FOO FIGHTERS is the name given to the general body of spherical, circular, disc-like, or wedged shaped "bogies," sometimes seeming to glow, shine, or reflect a high degree of illumination seen mostly by World War II pilots or flight crews. They usually paralleled or followed aircraft and were seen by aviators on all sides of the action, being reported by American, British, German and Japanese crews. No Foo Fighter was known or reported to have made or attempted any sort of contact, interaction or attack. They were known, however, for their high rate of speed and agility, being much faster than any known aircraft at the time as well as being extremely manuverable, often exhibiting highly unconventional abilities such as instantaneous acceleration and deacceleration, rapid climbing and descent, and hovering in place.
England entered the war long before the U.S. What became known as Foo Fighters were reported by the British as early as September 1941, with regular sightings by all sides continuing, except for a several month lull in 1943, throughout the war. On the U.S. side, although sightings occured periodically before the deployment of P-61 Black Widows in Europe, it was the night fighter pilots of Black Widows that were among the first American military men to regularly report seeing Foo Fighters, saying "unknown objects" followed or paralleled their planes and glowed in the dark. It is said the night fighters shot at them a few times, but the fire was never returned. It is also thought it was the pilots of the Black Widows that finally gave the UFOs the nickname that stuck: "Foo-Fighters," a term picked up from the then popular Smokey Stover comic strip.
FOO FIGHTER AS SEEN OVER GERMANY CIRCA 1944
THE INFAMOUS P-61 BLACK WIDOW NIGHT FIGHTER
Interestingly enough, with all the sightings and reports, and all the qun cameras and high altitude photographs, no truly GOOD pictures of Foo Fighters from the period have surfaced. The photo at the top of the page showing what is alledged to be both a wedge-shaped and spherical-shaped Foo Fighter together with two Japanese planes is perhaps the most often depicted when citing Foo Fighters. The photo, from the 1975 photo-history by G. De Turris & S. Fusco, "Obiettivo sugli UFO," has both its supporters and detractors. If the picture was taken by Japanese photographers, which it surely must have been, it would seem, except for a quest for truth, they would have no vested interest in continuing or falsely perpetrating a myth. If, however, the photo was altered after the fact that would be another story. The question to be asked, if you were going to alter a picture, why start with such a dumb photograph when there must be thousands upon thousands of other pictures one could select?
On July 16, 1945 at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time, at the Trinity Site, White Sands, New Mexico, somewhat west of the city of Roswell and long before it became famous for the Roswell UFO the first nuclear explosive device on Earth was set off. Shortly after that test and especially so after the war the general New Mexico area was inundated by "green fireballs." Theoreticians in the Air Force believed the fireballs were propelled objects and not natural phenomena, bearing a very close similarity to Foo Fighters. Because it wasn't clear that the Foo Fighter-like fireballs were not natural, the noted astronomer and meteorite expert Dr. Lincoln La Paz was called in to investigate. La Paz, in agreement with the theoreticians, stated that normal fireballs (meteors) are seldom if ever green, their trajectory is forced on them by gravity, and leave meteorites when they plunge to Earth. The green fireballs sighted over New Mexico did none of these things. Neither did they appear to La Paz to be electrostatic phenomena as they moved too regularly and too fast.
Painting by Leota La Paz, the wife of Dr. Lincoln
La Paz, showing a nighttime sighting of a green
fireball over the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico.
The La Paz investigation was called Project Twinkle. As the the investigation wound down a Project Twinkle memo to the Directorate of Intelligence, dated April 3, 1952 came to the conclusion:
"A logical explanation was not proffered with respect to the origin of Green Fireballs, it was however generally concluded that the phenomenon existed and should be studied scientifically until these occurrences can be satisfactorily explained. Further, that the continued occurrence of unexplained phenomena of this nature in the vicinity of classified installations is a cause for concern."
In today's world a Foo Fighter would be called a UFO, an Unidentified Flying Object, of which, by all accounts, Foo Fighters were. Some discriptions such as "glowing balls of light" or "spherical fire" match the aforementioned more-or-less Green Fireballs so described over the desert southwest and do not fit the conventional image of UFOs --- but the disc and wedge shaped objects do, as does the uncoventional manuverability. Both those aspects, disc or wedge shape and unconventional manuverability, have been attributed to many UFO or Flying Saucer accounts, but most especially so to one of the most high profile ones, the so-called Roswell UFO, wherein an object of unknown nature broke up over the barren ranchland near Roswell, New Mexico, late one night in July, 1947.
