Please check the wiki contents which now has an entry for Rudolf Hess' 1941 flight to Scotland.
This started out ages ago as a few lines, just out of interest, but grew into a huge file that had to be edited down to remove the speculative and conspiracy based items, and then the content provided by those with a 'Point to Prove' and then the politically and belief biased threads. It's a wonder there was anything left after a while.
It actually becomes rather interesting to piece something like this together, as it becomes apparent how the 'truth' behind the conspiracy theories is probably more about latter-day authors placing a bit of 'spin' on an inconsistency or detail that differs between accounts (or an entirely absent piece of information they deem 'essential'), so that they can write a book building on the point, knowing they have an almost guaranteed audience/income for their effort.
The worst aspect of this is that while there may be some foundation in some of the early items (I'm not saying there is though), the latter items that build and expand on them, and become more elaborate as time passes, obscure and distort past evaluations.
I have to say that being steeped in the references for a few week has made me pretty skeptical of most, if not all the conspiracy theories. He was probably deluded, he probably wanted out, Hitler probably knew he was making the flight, he probably supported it on the offchance it succeed, probably had the insanity story ready if it backfired, and the Allies probably reckoned they had a prize catch for free, regardless of his mental state.
There's no surprise there were odd stories floating about - both sides had active propaganda ministries, tasked with ensuring the other side was kept off balance.
Thought about this afterward, and I probably wan't being fair, as what I heard was a dramatisation, so it was German officers discussing Hess that I heard, so they would only think of a flight in this direction as being to England or Britain, so I wasn't being fair
I occasionally allow myself a little smile when I read some stories, and this alternative version of the capture of Rudolph Hess shortly after he bailed out raised one such smile.
While I've never come across any claims that Hess was held at Comrie (other than this one), consistent accounts indicate he spent 7 nights in Scotland, counting his arrival at 11 pm as contributing one night.
This following story smacks more of something dreamt up and spread about by the Toffs and Jolly Good Fellows, affronted that a lowly ploughman should be credited with such a worthy prize.
It's certainly never popped up in any of the books or extracts I read over a 2 week period researching the landing, nor did any reference to Comrie.
Comrie is understandable as an assumption though, given it was used to hold the most hardcore Nazi prisoners, and you probably also know the inmates murdered one of their own, believing him to be a British spy. Five prisoners were tried and executed.
The story, unedited:-
Note - there are accounts that Rudolph Hess was held at this camp for 1 night when he crash landed in Scotland. However, the following email from Peter R McNaughton would refute that:
"You may be interested in knowing that Rudolph Hess never stayed at Camp 21 in Comrie. He did, however, stay at Buchanan Castle some 40 miles away, near Buchlyvie. The father of a friend of mine was the one who captured him. The story goes that Mr. Clark was at a soiree in the evening and heard the crash. On looking out he saw flames coming from a crashed aircraft on the hillside. He was dressed in a tuxedo and strapped on his Sam Brown belt with revolver over it and went to investigate. He came across this figure moaning and staggering around. He drew his revolver and then took the man to the house where the soiree was being held. There the prisoner was handed over to the military police. It was only later that he realized that his revolver was not loaded! And only much later that he found out that his prisoner was, in fact, Hess. The following day, much to his embarrassment the Duke of Hamilton, a Spitfire pilot in Edinburgh, was asked to go and identify him. Apparently Hess had met him in Berlin in or around 1936. Hess thought that by naming him and suggesting he knew him, that the Duke could identify him and would lead him to Churchill. Hess, of course, was a lunatic. He had apparently hoped to come to an arrangement of stopping the War. The following day he was sent to London where he was incarcerated in the Tower of London until he was flown to Nuremberg. The article that everyone quotes was in either the Daily Mail or the Daily Mirror. As with many rags the reporter jazzed up the article with this comment. [That he was held at the POW camp] Rudolph Hess was never in Comrie Camp (Camp 21) but was in Scotland for only two nights. The first when he was captured (or gave himself up) and the second at Buchanan castle in Bucklyvie near Kippen and Loch Lomond in Stirlingshire.
