The Hess Conspiracy (Feat. Ian Fleming & Aleisteir Crowley)

Yithian

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I stumbled across a site that appears, upon first inspection, to construct a good narrative of the Hess flight drawing together many interesting threads and portraying him as the unwitting victim of British psychological warfare:

http://www.members.aol.com/LeonardIngrams/index.html

This page in particular makes for interesting reading:

http://www.members.aol.com/LeonardIngrams/britishconspircacy.html

Extract:
Ian Fleming knew that Hitler, Himmler and Hess were all fascinated by the occult, particularly Astrology, but also by Occultist rituals. Secret Agents such as Frau Nagenast , an Astrologer who Hess consulted and paid, were employed to produce charts that pointed to the 10 May being a propitious moment for Hess to fly to Britain. Fleming carefully made sure that the Astrological forecasts that Hess received from his usual Astrologers contained very similar information. This was accomplished using intrigue, bribery and forgery.

Ian Fleming also carried out Operation 'Mistletoe'. Operating with Aleistair Crowley, an expert in German occultism, Fleming and others carried out secret occult rituals in Ashdown Forest. These rituals had something to do with the fact that many leading Nazis were members of the Order of the Golden Dawn - an occult secret society. Occultism was the driving force behind many of the Nazi Party's organisations. The SS were brainwashed and indoctrinated using occult ceremonies. Two German SS officers, codenamed: 'Kestrel' and 'Sea Eagle' were contacted through the the Romanian Mission in London. They attended the rituals in Ashdown Forest, and no doubt reported back to Rudolf Hess that the Order of the Golden Dawn was alive and well amongst prominent members of British society, and that they were waiting to take power once peace was established. Hess was convinced that his plan to bring peace with Britain could lead to greater things. Perhaps even Britain joining Germany in Hitler's Armaggedon-like struggle against Soviet Russia.

However, Hess was unlikely to be convinced by just Astrology, the occult, and correspondence through the Haushofers'. Hess needed more substantial proof concerning the Peace Party. The main plot was hatched through SO1's contacts in the banking and commercial world. Leonard Ingrams (see photo below, right) was probably the mastermind behind this part of the plot. By using British Secret Service agents to establish convincing links with people Hitler and Hess trusted, SO1 could prove to them that the Duke of Hamilton really did have a Peace Party in Britain.

One of the most important people in this scheme was Carl Burkhardt (the former Governor of Danzig, and then Head of the Swiss based International Red Cross - someone who Hess and Hitler trusted implicitly.) Meetings between Burkhardt and Borenius (who had connections with leading British Politicians as an Art dealer and Historian) and subsequently Albrecht Haushofer (Hess' Adviser) helped to convince Hess that a Peace Party led by the Duke of Hamilton existed in Britain.

The final move to lure Hess to Britain was through Burkhardt. Burkhardt was given false information by a City Agent - someone in International Banking, on good terms with both the Foreign Office, secret service and Ministry of Information. Rickatson Hatt (Press Secretary of the Bank of England) is the mostly likely person. Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England met regularly with Sir Campbell Stuart, the former head of the Political Warfare Executive and representatives of the Red Cross between January and March 1941. Rickatson Hatt had an elevated status in the Bank. Norman's diary records, 'Clearance from Morton [Churchill's Intelligence Adviser] re Hatt'. Rickatson Hatt most likely passed false information about the Duke and his Peace Party to Haushofer, perhaps via intermediaries, perhaps not, who thus passed it to Hess. Hess now had overwhelming evidence from leading officials that he could fly safely to Britain to meet the Peace Party's leader, the Duke of Hamilton. The Duke, a senior officer in the RAF in Scotland would keep the British fighters away from him so he could land.

It has been conjectured that Hamilton knew about it, and was waiting for Hess, but Hess flew into the wrong airspace and was nearly intercepted by a Bolton-Paul Defiant Nightfighter. It is quite likely that Hamilton did know and was waiting for Hess, and was part of the SO1 plot. It is not an absolute requirement, but there is much evidence to suggest a tentative link with the plot, including a cover-up by Earl Mount Batten to recover papers from the Duke's home when he died.