Although the Roswell Incident was originally reported in the local paper within a few days of the crash as being a flying saucer or a flying disc, the main body of the object that slammed into the lower north slopes of the Capitan mountains some 35 miles south of the debris field was reported by some eyewitnesses as being quite different. According to ROSWELL ARCHAEOLOGISTS: The Dirt Before The Dig as well as other sources such as found in the works of UFOlogist Thomas J. Carey, an archaeologist by the name of William Curry Holden reportedly stumbled across the downed craft early in the morning following the crash, one of the first to see it, and described it as "looking like a crashed airplane without wings with a flat fuselage" with some reports implying the fuselage had a definite delta or wedge shape to it. It must be stated in contrast, however, that another archaeologist, William Lawrence Campbell, known as Cactus Jack, albeit not nearly so high ranking or reputable in the field as Holden and classified by many as not much more than a Pothunter --- but who had nevertheless seen the aerial apparitions called Foo Fighters during World War II first hand himself --- reported being "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big."
As stated previously, shortly after the atomic bomb test at Trinity Site, and especially so right after the war a couple of weeks later, the general New Mexico area was inundated by "green fireballs" and because of same famed astronomer Dr Lincoln La Paz was brought in to investigate. The exact date of the first green fireball is up for question, but just past mid August of 1945, around the time the first green fireballs were starting to show up in enough strength that they were becoming a concern to the powers that be, and a full two years before Roswell, a non-fireball hardshell object similar in scope to Roswell crashed into the desert near San Antonio, New Mexico. The following is from Meeting Dr La Paz and describes what was seen by an eyewitness:
"(A)fter spending a good part of the afternoon in a relative cool shaded area, including a nice siesta induced nap, my uncle gathered up his stuff and headed out to continue his biosearching, slowly wending his way on foot some distance into a section that was too rough for his vehicle. As the day was edging toward dusk he was jarred from his concentration first by the feeling of an intense blast of heat followed by a deep chest shuddering air-vibration caused by a huge, weird-shaped flying object, seemingly made of metal and whining like a sick vacuum cleaner that streaked in out of the sky almost directly overhead on a slightly down-angle from parallel to the ground. The object, as it crossed out of sight barely maintaining its height advantage above the undulating canyons and rock strewn hills, all the while traveling at an ultra high speed, by the sound of it, slammed hard, and somewhat explosively so, possibly before it even hit, into the rocks and soil some distance away."
The eyewitness hiked into the crash site but, in the process of scaling down to the object, injured his ankle and had to return to his truck. The next day he was taken to Los Alamos and questioned, of which one of the questioners was the green fireball investigator La Paz. When the witness secretly returned to the scene a week or so later the object was gone and the crash site reworked as though nothing had happened. The witness died forty-four years later (1989) and to his knowledge, from the time of having first seen the object until the time of his death, no one else had ever come forward and said they saw anything remotely related to the event. So too, even though La Paz was one of the questioners, if the 1945 San Antonio event was somehow related to the Foo Fighter-like green fireballs the witness never learned.
Almost all reported sightings, official and unofficial, of the aerial phenomenon given the name Foo Fighters during World War II and seen by pilots and flight crews on all sides of the action, when seen, were invairably observed only while the flight crews were airborn. There is a highly credible instance that happened in the South Pacific in August of 1942 when a whole formation of unidentified flying objects were observed from the ground that everybody who saw them agreed they could not have been enemy aircraft. The event is said to have occurred on August 12, 1942 on the island of Tulagi during a short lull in the raging battle leading up to Guadalcanal. Although there were hundreds if not thousands of Marines on the island that day and most if not all saw the objects, the lion's share for reporting the sighting as it comes down to most of the internet goes to Marine Sergeant Stephen J. Brickner. Brickner reported that when he heard air raid sirens going off he looked to the sky and observed over 150 objects flying directly overhead in straight lines of 10 or 12 objects, one behind the other. He said no wings or tails were visible and they seemed to "wobble" slightly as they flew over at a speed faster than he had ever seen before by enemy planes. He said their appearance was that of highly polished silver and that they shimmered brightly in the sun. In a second confirmation of the same event, also found on the internet but typically lost because of not being under a Foo Fighter context, and told a few years after the war, a young boy was sitting in a cafe in Redondo Beach, California owned by the infamous Madam Fifi Malouf with an ex-marine when a second ex-marine joined them in the booth. The following ensued:
"I was sitting in the cafe with a couple of the women, only this time the ex-marine taxi driver was there as well. Another ex-marine who apparently knew one of the women stepped up to our booth and invited himself to join us. It wasn't long before the two former marines discovered they both had been on Guadalcanal and in the process began to dominate the once shared conversation with nothing but war stories. That is, until the self invited ex-marine interjected a story about an unusual situation he observed. In August 1942 he was on Tulagi Island, a short distance southwest of Guadalcanal when he and a bunch of other marines observed some sort of flying objects that were different than anything he had ever seen. He said they were round and nearly flat, shaped almost like an upside down tin pie plate, with no wings or fuselage, glistening with a silver sheen."
