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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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Florence, Italy, on September 20, 1944:

Case number:



Ufology sources in the 2000's indicate that in his 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II", author Keith Chester referred to the daily operations report of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron for October 20, 1944, for the following sighting:

On October 20, 1944, on the Northern Florence area, Italy, a Beaufighter crew of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron was patrolling when crew members observed "two orange balls diving into the hills". They were unable to get close enough to clearly identify the object.


Temporal data:

Date: September 20, 1944
Time: Probable night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: September 20, 1944
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Country: Italy
State/Department: Tuscany
City: Florence

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report.
Visibility conditions: Probable night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Dove into hills.
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.
[ ] Airborne radar: Not reported.
[ ] Directional ground radar: Not reported.
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: No strangeness, possible flares.



Case 50

October 20, 1944

Northern Florence area, Italy

A Beaufighter crew of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron (NFS) was patrolling the area of northern Florence when crew members observed "two orange balls diving into the hills". They were unable to get close enough to clearly identified the object.

Sources: Daily operations report, 416th NFS, October 20 1944 / Strange companies, Keith Chester, 2007

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

[1944] Oct. 20, 1944; N. Florence, Italy

Two orange balls diving into the hills. (Page 84 Ref.1)

The reference 1 is described at the end of the document as "Strange Company (2007), Keith Chester".


Date: Oct. 20, 1944

Location: Florence, Italy


Summary: Two orange balls diving into the hills.


Aircraft information:

The ufology source speaks of British Beaufighters, but the squadron had then received American P-61's "Black Widow"; I am not sure what plane it was.

In both cases these are twin-engine aircraft adapted to night fighting and armed with several machine guns.

In both cases, the planes were equipped with on-board radar and had ground radar assistance.



The 416th Night Fighter Squadron was first established in February 1943, it was equipped was equipped with British Bristol Beaufighters, then, apparently from January 1944 and on, with Northrop P-61's "Black Widow" night fighters.

From September 1, 1944, to October 1, 1944, the squadron was stationed at Rosignano Airfield, Italy, with a detachment at Pomigliano Airfield, Italy from September 1 to 9, 1944.

The case has no strangeness about it. The "two orange balls diving into the hills" could have been flares. There is no sign that the crew thought they were looking at something strange. They were just "unable to get close enough to clearly identify the object".


No strangeness, possible flares.

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 October 28, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 28, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 28, 2023.