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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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Aachen, Germany, on November 5, 1944:

Case number:



In the 2000s, two ufology sources mentioned events on the night of November 5, 1944, both based on unspecified military reports of the time.

One source said that on the night of November 5–6, 1944, between 5:32 p.m. and 12:05 a.m., four separate crews of P-61 Black Widows from the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron in the Aachen - Bonn and Aachen - Cologne areas had seen what they suspected to be German jet planes in flight. When the pilots attempted to pursue them, these planes accelerated and climbed out of sight.

The other source says that on November 5-6, 1944, on Aachen - Bonn, Aachen - Cologne, Germany, possible jet planes had been seen; there had been a single light, and 5 sightings of jet planes; and or several flares similar to jet planes. There had been no contact on the on-board radar sets of the witnesses' planes, nor radar contact by ground radar station.


Temporal data:

Date: November 5, 1944
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 2007
Reporting delay: Hours, 6 decades.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: North Rhine-Westphalia
City: Aachen, Bonn, Koln

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 4 to 12
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Ufology sources.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Escape when chased.
Witnesses action: Pursuit.
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Probable enemy jet planes.


Sensors: [X] Visual: 4 or more.
[ ] Airborne radar: Negative.
[ ] Directional ground radar: Negative.
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 4 Hispano 20 mm cannons, 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Unidentified.



Dominique Weinstein indicated, as a comment to another case:

[...] During the night of 5-6 November 1944, between 17h32 and 00h05, four separate crew of P-61 Black Widows of the 422thd NFS in the Aachen-Bonn and Aachen-Cologne areas had reported what they suspected to be German flying jets (Me-262) and when pilots tried to chase the jets put on power and climbed out of sight. The sightings occurred close to Vogelsand Airfield in Aachen-Bonn area.

(Ref. nip1:) "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

(1944) Nov. 5/6, 1944; Aachen/Bonn, Aachen/Cologne, Germany

Possible jet; single light; 5 free lance visuals on jets, no A.I. or G.C.I. contacts; several flares similar to jets. (Page 86-87 Ref.1)

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


Date: Nov. 5/6, 1944

Location: Aachen/Bonn, Aachen/Cologne, Germany


Summary: Possible jet; single light; 5 free lance visuals on jets, no A.I. or G.C.I. contacts; several flares similar to jets.


Aircraft information:

The Northrop P-61 "Black Widow" was a high performance american night fighter plane used in WWII.

It was twin-engined, with a maximum speed of 589 km/h, 3,060 km range. The crew was of three men.

It was equipped with a radar and armed with 4 Hispano 20 mm cannons in the fuselage and 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns in the remotely controlled upper turret.


Above: a P-61 of the 422d Night Fighter Squadron in 1944.



Vogelsang Airfield (Fliegerhorst Vogelsang), not "Vogelsand", was a German military airfield in 1940; it was abandoned as its fighter and bomber planes moved to Belgium in May 1940, and reused by German combat aircraft in 1945. In late February 1945, it was taken by the Allies.

In December 1944, Me-262 units were operational. Some were based in Königsberg and Ziegenhain; I found no trace that they operated from Vogelsang, but this is not an issue as the sightings locations are withing range of other Me-262 airfields.

The Messerchmitt Me-262 "Schwalbe" German jet plane of WWII was sometimes said to be the likely explanation for flying lights reported by US night fighters pilots in the Eropean theater in 1944 - 1945. it is claimed that the lights were their jet exhaust flames.

The first thing to consider is that there was nearly no such flame. There are hundreds of video of good quality of Me-262 flights to show this, as the image below shows.


In some circumstances, the jet engines did show some light. Films and videos show that jet engine exhaust were visible when the Me-262 accelerated at full speed. The flames were not very intense, and only visible straight from the rear, as in the image below, never from the front and not even from the side.

Me-262 exhaust.

In this frame of WWI Me-262 combat footage, it appears that the Me-262, seen here from behind, flying away from a B-17 bomber, showed no exhaust flame when there was not a direct view from behind in the axis of the exhaust of the engines.

Me-262 exhaust.

The second thing to consider is that the jet exhaust flames, when visible, were of bluish - white color, never of red or orange color.

The third thing to consider is that Me-262 had two jet engines, so that in any case were the exhaust flames could be seen, two "lights" must have been seen, not just one.

In the present case, we do not have any details such as whether the lights were in pair or single (except in one instance of single light), and nothing is said about their color.

What we have is the interpretation by the pilots who suspected they saw German jet planes. There is no reason not to believe this interpretation.

But obviously when US pilots saw flying lights in the night, it was logical for them to suspect they were German fighters when nothing extraordinary was occurring in the behaviour or performance. Me-262 were not a usual sight, there were something new and the pilots had generally not seen them before, so they would not know exactly how their exhaust would look.

The first oddity here is that instead of attacking, these suspected German jets sped away. Of course, they may have been out of ammunition. But even this is mildly odd, because were are told that this was obbserved by "four separate crews" of US night fighters, we are told in one version that there were 5 sightings. Each times Me-262 without ammunitions?

The other oddity is that we are told there were "no A.I. or G.C.I. contacts", i.e., they were not detected from the on-board radar of the P-61's and also not detected from the ground radar station. They should have been.

All this makes the case impossible to assess with any certainty. In my opinion, we could just trust the US pilots who thought they saw German jet planes - these had to be Me-262 as these were the only ones capable of night flight then and there. But the lack of any radar detection, by "four separate crews" and at least one ground radar station remains odd.



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 November 11, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 11, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 11, 2023.