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FOIA declassified documents:

This is a US secret document, declassified because of the US Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA).

A memo to President Truman, 1948:

This document is the first page of a secret report from General Hoyt S. Vandenberg to President Harry Truman regarding the "Ghost Rockets" being reported over the Scandinavian countries in 1946-1947. In this document, General Vandenberg explains that these are really rockets, of German world war II technology, and launched by the Russians from the Peenemunde Base.

Interest:

This document dated August 22, 1946 shows that high military headquarters estimated that the rockets were of Russian origin, or that they had no better way to explain them to the President.

The transcription:

22 August 1946

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

Since preparation of original memorandum dated 1 August 1948 on the subject of "Ghost Rockets" over Scandinavia, additionnal intelligence indicates that the former tentative conclusions should be somehow modified.

  • 1. The weight of evidence now points to Peenemunde rather than to the Golf of Finland as the probable launching site of most of these "rockets".
    • a. While it was originally believed that the German installations at Peenemunde had been dismantled and shipped to the U.S.S.R., General McNamary now reports that Peenemunde is operational.
    • b. The U.S. Military Attache Moscow has reported that a key Swedish Officer stated that, on the basis of the Swedish radar course-plotting, most of the launching have been identified with the Peenemunde area.
    • c. An S.S.U. sources indicates that a Soviet ship is reporting by radio to shore stations on the passage of these missiles from Peenemunde over the North baltic.
    • d. The Leopoldville radio reported in July that the Soviets were warning shipping against the passage through certain parts of the Baltic and were threatening to death penalty the seamen who might disclose the "phenomena" that they saw.
  • 2. On the basis of the above evidence it seems probable that the U.S.S.R. is carrying out large-scale guided-missile tests around the Baltic, in which most of the missiles are launched from the Peenemunde area and traverse Sweden toward the Gulf of Bothnic.
  • 3. It is believed of CIG that scientific experimentation is the primary Soviet objective and that political considerations, although thoroughly appreciated, are secondary.
    • a. In view of transportation difficulties it would seem logical for the Soviets to center their experimental program around Peenemunde where manufacturing facilities, material and German personnal would be close at hand, rather than to set up new installations in Russia.

The document:

FOIA document

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This page was last updated on October 25, 2003.