Der Reise and Der Glocke
Back in Zurich, Zeus pulled out his laptop. “We know the Messerschmitt had a limited range and that there is a Nazi submarine hiding somewhere on the bottom of the ocean.” He pulled up a map and placed a 650 mile radius from the Okefenokee Swamp crash site. Zeus then shaded the area they swept with the research ship and the Magne-STAR. The left over area encompassed half of the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, and the Bahamas.
Zeus sent the file through his encryption software and picked up the phone. “I sent a file, get the satellite to sweep this area. Alright, thanks.”
“So we can wait around until the data comes back or we can check out the research facility in the Sudetenland.”
“We are still wanted in Germany, I don’t think they will take kindly to us traipsing through their country.”
A smirk grew on Zeus’ face, “No problem it’s in southern Poland.”
After a helicopter flight they landed in the town of Walbrzych. They rented a car and made the short drive into the Owl Mountains. At the first complex they met up with Lech Zajak. Lech worked behind the steel curtain as a CIA informant. His actual job as a truck driver, allowed him to pass on information of Soviet check points, troop movements, all waiting for a troop build-up for a war that would never come.
After retiring from both his jobs, Lech took up the past time of finding pieces of Poland’s tumultuous 20th century history. Poland had the unfortunate position of being wedged between two of history’s greatest genocidal maniacs, Hitler and Stalin, who conspired to annex Polish land and commit atrocities of its people.
Bunkers, tanks, and accidental grave discoveries are a common place of the Polish landscape. Lech was a member of the Polish Historical Society and he and a dedicated group had the province of the Lower Silesian. The Nazi’s built a massive underground complex known as Project Riese. With the Allies bombarding Germany they had to protect production and research facilities underground and as far from the Ally airbases as possible.
The Riese facility consisted of seven complexes with tunnels, antechambers, storehouses, fortified guard posts, and small railways. Some of the facility is accessible to the public and has been converted to a museum and other parts were destroyed by the Germans fleeing the Soviet advances.
They met Lech at “The Henge,” a degraded group of cement pillars. “Welcome to Poland my friends. Let me introduce you to the fly trap. It is rumored to have been where the Nazi’s tested anti-gravity technology called Der Glocke or The Bell but most likely it is the remnants of a cooling tower. This is one of the few above ground features, let us head into the bowels.”
Lech continued the tour of the degrading facility. The gates and fences that once kept out inquisitors have gradually failed their duty. He showed them machine bunkers, blast doors, railways, sleeping quarters, kitchens and lavatories. Lech pointed down tunnels that were in danger of collapse and others that had collapsed. After a few hours of looking around Lech showed them the intriguing part of the Riese complex, air vent holes that seemingly led to nowhere.
They were probably 80 feet underground, and the small shafts went out at varying angles from 45 to 90 degrees. Lech hushed his voice, “These shafts don’t exit on the surface, they have combed the area. Researchers have used ground penetrating radar to identify several voids. They could be natural or man-made but my guess is the Germans were using it part of the complex and sealed them off.”
Zeus opened up his hiking bag and pulled out a hard case about a foot wide. Inside the case was a tablet he handed Richard. Next he delicately removed a tiny device and placed it in the palm of his hand for Lech and Richard to see. It looked like a large insect about 3 inches long and an inch wide. “It’s a dragon drone. Turn it on and check the cameras.”
Richard did as told and with incredible detail he could see the ridges and lines on Zeus pale palm. Zeus tapped his screen and it split in two. “One camera is always forward facing the other has 360 degree capabilities. With his free hand Zeus reached down to tap the screen of a second tablet. The dragon drone lifted into the air and hovered a few inches above Zeus’ palm.
Zeus piloted the drone to a shaft and directed it inside. The drone’s brain made sure it kept off of the walls and didn’t crash into anything. A tiny LED light lit the way until the shaft opened into one of the chambers.
The room still had its chalk boards covered in scientific equations. Beakers and test tubes littered the floor along with burned papers. Zeus methodically swept the room as the three of them stared at the screen. Under a table in a corner of the room Lech spotted something. Zeus went in for a closer look.
It was a scaled down replica of what looked like Stonehenge. It made a perfect circle with large arches allowing entrance. In the middle of the henge sat a bell shaped object that matched perfectly with the pictures they had seen in Tibet. Richard panned the camera to capture another object. It was a small ball about the size of a golf ball with a protrusion almost as long as the ball. That’s when they heard a noise up the tunnel.
Zeus decided they had seen enough. He let the dragon drone come to rest on the chamber floor and they rushed up the tunnel away from the sound. Without using flashlights, Lech led the way by feel alone. He had been in the tunnels so many times he knew exactly how many steps before each turn.
Richard became completely disoriented in the darkness but kept following the Polish man. After an hour in the tombs they emerged to the afternoon sunlight. It was blinding but one of the most comforting feelings of the day. They thanked Lech and left heading back to Switzerland to the telephone message they had been waiting for.