Most of us have heard the term “Foo Fighters”. And those in UFO circles know these are (largely) strange orbs witnessed by fighter pilots in the Second World War. However, while these orb-like sightings are perhaps the most well-known of such incidents during the early-to-mid-1940s, they are not the most intriguing, or indeed the most detailed. Coincidentally or not, they are also not the most well-known.
The “Motherships” Incidents of 1942 are perhaps a good example of such encounters. Such was the seriousness of the reports that the British Ministry of Defense would conduct their own investigation.
According to their report, the crew of a Lancaster bomber would see a “huge object” flying above them. They would estimate the size to be anywhere from two-hundred to three-hundred feet. Eight lights – each set in pairs – shone underneath the mammoth object. Given its apparent altitude, it appeared to be moving around five-hundred miles per hour.
Furthermore, the captain of the Lancaster would report seeing the same object several months earlier. The encounter happened again while on a bombing mission of German-occupied territory. On this occasion, it would fly underneath their position for several minutes before disappearing. Despite the official reports, the sightings are still a mystery.
Check out the video below. It is only brief but claims to show a UFO from a plane-camera in the Second World War.
Gerry Casey’s Encounter Over The Pacific Ocean
While conducting “blind flying” exercises with a student pilot on 5th April 1943 (where the student literally places his head under a hood and relies solely on navigation equipment), pilot, Gerry Casey, would notice a bright flash of light coming from Santiago Mountain that overlooked Long Beach, California. As their plane continued over the blue Pacific Ocean below them, the flash suddenly became an object speeding towards them.
Casey would order his student to come out from under the hood. As he did, he witnessed a “strange wobble” affect the craft before it was suddenly at their side. The move occurred in what seemed no longer than second. Casey would later describe the craft to be “unlike any airplane I have ever seen!”
Still, in awe, Casey would reach for his camera. Just as he was about to snap the picture, he stopped himself. Suddenly, he entertained the notion that the craft may be a secret military vehicle. Believing he would land himself in trouble by taking unauthorized pictures of such a vehicle, he put his camera away.
The craft maintained its position alongside their plane for another thirty seconds, before making another strange “curved turn”. In a flash, the craft was disappearing over the ocean.
Later Notes and Comparisons
Upon landing, Casey and his student discussed the incident privately. They would both agree the estimated speed of the craft was somewhere close to 7000 mph. It also had no propeller or other visible means of propulsion.
Both also agreed the craft appeared to “wobble” or perform a “curving move”. This is an interesting observation. Some UFO researchers state that UFO propulsion involves the bending of space or even the atmosphere of planets. This gives the effect to those who see them that they appear and reappear instantly when in reality, it is bending one location to another. This is something we will look at in a future article.
Casey largely remained silent about the incident for some time. This was mainly due to his belief that he had witnessed secret military test planes. Maybe he did! However, as other UFO reports poured into the public arena following the war, Casey would eventually tell of his account. Due to the fact that there is no (known) military aircraft even today capable of what he saw, he would also openly entertain the idea of possible extra-terrestrial involvement.
Foo Fighter Incidents During The D-Day Invasion
One of the most intriguing cases of foo fighter sightings took place on 6th June during the D-Day Invasions over Normandy, an account of which can be found in the book Military Encounters With Extraterrestrials by Michael Joseph. The sighting came from an American serviceman on board a B-17 bomber. The plane’s target was a railroad depot and took place slightly before the landings began.
The witness was a gunner on the right side of the plane. It was around 1 am when the plane crossed over the channel when another crew member suddenly announced he had seen “bandits at 6 o’clock”. This would prompt the gunner to prepare to fire. However, even though he couldn’t see any obvious reason, the gun appeared to jam.
It was as he was examining the mysteriously crippled gun that he witnessed the “bandits” his crewmate had announced. However, they appeared to be completely different from any aircraft he had ever seen before. They were seemingly glowing and sphere-like with no markings or insignia. As one of these strange objects moved into a position to the side of the plane, the electrical systems and radio suddenly went dead on the bomber. Because of this, the plane began to fall out of line with the rest of the formation of bombers. This was particularly dangerous as it meant they were an easy target for enemy fighters. And for the strange spherical objects.
