The US Navy and the Greatest USO Hunt in History
July 29, 2008
A few weeks ago I came into possession of information relating to the greatest submarine hunt in history. It occurred during the Eisenhower years. A determined attempt has been made by the US Government to conceal all the details, and so the facts I recount here come from another source.
I am presenting this thread in two sections, for the important occurrences are separated by many years. The reader will forgive me I hope for the personal involvement in Parts One and Two, which explain my interest.
In 1986 I discovered in a second-hand bookshop at Greenwich, London a copy of Wolfgang Hirschfeld's wartime memoir "Feindfahrten" (Neff Verlag, Vienna, 1983). Hirschfeld (1915 - 2003) had been senior radio operator aboard U-234. This latter boat sailed from Kiel for Norway and Japan in March 1945.
I contacted Hirschfeld and we agreed to work jointly on producing his book for the English-language market. UK publishers like US support for this kind of book, and we found a great deal of resistance - "a very cold wind" - to having it published in the United States. Not until 1996, eight years after I first contacted Hirschfeld, did Pen & Sword Books manage to obtain a publishing co-partnership with USNIP, Anapolis.
"Hirschfeld - The Story of a U-boat NCO" (ISBN 0 85052 5314) was a successful book. In particular, U-234 has aroused great interest worldwide for the 260 tonnes of war materials loaded aboard for Japan. There has been much speculation that "uranium oxide" and heavy water on the submarine may have been intended for an atomic bomb project in Japan, although personally I am sure that that was not the case.
What interested me more is something overlooked by all these atom bomb researchers. In March 1945 a U-boat had only a poor chance of passing through the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden to reach Norway from Kiel. Most U-boats attempting the transit were either sunk or at least damaged. U-234, a large converted minelayer of Type XB, sailed with three modern Type XXIII boats. U-234 had nine German and two Japanese passenger military/scientific passengers aboard. Six of the German passengers outranked the captain, Kapitänleutnant Johann Fehler.
In the passage through the Kattegat, U-234 led a charmed existence. The waters are shallow and were at that time heavily mined. To dive for protection was not an option. The air was filled with milling RAF bombers, fighters and torpedo-bombers. A convoy of freighters was attacked and ships sunk, yet none of the aircraft attacked U-234 and the other three U-boats proceeding calmly in line. Hirschfeld stated in his original book that there was some kind of mysterious equipment aboard U-234. He did not know how it worked. When this equipment was turned on it caused all aircraft approaching the submarine to turn away. They always turned away at 3300 yards. It happened on at least five occasions. "It could not have been coincidence", Hirschfeld said, "we seemed to be invisible or invulnerable".
Hirschfeld insisted that I translated the passage verbatim from the original book. He did not want any speculation from me on this mysterious equipment. As an author he was watched carefully in Germany for what he said.
I understood from him that whereas Fehler commanded the boat, one of the military passengers was in charge of the flak crews on deck, and the flak men obeyed this officer and not the captain. This is not normal German Navy practice. Thus when a string of enemy bombers flew towards the submarine and Fehler ran to the bridge and ordered the gun crews to open fire, the gunners ignored him. The bombers passed overhead without attacking the submarine in broad daylight.
U-234 arrived unscathed in Norway. Finding the reason behind the mysterious immunity of the submarine to attack has plagued me ever since. For all RAF aircraft in the Kattegat to ignore the submarines can only be explained by the following:
(1) There was a secret agreement between the British Government and the German Navy to allow U-234 and the three Type XXIII submarines free passage. Although I consider this nonsensical, it is the basic conspiracy theory of the book "Ultramar Sur" by Salinas and De Napoli (Ed. Norma, Buenos Aires, 2002).
(2) There was a mysterious equipment aboard U-234 which
(i) either made the boat and its surroundings invisible up to 3300 yards, or
(ii) created a magnetic field around the boat up to 3300 yards so that when aircraft reached the perimeter of the field it began to affect their engines and electronics causing them to pull out of the attack for fear of crashing into the sea.
Obviously there had to be some kind of rational explanation, yet 2(ii) seemed to be the only idea which offered some kind of solution. And there for ten years I had to let it rest.
