NOTES, REFERENCES, AND COMMENTS ON
ACUFOE AND RELATED MATTERS
*1943 Stuttgart Raid and Small Discs
In General H. H. ("Hap") Arnold's papers, Box 166, [AFHRC, Maxwell AFB] a discussion of small "luminous discs" observed on 6 Sep 1943 has been found. (Please note this is before the Schwienfurt raid.) The report was thought to be part of some kind of aerial bombing. Arnold, Spaatz, Vannevar Bush, and even Marshall were involved in this case as it was thought this could be a technique for breaking up bomber formations.
On a bombing mission over Stuttgart on 6th September 1943, a number of small silvery discs in a pattern 8 feet long and 4 feet wide were observed from B-17s. One supposedly hit the wing of an aircraft and the observers saw the aircraft catch fire. The burning aircraft did not return. The observers were from the 384th Bomb Group. (Wonder if Martin Cadin's Schweinfurt account was not a mix up with this incident?) Several enemy aircraft were above the formation, but no one observed them drop any objects. Eaker suggested that the discs were some type of incendiary material and tests were run with a number of substances. Bush thought that had the enemy planes dropped the objects the pattern would be more spread out before reaching the US aircraft. The possibility that netting was used to keep the objects close together was suggested by Arnold.
The incendiary tests were run with a number of possible substances to see what would cause aluminum to catch fire in such a manner. Both Bush and Marshall were appraised of the matter. Marshall felt this might be some new device or technique to break up bomber formations. Obviously, such a report of a new weapon received high level attention.
Also along the same lines: 2 Feb 1943, Arnold's file contains a report of aerial bombardment by FW190's setting off bombs near B-17s. A Nov 1944 OSS report from Switzerland concerning the manufacture of aerial bombs that are dropped from above a bomber formation and are set to explode at a certain altitude.
-- Jan Aldrich
*!943 Small Discs on the Schweinfurt Raid (Efforts to obtain more information here have been unsuccessful.)
Dr J Allen Hynek:
Dept. of Astronomy:
North Western University
Have just finished reading your story on U.F.O's in the Post and think it is a fine one. I just wondered after reading it if you ever looked up in the Air Force Files the report of Mission #115 of the 8th Air Force WW2 from England to Schweinfurt Germany that took place on Oct 14, 1943 ask about B-17-#026 from the 384th Bomb Group and if other planes in the 384th that saw the metal disc that day - this mission was led by Col. Budd. J. Peaslee and was done in daylight. Maybe these were not U.F.O's. I dont know.
John J Gammon
1943 or 1944
by Douglas Botting
Time-Life Books, Chicago, IL
"...Was the enemy picking up some kind of ray emitted by the U-boat -- infrared, heat rays, electronic rays of various kinds? Even the most outlandish suggestions were considered. For example, Lieutenant Hans-Helmuth Bugs, aboard the U-629, surmised that the Allies were
cunningly using some sort of strange new aircraft: he reported that his vessel had been approached abeam by a flying disk that winked white, yellow and red."
No reference to the date of the sighting is given. However, based on its location in the book one would logically infer that it occurred in 1943, or more likely 1944.
In the 115 Squadron newsletter, issue no. 1, dated Dec 31, 1943.
"Under this heading there occur from time to time reports of weird and wonderful apparitions seen during our (and the American) attacks on Germany. We have asked our local Inner Circle bloke to comment on the latest species of wizardry. Here is his story....believe it or not.
A couple of paragraphs later, after some general comments about the raid, the article continues:
"On the 11th December the Yanks paid one of their daylight visits to Emlen. [Emden] Visibility was good and the weather clear.
"An unidentified object was seen in the target area. It was about the size of a Thunderbolt and passed 50/75 yards beneath the formation. It flew STRAIGHT and LEVEL. (No chaps it was not a Lanc gone mad..) at a terrific speed, leaving a streak like a vapour trail which was all white and which remained visible for a long time. The object passed so quickly that the observer could not determine it more accurately..."
"Suggestions will be welcome...serious ones...as to what this Loch Ness Monster of Emlen might have been."
"In another attack...this time on Bremen...there were many reports of "silver and red discs above the formations". These have been seen before but up to now no-one has been able to decide their purpose. Suggestions please." (Source Andy Robert's research at PRO)
1944 Near Munich, Germany
This was taken from the August 1994 issue of The Raven, newsletter of the 301st BG association. An interesting mention of a "Foo Fighter" or UFO. Just a line but thought many would be interested.
