Walther Riedel

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Walther Riedel
Walther Riedel in 1952
Birth Name Walther Hans Heinrich Riedel
Birth Date January 23 1903
Birth Place Oscherslaben Germany
Occupation Engineer
Nationality Germany, United States of America
Notable Works V-2 Missile

Walther Hans Heinrich Riedel was a German rocket engineer who worked at the Peenemunde rocket facility during World War II. He is frequently mistaken for Walter "Papa" Riedel, an earlier rocket scientist who also worked at Peenemunde.

Walther Riedel in Los Angeles 1949
Walther Riedel in Los Angeles 1949

Walther Riedel was born in Oscherslaben Germany on 23rd January 1903. He was captured at the end of World War II and brought to America as part of the US Army's Operation Paperclip campaign to employ German rocket scientists. Some histories reported that on May 14th 1945 Riedel was located in a jail cell in Saalfeld where he was being held by U.S. Counter Intelligence. Some local people had directed the Americans to Riedel in the town of Leutenberg and accused him of making a bacteriological weapon. When Riedel tried to explain to his interrogators that what they were looking at was a valve for a surface to air missile they didn't believe him. When he lost his temper he was roughed up.

Riedel was naturalised in the United States at Tijuana on February 5th 1950 at which time he was working as a rocket propulsion expert for North American Aviation. He made a reputation in the 1950s when he spoke to the news media about the UFO phenomenon and expressed his belief that UFOs were alien spacecraft.