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Revealed: The UFO files of the German Secret Service

Saarbrucken (Germany) – For several decades, German government officials have claimed there was never an official interest in investigating or studying the topic of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). But now, the editor of the German news-blog on frontier sciences and the paranormal “www.grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de” (GreWi.de), Andreas Muller, was able to access formerly secret UFO-files compiled by the German foreign secret intelligence agency “Bundesnachrichtendienst” (BND), which tells a complete different story.


It was in 2008 that the German Federal Minister of the Interior of that time, Dr. Wolfgang Schaeuble, repeated what other officials said several times before over the last decades, when they were asked about an official interest of German governments and the military’s interest into the topic of UFOs and its investigation, by saying:

… I have no knowledge of any official agency, institution or body that deals with or investigates sightings of unknown flying objects, so-called UFOs. Furthermore I have no knowledge of any such official projects whatsoever.

The Files

Front page of the "UFO"-files of the German foreign secret intelligence agency "Bundesnachrichtendienst" (BND). | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)
Front page of the “UFO”-files of the German foreign secret intelligence agency “Bundesnachrichtendienst” (BND). | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)

The newly revealed UFO-files by the BND now contradict this official version with a whole file-set of 67 pages already titled with “UFO”. The content of these files are “sightings of unidentified flying objects over the border zones between West Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Chechoslovakia (CSSR)”.

The files can be found under the keyword “UFOs” within the German Federal Archives (“Bundesarchiv”) based in the City of Koblenz. However, due to the fact that all documents that get released into these archives are automatically protected and embargoed for 30 years, according to the German Federal Archive Law, this files are said to be protected and closed until the year 2021. However, you can ask for such files to get released before that date. And if somebody already went through this process successfully beforehand, such files will be open also for later applicants. Likely due to the fact that the whole file also includes non-UFO-related parts about the former border between West and East Germany, someone else already got permission to view this file, which is why now the whole file – including the extensive chapter on UFOs – was already open to be viewed for everybody. However, so far the crux of the matter was that this fact is neither officially mentioned nor listed. Actually the files are still listed today as “closed until 2021” – and seemingly nobody took the trouble to ask for its current status. Until know…

The files that are listed under the identification code “B 206/1914 – Bestand B 206 des Bundesnachrichtendienstes” were obviously not created originally because the German foreign secret agency BND wanted to study unidentified flying objects because of an possible exotic or even extraterrestrial nature, but because of the fact that during the Cold War such sightings were thought to reveal possible enemy-activities or actions of espionage from the side of the Warsaw Pact states and Soviet troops stationed within the GDR and CSSR. While there are a few sightings which were reported by civilians, the majority of the listed cases were reported by members of the border patrol and frontier protection units.

And while indeed the majority of the contained and described cases can truly be easily explained by Soviet drones and probe-balloons, because the described objects completely resembled such drones of that area, like the plane-like Soviet drone “Tupolev M-141”, or conventional probe-balloons (like in many cases of official UFO-files from other countries) there is a small amount of cases that defy such explanations, not only due to the exotic nature of the observed characteristics of the sighted objects, but also because even the official investigations had problems or completely failed to explain the sightings – at least as described and covered within this very files.

All 67 pages of the BND-UFO-Files. | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)
All 67 pages of the BND-UFO-Files. | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)

Close-Encounter above German Border Guard office and Navy station in the Baltic Sea

The most interesting case of the sightings of an exotic UFO by four officials happened in 1986 on Fehmarn, Germanys third biggest island in the Baltic Sea (which was a frontier island during that time when post-WW-2-Germany was still divided into West and East).

About this event the BND-UFO-Files reveal the following:

In the early morning of 26.08.1986 (August 26, 1986), in the time between 03.00 and 03.30am, three public officers of the Border Guard office at Puttgarden, who were serving the night-shift, out of their office’s window observed a flying object that travelled in slow speed towards the ferry-station at Puttgarden.

At the same time this flying object was observed by a Puttgarden customs officer too, from the so-called “car-park” of the ferry-station which was positioned about 300 meters (about 900ft) away (from the three border guards officers).

After an extensive interview and questioning by the signer (of the report), the following circumstances were confirmed:

1) The unidentified flying object approached the ferry-station Puttgarden at the mentioned time in a comparative slow speed (in no way it was a conventional plane) coming from the West.