The ultimate bait was the British offer of a meeting with King George VI, the Emperor of the British Empire. Hess was almost certainly given to understand that he would also meet General Sikorski, the Polish President who was in Newfoundland at the time. He was destined to fly to Britain on the 11th May 1941, to Prestwick, Scotland. Perhaps he was also told he would meet the Duke of Kent. Hess believed that with such people in charge of the Peace Party, and the possibility of being able to arrange a withdrawal from Poland, peace was a real possibility. Churchill would be ousted from power. The bait was placed. The trap was set.

If the plot was successful, SO1 probably wished to use Hess as a propaganda tool. However, using Hess in this way though would have probably ousted Churchill from power. His power was based on war with Germany, and this must have crossed the plotters minds as they laid their plans. There can be no suggestion that they were really organising a secret peace initiative, because Dennis Sefton Delmer, who joined SO1 the month Hess came to Britain, and a part of the plot, was very anti-Nazi. He put a captured Nazi sign on his desk which read: "Hier sind Juden unerwunscht" ("The presence of Jews is not desirable") so as not to lose his objective: the total defeat of Nazi Germany. It was a very British thing to do: standing against the bully, on the side of the persecuted. It was Britain's historical mission. SO1 never lost sight of it for a second.
I'd be particularly interested if anone has any less-vague information concerning 'Operation Mistletoe'. Two SS officers being in attendance sounds instinctively dubious but perhaps not quite impossible.

Wasn't Gerald Gardener also wandering about skyclad in Ashdown Forest around this time? :sceptic:
 

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Yes! See today's FT breaking news:

"Was Hitler Defeated By Witchcraft?" in More Breaking News section.
 

Yithian

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Fast work!
That links dead and it doesn't like posting links.
Breaking news... hmm... Coincidences eh...
:)

Not much more on Operation Mistletoe though :(

BLACK MAGIC MOMENTS

HIS papal bull of 1484, Pope Innocent VIII called for severe measures against witches. In England, it was made a felony in 1542. By 1563, it carried the death penalty.

Matthew Hopkins, the witch-finder, had hundreds of women hanged or burned, but in 1647 he, too, was cast into a river where he floated. Thus, he was hanged as a wizard.

An acquaintance of Gardner was the infamous Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). "Not a very nice person who used his friends very badly," says the author Philip Heselton.

In 1941, Crowley and his crowd also held some sort of ceremony against the Germans in Ashdown Forest, Sussex. Gardner, buried in Tunis, was generally regarded as a benign figure. But Crowley, the black magician and self-billed "wickedest man in the world", was thrilled when his few friends called him the "the great beast".

At one point he had to flee Italy amid reports that babies had been sacrificed in black rituals.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Yep what with Parsons:

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13006

and Gerald Gardner (this is where i posted the "Was Hitler defeated by witchcraft?" report that I dropped into breaking news):

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=324184#post324184

and Crowley and Ian Fleming the aether must have been postively sparking - should the MoD be investing in the Dark Arts instead of useless Eurofighters, battlehsips, etc.? ;)

I've read Ravenscroft's SoD book (nice little second hand bookshop find - you have to love Hay-on-Wye) but I haven't gone near the other Nazis and the Occult books but what kind of mystical countermeasures (I'm copyrgihting that phrase now) were the Germans deploying?

Emps
 

Mighty_Emperor

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The Yithian said:
Fast work!
That links dead and it doesn't like posting links.
Breaking news... hmm... Coincidences eh...
:)
I think it is just more evidence of my cack-handed ability to break stuff ;)

I have posted the full article in the second forum link I give above:

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 184#324184

and I have fiddling with that post to try to provide the URL in unprocessed form (its just too long for the board to be happy with I suspect) so it should be possible to copy and paste it (or you can just read it where I posted it ;)
 

Yithian

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Well google isn't giving me much. Anyone got some amazing super search engine they can try permutations on "operation mistletoe" "ashdown forest" "Crowley" and the like. Just something scholarly that admits that the operation existed as a sanctioned name would be nice. :)
 

Yithian

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If i see this again the language is going to become unpleasant!
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Ooooo nasty!!