A question about the Hess flight. I've got somewhat of an interest in Local History, and one of the books on Irvine mentions that there was a Royal Observer Corps Observation post on top of the old Blue Billy Bing in what is now the Irvine Beach Park, and that they were credited with the first definite visual confirmed sighting of Hess's plane. I've never heard this mentioned elsewhere.
It's the Old Irvine book by Neil Stirrat that mentions this.
The ROC (admittedly the Cold War period) is one of my special interests, and I was fortunate enough to make a note of the account of the observation of the Hess flight by the World War II observers, and a quotation is included in the Hess Flight Page on the main site:
This notes that Assistant Observer Group Officer Major Graham Donald couldn't get anyone to believe him at the time, but was later commended by his superior for making his report.
As noted on the page, the original source of this quotation has since vanished from the web, but I am sure the ROC Association would recognise it, and provide details to confirm if anyone needed to make it 'official'.
Quite a lot has already been written about the Rudolph Hess flight to Scotland on May10th 1941, and I myself have made several postings on other threads. It is of course likely we'll never know with 100% certainty what the whole story was; however, I have always had a feeling at the back of my mind that the Hess affair was contrived by the likes of Churchill and the British Secret Service. I have recently read a book, "Foot Prints in Time", written by John Colville, and published by Collins in 1976, and it dispels any thoughts in my mind that there was more to the Hess's timely flight than we have been led to be believe.
Colville was one of Churchill's Private Secretaries, and on the evening of Saturday May 10th 1941, he was alone at #10 Downing St. while Churchill was off spending the weekend at Ditchley. Colville spent the night sheltering in the rather flimsy accommodation at #10, while the Luftwaffe plastered London with high explosives and incendiaries, in what was probably the most devastating raid of the war.
After the "All-Clear" Colville went out for a walk and a bit fresh air. On his way back to #!0 he dropped into the Foreign Office for a chat with his friend, who was Anthony Eden's Private Secretary. Eden's Secretary was speaking on the telephone and he said to Colville,
" This may be a lunatic. He says he's the Duke of Hamilton and that something extraordinary has happened, that he's about to fly down from Scotland to Northolt, and that he wants to be met by Alec Cadogan [Asst. Foreign Secy.], and the Prime Minister's Secretary.".
Colville spoke to the Duke and asked, "Has somebody arrived?", to which the Duke replied, "Yes, please be at Northolt to meet me.", and rang off.
Colville telephoned Ditchley and asked for instructions from the Prime Minister.
"Well, who, has arrived?", asked Churchill.
"I don't know", replied Colville, "He [Hamilton] wouldn't say.
"It can't be Hitler?" asked Churchill, to which Colville answered,"I imagine not.".
"Well stop imagining, and have the Duke sent straight here from Northolt.", answered Churchill.
A careful reading of the foregoing will doubtless lead to the Questions:
(1) Why was Colville's first reaction to ask, "Has somebody arrived?" ? and (2) Why was Churchill's first reaction to ask, "Well, who, has arrived?" ?
The answer to Question #1 is simply that during the air-raid Colville had been dozing and daydreaming about Peter Fleming's 1940 book, "Flying Visit", a fantasy which had Hitler inadvertently landing in the U.K.. But it wasn't Hitler Colville had been daydreaming about, but Göring, who it was rumoured, was believed to take flights in German bombers.
The answer to Question #2, is that Churchill too was aware of the information from Air ministry Intellegence, that Göring was believed to take flights in German bombers, and simply in his thoughts, replaced Göring with Hitler.
I now believe that it was later that day, Sunday May 11th, that Churchill first learned, from the Duke of Hamilton, that Hess had arrived in Scotland, and that MI5 and/or MI6 had nothing to do with the arrival of Hess in Scotland.
Just as an aside, does anyone here think Hess actually deserved the life imprisonment that he got at Spandau. While he was a Nazi he seemed to have a lot less blood on his hands than a lot of them. In fact, after Himmler appeared on the scene Hess was positively sidelined.
