Hitler’s Antarctic base: the myth and the reality
ABSTRACT. In January-February 1939, a secret German expedition visited Dronning [or Queen Maud Land], Antarctica, apparently with the intention inter alia of establishing a base there. Between 1943 and 1945 the British launched a secret wartime Antarctic operation, code-named Tabarin. Men from the Special Air Services Regiment [SAS], Britain’s covert forces for operating behind the lines, appeared to be involved. In July and August 1945, after the German surrender, two U-boats arrived in Argentina. Had they been to Antarctica to land Nazi treasure or officials? In the southern summer of 1946–1947, the US Navy appeared to "invade" Antarctica using a large force. The operation, code-named Highjump, was classified confidential. In 1958, three nuclear weapons were exploded in the region, as part of another classified US operation, code-named Argus. Given the initial lack of information about these various activities, it is not, perhaps, surprising that some people would connect them to produce a pattern in which governments would be accused of suppressing information about ‘what really happened’, and would use these pieces of information to construct a myth of a large German base existing in Antarctica and of allied efforts to destroy it. Using background knowledge of Antarctica and information concerning these activities that has been published since the early 1940s, it is demonstrated: that the two U-Boats could not have reached Antarctica; that there was no secret wartime German base in Dronning Maud Land; that SAS troops did not attack the alleged German base; that the SAS men in the region at the time had civilian jobs; that Operation Highjump was designed to train the US Navy for a possible war with the Soviet Union in the Arctic, and not to attack an alleged German base in Antarctica; and that Operation Argus took place over the ocean more than 2000 km north of Dronning Maud Land. Activities that were classified have subsequently been declassified and it is no longer difficult to separate fact from fancy, despite the fact that many find it attractive not to do so.
One of the less well-known Antarctic expeditions is that of the Germans, using a vessel named 'Schwabenland', between 17 December 1938 and 12 April 1939, some months before the outbreak of World War II. This expedition visited the western part of what is now known as Dronning Maud Land.
The expedition arose out of concerns within the German government about the future of the German whaling industry. At that time, whaling was an important activity supplying oil, lubricants, glycerine [for nitroglycerine used in explosives], margarine and other essential products [Lüdecke 2004: 75; Mills 2003: 552]. Germany’s investment in the industry was large and its whaling fleet comprised fifty whale-catchers and seven factory ships, with an output of 492,532 barrels of oil in the 1938–1939 whaling season. The fleet operated off the coast of Dronning Maud Land, which had been discovered by Norwegian whaling fleets [Christensen 1935, 1939], but was not yet officially known by that name. Claims to this land had been made on behalf of Norway, though not officially announced by royal proclamation [Mills 2003]. The German government was keen not to find itself in the same situation as pertained in the South Atlantic, where Great Britain asserted the right to charge heavy fees for whaling concessions, and imposed restrictions on whaling activity. A secret expedition was therefore planned to claim a piece of Antarctica for Germany, and to find there a place suitable for a base for the German whaling fleet [(Lüdecke 2004; Mills 2003].
The expedition was authorised by Hermann Göring as part of the German four-year plan for economic development. Among its publicly avowed aims was a continuation of the scientific studies begun earlier in the century by Erich von Drygalski around 90◦E and Wilhelm Filchner in the Weddell Sea. But it also had some secret military aims. On its return journey it was to investigate the suitability of the isolated Brazilian islands of Ilha Trinidade and Ilhas Martin Vas, almost 1000 km east of Vitoria in Brazil, for landing places for the German Navy, especially U-Boats [Lüdecke 2004: 81]. In addition, according to Mills [2003: 552], Göring wished to learn more about whatever strategic opportunities the Antarctic might offer, and wanted to know about the functioning of aircraft at low temperatures, knowledge that was to prove useful during the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
A series of expeditions was planned. The first, in 1938–1939, was to map the region by air for the purposes of discovery and exploration, before either making territorial claims or deciding where to locate a whaling base. The expedition succeeded, largely due to good weather, in flying over land between 5◦W and 15◦E and in using oblique aerial photography to map an area of some 250,000 square km between roughly 11◦Wand 20◦E, which they named NeuSchwabenland [Brunk 1986: map 3; Mills 2003]. In this area they discovered a new mountain range more than 800 km long and 3000m high some 200 km inland from the coast [Ritscher 1942].
The Norwegians had not seen these new mountains when they explored and photographed the ice edge off Dronning Maud Land from the air during the Norvegia expedition of 1929. They had, however, discovered the Sør Rondane Mountains 200 km inland from the coast near 26◦E, on 6 February 1937 [Christensen, 1939].
The follow-up German expeditions planned for 1939–1940 and 1940–1941, which might have led to the construction of a base had the reconnaissance proved successful, could not be carried out because of the outbreak of war [Lüdecke 2004: 86–89]. The authors have been unable to locate any German documents indicating that German activity continued in Dronning Maud Land after the 'Schwabenland' expedition and during World War II. Indeed, there was no official German activity in Antarctica until after 1959 when the first Germans set foot in Dronning Maud Land with the Russian expedition to the Schirmacher Oasis [Gernandt 1984].
Bearing in mind that, early in World War II, Argentina and Chile were friendly with Germany, Great Britain decided, during the war, that it needed to demonstrate occupancy as one means of rebutting these competing claims. The British chose to do this by establishing permanently manned bases that could be used to obtain information on shipping activity, to deny the use of harbours to German ships, and to support teams of researchers engaged in geographical discovery and scientific investigation [Fuchs 1982: 22–54]. Denial of the islands as bases to potential enemies began with the visit of 'HMS Queen of Bermuda' to Deception Island, on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in March 1941 to destroy stocks of coal and to puncture fuel tanks. Argentina had placed marks of sovereignty on Deception Island in 1942. They were obliterated in January 1943 by 'HMS Carnarvon Castle', which hoisted the Union Flag there [Sullivan 1957].
In 1943, Great Britain began planning to occupy the territory. A secret military exercise, code named Operation Tabarin, was mounted by the Royal Navy to establish bases on the peninsula and in the islands to the west (Fuchs 1982: 22–54; Mills 2003: 489). According to these authors, British wartime interests did not extend to Dronning Maud Land, 1000 km to the east across the Weddell Sea.