I found the following (as I suspect you did):

It seems the name is the Nordic equivalent of the Greek's Achilles Heel:

If I remember correctly, after all the Nordic Gods had promised never to harm the beloved Baldur and his mother cast a spell so that nothing on earth could harm him, mistletoe was the one thing overlooked. An evil God talked another blind God into throwing a dart of mistletoe at him. Baldur died but was later reborn because he was to beloved of the Gods.

Maybe it points towards the powerful Hess' hidden weakness, at the same time, pandering to his desire to impress Hitler and be "the chosen one".

As I understand it, Hess, aparently, was a member of an occult group called the Thulegesellschaft and maybe the OTO and he was impressed by Aleister.
http://www.amado-crowley.net/forum/viewthread.php?tid=132

and form a movie pitch (I hope this gets made):

Crowley the Spy

Men in black approach Crowley. Being The Beast 666, he should be used to this - but no, these men are from MI5. They take him to London and descend into a military compound beneath the city streets. Codenames are exchanged, secrecy is sworn and Operation Mistletoe begins.

Hitler is well known for his dabblings in the occult. Several of his followers, including Rudolf Hess, are suspected members of Magickal orders. Crowley is asked by MI5 to perform a complex ritual to shift the Nazi power balance.

The ritual takes place in Ashdown Forest, Sussex.

It is long and complex, and visually awe-inspiring, with hundreds of British soldiers wearing robes over their uniforms. A dummy, dressed in Nazi uniform, is seated on a throne-like chair. Two crowds of troops move in circles; one with the sun and the other against it. It is all timed with great precision by Crowley and each time the crowd stops and faces inwards the runes stitched onto the robes spell a different set of messages aimed at the dummy. At the climax of the ceremony the dummy is hoisted to the top of a church tower and, after being set alight, is launched along a cable in the exact direction of Germany. A squad of R.A.F. men follow its track in fighter planes to quench any outburst it may cause.

Some time later. 11th May 1941, Crowley receives a phone call. The news he hears then breaks in the newspapers:

"Hitler's Deputy Quits Reich"

"Rudolf Hess Flees to Britain"

Hess spends the rest of his life in prison. At the Nuremberg trials he tells the doctors why he had to come to Britain: He had received spirit messages and the gods were demanding that he did something because he was the 'Chosen One'. He alone could bring a new age of peace to the world. He is diagnosed insane and spared the death penalty. He dies in Spandau, in mysterious circumstances.
http://www.robber-baron.co.uk/AleisterCrowley/PitchSynopsis.htm

Perhap the information is in the bibliography:

---------
John Harris & M J Trow. (1999) Hess: The British Conspiracy

Not much info at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0233994068

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1871468183/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0233994335/

--
Peter Padfield (1991) Hess: Flight for the Fuhrer

ditto:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0297811819/

-
Ellic Howe (1982) The Black Game

Full details:
The Black Game: British Subversive Operations Against The Germans During The Second World War.
E. Howe. Published 1982. 276pp. Index, illus.

-
Donald McCormick (1993) The Life of Ian Fleming (seems to have also published a couple of Jack the Ripper books and one on the Hellfir club)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0720608880/

-
TV Programme: Hitler and Hess, ITV 6 May 2001

Rudolf Hess - the man who fell to earth; Hitler And Hess Sunday, ITV, 11.30pm.(Features)



Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 5/5/2001


WHO was behind Rudolf Hess's bungled peace mission to Britain at the height of World War II? Was it Hitler? The British Secret Service? A shadowy 'peace group'? Or was Hess just crazy?

Hitler's right hand man certainly raises a lot of questions for historians. How and when did he die? Was he executed during the war and replaced with a double? Did he commit suicide in Spandau prison, or was he murdered?

Using interviews with descendants of some of the major players, this one-hour documentary explores the events surrounding the most bizarre episode of World War II, and th...
http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc0.asp?DOCID=1G1:74145867&refid=ency_botnm

You have to log in to get the full article and the free registration just gives an error when you try to submit it. Anyone with access fancy grabbing it?