FAR FROM BEING A FOO FIGHTER, A HUGE ZEPPELIN-SIZE UFO
CAUGHT IN SEARCHLIGHT BEAMS OVER LOS ANGELES IN 1942
Not all aerial objects otherwise left unidentified in World War II, seen from the air, ground, or otherwise were fighter or bomber-size-like Foo Fighters or unexplained phenomenon such as Green Fireballs. Nor were any necessarily small in size either. Some were downright gigantic. The most infamous was an object seen by literally thousands of people along the coast of California barely three months into the war. The UFO Over Los Angeles is mostly forgotten now, but during the early morning hours of February 25, 1942 the whole city and surrounding communities were in an uproar as thousands of rounds of anti aircraft shells were expended to pull down whatever it was out of the sky that night. The slow moving object, said to be as big or bigger than a Zeppelin, was caught in the glare of the searchlights from Santa Monica to Long Beach and seemed impervious to the the constant barrarge of shells. It eventually disappeared out over the Pacific after cruising along the coast and cutting inland for a while. The huge object was never clearly explained and was basically hushed up without response from the authorities.
THE FIRST SIGHTING OF A UFO FROM A POWERED AIRCRAFT:
The Flying Saucer craze that erupted on the national scene shortly following World War II is usually credited to a pilot named Kenneth Arnold from an observation of his while flying over or near Mount Rainer in the state of Washington. From the cockpit of his plane, and at a fairly high altitude Arnold reported spotting nine highly reflective, disc-like or crescent shaped objects flying in a loose formation off in the distance and below him --- all exhibiting non-aircraft like maneuvering and all traveling at an ultra high rate of speed.
However, Arnold's sighting was NOT the first from an aircraft. The first reported sighting of a UFO from an aircraft happened years before Arnold's sighting, during World War I and involved what seemed to be a Zeppelin --- but instead, turned out to be a huge unidentified flying object. According to ZEPPELINS: High Altitude Warships, on the night of January 19, 1915 two German navy Zeppelins carried out the first successful bombing run against British soil. One year later, although not exactly a Foo Fighter in the World War II classical sense, the FIRST sighting of a UFO from a powered aircraft EVER as well as the first firing on a UFO from the air occurred over England.
David Clarke and Andy Roberts write in their book OUT OF THE SHADOWS: UFOs, the Establishment and the Official Cover-up (London: Piatkus, 2002) that early in January 1916 at the fighter aerodrome at Rochford in Essex outside London around 8:45 PM Flight Sub-Lieutenant J.E. Morgan arose for an anti-Zeppelin patrol in his BE2c fighter. When Morgan reached 5,000 feet he saw a little above and slightly ahead to the right about 100 feet away what he described as "a row of what appeared to be lighted windows which looked something like a railway carriage with the blinds drawn."
Believing that he had flown directly into the path of an oncoming Zeppelin in the act of preparing to attack London, Morgan drew his service pistol and fired several times in the direction of the "railway carriage." Immediately, "the lights alongside rose rapidly" and disappeared into the night sky, so rapidly in fact that Morgan believed his own aircraft had gone into a dive. Overcorrecting his actually not out of control aircraft he crashed into Thameshaven Marshes.
A full account of Morgan's sighting, dubbed "an encounter with a phantom airship" appears in German Air Raids on Great Britain 1914-1918 by Captain Joseph Morris published in 1925. The book was compiled from then classified Air Ministry records, and Morris refers directly to the airman's report filed with the War Office. Extensive searches of the Royal Flying Corps records at the Public Record Office have failed to locate Morgan's original report. The station log from Rochford aerodrome does give brief details of Morgan's flight with the addition of the word "Zepp" which shows he did have an encounter with something he took to be an enemy airship.
Morgan's report is NOT included in the official account of the January 31, 1916 raid published by the War Office at the end of the conflict, which charts the movements of the Zeppelin raiders and the attempts by British fliers to intercept them in great detail. There is, however, additional support for the claim that an airborne object of some kind was present over southeastern England during the air raid. Another RFC pilot by the name of McClelland, reported seeing what he described as "a Zeppelin" caught briefly in the glare of searchlights above London at 9 pm, 15 minutes after Morgan's encounter.
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