Lost Places

Sonntag, November 19, 2006

The Sputnik of Havixbeck

Filed under: general,report — Franz John @ 17:04

Last Saturday I discovered a small but stunning museum 15kms away from Schöppingen, which is run by Reinhold Holtstiege, known as ‘The Sputnik of Havixbeck’.
Holtstiege
Reinhold Holtstiege is a radio operator, collector and inventor in one person. He modestly calls himself an amateur, but this makes him even more likeable. In fact Mr. Holtstiege was one of the first private persons in western hemisphere who received and recorded the signals of the Soviet Sputnik on Oct. 04th 1957 – and interprated the chirping sounds correctly as non-terrestrial a few hours after the Sputnik was in orbit.
receiver

The impact of his discovery you might understand that he obtained a visit soon afterwards by some officials who urged him to keep his detection secret to avoid panic.

I became interested in Reinhold Holtstiege when I discovered information on his website about the V2-Rocket, which was positioned in Muensterland at the end of WW2 at locations near Darfeld, Billerbeck, Burgsteinfurt, Schöppingen and Heek. As a teenager he witnessed many starts of the so-called Nazi Wonder Weapon, ascending vertically up to 90kms into the sky. The V2 – an invention of Wernher von Braun, who was later involved in the American Apollo program – can be understood as the direct progenitor of the “Space Race” and the whole Cold War rocket technology, as it was installed on “Schoeppingen Hill”.

It occurs to me, that the whole area seems to have a certain affinity to aerospace, space flight and science fiction.

museum
A glimpse into the Museum: Mr. Holtstiege in dialog with physicist Dr. Grewe

space-compass
Some of Mr Holtstiege’s unique inventions: the first spacecompass.

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