----------------
I did find another book:

The Hitler-Hess Deception:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0297811819/

The author has gathered together the shreds of evidence that remained after the British in 1945 had collected and destroyed whatever pertinent files they were able to put their hands on and „neutralized" undesirable witnesses. He shows that the „Hess incident" - Hess' solo flight to Scotland in May, 1941, a month before Germany attacked the Soviet Union - was not at all the feat of a madman decided on at the spur of the moment that it was later made to appear by both the British and the German side. Even (nay, particularly!) Hitler's deputy could not just get into his personal Messerschmitt 110 and take off for the 1000 mile flight to Prestwick without major technical and logistic preparations in Germany, along the way, and at the other end.

The book explains that the flight as such was the result of a sting operation devised by Britain's Strategic Operations staff, aimed at making Hitler believe that the British government could be toppled, peace could be made in the West, and the Germans would be able to affront the Soviets without having to worry about their western flank.

According to Allen, in the year prior to Hess' flight, there had been numerous contacts, mainly in (neutral) Spain and Switzerland, between British representatives and German politicians and intellectuals. The talks in Scotland were to be, as it were, the touchstone of the matter. As time was getting short for the Germans, Hess convinced Hitler that the German delegate should not be a mere emissary acting under orders but a political figure able to take decisions on the spot - Rudolf Hess.
and:

The book argues that in 1940 Churchill realised that Britain had only one hope of survival - that Hitler would invade Russia, thereby ioening a second front. Hitler had, therefore, to be encouraged to invade Russia. To this end the British secret service (using amongst others the then Duke of Kent) duped the Nazis into believing that there was a pro-peace faction in Britain ready to throw out Churchill and sue for peace. To that end a Nazi official was supposed to fly to Scotland for talks. The man who actually arrived was Rudolf Hess.
Emps
 

Mike_Pratt33

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I only skimmed the site but this bit struck me in the section on the reasons for a British coverup.

2. All British governments promote Britain as the country with a special historical mission: to stop injustice in the world. As an accidental by-product of the plot to lure Hess to Britain, Churchill had a chance to stop a war which would have save millions of Jewish men, women and children. Churchill chose not to follow this course of action, because war kept him in power. NB. Post-war Churchill was ousted by a Labour government
The suggestion that stopping the war in 1941 would have saved the Jews is ludicrous.

When I see this sort of thing in a history or a conspiracy theory it makes me instantly distrust the whole thing.
 
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after the war crowly was in rather a hurry to paper over his America based snipeing... to reinvent himself as a suporter and not the rather suspect charecter he realy was.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Anyone got an Ian Fleming biography to hand? I'm wondering if anyone else mentions (or even dismisses) this story?

Emps
 

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Dennis Wheatley in either 'Strange Conflict' (1941), or 'Such Power is Dangerous' (1964) describes the use of occult forces to protect Britain fron invasion. The question is does the Gerald Gardner cone of power story originate in one of these novels or did it inspire them?

Re: Dennis Wheatley wo was a best selling novelist from the mid thirties onwards:
In 1941 he was re-commissioned and became the only civilian member of the Joint Planning Staff. With the rank of Wing Commander he worked in Churchill's fortress basement producing papers for consideration by the Chiefs of Staff.
From: http://users.whsmithnet.co.uk/bob.rothwell/

So he was in a position to know about mystical conspiracies in Ashdown Forest.
 
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There's a rather lengthy section in Hutton's "Triumph of the Moon", examining this incident, I don't remember his eventual conclusion, but I think he considered it an exaggeration, if not complete fabrication, on the part of post-Crowley writers.
 

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Urm... I thought Hess came to the UK to talk with a representative of the King; we'd convinced them that the monarchy was about to stage a coup and then sue for peace...
 

ted_bloody_maul

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i've come across this story (crowley's connection with the hess defection/mission etc) in a book written by somebody claiming to be the son of aleister crowley. he went by the name of amado crowley, iirc.
 

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This seems as close to a "Hess thread" as I can fi

Has anyone read the book Double Standard by Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince & Stephen Prior? I saw a TV program last night promoting their theory that, among other things, the plane crash that killed the Duke of Kent in Scotland (a pretty wild character in his own right) during WWII was not on a morale-boosting trip to Iceland, as the official story would have it, but rather a secret trip to Sweden with the "real" Rudoplh Hess aboard to try to broker a peace settlement with the Nazi's.