U-977 was one of the two German submarines which surrendered in Argentina after the war. The boat was commanded by Oberleutnant Heinz Schäffer. This officer wrote a successful book about his career and particularly the last voyage of U-977. The published version of his book was not the original manuscript. This was written in 1950 and censored to exclude certain sensitive details about the voyage.
In 2006 the unexpurgated version was published for the first time under the title "El secreto del U-977" by HISMA Buenos Aires (ISBN 987 - 22996- 0 - 9) and - lo and behold! - here is another mystery similar to that of U-234.
U-977 had a special mission to fulfil in the first week of May 1945. Schäffer was to take U-977 from Kiel to Norway, sail into the English Channel, enter the port of Southampton and sink shipping there. At that stage of the war this was a suicide mission for any Type VII boat which was not either invisible or hiding inside a force field.
First Schäffer had to get from Kiel to Norway through the Kattegat. After being given his mission by Admiral Dönitz, he went to Waffen-SS HQ in Berlin for a demonstration of the advanced new weapons including "the death ray". This was April 1945 and yet:
There reigned such confidence in final victory as I had never experienced before, not even after the conclusion of the French campaign in 1940 ~Schäffer, p.184
Obviously the SS did not believe that victory was still possible a fortnight before the end, but that victory was ultimately possible in the long run because of the new weapons developments is an acceptable theory for this euphoria.
Schäffer does not state that he had any special equipment aboard U-977 for the run through the Kattegat. The only suspicion that there was some kind of unconventional defence is his description of being surrounded by twelve RAF aircraft with rockets below the wings. These rockets could go straight through the hull of a U-boat and exit the other side - certain destruction. The enemy aircraft circled and circled around U-977 at a respectable distance but they never attacked, and in the end after a few hours watching them Schäffer reached deeper water and submerged. The aircraft trailed him for a little while, and then lost interest.
Here again is an inexplicable case of enemy aircraft seeing a U-boat, circling it, but never attacking. Here again we have either the British Government conspiracy theory, or the invisible U-boat, or the U-boat with a protective force field.
Because of these two cases I began to believe strongly in the force field. And there is a corollary. If a submarine can hide behind a force field, then so can its base. And its base can hide behind a giant force field be it in Patagonia or Antarctica.
But where was one to obtain the absolute proof that such a thing as a force field aboard a U-boat existed? It was a tall order. I had almost given up hope of finding an answer when a Spanish researcher friend contacted me a few weeks ago and asked: "Have you ever seen this material before?"
What this material was forms Parts Three
OCCURRENCES: On separate occasions in 1958, 1959 and 1960 an unidentified submarine was detected inside a body of water known as Golfo Nuevo on the coast of Argentina. The apparent purpose of the intrusion seems to have been to prove the invulnerability of the submarine. The Argentine Navy handled the first two intrusions, the US Navy was called in for the 1960 event which is considered the greatest submarine hunt in history.
LOCATION: Golfo Nuevo is an almost enclosed body of water of circular form on the South Atlantic coast of Argentina between 42°30' S and 43°S. Access into the gulf from the sea is by way of a single entrance ten miles wide.
The gulf has a maximum extent West to East of 50 sea miles, and North to South 40 sea miles. At its deepest it is 174 metres. The town and important anti-submarine naval base of Puerto Madryn is located inshore. Friendly submarines do not frequent the gulf, which has no facilities for them.
FIRST OCCURRENCE, 1958: On 23 May 1958 Argentine President Arturo Frondizi announced: "On Wednesday 21st May 1958, destroyers engaged in a routine exercise detected electronically a subaquatic noise north west of the small port of Cracker in the Golfo Nuevo. The noise was identified as a submarine travelling at high speed. As is the procedure in such cases in waters of Argentine jurisdiction, the destroyers carried out depth charge attacks. During the operation a periscope was seen. After the attack patches of oil were found on the surface. The Navy carried out a search until Thursday afternoon but this was unsuccessful."