The next well-documented event bearing on the subject of this paper occurred early on 10 July 1945, two months after the German surrender, when a German U-Boat, U-530, entered the Argentine naval base at Mar del Plata [NARA 1985; Blair 1998]. Leutnant Otto Wermuth, the Captain of U-530, appears to have believed that he would be well received by the Argentines. His arrival created much speculation. Disregarding the news of Hitler’s suicide on 30 April, many believed that U-530 had somehow spirited Hitler, Eva Braun, Martin Bormann and others out of Germany and had landed them either on the coast of Patagonia or at a ‘New Berchtesgaden’ in Antarctica. On 16 July, a detailed account of Hitler’s supposed flight and hiding place in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, was published in the Argentine newspaper "La Critica", by Ladislas Szabo, a Hungarian exile living in Argentina [Szabo 1947: 8]. It was repeated in major newspapers worldwide, for example under the headline ‘Hitler’s on Ice in Antarctic’ in Toronto ("Toronto Daily Star" 18 July 1945). Speculation increased when U-977, under the command of Oberleutnant Heinz Schäffer, appeared at Mar del Plata on 17 August [Schäffer 1952; NARA 1985; Blair 1998].
That did not stop speculation. In his 1947 book "Hitler is Alive", Szabo claimed that both submarines were part of a submarine convoy that had taken Hitler and other senior figures from the Third Reich to Antarctica, where ‘New Berchtesgaden’ had been set up in 1938–39 by 'Schwabenland', on the orders of Admiral Dönitz. Despite Schäffer’s denials [Schäffer 1952], the rumour continued to spread [see Mattern and Friedrich 1975: 68; Landig 1980].
Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 216] provided a different version, claiming that Hitler had indeed died in his Bunker in Berlin, but that U-977 had then transported his ashes to Antarctica, in convoy with other submarines, en route to Mar del Plata. According to these authors, the ashes were deposited along with other Nazi treasures packed in six bronze, lead-lined boxes that had been landed in Dronning Maud Land by U-530, and placed in a "very special natural ice cave in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains" [Buechner and Bernhart 1989: 188]. To lend an air of authenticity to this tale, Bernhart claimed to have been one of the crew of U-530, although his name is not on the U-530 manifest provided by the Argentine Navy [Szabo 1947: 13–14].
‘New Berchtesgaden’ appears, like the phantom convoy, to be the brainchild of Szabo [1947: 155], and has been a favourite element of Nazi mythology ever since [Goodrick-Clarke 2002]. Several writers accept the existence of the supposed base, and that there was a conspiracy to suppress information about it [for example Mattern and Friedrich 1975; Friedrich 1979; Stevens 1997, 2003; Choron date unknown; Farrell 2005; and Robert 2005a 2005b, 2005c]. Expanding on Szabo [1947: 200–202], and each of them building on the one before, they go on to suggest that US forces attacked the German base during Operation Highjump in the southern summer of 1946–1947, that those forces were repulsed by the secret weapons of the German defenders, and that as a result the US forces had to leave the area sooner than planned. The tale has become more elaborate with the passage of time.
A different version of these events has recently been published by Robert [2005a, 2005b, 2005c] in a trilogy entitled "Britain’s Secret War in Antarctica". Robert claims not only that there was indeed a secret German base in Dronning Maud Land during World War II, but also that the British spied on it from their own secret base in Dronning Maud Land. He claims that the British Army’s SAS attacked and tried to destroy the German base around Christmas 1945. According to Robert [2005c], that attempt was ineffective, as were the subsequent attempts by the USA’s Operation Highjump, and the German base was finally destroyed by secretly exploding three atomic bombs above it in 1958 as part of the activities of the IGY. Robert [2005c] claims that the truth about the German base and the attacks on it by Britain and the United States have been deliberately suppressed by the US and British governments. This supposed suppression he describes as "A travesty of history".
If they were true, the propositions of Szabo, Robert and others listed above would be fascinating for history and for science. Indeed, there is an element of truth in all of these tales. The Germans did intend to build a base in Dronning Maud Land. There were secret British bases in Antarctica during Word War II. Operation Highjump was primarily a military exercise whose results were initially classified and hidden from public view. Three secret nuclear explosions did take place in the general region in 1958. But can these facts be woven into a comprehensive tale with a common thread, as Robert, Stevens, Farrell, Friedrich, Mattern and Choron would have us believe? Or are they merely groundless parts of the Hitler survival legend of Nazi mythology as Goodrick-Clarke  suggests?
While there is something undoubtedly seductive about the idea of a secret Nazi base in Antarctica, in the absence of proofs for its existence one is left wondering if one might not be dealing with the literature of the absurd as represented by such works as von Däniken’s  "Chariots of the Gods: Unsolved mysteries of the past", which interweave the gold of fact with the dross of speculation, invention, and misrepresentation. The burden of proof should fall on the shoulders of those making the claims. It is not sufficient to propose an idea and then claim that the hypothesis is untestable because the evidence for it has been covered up.
In science, as pointed out by Sagan [1999: 210–216] we may start with experimental results, data, observations, and measurements regarded as facts. We then invent possible explanations and systematically confront each explanation with those facts, until we find an explanation that meets the facts in all respects as far as we can tell. Training in this approach thus provides scientists with what Sagan calls a ‘baloney detection kit’, which is applied whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by our kit, we grant it tentative acceptance. The kit comprises tools for sceptical thinking that are common to any well-trained researcher, detective, or investigative journalist [Sagan 1999; Park 2001, 2003]. It helps us to test whether or not Szabo, Robert, Stevens, and the others really prove their point.
The tools include:
1. wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts;
In this work we use these tools. Among other approaches we place an emphasis on measurement, geographical analysis and environmental analysis as analytical tools. We ask such questions as: given what is known about U-boat performance, and knowing when U-530 and U-977 left Germany, could either of them have visited both Antarctica and Argentina in the same voyage? Given what is known about sea ice, could any submarine have visited Antarctica in the middle of the southern winter [May-July] of 1945? Given what is known about where and when the secret nuclear explosions took place, could they have been directed against the supposed German base? Where was the supposed German base and what did it look like?
We also look in detail at the precise timing and geography of various Antarctic operations. Was there sufficient time for 'Schwabenland' to have built a base in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains in 1939? Did Operation Highjump visit Dronning Maud Land and if so did it spend any significant amount of time there? Were British forces active in Dronning Maud Land during the war?