There was some interesting supporting information presented eg, there were 15 persons on the manifest, but 16 when the wreckage was recovered.Tthere is unaccounted for time between the the take off and crash (suggesting someone was picked up en route), the lone survivor refused to discuss the flight up to his death, thirty years later.

I've not read the book or for that matter anything else by the authors, though a quick google shows that Picknett and Prince have a definite taste for alternative readings of history and/or fortean topics: Shroud of Turin, Mary Magdalene, Templars, ETs.

Anybody read her stuff other than this book? Any opinions as to how credible are her therioes are in general?

For an interview with the authors see
http://eyespymag.com/intv.html

Thanks! :)
 
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ted maul said:
i've come across this story (crowley's connection with the hess defection/mission etc) in a book written by somebody claiming to be the son of aleister crowley. he went by the name of amado crowley, iirc.

who goes on to claim that UFO's come from a hole at the poles of the earth...:sceptic:
 

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The New Forest Coven Saving England in WWII

So what exactly was the New Forest Coven, and what exactly happened with the group in regards to the WWII defense of England? According to THIS SITE, In England, before World War II, Gardner met people who introduced him into Witchcraft. He and his wife lived in the New Forest region, where Gardner was involved with the Fellowship of Crotona, an occult group of Co-Masons, a Masonic order established by Mrs. Besant Scott, daughter of the Theosophist Annie Besant.This group had established "The First Rosicrucian Theater in England," which presented plays having occult themes. In this group Gardner met a member who claimed they had been together in a previous life in Cyprus and described a site that Gardner had envisioned when dreaming.

Within the Fellowship of Crotona was another, secret group, which took Gardner into its confidence. Members in this group claimed to be hereditary Witches, whose family members had practiced a craft for centuries, and such practice had not been interrupted by the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This group met in the New Forest, and just days before World War II began in 1i939, Gardner was nitiated into the coven by the high priestess Old Dorothy Clutterbuck.

The coven, including Gardner, joined with other Witches in southern England on July 31 (Lummas Eve), 1940, to perform a ritual to prevent Hitler's forces from invading England. Five members of the coven died shortly afterwards. Their deaths were blamed on the power drained from them during the ritual. Gardner, himself, felt his health had been adversely affected.


So that's a pretty big story... but is it a complete fabrication? According to A DIFFERENT SITE, Did the New Forest Coven exist? There is evidence of the existence of 'Old Dorothy' - Dorothy Clutterbuck. She was in fact far from old compared to Gardner. There was in fact only six months between them in age (Doreen Valiente obtained the birth certificate of Ms D Clutterbuck). It should be remembered that adding 'old' to the beggining of a name in the south of England is a term of endearment. So what else do we know of Ms Clutterbuck? For starters she was friends with Annie Besant's (one of the founders of the Theosophy Movement) daughter. Was Dorothy in fact a Theosophist? Here are several possibilities listed:

There was no Magical Group at all, and Gerald just learn't a few bits of Theosophy from Dorothy Clutterbuck and other members of the Christchurch Rosicrucian Theatre.

There was a Magical Group in the New Forest, but it didn't call itself a coven, but Gerald had notions that it was. In this case, he was probably thrown out for calling it a coven in High Magicks Aid which upset the members who did not want to be associated with the 'W' word.

There was a group calling itself 'The New Forest Coven', but it had very little in the way of written ritual.

The whole thing is a conspiracy by Doreen Valiente and Janet and Stewart Farrar to sell more books! (Sorry, couldn't resist that, snigger!)


I like the idea of patriotic pagans doing their duty, but has the claim of such a ceremony taking place ever been substantiated by anything other than Gerald Garder?
 

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New Forest Coven

Hi

you might also like a gander at:
http://www.the-cauldron.fsnet.co.uk/k_l_oldmeadow.html

it's on the mike howard's cauldron website and it's an article about katherine Louise Meadow who might (or might not) have been a member of the supposed coven.

the story is also in James Hayward's "Myths and Legends of the Second World War (Sutton Pub , 2003) where he recounts it but as a myth. According to one version the gathering took place on the coldest May night in years and over the following two weeks 2 members of the coven got pneumonia and died due to the ritual being performed skyclad using only a protective covering of "bear fat". As Hayward points out, during the summer of 1940 supplies of bear fat would be unlikely to be plentiful in the New forest.