The periscope sighted from various points of the destroyer "Buenos Aires" was brown in colour. A schnorchel was also seen. An Argentine naval force consisting of three cruisers, four destroyers, two support ships and a tug, three Catalina aircraft, a DC-4, five NA bombers and twelve Corsairs was assembled and began to comb the waters of Golfo Nuevo. All ships expended their full inventory of depth charges repeatedly. Military sources calculated that the submarine had an average speed of 8 to 10 knots. There were a number of reports suggesting "that the submarine was of a type used by Germany in the Second World War" but the impression existed amongst the naval chiefs "that it must be much more advanced".
On 10 June 1958, more than two weeks after the operation began; the hunt was abandoned, naval observers at Puerto Madryn reporting that "the intruder had left the gulf at a fast speed, certainly faster than at any time during the 17 days when it was bottled up in Golfo Nuevo."
SECOND OCCURRENCE: It was reported in the magazine "Blanco y Negro", Madrid, issue 2494, 20 February 1960, that an unidentified submarine had been detected in Golfo Nuevo in October 1959, and had remained there for five days. Despite an intensive air-sea search by units of the Argentine Navy, the intruder "had escaped easily".
THIRD OCCURRENCE: At 0930 on 31 January 1960 the torpedo boat "Cervantes" obtained a sonar contact of an object moving slowly at 90 feet, identified as a submerged submarine. A depth charge attack was carried out.
1 February 1960: In an official communiqué published in the newspaper "La Nación", the Chief of the Naval Staff Operations Centre, Capitán de Corbeta Juan Vasallo stated:
Yesterday the task force of cadets of the Naval Military School engaged on the annual training cruise on teh Atlantic coast, composed of the torpedo boat "Cervantes" and the patrol boats "King" and "Murature", obtained a sonar contact inside the entrance to Golfo Nuevo identified as a probable submarine. An air-sea task force has been assembled to investigate.
3 February 1960: Secretary of the Navy Contraalmirante Clement announced that more warships had been attached to the task force. He considered it probable that there were two submarines "because these boats generally operate in pairs."
4 February 1960: After hours and hours of depth-charging by seaplanes it was thought that the submarine must have been destroyed. Escape was impossible, for a minefield had been laid across the ten-mile wide entrance to the gulf, and a large foce of anti-submarine vessels stationed on listening watch seaward of the minefield. The search force was finding it impossible to obtain a bearing on the boat by radar, sonar or hydrophones. Although the submarine could be heard, its geographical location was impossible to establish. This made it extremely difficult to attack the boat.
For days and days the aimless attacks went on. At night hundreds of flares lit the night sky while ships' searchlights swept the waters. Up and down, up and down they steamed, depth-charging then listening, then depth-charging again. It had become a wonderful festival for all the many holidaymakers who visit Puerto Madryn at this season of the year.
10 February 1960: The submarine was confirmed as being audible within the gulf. Ten warships waited in a semi-circle beyond the minefield while maritime aircraft circled overhead. The corvette "La República" had arrived with replacements including many experienced sonar operators while Argentine marines occupied Cracker to prevent a possible landing. On this day at 2245 hrs a second submarine surfaced in international waters. This was considered to be a lure. The newspaper "La Nación" quoted military sources next day as saying that the surfaced submarine "has a profile very similar to the German Type XXI wartime U-boat. It is said that the design has been copied and can make 16 knots submerged." This boat had "great manoeuvrability" and had made "audacious attempts to draw off the Argentine Fleet to allow the intruder to escape from the gulf."
11 February 1960: Argentine President Frondizi ordered an all-out attack to destroy the intruder. He had thirteen warships and forty aircraft available.
13 February 1960: Modern depth-charges, flares, sonar buoys and other advanced anti-submarine weaponry arrived from the United States together with WWII anti-submarine veterans. The US technical team was led by Captain Ray Pitts, Naval Operations HQ reporting directly to Vicealmirante Raga, Chief of Argentine Naval Operations. The new depth charges were of terrific effect and could destroy a submarine down to 200 metres, which was deeper than anywhere in Golfo Nuevo.
