One very instructive example involves McClelland’s account of a personal conversation about UFOs that he had with Wernher von Braun
Here is what McClelland CLAIMS von Braun told him directly: "He looked at me with a bit of surprise, and said, ‚Young man, yes we had such an
encounter with a power that appears advanced beyond ours here. Stronger than we have assumed and unknown to us where their base is located.’
More: “I cannot say much more other than we are entering into a closer contact with these unknown powers and perhaps within a short time, a few
months or so of time, we will be capable of saying more."
McClelland continued: “I must have had my lower jaw hit the ground when I heard these statements. I shook his hand and returned to my assignments.
Later, I would learn that he made a similar statement while visiting his homeland of Germany. I personally withheld this astounding disclosure for
many years due to my utmost respect for this pioneer of space travel."
Now, these comments attributed to von Braun look very similar to words from Tim Good's book, ’Above Top Secret’: "We find ourselves faced by
powers which are far stronger than we had hitherto assumed, and whose base is at present unknown to us. More I cannot say at present. We are now
engaged in entering into closer contact with those powers, and in six or nine months time it may be possible to speak with some precision on the
There are several hypotheses to account for the striking simularities in these two passages. First, of course, it’s possible that von Braun
independently relayed both accounts, one to the East German newspaper cited in Good’s book and the other face-to-face to McClelland. Second,
McClelland could have read Good’s book and then later recounted the phrase to others as if he had been the direct recipient in an imagined
conversation with von Braun. Third, both statements could be imaginary and their similarities are coincidental, or are based on some
no-longer-available common source.
When asked, McClelland (personal email) is adament that he received this information directly from the mouth of von Braun. Since von Braun died in
1972 and there are no other known witnesses to the conversation, the only evidence for this claim is McClelland himself.
The original footnote from 1959 can be investigated, but with great difficulty. The book’s author, Tom Good (personal communication), explains that
he did not see the source, but used an English-language source (not specified) that cited the original German source. This is a careless use of
In any case, I asked several German associates of mine in space history research to see what they could find out. Mr. Tasillo Roemisch of ‚SPACE
SERVICE INTL.’ in Mittweida spent “a whole day“ to track it down in the Deutsche Buecherei at Leipzig City, and reported the results.
The magazine NEUES EUROPA stopped publishing in the late 1960s. Its descriptive blurb reads: “Das führende Weltblatt fuer alle Fragen der kommenden
Entwicklung“ or “The leading World Magazine for all questions of the coming development“. It was published by Verlag August Kraemer GmbH,
Stuttgart, and all issues each had only 8 pages.
Roemisch checked all 48 issues of the years 1959 and 1960 and found out that they were supporting a Karl Michalek who lived in Santiago de Chile that
time and who claimed to be the “President of the Coming World Republik Earth“. He was sure that the Venusian ET’s were going to land in Berlin
soon. Other favorable articles appeared about Adamski and Kazantsev.
Wernher von Braun was only mentioned once, in issue no. 3 (Febr. 01, 1959), when they wrote that “Prof. Oberth, the collegue of the German- American
Wernher von Braun... believes in the existence of extraterrestials living in the star constallation Tau- Zeit - the Uranides“.