(source appears to be Cecil King's "With Malice Towards None" (sidgwick and Jackson, 1970) but i can't verify that.

personally think this is best consigned to that mental box labelled "unverified claims" and left there.

richard
 

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Swift merging Emps - i was just trying to rolleyes and point out the search feature and the thread disappeared out from under me!
 

gordonrutter

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I seem to remember a recent article in FT covering some of this ground...

Gordon
 

Mighty_Emperor

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gordonrutter said:
I seem to remember a recent article in FT covering some of this ground...
And pray tell which fine upstanding member of this board wrote such an article?

FT185:46-50

Emps
 

gordonrutter

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Emperor said:
And pray tell which fine upstanding member of this board wrote such an article?

FT185:46-50

Emps
Written before I read this thread. Honest. Would have made some of the research easier if I'd been reading this. Had to get Amado Crowley's book from the restricted section of the library and read it in the reading room. Probably being watched by THEM as I read it.

Gordon :)
 

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Perhaps we could have that made into a little quoite for the site: "It would have made my life easier if I'd read the FTMB first" ;)

Emps
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Mrs Foley's diary solves the mystery of Hess

By Michael Smith
(Filed: 27/12/2004)

A brief entry in the diary of the wife of a British spy has led to the discovery of the true story behind one of the greatest mysteries of the Second World War - the bizarre 1941 flight to Britain of Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.

No single incident in Britain's wartime history has given birth to so many conspiracy theories, all of them centred on an alleged plot by the intelligence services to lure Hess to Britain.

They range from suggestions that the man imprisoned by the Allies after the war was not the real Hess, who allegedly died in the 1942 air crash that killed the Duke of Kent, to claims that British psychological warfare experts conned him into coming to Britain so they could use him in an anti-Nazi propaganda campaign.

The response from academics has always been disparaging. They regard the conspiracy theories as patent nonsense and, perhaps in response, invariably dismiss any claim of major MI6 involvement in the affair.

But the diary has revealed that MI6 was not only heavily involved in the run-up to Hess's flight but even planned "a sting operation" aimed at luring Hess or another prominent German into bogus peace talks with Britain.

The diary belonged to the wife of Frank Foley, the former MI6 head of station in Berlin, who was to become more famous for his work in getting "tens of thousands" of Jews out of Germany.

It was Foley, as the leading German expert in MI6, who was in charge of the year-long debriefing of the deputy führer. This much is known from Foreign Office files released to the National Archives some years ago.

Hess flew to Britain in a Messerschmitt-110 on May 10, 1941, intent on making contact with the Duke of Hamilton, who he believed would help him mediate a peace deal whereby Britain would join Nazi Germany in a war against the Soviet Union. It was a hopeless mission based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the British establishment.

Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime prime minister, was convinced that it had produced an intelligence windfall for Britain.

But Churchill was wrong. The debriefing was a wasted effort. Hess knew astonishingly little and, to make matters worse, Foley swiftly realised he was mad.

That is where the role of both MI6 and Foley in the Hess affair begins and ends, according to the files released to the National Archives.

But the emergence of Kay Foley's diary, which she had given to one of her nieces, changed all that, sparking off an investigation that has uncovered the truth about Rudolf Hess.

Mrs Foley kept the diary for seven years, from January 1936 to December 1942. Not unnaturally for a journal covering such a long period, the entries were all frustratingly brief. Foley was only ever referred to as F (for Frank) and although records of his official activity appeared in the diary, they were vague.

For the most part, the diary provided nothing new about Foley and what he did.

A few entries added a minor piece of new information. One gave a precise date for a wartime change of job, another details of when and where Foley landed in Britain after the fall of France, adding interesting detail of what he did before returning home.

But the most puzzling entries by far concerned a visit to Lisbon that Foley made in early 1941. He flew out of Whitchurch aerodrome near Bristol on Friday, Jan 17, 1941, spending two weeks in Lisbon and arriving back in England on Saturday Feb 1, 1941, when the diary records that Kay received a telegram from F reassuring her that he had arrived safely back in England.