On The Diplomatic Front: 13 February 1960: The Spanish newspaper "Las Provincias" published a telex from correspondent William Horsey in which he reported that the intruder submarine had been positively identified as a Type XXI German U-boat of WWII. In unconfirmed reports, oil which the boat had discharged was analyzed and found to be the kind made by satellite states of the USSR to the formula used by the Third Reich.
The Argentine Navy now issued a final ultimatum to the submarine to surface and surrender or be sunk. To avoid any possibility of an international incident, Argentina requested 26 nations including the US, USSR, Britain, France and West Germany to admit that the submarine was theirs. All answered in the negative.
The suspicion was that this must be a Soviet submarine. The Soviet naval attaché to Buenos Aires, rejcted the accusation in indignation while Vice-President Mikoyan stated "...the only thing they are going to kill in that gulf is a heap of fish." The formal denial of the Soviet Government was reinforced over the next few days when the Soviets made no attempt on the diplomatic or military fronts to assist the submarine to escape. If it had been sunk and identified as Soviet, the USSR would have been exposed to ridicule worldwide, while the USA would have made endless capital out of its part in the sinking.
14 February 1960: Two strange submarines arrived in international waters outside the gulf and began to manouevre near the Argentine Fleet. They were described as "gigantic" but the type "could not be ascertained with exactitude". Inside the gulf the depth-charging with the new, powerful explosives began, one every ten minutes all day.
15 February 1960: The naval forces reported that the intruder submarine "had the mysterious ability to avoid electronic detection." This meant that it did not return the radar beam, and its bearing could not be determined from hydrophone or sonar equipment. Late this day the Argentine Minister of Defence, Justo Vilar, announced that that submarine "must have escaped". This meant he believed it had sailed through the minefield and got between the vessels on listening watch.
17 February 1960: The patrol boats "King" and "Murature" maintained contact with the submarine briefly.
18 February 1960: Official Argentine sources reported that they were" sure that the submarine had escaped".
20 February 1960: Contact was re-established with the intruder inside the gulf, and the biggest navy-air concentration since the Second World War gathered for the "final onslaught".
21 February 1960: In the early hours the intruder surfaced. It was seen to be a Type XXI German U-boat of WW2 design. Homing torpedoes were fired but "incomprehensibly all missed". More salvoes were fired at the submarine, but these also missed. Finally the newest sonar-type torpedoes were launched. These also all missed.
22 February 1960: The intruder submarine surfaced briefly to discharge oil.
23 February 1960: The Argentine Navy reported "carefully combing the waters of Golfo Nuevo on 21 and 22 February without making any further contact with the intruder, which is believed to have escaped. It is felt however that it may return. Nevertheless the search is being stepped down...."
The following extract appeared in the "New York Times" edition of 22 March 1960, p.9 under the title "SUBMARINE HELD REAL" - "Leader of US Unit in Hunt Backs Argentine Report":
Washington 21 March (UPI): Captain Ray M Pitts, who headed a US unit in Argentina during last month's submarine scare, believes there was a foreign submarine in Golfo Nuevo.
He said in an interview that there was much evidence he was not free to speak about. He added that he had talked with persons who said they had seen the intruder. He said he was confident those persons were telling the turth.
Captain Pitts is assistant director of the Navy's Undersea Warfare Division. Eight members of the 13-man US Expedition sent to Argentina to help hunt for the submarine were killed in the plane collision February 25 over Rio de Janeiro."
MY PERSONAL INTERPRETATION:
(1) The intruder submarine survived apparently unscathed the greatest ever anti-submarine onslaught the world has known. It was apparently present in Golfo Nuevo for 25 days. It exhibited abilities which convince me that it was protected by a force-field or was actually in another magnetic field and immune to any force applied against it. The submarine could not be hit by torpedo, which all appeared to be mysteriously deflected. Although audible, its geographical position submerged could not be fixed by radar, sonar, sonar buoy or hydrophones.
(2) The Argentine Navy obviously knows more about this submarine than ever it let on. This can be seen from the statement made on 3 February by the Navy Secretary that "these boats generally operate in pairs". How would he know that? On 10 February the Argentines described the intruder vessel as having been "copied". How would they tell the difference between a replica and a well-maintained original Type XXI?
