The Case Of Oscar Linke And Flying Saucers Over Cold War Berlin

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 21, 2017
Last Updated
October 13, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
13 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Of the many files released by the CIA, the one bearing the title Flying Saucers In East Germany from 9th July 1952 is one of the most interesting. The account would find its way to the CIA from a Greek newspaper after the main witness, Oscar Linke would testify of his claims before a judge.

The fact that such CIA files exist, and have done since as far back as the 1940s and 50s, should show the interest governments around the world had in such matters, despite their insistence to the contrary. Taking such intelligence reports from “open sources” such as foreign or international newspapers is more commonplace than many might think.

Linke craft drawing.

Linke craft drawing.

What perhaps makes Linke’s encounter even more intriguing is that he and his family would escape the oppression of Soviet-controlled East Germany and into the relative freedom of West Germany before the incident became known. In fact, the encounter would largely contribute to Linke’s decision to uproot his family in the first place. The Soviet regime would go out of its way to dismiss even the notion of UFO activity. In fact, in the days of the Cold War, they would squarely lay the blame to its own citizens of any strange aerial sightings as being “the evils of the United States!”

East Germany, Summer 1952

While the CIA account shows the date of July 1952, it is likely that the encounter happened a month or two prior to this. Forty-eight-year-old Oscar Linke was enjoying the countryside as he made his way home on his motorcycle with his eleven-year-old daughter, Gabrielle beside him. [1]

Suddenly, the motorcycle’s tire blew out on the outskirts of Hasselbach, a small town near Berlin. Deciding they would have to walk to Hasselbach, Oscar and Gabriella set off, pushing the motorcycle as they did. Shortly after, with twilight beginning to take hold, Gabriella informed her father of something in the distance in front of them.

Believing it to be a deer, Oscar would lean his crippled motorcycle against a tree so that he could obtain a better look. When he did, he realized it wasn’t a wild animal of any sort. Now, only forty meters from them, two men wearing “shiny metallic clothing” were looking down at something on the ground. On their front, a light would periodically light up at seemingly regular intervals.

Linke and translator.

Linke and translator.

Quietly, Oscar approached the two men. By the time he was but ten meters from them, he could see an object “like a huge frying pan!” in front of him. Two “rows of holes” adorned the front of the apparent craft, while a black “conical tower” sat on top.

Oscar would later state he could accept it was a mistake by both himself and his daughter if it wasn’t for the fact that the ground on which the UFO had hovered (examined by Oscar later), had distinct fresh markings of activity of some kind.

Alerted For Take Off!

Breaking the silence, Gabriella would call out in fright to her father. The two men were now alert to their presence and promptly entered the craft through the black tower on the top. At the same time, the holes along the front and sides of the object began to light up. First, a green color that rapidly morphed into red.

A distinct hum was now also noticeable, and as Oscar and Gabrielle watched, the conical tower would “slide down” until it was part of the top of the craft. As it did so, the object would rise from the ground and “rotate like a top!”

From his vantage point, it appeared to Oscar that the conical tower then appeared at the bottom of the craft, before making its way back to the top. All the while, it was rising further and further into the sky, flames seeming to surround it.

A whistling sound pierced the skies as the craft eventually leveled into a horizontal position, facing north. In a second, it vanished. Interestingly, there were many reports of “comets” in and around this area of East Germany around this time – at least that is what the Soviet reports say they were.

Linke's daughter being interviewed.

Linke’s daughter being interviewed.

Fear Of “Government Intervention”

Oscar would state that the encounter would leave him feeling terrified. He firmly believed he had witnessed a top-secret Soviet military aircraft, stating he had “never heard the term flying saucer” until he had made it safely from the Soviet Zone and into West Germany.

He, as did many of the residents of East Germany during the Cold War days, heard many stories of “restricted movements” and even arrest for those who “got too close” to such secret activities.

Oscar would admit that he was “seized with fright as the Soviets do not want anyone to see their work. Many persons have been restricted to their movements for many years in East Germany because they know too much!”

Needless to say, if Oscar Linke had not made it to the West when he did, it is highly likely that his encounter would slip through the gaps of history. Not to mention what fate may or may not have awaited him had he chosen to speak of his encounter from Soviet-controlled Germany.

Whether the encounter was an extra-terrestrial one is open to a certain amount of debate, but it has the hallmarks of many others of the time. And given that the information in the CIA documents remained secret until recently, it certainly doesn’t appear to be an act of propaganda against the Soviet Union and the treatment of its citizens.

Check out the video below. It looks at the secrecy with which the old Soviet Union would operate concerning UFOs.

Many Other UFO Encounters Of The Second World War

We have touched on several UFO and alien encounters that took place during the early 1940s – certainly before Roswell. However, the fact is, there are a small plethora of UFO encounters during the years of the Second World War – particularly in the skies over Europe. Many of these can be found in the book Military Encounters With Extraterrestrials: The Real War of the Worlds by Frank Joseph. [2]

Perhaps a good place to start would be the encounter of Albert Lancashire in September 1942. He was on duty at the Cresswell radar base situated on the northeast coast of England. As he surveyed the skies overhead, the bright sun gleaming in the blue heavens, he suddenly noticed a luminous sphere moving above him. He immediately thought it was strange as the object appeared to make no noise whatsoever.

A depiction of a UFO over a military hangar

A depiction of a UFO over a military hangar

He continued to watch for several moments. Just as he was about to move in order to raise the alarm suspecting an enemy craft, he witnessed the craft suddenly emit a large “foot-wide beam of bright yellow light”. This “struck him in the face” which almost immediately resulted in a “floating sensation”. Then, everything went black.

He wasn’t sure whether it was seconds or minutes later, but the next thing he knew he was waking up several yards from where he was previously stood. He got up and brushed himself down. He realized he was unharmed, and after checking the sky and confirming that the strange object had gone, he simply returned to his post. He contemplated reporting the incident but quickly decided against it.

However, almost 50 years later, after having forgotten about the entire incident, he suddenly recalled what had happened. He would remember that he “walked up a beam of light” and taken on board a craft “by a pygmy-sized man”. This is perhaps the only confirmed (eventually) official alien abduction cases of alien abduction during the Second World War.

The Roman “Ray” Sabinksi Incident

Around three months before the incident over the Cresswell radar base, on the evening of 25th June 1942, another UFO incident unfolded. This time, the incident took place in the air during a return part of a mission over Germany. He was connected to the British Royal Air Force as a Polish volunteer.

It was as his plane was crossing over the Netherlands when he was suddenly alerted to a “very bright light” that was seemingly following their aircraft. The crew assumed that a Nazi aircraft was in pursuit. However, when the strange craft came closer, it became clear to both men that the craft was not at all anything either had ever seen before. In fact, it appeared – similarly to the craft witnessed by Lancashire in the United Kingdom – like a strange, glowing sphere.

A depiction of a UFO over war-torn Europe

A depiction of a UFO over war-torn Europe

As soon as the craft was within distance to fire their guns, the gunner discharged their loads. However, amazingly all they noticed was that the bullet neither penetrated the strange craft nor did they bounce off it. The craft then began to perform moves in the air that was unlike anything a conventional aircraft was capable of.

The gunners continued to fire upon it but to no avail, despite the fact that the craft was right on target. They simply appeared to disappear. Then, after the onslaught, the craft “took off at a fantastic speed”. The crew watched the craft as it “disappeared between the stars”. Sabinski would later learn that another crew traveling a little behind their plane had also seen the craft.

Several months later, at the end of November 1952, another similar incident would unfold.

UFO Sighting Over Turin During Allied Bombing Mission

On the evening of 28th November 1942, a fully crewed Lancaster bomber took off from the runway of the airbase in Syerston in Lincolnshire in the UK on its way on a bombing mission over Turin in Italy. The mission itself was a success. And shortly after midnight, the Lancaster prepared to return home.

However, as they did so, each of the crew noticed a long cigar-shaped object, around 200 to 300 feet long with four pairs of red lights along its side, each at an equal distance from the other. The crew continued to watch the craft. It was at the same altitude they were and appeared to move at a steady pace of 500 miles per hour.

A depiction of a UFO over Europe

A depiction of a UFO over Europe

It eventually just vanished, as if into thin air. However, several moments later, it reappeared, this time slightly above them. It remained there for several moments before heading away from the Lancaster’s location toward the Alps. The captain of the Lancaster would later claim during his report that he had witnessed almost an exact same craft during a bombing mission over Amsterdam several months earlier.

Although the sighting remained secret, veteran UFO researcher and author, David Clarke, would reveal that the report was kept in top-secret files by the Royal Air Force. The file states that “the crew refuses to be shaken in their story in the face of the usual banter and ridicule”.

It would appear that UFO sightings began increasing in 1942, perhaps following the increased aerial battles and patrolling of Nazi and Allied aircraft in the skies over Europe. They weren’t, however, limited only to that year.

“Flying Saucers Are Real” And They Are “Interplanetary”

Just under two years later in September 1944, another bizarre sighting occurred off the coast of England as a reconnaissance plane returned from a mission over the occupied territories of Europe. As they neared home, a “metallic UFO” approached their plane from out of nowhere and “shadowed them”. It is claimed that the crew managed to capture a picture of the strange craft, which they submitted in their report.

The incident remained out of the public arena for over half a century before finally being released to the general public. And these orders of secrecy are said to have been issued right from the top by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. What is perhaps interesting about this is the fact that, although Churchill was sent such UFO reports throughout the war, he would usually dismiss them as the result of fatigue and the general fear and agitated state of aerial battles.

However, in part due to the absolute sincerity of the crew, as well as the alleged photograph they had managed to capture – of an object that “hovered noiselessly”, no less – this particular sighting prompted Churchill to call together an immediate secret meeting involving high-ranking military members as well as the country’s top scientists.

Air Marshall Lord Hugh Dowding

Air Marshall Lord Hugh Dowding

According to the reports eventually released to the public, after dismissing the notion that it could be a top-secret experimental missile of the Nazis, the room agreed that the craft was “totally beyond any imagined capabilities of the time”.

One of the people present at the meeting was Air Marshall Lord Hugh Dowding. He would eventually go as far as to claim that “flying saucers are real”, before elaborating that “they are interplanetary” and that more than “10,000 sightings have been recorded”.

Secret Meetings And A Suppressing Of UFO Information

Let’s stick with the comments of Dowding for a moment. Whether the comments were merely his opinion or whether they were based on information that he would have surely been privy to is perhaps open to debate. The fact is, though, it is perfectly clear – and now confirmed – that high-ranking members of the UK military and authorities (and likely other members of the Allied Forces) were perfectly aware of the strange crafts that were traversing the war-torn skies over Europe in the early 1940s.

Part of the reasons for such secrecy was undoubtedly the tight security of war. However, it is also clear that the authorities feared creating panic among the general population. This in itself could have easily been taken advantage of by the Nazi regime, for example. There were other considerations, though. It is claimed that Churchill also feared that the news would not only create panic throughout the population but that it would “destroy one’s belief in the Church”.

Shortly after the incident, it is claimed that Churchill would hold extensive talk with the President of the United States of the time, Franklin Roosevelt. And these talks would last for several days. He too had reports on “non-terrestrial science and technology”. It would come to light that the American authorities had reports of UFOs going right back to the start of the war. And it is there we will briefly turn our attention next.

Did A Crashed UFOs Result In The Atomic Bombs Dropped Over Japan?

We have examined several alleged UFO crashes in the United States in the early 1940s, several years before the much-celebrated Roswell case. The alleged crash at Cape Girardeau in Missouri is perhaps one of the best examples and very likely one of the most credible of such reports. And, given what we know have in declassified documents, we know the military and authorities of the United States, like the United Kingdom, at the very least, was actively investigating UFOs.

For example, shortly after the Cape Girardeau, the American military (on the orders of President Roosevelt) was looking to explore “practical uses for the atomic secrets learned from the study of celestial devices”. Essentially, they were looking to understand, replicate, and weaponize alien technology.

A depiction of a UFO over a war bunker

A depiction of a UFO over a war bunker

Another top-secret White House issue states this desire even more clearly when it reads that “non-terrestrial know-how in atomic energy” should be used to create and perfect “super weapons of war” so the Allied Forces could defeat both Germany and Japan and end the war.

As unlikely and outlandish such a suggestion is, might it be that the atomic bombs eventually dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan were the result of back-engineered technology? Possibly technology recovered from the crash site in Missouri in 1941.

In the same White House paper mentioned above, Roosevelt appears to suggest that this is exactly the case. Furthermore, the reason the craft was not replicated in full was down to the costs and lack of funds because of the war. However, weaponizing the atomic aspect of it was not so costly. He does also claims, though, that following the end of the war in 1946, replicated atomic craft were tested briefly before the Air Force canceled the project due to multiple failures, including the deaths of several test pilots.

Much To Consider About The UFO Timeline

There is a lot to consider from this small collection of UFO reports and now declassified briefings alone. Perhaps the overriding factor is that extraterrestrial technology was both responsible for ending the Second World War (at least with Japan) but also in creating the weapons that would go on to hold humanity in a state of fear and panic during the Cold War.

Might it be that not only did the nuclear deployment (and the war itself) attract these cosmic visitors to Earth with a much more urgent interest but that the weapons used were a result of those crashed vehicles?

We might also consider the possibility that the Roswell crash could have been the result of military tests on back-engineered technology. A full evaluation of the “UFO timeline” is required to attempt to make order and sense of these possibilities. And even then, it would have to branch off in several different directions as all of the potential actions would need to be considered.

As many of us who begin to spend any amount of prolonged time in the UFO community realize, the more we discover about UFOs and visits to our world from apparent alien entities, the murkier the waters surrounding the UFO and alien question become.

While it is almost certain (based on historic reports) that has been a UFO presence on Earth likely going back hundreds if not thousands of years, the years of the Second World War appear to have acted as some kind of catalyst that resulted in the many sightings and reports that would kickstart what we know today as the modern UFO era.

Other UFO Cases in Germany

Of course, there have been many reported and documented sightings of UFOs over German soil since then – particularly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when information began to flow more freely. Sightings of strange crafts and lights in this region of Europe, however, were not unheard of throughout the thirties and forties.

Perhaps the most well-known (and controversial given the lack of concrete proof) is an apparent incident in the Black Forest in 1936, where there are reports of a strange craft crash landing, and of its recovery by Hitler’s SS troops. There are many theories that the Nazi regime would back-engineer this recovered craft. Whether they were successful or not is open to debate, but it is known that they developed many experimental craft during the Second World War – including those of a saucer shape.

Throughout the war itself when the skies over mainland Europe and the United Kingdom were an aerial battleground, numerous pilots, from both sides of the conflict, would report strange lights and orbs. These would be referred to as Foo Fighters. Whether they were a continuation of the Nazi experimental saucer is unknown. Although most of the Nazi scientists and commanders were either divided up between the Soviets and Americans or died in the final days of the war, many were (as they are now) unaccounted for.

While it is unlikely that these apparent Nazi regime inspired crafts have any connection to the sighting of Oscar Linke, one other encounter, that occurred around a month or so after Linke’s, and a (relatively) short distance away over the skies of West Germany may be.

Before we look at that, check out the video below which looks briefly at the Foo Fighter sightings.

The Bizarre Incident Of “Saucer Sam”

While on a training flight over West Germany on 30th July 1952, Flight Sergeant Roland Hughes noticed a “gleaming, silver, metallic disc” approaching his plane at great speed. It would then fly alongside his de Havilland Vampire FB9 for a moment, before speeding away at a pace like which the pilot had never witnessed. Nor had those on the ground monitoring the RAF radars, who also had the mystery object on the screens. They too would report the speeds were “far in excess” of any known aircraft.

The craft itself was so shiny it “resembles a silver light” and had a texture like tin-foil “without a single crease or crinkle in it!” According to his later descriptions, the whole surface was “absolutely seamless”, “highly reflective”, and “metallic looking!” The size of the disc was around one-hundred foot across.

Hughes would report the sighting to his senior officer, Duncan Sandys, who, according to the reports since released to the public, took it extremely seriously.

So much so that, Hughes would receive orders to attend a meeting so as to give his account personally to the aviation minister. By the time it would land on the Defense Secretary’s desk, it would come with a warning of sorts. Essentially that it would be “unwise” to dismiss such sightings without further investigation.

Hughes for his part, didn’t talk about the encounter much, if at all, although he would go by the name of Saucer Sam [3] by his fellow pilots. Given the close proximity of the two encounters (relatively speaking), it would also perhaps be unwise to dismiss that the craft witnessed by Hughes may in all likeliness be the same as that witnessed by Oscar and Gabrielle Linke a matter of weeks earlier.

Check out the video below. It looks a little further at the conspiracies regarding the Nazi regime and UFO technology.


1 East German Flying Saucers, Disclosure News
2 Military Encounters with Extraterrestrials: The Real War of the Worlds, Frank Joseph, ISBN 9781591 433248
3 The UFO sighting that convinced a Government minister, Jasper Copping, The Telegraph, May 27th 2012

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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