The Spaceships of Ezekiel
Are there Flying Saucers in the Bible?


About Josef F. Blumrich


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Keywords: UFO, unidentified flying objects, Bible, flying saucers, prophecy, Paleo-SETI, ancient astronauts, Erich von Däniken, Josef F. Blumrich, Zecharia Sitchin, Ezekiel, biblical prophecy, spacecraft, spaceship, NASA, Roswell, aircraft, propellant, extraterrestrial hypothesis, Jacques Vallee, interdimensional hypothesis, Project Blue Book, Condon Report, ancient history, Jesus, Judaism, Christianity, Middle East, end times, engines, rockets, helicopters, space travel, aliens, abductions, alien abductions, crop circles, extraterrestrials, astronomy, economics, biology, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Space Shuttle, Apollo, stars, planets, solar system, scriptures, design, fuel tank, aerodynamics, fuels, hydrogen, oxygen, wheels





About Josef F. Blumrich,
NASA Engineer and Author 

Birthplace and Education

Born in Steyr, Austria in the Tyrolean Alps, Josef Franz Blumrich  (Franz) (March 17, 1913 – February 10, 2002) was awarded B.S. degrees in aeronautical engineering and in mechanical engineering in 1934 by the Ingenieur Schule ("engineering school", equivalent to an American Polytechnic Institute or Institute of Technology) in Weimar, Germany. 

Many postings on the Internet and a few articles refer to Blumrich as "Dr. Blumrich". However, there is no evidence that Blumrich ever obtained a graduate degree or was awarded any honorary degree.

Although he wrote about the book of Ezekiel, Blumrich did not know Hebrew, was not a biblical scholar, had no background in theology, religion, history, archaeology, the Middle East, textual criticism or hermeneutics, (textual interpretation).


Josef F. Blumrich, NASA engineer and author

Photo: Blumrich in Colorado, U.S.A. circa 2002


1934 - 1944

From 1934 to 1944, Blumrich served as the section chief of the aircraft department at Gothaer Waggonfabrik A.G. in Gotha, Germany, working on design and strength analysis of various aircraft including the Messerschmitt 110.

1944 - 1945

Blumrich served in the German Army from 1944-1945 and was an Allied prisoner of war from April to December 1945. (Most people who served in the German Army during World War II did not have Nazi leanings; many were conscripted. If Blumrich had shown pro-Nazi leanings he could never have obtained the security clearances necessary to work at NASA.) 

1946 - 1951

From 1945 to 1951, Blumrich served as a court interpreter at the U. S. Criminal Court in Linz, Austria. 

1951 - 1959

He was Deputy Chief of the Department of Hydraulic Structures at the United Austrian Iron and Steel Works (Vereinigte Österreichische Eisen und Stahlwerke, commonly known as voestalpine AG) in Linz, Austria, from 1951 until 1959, when he immigrated to the United States to join the U. S. space program when NASA began.

1959 - 1974

Coming to the United States at the age of 46, he worked at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama on the design research for the Saturn V rocket, various satellites, Skylab and the Space Shuttle. He was Chief of NASA's Advanced Structural Development Branch when he retired in 1974 at age 60.

Most of the above information is from an electronic biographical sketch available from Amazon.



Professional Societies and Accomplishments

Blumrich was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronautical Society and the Ancient Astronaut Society (formed in 1973 and now known as the Archaeology, Astronautics and SETI Research Association). He authored numerous engineering articles, served as an article submission reviewer for the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets in 1964 and 1967-68, and was awarded patents in the fields of shell analysis, hydraulic structures and launch vehicle design. The "wheel made up of cylinders" Omnidirectional Wheel he patented is currently sold by a German industrial manufacturer. He was awarded an Achievement Award for his involvement in the first manned lunar landing program and in 1972 he was awarded NASA's Exceptional Service Medal.

Best known to the public for his book The Spaceships of Ezekiel, after his Ezekiel research sparked his interest in UFO's Blumrich began researching ancient legends of other cultures for evidence of ancient astronauts. In 1974 he wrote a book about the legends of the Hopi Indians.

One Internet posting has been copied onto numerous sites and states, "'The Spaceships of Ezekiel' by Blumrich is an award-winning (emphasis added) book that should be read by anyone investigating Biblical mysteries." Reality is that there is no record that Spaceships ever received any award.

Family and Personal

Blumrich's parents were Franz Blumrich and Maria-Theresia Mayr. 

Blumrich married Hildegard (Hilde) Anna Schmidt Elgers  on November 7, 1935.  Per the United States Social Security Death Index (SSDI) she was born March 28, 1912 and died November 24, 1995, her Social Security Number was 559-37-0698, issued in California, and her last residential address known to the U. S. Social Security Administration was in Laguna Beach, Orange County, California, USA, where the Blumriches owned a house in July 1982. (County on-line property records from that period are vague.) 