As the plane fell back, though, the strange object vanished at great speed. Several minutes later, the radio and electrics came back to life, as did the plane’s engines. Even stranger, the witnesses gun suddenly “unjammed”.
Foo Fighter Sighting Results In B-17 “Falling Out Of The Sky!”
The same book also speaks of another incident involving a B-17 bomber almost a year earlier in September 1943. The plane was on a bombing mission over Stuttgart. On the way there, with several enemy planes in front of them at an altitude of around 3000 feet, they suddenly noticed a “cluster composed of small, round objects” that were a silver color. What’s more, these objects appeared to “fall out of the sky”.
The crew onboard the plane all witnessed the sight, as did the crew of another B-17. They quickly established the strange spheres were not German as the enemy planes continued onwards, seemingly ignorant of these glowing objects. They would ultimately rest and hover at the same altitude as the B-17 planes.
However, some of the objects made contact with one of the plane’s wings. Upon doing so, it immediately went up in flames and began to fall out of the sky. The plane was never recovered, and the crew presumed dead.
This is a particularly strange case in that most foo fighter sightings remained exactly that – just sightings. This would appear to be the only example of a foo fighter causing the destruction of a plane as well as the deaths of the ten crew on board.
The Pladjoe Oil Refinery Incident
In early August 1944, while piloting a B-29 Superfortress aircraft on a return flight from a bombing mission over the Pladjoe Oil Refinery in Palembang, Sumatra, First Officer Russell Watson would report seeing a “bizarre and confusing type of new weapon”. What’s more, other pilots and crew members on the same bombing mission also witnessed the same glowing objects. The sighting occurred only 10 minutes into the return flight.
He would continue in his report on how one of the planes seemingly came “under attack for 1 hour and 10 minutes”. Watson would elaborate that several “reddish-orange balls”, seemingly no larger than a baseball appeared “out of nowhere”. As they moved, there was a “momentary flash” which was followed by a strange explosion. Even stranger, these balls would break into several “fragments” which went in different directions before coming back together.
In total, the crew members claimed to have seen between 200 to 300 different flashes and explosions as a result of the strange, glowing spheres traversing the skies. One of the planes moved into position so as to open fire on the strange objects. When they did, though, despite hitting their targets, the globes were seemingly unaffected.
Foo Fighter Over The Rhine Valley
Another foo fighter incident unfolded in early November 1944 and was witnessed by an American pilot, Harre Cowe while stationed in France. While they were navigating over the Rhine Valley in a Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighter, they noticed strange lights that had suddenly appeared as if out of nowhere flying alongside their plane.
Unsure of what the object was, the crew at first attempting evasive moves to shake the lights off. However, they would maintain their position alongside the plane.
Thinking they were about to be under attack, the crew made the decision to open fire. They appeared to find their target, and suddenly a huge explosion rocked the plane, even bending the Plexiglas dome on the top. Whether this is one of the only cases of a plane managing to destroy the plane or not, or whether the strange lights simply disappeared is perhaps open to debate.
Cowe would also report that many pilots who he served with over the Rhine Valley also saw strange lights. However, partly because their superiors had already issued orders to maintain secrecy of such sightings, many would choose not to report the incident, choosing instead only to speak about them with other pilots who had witnessed similar things.
There are very likely dozens, if not hundreds of unreported sightings of foo fighters during the Second World War by British and American pilots. What’s more, there were many sightings of the same objects by Soviet troops. And this is where we will turn our attention next.
Abandoned Soviet Bombing Mission
The previous year, on the other side of Atlantic in 1944, Soviet pilots, Boris Surikov and his commander, Major Bajenov, had their own experience with a large and unrecognizable craft in the air. Perhaps making the incident even more pressured was the fact that the Soviet pilots were carrying a full bomb load.
On course to bomb oil refineries used by the Germans in Romania, the strange object joined them over south Ukraine. The effect on their plane was instant.