The dates were intriguing. Seven months before Hess flew to Britain, in September 1940, one of his close advisers, Albrecht Haushofer, the leading expert on Great Britain in the German Foreign Office, had written to the Duke of Hamilton at Hess's request, attempting to set up a meeting in Lisbon.

The letter, sent via an intermediary, an old family friend of the Haushofers, was intercepted and passed to MI5, who initially suspected Hamilton and the intermediary might be German spies and began an investigation.

By November 1940 they had realised this was not the case and spent some months considering whether or not to send Hamilton, a serving RAF officer, to Lisbon to meet Haushofer.

The plan was eventually discarded as too dangerous but the letter's very existence has always fuelled the allegation at the heart of the conspiracy theories – that British intelligence lured Hess to Britain.

Conspiracy theories are easily dismissed but if MI6 was aware that someone so close to power had put out feelers to the British establishment, it would be bound to consider meeting them.

If the approach was from opposition forces, they would be useful allies. If it came from someone with Hitler's backing, it would have provided invaluable intelligence.

The dates for Foley's visit to Lisbon were midway between the letter's interception and Hess's arrival in Britain. They looked right.

Only MI6 could say for sure what Foley was doing in Lisbon. The service still refuses to release any of its own files, but it does retain a number of "old boys" as historians to look after them.

Their immediate response was that Foley must have gone to Lisbon to look at a potential double-cross operation, a reference to the highly successful system whereby the vast majority of Nazi spies sent to Britain were "turned" by British intelligence to provide false information to the Germans.

Although Foley did eventually take over as head of the MI6 Double-Cross section, this did not happen until 15 months later (the diary fixes the date as April 16, 1942).

Told this, the MI6 historian went back and checked the files. What he found was the answer to the mystery that has puzzled historians for more than half a century.

Much of the MI6 archive on Hess has been destroyed. But in the files there was a single, more recent reference that spoke of MI6 plans for "a sting operation" in response to the Haushofer letter.

The MI6 historian also has access to oral histories from former officers and, where they are still alive, the officers themselves. By delving into this "folk memory", he discovered that Foley had flown to Lisbon to see whether it was possible to use a meeting with Haushofer to set up a sting operation.

Foley was accompanied by his secretary, Margaret Reid, who was presumably there not just to take notes but also to provide cover – a middle-aged gentleman and his "niece" spending two weeks away from the austerity of wartime Britain.

There is, frustratingly, no information on what Foley and Reid actually did in Lisbon. But the only effective way of checking out the viability of a sting operation would have been to respond to the letter and to arrange to meet either Haushofer or another intermediary in the Portuguese capital.

In an account written for Hitler after Hess flew to Britain, Haushofer said: "I did not learn whether the letter reached the addressee. The possibilities of it having being lost en route from Lisbon to England are not small after all."

But he could scarcely have admitted having had contacts with the British secret service. After Hess flew to Britain, Haushofer was treated with a great deal of suspicion by the Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi party's security service. It interrogated him and placed his flat and office under surveillance. At any event, whatever Foley and Reid did in Lisbon, it took a full two weeks. They arrived back in England with bad news.

Foley had decided that the sting was too risky and, understandably, Sir Stewart Menzies, the chief of MI6, took the advice of his top expert on Germany, frustrating Hess in his attempts to put out peace feelers to the British aristocracy.

As with most of the events that become the subject of conspiracy theories, the truth about Hess has turned out to be much more mundane. Haushofer had always warned Hess that the attempt to go through Hamilton was likely to fail and that it might be necessary to send "a neutral intermediary" to Britain.

When it did fail, the deputy führer clearly decided that he could not afford to leave such an important task to someone else and simply came himself.

--------------------
•Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews by Michael Smith (Politico's) is available for £8.99. To order (plus £2.25 p&p) call Telegraph Books Direct on 0870 155 7222.
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Degrizzzz

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Isnt the whole story a remix of something from Amado "Crowley"s book?
 

Degrizzzz

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sidecar_jon~ said:
ted maul said:
i've come across this story (crowley's connection with the hess defection/mission etc) in a book written by somebody claiming to be the son of aleister crowley. he went by the name of amado crowley, iirc.

who goes on to claim that UFO's come from a hole at the poles of the earth...:sceptic:
Oh bugger shoulda read the thread better :( apple lurgies
 
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