(3) Argentine naval sources concluded that the most reasonable explanation of the intruder submarine's origin was that it was operated from a secret base in Patagonia by some unknown extra-national force. Since the submarine was a WWII Type XXI Elektro-boot, the implication was obviously the Fourth Reich.
(4) The unconfirmed report that the oil discharge from the submarine was of Soviet-satellite manufacture, and Vice-President Mikoyan's cryptic comment that "all they are going to kill in that gulf is a heap of fish" lead one to suspect a Soviet involvement. Mikoyan´s comment betrays his prior knowledge that the submarine was invulnerable.
(5) In certain other reports immediately post-war (the Swedish Ghost Rockets 1946, Admiral Byrd in Antarctica February 1947, and the the spate of UFOs over the US in the summer of 1947) which I have posted elsewhere in the forum over recent months the suspicion amongst the US military of some kind of Soviet-Reichsdeutsch alliance is evident.
What I envisage personally is a postwar renewal of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in which the "force field" was the Reichsdeutsch bargaining counter. There is no reason to think that the Russians ever had access to the machinery of a "force field" to protect their operations on land, sea in the air or in space during the existence of the Soviet Union, for if they had we should certainly have heard of it.
The Soviets supplied the Germans in Patagonia and Antarctica with replica Type XXI U-boats and fuel, and wielded the austral U-boat Arm for their own purposes, the aim of the pact being to curb US imperialist aims in the region. Whether the purpose of this Golfo Nuevo submarine had some political objective is interesting to consider, particularly in view fo the Cuban crisis which was soon to follow.
I have heard recently from a Chilean source that the real reason for the removal of Allende in 1973 was his collaboration with the Soviet-Reichsdeutsch pact. This pact remains in force.
(6) In 1943, Admiral Dönitz was reported in the Chilean newspaper "El Mercurio" as having boasted of a safe refuge built by the U-boat Arm for the Führer "in some place in the world" and which was "invulnerable". Nowhere in the world is invulnerable if not protected by a force field of some description. In 1945, various Chilean newspapers revealed that this secret U-boat base was "within 200 kilometres of Punta Arenas" (e.g. "Notícias Gráficas de Magallanes, 27 July 1945).
(6) In the event of a global cataclysm by sudden movement of the poles, the operator whose bases are protected by a "force field" is guaranteed survival, whereas all others however so mighty have to take their (poor) chances with the rest. This has always seemed to me to be the way in which the the Second World War might finally end in victory for the defeated.
SOURCE LITERATURE (unfortunately all in Spanish):
(1) Jorge Camarasa: "Puerto Seguro", Norma Buenos Aires, 2006, Appendix I, ISBN 987-545-370-6.
The last known sighting of Type XXI U-boats in Argentine waters was related in the Trelew "Crónica" of 27 November 1996:
On Tuesday 17 August 1971, Manfredo Braunmüller, 56, flying a small aircraft from Viedma, Buenos Aires province to La Adela on the coast of the Valdez Peninsula, was over the Golfo San Matías. The day was one of exceptional calm with full overcast. He observed three submarines navigating on the surface off normal shipping routes. One submarine was trailing oil and he formed the opinion that the vessels were heading for a cove in the gulf to repair. He used two rolls of film to photograph the submarines, which were identified as Type XXI U-boats as used by Germany at the end of the Second World War, and immediately after landing, Braunmüller handed one roll to Almirante Gnavi, C-in-C Argentine Navy. Gnavi had been involved personally in the 1960 U-boat hunt in Golfo Nuevo, when he had investigated the report of Carlos Pérez, bishop of Comodoro Rivadavia, who claimed to have seen a submarine surface near Punta Pardelas in Golfo Nuevo.
It would appear from Braunmüller´s remarks that the Argentine Navy did not consider "the submarines photographed" offered any threat to Argentina and accordingly it was now official policy "to let them do what they wanted.
Source: Camarasa, "Puerto Seguro", p.258-259.
