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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Curious Case Of The Linkes

Soviet Zone of Germany 17th June, 1950
Source: Kathimerini newspaper (Athens, Greece), 1952
CIA files
The Hynek UFO Report pp 204-205

"Berlin, July - Furnished with the sworn testimony of an eyewitness, Oscar Linke, a 48-year-old German and former mayor of Gleimershausen, West Berlin intelligence officers have begun investigating a most unusual "flying saucer" story. According to this story, an object "resembling a huge flying pan" and having a diameter of about 15 meters landed in a forest clearing in the Soviet Zone of Germany.

Linke recently escaped from the Soviet Zone along with his wife and six children.

Linke and his 11-year-old daughter, Gabriella, made the following sworn statement last week before a judge: "While I was returning to my home with Gabriella, a tire of my motorcycle blew out near the town of Hasselbach. While we were walking along toward Hasselbach, Gabriella pointed out something which lay at a distance of about 140 meters away from us. Since it was twilight, I thought that she was pointing at a young deer. 

Above: Linke and his daughter after getting to West Germany.

"I left my motorcycle near a tree and walked toward the spot which Gabriella had pointed out. When, however, I reached a spot about 55 meters from the object, I realized that my first impression had been wrong. What I had seen were two men who were now about 40 meters away from me. They seemed to be dressed in some shiny metallic clothing. They were stooped over and were looking at something lying on the ground.

"I approached until 1 was only about 10 meters from them. I looked over a small fence and then I noticed a large object whose diameter I estimated to be between 13 and 15 meters. It looked like a huge frying pan.

"There were two rows of holes on its periphery, about 30 centimeters in circumference. The space between the two rows was about 0.45 meters. On the top of this metal object was a black conical tower about three meters high.

"At that moment, my daughter, who had remained a short distance behind me, called me. The two men must have heard my daughter's voice because they immediately jumped on the conical tower and disappeared inside.

"I had previously noted that one of the men had a lamp on the front part of his body which lit up at regular intervals.

"Now, the side of the object on which the holes had been opened began to glitter. Its color seemed green but later turned to red. At the same time I began to hear a slight hum. While the brightness and hum increased, the conical tower began to slide down into the center of the object. The whole object then began to rise slowly from the ground and rotate like a top.

 "It seemed to me as if it were supported by the cylindrical plant which had gone down from the top of the object, through the center, and had now appeared from its bottom on the ground.

"The object, surrounded by a ring of flames, was now a certain number of feet above the ground.

"I then noted that the whole object had risen slowly from the ground. The cylinder on which it was supported had now disappeared within its center and had reappeared on the top of the object.

"The rate of climb had now become greater. At the same time my daughter and I heard a whistling sound similar to that heard when a bomb falls.

"The object rose to a horizontal position, turned toward a neighboring town, and then, gaining altitude, it disappeared over the heights and forests in the direction of Stockheim."

Many other persons who live in the same area as Linke later related that they saw an object which they thought to be a comet. A shepherd stated that he thought that he was looking at a comet moving away at a low altitude from the height on which Linke stood. 

Above: Linke with an interpreter
After submitting his testimony to the judge, Linke made the following statement: "I would have thought that both my daughter and I were dreaming if it were not for the following element involved: When the object had disappeared, I went to the place where it had been. I found a circular opening in the ground and it was quite evident that it was freshly dug. It was exactly the same shape as the conical tower. I was then convinced that I was not dreaming."

Linke continued, "I had never heard of the term 'flying saucer' before I escaped from the Soviet Zone into West Berlin. When I saw this object, I immediately thought that it was a new Soviet military machine.

"I confess that I was seized with fright because the Soviets do not want anyone to know about their work. Many persons have been restricted to their movements for many years in East Germany because they know too much."

 Above: The Linkes with interpreter

There have been various theories put forward depending on the particular bias of the author involved. 

(1)  The idea that this was a Soviet device being tested and that the "flames" sighted proved this as "this has never been reported in any other UFO sighting"

Well, incorrect.  "flames"/"jets" or what have been interpreted as such by witnesses in UFO sightings have been reported.

