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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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The Po Valley, Italy, on September 20, 1944:

Case number:



Ufology sources in the 2000's picked up a case in the 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester, himself citing a militar operation report of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron of September 20, 1944.

The case is said to have taken place in the Po Valley, in Italy, in the evening of September 20, 1944:

Lieutenant Ryan and his navigator Lieutenant Wohl, crew of a British Beaufighter, with the US 414th NFS, were flying an intruder mission over the Po valley when they saw a red light that had the appearance of an aircraft light, but it disappeared and no contact was made.


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: Several.
City: The Po valley.

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 2

Ufology data:

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



Case 49

October 20th, 1944

Po Valley, Italy

On the evening, Lt Ryan and his navigator Lt Wohl, crew of a British Beaufighter, with the US 414th NFS were flying an intruder mission over Po Valley when they saw a red light that had the appearance of an aircraft light, but it disappeared and no contact was made.

Sources: Daily operations report, 414th NFS, 20 October 1944 / Strange Companies Keith Chester, 2007

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

[1944] Oct. 20, 1944; Po Valley, Italy

Red light appearance of an aircraft light. (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: Po Valley, Italy


Summary: Red light appearance of an aircraft light.


Aircraft information:

The ufology source speaks of British Beaufighters, but the squadron had then received American P-61 Black Widows "in late 1944"; 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.


"Po Valley" should be understood as the vast plain of the Po river, in other words, all of northern Italy except the Alps.


In almost WWII every mission reports of the Night Fighters Squadrons, there are instances where the crews spotted some light and lost it or did not locate it in time to check it out and attack it if it was a valid target. Lights of houses, a camp fire, vehicles on the ground or airplane lights.

This was just normal and ordinary. There is no reason to interpret such events as UFO or Foo-Fighter events when nothing in the reportt is strange and nothing in the report indicates that it was interpreted as something strange.


No strangeness.

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.