Now let us recapitulate what this submarine could do
Pursued by up to fifteen anti-submarine vessels and forty naval aircraft and bombers, the submarine appears to have survived undamaged in an almost enclosed body of water no more than 50 miles across at any point. Why was it there for the third time in three years? Is there something about the Golfo Nuevo we need to suspect?
The submarine was continually bombed and depth-charged with the most advanced explosives manufactured in the United States. The period of the assault was 24 days without being sunk. Although the submarine could be heard, and was occasionally seen, it was found impossible to fix or triangulate its position by sonar, sonar buoy, radar or hydrophones. This would appear to indicate that though definitely present in the Golfo Nuevo, so far as modern electronics are concerned, it was not there geographically.
The Argentine Navy using US torpedoes was unable to torpedo a stationary submarine with salvo after salvo of the most modern down to the most primitive kind of torpedo.
In the hundreds of wartime "foo-fighter" reports, no air-gunner's report can ever be found which explains what happened to bursts of fire into the "foo-fighter". The phenomenon could not be shot down, but it remains a State secret on the part of the USAF and RAF why MG rounds had no effect.
Similarly, although the Argentine warships fired on the submarine from their deck guns when it was stationary on the surface, they always missed the target but there is no report of how the shells behaved. This appears to be another State secret. If we knew that they deviated, or appeared to go directly through the target, this would provide reason to suspect either a force-field or the submarine being in an interpenetrating dimension.
If the Soviets had had this technology, one feels sure that we would have heard about a military and propaganda usage earlier than a commercial usage. But they denied that the submarine was theirs, then or afterwards. The disappearance of the Soviet Union was not also the disappearance of Russia, and if what Castelbravo says is true, the Russian Federation now has the technology. This seems to be stretching things.
It seems obvious that the Argentine Navy knows what these submarines are, where they come from and that they pose no threat to Argentina. CastleBravo does not seem to realize that in 1971, at the height of the Cold War, three Soviet submarines making for a deserted Argentine cove to "repair" would have been a serious international incident.
A further UFO incident at the mouth of Golfo Nuevo was reported in a NICAP publication, Vol 3, Aug/Sep 1965. Fuller details can be found at: www.waterufo.net/item 248. An official Argentine Navy bulletin released to NICAP reports that on 12 November 1963 off the mouth of Golfo Nuevo, Argentina, the Argentine Navy transport ARA "Punta Medanos" sighted a large unidentified airship, "huge and round" about 2000 metres astern. It displayed nio lights and was soundless. At the time of sighting, the needles of the ship's magnetic compasses swung towards the UFO "suddenly and simultaneously". The power causing this electro-magnetic interference is indicated by the distance involved, 2000 metres. The sighting lasted 55 minutes. A full investigation was made by the Argentine Hydrographic Service.
An interesting example of the way in which "sensitive" sightings are falsified by the various media is demonstrated in this case as follows. Compare the foregoing material of this thread with the following:
The Argentinian Navy tracked two USOs thinking that they were US submarines. Eventually the two items broke apart and flew out of the water.
(2) Ufo-experiences.blogspot.com html is "a blog to inform the public about the UFO subject...created by Aileen Garoutte, previously Director of the UFO Contact Centre International", and so she should know better...
In a bulletin issued in December 2006 she says:
In 1960 the Argentinian Navy tracked two unidentified submerged objects in the Golfo Nuevo. At first it was thought they were US submarines, but then they appeared to break apart and fly out of the water and vanish. Paul went on to tell us that the Soviet leader at the time Nikita Khrushchev was so impressed with the report that he ordered his representative in Buenos Aires to find out more about the event.
New information has now come to light regarding U-boat activities around Golfo Nuevo. On 7 March 1942 the CO, Third Argentine Destroyer Division advised his superior, CO Destroyer Squadron of a sighting:
Today 1730 hrs when the Division was heading to enter Golfo Nuevo, destroyer San Juan signalled: 'After seeing wake and ripples, hydrophones station reported a submerged vessel one to two kilometres off port bow, position 42°55' 64°01'....
On 25 March 1942 in his report to Navy Minister Fincati, Admiral Sueyro stated:
This is not the first time that such reports have been received by me, all from the same area, Golfo Nuevo, but at different times since last year.
