- Spitfire List - http://spitfirelist.com -

FTR #25 OTRAG

Lis­ten now: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

These seg­ments dis­cuss a remark­able Ger­man com­pa­ny which leased thou­sands of square miles in Zaire in the 1970s. This com­pa­ny, an exten­sion of the (then) West Ger­man aero­space indus­try, had com­plete auton­o­my and func­tioned as, in effect, a state-with­in-a-state. The prin­ci­pal fig­ures involved with OTRAG were vet­er­ans of the Nazi rock­et devel­op­ment pro­gram dur­ing World War II, many of whom had gone to work for the Unit­ed States after the war. Although the stat­ed pur­pose of their oper­a­tion was to devel­op inex­pen­sive rock­et deliv­ery vehi­cles for civil­ian satel­lites, the vehi­cles they were devel­op­ing had mil­i­tary applic­a­bil­i­ty and, as such, may have been ille­gal. In addi­tion, there is con­sid­er­able evi­dence that the com­pa­ny was func­tion­ing as a NATO front orga­ni­za­tion for a vari­ety of pur­pos­es includ­ing pro­vid­ing logis­ti­cal sup­port for U.S. covert oper­a­tions in cen­tral Africa. Per­haps the most omi­nous aspect of OTRAG’s oper­a­tions con­cerns the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the com­pa­ny may very well have been involved in joint research with Amer­i­can insti­tu­tions under­tak­ing the devel­op­ment of genet­i­cal­ly-altered, immune sys­tem-destroy­ing mon­key virus­es. This research may have led to the devel­op­ment of AIDS and Ebo­la. (Record­ed on 1/5/97.)