"Houston, we have a problem!" (Yugoslavian space program)

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by imalko, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Upcoming Slovenian 2013 docudrama "Houston We Have a Problem" will reveal one of the biggest secrets of space race during cold war - Yugoslavian space program and it's crucial impact to USA effort to catch the USSR in the Space Race.

    Post WWII Yugoslavian leadership made rapid development based on unknown diaries of Yugoslav and world space pioneer Herman Potocnik - Noordung. Technical solutions described in Potocnik's unpublished papers were the basis for establishing secret Yugoslavian space programme in 1948, after Josip Broz Tito's conflict with Stalin.

    In late 1960, CIA discovered that Yugoslavia already had an operational space-flight technology.
    In March 1961 Yugoslavia secretly sold complete space programme to USA.
    In May 1961, Kennedy announced USA choose to go to the Moon.

    Directed by Academy Award nominated Slovenian director Ziga Virc, this documentary will reveal the reasons for Yugoslavian leader and post WWII lifetime president Josip Broz Tito to build and maintain the biggest secret underground space centre in Europe, in army base Zeljava with code name "Object 505".



    Don't know what to think of this as the full documentary isn't available yet, but it's intriguing so I thought to share. Any thoughts?
     
  2. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Did Yugoslav space technology sold by Tito put America in space?
    By Paul Bradbury

    The release of a Slovenian documentary, Houston We Have a Problem, alleges a new twist to the the Cold War: American bought a secret Yugoslav space programme to put it in space.
    The posting of a documentary trailer by user YugoslavianSpace on January 9, 2012 is offering a rather unusual twist to the Cold War story, more than fifty years after America announced its intention to go to the Moon in May, 1961.
    The trailer claims that the full documentary, entitled Houston, We Have a Problem - to be released later this year - will show that the CIA discovered a secret Yugoslav space programme in 1960 and, behind in the space race with the Soviet Union, they bought the entire programme from Yugoslav President Tito in March, 1961, just two months before President John F Kennedy announced America's lunar ambitions.
    According to the documentary, the origins of the Yugoslav space programme lay in the writings and work of Herman Potocnik, whose 1929 book Problem Voznje po Vesolju (The Problem of Space Travel) inspired former Nazi and architect of the American space program Wernher von Braun.
    What America did not get their hands on were other writings and drawings by Potocnik, and these were found by Tito's secret service in 1947, and they played an important part in the Yugoslav space programme, which was started in 1948.
    Living standards in Yugoslavia improved considerably, and the socialist country enjoyed rapid economic development with generous American financial aid.
    The trailer claims the documentary will reveal how tito built the biggest secret underground space centre in Europe, and that in fact some of the American rockets were made in Yugoslavia, and that Tito and his wife were regular visitors at NASA's facilities. The base is at Zeljava on the Croatian-Bosnian border, also known as Army Base 505.
    The authors of the documentary are Boštjan i Žiga Virc, and the full story will only be revealed with the full documentary, but the trailer is available below.



    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfJiNPZ38kY
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Whoa, now this is interesting!
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    :shock: That is interesting!!!!
     
  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #5 imalko, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Well, this trailer is being debated on some Serbian forums with some participants claiming to be fake. Don't know about that, but the fact is that Željava underground base still keeps many secrets. Few knew it even existed until the breakup of Yugoslavia. Located deep in Bosnian mountains it was designed to survive a nuclear blast and provide a refuge for Yugoslav top officials in case of war. It was also an airbase for full fighter regiment with some 60 Mig-21s and with all facilities except the runway located underground deep inside the mountain.
     

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  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Wow .... I will forward this link to my Yugoslav friends at work. Naturally very interesting.

    MM
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Very interesting despite whatever the concerns over the real/imagined participants maybe.
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    pretty cool .
     
  9. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Incredible.
    It just goes to show, just when you think you have a good idea of what happened sometimes something will one day come out of the blue completely from left-field to alter your ideas show you still haven't got the full story.
    The major underground base alone is impressive interestin news.
    I hope we get an English version of the so sometime soon, I'd love to know more about this.

    I'd imagine national pride will get in the way cloud or magnify/minimise the effect of what happened but it absolutely is a very intrigueing story.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Funny read but sorry folks – utter BS. I worked with people who were on the space program from Mercury through Skylab and while there could have been some cooperation by a country like Yugoslavia at the time (scientists, mathematicians), I find this all very unlikely and somewhat comical. The technology that went into the US space program was not a single source but was rather a combined synthesis of technology from hundreds, if not thousands of sources that had its roots traced back to WW2. In the late 50s the US had the rocket technology although slightly behind the Soviets at the time. JFK gave a reasonable focus to an achievable goal and LBJ (and later Nixon) ensured the funding was available to achieve these goals that would place the US well ahead of the Soviets, at least with regards to lunar exploration.

    I read up on Herman Potočnik and he was certainly a visionary, he died years before Tito was even in power and his death was almost a non-event, so I can’t see how his “secret” writings could have been gathered or even an interest by anyone, especially during W2, but had this “secret technology” really would have existed, Tito would have either exploited in the Soviet’s face or the Soviets would have tried to wrestle it away from him, IMO.

    If indeed US rockets were made in Yugoslavia there would have been a trail of witnesses here in the US that would have screamed bloody murder over this, and no the CIA isn’t going to silence hundreds if not thousands of people, that same thinking goes into 9-11 conspiracy theorists. Even if true and after the fall of the Soviet Union and the breakup of Yugoslavia, there was and still is plenty of room for the hundreds if not thousands of people involved in this to come forward on both side of the Atlantic to expose this secret. I know people who worked at places like Convair (General Dynamics) and Lockheed Missiles and Space in Sunnyvale CA and would think this whole story is laughable as they spent 20 years working on something that was allegedly built in Yugoslavia!