The oil pressure began to shoot instantly upwards, while the exterior began to shake violently. Whenever the pilots would get too close to the cockpit window they could also feel an electrical surge. All the while, the undetonated and fully loaded bombs sat ready to fulfill their purpose. These effects would continue even after the craft had vanished from sight.
Eventually, the pilots decided to jettison their bombs right where they were. They then, slowly (allowing for time) made their way back to their base. They would keep the incident to themselves, instead telling their superiors that they had dropped the payload on their targets. To admit abandoning their mission would likely have led the two pilots to military charges.
Further Foo Fighters Witnessed By Soviet Troops After The Battle Of Kursk
There are also several other sightings that came from Soviet troops of strange silvery objects over Europe, many of which come to us from Soviet-born UFO researcher, Paul Stonehill. One occurred just before the Battle of Kursk in July 1943. In the immediate moments, before the battle was about to begin, Soviet troops noticed a “huge, slivery disc” hovering directly over the enemy position.
At first, Soviet officers believed the object was a new, secret weapon of the Nazis. However, after several moments, it simply vanished. Much like the vast majority of foo fighter sightings, there was no direct action from the vehicle. It merely appeared to watch proceedings. Due to no one managing to capture a photograph of the object, a drawing was made immediately and then given to several Soviet officers who signed it as corroboration of what they had seen.
Another sighting occurred a little short of two months later, only days after fighting stopped in Kursk. A high-ranking Soviet officer – Gennady Zhelaginov – would report seeing a “sickle-shaped” craft that moved with a speed considerably faster than any plane he had witnessed before.
What is perhaps interesting here is that many “flying wing” UFOs were reported across the United States in the late-1940s and early 50s, some of which could very well be described as “sickle-shaped”. An even further intriguing detail – and something that comes up in many sightings in the contemporary era, is that the exterior of the craft was dark blue or black and the underside had a bright orange light in the center.
Another intriguing sighting occurred a little over a year later in November 1944 in the skies over Poland. It is there where we will turn our attention next.
The Petlyakov Pe-2 Bomber Foo Fighter Sighting Over Poland
During a bombing mission while flying over Poland, navigator, Lev Petrovitch, along with the pilot and the rear-gunner, witnessed a glowing object moving at a relatively slow pace over a Soviet-controlled airfield near Warsaw. They would estimate the object was flying at an altitude of around 1600 feet.
The sighting was also corroborated by a Soviet officer on the ground, lieutenant-colonel Kovalchuk, at the airfield itself. He would estimate that it was around 500 feet in length and appeared to move without making a sound. Furthermore, there were no markings anywhere on its exterior as one might expect to see on an aircraft of the times, not was there any obvious signs of propulsion.
The incident became even stranger when the air defense units opened fire on the object thinking it was a secret German aircraft. However, despite the barrage hitting their target, they seemingly had no effect whatsoever. The object simply continued on its path and eventually disappeared to the north of the base.
It is interesting to note that the Soviets, like the American and British forces, believed the strange objects to be secret aerial craft of the Nazi regime. Of course, after the war, when conversations would take place between Allied troops and the beaten German forces, it would become clear that the German troops likewise believed the strange crafts were the result of Allied technology.
If the objects were terrestrial in nature, we would imagine that files would have to come to light by now. And what’s more, if they were the result of one side or the other, why would these strange crafts seemingly “harass” their own planes and risk their own soldiers? If we dismiss the notion of “battle fatigue” and “hallucination” for a moment, the only logical answer is that these strange crafts are from an intelligence unknown.
Foo Fighter Sighting Around The World
While it is clear that the vast majority of foo fighter sightings occurred over Europe where much of the bloodiest fighting took place – both in the air and on the ground – there are other sightings on record from much further afield.
For example, in February 1943, Kent Courtney was taking a transport plane from Brazil to Morocco. He was flying at an altitude of around 10,000 feet over the South Atlantic Ocean when he suddenly noticed there were several bright lights heading straight for him. They would turn away from him and fly past his plane at the last minute. However, within seconds they had turned around and were heading for his plane once more, this time from behind. They would stop momentarily alongside him and then would disappear into the night sky as quickly as they had come.
