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There are dozens of theories concerning the Hess story, a lot of them unsubstantiated and many that are impossible to believe. We think Dr. W. Hugh Thomas’ theory is the most convincing. Here is a medical professional, a specialist in bullet wounds who worked in Northern Ireland during the troubles, who found no trace of scar tissue on the Hess’ chest.


In 1989 the BBC journalist Roy McHardy concluded from his reading of Hess’ medical file that Dr. Thomas was mistaken in believing the lung shot was a serious wound. According to McHardy, the reported wound had been a clean-through shot from a small calibre rifle which left minor scarring. This clearly contradicted Thomas’ reading of the medical file which mentioned a “schwer verwundet” (badly wounded) shot through the left lung followed by four months in the hospital.


I think the physical evidence clearly supports Thomas’ conclusion that the man who arrived in Scotland was an imposter. I have more faith in the word of four medical specialists than the conclusion of a BBC journalist who had no experience with bullet wounds.


Even in the first few days in Scotland, the Hess double made numerous elementary errors about his past. To a medical professional, he gave the wrong age and declared that he has been one of four children when the real Hess had only one brother and one sister. The real Hess was a well educated, even brilliant writer and thinker, cool and reserved, the man in British hands spouted political arguments with the reasoning of a child. The real Hess was once called the “conscience of the Nazi party” and was a vegetarian, the man in the cell in Scotland was no intellectual and would eat anything displaying horrendous table manners. The real Hess loved to play tennis, but the man in Scotland had no knowledge of the sport.


And just how did this man get to Scotland in a Messerschmitt plane leaving from Augsburg in Southern Germany without refueling? The D model had a range of some 700-850 miles and the flight to Scotland would take him over 1200 miles. Hess was photographed climbing into a Series D model in Augsburg but later parachuted out of a Series E2 model in Scotland.

*Originally posted in November 2016