By these various means we aim to expose the fallacy of reasoning of Szabo, Robert, Stevens, Farrell, Bernhart, Friedrich, Mattern and others, and to convince the reader that the supposed mysteries surrounding German, British and American activities in Antarctica in this period result from a combination of inadequate research, vivid imagination, pure fakery and wishful thinking.
When the mysteries disappear, so too do the conspiracies. But that is as it should be. After all, as Sagan [1999: 210] reminds us: "It is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premise or starting point and whether that premise is true".
The German Antarctic expedition of 1938–1939
The German Antarctic Expedition of 1938/39 was led by Captain Alfred Ritscher. It was not a military expedition, and Ritscher was not a military man, even though he was on the staff of the Kriegsmarine, the German naval high command. He served the navy in a civilian capacity. He had been loaned to the expedition because he was one of Germany’s most experienced polar [Arctic] explorers, a mariner, and an accomplished aircraft pilot. The expedition left Germany on 17 December 1938, and was active along the Dronning Maud Land coast only from 19 January to 15 February 1939. 'Schwabenland' was an 8000-ton floating airport, equipped to catapult flying boats into the air, and to crane them out of the water once they had landed on it, and with full servicing and fuelling facilities. It belonged to the German airline, Lufthansa, whose crews piloted and maintained the Lufthansa planes during the expedition [Ritscher 1942; Lüdecke 2004; Sullivan 1957; Mills 2003: 552– 554].
To ensure that the expedition sought a whaling base in the right area, the crew included a seasoned whaler, Otto Kraul, who had worked in this region [Kraul 1939]. Kraul was also the ice pilot, and contributed a section on ice conditions to the expedition report [Kraul 1942]. As well as Kraul, there was a complement of scientists.
The 'Schwabenland’s initial results were widely described in the German scientific literature ["Deutsche Seewarte" 1939; Wohlthat 1939; Ritscher 1942], and also in popular accounts by Kraul  and Herrmann, the expedition’s geographer [Herrmann 1942]. However, with the outbreak of war on 1 September 1939 the work remained incomplete, and the results were spread much less widely internationally than they might otherwise have been. Even after the war many of the publications concerning the expedition were in German [Ritscher 1946, 1948, 1958; Brunk 1986, 1987; Lüdecke 2004], although there were some references to the expedition in English [for example Sullivan 1957: 124–128], and Kraul’s  book was translated into other languages. Nevertheless, crude plots of the mountains mapped by Ritscher and his crew were quickly made available, and appeared on new maps of Antarctica [Bayliss 1939; Bayliss and Cumpston 1939; US Hydrographic Office 1943]. The expedition reports were read by Swedish scientist Hans Ahlmann in the early 1940s, and led him to form a proposal in 1945 for an international expedition that became the Norwegian/British/Swedish Antarctic [NBSA] Expedition of 1949–52 [Giaever 1954]. The German maps were used to guide the NBSA Expedition, and, later, the expeditions of countries planning to set up bases in Dronning Maud Land.
While 'Schwabenland' steamed along the coast taking soundings and collecting marine samples, its two tenton Dornier-Wal flying boats, 'Boreas' and 'Passat', conducted the first systematic aerial photographic survey of Dronning Maud Land, and indeed one of the first such surveys anywhere in Antarctica, flying over the Hinterland between latitudes 69◦S and 74◦S, and longitudes 5◦W and 18◦E [Brunk 1987]. It was later realised that in the absence of supporting ground-truth measurements, the topographic maps made from the aerial photographs were somewhat inaccurate, with peaks being out of position by up to 50 km and too high by up to 1000m [Giaever 1954]. The maps were corrected in the mid-1950s [Ritscher 1958], based on ground-truth data supplied by the NBSA Expedition, and again in the 1980s, by Brunk [1986, 1987], who compared the expedition photographs with LANDSAT satellite photographs to establish where the planes had flown. In this paper we use the corrected heights.
The expedition discovered that most of the north coast was an ice cliff some tens of metres high at the seaward edge of a 100 km-wide, flat ice shelf floating on the ocean at around latitude 70◦S. The ice shelf was the floating edge of a massive ice sheet that rose steadily towards the South Pole and culminated in a plateau at a height of around 2500–3000 m. The smooth rise of the ice sheet towards the polar plateau was interrupted here and there by a few nunataks, then, at around the 1500m contour, by a vast east-west trending range of rocky mountains at around latitude 72◦S, some 200–250 km inland from the seaward edge of the ice shelf. The snow mantled, exposed, rocky peaks rose 500 to 1000m above the ice sheet, reaching a maximum height of 3,148m at Jøkulkyrka in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains [Mills 2003]. To their surprise, the expedition discovered near the coast a 34 km2 area of exposed rock containing several small ice-free lakes, which they named the Schirmacher Oasis, after the pilot who discovered it [Ritscher 1942].
Only three landings were made, all on the ice shelf. In each case small groups of people landed either from a ship’s boat or from one of the ship’s two aircraft, for brief visits of less than one day [Ritscher 1942].
Prior to the German expedition, most exploration in that area had been carried out by Norwegians and had been confined to the coast [Christensen 1935, 1939; Royal Geographical Society 1939; Mills 2003: 535, 549]. The mountains had not been seen. When the German expedition sailed for Antarctica, Norway decided formally to lay claim to the region on the basis of their prior discovery of much of the coast. This was done on 14 January 1939 [Giaever 1954; Lüdecke 2004]. Nevertheless, as planned, the expedition placed German flags at a few strategic points on the coast, and dropped Swastika flags from aircraft over the Hinterland as the basis for a claim to what Germany would refer to as Neuschwabenland.
Perhaps because of the Norwegian claim, no German claims for annexation of the territory were advanced. Indeed, the advent of the Norwegian claim seems to have set the Germans off in a different direction, because shortly after 'Schwabenland' returned to Germany, plans were discussed to return to Antarctica in the southern summer of 1939–1940 to visit the Pacific sector between 80◦W and 130◦W [Lüdecke 2004: 86]. At that time, the coast in that area was unclaimed by any country.
