The term foo fighter was used by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena seen in the skies over both the European and Pacific Theater of Operations.
Though "foo fighter" initially described a type of UFO reported, (named by the U.S. 415th Night Fighter Squadron) the term was also commonly used to mean any UFO sighting from that period.
Formally reported from November 1944 onwards, incidents were reported throughout WWII. Witnesses often assumed that the foo fighters were secret weapons employed by the enemy, but they remained unidentified post-war and were reported by both Allied and Axis forces.
The foo fighter experiences of Allied pilots were taken very seriously. Most of the information about the issue has never been released by military intelligence.
The following reports are a small example of literally hundreds of UFO incidents witnessed during the war years:
May 1944 - Clovis Army Airfield, New Mexico: It was about 10 AM in the morning until about 11:30 AM. Three of us, all B-29 engineering officers in the Air Corps observed the object. The day was warm and totally clear. The object was at 11 o'clock high. It never wavered, just sat there. Remember, in 1944 UFO was a term unknown to us. It was not used until later. We theorized that it might be a Jap balloon. But it never moved. It was shining brightly, but the sun surely was farther away. How could that be? Later I became aware that some people seemed to see them glow. That bothered me for over 50 years! I took the pains to liken it to one of several, new-from-the-factory, bright B-29 bombers that had just come to the field. We had 60 planes more or less. It appeared to be about the size of a dime on a 14 ft high ceiling. Remember, we were young trained observers, in perfect physical condition. We were qualified to fly.
Over the years I have watched UFO stories on TV and elsewhere never having an answer, always just more questions. I don.t know any more now than I did on that bright morning in 1944. I spent over forty years as a Professional Engineer - performing structural design for all types of structures. I am a highly experienced engineer and look hard, and long at something before expressing an opinion. Where do we go from here? I'm used to scoping something out and, at least, coming up with an opinion.
What is your scope of work? Somewhere we have to form an opinion and get over with the exercise. I am 85 and 1/2 years young, with all the smarts I ever had, I believe. WE CAN NOT KEEP GOING ON AND ON! As you can see, i don't have that luxury.
One thing I can say to you is that we, for the first time in our history, in 1943-'46 had about 6 B-29 fields in a 400 mile radius with 60 VERY active aircraft on each one. Just think about it; this was at Clovis Army Airfield only about 200 miles from ROSWELL. How does that grab you? We went to the Officers Club for lunch and it was GONE when we returned to the flight line.
March 1943 - Bering Sea, Near Alaska: I was aboard the USS Williamson (Destroyer) in early 1943 during WWII. The weather was clear with calm seas. The night was very black. At the time of the sighting, we were patrolling the Bering Sea north of the Alaskan Peninsula, bearing north at about 20 knots.
I was on watch at the starboard 20mm gun, second deck (galley deck). It was around 2300. My gun turret was above the deck house and there were no obstructions hindering my field of vision, allowing me to have a clear 360 degree view of the sea around the ship. There were four of us together at the starboard gun (I can get crew names and captain’s name).
The attention of both port and starboard gun crews was drawn to a row of red lights off the port side, traveling parallel to and slightly forward of the bow. I did not see the lights when they first approached so do not know the direction from which they came, or if they came out of the sea. There were at least eight lights in a row, evenly spaced, canted at about 15 degrees to horizontal. I would estimate the lights were no more than 100 yards from the ship. The lights held their relative position to one another throughout the sighting, and appeared to be about 10 feet apart. I would say that the light closest to the water (the lights were canted diagonal to horizontal at approximately 15 degrees) appeared to be about 30 feet above the water.
I estimate that it would require a cantaloupe held at arms length to cover a single light. I could not see a structure associated with the lights as there was nothing but blackness between the lights. The lights were a very deep red and did not cast a beam. The lights moved parallel to our ship, holding their position relative to the ship throughout the entire sighting.
The lights continued to pace the ship as I watched. This continued for at least one hour. I was relieved from watch at 2400. When I went below the lights were still visible. I was too tired to stay on deck and went below to sleep. The next day, the midnight gun crew said that the captain turned the ship and “tried” to chase the lights. I don’t know the outcome of this maneuver. I don’t know what the circumstances were when the lights disappeared. But I do know that I have not seen anything like this before or since.
