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Operation High Jump (OpHjp)

Operation High Jump (OpHjp)

U.S. Navy Operation High Jump and Little America IV...

Operation High Jump is a mission steeped in mystery. According to the U.S. Navy, the primary objective of Operation High Jump, which began 26th August 1946 and ended in February 1947, was to search for raw materials, and train troops in polar operations by establishing a 4th research and training based in the area formally declared Little America, by RADM Richard E. Byrd Jr. USN in 1929.

The goal of the research base was to investigate the feasibility of establishing and maintaining a military base in the Antarctic and on the ice. The Navy also wanted to gather new information on hydrographic, geographic, geological, meteorological and electro-magnetic propagation conditions in the area, and brought living animals and samples from the area back for analysis upon their return.

The mission, which was documented and filmed by the Navy and sold to Hollywood for the making of the documentary ‘The Secret Land’, comprised of four groups; the Central, Eastern and Western fleets travelling by sea led by RADM Richard H. Cruzen USN, and a carrier group of six R4-D planes, which launched off aircraft carrier “Philipine Sea”, led by RADM Richard E. Byrd Jr. USN.

admiral richard byrd jr

RADM Richard E. Byrd Jr. USN (Center)

Image Credit: US Navy, National Science Foundation, 1946-1947.

The task force of over 40 ships (see below for full list) carried mote than 1400 sailors and three dog sled teams. The Central group, which moored at Whale Bay on January 15th 1947, became the first large fleet of ships to make it through the 600 miles of pack ice, where they then established the based known as Little American IV.

From here the 6 R4-D’s planes, fitted with the “Trimetricon” spy cameras and magnetometers, and modified with jet-assist takeoff bottles (JATO) so they could land on the ice, surveyed the area for the full three month “summer” period.

While the U.S. Navy still claim the mission was solely for reconnaissance purposes, conspiracy theorists believe that the mission had a much different objective.

uss sennet 1946 operation highjump

USS Sennet 1946 Operation HighJump

Image Credit: USN, Artic Submarine Laboratory, 1946.

In 1938 the Nazi’s begin a series of three of their own expeditions to the Antarctic, and like the American’s claimed their own land, which they named Neuschwabenlandt

The Nazi’s embraced the occult and believed that the earth could be hollow, they also believed that hollow center could be inhabited by aliens. In fact they believed this so much that one of their missions was specifically designed to find an entrance to the earths interior and make contact with the inhabitants for support in the war, should they be located.

It was believed that the Nazi’s had managed to build an underground base in their newly claimed land. Where they used the isolated area to conduct classified experiments to harness the power of electromagnetism, gravity, and nuclear materials in order to create new technologies like invisible aircraft, and flying saucers.

This leads some to believe that operation High Jump was in fact a cover up mission with the real purpose of monitoring and/or stopping the Nazi research.

The operations plans, which established a central base and provided two flanking fleets of vessels to circumnavigate the perimeter, also support that theory. But despite the fact that whole mission was filmed and photographed from begin to end, details on the operation remain scant.

Other conspiracy theorists believe the Admiral Byrd Jr. actually met with the Nazi’s during his stay. On the very last flight to include all 6 planes, the Admiral’s plane arrived three hours late with no equipment on board. It was said that he lost an engine and had to throw everything overboard expect the films and the magnetometers which he used to maintain altitude until returning to the base. This is when Admiral is suspected of meeting with the Nazis.

Upon the Navy’s return, all information was classified ‘top-secret’, and the only person to being talking about the mission, the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, was quickly institutionalized in Bethesda Naval Hospital psychiatric ward, and later died from a suspicious suicide.

While the theory may seem a little farfetched, it isn’t too difficult to believe the Navy simply wanted to explorer what the Nazi’s might have discovered, and indeed make their own discoveries.

U.S. Navy Ships Involved in Operation High Jump

Central Group (Task Group 68.2)

  • RADM Richard H. Cruzen, USN , Commanding Officer.
  • Communications and Flaship USS Mount Olympus. CAPT R.R. Moore, USN, Commanding.
  • Supplyship USS Yancey. CAPT J.E. Cohn, USN, Commanding.
  • Supplyship USS Merrick. CAPT John J. Hourihan, USN, Commanding.
  • Submarine USS Sennet. CDR Joseph B. Icenhower, USN, Commanding.
  • Icebreaker USS Burton Island. CDR Gerald L. Ketchum, USN, Commanding.
  • Icebreaker USCGC Northwind. CAPT Charles W. Thomas, USCG, Commanding.

Eastern Group (Task Group 68.3)

  • CAPT George J. Dufek, USN, Commanding.
  • Seaplane Tender USS Pine Island. CAPT Henry H. Caldwell, USN, Commanding.
  • Destroyer USS Brownson. CDR H.M.S. Gimber, USN, Commanding.
  • Tanker USS Canisteo. CAPT Edward K. Walker, USN, Commanding.

Western Group (Task Group 68.1)

  • CAPT Charles A. Bond, USN, Commanding.
  • Seaplane Tender USS Currituck. CAPT John E. Clark, USN, Commanding.
  • Destroyer USS Henderson. CAPT C.F. Bailey, USN, Commanding.
  • Tanker USS Cacapon. CAPT R.A. Mitchell, USN, Commanding.

Carrier Group (Task Group 68.4)

  • RADM Richard E. Byrd Jr. USN, (Ret), Officer in Charge.
  • Aircraft carrier and Flagship USS Philippine Sea. CAPT Delbert S. Cornwell, USN, Commanding.


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