Just as an aside, does anyone here think Hess actually deserved the life imprisonment that he got at Spandau. While he was a Nazi he seemed to have a lot less blood on his hands than a lot of them. In fact, after Himmler appeared on the scene Hess was positively sidelined.
I don't think Hess deserved the sentence of life imprisonment that he was given at Nuremberg. The two counts for which Hess was found guilty at Nuremberg were:
(1) Planning and preparation of aggressive war; and (2) Conspiracy to commit crimes.
For this guilt, Hess served the rest of his life in Spandau Prison. One might note that if George Bush or Tony Blair were tried today in court for planning and preparing for an aggressive war, or conspiring to commit crimes, they would, beyond any doubt, be found guilty by virtue of having planned and waged an aggressive war against a sovereign nation. Even aside from the current Iraq situation, almost all leaders, Churchill, included, would have been guilty of the same crimes for which Hess served a life sentence... planning, preparing, and conspiring for war, is part of a leader's job-description.
While Hess may have been involved to some extent with the persecution of minority groups in Greater Germany, he was not a part of the Nazi excesses which developed after Hess was incarcerated in Britain. It is my belief, that these Nazi excesses, while not mentioned as part of the crimes for which Hess was found guilty, played a role in the unjust level of punishment handed down to him; and I feel further, that it was the realisation of Hess seeming to have "a lot less blood on his hands " that led the western powers to seek his early release from Spandau.
For much the same reason I think the life sentence handed to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder and 20 years to Grand Admiral Karl Donitz were also excessive. The worst excesses of the Nazi regime seemed to have been perpetrated by the likes of Reinhard Heydrich and his ilk.
As usual, while looking for something else, I came across the following recent release from the National Archives...
Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison
Contains minutes of the meetings of the Spandau Prison governors, in addition to correspondence with legal advisers for each of the Four-Power Authorities (UK, USA, France and the Soviet Union). Discussions in this file concentrate on the state of Hess´s health and the negotiations between the three western powers and the Soviet governor to allow Hess to receive medical treatment at the British Military Hospital in Berlin.
Many items in the files relate to the campaign to release Hess in the build-up to his 80th birthday.
If you want have your own copies of some Hess documents, you can get them for free by following the link on that page to the DocumentsOnline option.
Follow the procedure as if you were going to purchase the copies and you'll end up at a page asking for your email (if you were actually purchasing docs, the email is used to tell you where you can download your purchase) and your credit card details.
You do NOT need to enter your credit card details - as soon as you hit Return it will take you to the Free Download Page.
You might not even need to enter an email address since it's not actually needed either, but I did stick one in just in case.
They are worth a look, and bring home the the truth of things like the intransigence of the Russian in response to anything Hess requested (they didn't want him to be given a new notebook to write in until the old one had first been removed from him and destroyed), and the intense level of legal detail any requests or claims were subject to.
I downloaded the lot, but will probably never find the time even to look at these few docs in detail, and look in alarm at content that refers to things like the 883rd and the 1,346th meeting. Hess's long incarceration certainly kept a lot of people in a job.
Quite why the search engine decided the following met the criteria I had entered to try and track down the original story about a dispute about Tiree airstrip is beyond me, however I thought I'd give you the chance to read this take on the Rudolf Hess flight.
I haven't read it in total, and admit to have dropped it into the drivel box, considering it to have "an agenda" and having spotted a para that refers to "On the night of the 10th May the landing lights of the airstrip had been turned on as the result of a phone call from the home of the Duke of Buccleuch, but were switched off a few minutes later a few minutes later by a group of strangers who had entered the house."
Yes folks, in wartime Britain, groups of strangers could just wander into a house that hosted a temporary runway with landing lights, and turn them off without being challenged or identified. Bear in mind that if the lights had just been turned on, then the place was not unmanned at the time, so...