Josef and Hilde had three sons, Michael Sebastian, Christoph, born in 1939, who became a well-known commercial artist and illustrator and married in Madison County, Alabama in December 1959, and Stephen J. born in 1941, who also became an artist and married in Madison County, Alabama in December 1966.  Some of Stephen's work is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Blumrich became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1965. Per SSDI, he died February 10, 2002 at age 88, his Social Security Number was 424-54-9043, issued in Alabama, and his last residence was in Estes Park, Larimer County, Colorado, USA, where the Blumriches bought a house in September 1991. I found the exact address but to protect the privacy of the new owners, it is not listed on this site. The 2006 assessed value was just under $250,000. 

Blumrich's UNESCO Impact article indicates that in 1974 he lived at 2721 Briarwood Drive SE, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama 35801, which seems to no longer exist

How Spaceships started

Blumrich states in a blurb at the beginning of the book, "It all began with a telephone conversation between Long Island and Huntsville. Our son, Christoph, mentioned that he had just read a fascinating book about visits from outer space. Its title: Chariots of the Gods? Its author: a certain von Däniken." According to an obituary based on information provided by a family friend, Hilde was the one who quickly became enthused about von Däniken's book. Blumrich basically ignored it but eventually gave in and started reading the book. His initial reaction was that von Däniken must have been distorting the biblical text (Chariots does not quote Ezekiel), so he did the logical thing—grabbed an available Bible and started reading Ezekiel.

Being a Catholic not knowledgeable about  the Bible and whose native language was German, the Bible Blumrich had available was a German-language Catholic translation. Unfortunately, it was not an established translation respected by scholars for its accuracy—instead, it was a very recent translation that often only approximated the actual wording of the original languages. Blumrich read two significant mistranslations, accepted them as accurate, and ignored all subsequent indications that the first text he examined was wrong. According to an October 1973 article in the Los Angeles Times, his interest began "in the fall of 1970 when I got a German version of Erich von Daniken's 'Chariot of the Gods?'" He started writing Spaceships in November 1971.



Newspaper Articles About Blumrich

Searches for newspaper articles about Blumrich produce a list of articles. However, they almost all cluster around certain dates and for the most part are a single article by the Associated Press wire service announcing his (then) upcoming book, e.g.:

  • News-Palladium 19 Oct 1973 (Benton Harbor, Michigan)
  • Idaho State Journal 19 Oct 1973 (Pocatello, Idaho)
  • Amarillo Globe-Times 19 Oct 1973 (Amarillo, Texas)
  • The Daily Chronicle 20 Oct 1973 (Centralia, Washington)
  • Northwest Arkansas Times 21 Oct 1973 (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • Walla Walla Union Bulletin 22 Oct 1973 (Walla Walla, Washington)
  • Daily Journal 22 Oct 1973 (Fergus Falls, Minnesota)
  • Billings Gazette 22 Oct 1973 (Billings, Montana)
  • LA Times 26 Oct 1973 (Los Angeles, California)

Another AP article that simply mentioned Blumrich in passing was an interview with von Däniken about his fifth book, Appearances:

  • Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 4 Nov 1974 (Fairbanks, Alaska)
  • Courier News 27 Nov 1974 (Blytheville Arkansas)
  • Idaho State Journal 27 Dec 1974 (Pocatello, Idaho)

I have found a few stories that were not newswire stories but none of them added any significant new information. I have not found any indication that anyone ever conducted or published an in-depth interview with him either in English or his native German.  

A Word About Blumrich's Personal Integrity

Because it is so hard to find a copy of Spaceships, few English speakers have actually read it. Most who pontificate for or against it or cite it as proof of the existence of ancient astronauts, etc., are working only from one or two drawings and the "About the Author" blurb that is copied ad infinitum. Many people who examine Spaceships decide that Blumrich originally planned to refute von Däniken but realized he could sell more books by agreeing.

I have researched Blumrich more extensively than anyone else and there is absolutely no question that he honestly believed what he wrote. After Spaceships he wrote another book on the legends of the Hopi Indians, he published unpaid articles, gave lectures and unpaid interviews and participated in Paleo-SETI groups that research "ancient astronauts as gods" theories.

Although this site points out a number of serious flaws in Blumrich's methodology, it must be remembered that he was not a trained biblical scholar and he never claimed to be. He was also the unsuspecting victim of two separate sets of translators—in different languages on different continents—who both mistranslated the same phrase, "like a calf's foot" as "round feet". He certainly can be excused for not suspecting that American translators copied German translators and he "just happened" to have both versions!

For more than a quarter century after Spaceships, even though it was out of print and had long ago stopped earning him royalties, he repeatedly indicated that he believed Ezekiel saw and flew in a spacecraft.  In fact, if money were Blumrich's motive in writing Spaceships, the logical thing to do would be to come out with a new book about a decade later saying he had changed his mind.


(FAQ: Where can I find more about Blumrich?)

An Illustrated Chronology of the NASA Marshall Center and MSFC Programs 1960-1973, 438 pp., NASA-TM-M-70382, May 1974, 22.1 megabytes, black and white, searchable Adobe PDF (Doesn't mention Blumrich)


Next: U. S. Patents Issued to Blumrich