History is chock full of intricate conspiracy theories about a whole range of events. Most are utter nonsense and dismissed out of hand. Others have just that little trace of truth enough to keep believers invested and some skeptics intrigued. In time, some of them have turned out to be true; some have been conclusively proven to be false; still others have persisted for years.
World War II is one of these events; an event that in truth shaped the foundation of the world we live in today. It is only natural that a whole string of controversial conspiracy theories would arise. Some of these theories involve the Allies, some Adolf Hitler and the Axis Powers. All have their hardcore believers who defend these theories fervently in hopes that one day they will be proven true. Personally, I don’t know if that will ever happen, but any reasonable person will admit that some conspiracy theories are just tantalizing enough to make you wonder.
Can some of them be true? No, not possible, right? But, what if? I mean there are those wild World War II conspiracies about the Nazis trying to turn sand into gold. There are reports of Hitler dispatching agents to find and recruit the mysterious alchemist Fulcanelli. Or, what about the writer who insists that Hitler was an avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu? There was even one about the Vatican covering up the Pope’s efforts to try, unsuccessfully, to perform a long-distance exorcism of the Devil out of Hitler. Those are pretty wild, right? We haven’t even scratched the surface. Here to make you contemplate the possibilities are 15 of the most persistent, if not outrageous, conspiracy theories about World War II
15. Hitler Only Had One Testicle (With The Other Residing In The Albert Hall)
This one has been around since the late 1930s, the theory that Adolf Hitler only had one testicle. It was a pretty famous theory, at least in the United Kingdom, thanks a fairly popular British blue humor song of the 1940s. “Hitler has only got one ball, the other is in the Albert Hall…” Never heard it? Don’t worry about it. Regardless, the rumors persisted that this was true and, in fact, Hitler possibly had other genital issues, as well. Proponents point to some long lost medical files from an exam Hitler undertook when was arrested in 1923, following his famous Beer Hall Putsch. Supposedly, according to notes by the medical officer of Landsberg Prison, Dr. Josef Steiner Brin, Hitler suffered from right cryptorchidism, otherwise known as an undescended right testicle. Still other reports say an army medic who served with Hitler in World War I confirmed that Hitler lost a testicle during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
However, the real, tangible records of Hitler’s state physician, Dr. Theodor Morell, contain no reference to any injury or malady. Then, in 2010, a set of medical notes showed up in a Bavarian auction that appeared to have belonged to Dr. Brin of Landsberg Prison. The Bavarian government quickly seized the documents but it is believed that they do reflect Hitler having some “genital abnormalities.” Professor Peter Fleischmann of Erlangen-Nuremberg University claims to have examined the documents and believes they are legitimate, and do indeed state to Hitler’s, ahem, shortcomings…
14. There’s Buried Nazi Gold Hidden In Europe
There are a few different Nazi Gold theories floating around nowadays. Rumors and myths persist of the Third Reich burying millions, maybe even billions, of pounds of looted gold and precious metals in buried stashes. One of the more popular ones is that the gold is buried in Lake Toplitz, high in the Austrian Alps, sixty miles away from Salzburg. They say that after the war, former SS members hired a team of divers to try and retrieve the gold, along with some reported sealed tubes that contained details of secret Nazi bank accounts in Switzerland. The rumors caused such a swelling in the number of treasure hunters in the area that Austria made it illegal for divers to treasure hunt in the lake.
Another popular version of the theory, or an accompanying theory, is that there is Nazi gold buried somewhere on Auckland Island. There’s no real information on where this theory originated but the story goes that a Nazi U-boat secreted the gold to the small, uninhabited Auckland Island, which is a few hundred miles of the coast of New Zealand. There’s never been any evidence to support the Auckland gold theory, but that hasn’t stopped intrepid treasure hunters from making their way out to the island to try to uncover the hidden Nazi horde of gold.