The Guadalcanal AIR WAR
Col. Jefferson DeBlanc's Story
Jefferson J. DeBlanc - Pelican Publishing Company 2008
DeBlanc was a US Marine Corps fighter "Ace" and a Medal of Honor recipient for valor in air combat over Guadalcanal. DeBlanc passed away in 2007.
August 1945 - DeBlanc narrates an interesting incident of being guided by ground radar to a radar contact, a "blip," as he flew morning patrol. According to what he'd written earlier on page 153 this incident would have occurred in the vicinity of Okinawa where he was then stationed: "Finally we were ordered off Ie Shima island to Okinawa, first to Kadena Airfield then to Chimu. We remained here until the war ended."
The Atomic Bomb
"During the first sixteen days of August, there was a nightmare of vectors to "blips" on the radar screen which didn't make sense in 1945. I was on morning flight with my division and was to report as usual on station for the two-hour picket patrol over a destroyer at the seven o'clock location. I suddenly received a frantic call from Control to buster (aviation terminology for "full speed") to a target at 25,000 feet. We were just climbing through 5,000 feet and I had to drop the full belly tank in order to climb rapidly to intercept the enemy. The vector was perfect and I arrived at 25,000 feet in seconds, but there was no enemy. The radar operators said my target was just a mile ahead. I charged the guns and rockets, looked ahead, but saw nothing. Just then the radar operators said the target was pulling away at high speed and asked me to advance speed to intercept. The blip was off the radar screen in seconds. Nothing we had in those days could travel the full length of a radar screen at that velocity. I laughed and told the operator to stop watching flies on his screen. I even suggested that he check for a leaky capacitor in the horizontal circuit of his scope. This was my first and last encounter with UFOs. After August 16, we were not plagued with any more sightings of this nature. All vectors were normal and within the range and velocity of World War II aircraft."
February 26, 1942 - William J. Methorst underwent weird experience while aboard a ship in the Timor Sea near New Guinea. In 1957 Methorst, then a resident of Melbourne, Australia, told Peter Norris of the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society: "While on watch for enemy aircraft just after noon, I was scanning the skies with binoculars when suddenly I saw a large illuminated disc approaching at terrific speed 4,000 or 5,000 feet above us. This object proceeded to circle high above our ship, the cruiser, Tromp, of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
"After reporting it to the officers on the bridge, they were unable to identify it as any known aircraft. After keeping track of this object for about three to four hours, as it flew in big circles and at the same height, the craft suddenly veered off in a tremendous burst of speed (at about 3,000 to 3,500 miles an hour) and disappeared from sight."
Stephen J. Brickner, a sergeant with the 1st Marine Division, had an even more fantastic encounter with mysterious aerial objects.
"The sightings occurred on Aug. 12, 1942, about 10 in the morning while I was in bivouac with my squad on the island of Tulagi in the southern Solomons, west of Guadalcanal," he recalled. It was a bright tropical morning with high banks of white, fleecy clouds. I was cleaning my rifle on the edge of my foxhole, when suddenly the air raid warning was sounded. There had been no 'Condition Red.' I immediately slid into my foxhole, with my back to the ground and my face turned up to the sky. I heard the formation before I saw it. Even then, I was puzzled by the
sound. It was a mighty roar that seemed to echo in the heavens. It didn't sound at all like the 'sewing-machine' drone of the Jap formations. A few seconds later, I saw the formation of silvery objects directly overhead.
"At the time I was in a highly emotional state; it was my fifth day in combat with the Marines. It was quite easy to mistake anything in the air for Jap planes, which is what I thought these objects were. They were flying very high above the clouds, too high for a bombing run on our little island. Someone shouted in a nearby foxhole that they were Jap planes searching for our fleet. I accepted this explanation, but with a few reservations. First, the formation was huge, I would say over 150 objects were in it. Instead of the usual tight 'V' of 25 planes, this formation was in straight lines of 10 or 12 objects, one behind the other. The speed was a little faster than Jap planes, and they were soon out of sight. A few other things puzzled me: I couldn't seem to make out any wings or tails. They seemed to wobble slightly, and every time they wobbled they would shimmer brightly from the sun. Their color was like highly polished silver. No bombs were dropped, of course. All in all, it was the most awe-inspiring and yet frightening spectacle I have seen in my life."
