The Mystery Behind Antarctica’s Operation Highjump
The Antarctic Developments Project, otherwise known as Operation Highjump, as code-named by Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz, was an extensive military expedition that took place in January of 1947. The main purposes of the mission, according to government and military officials at that time, were to train personnel and test materials and equipment in the frigid temperatures of Antarctica, to extend American sovereignty over a large portion of the land and to determine whether or not they could establish bases in different locations across the icy continent.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whom had already led an expedition to the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica from 1939 to 1941, was also assigned to Operation Highjump. Included in the list of objectives for the mission were preliminary plans to establish a base on the Ross Ice Shelf and to map as much of the great land mass as possible from the air, especially the coastline.
It is believed by many that the U.S. Navy actually went to Antarctica in search of a Nazi underground base. There are theories that suggest that at the end of WWII, a substantial number of Nazi military officials and scientists (around 250,000) fled Europe to the South Pole with the intent of establishing a base and rebuilding their numbers. As it was, in 1939, Germans led an expedition to Antarctica where they discovered inland, thermal-heated lakes, completely free of ice, along with substantial coal and mineral deposits. These discoveries prompted Heinrich Himmler, a leading member of the Nazi party, to develop plans for establishing a permanent base that he code-named “Station 211“. It has also been said that the Germans believed there was a race of what they referred to as “Nordic” or “Aryan” people, possibly extraterrestrials, living in a mysterious world below the ice. It is believed that this race of intelligent beings shared their advanced technologies with the Germans and aided them in building a sustainable colony somewhere underground in the Antarctic.
The expedition included an aircraft carrier, 12 warships, a submarine, more than 20 planes and helicopters and a crew of 4,000 men and was meant to last 8 months, but was cut short after only 8 weeks. U.S. journalist, Lee Van Atta, who was given permission to accompany the expedition, wrote an article that was featured in the Chilean newspaper, El Mercurio, that read, “Admiral Richard E. Byrd warned today that the United States should adopt measures of protection against the possibility of an invasion of the country by hostile planes coming from the polar regions…” Somewhat famously, Admiral Byrd also told members of a special congressional investigative committee upon his return from the South Pole, “In case of a new war, the U.S. would be attacked by fighters that are able to fly from one pole to the other with incredible speed.”
Yet another interesting piece to the puzzle that is Operation Highjump is the release of a Russian documentary entitled The Third Reich: Operation UFO which describes the eyewitness account from Lieutenant John Sayerson, a pilot who claimed his ship, the USS Casablanca, was also a part of Byrd’s task force and that he had witnessed Navy Corsair Fighters engaging unusual, saucer-like craft attacking the ships in Byrd’s fleet. What’s odd about this account is the fact that there is no official record of the USS Casablanca ever having been involved in the expedition, however, it would be logical to include an aircraft carrier like the Casablanca in such a mission, as any naval operation of that size would not risk exposure to hostile forces without adequate air defense in place. Sayerson is also quoted as saying this:
“The thing shot vertically out of the water at tremendous velocity, as though pursued by the devil, and flew between the masts [of the ship] at such a high speed that the radio antenna oscillated back and forth in its turbulence. An aircraft [Martin flying-boat] from the Currituck that took off just a few moments later was struck with an unknown type of ray from the object, and almost instantly crashed into the sea near our vessel…. About ten miles away, the torpedo-boat Maddox burst into flames and began to sink… Having personally witnessed this attack by the object that flew out of the sea, all I can say is, it was frightening.”
Many of the details of what happened in Antarctic during Operation Highjump are still a mystery and Admiral Byrd was ordered to remain silent about his experiences by officials at The Pentagon. Admiral Richard E. Byrd was involved in multiple expeditions to the Antarctic and, according to information found within his diary, on his last mission to the south pole, his plane was taken over by flying saucers and drawn into the “hollow earth” where he remained for three hours and was engaged by what he described as German-speaking Nordics. The majority of researchers have written the account off as pure fiction, however, it has been verified that Byrd’s last flight over the south pole was, in fact, delayed by three hours due to unexplained engine trouble.
It is important to note that in recent years, many of the world’s elite and high-ranking government officials, including the Pope and Secretary of State John Kerry, have seemed to develop a sudden interest in Antarctica and have been on recent expeditions to the pole themselves. One has got to wonder what is so interesting down there that has so many higher-ups suddenly so intrigued and eager to get there to check it out. We may never know…
What do you think happened during the expedition? Do you have any theories as to what may be down there on what is meant to be a barren wasteland of snow and ice? Please tell us in the comments below.