Die Glocke (hoax)
Die Glocke (German: [dɪ ˈɡlɔkə], "The Bell") was a purported top-secret Nazi scientific technological device, secret weapon, or Wunderwaffe. First described by Polish journalist and author Igor Witkowski in Prawda o Wunderwaffe (2000), it was later popularized by military journalist and author Nick Cook who associated it with Nazi occultism, antigravity and free energy research. Mainstream reviewers have criticized claims about Die Glocke as being pseudoscientific, recycled rumors, and a hoax. Die Glocke and other alleged Nazi "miracle weapons" have been dramatized in video games, television shows, and novels.
In his 2001 book The Hunt for Zero Point, author Nick Cook identified claims about Die Glocke as having originated in the 2000 Polish book Prawda o Wunderwaffe (The Truth About The Wonder Weapon) by Igor Witkowski. Cook described Witkowski's claims of a device called "The Bell" engineered by Nazi scientists that was "a glowing, rotating contraption" rumored to have "some kind of antigravitational effect", be a "time machine", or part of an "SS antigravity program" for a flying saucer called the "Repulsine". Cook proposed that an SS official named Hans Kammler later secretly traded this technology to the U.S. military in exchange for his freedom. Cook's publication introduced the topic in English without critically discussing the subject. More recently, historian Eric Kurlander has discussed the topic in his 2017 book on Nazi esotericism Hitler's Monsters A Supernatural History of the Third Reich. According to reviewer Julian Strube, Kurlander "cites from the reservoir of post-war conspiracy theories" and "heavily relies on sensationalist accounts...mixing up contemporary sources with post-war sensationalist literature, half-truths, and fictitious accounts".
According to Salon reviewer Kurt Kleiner, "It's a story that strains credulity. But unless we're after cheap laughs, our hope when we pick up a book like this is that the author will, against the odds, build a careful, reasonable and convincing case. Cook isn't that author". Kleiner criticized Cook's work as "ferreting out minor inconsistencies and odd, ambiguous details which he tries to puff up into proof", characterized the process of evaluating Cook's claims as "untangling science from pseudo-science", and concluded that "what is instructive about the book is the insight we get into how conspiracy theories seduce otherwise reasonable people".
Skeptical author Robert Sheaffer criticized Cook's book as "a classic example of how to spin an exciting yarn based on almost nothing. He visits places where it is rumored that secret UFO and antigravity research is going on...and writes about what he feels and imagines, although he discovers nothing more tangible than unsubstantiated rumors". Sheaffer notes that claims about Die Glocke are circulated by UFOlogists and conspiracy-oriented authors such as Jim Marrs, Joseph P. Farrell, and antigravity proponent John Dering.
Author Jason Colavito wrote that Witkowski's claims were "recycled" from 1960s rumors of Nazi occult science first published in Morning of the Magicians, and describes Die Glocke as "a device few outside of fringe culture think actually existed. In short, it looks to be a hoax, or at least a wild exaggeration". Author Brian Dunning states that Morning of the Magicians helped promote belief in Die Glocke and Nazi occultism, and its absence in the historical record make it "increasingly unlikely that anything like it actually existed". According to Dunning, "all we have in the way of evidence is a third-hand anecdotal account of something that's desperately implausible, backed up by neither evidence nor even a corroborating account".
Author and historian Robert F. Dorr characterizes Die Glocke as among "the most imaginative of the conspiracy theories" that arose in post-World War II years, and typical of the fantasies of magical German weapons often popularized in pulp magazines such as The Police Gazette.
Some theories circulating on Internet conspiracy sites claim that Die Glocke is located in a Nazi gold train that is buried in a tunnel beneath a mountain in Poland. Duncan Roads, editor of Nexus magazine, has pointed out that the "Nazis on the Moon trope" is linked to wild speculations about Nazi anti-gravitational technology, such as Witkowski's Die Glocke.
Journalist Patrick J. Kiger wrote that German propaganda of fictional Wunderwaffen combined with the secrecy surrounding actual advanced technology such as the V-2 rocket captured at war's end by the U.S. military helped spawn "sensational book-length exposes, web sites, and legions of enthusiasts who revel in rumors of science fiction-like weapons supposedly invented by Hitler’s scientists". According to Kiger, Die Glocke is a popular example of such legends and speculation, citing former aerospace scientist David Myhra's contention that if antigravity devices actually existed, the Germans, desperate to stop the Allies' advance, would have used them.
