Did the Nazis Send a Man into Space?

On October 29, 1933, the London Sunday Referee published a report that a man named Otto Fischer had flown a 24-foot long rocket six miles above Earth. Did Space Nazis really exist?

Did Space Nazis Exist?

Did Space Nazis Exist?
Description: Launch of a V2 Rocket (Summer 1943)
Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 141-1880 / CC-BY-SA
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Did Space Nazis Exist?

This story comes to you straight from io9. And it’s a wild one. No, the Nazis didn’t really send someone into space. But there was some truth behind the Space Nazis fiction.

In the early 1930s, the Bank of Magdeburg funded a rocket flight in order to prove something known as the Hollow Earth Doctrine. According to the Hollow Earth Doctrine (of which there are still some adherents today), mankind didn’t live on the outside of the Earth but rather, on the inside. An engineer named Franz Mengering thought he could prove the theory by launching a rocket into the air. If it traveled long enough, it would crash into the other end of the hollow earth, which was believed to be the Pacific Ocean.

The project never gained traction and the loan went to a rocket researcher named Rudolf Nebel instead. He was asked to build a rocket which could carry a man into space. However, the best the rocket could do was a belly-flop about 1,000 feet from the launching pad. The Space Nazis project was eventually abandoned and the rocket was put into storage.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

On a side note, the story was later resurrected in 1935 in a London magazine called Pall Mall. After that, it appeared to vanish from history. So, there you have it. Otto Fischer never reached space (in fact, he probably never existed). Space Nazis never existed. And thus, Yuri Gagarin’s place in history remains secure.

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