The supposed German Base
1. Szabo [1947: 185] surmised that the ice-free Schirmacher Oasis, located close to the coast near longitude 12◦E on the eastern side of Dronning Maud Land, would have made an ideal refuge. He goes on to claim that an initial coastal base was established by the German Antarctic Expedition, that it was then used by German raiding ships in the South Atlantic, and that it collected material brought by submarines for the construction of a base in the interior [Szabo 1947: 161–163].
Clearly there are almost as many opinions as to the location of the supposed base as there are authors writing about it. Equally, while several authors seem to agree that construction might have been started by Ritscher [in early 1939], opinions differ as to when construction continued [for example, in late 1939, a month after hostilities began in Europe, "in 1943", or throughout the war]. According to Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 145] the idea that U-Boats plied back and forth between Germany and Neuschwabenland carrying cargo and shore parties to the base "has not been verified".
How feasible is the notion that among its many other tasks 'Schwabenland' and its crew had the time to build a base either at the coast or 250 km inland in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains? It took the NBSA Expedition 18 days to build their first hut at their Maudheim base in February 1950 [Giaever 1954]. They had the use of "weasels" with caterpillar tracks for moving equipment. It took Amundsen’s south polar party 14 days to build their hut at their Framheim base in January 1911 [Amundsen 1912]. They had the use of sledges, and 80 dogs. In contrast, Schwabenland was only off the coast for one month. The ship’s logs and other publications show that it spent most of its time steaming up and down and launching and retrieving flying boats, and the rest taking marine samples [Ritscher 1942; Hermann 1942]. There would have been little time for it to offload the stores and equipment needed to build a base either at the coast or inland. Indeed, before the first plane had flown inland the Germans did not even know there was a mountain range in which to build a base. Theirs was a voyage of discovery in which they made their maps as they went along. And without a map it is not possible to plan to build a base.
As there is no evidence that the ship carried either motorised equipment or dogs, the building of a base in the mountains would mean that the crew had to do as Scott and Shackleton did, and, once they knew from the aerial photos where the mountains were, walk towards them across unmapped, dangerous, crevasse-ridden terrain tugging their stores and equipment behind them. Scott and Shackleton made about 24 km a day on good days on their South Pole treks [Solomon 2001: Fig. 43], and that was often with the benefit of supply depots previously laid. The authors calculate that under the best of circumstances, and without heavy loads, it would have taken the German crew, given their inexperience, at least 10 days to get to the mountains and another 10 to get back, leaving them less than 10 days to build a mountain base. If they had to transport the heavy equipment too, the exercise would have taken them much longer. None of this seems likely, not least because until the aerial survey had finished there would have been no map to guide them. In any case the only sledges on the expedition seem to have been those that each aircraft carried in case of accident [Ritscher 1942]. The crew would have stood a higher chance of building a hut near the coast, but there is no sign from the official or unofficial reports of the expedition that they brought with them the materials to do so.
Our analysis neglects the possibility that the aircraft did not merely do survey duty but also acted as transports carrying people and equipment into the mountains. The aircraft were not large, and, at most, might carry a load of 10 people. Photographs from the expedition reports and from Lufthansa and German Newspaper files clearly show that the expedition’s flying boats, were not equipped for landing on solid surfaces. A Dornier-Wal had been known to take off from an ice floe, when Amundsen and Ellsworth and their colleagues were stranded near the North Pole in May-June 1925 [Amundsen 1927]. But that was in an emergency after Amundsen’s aircraft had first landed on the water, only to find that the leads closed up. It is unlikely in the extreme that 'Boreas' or 'Passat' landed on the unmapped inland ice among the mountains, and there is no evidence in the written reports or photographs that they did so.
The authors conclude that time, lack of maps, and ice conditions [hidden crevasses] would have militated against any attempt to build a base in the mountains during the expedition’s short time in the area, and that the most that could have been achieved would have been to build a coastal hut of some kind, for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Our conclusion is consistent with the German documents [for example "Deutsche Seewarte" 1939; Ritscher 1942; Hermann 1942; Lüdecke 2004], which make it plain that the task for 1939 was reconnaissance. Similarly, the claim that the Germans returned in the southern summer of 1939/40 or later to continue work on the hypothetical base is not supported by the German scientific or historical literature.
Aside from the location and the timing, we need to consider the scale of the operation. Szabo [1947: 162, 163, 173] surmises that the refuge would have been vast, serving several hundreds if not some thousands of people who, if Germany lost the war, could continue to make powerful new weapons for an eventual resurgence. Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 156] state that "by the middle of 1940 submarines were bringing in vast stores of food, clothing, fuel and every other conceivable item necessary for setting up Hitler’s refuge. Construction materials, tractors, arms, distillation apparatus, machinery, radio equipment, personnel, engineers and scientists were included. During the next four years shelters were built and a mountain was scooped out" [Stevens 1997: 39] indicates that the base was a very large permanent facility tunnelled out of solid rock and supplied by U-Boat and flying disc. Robert [2005a, 2005b], citing the alleged last survivor of a British SAS raid on the base, tells us that the base was in "a vast underground cavern that was apparently warmed geothermally. In the huge cavern were underground lakes". The Nazis had constructed a huge base into the caverns and had even built docks for U-Boats, and one was identified supposedly. There were also "hangars for strange planes and excavations galore had been documented. . .The power that the Nazis were utilising was by volcanic activity, which gave them heat for steam and also helped produce electricity. . .we were overwhelmed by the numbers of personnel scurrying about like ants. . .huge constructions. . .were being built. . .the Nazis, it appeared, had been on Antarctica a long time".
Do these tales carry any credibility? Let us focus on Robert’s tale, the source for which was a supposed SAS man who Robert states, in a personal communication to one of us [P.B. 26 October 2005] he is not permitted to name because he [Robert] works for the UK’s Ministry of Defence. The reader may find it odd that while Robert [2005a] says that "the last survivor gave me the following account", he told one of us in the personal communication referred to above that "the story of the SAS Officer was one that was told to me by a close relative [now deceased]".