I was reading about Hess' son, (Wolf Rüdiger Hess, 1937-2001), an unapologetic Nazi and fervent supporter of Adolf Hitler, who (and I can understand his bitterness given the treatment given to Rudolf Hess) maintained to his dying day that the British SAS murdered his father to prevent his parole (which many thought was imminent). Wolf was sure that the murder was committed because the British were afraid that his father would reveal embarrassing information about British actions during the war, if he was allowed to speak freely. However, this position is rebutted by the release, in 2007, of documents demonstrating British support for Hess' release on humanitarian reasons and their campaign against steadfast Soviet opposition to his release.
Rows over the jailing of Adolf Hitler's deputy became a key point of Cold War tension, papers reveal. Rudolf Hess was held in Berlin's Spandau prison until his suicide in 1987, aged 93. The documents show British governors fought Soviet attempts to turn the jointly-run jail into a "gulag" labour camp with just one prisoner.
France, the US, UK and Russia jointly managed the jail - and disputes over Hess led to bitter recriminations. Hess had been in custody since flying to Scotland in 1941. Marginalised in the Nazi hierarchy with increasing mental problems, he thought he could strike a peace deal with Britain so Hitler could invade Russia unhindered. He ended up jailed for life at the Nuremberg war crime trials. By the 1970s, he was the only Nazi left in Spandau and a humanitarian campaign had been launched to see him released. The three western powers sympathised but could do nothing without the Soviet Union's agreement.
In files originally opened two years ago after a Freedom of Information request, National Archives documents show the stand-off reached a boiling point in 1974. The Western powers fell out with Russia over Hess's health after doctors warned he could have cancer. The British wanted Hess taken for tests at their nearby military hospital. But the Russians told the Americans to pay for an x-ray machine in the prison instead. The papers show how British governor, Robert de Burlet, began taking his Russian counterparts to task over "prisoner number seven", as Hess was officially known.
In one meeting, de Burlet demanded the Russians see sense. "If you keep him in prison until he dies, you have created a martyr who would be remembered not for his own misdeeds but for the inhumane treatment which he himself suffered." The Russian official, Romanovsky, privately conceded that he sympathised with the British position. But he said decisions over Hess were taken at the top and added: "I do not think that for us it will be possible to release him - the political difficulties are too great."
And so Hess's regime remained strict. Confined to a small badly-furnished cell, his requests for more relaxed rules led to petty and pointless political clashes. The Russian governor began censoring large parts of Hess's letters to his wife. He ordered his guards to take Hess's glasses at lights out - a regulation that was never followed by the other powers. When a Russian guard established that Hess had 13 photographs in his cell, rather than the regulation 10, three were removed - leading to another row in the governors' office. Hess wrote himself a sign reminding himself to stand up in the presence of the Russian commandant. The three other powers said they didn't want an old man to stand. The British became convinced the Russians wanted to turn Spandau into a western outpost of the "Gulag Archipelago" - the Soviet Union's forced labour camps.
In one incident, Hess saw some windfall plums in the prison gardens and wanted to take them inside rather than leave them to the birds. The Soviet guard said no - but was overruled by the British warder. Within days, the incident had escalated into a full-scale row between the four governors with the Russians accusing the British of breaching the original post-war agreement over war criminals and demanding reports and disciplinary action. "We have what I consider a genuine case of mental cruelty," said Robert de Burlet. "Whatever horrors the Germans had perpetrated in their concentration camps I do not want it to be said that we were following their example." London urged him to resist attempts to tighten the regime and diplomatically endure lecturing from Russian generals, one of whom was frequently the worst for drink.
Hess's birthday passed with no sign of movement on release. And in a sarcastic editorial marking the occasion in Pravda - the Kremlin's official newspaper - explained why.
"The Hitlerite lieutenant must drink his retribution to the bottom of the cup," it said.
Hot on the heels of Wolf Hess's assertion that the British, the SAS, MI6 (and probably the kitchen sink at some point), murdered Rudolf Hess, I've uncovered "the truth" buried in a newspaper item from 2001, and written by the first person to investigate the death scene of Rudolf Hess in Spandau prison.