Next, look at the object drawn. Read how Linke describes it and the men.  One might assume that, yes, it is possible that the Soviets captured German scientists (that we know) and got to work trying to develop a former Nazi German prototype.  There are points to make regarding this idea.

Firstly, the Soviets would not be developing such a device in East Germany because it was too close to the West and as seen after the Peenemunde flights and later with the Skandinavian "Ghost rockets", Allied Intelligence would have its men on the ground looking at every aspects which includes sneaking in to East Germany to check a site for traces or any clues.  The Soviets were very secretive and had their research facilities inside the USSR where secrecy was guaranteed.

Secondly, the object involved does not look anything like what the German scientists had been working on between 1939-45.

Thirdly, what the "men" were wearing does not fit what Soviet test pilots were wearing back then.  Also, if these were two Soviet pilots they would not have run on hearing the girl calling. They would have "secured" the Linkes and no one would have been the wiser.

This theory does not hold up.  Also, in 1980, I got to ask people who would know what they thought of the case?  "Well, it was not a Ruskie and it was not one of ours!"  Which helped, I thought!

Objections as to the appearance of the entities can be dismissed because humanoid-like entities as well as others have been reported over the decades.  As I have noted previously, at one point it was said any non-terrestrial life forms would not be humanoid -this whole idea went out of fashion in recent years so, again -objection over ruled.

(2) Linke's case is exposed as a hoax as it took elements from the Spitsbergen crashed flying saucer hoax. It was claimed -but proven a hoax in the same year and even in 1977 we were discussing it as a hoax- that a flying saucer had crashed off the coast of Norway on the island of Spitsbergen in mid-1952.  This is two years after Linke's account so he would not have pre-knowledge of any such claim!  In fact, it seems others have tried to link the Spitsbergen case to that of the escapee. 

It means that this theory comes crashing down itself.  I have never read an account where Linke has made any such claim.  In fact, years later, Linke was located in the West and questioned by researchers and did not exaggerate nor veer from his original account.  US Ufologist, Ted Bloecher, in the November, 1980 issue of The MUFON Journal , stated that Linke was a credible witness and that the account, in details and consistency, was persuasively authentic and concluded that: 

 "This sighting should be included among the list of unexplained UFO reports." 

Detractors point to the fact that "names" within Ufology have never included Linke's account in their books and that Hynek only quoted the Blue Book report without comment.   It is never pointed out that some of these same "credible" authors have, for decades, been including hoax and other invented as well as erroneous material that they have never even investigated themselves in their books. 

Pot calling the kettle black.

As for Dr Hynek; my late colleague, Franklyn A. Davin-Wilson, asked Dr Hynek at a UK UFO convention about the case and the response was "It's a very puzzling one" -maybe people should have asked Hynek while he was alive for his thoughts?

(3) Linke admitted it was all a hoax to get into the West.

I checked recently and Linke never recanted his testimony. Never said it was a hoax.  Also, you did not have to have any reason to escape to the West other than that you were escaping from the East! If I've missed a genuine confession let me know!

(4) I need to emphasise this.  It is claimed by some, that the account was made up by Linke so that he got some kind of preferential treatment when he got to the West. In fact, it didn't.  He was questioned, perhaps a little more closely because of the account, like everyone else who escaped to the West (escapees could be spies after all).  That idea falls apart.  In fact, thinking about it, Linke could have made a lot of money from his account at the time but instead he reported it and that was it.  Nothing more.

It comes down to what you believe.  Was it a genuine extra-terrestrial scout craft?  Was it a Soviet test craft?  Was it a hoax -when Linke never pushed it to the point of getting anything out of it? 

It is an interesting case yet it is only testimonial evidence.   No one got to check soil of flora samples from the site.  No one got a geiger-counter or even basic emf detector there.  If the Linkes saw that object and those entities then they saw them.  We did not and if it makes you feel more comfortable thinking they did not then so be it.  In my mind it still has a very big question mark next to it. You just never know.....

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