Could there be any truth to tales of early space travel success in 1930s Germany? Just imagine how different the World War II outcome could have been had it involved Astro-Nazis. Via io9:
On October 29, 1933, the London Sunday Referee published a report from Rugen, an island in the Baltic Sea, just off the coast of Germany. Someone named Otto Fischer had flown inside a 24-foot steel rocket, to an altitude of six miles. Were the Germans really testing out a rocket that could carry people, nearly three decades before Yuri Gagarin?
Reports said that Otto was the brother of the rocket’s designer, Bruno Fischer. The flight had been made in total secrecy because of a fatal attempt at a launch the previous year, combined with the fact that the flight had been made under the auspices of the Reichswehr, the German War Ministry.
“It was a tremendous sensation,” Fischer reported. “When the rocket left the ground I was conscious of a deafening roar and an unbearable weight seemed to be crushing me against the floor of the rocket. Then I lost consciousness for a moment, due to the tremendous acceleration which drained the blood from my head. When I came to my senses and looked at the altimeter before my face it flickered at 32,000 feet and then began to drop rapidly. I had completed my climb and was descending. . .”