The Return of Flight A-10

RAF Ascension

RAF Ascension Island – January 2002 – licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

“There it is again. Let me put it on speaker, Richard.” Thirty-eight-year-old Kristen Hines was on assignment for the NSA at the RAF Ascension Space Communications facility on the mid-Atlantic island. Richard Porter was the fifty-five-year-old civilian division chief.

As the static switched from Kristen’s headset to the speakers in the secure communications room crewed by a dozen specialists, the regular pinging became a fragmented voice.

"Surrender...Nazi...A-10...spacecraft...aliens...releasing us..."

“Mr. Porter, Sir. Got something on radar.” Roger Bennett’s gaze didn’t deviate from his screen. “It’s entering Earth’s atmosphere.” Hines reached for the secure line to Washington as Porter muttered. “So the bloody Nazis did manage it.”

“What?” Kristen’s hand paused.

“Granddad was only one of six intelligence agents to discover that before the fall of the Reich, the Nazis had launched a manned rocket into space.”

“How could they have survived all these years.”

“They’re on re-entry. Guess we’ll find out.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google Maps image/location and use it as a prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in the middle of the South Atlantic.

I did my homework and discovered that RAF Ascension, also known as Wideawake Airfield or Ascension Island Auxiliary Field, “serves as a space-based communications, signals intelligence, and navigation nexus and hub (Ground station). One of only four GPS satellite ground antennas is located there.”

I also discovered that during World War Two, the island was used by the Allies “to base patrolling anti-surface-commerce-raider and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) forces against the Axis powers’ naval units.”

When I was looking up signals intelligence, I found an online copy of the last German message intercepted by the British during the war signaling Germany’s unconditional surrender.

Putting that all together, I wondered if there were any “conspiracy theories” based on a Nazi Manned Space Program, and lo and behold, I found the answer at Astronotes which used information about Nazi Germany’s Aggregat Rocket Program.

It was a lot of fun to write, but 150 words doesn’t do it justice.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit (link fixed).

19 thoughts on “The Return of Flight A-10

  1. Good portrayal of a tense moment. Very believable with all the military-speak names and titles. Now Im expecting tales of time travel, with the Nazis coming back the same age more or less, as when they left. Something to do with relativity? Hope your President is a match for Hitler’s minions! Its amazing what will pass for truth in those that believe conspiracy theories.


    • I was thinking of traveling at relativistic speeds, so time passed slower aboard the spacecraft.

      Actually, none of the stuff about a Nazi space program would have been possible using 1930s-1940s technology. About the only way to write a story and change history that way would be to have a time traveler from the future or an alien working with the Nazis and starting earlier on their space and advanced weapons programs, but I’d also have to get rid of Hitler, since he chose his pet projects on an emotional basis rather than listening to his technical advisers. It’s one of the reasons the Nazi nuclear program would never have produced the bomb.


  2. Thanks for showing your “homework”, James. That one word — “aliens” — in the message changes the whole tone, doesn’t it? Makes me think of all kinds of possibilities for what they’ll find if they can recover the returning spaceship. Interesting idea!


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