While the world speculated about the death of the 93 year old in 1987, found hanged in his cell - a fact given as evidence that he was actually murdered because he was physically incapable of carrying out the act himself due to arthritic fingers - Ian Brewster, the head of crime scenes for Gwent Police, had been keeping the real truth a secret until 2001, when he decided to spill the beans to an unknown reporter on a nondescript Welsh newspaper in Gwent.
After revealing this, Mr Brewster said: "These facts have been kept secret over the years, but I suppose it's OK to tell them now - Hess's writings confirm that he was firstly an anti-Semite who agreed with extermination of the Jews, and he believed that black people should be next.
"When the Americans decided to give Hess a black orderly he was so outraged that he decided to kill himself."
After discovering this story, the South Wales Argus unsurprisingly decided to run it ahead of the planned article.
Of course, it's all perfectly clear now, it was really the Americans that murdered Hess, using a carefully crafted psychological ploy designed to manipulate the old man's mind, and coerce him into killing himself, so that they'd clearly be blameless, or maybe the British would get the blame.
Anyone interested in Hess at all should read Eugene K Birds book "THe Loneliest Man in the World". This was written when Hess was still alive and basically starts off when the Nuremberg defendents were still in the prison and awaiting trial.
I hadn't seen this article before, and it was the Laurel & Hardy reference that caught my eye first, but the reality is far from humorous, with a reflection on the difference between the Soviet military and diplomatic arms.
"In this environment the velvet glove is off and the mailed fist and the venom are all too plain to see."
A friend of my parents, a Mr Stark, was the Chief Board of Trade investigator in Scotland. He investigated the "liberation" of the cargo from a grounded merchantman in the Western Isles, later to to become well known as the "Whisky Galore" affair. However prior to his taking up the appointment he had been head of Special Branch in Renfrewshire. One night he was called out to go to Eaglesham Police Station to investigate and report on a German airman being held there. On arrival at Eaglesham it was clear that this was no ordinary prisoner and arrangements were made to transfer him in the morning. He was then escorted to Maryhill Barracks and handed over to military custody. In all Stark probably spent about 8 hours in contact with Hess. When he told the story in later years he added his assessment that "Hess was mad as a hatter".
Stark was a big (weren't they all!) scottish policeman who hailed from highland stock. He displayed the straightforward shrewdness that seemed to characterise the police of that era. He was a good "thief taker" and after the war rose to become deputy Chief Constable of Renfrewshire. I listened to his stories and I listened when others spoke of him, all respected him although some may have feared him. I know people who guarded Hess in Spandau years later and all they tell me would appear to back up Stark's original assessment:
There's only the torthcoming Scottish elections, fighting in Libya, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed by damage to a number of nuclear power plants and assorted releases of nuclear material, a collection of Middle East revolts and deposed rulers, a European fuel crisis, Afghanistan still bubbling away, and a Royal wedding to apparently... so, nothing really noteworthy, although most papers would be able to fill a few column inches every few days I am sure.
The Daily Record is stuck, and trawls up a re-run of the story of Rudolf Hess and his flight to Scotland in 1941.
And trawls up really is a fair description, as it has singularly failed to add or contribute anything to the story, and merely raked over the coals of speculation, which will glow for another six years, until the documents held in the National Archives are released in 2017 - although I doubt there will be that much of a revelation on the day, such has been the level of speculation and fantasy over the years, the truth - if there is any - will be an anti-climax.
Probably the only thing of real interest that comes with the (re-)publication of this story is the level of banality and lack of intelligence of the comments the Record's readers have been able to add to the article. Do they think anyone will believe them?
Oh well, maybe it's not all a waste of space.
They did mention (in the last line) that the RAF would providing a display for the Eaglesham Fair on May 21, to mark the 70th anniversary of the part played by Eaglesham in this odd story.
Thanks for posting the Hess Saga Apollo. It is still an interesting story. While I feel like yourself, that there is "nothing really noteworthy" in the Daily Record's rehashing of the facts and whatever else has become a part of the tale, the 70th anniversary of it deserves renewed mention.