Once Courtney landed in Casablanca, he would report the sighting to the United States Air Force. He would recall that his orders (or officially advice) was to “keep it to ourselves”. He would later state in an interview with a Louisiana newspaper that the Air Force wished to “quell the investigation”. Courtney, however, knowing he had seen something truly out of the ordinary, would begin speaking to numerous other US Air Force pilots, many of whom would declare their own encounters.
Further Sightings Over The Indian Ocean And China
Even earlier, in September 1941, a Polish merchant vessel transporting British troops, the SS Pulaski, was sailing through the Indian Ocean. On one particular evening, two of the sailors who were stood on the deck witnessed a “strange globe glowing with greenish light”. They would later estimate that the object was around half the size of a full moon as it appears to us on Earth. They would quickly bring the light to the attention of one of the British officers, who also saw the strange object before it disappeared.
Perhaps one of the most interesting of the foo fighter sightings to have occurred outside of Europe took place on the evening of 3rd November 1944. Several Mitchell B-25 bombers left their airbase in Burma on a bombing mission over Japanese-occupied China.
It was while they were in the middle of an attack on key bridges at Hsenwi, Namhkai, and Kawnghka, several “glittering objects” suddenly began to circle the bombers. And like most other foo fighter sightings, these strange glowing spheres seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Also, much like other foo fighter sightings, the bombers would experience electrical and engine failure as soon as the objects appeared. The gunners onboard the planes would attempt to lock on the strange targets. However, they moved much too fast and “erratically” for them to open fire on.
The object would disappear just as quickly as they appeared. And like in other sightings, as they did so, the bomber electrical equipment returned to good working order.
Sightings From US Navy Vessels
There were plenty of other foo fighter sightings in the Pacific Ocean, and many of them involved US Navy ships. In fact, one of the most intriguing occurred during the first American offensive of the Second World War on 5th August 1942.
On the day in question at just before 10 am, the lookouts suddenly declared they could see unidentified aircraft seemingly heading in their direction. The sky itself was perfectly clear allowing all of the crew on the deck to see the strange object at an approximate altitude of between 3000 to 4000 feet.
When officers viewed the object through powerful military-grade binoculars, they could see that it was clearly a metallic silvery craft which was a cigar-shape. What’s more, it had a rounded dome on the top side. Further details even state that there were “portholes around the dome”. This is an interesting observation as many other foo fighter sightings often speak of there being no windows or markings whatsoever.
The object continued to approach the vessel, and when it was within range, gunners on the ship opened fire. As the firing began, several other vessels nearby opened fire also. However, all of the firepower appeared to have no effect whatsoever on the otherworldly object. Then, the strange craft performed a “sharp turn” before it circled the boats at great speed.
As this happened, every available gun among the small fleet began to fire on the object. Despite their efforts, however, none of the hits appeared to register. The object would eventually disappear. The incident was witnessed by thousands of the crew on board the vessels. One witness would insist that the silvery object had traveled through the air at speed close to 1000 miles per hour.
Further Foo Fighter Accounts In The Pacific
Another intriguing sighting would unfold toward the end of the war in early February 1945 when strange objects approached the USS Wasp as it sailed off the coast of the Caroline Islands. The commander of the ship, Norman Stark. He was told of an “incoming radar contact” heading toward the ship. It was at an approximate altitude of 30000 feet and was around 10 miles away.
Fearing it was an enemy fighter, Stark would scramble five Grumman F6F Hellcats from the vessel to intercept the strange object. However, it quickly became apparent that the fighters were far too slow for mysterious craft, even though they could reach speeds of almost 400 miles per hour.
Several months later, just prior to the atomic bombing missions over Japan, another foo fighter incident took place, once more in the middle of the day in a clear sky. On this occasion, the SS Calvin Victory was on the waters just off the Marshall Islands. Suddenly, one of the lookouts reported a “silver object directly overhead”.