Royal Air Force pilot B.C. Lumsden observed two classic foos fighters while flying a Hurricane interceptor over France in December 1942.
Lumsden had taken off from England at seven p.m., heading for the French coast, using the Somme River as a navigation point. An hour later, while cruising at 7,000 feet over the mouth of the Somme, he discovered that he had company: two steadily climbing orange-colored lights, with one slightly above the other. He thought it might be tracer flak but discarded the idea when he saw how slowly the objects were moving. He did a full turn and saw the lights astern and to port but now they were larger and brighter.
At 7,000 feet they stopped climbing and stayed level with Lumsden's Hurricane. The frightened pilot executed a full turn again, only to discover that the objects had hung behind him on the turn.
Lumsden had no idea what he was seeing. All he knew was that he didn't like it. He nose-dived down to 4,000 feet and the lights followed his every maneuver, keeping their same relative position. Finally they descended about 1,000 feet below him until he leveled out, at which point they climbed again and resumed pursuit. The two lights seemed to maintain an even distance from each other and varied only slightly in relative height from time to time. One always remained a bit lower than the other.
At last, as Lumsden's speed reached 260 miles per hour, he was gradually able to outdistance the foos.
"I found it hard to make other members of the squadron believe me when I told my story," Lumsden said, "but the following night one of the squadron flight commanders in the same area had a similar experience with a green light."
In 1950, Edward W. Ludwig of Stockton, Calif., recalled this very strange story:
"It happened in the last week of June 1944. The small Coast Guard-manned cargo vessel, of which I was executive officer, was approaching the tiny island of Plamyra, about 800 miles southeast of Hawaii... Suddenly the atmosphere of calm was shattered by a crackling radio message telling us that a Navy patrol plane had been lost at sea. Plamyra naval authorities appealed for our assistance in the search.
"So we cruised back and forth, shouting into the black still night, playing our searchlight beams over the dark waters. We found nothing. Not even a scrap of floating debris or spot of oil to indicate where the plane had crashed. Twenty-four hours later we anchored in the lagoon-harbor of Palmyra, weary, our minds numbed by the tragedy.
"That midnight I was on watch on our ship's bridge. Suddenly I glimpsed what first appeared to be a brilliant star, high in the dark sky over the island. As I watched, the light began to swell like a balloon and to come closer. I grabbed my binoculars, hoping for an instant that the lost plane might be returning.
"But I soon saw that the object in the sky was neither plane nor star. It was definitely round, a sphere hovering above me, motionless and silent, and at least five times as bright as the most brilliant star. The sphere began to move with almost imperceptible slowness. Then it stopped... For half an hour the light continued its slow, purposeful maneuvers until it covered an area of approximately 90 degrees. At last it headed northward, away from the island and in the direction where the plane had been lost.
"The following morning I made inquiries, my mind toying with the thought that the two incidents--the sphere and the lost plane--might be related. The Naval lieutenant in charge told me that absolutely no aircraft had been aloft that night and that no Japanese could possible be within 1,000 miles.
"He was extremely puzzled by the problem of the missing plane. Its radio direction finder, he believed, had somehow malfunctioned, resulting in a reversal of directions. But this theory, of course, would not explain why two experienced pilots, familiar with the area, would fly directly into the setting sun, away from the island, instead of in the opposite and correct direction. I will never forget the lieutenant's final words. 'Perhaps,' he suggested, 'the inhabitants of the strange sphere wanted specimens'."
Admittedly in this instance any connection between the plane disappearance and the UFO is purely speculative, but Ludwig's account is interesting in view of the growing number of aircraft disappearances in which UFOs seem to be connected.
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My Foo-Fighters (WWII) - My Finds