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ACUFO is my comprehensive catalog of cases of encounters between aircraft and UFOs, whether they are "explained" or "unexplained".

The ACUFO catalog is made of case files with a case number, summary, quantitative information (date, location, number of witnesses...), classifications, all sources mentioning the case with their references, a discussion of the case in order to evaluate its causes, and a history of the changes made to the file.

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Manchuria, in January 1941:

Case number:



In his UFO sighting database compiled in the 2000's, US ufologist Larry Hatch indicated that according to the book "UFOs Over Modern China", by Paul Dong, there was a case in January 1941 in Manchuria, with "numerous photos", involving glowing "orbs" that followed and approached Japanese Air Force planes and airfields.

I also found this photo, on the Web, probably from the mentioned book, with the sole indication that it shows Japanese planes overflown by UFOs over Manchuria in 1941:



Temporal data:

Date: January 1941
First known report date:
Reporting delay:

Geographical data:

Country: China
State/Department: Manchuria

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: ?
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: ?
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action:
Witnesses action:
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Sensors: [X] Visual: ?
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: DD
Armed / unarmed: Armed, machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Totally insufficient information and credibility.


[Ref. web1:] ON THE WEB:


The above picture appeared on a non-ufology images publishing Website, with no other explanation than "aviones japoneses escoltados por ovnis sobre manchuria 1941", i.e. from Spanish, "Japanese planes flown by UFOs over Manchuria 1941."

I think it is very possible that this would be one of the "many photos" mentionned in Larry Hatch's database, see [lhh1].

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH:

447: 1941/01/00 00:00 156 125:00:00 E 45:00:00 N 3000 ASM CHI MNC 8:A
Ref#208 DONG,Paul: UFOs Over Modern China Page No. 15: IN-FLIGHT

Which reads: Case No. 447, January 1941, in Manchuria, numerous photos, Japanese Air Force: glows - orbs plus ovoids follow and approach planes and airfields, with as a source DONG, Paul: UFOs Over Modern China Page No. 15.

Aircraft information:

It is said that - if there is any truth to the report - the planes were Japanese military planes from 1941.

In the photo, I can see that there are three single-engine planes, probably fighter planes, but I haven't been able to identify them more than that.


Since 1949, Manchuria, in the northeast of China, along the Pacific, in the People's Republic of China, no longer corresponds to an administrative region.

Wendelle C. Stevens (1923-2010) was an American author and screenwriter of "UFO documentaries", such as "Where Are All the UFO's?" (1996), "Contact" (1987) and "UFO's Are Real" (1979).

He wrote several books on UFOs; for example his highly contested "Message from the Pleiades" which presents as authentic the fake photos and tall-tales of the "contactee" Eduardo "Billy" Meier. He published two volumes of "UFO Photographs Around the World", made of various UFO photos without any "filtering."

Paul Dong wrote rather "esoteric" or "New Age" books, such as "Chi Gong: The Ancient Chinese Way to Health" or "China's Super Psychics", and also, in the 1980s, a few books, and articles on UFOs in China in ufological journals such as Lumières Dans La Nuit, Flying Saucers Review.

As of the case discussed here, it is obvious that credibility is hardly assured and as for the quality of the report, it borders on the null. There is almost no information.

The photo - I insist on the fact that I am not entirely sure that it is linked to what Larry Hatch's database tells - resembles in what it shows some other alleged photos of "Foo Fighters." It has the same issues: almost everything is indistinct, and there is no contextual information except that the planes are Japanese military planes, the location Manchuria and the date January 1941.


Totally insufficient information and credibility.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:


Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 24, 2023 Creation, [web1], [lhh1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 24, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 24, 2023.