You know, this landing of Hess back then in Glasgow really was a big deal. Everybody was talking about it, with wild speculations galore. Hess I'd guess, was a known political person to most Glaswegians at that time, and to have him drop in among us at a time when Britain was positively reeling under countless German successes, was absolutely astounding. I remember it oh so very well, although I must confess that this being the 70th Anniversary had not occurred to me.
London at the time of Hess's landing, on May 10, 1941, was receiving I believe (not 100% sure of date), one of the heaviest air-raids of the war and here we were up in Glasgow stealing the headlines... well aware that history was currently establishing itself, right here in our Glasgow! I think the Daily Record is making use of something to which they are fully entitled.
I've read up quite a bit on the Nazi regime as basically I have an interest in World War II and the aftermath right up to the Cold War. One thing that was mentioned was that despite Hess's grand sounding title of Deputy Fuehrer, it was basically an empty title. Hitler had already designated others to act in his stead if he was incapacitated, and with others like Dr Goebbels, Reichsmarchall Goering and Reichfuehrer SS Himmler growing their own personal fiefdoms, Hess was increasingly sidelined to a largely ceremonial role. The other ones mentioned had their own responsibilities like propoganda, the Luftwaffe and the SS, Hess really didn't have very much.
What you are saying here Jade, may well be true, but in Glasgow in 1941, indeed in the U.K. and maybe even the rest of the world, this as far as I'm aware, was not common knowledge. From what I have been led to believe from German sources, neither was Hess's fall from grace common knowledge in Germany. Hess was still seen as an Nazi "big wig". In the Third Reich the Hess departure was pretty well dealt with in much the same way it was in the UK.
I don't quite see the Hess "empty title" idea as being of any great importance in what happened in 1941. I believe it was a profound event, and the reaction around the world was exactly as it should have been. Its immediate effect on the people in the Third Reich was an astonishment as meaningful as it was to us in the UK. How this manifested itself among the German people I don't know, but I'd guess they weren't left feeling good about it. On the other hand, I think we in the UK got a bit of an uplift from it.
Nah Jade, I don't believe the "empty title" plays any role in the Hess Affair: he was a Nazi big shot who came to the UK at the height of the war. I was going to use the word "defected" but chose not to, because it is my belief that he really did come to Britain in the hope of bringing about a rapprochement between the UK and Germany... and I don't think defection was ever a part of his plan.
By the way, to many people around the world, the title enjoyed by Hess was no emptier than that enjoyed by King George VI, and we can imagine the effect the departure of our king would have had on the UK.
What I meant partially was that while it wasn't common knowledge about Hess being gradually sidelined, its possible that he thought that getting Britain to sign a peace agreement might have got him back in the Fuehrers good books and back in his inner circle and regaining some of the influence he once had.
I see what you mean here Jade, and agree that it may indeed have played a role in encouraging him to fly to the UK. There is of course, no doubt at all that if he'd been the architect of a successful rapprochement between the UK and Germany he'd have been back into the "inner circle" as you call it.
Supposing, as has been speculated, that Hitler himself had been a party to the flight plan? If so, the fact that Hess had been chosen by Hitler contradicts the idea that Hess no longer enjoyed a meaningful position in the hierarchy of the Nazi Party. This emissary idea had cropped up among the hierarchy of the Party before. Hermann Göring had been involved in some way or other in a plan to approach the British government secretly in London before the war in an endeavour to improve the relations between the two countries. You know, it could be that Göring did in fact come to London, but I don't know.
I always feel slightly uncomfortable when a 'new' witness is wheeled out, and provides a story that conflicts with what has come to light over the years.
However, I also understand how some people might have had no desire to speak before, and are getting old now, and might not be with us much longer.
However, even before I checked my own notes - based on what I believe to be consistent elements of the story of Hess's arrival in Scotland - I was developing a furrowed brow, and thinking that facts were not gelling.