There was little, if any, known German hostile U-boat activities off the Argentine coast, yet here as early as 1941 submarines were being sighted visually at the entrance to Golfo Nuevo.
In the SA newspaper "Der Stürmer" of 17 June 1938, thus before the outbreak of war, Dönitz had stated:
The German Navy is proud. It has built for the Führer and Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler an absolutely impregnable retreat where he will be safe from all enemies."
No "absolutely impregnable" place has ever existed on Earth, and so we should be thinking that this retreat is in an adjacent dimension.If these boats were coming to the Argentine coast from an island, this would make some sense of all the sightings during the war and subsequently.
Inconstant Atlantic Islands
The apparition of mysterious "phantom" islands in the Atlantic from time to time reinforces the idea of a parallel world which interpenetrates our own. There may also be a clue here to USO bases in the Atlantic.
The three islands to which I call attention are:
(1) San Borondon in the Canaries. Over the last two thousand years this island has been reported by thousands of witnesses from neighbouring islands and has been visited on several occasions. When it appears it is visible from the Canary islands of La Gomera, La Palma and Hierro. San Borondon usually appears during freak atmospheric conditions. It is claimed by Spain under the Treaty of Elvira in 1519. A very long article on Son Borondon appears in Wikipedia under "Phantom Islands - St Brendan's Isle". The island was last seen in 2003.
(2) In 1762 the Spanish sealer "Aurora" reported a group of three uncharted islands halfway between the Falklands (Malvinas) and South Georgia in position 52º37'S 47º49'W. The islands were seen by other ships and in 1794 the Spanish corvette "Alrevida" reported sighting them at "53ºS 48ºW". This was the last sighting. The islands were included on maps until at least 1856, and can be seen on the 1814 South America map of John Thomson, Edinburgh cartographer which I consulted on the Internet.
(3) In 1670 the Dutch navigator John Lindeman found a "low-lying island with a central peak" in a position whose coordinates he gave as "30º45'S 19º40'W". The longitude was wrong, and the island, which he named "Saxemberg" was not seen again for nearly half a century.
The Australian explorer Matthew Flinders could not find the island when he searched for it in 1801, but in 1804 Captain Galloway of the US ship "Fanny" reported an uncharted island corresponding in shape to Lindeman's description in the area reported and kept it under observation for four hours.
In his book "A Voyage to Terra Australis", Matthew Flinders wrote that in 1810 he met the Earl of Caledon who showed him a log extract for 22 September 1809 provided by Captain Long of the sloop HMS "Columbus":
...5pm. Saw island of Saxenburg(sic) bearing ESE about 41 leagues distant: clear weather. Steered for said island, found it to be in latitude 30º18'S 28º20'W or thereabout (halfway between the Cape of Good Hope and Southern Brazil). The island is about four leagues in length and about two and one half miles in breadth. The NW end is a high buff of about 70 feet, perpendicular form, and runs along to the SE about eight miles. You will see trees at about one and a half miles distance and a sandy beach.
Flinders observed that it was not surprising the island had not been seen much more frequently because the longitude was "9º too little". Captain Long reported a great deal of bird activity around the islands. Several residents of the island of St Helena claimed to have proof of the existence of Saxemberg. Major-General Beatson reported that he had drawings of the island depicting various kinds of plant life.
In 1816 Captain Head of the sailing ship "True Briton" viewed the island for six hours and this is the last known report.
Here we have apparently an image of our own ocean in which over the centuries at least three mysterious islands appear and disappear from time to time. San Borondon in the Canaries, Saxemberg between Uruguay/Brazil and the Cape of Good Hope, Aurora between the Falklands and South Georgia: of these the first two have been trodden by human foot and are substantial and not explained as mirages or optical illusions. Of course, scientists are much more knowledgeable than this writer and by all means it is possible that the two South Atlantic islands may have sunk or been destroyed by natural forces, yet the scientific idea of an island "floating" for centuries "hove-to" above 2000 fathoms seems very unlikely, and San Borondon provides the model for the probability - that these three islands exist in the other world and appear for periods of time in our own.