2) The object was flying at a height of about 50 – 60 m. (ca. 150-180ft.).

3) As it arrived (over) the ferry-station Puttgarden, it again reduced its speed even more and came to a nearly complete halt just above the mole-enclosures.

4) At this time of the observation, the border guard officers heard a sound that they described – in agreement with the customs officer – as a “comparative silently humming sound”, that could possibly be compared with the sound of that of a turbine.

5) All officers were unable to give any description about size, shape and colour of the flying object. This was due top the following reasons:

1)The night was pitch dark.

2)The object emitted such a radial blinding illumination/light, that the above mentionedo bservations were impossible to make out. One officer even speculated that the this illumination could have been switched on with the intention to avoid an identification, as the used light was neither that of navigation lights nor flood lights, as no directed cones of light went downwards.

6) After the nearly half of the object just in front of the ferry-station Puttgarden, the object continued its hovering flight in the same altitude eastwards passing above the Navy Coast station Marienleuchte on Fehmarn (ca. 600m/1800ft away).

7) Attempts of the signer to get more insights about the observations through other personnel and offices failed.

Inquiries were made to the Navy-Coast-Guard stations Westermarkelsdorf, Marienleuchte and Stabernuk (all on Fehmarn island), as well as with the flying squadron of the Border Guard command ‘Coast’ (Helicopters), the operating surveillance of the ferry-station Puttgarden, with the German ferryboats ‘Deutschland’ and ‘Karl Carstens’ and the Danish Police at Rodby.

The Puttgarden-Case alone covers 5 pages with the BND-UFO-Files. | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)
The Puttgarden-Case alone covers 5 pages with the BND-UFO-Files. | Copyright: Bundesarchiv.de (Credit: grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de)

Although the witness exclude the possibility that they had observed a plane and also excluded the option of an helicopter, the file later makes the assumption that there could be a connection to the alleged sighting of a Soviet helicopter above the West German City of Luebeck on the same morning (26.08.1986) but at 07.00am (so 4-3 hours later) that was reported by a local newspaper. Based on this assumption again further inquiries were made but again with negative result.

Assessment and Meaning of the BND-UFO-Files

Regardless of how experts in the field of UFOs and the military will finally value each case of UFO-sightings described within this newly discovered BND-files, its meaning and importance for a true understanding of the German government’s interest into the topic of UFOs can’t be valued high enough.

While the files itself are not secret or embargoed anymore because of the historical background and can be viewed by anyone at the Federal Archives in Koblenz, it is already the existence of such files in itself that makes out its value because – as said before – it totally contradicts the official position of German governments for several decades, that there is and never was any official interest, neither by the governments, its elements, ministries, bodies, institutions, military nor secret services, into the topic and study of unidentified flying objects.

Furthermore the existence of the BND-UFO-Files supports also an assessment by the politically independent Congressional Scientific Research Services (Wissenschaftliche Dienste) of the German Parliament (Bundestag) regarding the Position of the German government about UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors on Earth. This assessment concludes:

The fact that both, the United Kingdom as well as France (and several other countries), have been engaged with the question about the existence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms, and that they confirmed this interest by publishing their formerly secret files extensively even online, suggests that also German agencies and federal ministries are engaged with this problem and question.

(It might be interesting to the readers that this very assessment by the German Congressional Scientific Research Services is currently the topic of an ongoing lawsuit, in which the administration of the German Parliament is trying hard to keep the assessment from being released under the Germany freedom of information act.)

Indeed many facets of the above described BND-files reveal that such an interest at least once did exist (and likely still exist!), as the files demonstrate that there were procedures and mechanisms for reporting and investigating sighting-cases of unidentified flying objects by civilians as well and especially by officials and members of the military and border guards. One file for example is marked with the handwritten order to “please create a ‘UFO-procedure'” while others clearly show that legal and administrative assistance was sought for further investigations into some of the described UFO-sightings, and this not only to other military units but also to the Ministry of the Interior itself – so to the very same Ministry that (like others) claimed for so many years to have neither knowledge nor any interest regarding UFOs.

– Please find our even more detailed full report about the BND-UFO-Files in the original German language here: Part 1 / Part 2

Andreas Muller

Andreas Muller, is the editor of "grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de" (GreWi), the most read german language daily news-site on frontier-science and the paranormal.

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