In brief, the points I have problems with in the BBC's new account are:
The witness was only 10 years old, but refers to hearing "the unsynchronised engines of a German plane".
I doubt that - this takes practice, or engineering sympathy, both unlikely. Perhaps he was told this at the time.
The witness says "It was very, very unusual. We could see it wasn't a bomber and we recognised it as an ME 110 - it was recognisable to all of us in these days."
Problem, the 110 was a twin-engined fighter bomber. If they were so familiar with types, they should not have specifically said it was not a bomber.
The witness says "And then, strangely - I have never known the reason - we heard cannon fire. "My father shouted: 'It is the RAF, they are after the bastard - they are after him'. But there was no RAF plane there. "So my only explanation is that the plane was armed in some way and Hess was getting rid of the ammunition because obviously he was running out of fuel."
So far, I have only seen accounts that say Hess's aircraft was unarmed, so he wasn't firing unless the past tales are all wrong.
Also, you might dump fuel before making a crash landing, not fire the guns/cannons - and as noted, he was empty of fuel anyway.
The witness also refers to the fuss over Hess's presence there. but as far as I can see, at Busby Home Guard Company HQ, he identified himself as Hauptmann Albert Horn. But, I can't identify a point at which he was identified as Hess.
I do have an account by an ROC volunteer who identified the downed pilot as Hess, but he also states that no-one there would believe him!
Finally, the witness states that the pilot was walking without difficulty, yet the accounts of his broken ankle, and treatment at Buchanan Castle, Drymen, are consistent.
I don't know what to make of this new tale.
Or just 70 year old memories of a 10 year old, coloured by the passage of time, and things overheard from adults speculating nearby?
There is one other point...
Our 10 year old says hew outside playing football when Hess arrived...
Hess arrived just after 11 pm on this day in 1941, 11 pm on May 10 - playing football outside?
He told BBC Scotland: "It was a Saturday. It was a very pleasant day - sun and cloud - and as I recall it my father and I were at the back of the house under a great big chestnut tree, kicking a football about, when we heard the unsynchronised engines of a German plane.
"Now that was unusual during daytime and it flew over the chestnut tree.
"My father said: 'Look at him, look at him' but I missed him just as he went past.
Makes you think
STV also chose to mark the day with a story too, but with no speculation, and even a suggestion that there was no real mystery at all:
I agree with you on this one Apollo. I had intended to comment earlier but I was otherwise engaged. Yes, this 'new' witness they wheeled out does have a few reminiscences that are out of step with the facts. I think the most obvious one is the account which tells of the "war criminal" (I must check if Hess really was a war criminal... if he was he shouldn't have been!) being pulled from his wrecked plane, as he was not in the aircraft when it crashed. What kind of news rag I wonder would print is "...to members of the Corporal Royal Signals" which is clearly a typo.
Among the problems with which you had trouble, you mention the boy hearing "the unsynchronised engines of a German plane". This could have been a fact, even for a 10-year old. Well, if we drop the word "unsynchronised". I think a boy interested in aircraft at that time and been subjected to "air-raid precaution" material at school, could have identified the sound of a German engine. In 1941 the boy likely had been there through the Clydeside blitz and spent the best part of a night listening to them. On the other hand, I don't think boys of that age could have identified cannon fire from machine gun fire...if there had been any.
While on the subject of the boy, his claim to have been playing football at that time is not completely unreasonable. I recall playing football on Crossloan Rd., Govan, during an air raid before the "All clear" had gone... and that was in the middle of the night, ( the night on which it was rumoured that a German plane had crashed into the SCWS Shieldhall factories and hundreds of people took to the streets to walk to the factories area which was burning furiously).
Anyway, even with these questionable points the Hess saga still makes an interesting read, and it always reminds me of my unsuccessful bike ride to find Eaglesham the day after it all happened.
Of course quite a lot would be explained if there were 2 people in the plane, one who parachuted out and one who was pulled from the wreckage. It would also explain the accounts of hess being detained in two places at the same time! The ME110 was designed for a crew of 2, even 3 for night flying.