The 15th AAF began night raids, calling the operation "Lone Wolf." The (LW) after the date designates a Lone Wolf mission.
The following account by William A. Schultz, a 419th pilot, describes the use of RADAR on one af the few missions of this type flown by the 15th AAF.
Oct. 29 Mission #365 - Munich West M/Y (night mission)
Twelve pilots were selected from the 5th Wing (B-17s) to fly the first night mission by the U.S. Army Air Force in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. As one of the pilots, my scheduled bomb drop was 2:15 A.M. The crew assembled for briefing and was jeeped to our
plane at 10:00 P.M., take off was 10:30. Our twelve plane bombing intervals were approximately 15 minutes. This nuisance raid was significant in that not only was the mission at night, but we were equipped with twelve 500 pound bombs with six instantaneous explosives and six delayed action fuses from 5 to 72 hours. Demoralizing!
In flight, over the Adriatic, the crew test-fired our guns about 10:45 P.M. We saw tracer flashes ahead and signaled with our scope light the proper call letters. As we approached the north shore of the Adriatic enroute to Munich, we could see by the moonlight heavy cloud formation over the Alps. It had to be a cold front coming down from Germany. At 20,000 feet there was a "saddle back" in the frontal mass of clouds and we picked this to go through. We encountered severe down drafts and lost 1000 feet of altitude in seconds, then through the opening, we encountered up drafts that made the plane rise like an elevator another 2000 feet. As we approached Innsbruck, the IP, we were above the clouds at 26,000 feet when we
encountered tracer shells coming toward our plane. T/Sgt. Dominick Walicki, crew chief and top turret gunner yelled, "Ju-88 at 10 o'clock!" It looked like a twin engine aircraft. We immediately
dove down into the clouds. I told the crew members to hold their fire as we had no flame dampeners on our guns and we did not wish to give our position away to other enemy aircraft that might be in the vicinity.
Our plane was equipped with a "Mickey Scope" (radar) that could "see" through the clouds. The Mickey navigator informed me when we were over the IP and gave directions to the West Marshaling Yard at approximately 1:45 A.M. We had broken out of the high scattered clouds when a strange phenomenon occurred. A light blue colored ball of fire approximately three feet in diameter appeared about 40 feet off of our right wing tip. It actually flew along with us for about 30 seconds with streams of fire trailing down, but it was too large to be a plane. To this day, I don't know what it was.
(End of part about the "UFO").
As we approached the west side of Munich, we encountered heavy antiaircraft fire and surmised that we were too close to the German Airdrome S.W. of Munich where the Me-262s were being manufactured. Upon encountering heavy flak, we made a sharp turn to the left to avoid the concentration. The navigator said to take a 90 degree course to the target. This of course put us right through the middle of the flak, but the correction was made and I related to Lt. Jess Miller, our bombardier, to keep the bomb bay doors closed until we were about one minute from the target. The flak was intense. We made the drop and immediately dove and banked at 45
degrees to our right, approximately 200 feet. Our tail gunner, Sgt Orvin Larson, relayed to me the track of shell bursts, and taking evasive action, rolling 45 degrees to our left, there would be a cluster of shell fire at the point where we made the turn. That old B-17 was creaking from the strain of doing over 200 MPH during the evasive dives. Over the target, we were hit at the chin turret and that was disabled. The windshield in front of the pilot was cracked. The rudder became like a sieve and my radio operator, Sgt. Stempien, had his oxygen mask hose cut by a piece of shrapnel. Shortly after taking evasive action, the #2 engine was hit and feathered. Sgt.
Phil Smith, the right waist gunner, advised that he thought the #2 engine was on fire and this was extinguished and the prop feathered before we lost our hydraulic oil.
1945, January, "Phoo Bombs"
From the Office of Director of Intelligence for the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF) comes a new name for foo-fighters. In a Top Secret document dated 19 January 1945 entitled "An Evaluation of German Capabilities in 1945" we learn under paragraph 2e Other Weapons:
"German capabilities with already proved weapons as V-1 and V-2 and untried weapons, such as the 'Phoo' Bomb, Magnetic Waves and gases applicable to aircraft, are considered to offer no new threat of really serious proportions...."
1945 Robombs (Robot Bombs) in China
Hartford (Connecticut) TIMES, 8 January 1945
Japanese Now Use Flying Bomb in China
Kunming, China--(AP)--The Japanese are using some kind of flying bomb for the air defense of China.
