1940s.
It was around mid February in 1946 that people in Finland and Sweden began spotting peculiar meteors that did not behave or look like normal meteors. In fact, since so many of the thousand of reported sightings happened in early August, officials at first attributed the alleged Ghost Rockets to the yearly Perseid meteor shower.
The dates and timing of the peak Ghost Rocket activity didn’t jibe with the actual astronomical events. Not only was the timing off, but witnesses reported that the “meteors” could change direction during their flight.
The Swedish military speculated that perhaps the Soviet Union was testing captured Nazi V-1 and V-2 rockets or perhaps some sort of secret weapon based on the captured German rocket technology. If that should be the case, the Swedish Army ordered the news media to not report exact locations of any sightings or other information about the “meteors”. There were some in the military who conjectured that the Ghost Rockets were of extraterrestrial manufacture.
Witnesses usually described very fast rocket type craft. Some of them sported wings, others did not. Often times a hissing and rumble could be heard by the observers. Some witnesses claimed that slow moving cigar shape vessels could be seen.
Frequently, the rocket shaped vehicles crashed into lakes. The vehicle would surface for awhile then sink. Based on such reports, the Swedish Army sent in their scuba divers to survey the lake bottoms. The military claimed that no rockets or other vehicles were present in the lakes. However, the Swedish military did say they found a few craters and torn off plants.
A very interesting Ghost Rocket event happened at Sweden’s Lake Kölmjärv. Several witnesses claimed that a rocket type vehicle, grey colored with wings, exploded in the air with the pieces falling into the lake. The Swedish military closed off the area and conducted a top secret search. The officials claimed that they found no evidence of any sort of rocket ship.
The Swedish Air Force’s Karl-Gösta Bartoll was in charge of the Lake Kölmjärv search efforts. His official report said that the lake bottom showed signs of being disturbed but no other evidence was found. He speculated that whatever it was, the object self destructed. He believed that the rocket may have been constructed of some sort of magnesium alloy that would have vaporized easily.
At the end of the year, the Swedish Ghost Rocket Committee reported that of the one thousand reported sightings reported to Swedish military, 225 were attributed as actual physical sightings of non-meteor objects. The Army said one of the sightings happened in daytime.
A 1948 Swedish document about the Ghost Rocket investigation considered an extraterrestrial source of the vehicles, but concluded with this statement: “…we are inclined not to discredit entirely this somewhat spectacular theory [extraterrestrial origins], meantime keeping an open mind on the subject”.
I have thought about my great-uncle Jerry’s story for many years. While reading about World War Two and the Nazi war effort, I came to a few of my own conclusions about the Ghost Rockets.
I posit that the USSR and the United States captured not only the blueprints and rocket scientists of Hitler’s military, but took some unlaunched V-1 and V-2 rockets as well. Even during the war, the allies had reverse engineered the rockets from leftover debris from the Nazi terror bombings. I think that the simplest conclusion is that the Ghost Rockets were some old Nazi rockets and some new allied versions that were being tested by the USSR and the USA.
I find it suspicious that evidence was supposedly rarely found. It is doubly suspicious that the umbrella of top secrecy is still in place regarding the Ghost Rockets. This has resulted in the growth of a lesser version of a Roswell, New Mexico sort of UFO myth regarding the lakes in northern Sweden.
The Blue Jay of Happiness has wondered whether the military has allowed popular UFO culture to spread as a sort of red herring to serve as a cover to shield top secret projects. How’s that for a conspiracy theory?