    Sorry folks, interesting about the underground base, but this story has BS written all over it!
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  12. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    FLYBOYJ

    In terms of an idea that 'the USA bought Yugoslavian space expertise and it was this which got the USA into space' I have no doubt BS is an apt description.

    But then again I'd be open to the idea that an unsung and possibly important element of what went on during the years of R D that went on from 1945 to say the end of the 1950s was some of the Yugo research.
    If the central claim that the Yugoslavians gave definite concrete assistance to the US space program (and it was a program full Europeans) is true then it's certainly new info and got to be well worth a look.

    I'm certainly interested at a look into what they say whatever grounds there are for saying so.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #13 FLYBOYJ, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Again - specifics. To even make a claim this outlandish there needs to be Tokyo phone book full of specifics. Again, I'm not denying there could have been some scientists who assisted, but to say that this much technology came from one place, as well as some of the hardware is just rubbish.
     
  14. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    Yes I'd agree.....but it's still nice to get a more complete picture even if the initial claims are more hype than reality.

    Those underground complexes are also very interesting......I must admit I knew the UK has (or had) several for safe-keeping national treasures as well as the usual 'in the event of a nuclear attack' and expected similar in other countries but I'd though the really big ones were pretty much confined to Hitler's Germany.

    In the cold-war days we also heard the Russians had huge nuclear shelters (so we were all told in the UK back in the 70's/80's; the story was they had huge underground cities prepared, the reality I have not seen investigated so far) and perhaps the Chinese, which may be more cold-war PR.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #15 FLYBOYJ, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Agree - I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that some scientists assisted in the effort and as you say, more hype than reality

    Yep - those are pretty cool. There's a few underground complexes east of where I live. Those in the above pics look pretty cool with the MiGs in them
     
  16. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Those underground complexes with scores of fighter airplanes standing ready to take off on a moments notice has got to be the most ignorant tactical planning I have ever read about. Hiding underground is one thing, but using them as a base for launching fighters is utter stupidity. Taiwan had the same idea with the ChiComs. 60 MiGs? Two well placed bombs, missiles, explosives, nukes and you have 60 fighter planes out of the immediate fight. Stoopid.
     
  17. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    #17 Gixxerman, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    Yeah but I think you're supposing that the bases are known about and the intention is to reuse them (with their locations detected on 1st use).
    Back in the day (say before the 80's/90's when satellite coverage (of all types, real time optical, thermal, radar etc) would pretty much give the game away it's quite possible they made a lot of sense.
    Especially if their intended use was really for a one-off launch of several nuclear strike aircraft.

    I know my dad (who started on Canberras and went on to Vulcans) always used to laugh at the notion of a 'combat radius' for both types.
    He used to say if the worst really did happen then the nuclear mission intention was a 1 way trip sometimes to maximum range (if they were lucky survived the approach, attack egress) a long walk to find some non-hostile locals with luck a comfortable woman to settle down with as the world either repaired itself or degenerated back to the stone age.
    There'd be no point going home as there'd be no home left to go back to anyways.

    I have no doubt eastern block pilots had exactly the same kind of planning ideas.
    Why wouldn't they (in fact given the short legs of many Soviet fighter-bomber tactical aircraft the option would be more likely?).
    A hoarde of determined Mig 21s or Su7/9/11's carrying tactical nukes with a full set of drop-tanks to burn through along the way, going one way, would do a lot of damage across western europe be very hard to stop.

    Thank God we're past all of that.
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #18 tyrodtom, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    The Swedes had similiar complexes, they disquised the runways as highways, and used as highways, with the roadway into the mountains camoflauged.
    Traffic lights out in the middle of the woods, so they wouldn't have any car-aircraft mixes when they used the runways.

    I doubt the the Soviets could have been fooled by them for long.
     
  19. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    #19 Matt308, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    You discount the capability of human intellegence. An art that has not been lost on the world. If you can find a singular Iranian scientist driving his car and attach a magnetic bomb to the car door, you surely can find the entrances to a cave with taxi-ways and 3000m of runway. Surely.

    And here is 60s technology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KH-9_Hexagon
     
  20. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    I get that.....but in the event of things turning nasty you have to be 100% sure that you know about every single one of these places and be certain of knocking them out before they get the chance to do their worst.

    .....not to mention all the conventional dispersal sites.

    Whilst it is true that the western powers had their agents and assets at work in the east we also now know the Soviets (not to mention East Germans and the rest) also had theirs in the west.
    Some (like Philby, amongst others) quite senior, blocking information betraying their counterparts.

    I had a look those satellites were designed developed in the mid-late 1960's but seem to have started being deployed from 1971.
    I would be pretty sure that they were, at least initially, largely tasked with looking at the USSR's main high value assets, not ferreting out Yugoslav hidden bases.

    But whatever, I think it's fair to say that in the period post WW2 until some point in the 1960's that sort of hidden installation was a 'card' the Yugoslavs - and anyone else who had similar - were more than happy to hold up their sleeve.
    In a similar way that the Me262 underground construction site 'Weingut II' had its uses as an enormous hardened storage facility for the modern day Luftwaffe, but without the unit of aircraft, obviously.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just wouldn't write it all off as completely useless.
     
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