Antonio Las Heras in his book "Informe sobre los visitantes extraterrestres" (Buenos Aires, 1974 p.57) wrote:
It is well known that in our country (Argentina) there are at least two routes used frequently by UFOs: one comes in from the Atlantic over the mesapotamic provinces (Entre Rios, Santa Fe), and the other comes up from the south over the coast and up through Buenos Aires province....we are in agreement regarding secret submarine bases in the Argentine Sea...
There is no evidence for where these USO bases might be. Certainly there is no evidence that USO flights might originate from the inconstant islands of Saxemberg and Aurora, but I bear in mind the fact that flights from either would cross the coast at the places indicated and then head for the mountainous province of Salta, where the vehicles sighted tend to disappear.
I have run across a book written by one of the Argentine captains during the 1960 event. Jorge F Schwarz commanded the State Yacht "Yamanta". In his fictionalized version of the event based on the true facts "Operación Golfo Nuevo" (publ. Inst. de Publicaciones Navales del Centro Naval, Buenos Aires ISBN 950-899-044-9), Schwarz reports that the U-boat was reported on three occasions during the preceding fortnight:
18 January 1960 45°03'S 64°17'W State Yacht "Yamana" - 'observed apparent periscope close by this unit probable submarine'
21 January 1960 43°34'S 63°51'W Fleet tanker "La Plata" - "have sighted unidentified submarine heading north estimate 10 knots, saw periscope and tower
23 January 1960 from Neptune P2V aircraft - "Have filmed contact visual submarine on surface course 012° at position 44° 05'S 61°22'W, dark grey, tower tall and thin, no crew seen."
The submarine finally entered Golfo Nuevo on 31 January 1961 for the major event after lurking near the entrance for two weeks. Needless to say the film of the submarine taken on 23 January has never been published.
As the result of studying recently released archive material and a book published in Argentina by a naval officer it is now possible to indicate that the Type XXI submarines in Golfo Nuevo
(1) deliberately attracted the Argentine Navy into the Gulf for the demonstration.
(2) used advanced techniques against Argentine warships to remain immune, particularly by seeking layers of water of poor auditory conductivity to "hide". They could also exactly imitate the movement of Argentine warships, and sail directly below them for hours at a time. Since Argentine depth charges were not effective below 150 metres, it was thought that the submarines spent long periods of time on the bottom at 175 metres.
Contrary to earlier reports the Argentines did not mine the entrance to the gulf. They did not wish to do anything which might prevent the submarine(s) leaving.
A body was recovered on 10 February 1960. This was of a human frogman. His equipment was examined but the oxygen rebreather tanks and his clothing were found to lack any labels by which the manufacturer could be identified. It was thought the diver had been making attempts to carry out an external repair when he was killed by the blast from a depth charge.
In a newspaper report of a speech by the Navy Minister on 12 February 1960, it was alleged that the submarine had some kind of "ray" which neutralized all electronic detection equipment aboard the warships. If so, this "ray" would also explain why all torpedoes of the most advanced kinds which were fired at the surfaced submarine on 19 February also missed.
This would only leave the depth charging to be explained. These charges were of terrific destructive force and there was no area of the gulf where the submarine could have hidden to escape the effects. The submarine was also not damaged when shelled by the deck guns of the destroyers. This would indicate that the submarine had the ability to "shelter" in an adjacent dimension.
In a recent conversation with a 90-year old who had worked for the ELMA shipping line during the war, I was told that this company was hand in glove with the German Navy in Argentina in the war years. After the war ELMA employed as a ship's master the former commander of U-977, Heinz Schäffer. An ELMA ship, "Naveiro" also reported a close encounter with a mysterious submarine in 1967.
Conventional U-boats were reported off Golfo Nuevo by Argentine naval units from 1941 onwards. The old gentleman also stated that the Germans were based on three islands "which appear on no map". From this I inferred that the islands are to be found "beyond the veil".
Re: The US Navy and the Greatest USO Hunt in History
I have now written a long article with much more information on the 1960 incident in Golfo Nuevo from Argentine naval and newspaper sources. This is now available at: