Shortly following the end of the war in Europe, Admiral Richard Byrd led the Antarctic expedition known as Operation High Jump of 1946-1947, equipped with 13 ships, six aircraft and 4,000 men. Amongst other things, its purpose was to study weather and the skies, to measure earth tremors and magnetism, and to investigate ions in the upper air. In short, it was a scientific fact-finding expedition.

Then the mission that had been expected to last for between six and eight months, came to an early and faltering end. The Chilean press reported that the mission had "run into trouble" and that there had been "many fatalities". The official record, though, states that one plane crashed killing three men; a fourth man had perished on the ice; two helicopters had gone down although their crews had been rescued and a task force commander was nearly lost.

Rumours began to circulate that whilst Germany had been defeated, a selection of military personnel and scientists had fled the fatherland as allied troops swept across mainland Europe, and had established themselves at a secret base on the Antarctic continent, from where they continued to develop their advanced aircraft technolgoy. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that at the end of the war, the allies determined that there were 250,000 Germans unaccounted for - even taking into account casualties and deaths.

In an interview with Lee van Atta published in "El Mercurio" of Santiago, Chile on 13 March 1947 under the heading "On board Mount Olympus on the High Seas" we have the following extraordinary statement from Admiral Byrd:

"Admiral Byrd declared today that it was imperative for the US to initiate immediately defence measures against hostile regions. The Admiral further stated that he didn't want to frighten anyone unduly, but it was a bitter reality that in the course of a new war the continental US would be attacked by flying objects which could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds. Admiral Byrd repeated the above points of view resulting from his personal knowledge before a news conference for International News Services."

The phrase "from pole to pole" allows us to consider anew whether Neu Schwabenland could have been a permanently manned German base at that time. The brackish water of the warm (30 degrees) lakes virtually confirmed that all had an outlet to the sea and would thus have been a haven for U-boats. The two ice-free mountain ranges in Neu Schwabenland presented no worse an underground tunnelling project for Organisation Todt than anything they had encountered and overcome in Norway. The Germans were the world's experts at building and inhabiting underground metropolis.

Next we have to consider the form such a base might have taken. At the end of the war the United States gave anything concerning Ohrdruf a top secret classification for 100 years upwards. The fact that there had been substantial underground workings there, and that Ohrdruf was the location of the last Redoubt, was concealed absolutely. Fortunately for researchers, in 1962 the DDR had taken sworn depositions from all local residents during an investigation into wartime Ohrdruf, and upon the reunification of the two Germanys in 1989, these documents became available to all and sundry at Arnstadt municipal archive.

From the Arnstadt documents it is clear that the charite anlage unit operated in a three-story underground bunker with floors 70 by 20 metres. When working, the device emitted some kind of energy field which shut down all electrical equipment and non-diesel engines within a range of about eight miles. For this reason, even though Ohrdruf was crawling with SS, it was never photographed from the air nor bombed. Declassified USAF documents dated early 1945 admit the existence of an unknown energy field over Frankfurt/Main "and other locations" which "fantastic though it may appear" were able to "interfere with our aircraft engines at 30,000 feet."

Ohrdruf rebuilt below Neu Schwabenland during the last two years of the war would not have been difficult, and since charite anlage had the highest priority of anything in the Third Reich, it seems likely that it must have been. Such a base would have been impregnable, for the suggestion is that the force-field worked in various ways favourable to the occupants.