Ghost Rockets
Mysterious Rocket-shaped Unidentified Flying Objects Sighted in 1946

Ghost Rockets
Mysterious Rocket-shaped Unidentified Flying Objects Sighted in 1946

Ghost Rockets were strange rocket-shaped unidentified flying objects that appeared throughout Sweden and other countries mainly in the year 1946.

Some theories suggested that these UFOs may be V-2 rockets, meteors, or they might possibly be extraterrestrial in origin.

Ghost Rockets were mysterious rocket- or missile-shaped unidentified flying objects sighted in 1946, mostly in Sweden and nearby countries. The first reports of ghost rockets were made on February 26, 1946, by Finnish observers.

About 2,000 sightings were logged between May and December 1946, with peaks on the 9th and 11th of August 1946.

Two hundred sightings were verified with radar returns, and authorities recovered physical fragments which were attributed to ghost rockets.

Investigations concluded that many ghost rocket sightings were probably caused by meteors. For example, the peaks of the sightings, on the 9 and 11 August 1946, also fall within the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

However, most ghost rocket sightings did not occur during meteor shower activity, and furthermore displayed characteristics inconsistent with meteors, such as reported maneuverability and being trackable on radar. Debate continues as to the origins of the unidentified ghost rockets.

In 1946, however, it was thought likely that they originated from the former German rocket facility at Peenemünde, and were long-range tests by the Russians of captured German V-1 or V-2 missiles, or perhaps another early form of cruise missile because of the ways they were sometimes seen to maneuver.

This prompted the Swedish Army to issue a directive stating that newspapers were not to report the exact location of ghost rocket sightings, or any information regarding the direction or speed of the object.

This information, they reasoned, was vital for evaluation purposes to the nation or nations performing the tests.

However, some investigators for the Swedish military apparently believed the objects could not be conventionally explained, and instead hypothesized an extraterrestrial origin.

The early Russian origins theory was rejected by Swedish, British, and U.S. military investigators because no recognizable rocket fragments were ever found, and according to some sightings the objects usually left no exhaust trail, some moved too slowly and usually flew horizontally, they sometimes traveled and maneuvered in formation, and they were usually silent.

The sightings most often consisted of fast-flying rocket- or missile- shaped objects, with or without wings, visible for mere seconds. Instances of slower moving cigar shaped objects are also known. A hissing or rumbling sound was sometimes reported. Crashes were not uncommon, almost always in lakes.

Reports were made of objects crashing into a lake, then propelling themselves across the surface before sinking, as well as ordinary crashes. The Swedish military performed several dives in the affected lakes shortly after the crashes, but found nothing other than occasional craters in the lake bottom or torn off aquatic plants.

The best known of these crashes occurred on July 19, 1946, into Lake Kölmjärv, Sweden. Witnesses reported a gray, rocket-shaped object with wings crashing in the lake. One witness interviewed heard a thunderclap, possibly the object exploding.

However, a 3 week military search conducted in intense secrecy again turned up nothing. Immediately after the investigation, the Swedish Air Force officer who led the search, Karl-Gösta Bartoll, submitted a report in which he stated that the bottom of the lake had been disturbed but nothing found and that "there are many indications that the Kölmjärv object disintegrated itself...the object was probably manufactured in a lightweight material, possibly a kind of magnesium alloy that would disintegrate easily, and not give indications on our instruments."

The V-2 rocket was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp.

The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known non-human-piloted artifact to achieve sub-orbital spaceflight.

It is believed that some of the sightings of ghost rockets may have been attributed to the V-2 rocket.

When Bartoll was later interviewed in 1984 by Swedish researcher Clas Svahn, he again said their investigation suggested the object largely disintegrated in flight and insisted that "what people saw were real, physical objects."

On October 10, 1946, the Swedish Defense Staff publicly stated, "Most observations are vague and must be treated very skeptically. In some cases, however, clear, unambiguous observations have been made that cannot be explained as natural phenomena, Swedish aircraft, or imagination on the part of the observer. Echo, radar, and other equipment registered readings but gave no clue as to the nature of the objects."

It was also stated that fragments alleged to have come from the missiles were nothing more than ordinary coke or slag.

On December 3, 1946, a memo was drafted for the Swedish Ghost Rocket committee stating "nearly one hundred impacts have been reported and thirty pieces of debris have been received and examined by FOA" (later said to be meteorite fragments).

Of the nearly 1000 reports that had been received by the Swedish Defense Staff to November 29, 225 were considered observations of "real physical objects" and every one had been seen in broad daylight.

Although the official opinion of the Swedish and U.S. military remains unclear, a Top Secret USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) document from 4 November 1948, indicates that at least some investigators believed the ghost rockets and later "flying saucers" had extraterrestrial origins.

Declassified only in 1997, the document states:

"For some time we have been concerned by the recurring reports on flying saucers. They periodically continue to pop up; during the last week, one was observed hovering over Neubiberg Air Base for about thirty minutes. They have been reported by so many sources and from such a variety of places that we are convinced that they cannot be disregarded and must be explained on some basis which is perhaps slightly beyond the scope of our present intelligence thinking."

UFO Sweden: Reports and Ghost Rockets

When officers of this Directorate recently visited the Swedish Air Intelligence Service, this question was put to the Swedes.

Their answer was that some reliable and fully technically qualified people have reached the conclusion that 'these phenomena are obviously the result of a high technical skill which cannot be credited to any presently known culture on earth.'

They are therefore assuming that these objects originate from some previously unknown or unidentified technology, possibly outside the earth.

The document also mentioned a flying saucer crash search in a Swedish lake conducted by a Swedish naval salvage team, with the discovery of a previously unknown crater on the lake floor believed caused by the object.

The document ends with the statement that "we are inclined not to discredit entirely this somewhat spectacular theory [extraterrestrial origins], meantime keeping an open mind on the subject."

In 2012, UFO-Sweden will embark on an investigation into a “Ghost Rocket” sighting at a lake in an undisclosed location in the north of Sweden. The expedition headed by Clas Svahn chairman of UFO-Sweden, will consist of the original witnesses, members of UFO-Sweden and a professional diving team.

The aim of the expedition is to scan the lake bed using a side-scan sonar attached to an inflatable boat for any sign a of foreign objects. The divers will document any findings using underwater camera equipment which will be released as part of a documentation project that is following UFO-Sweden's ongoing investigation into the phenomenon.