The Bethke brothers tape (partially found footage of flying rescue; 1989)

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A screenshot of the partially found footage.

Status: Partially Found

In 1989, two siblings Ingo and Holger Bethke organized a rescue mission to help their younger brother Egbert escape from East Germany. The three brothers grew up in southeast Berlin, and Ingo and Holger had previously escaped from the Communist country on their own before deciding to come back for their brother.

The brothers' plan was to fly two ultralight planes over the Berlin Wall and quickly retrieve Egbert from a predetermined hiding place. After four years of intensive preparation, the rescue was set in motion in the early hours of May 25th, and after a rushed pick-up, the three brothers successfully flew away back over the wall. Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall later that same year, the Bethke brothers had no regrets about their extravagant rescue.[1]

During the flight, one of the planes had a camera attached to it which recorded the entire event. According to History Channel, the camera was switched on at 4:22 AM and switched off at 4:38 AM. However, while clips of the tape were shown in various TV shows and documentaries, the full 16 minutes of footage have not been released.

The chances of a future release are not impossible, as the full tape seems to still exist, but for the time being, all that can be seen is roughly 5-6 minutes of footage pieced together from various sources.


Description of the escape and partially shown footage by the History Channel (starts at 1:17:04).

Unknown documentary featuring some of the footage (starts at 0:01:57).

Germany TV Show Na siehste showcasing this escape to the general public.