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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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Onasbrück, Germany, on August 17, 1942:

Case number:



In his 2009 catalog of "Foo Fighters" reported by Allied pilots during World War II, French ufologist Dominique Weinstein noted a case in Germany in which an R.A.F. bomber crew flying at 15,000 feet near the town of Osnabrück had observed a rocket with a long white luminous tail at the same altitude as their plane.

He adds that three other crews reported the same thing, and that no explosion bursts were seen.

He indicates that the source is the Intelligence Summary Report No. 166 by the R.A.F. Coastal Command, dated August 30 to September 6, 1942, and the 2007 book "Strange Company," by Keith Chester.


Temporal data:

Date: August 17, 1942
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: August 30, 1942
Reporting delay: Hours, 13 days.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: Lower Saxony
City: Onasbrück

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Several.
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: R.A.F. Coastal Command report.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Flies level with the planes.
Witnesses action: ?
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Sensors: [X] Visual: Several.
[N/A] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Armed, machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Possible meteor.


[Ref. nip1:] "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

Aug. 17/18, 1942; Osnabruk [sic], Germany
A rocket with a long white tail of light (Page 30 Ref.1)



Ref. 1, Strange Company (2007), Keith Chester



Case 5
August 17-18, 1942

Onasbruck, Germany

A RAF bomber crew flying at 15,000 feet near the town of Onasbruck observed a rocket with a long white tail of light on the same altitude of their aircraft. Three other crews reported the same thing. No explosive bursts were seen.

Sources: HQ Coastal Command, Intelligence Command, Intelligence summary N° 166, 30 August to 6 September, 1942 / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007.

[Ref. pmy1:] PAT MALONEY:

There were scattered reports of similarly strange aerial encounters during the rest of 1942. British bomber crews witnessed weird lights over Aachen, Germany, on the night of August 11, then again over Osnabrück on August 17 and over the Somme in occupied France in December.

Aircraft information:

All that is known at the moment is that they were R.A.F. bombers. As the R.A.F. normally bombed at night, leaving daytime bombing to the US Army Air Force, it was probably a night bomber, and an nocturnal sighting.



The town is not "Onasbruk", not "Onasbruck", not "Osnabruck", but Osnabrück.

"Coastal Command" was a formation within the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) founded in 1936, acting as the R.A.F. maritime arm, after the Fleet Air Arm became part of the Royal Navy in 1937.

The sighting report is very brief, and I cannot fail to notice that there seems to be no difference between the description and the description of a meteor.

I find it a bit odd that an event taking place deep inland, involving non-maritime airplanes for sure, would appear in a Coastal Command report. It is thus possible that this report mentions that the same event was also observed by personal at sea or on coasts.

The "rocket" could not have been a German V2 rocket or its ancestor the A4 rocket, the first launched resulting in a takeoff rather than an explosion on the launch pad having taken place on June 13, 1942, from Peenemünde, 430 km from Osnabrück.


Possible meteor.

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 28, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [pmy1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 28, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 28, 2023.