The Rhodes Object

- by Don Ecsedy, March 26, 2014

Brower’s report tells us why Rhodes photographed the object.

“He further described the appearance of this ship as closely resembling a picture which appeared on the front cover of the May, 1947, issue of the Mechanics Illustrated Magazine, the only difference noted by Mr Rhodes being that the ship appeared to be flying backwards.”

Meaning the leading and trailing edges were reversed. There was no known aircraft at the time with that planform. Fugate’s report has far more detail about the object than Brower’s report. Fugate may have questioned Rhodes closely on the items of interest to the Air Forces and to pilots (he doesn’t mention the “flying backwards”, though). It is as if Brower and Fugate pretty much ignored the other’s exchanges with Rhodes, each having their own agendas.

Heel-Shaped Aircraft

Dr. C.L. Snyder, a podiatrist from South Bend, Indiana, tossed a felt heel lift in the air and noted its gliding properties. In 1926, he built a heel-shaped glider, and then went on to manufacture powered aircraft on the same principles.

Following in Dr Snyder’s footsteps, Charles Zimmerman designed craft on similar principles. During WWII, in conjunction with Vought Aircraft, Zimmerman designed the V-173 for the US Navy. The last flight of the V-173 was in March of 1947. Shape-wise, it is similar to Dr Snyder’s S-1 glider.

At Project Sign, at Air Material Command at Wright Field, and within the CIC, were men who might recognize Rhodes’ object from their experience with German aircraft design and engineering recovery immediately at war’s end. A craft with a similar planform was designed by the Horten brothers during WWII, a glider. The Ho Parabola Horten Parabola

The dark paint on the Parabola reminds me of Arnold’s ‘Wraith’.

We know there was the suspicion that the Russians had made an advance on the Horten brother’s designs and that they could, if in existence, account for reported flying saucers — and there was always the chance they were due to domestic (meaning the United States Navy) research and development unknown to the Air Force.

Interestingly, the object that comes closest to Rhodes photos didn’t appear in the press until 2000, in Popular Mechanics, America’s Nuclear Flying Saucer