Captain Wesley Brown would come to view the object. He would confirm that it was “bright, silver, and circular in shape”. He would immediately order his crew to open fire. As they opened fire on the metallic disc, it simply remained where it was. The gunfire appeared to hit their target square on. However, no damage appeared to have been inflicted. Realizing they were wasting valuable ammunition; Brown ordered the firing to cease.
Interestingly, although it took no action, nor did it come any closer to them, the strange object remained constantly over the boat well into the night before finally departing.
A Connection Between Foo Fighters And Underwater UFOs?
It also appears that some of the first USO encounters took place during the Second World War amid the foo fighter wave. Perhaps the first of these took place on the evening of 12th October 1943. On that night, Matthew Mangle was on watch on a US Navy ship carrying supplies in the Persian Gulf.
He would suddenly notice a “huge disc beneath the surface of the water”. What’s more, the green light from the object lit up the water around it significantly. It would remain with the ship for several minutes before speeding ahead into the distance.
Just over a year later, over several days at the end of January 1945, the crew on board the USS McCracken watched in awe as they witnessed a strange, large, round vehicle, appeared to hover under the water beneath their ship as it passed over it near the Solomon Islands. They each noticed how it has sharp outlines and was approximately 20 feet in width with a “dull, silvery finish”. The four crew members, however, would not report the sighting until years later.
A Foo Fighter Abduction Case?
A particular unnerving account with an underwater foo fighter occurred at the end of June 1944 when the coast guard cargo vessel was off the coast of Palmyra. The ship was under the command of Edward Ludwig. He would receive an urgent communication on the day in question, requesting his assistance in searching a US Navy plane that had seemingly disappeared.
Ludwig turned his vessel in the rough direction where the plane was last seen in an attempt to locate the apparently crashed vehicle. Despite his and around a dozen other boats taking part in the search, there was seemingly no sign of the lost plane. Not only that, but they failed to even spot a single piece of debris. However, the following day, things turned even stranger.
Ludwig was stood on the bridge when he noticed an extremely bright light above his boat. As he struggled to focus on the strange object, he noticed that whatever it was, it was neither a plane nor a planet or a star. He would describe the object as sphere-like. Furthermore, although it was relatively close, it was completely silent. It would move occasionally and then stop again for several moments at a time.
It remained hovering overhead for approximately 30 minutes before it began to move away from the ship. Perhaps interestingly, it moved in the direction of the area where the US Navy had been searching for the lost plane the previous day.
Despite wondering if the two incidents were connected, he would not ever receive a satisfactory answer as to what had happened during that two-day period. While we might be tempted to think that the plane in question perhaps encountered the foo fighter and experienced engine failure as a result, that wouldn’t explain why there was no wreckage discovered. Might it be more likely, that the plane and its two pilots, were the victim of a foo fighter abduction?
Several months later, in mid-1945 as the war’s end neared, another intriguing foo fighter USO incident would unfold.
The USS Delarof Incident
While on a return visit to Seattle, the US Army transport ship, the USS Delarof would encounter strange underwater activity whole in rough waters near the island of Atak. It was as they were negotiating these harsh waters that several of the crew witnessed a strange, large vehicle leave the water and shoot into the air with great speed.
The radio operator on board the craft was Robert Crawford. He would suddenly hear the commotion of those on board and turned his attention to where the crew members were pointing. He was more than surprised to see a large object ascending high into the sky approximately two miles away. He would later describe it as dark and round, and easily spotted against the sun as it set. Crawford would further recall how the object – around 150 to 200 feet across – had no portholes, markings, or other insignia.
All of the gunners on the ship were by this time at their stations and ready to open fire. However, given that the object didn’t appear to threaten the ship, the permission to do so didn’t arrive. It would circle the ship twice at an altitude of around 500 feet before finally moving away from their position and disappearing into the distance. Sometime later, when it was a lot darker, several crew members reported seeing “three flashes of light” from the direction in which the craft vanished.
Once the USS Delarof docked in Seattle, a total of 14 crew members all signed a written statement as to what they had seen. The sighting remains both a mystery and one of the best cases of a UFO over the open waters.