13. The Mysterious Flight of Rudolf Hess
In the early days of the Nazi Party, Rudolf Hess was Hitler’s number two man, the Deputy Fϋhrer. Then, on the eve of Germany’s declaration of war on the Soviet Union, in 1941, Hess took a plane and flew to Scotland. Many say it was a desperate attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, he was promptly arrested and held until after the war. Then he was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to life in prison. He remained imprisoned for the rest of his life at Spandau Prison, in Berlin, until his death in 1987. Why would Hess intentionally fly to Scotland knowing he would be arrested? Was he attempting to achieve some sort of diplomatic triumph by making peace with England on the eve of the Soviet invasion? There has never been a documented proof that anyone in the British government ever made any overtures to Hess that a secret peace would be possible. There is also no proof that Hess was falsely lured to Scotland in hopes of such an agreement.
The British government has remained very reticent to discuss the Hess case. Official records of the event were sealed for thirty years. Then, that secrecy order was extended to seventy-five years, sealing the Hess records from view until 2017. This has only added credibility to the conspiracy theories that Britain is hiding something about Rudolf Hess’ mission. Was he sick of the German atrocities and came to implore for peace? If so, why seal the records for so long? Was there possibly some secret agreement that had soured that the British didn’t want revealed? We’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.
12. Churchill’s Assassination Order on Mussolini
They say that Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England, ordered the assassination of Benito Mussolini to stop any compromising information from being released if the Italian dictator were captured. Supposedly, there were some letters Churchill had once sent to Mussolini where he expressed his admiration for the Italian strongman prior to the war. Churchill was desperate to ensure that details of these letters never came to light. It was no secret that Churchill had made some public declarations of admiration to his counterpart back in the 1920s. It was not uncommon for heads of governments to do so. In 1927, Churchill visited Rome and afterwards sent a letter to Mussolini, one made public, where he states, “Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world… If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle…” That was 1927, and Fascism had yet to acquire the stigma it attained when Hitler came to power. So it is understandable if Churchill was uneasy about other statements he might have made in private letters to Italy. I mean, when you’re a British war hero and go off professing your admiration for an accomplice to genocide, it wouldn’t look good.
Officially, Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were seized by Italian Communists near Lake Como in April 1945. They were both shot and strung up in a Milan square. Reports say Churchill was only a few miles from Lake Como on the day that Mussolini was captured. They say Churchill was under an assumed name, on holiday, to paint. A former Italian partisan Bruno Lonati claims he and a British agent, Robert Maccarone, were sent to eliminate Mussolini and retrieve “very important” documents, which they never found.
11. The Philadelphia Experiment
The story goes that an experiment was conducted by the U.S. Navy where they hoped render a warship invisible to the enemy. To achieve this, they used a special application of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, where, with sufficient energy, they intended to bend light around the ship and render it basically invisible. The ship was the U.S.S. Eldridge and it not only disappeared, but was transported in a flash of blue light 200 miles to Norfolk, Virginia, before rematerializing back at its original location at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania. Also, the sailors on board the ship experienced side-effects and some were horribly killed when they rematerialized with their bodies partly fused with the metal of the ship. The code name assigned to the experiment was Project Rainbow and it took place around October 28, 1943. The Navy maintains that no such experiment occurred and that the whole story is a hoax. There really was a U.S.S. Eldridge but its war record contradicts with the timeline of the theory, not to mention the laws of physics. Regardless, the conspiracy theory persists.
The whole event came to light in 1955, when an amateur astronomer and researcher, Morris K. Jessup theorized about electromagnetic manipulation and advanced propulsion systems. He wrote a book on the subject. One day the Navy contacted Jessup and notified him that they had received a copy of his book in the mail from an anonymous sender (later revealed to be Carlos Allende/Car Allen). The book was heavily annotated and appeared to detail the merits of Jessup’s theories and made references to the Philadelphia Experiment in a way that suggested he was involved. The Varo Corporation published an edition of Jessup’s book with the annotations and the conspiracy came to life from there!
10. The O.S.S. Assassinated General George S. Patton
Douglas Bazata was a highly-decorated U.S. Army marksman. He was an extraordinary soldier, part of an elite unit that parachuted into France to organize the resistance prior to the 1944 Normandy Invasion. He was also an operative of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the U.S. forerunner of the CIA. He ended his career as an aide to John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy for President Ronald Reagan. Years later, an elderly Bazata contacted historian Robert Wilcox and reportedly made an incredible claim: O.S.S. Chief, General “Wild Bill” Donovan ordered him to assassinate General George Patton. Bazata was full of grief for all the lives he took and had been struggling with it in his later years.