- Die Glocke and other purported Nazi Wunderwaffen have been dramatized in the video game series Call of Duty.
- Die Glocke figures in the backstory of the 2006 James Rollins action-adventure novel Black Order.
- Die Glocke was the focus of a 2014 episode of In Search of Aliens.
- Die Glocke figures in the backstory of the 2013 A. G. Riddle action-adventure novel The Atlantis Gene. 
- Die Glocke is featured in the Assassin's Creed: Conspiracies comic as the precursor of the Animus.
- Die Glocke featured in Series 3, Episode 6, of Abandoned Engineering on the UK TV channel Yesterday, where Igor Witkowski explains his theory. Structures at Miłków and at the Wenceslas Mine are featured in the programme.
- Die Glocke is featured as a plot device in Season 4 of the 12 Monkeys.
- Die Glocke is mentioned in Season 1 Episodes 2 & 3 of Hangar 1: The UFO Files.
- Kleiner, Kurt (5 August 2002). ""The Hunt for Zero Point" by Nick Cook". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- Kingsepp, Eva (2019). "Scholarship as Simulacrum: The Case of Hitler's Monsters". Aries. 19 (2): 265–281. doi:10.1163/15700593-01902009.
One of these ‘methodologically sound’ books is Nick Cook’s (in)famous The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology (2002), where a new amazing secret Nazi super weapon, the “Nazi Bell”/“die Glocke”, was introduced to the English-speaking audience. There is no critical reflection whatsoever regarding the poor credibility regarding “die Glocke”, which is not surprising, as the general impression of Hitler’s Monsters is that it aims at providing support for spectacular ideas rather than critically examining them.
- Strube, Julian. Elwing, Jimmy; Roukema, Aren (eds.). "Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich". Correspondences: Online Journal for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism. ISSN 2053-7158.
These problems resurface in the chapters of Part Three, for instance when Kurlander cites from the reservoir of post-war conspiracy theories: his jaw dropping discussion of a topic like the alleged super weapon, die Glocke, only serves, again, to suggest that the large amount of such tales hints at some obscure kernel of truth.
- Sheaffer, Robert (January 2009). "Nazi Saucers and Antigravity" (PDF). The Skeptical Inquirer. 33 (1): 13–15.
- Colavito, Jason. "Review of In Search of Aliens S01E02 "Nazi Time Travelers"". JasonColavito.com. Jason Colavito. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- Brian Dunning (5 June 2018). Conspiracies Declassified: The Skeptoid Guide to the Truth Behind the Theories. Adams Media. ISBN 978-1-5072-0700-0.
- Robert F. Dorr (15 November 2013). Fighting Hitler's Jets: The Extraordinary Story of the American Airmen Who Beat the Luftwaffe and Defeated Nazi Germany. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-4398-2.
- Kaplan, Sarah (August 28, 2015). "A frenzy in Poland over the latest mysterious 'Nazi gold train'". Washington Post.
On the corners of the Internet inclined toward conspiracy, theories circulate that "Die Glocke" – a purported Nazi superweapon that has so far only been found in the pages of science fiction novels – might be hidden somewhere beneath those ancient mountains.
- Power, Ed (July 18, 2019). "Why are we still obsessed with the idea of Nazis on the Moon?". Daily Telegraph. London.
- Kiger, Patrick J. "Nazi Secret Weapons". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- Tack, Daniel. "Bringing The Horror Of Call of Duty: WWII Nazi Zombies To Life". Gameinformer.com. Game Informer. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- Boucher, Rod (March 17, 2007). "Nazi master race revisited". The Mercury. Hobart, Australia. p. B9.
- Fortier, Ron. "Black Order: A Sigma Force Novel". nyjournalofbooks.com. New York Journal of Books. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
- "In Search of Aliens". The History Channel. A&E Networks. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- A. G. Riddle (2013). The Atlantis Gene. Origin mystery. 1. A. G. Riddle. ISBN 978-1-940026-01-5. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
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