Friedrich [(1979: 71], later copied by Robert [2005b], supposed that Herrmann’s line of volcanic weakness was associated with a deep sub-sea trench that would make an excellent deep-sea route for U-Boats to enter Antarctica. As this volcanic line does not run through Dronning Maud Land, the trench can not do either. Nevertheless, there are likely to be channels cut into the seabed under the ice shelves by glaciers or melt waters when sea level was lower at the peak of the last ice age around 20,000 years ago. Such channels are well mapped in the Ross Sea and Weddell Sea, but less well mapped elsewhere because of the difficulty of making soundings beneath ice shelves [Anderson 1991, 1999; Bentley 1991]. As mentioned above, the ice shelves are seaward extensions of the ice sheet. They are quite thick: the one beneath the NBSA Expedition’s Maudheim base is around 200m thick [Giaever 1954; Giaever and Schytt 1963; Swithinbank 1999]. And they thicken landward, while, beneath them, the seabed rises towards the coast. Eventually the rising seabed and the deepening ice shelf meet near the coast at the so-called "grounding line". The channels in the seabed become filled with ice where they extend beyond the grounding line into the continent so do not provide routes for submarines. In any case, U-Boats could not have penetrated under the ice shelves to reach the submerged coast of Dronning Maud Land, because the grounding line is commonly between 300 and 1000m deep, beyond the 250m depth range of World War II U-Boats. Besides, such a descent would be foolhardy in the extreme, in the absence of maps of the shape of the seabed and of the under-side of the ice shelf. Not only is there no way in for a U-Boat, it also seems highly unlikely [given everything we know about the preferential locations of U-Boat pens along the European coast] that the Germans would have wished to go to the enormous trouble of taking their U-Boats into lakes in the mountains some 200 km inland from the sea.
There are indeed lakes beneath the ice sheet, but they do not occur in caves. They are pools of water in depressions in the rock beneath piles of ice more than two kilometres thick. There they form at the boundary between rock and ice by the combination of slow heating from the Earth below, and the pressure of the mass of ice above [Hansom and Gordon 1998; Stonehouse 2002; Bell and others 2006]. There is no air space above these lakes; one could not live down there.
Finally, it is worth reflecting on the fact that Dronning Maud Land has been extensively visited by well over 1000 scientists, none of whom has reported finding any sign of wartime German base. The NBSA Expedition of 1949– 1952 was followed by the IGY of 1957–1958, during which Norway and Belgium had bases in Dronning Maud Land. Since then the number of bases there has quadrupled. There is considerable air traffic and the whole region has been mapped by Landsat [Brink 1987]. While some might argue that by now the supposed base would be buried by snow, it should be remembered that the interior of Antarctica is practically a desert. Precipitation is highest near the coast, not in the mountains where the wind prevents accumulation and where the base is supposed to have been located [for example see Ohta 1999].
Robert [2005c] states that: "The existence of a Nazi Antarctic base hidden in vast caverns was considered feasible enough for the British to set up bases in many parts of Antarctica during the war in response to the threat". The British forces were part of Operation Tabarin [Robert 2005a], and "the known British bases were mainly on the Antarctic Peninsula. . .and on the islands surrounding the peninsula. . .though some were set up on the continent". Robert [2005c] argues that one of these bases, of which there is no record, "concentrated on investigating Queen Maud Land". This is the base that we refer to as "Maudheim-1" [see above]. Robert [2005a] claims that the Germans attacked what we call "Maudheim-1" in July 1945, and that the SAS came to the rescue, spending "Christmas of World War II. . .in 1945, fighting the. . .Nazis". The reader should note that by Christmas 1945 the war with Germany had been over for seven and a half months.
We can check Robert’s suggestions against what is published about Operation Tabarin [for example see James 1949; Fuchs 1982: 22–54; Headland 1989, In press; Squires 1992; Stonehouse 2002; Mills 2003]. Although Tabarin was secret at the time, these subsequent publications have made its activities plain. The expedition members left London in November 1943 bound for the Falklands. From there, they sailed for Antarctica on 29 January 1944, heading for Deception Island, in the South Shetland Islands, to set up Base B. They reached the island on 3 February. Having established a shore party, they then sailed for Hope Bay at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula to establish Base D. Foul weather ruined that plan. Instead they established Base A, on Goudier Island in Port Lockroy, an embayment on the south coast of Wiencke Island, in the Palmer Archipelago west of the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition’s two ships left Port Lockroy on 17 February 1944, and one returned in March with fresh stores. Base D was established at Hope Bay between 12 and 28 February 1945.
These bases were tiny. There were 5 people on Deception Island in 1944, 4 in 1945, and 4 in 1946; there were 9 at Port Lockroy in 1944, 4 in 1945, and 4 in 1946; there were 13 at Hope Bay in 1945, and 8 in 1946 [Fuchs 1982: 347]. Each had a crew of naval observers, wireless operators, and scientists, the government seeing this as an opportunity to continue scientific studies similar to those of the British Graham Land Expedition of 1934– 1937. The main activities were scientific and were thought essential to support Britain’s territorial claims.
There is no hard evidence to support Robert’s [2005a, 2005b, 2005c] assertion that Operation Tabarin established any base on the coast of Dronning Maud Land. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that the British would consider a base there, because it was under a Norwegian claim and well outside the boundary of the UK’s Falkland Island Dependencies. Our analysis also confirms that Robert [2005c] was wrong to claim that: "Britain sent no missions [to Antarctica] from the commencement of Highjump [late summer 1946] until 1948, during which time the US had Antarctica all to itself". In fact, in 1947, when Operation Highjump was active in the Ross Sea area [see below], there were five civilian British bases operating in West Antarctica [Fuchs 1982].
Tonkin and Sadler helped to set up a new scientific base on Stonington Island, in Marguerite Bay, on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, in February 1946. Sadler was still there in the southern summer of 1947 [Fuchs 1982: 347].
Robert’s [2005a] unsubstantiated anecdote that SAS soldiers were active in the region in October 1945 through the Christmas period, and that following their Christmas 1945 mission, "the British survivors were de-mobbed from the forces" does not fit the facts. SAS activity of any kind in the region is not feasible given that the SAS Regiment was disbanded in October 1945, and was not reconstituted until 1948.
In summary, the authors believe that Robert is wrong on all counts. The British were not doing anything mysterious in Antarctica during or immediately after World War II. They did not establish a wartime base in Dronning Maud Land, nor did they send the SAS to it from the Falkland Islands at the end of 1945. In any case, such an operation could not have been part of Operation Tabarin, which had been passed from the navy to the civil sector [Colonial Office] in July 1945. Nor could it have been an SAS operation, the SAS having been disbanded in October 1945.
