news 11 Jan 12

Hidden Yugoslav Technology 'Sent America to Space'

New documentary claims that late Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito built the biggest secret underground space centre in Europe.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

Tito and KennedyMore than fifty years after America announced its intention to go to the Moon in May 1961, a new docudrama presents a rather unusual twist to the Cold War space story.

The documentary, entitled "Houston, We Have a Problem" and directed by Slovenian Ziga Virc, shows that the CIA discovered in 1960 that Yugoslavia had a secret operational space-flight technology.

In the space race with the Soviet Union, America purchased the entire programme from Yugoslav President Tito in March 1961, the documentary claims. Only two months later, US President John F Kennedy announced that America would go to the Moon.

According to the documentary, Yugoslavia's space programme all started with the writings and work of Herman Potocnik, whose 1929 book Problem Voznje po Vesolju (The Problem of Space Travel) inspired ex-Nazi and architect of the American space programme Wernher von Braun. Tito's secret service found Potocnik's unpublished writings and drawings in 1947.

"Yugoslavs made rapid development based on the unknown diaries of Yugoslav space pioneer Herman Potocnik-Noordung after the Second World War," it says below the movie's trailer, released on YouTube.

A year later, following the Tito–Stalin split, a Yugoslav space programme was launched.

The movie trailer goes on to show how Yugoslavia's shift to the West following the sale of its space programme resulted in rapid economic development with generous American financial aid.

The most surprising revelation in the documentary is the claim that Tito built the biggest secret underground space centre in Europe at the army base Zeljava, under the code name "Object 505".

The underground centre was for decades a strictly guarded military base in Yugoslavia, situated on the border between Croatia and Bosnia. An air base was located in the underground mountain Pljesevica, with a radar set on top. Construction of the site began in 1954, and cost some $90 billion.

After the breakup of Yugoslavia and the dissolution of the JNA, the underground base was taken over by the Serbian Army. In August 1995, the airport was mined and almost completely destroyed.

The documentary is set to be released next year. 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

macedonia-probes-procurement-of-gruevski-s-luxury-limo-01-24-2017
24 Jan 17

Macedonia Ex-PM’s Luxury Limo Purchase Probed

Macedonia’s Special Prosecution suspects two former government officials of abusing their positions over the purchase of a 575,000 euro luxury limousine for former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

24 Jan 17

MPs Nudge Turkey Closer to ‘One-Man’ Rule

24 Jan 17

Albanian Parties Hunt For MPs On Internet

24 Jan 17

Turkey Scraps Diploma Deal With Macedonia

24 Jan 17

Records Show Yugoslavia's Dramas Kept CIA Busy

Premium Selection

mps-nudge-turkey-closer-to-one-man-rule-01-24-2017
24 Jan 17

MPs Nudge Turkey Closer to ‘One-Man’ Rule

After MPs backed constitutional amendments radically extending the President’s powers, fears are growing that Recep Tayyip Erdogan could soon enjoy almost limitless control.

bosnia-in-2017-political-feuds-jeopardize-quiet-economic-recovery-01-23-2017
24 Jan 17

Bosnia in 2017: Political Feuds Jeopardize Quiet Economic Recovery

After a bruising 2016, the test for Bosnian leaders in 2017 will be overcoming their differences on reforms, steering the economy towards recovery – while resisting the divisive force of nationalist politics. 

20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

Latest News from the Balkans

24 Jan 17

Albanian Parties Hunt For MPs On Internet

24 Jan 17

Turkey Scraps Diploma Deal With Macedonia

24 Jan 17

Records Show Yugoslavia's Dramas Kept CIA Busy