According to Wilcox, Bazata detailed how he staged the troop truck smashing into Patton’s Cadillac in December 1945. He then shot the general with a low-velocity projectile, which broke his neck. The other passengers in Patton’s car were dazed but none suffered even a scratch. Bazata detailed his life and exploits in his personal diaries, which Wilcox received after Bazata’s death in 1999. The diaries reportedly detail how, after Patton appeared to be recovering from his injuries, General Donovan ordered no action to be taken on intelligence received that Soviet agents were planning on poisoning Patton. Bazata said that while Donovan admired Patton as a patriot and soldier, he believed the brazen, outspoken general was out of control. Patton died suddenly when he was on the verge of recovering, already making plans to return home. Bazata claims that though he failed in killing Patton, Soviet agents did not. The fact that the driver of the truck that struck Patton was immediately transferred to London before he could be questioned, as well no autopsy being performed on Patton’s body, are coincidental to ignore.
9. Hitler Had a Base In Antarctica
According to one conspiracy theory, the Nazis built a secret base in Antarctica and after the war in Europe ended, a secret war was fought in Antarctica with the United States eventually destroying the Nazis with a nuclear missile. That’s a big one, right? Well, proponents of the theory that this is being covered up point to these facts that are indisputable: Records show there was a German expedition to Antarctica in 1938. There was classified British military activity in Antarctica during the war. The U.S. did send a large naval force to the Antarctic in 1946, and then indeed detonated a nuclear missile there in 1958. Both the U.S. Naval expedition (Operation High Jump) and the nuclear explosion (Operation Argus) were classified until word of the action was leaked. That’s all that can be proven, so far.
Here’s what the conspiracy theory says occurred. When the German expedition reached the Antarctic in 1938, they discovered a vast series of underground caverns heated by subterranean rivers. They largest of these caverns were converted into Base 211. By the end of the war, it was the new home to the escaping Nazis. Hitler, Eva Braun, and some other high-ranking Nazis boarded a U-boat were secreted away to the base. In 1947, Famous U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd is recorded suggesting that there was more to the American presence there than cold weather training and indeed made reference to the possibility of the next war involving air attacks coming from the South Pole, urging defensive measures be taken. Conspiracy theorists point to these statements as the reason for a U.S. renewed attack on Antarctica and the eventual destruction of the Nazis through nuclear means ten years later.
8. The Thule, Vril, and Aliens
This theory is based on the previous Antarctic theory. The Vril and Thule are two secret societies rumored to have been active within the inner circle of the Nazi regime. The Third Reich was only a precursor to a new Fourth Reich that would unite the world under Nazi rule. The Thule Society was linked to the Nazi quest for mystic powers through the occult. Thule reportedly setup base in the Antarctic (see how this is beginning to fit). The Vril was the elite, inner circle of the Thule, which theorists insist was working in collusion with the heads of other world governments to ensure the new Fourth Reich.
Vril is supposedly derived from a Sumerian word meaning “like God,” which is hard to believe because I don’t think there is a “V” in Sumerian language. Regardless, the mystics of the Vril and Thule had the purpose of awakening and utilizing the powers of the Thule masters, who reside in the Alpha Tauri star system. It was through occult study that the Thule was able to channel spiritual energy to summon the aliens of that system and tap their knowledge to help the Nazis create their own advanced technology.
7. Nazis Acquired Alien Technology
You see the pattern here…? This theory takes the above theory one step further. Some claim that the Nazis, through the help of the Thule Society, gained the use of alien technology to construct advanced airships in their secret Antarctica base. The story is that Hitler planned on using his new advanced alien-infused aircraft to launch an unparalleled airstrike simultaneously on London and New York. Some proponents point to the missing records and prototype for the suspected Nazi secret weapon, Die Glocke (“The Bell”). Others say it’s missing because it never existed. There are reportedly also photos circulating and eyewitness accounts of these Nazi UFO’s that were constructed in the final days of World War II, which were relocated to the Antarctic to avoid them falling into Allied hands.
Were these the basis for the mysterious “foo fighters” that Allied airmen reported harassing them in the skies above Europe? To this day, we are unable to explain these mysterious aerial phenomena that began around 1944. They were fast-moving, glowing objects, bright red, white, or orange. Some were as big as 300 feet, while others were very small. Allied fighters were unable to shoot them down or outmaneuver them. Most don’t believe these mysterious UFO’s were German secret weapons as after the war, German records indicated that the German pilots were just as baffled by encounters with them.