Did U-530 and U-977 visit Antarctica?
There is no hard evidence to support the proposition by Szabo [1947: 28–29] that U-530 was not the "real" U-530 but a much faster larger boat. Buechner and Bernhardt [1989: 180], Stevens [1997: 27], and Farrell , embellished that supposition, claiming that U-530 was a fast modern Type XXI boat capable of 30 knots underwater [equivalent to 55 km/hour]. In fact Type XXI U-boats could only reach a submerged speed of 32 km/hour, equivalent to 17.2 knots. In any case, only one Type XXI U-Boat ever saw combat [Blair 1996, 1998; Wynn 1998; Sharpe 1997].
From the interrogation records, the captain of U-530 was Leutnant Otto Wermuth [NARA 1985; Blair 1998: 688]. Szabo [1947: 25, 29] referred to him as Wermoutt, but suggested, because the captain had disposed of the ship’s papers before entering port, that this name could be a pseudonym, an idea copied by Mattern and Friedrich [1975: 70–71]. Independent confirmation that the name was Wermuth arises from Schäffer . This was the captain of U-977, who records meeting the captain of U-530 in Washington later in the year. There is no evidence to suggest that the captain of U-530 was a Wilhelm Bernhard, as claimed by Robert [2005a]. The name Wilhelm Bernhard or anything like it does not appear in the U-530 crew list provided by the Argentine Navy in 1945 [Szabo 1947: 13–14]. Indeed, Stevens [1997: 27] and Farrell  suggest that Bernhard(t) was a "pen-name" of a crewmember of U-530. This is the Bernhart of Buechner and Bernhart  [see above].
According to the interrogation reports [NARA 1985; see also Szabo 1947], which were based on interviews as the ship’s papers had been destroyed, U-530 sailed from Kristiansand in Norway on 3 March 1945, spent 10 days at Horton in Oslo Fjord, then headed for the open sea on 13 March. Mattern and Friedrich [1975: 72] and Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 184–185] have U-530 leaving harbour on 2 May; Robert [2005a] says that the departure date was 13 April. None of these authors offer any evidence in support of their claims, but having U-530 leave on the same day as U-977 [2 May, see below] is convenient for the notion that both boats were parts of a secret submarine convoy [Szabo 1947; Buechner and Bernhart 1989].
Interrogation records have U-530 operating off New York from 4 to 7 May. When Wermuth learned that Germany had capitulated on 8 May, he decided to flee to Argentina, which he thought would be friendly to Germans, leaving the New York area on the 10 May and arriving in Argentina on 10 July [Blair 1998; NARA 1985]. The interrogators found no evidence to suggest that U-530 had deposited treasure or passengers in Antarctica or anywhere else en route to Mar del Plata, nor that it had been part of a large submarine convoy on a secret mission. Interrogators were told that the vessel had crossed the equator on 17 June [NARA 1985]. Wermuth reported that they sailed submerged at first, then at 7.5 knots [13.9 km/hr] at the surface at night, and at 2 knots [3.7 km/hr] submerged during the day, as far as 20◦S. There they surfaced and increased speed to just 9 knots, because faster speeds would have used too much of their fuel reserve.
Accepting these speeds and assuming that U-530 had steamed for 6 hours on the surface at night and for 18 hours submerged during the day, then it would have taken 57 days to cover the 8,500 km between New York and 20◦S. The final 3,300 km would have taken around 8 days, making a total voyage of around 65 days, which is approximately correct as the actual trip took 61 days.
According to NARA , U-977 was a type VIIC U-boat. Its numbering makes it likely to have been a Type VIIC/41. These boats were capable of 17.7 knots surfaced and 7.6 knots underwater, had a range of 14,500 km at 10 knots [18.5 km/hr], and of 125 km submerged at 4 knots [7.4 km/hr], and were depth rated to 250 m [Blair 1996, 1998; Wynn 1998; Sharpe 1997]. These details agree with information provided by the U-977’s captain [Schäffer, 1952] and by Blair .
U-977 sailed from Kristiansand on 2 May 1945. With the end of hostilities on 8 May, Schäffer, like Wermuth, decided to attempt to reach Argentina rather than be captured. Sixteen of his men opted to go ashore near Bergen, Norway on the night of 10 May. On the morning of 11 May, the boat with its crew reduced to 32 dived to skirt the UK, using a Snorkel to secure air. A record 66 days later, when they were safely past the British naval base on Gibraltar, they surfaced. As they had little fuel, having been allocated only 80 tons in Oslo, they had to travel very slowly. From North Africa, they steamed south on one of their two Diesel engines while on the surface at night. During the day they ran on electric motors while submerged [Schäffer 1952]. They crossed the equator on 23 July, and surrendered in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on 17 August, with all of the ship’s papers intact [NARA 1985].
U-977 took 25 days to cross 5,200 km f ocean between the equator on 23 July and Mar del Plata on 17 August. That requires an average speed of 4.7 knots, or 8.7 km/hr, which seems reasonable given the circumstances.
Crew lists for both vessels were provided by the Argentine Navy and reprinted by Szabo [1947: 13–14, 36] and by Mattern and Friedrich [1975: 70–72]. Szabo [1947: 20, 40] was incorrect to assume that both submarines should have had crews of just 18–27 men, an assumption on his part that has been frequently repeated [for example by Buechner and Bernhart, 1989: 184]. The typical crew for a Type IXC U-Boat [U-530] was around 54 men, and for a Type VIIC [U-977] it was 44 to 52 men [Blair 1996, 1998; Wynn 1998; Sharpe 1997]. These numbers are consistent with the numbers seen [remembering that 16 men from U-977 had been put ashore in Norway].
Apart from Wermuth having destroyed his ship’s papers and military equipment, the only unusual thing about U-530 was that it seemed to carry rather more cigarettes than might have been expected. According to Szabo [1947: 24] there were 540 "colis" of cigarettes ["colis" is French for parcel; the authors take it to mean cartons containing (say) 200 or so cigarettes in packets of 20]. The volume of these cigarettes has grown with the telling. By the time we arrive at Friedrich [1979: 69], Szabo’s "colis" have grown to "540 large tin cans or barrels", and the text is accompanied by a photo of a submarine with oil drums on its deck, the implication being that these are drums full of cigarettes. Based on Friedrich’s record of forging captions for photos of seaplanes [discussed above], this photo could, of course, be of any submarine.
