REAL Secret Weapons? (Foo Fighter!)

What fabled/mystical secret weapon, anytime in history, has reliably subsequently been revealed as actual? I guess I’m talking something in the Foo Fighter-type realm, not nuclear arms type stuff that had an actual known scientife ramp up.

Does the F-117 Stealth Fighter count?

H.A.A.R.P. It came from Tesla’s infamous death ray shit. At least that’s what Alex told me.

HAARP hardly meets the OPs requirements of a weapon.

Who’s this Alex guy? Does he have a newsletter I might subscribe to?

Back at the OP, the first jet-powered fighters were pretty astonishing when they were revealed. Yes, each side had secret engineering efforts underway and instantly recognized what the other was doing when it was revealed.

But when the first ME262s appeared in the skies over Europe, nobody in-theater had any idea how a propeller-less airplane could fly, much less fly a bunch faster than they could. To them it was a complete surprise.

Interesting story about the ME-262:

Toward the end of the war there was a unit nicknamed “Watson’s Whizzers” that was tasked with capturing various pieces of German technology. They grabbed a bunch of 262’s and put them on a boat to New Jersey. They then flew them to Dayton for testing. I believe they camouflaged them at times, even going so far as to hang fake propellers on them.

I always thought it would have been funny if, during the ferry flight to Dayton, one of them had to land at another airport. “What’s that?”

“Nothing! Nothing to see here!”

I don’t know about that, but they did put a fake prop on the Bell XP-59 when they moved it around at Muroc (now Edwards AFB). One pilot was said to have donned a gorilla mask, and possibly a fedora, and smoked a cigar when another aircraft came up to take a look. The idea was that the non-privy pilot would tell his friends, ‘I kid you not! There was a plane flying around without a prop! And its pilot was a gorilla smoking a cigar!’

That isn’t even remotely true. Google “Frank Whittle”.

The thing is, they couldn’t Google Frank Whittle back then. I imagine there were some people who knew that jet engine aircraft were feasible, but I’m guessing it was an unknown quantity to most.

The ME-262 was the first operational jet fighter. The first experimental jet plane (which was German) flew in 1939, although Whittle had done his work prior to that.

The first jet-powered aircraft to fly (albeit accidentally, and it crashed) was the Coandă-1910, which flew in 1910. The He-178 was the first practical jet aircraft, and the first to fly with a turbojet engine. (The Coandă-1910 used a piston engine to turn the compressor of the jet engine.)

Hans von Ohain was apparently unaware of Whittle’s work when he started working on a similar engine in 1935. But Whittle’s patent was granted in 1932, and was available using resources at the time.

Greek fire is a good candidate. Even today, we have some pretty good ideas about how it could have been done, but we still don’t have the actual formula.

Yes, but the point is that the bloody RAF knew what a jet engine was. So did unknown aircraft manufacturer Gloster, and obscure engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce.

I’d tell you, but I’d have to phrase it in the form of a question, ;), ;).

But remember, the OP is asking for mythical weapons. If no one had thought of it, then it’d just be an innovation, not a weapon of legend.

You do realise that the jet engine was secret, don’t you? We couldn’t tell our pilots about them for fear of alerting the Germans to our own jet program.

Re: The P-59:
From The Jet Race and the Second World War"

From here:

From here:

So it was a derby, and not a fedora.

Let me clarify.

The generic pilots & squadron level intel goons in both the RAF & USAAC/ USAAF had no clue what a jet was. To them it was a complete surprise.

When they sent the reports up to HQ, eventually it got to a level where folks in the know said “Blimey, the Jerrys beat us on this one. Get Whittle on the phone and tell 'im to make all haste.”

I’m not suggesting that nobody in the secret research departments of the US or British forces, or their manufacturers, knew what a jet was.

I was stationed at Nellis during the time the F-117 was still secret and was flown out of Tonopah. Everybody at Nellis knew there was something large-scale & really secret going on up there, but nobody knew what it was. Unless you worked up there; and those folks didn’t talk, period.

The F-117s only flew at night so they could not be seen from the ground. What they looked like was one of the bigger secrets about them, although nobody outside really knew that fact yet either.

There were procedures published in the local Nellis airfield operations regs for dealing with a diversion of that unit’s aircraft to Nellis. Without describing exactly what they were talking about, the regs provided that it/they were to be taxied or towed immediately to a small hangar on the far side of the airfield and secured inside with a hefty guard contingent outside. If one was immovable after landing then it, or its wreckage, was to be completely surrounded by trucks and then a tent hastily set up over it.
Bottom line: Keeping long-gestation new technology as close-hold as possible until the decisive moment was, and still is, serious business taken seriously.

But that is your point not his.

HIS point was that most people IN THEATRE in the war didnt have a flying frack about jet engines. So, yes it was a big surprise to those folks. Sure, the reports gots back to those in the know and the secret research labs, but that wasnt who he was talking about was it?

How about the tank? It literally came out of nowhere.