6. Nazis Had A Secret Moon Base
This is the culmination of the super-mega-Nazi-conspiracy theory. This says that the real reason the Americans and NASA raced to the moon was to verify the existence of the rumored Nazi presence already there! Supposedly, in 1957, the Soviets notified America that they had intelligence that the Nazis used their advanced alien technology to flee (just prior to their base being destroyed in 1958) and setup base on the moon. They say documents recovered from Berlin indicated that Hitler’s scientists discovered the moon substance called Helium 3 (He-3). This light, non-radioactive isotope is highly valuable for its value to nuclear fission. Our sun creates an unlimited amount of the stuff, but our atmosphere prevents most of it from getting to us. The moon has no atmosphere so it’s literally everywhere!
The theory further contends that a possible American solution was Project A119, the plans to destroy the moon with a nuclear barrage! This is wild! Sure, destroying the moon would’ve been the ultimate display of power that would make the Soviet Union take notice, but think about it. No moon means no tides, which means the end of the surfer lifestyle. Who thinks about how it affects those guys? Nevertheless, when NASA reached the moon, they were able to confirm the existence of the Nazi base on its dark side. Some believe the Nazis even offered peace terms with the Americans and Soviets to share the moon’s resources, as long as it was under Nazi rule. The whole theory is incredible but hardly a surprise; after all I’ve seen the film Iron Sky (2012). If you haven’t heard of it, find it. It’s hilarious and is basically this theory in film-form.
5. Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo
So, if the Nazi’s received alien knowledge, then who would’ve been able to understand and implement their plans in building these new Nazi-Alien craft? Theorists suggest it had to be Italian engineer, Dr. Giuseppe Belluzzo. Belluzzo was an expert in turbine design and published fifty technical publications starting in 1905. Many of his innovative designs are still the standard today. Right about the time a UFO wave hit Italy in the 1950s, Belluzzo published an article claiming that the UFO’s were nothing new and that he was instrumental in creating the first of these Earth-based craft beginning in 1942. He claimed many of these were craft were unmanned and he published some of his early sketches. They had project names like “Kugeblitz,” and “Feuerball.”
Belluzzo also recalled other scientists who assisted him in his early work. Remarkably, others came forward saying they did work with Belluzzo on circular craft technology in mid to late-1940s, in Germany and Italy. One corroborator was a British-based commando who admitted that had been offered an assignment as part of a top secret mission to Norway. The mission was to destroy a hidden Nazi base where UFO technology was being engineered. Belluzzo’s story was reported in newspapers around the world, including the New York Times. Though he admitted that he was no longer involved in the German project, if his original timeline was still being followed, the craft in operation at that time would’ve been capable of delivering a nuclear attack. He was also fairly certain that the Soviets had captured at least one of the German prototypes and possibly restored it to working order.
4. George W. Bush’s Grandfather Helped Hitler’s Rise to Power
Former U.S. President George W. Bush’s grandfather was the powerful U.S. senator, Prescott Bush. Theorist report that files in the U.S. National Archives prove that Prescott Bush, as a director and major shareholder of several companies, profited from the financing of the Nazi Third Reich. Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, those business interests were seized in 1942. In fact, two Holocaust survivors from Auschwitz filed a civil suit in Germany against the Bush family. This theory has been around for a while, much of it inaccurate or otherwise unfair; however, some documents do show that even after the U.S. entered World War II, Bush continued his business association with several German industries with direct links to the Nazis. Now, there is no evidence that Prescott Bush was pro-Nazi, but reportedly his firm, Brown Brothers Harriman, was the financial backbone for German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who in turn helped finance Hitler’s rise to power.
Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and Hitler could not have re-armed without his backing. Thyssen owned a bank in the Netherlands that owned the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Bush was a director. The UBC represented Thyssen’s American interests. And, Bush was reportedly on the board for at least one other company that formed a multinational network of shell companies to help Thyssen transfer assets around the world. The theory asserts that Bush was also linked to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border, which utilized slave labor from concentration camps, such as Auschwitz. Theorists contend it’s not a theory, but a fact and it can be easily verified by checking out any of the three sets of archives readily available at the National Archives.