The myth surrounding U-530 and U-977 is retold by Goodrick-Clarke  in his comprehensive analysis of Nazi mythology. It is a pity that Goodrick-Clarke’s otherwise careful analysis perpetuates the notions that both submarine left Kiel together on the 2 May [they did not], that there were far too many crewmen [the numbers were normal]; and that U-530 carried 500 large drums of cigarettes [it did not].
Consideration of dates, times and speeds suggests that neither U-530 nor U-977 had time to visit Antarctica. But, sailors can lie, and ship’s logs can be forged. The question we ask here is: was such a visit physically possible under the conditions prevailing at the time?
All previous considerations have omitted to note that June, July and August are mid-winter months in the southern hemisphere. Could a submarine reach the coast of Dronning Maud Land, surface, and unload onto the ice shelf in mid-winter? The first obstacle would be the notorious Southern Ocean itself. The second obstacle would be the pack ice 1–2 m thick that surrounds Antarctica during the winter. Satellite data collected by NASA [Gloersen and others 1992], and by India [Vyas and others 2004] show that off Dronning Maud Land the pack ice extends around 500 km out from the coast in late May and June, and 1665 km from the coast in July, August and September. To reach the coast and to return en route to Argentina, U-530 would have had to travel about 1000 km under ice, and U-977 would have had to travel about 3300 km under ice.
Is that feasible? U-Boats did hide under sea ice to escape detection after attacking ships on the Russian coast during World War II. They also attacked ships from under the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence [Leary 1999]. However, they did not go far under the ice. Under ice the main problem for U-977 or U-530 would have been access to fresh air, as was the case for Captain Nemo’s 'Nautilus' caught beneath the Antarctic ice in Jules Verne’s "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea". Without an independent air-producing capacity, Diesel submarines are inappropriate for under-ice operations [Gimblett 2004]. The Snorkel of U-997 would have been useless under ice. To secure fresh air, the boat would have had to force its way up through the ice to the surface at least every 2 days, because these boats lacked CO2 scrubbers to clean their air. Once it had enough air it might theoretically have been able to submerge and continue its journey. Taking air stops into consideration, its average speed could not have been more than about 3–5 knots under the ice [J. Mason, personal communication, March 2006].
Supposing that U-977 had reached the coast, what circumstances would have met the crew? The average winter temperature at the NBSA Expedition’s Maudheim base was around −26◦C [Hisdal 1960]. The average wind speed was 15 knots [Hisdal 1956] or about 28 km/hour. The wind chill induced by that wind speed combined with an average temperature of −26◦C, would have lowered the effective temperatures to −40◦C, not forgetting that there might be blizzards. Under these cold, dark conditions, the men at Maudheim in the southern winters of 1950 and 1951 sensibly stayed indoors for the whole of June, July, August and most of September [Giaever 1954]. Anyone landing from a submarine would have faced the most extraordinary difficulties in trekking 250 km across ice penetrated by hidden crevasses, in the dark and without navigational aids to a lair in the mountains where the temperatures would have been lower, down to −50◦C [Ohta 1999] and the weather worse.
The authors suggest that the 24 hour darkness, combined with the wide and dangerous belt of winter seaice, means that it would have been physically impossible for U-530 or U-977 to have gone anywhere near the coast of Antarctica in June, July or August 1945.
These same conditions, extensive sea-ice, permanent darkness, extensive cloud cover, and extreme cold would also have militated against Bernhart being able to retrieve Hitler’s ashes from an ice cave in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains by air, in June 1979, as claimed by Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 233]. Maps based on NASA satellite data clearly show that in June 1979 sea ice extended solidly from the Dronning Maud Land coast north to 60◦S, and west right across the Weddell Sea [Gloersen and others 1992]. That means that Bernhart’s supposed sea-plane would not have been able to land in the Weddell Sea to re-fuel, or to land beside a supposed Dutch fishing boat off the Dronning Maud Land coast. Their tale is pure invention.
There is no hard published evidence from any reliable original source to show that U-530 or U-977 were part of a submarine convoy, nor that they [or any other part of the alleged convoy] could have reached Dronning Maud Land in the southern winter of 1945.
Several authors claim, with no supporting evidence, that the USA sent "Operation Highjump" to Antarctica in 1946–1947 to eradicate the secret German base in Dronning Maud Land [for example Szabo 1947: 200, 201; Mattern and Friedrich 1975: 96; Buechner and Bernhart 1989; Stevens 1997, 2003]. For example, Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 229, 231] suggest that the interrogation of the crews of U-530 and U-977 in 1945 had disclosed that the Germans had built massive underground complexes in Antarctica for the manufacture of advanced aircraft and other weapons. The US had then organised Highjump to locate and destroy this secret operation. Mattern and Friedrich [1975: 96] claim that Admiral Byrd said that Highjump’s objective was "to break the last desperate resistance of Adolf Hitler, in case we find him in his Neuberchtesgarten inside New Schwabenland in the Queen Maud Land region, or to destroy him". No source is given for the quote. Referring to Stevens [1997: 52], Farrell  tells us: "Outfitted for a stay of eight months, the expedition encircled the German-claimed territory of Neuschwabenland, Admiral Byrd stationing the naval vessels off the coast, and then advanced the ground troops and aerial reconnaissance from the pole toward the German territory". Allegedly the German "base" was quickly found, overflown, and either an American flag, or a bomb, depending on the version of the story, was dropped on the position.’
The problem with all of these tales is that they link the interrogations of German submariners in mid to late 1945 to the apparently sudden interest of the USA in Antarctica in mid 1946, without considering other possible reasons for that US interest, or the long standing Antarctic interests of well-known US polar explorer Rear-Admiral Richard Byrd.
Operation Highjump was the largest ever expedition to Antarctica, comprising just over 4700 men, with 33 aircraft, on 13 ships including the coastguard ice-breaker 'Northwind', an aircraft carrier ['USS Philippine Sea'] and a submarine ['USS Sennet'] [Byrd 1947; US Navy 1947; Sullivan 1957; Bertrand 1967, 1971; Rose 1980; Mills 2003]. Authorised on 26 August 1946 by Admiral Chester Nimitz, it was a US Naval operation that took place in the southern summer of 1946–1947 under the command of Rear-Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, with Rear-Admiral Byrd [retired] acting as Officer-in-Charge of the Project [US Navy 1947].