Foo Fighter Encounters From The Other Side Of The Second World War
Of course, as we know, it wasn’t just the Allied troops who witnessed these strange foo fighters. Many German soldiers, for example, would report the strange objects throughout the course of the war.
Perhaps one of the most well-known and interesting occurred on 3rd February 1942 and involved one of the most famous German female test pilots, Hanna Reitsch. On the day in question, she was testing what was the first rocket-powered fighter plane, the Messerschmitt 163A V4 Komet.
She was around 7 miles above the surface of the Earth and moving a pace of around 500 feet per second when she suddenly spotted a “silvery, luminous disc” which sped past her and climbed to approximately 60,000 feet.
Although it raced past her position at breakneck speed, she was able to spot that had no markings or insignia. And what’s more, it was unlike any other craft she had ever seen before. Before she realized it, the object had completely disappeared.
Was this a case of an extraterrestrial intelligence keeping tabs on the technological developments of humanity? Or might it have even been a flexing of the cosmic muscle? The incident remains unsolved to this day. It does, however, have all the hallmarks of the foo fighter sightings that began plaguing the Allied Forces in the years of the war.
Only two months later, another German foo fighter sighting unfolded.
A Visual-Ground Radar And Underwater Foo Fighter Incident From The German Side
On the afternoon of 14th March 1942, at a little after 5:30 pm, a foo fighter incident unfolded that would feature both visual and radar confirmation. The incident involved a Messerschmitt 109F-4/Z high-altitude plane which was making its way over Norway at an altitude of just short of 40,000 feet.
Suddenly, again out of nowhere, he noticed a metallic cigar-shaped object heading in his direction. The pilot would notice how the object was completely featureless with no windows or any other markings. He would estimate it was around 300 feet long and around 50 feet wide. It remained alongside his plane for several moments before it “shot up at impossible speed”. The object was also picked up on the ground’s radar system.
German troops would also experience apparent foo fighters at sea. Perhaps most notable was an incident involving the German submarine U-629 while it was patrolling the North Atlantic. At some time in mid-March 1944, the submarine would surface to survey their surroundings. As it did, though, the radar operator onboard would notice and report an unknown object approaching from the air. And it was approaching at exceptionally high speed.
The next thing the crew knew, a silver disc was hovering over the submarine. It would leave it awash in “white, yellow, and red” lights which were seemingly flashing from the object’s underside. Although the crew were ready to make an armed response, because the object made no threatening moves against the vessel, they remained on alert, watching the craft. It remained in place, motionless, approximately 40 feet above them. After around five minutes, the craft began to rise once more, eventually disappearing into the night.
Much like the Allied Forces believed many of the foo fighters they saw were the work of German scientists and engineers, the German troops believed the strange craft was likely secret, experimental aerial vehicles of the American or British militaries.
The Hanford Engineering Works Incident, Summer 1945
When the Hanford Engineering Works became operational, it was the first such Atomic plant of its kind. The materials – particularly plutonium – that it dealt with would be extremely dangerous if “in the wrong hands!” And with the end of the war still several weeks away in the summer of 1945 (when the atomic bombs were dropped over mainland Japan), the US Air Force had their squadrons on patrol and protect duty in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
Part of those squadrons was veteran pilot, Roland D. Powel, who would also train student pilots in the particulars of operating from aircraft carriers. One particular afternoon, the radar at nearby Pasco (sixty miles away) would serve notice of a large and fast object. What’s more, it was heading straight for the plant. Upon its arrival, it simply hovered over it.
Powel and several other pilots took to their Grumman F6F Hellcats in order to investigate this mysterious visitor. They soon had the vehicle in their sights, and estimated it to be “around the size of three aircraft carriers!” They also estimated its altitude to be over 65,000 feet, nearly 30,000 feet higher than their planes could go.
Ultimately, the squadron would return to base to await further orders. By the time they were on their ships, the object had risen directly upwards at lightning speed. It then vanished from the radar.
Check out the video below. It looks briefly at the UFO Cover-Up of World War Two.
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