3. Prescott Bush Planned a Fascist Coup In America
Conspiracy theorists love the Bush family. There’s even a good one about President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination! But I digress. This one argues that a group of powerful men, led by Prescott Bush, plotted to overthrow U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, installing a new government based on the fascist ideology of Hitler and Mussolini. The story goes that, in 1933, these wealthy industrialists and bankers, approached U.S. Marine Major General Smedley Butler and asked him to take command of a 500,000-strong army of rogue veterans that would help stage a coup to overthrown Roosevelt. Army General Hugh S. Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, would be installed as the new dictator. They insisted this was necessary to combat the effects of the Depression. Some of the backers were the heads of the great industrial giants, most of which are still household names, including Heinz, Colgate, Birds Eye, General Motors, and J.P. Morgan.
General Butler, a very, very highly decorated soldier (for real, he was awarded TWO medals of honor – look it up, it’s incredible), decided to string the influential men along but later went public with the plot. This shot down any hopes of a coup. Butler reportedly turned over the names of all the conspirators to Congress’ House Un-American Activities Committee. It is well-documented that General Butler, in 1934, did come forward and publicly describe a plot to overthrow Roosevelt, which became known as the “Business Plot.” As to the veracity of the details and who was involved, Congress never took any action on any individuals turned over by Butler. No charges were ever filed, and Butler’s testimony on those he named was stricken from any official record. The media even blackballed the story. Even when they lose, the rich and powerful still win.
2. Hitler Died In Argentina, Not Berlin
This rumor has endured for years and states that Nazi Fϋhrer Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide as is believe in 1945, but in truth fled to Argentina where lived in secrecy. The theory believes that Hitler lived in Argentina for another seventeen years after the war, and possibly even raised two daughters before he died in 1962. It is claimed that the skull fragments that are in Russian possession are actually those of a young woman. It is well-known that Stalin, Eisenhower, and even J. Edgar Hoover, all entertained the notion that Hitler might have escaped Berlin in the final days of the war. Hoover put his Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to work investigating the claims that Hitler’s death was faked. Conspiracy theorists report that hidden in the FBI’s declassified Hitler files are documents proving he survived, such a marriage certificate and assorted political documents.
The FBI has made 867 pages of files and document public, much of which does speculate that Hitler escaped Germany and lived out his life in Argentina with other Nazi leaders and at least one body double. There is supposedly a report detailing an eyewitness account of Hitler entering the country with a large entourage and proceeding by horseback to an undisclosed location. Sounds circumstantial and unverifiable, but who knows? Nobody believed Josef Mengele was living secretly in Argentina until his grave was discovered, so we’ll wait and see.
1. Pearl Harbor Conspiracy
This theory is one of the most controversial theories about World War II. Theorists contend that U.S President Franklin Roosevelt had knowledge of an impending attack on Pearl Harbor and deliberately failed to act. This theory can trace its origins to the America First Committee, a group of far-left pacifists and far-right isolationists, who put it to the public in a 1944 pamphlet.
These are their five main points. One, Roosevelt wanted to get into a war with Japan and Germany. The strong isolationist mood of America made people far more concerned with the economy than international affairs. An unprovoked attack would galvanize the public for war. Two, all the fighter planes were intentionally left out in the open, exposed to attack. This was actually due to the fear of sabotage and was done so that a limited amount of security could keep watch over a large amount of planes. Three, the McCollum memo outlines a strategy in the Pacific detailing a war goal. Although, this memo detail a war plan scenario, there is actually no evidence that it ever crossed Roosevelt’s desk. Four, army operators ignored radar signatures of the approaching Japanese planes. The equipment was not fully operational and the operators were novices. Their supervisor erroneously misidentified the radar contacts as an expected group of American B-17’s. Five, three aircraft carriers were conveniently out of port and safely away. The naval leadership wasn’t that smart. How would they have known how important a role carrier warfare would play in the war? Naval tactics dictated the importance of the battleship, as carriers were a fairly new concept and untested in battle.
Is the theory true? Maybe. Many historians believe it was more of a case of unheeded warning and missed signals than a conspiracy.