Announcing this today, Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault said it had not been determined whether the bombs were launched from planes or the ground. So far they have had no great success. Flier told of seeing "objects following or Paralleling" the course of American planes. In each case the
pilots were able to evade the objects.
1947 - Missouri
The Mexico, Missouri, Weekly Ledger for 28 August 1947, told of two pilots flying in a plane at 9000 feet at sunset just northwest of Mexico. Ralph Johnson, a former Navy combat pilot, and John Reilly, an Army veteran and seasoned flier, saw three disc-shaped objects flying in a northwesterly direction. They reflected the red of the setting sun, but appeared actually gray in color. The discs were at the same altitude and not in any type of formation. The pilots turned the plane to give chase. The plane was traveling at about 140 miles per hour, but the UFOs outdistanced it.
1967 - Canada
APRO Files (Can Canadian readers give additional information on this incident?)
April 2, 1967
32 Spring Bank Drive
Mr & Mrs Lorenzen
Dear Madam or Sir,
Thanks very much for your letter. I was not aware that you were so well organised in this group. I am very interested and have made many inquiries into those flying objects and have come up with some interesting results. I wonder if you would send along some more U.F.O report sheets as I have talked to three other people that have seen the object, the information might be of help as they are consistent in that the objects described by each are similar. Each of the three persons do not know each other and live in separate parts of the city.
A Mr A.D. Reid an insurance salesman and airplane pilot (part-time) was flying over Lake Ontario at 10:15pm Jan 20, 1967, with three passengers in the plane. They had just left St Catherines airport 15 minutes earlier when a flying saucer, about the size of a large apartment building [was seen]. The saucer was round, glowed white, very white, had a ring of red lights around it that blinked off and on. It was at 2000ft, he was flying lower than this. This of course placed the saucer about him, it was about 1 mile away from him. It shook them up so bad they went right back and landed. The people at the control centre ( which is only a small building not really a control tower as you would think it to be) knew something was wrong and after questioning they finally told of this experience. This sighting did get radio coverage from Niagara Falls Ontario. A Mrs Velma Lewis also of St Catherines saw similar objects at her cottage at Brydon Bay . The note I have sent along will verify what I say here also friends of hers in Oakville near Toronto have seen similar objects near there, and she is to call them and they will be sending to me their sightings. A Mr Tom Frazar, a tool and die maker and photographer in Vineland, also saw what appeared to be a mother ship and small ones over his farm in Vineland. I visited this man for 5 hours one night and discussed the sighting with him and how we could possibly get a picture of one, and this by the way we are still working on. When she and the others notified North Bay Radar Station at the time of their sighting, they at the station would not comment, although the Canadian reporter who was there did say if they did (the R.C.A.F) release the information they had there might be a panic.
Air operations over Iraq during the Gulf War, 1991.
I thought it might be of interest to bring up the issue of Gulf War "Foo Fighters."
According to Gulf War Air Power Survey, Vol. II: Operations /Effects and Effectiveness , Part 1, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1993)
p. 194, US F-111 "Aardvark" pilots:
"reported on several occasions being intercepted by Iraqi aircraft that approached them and even illuminated them with searchlights without ever firing. The TACC log reports a ballad about 'Baghdad Billy' that runs as follows:
Even more incredible, according to the document, is the fact that an F-111 was lost when its pilots flew into the ground trying to escape the nonexistent "Iraqi bandit with the light." As far as I know, no planes were lost to the WWII Foo Fighters.
- Joel Carpenter
I'm an F-111 Jock, and I'm here to tell
of Baghdad Billy, and his jet from hell
We were well protected, with Eagles in tight
but that didn't stop the man with the light.
RJ, AWACS, they didn't see
as Baghdad Billy snuck up on me.
Then I found a spotlight shining at my six
and my whoozoo [weapons systems officer] said, whooly s***.
I popped off some chaff and I popped a flare,
but that Iraqi bandit, he didn't care.
I had tracers on my left, and tracers on my right
with a load of bombs, I had to run from the fight.
I rolled my 'Vark over and took her down
into the darkness and finally lost the clown.
When I landed back at Taif and gave this rap,
CENTAF said I was full of crap.
I'm here to tell you, the God's honest truth
that Iraqi bandit, he ain't no spoof.
You don't have to worry, there is no way
you'll see Baghdad Billy if you fly in the day.
But listen to me son, for I am right
watch out for Baghdad Billy if you fly in the night!"