Highjump’s objectives [US Navy 1947] were:
Highjump’s strategic military objectives were widely publicised at the time. In an article reprinted in prominent newspapers ["New York Times" 9 February 1947; "Montreal Daily Star" 8 February 1947], Cruzen noted that Highjump showed that the Navy was capable of providing "waterborne supplies" to troops operating "under the most stringent polar conditions" from "far-flung Arctic bases". He went on: "If the defense of America hinges on the Poles –as it may well do in the future– a unit of informed and experienced air and sea power presents a formidable defense combination. The foundation for such large-scale unity in either Pole has been laid here" ["New York Times" 2 March 1947].
Between 2 December 1946, and 22 March 1947, the 11 journalists transmitted 2011 messages totalling 478,338 words to "Radio Washington", for onward transmission to their employers [US Navy 1947]. Some of the people on the expedition wrote books about their experiences [Byrd 1947; Sullivan 1957]. Given the tremendous degree of press coverage, it was misleading for Choron [date unknown] to state: "Little other information was released to the media about the mission, although most journalists were suspicious of its true purpose given the huge amount of military hardware involved".
Comparing the Navy report with Byrd’s 1947 paper in "National Geographic Magazine" [Byrd 1947], it is clear that the report contains nothing of any substance that was not published in that magazine, or later by Bertrand [1967, 1971]. No evidence for suppression of information appears on comparing the Byrd paper, the reports by the US services, the many journalists’ reports, and the books and articles by Sullivan, Rose, and Bertrand referred to above. We conclude that there is no evidence for any concealment. Nowhere in these articles is there any consideration of a possible threat of any kind whatsoever emanating from alleged remnants of the Third Reich. The only threat mentioned was Soviet.
If the supposed German base had been the target of Operation Highjump it should have focused on Dronning Maud Land, but instead it was centred on Byrd’s Little America IV base on the Ross Ice Shelf on the opposite side of the continent. From there his aircraft explored the region between the Ross Sea and the South Pole, and naval task forces equipped with amphibious aircraft set out to explore the coasts to the east, through the Pacific Ocean sector, and to the west, through the Indian Ocean sector [US Navy 1947; Byrd 1947; Bertrand 1967, 1971; Rose 1980]. Both the eastern and western task forces were expected to reach Dronning Maud Land before returning home. Neither of them was supposed to land on the continent. Knowing that the Highjump ships headed first for the Ross Sea, it is astonishing that Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 230] claim [referring to the operation] that "this formidable group anchored near the German-claimed territory of 'Neuschwabenland'. . .and then divided into three separate task forces".
The idea that the expedition was planned to attack a supposed German base in Dronning Maud Land is wholly without foundation. Quotations attributed to Byrd suggesting anything to the contrary have been invented. The Americans showed no particular interest in Dronning Maud Land. They made no effort, nor had any plans, to land on it. They made no special effort to survey it from the air. They would have spent more time flying over it had the weather been better and had time allowed. But with winter approaching, and other calls on their time, they showed no reluctance in turning away from this supposed prize area, as even Szabo [1947: 208] appreciated.
That begs the question, when did someone first make an association between flying saucers and Operation Highjump? It would seem unlikely that it was before 14 June 1947, when the flying saucer craze began in the USA following the crash near the town of Roswell, New Mexico, of what some believe was a flying saucer and what others think were the instruments from a weather-balloon [Sturrock 1999; Park 2001]. According to Goodrick-Clarke , the first connection between post-war flying saucers and Nazi fugitives in the southern hemisphere was made by M. X. Barton [1960, 1968] who suggested that the Germans were assembling these discs in underground factories in South America, South Africa, and possibly Antarctica [though Barton focuses mostly on Patagonia]. However, the first really clear link comes from Mattern and Friedrich in 1975. The reader may note that the books by Friedrich  and Mattern and Friedrich  were written by Ernst Zündel, whose middle names are Christof Friedrich. With regard to the flying saucer story, Goodrick-Clarke  notes that: "During the 1970s, Wilhelm Landig and Ernst Zündel, both neo-Nazi publishers and authors, blended these stories, hints and suggestions into a powerful and elaborate myth of Nazi resurgence".
Were atomic bombs detonated over Antarctica?
Using the analogy of Park  our analysis suggests that the stories of Szabo ; Mattern and Friedrich ; Friedrich ; Landig [1980, 1991]; Stevens [1997, 2003]; Choron [date unknown]; Farrell  and Robert [2005a, 2005b, 2005c], have drawn together unrelated accounts of polar expeditions, U-Boat landings, plane crashes, and high-altitude nuclear experiments. Fragments of these accounts have been stitched together to create the myth of secret wars that were covered up by one or more governments. Information that did not fit has been left out. Gaps have been filled by speculation. The later writers have fed upon the earlier ones’ material, embellishing it here and there. Buechner and Bernhardt  relied on Harbison’s novel  as a source; Stevens  relied on Landig’s novels as a source. The reader is reminded that Buechner and Bernhart [1989: 240, 242] invented the supposed [but impossible] landing of a flying boat in what would have been an ice-covered ocean off Dronning Maud Land in mid southern winter in 1979, and Mattern and Friedrich  and Friedrich  invented the supposed landing of a flying boat from the German Antarctic Expedition of 1938–1939 on a lake in the Schirmacher Oasis, and the discovery by the crew of caverns and tunnels. It is unfortunate that others have followed unwittingly in the footsteps of those authors, repeating their words as the truth. Given what we have been able to discover, perhaps fewer will do so in future. In the case of Robert [2005a, 2005b, 2005c] we are invited to believe in a tale told to him by someone who, according to him, must remain nameless [and is therefore impossible to check], and for which there is absolutely no other evidence.
Our analysis of the abundant scientific literature describing conditions in Antarctica and the abundant historical literature describing the various expeditions suggests that in the writings of Szabo, Buechner, Bernhart, Mattern, Friedrich, Stevens, Farrell, Choron and Robert fantasy has ruled and a travesty of history has occurred. To those who would like to investigate further, we point out that the relevant archives are now open to the public [for example see Rae 1995].