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ACUFO:

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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France or Germany, on December 22, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-12-22-FRANCEGERMANY-1

Summary:

In the 19770 - 1990, "Citizens Against UFO Secrecy" (CAUS) was a lobby tring to get the US Government to declassify their UFO documents. In their newsletter, they reported that on September 3, 1992, their editor Barry Greenwood searched the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland, USA, to find more documents on the Foo-Fighters emanating from of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron of the US Army Air Forces, and had found some, mainly "Mission Reports".

One of the cases in the missions report for the the night of December 22 to 23, 1944, took place between 05:05 p.m. and 06:50 p.m., during Mission 1.

A night fighter was directed to intercept a target that was detected by the gound radar station "Blunder". At 05:50 p.m., the night fighter detected an object on their on-board radar, 4 miles from them at a place codenamed "Q-7372". They, or the object, overshot, and the night fighter crew could not pick up a contact again. Then, their on-board radar went out, the weather became bad, so they returned to base.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: December 23, 1944
Time: 05:50 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: December 23, 1944
Reporting delay: Hours, 1 day.

Geographical data:

Country: France or Germany
State/Department:
City:

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military missions report.
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: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Sensors: [ ] Visual: No.
[ ] Airborne radar: Yes.
[ ] Directional ground radar: Yes.
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Armed, four 20 mm cannons and six 7.62 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 3
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Low strangeness, probable enemy plane.

Sources:

[Ref. jce1:] UFOLOGY BULLETIN "JUST CAUSE":

The Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) newsletter reported that on September 3, 1992, their editor Barry Greenwood searched the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland, USA, to find more documents on the Foo-Fighters emanating from of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, and had found some, mainly "Mission Reports". Barry Greenwood reported:

[...]

Archives personnel provided a large cardboard box holding three feet of file folders of the 415th NFS and affiliated bomber groups. The period covered was late September 1944 - April 1945. It was obvious that I would spend at least a full day scanning this bunch. The records were not in the best condition, a fact which should be of great concern to those interested in the contents of old files, not just on this but on any subject. Many of the papers were onion-skin copies, very fragile and yellowing. Other reports were on coarse, brown paper which was very brittle, flakes of which were coming off on my hands. It was no longer surprising why quite often when CAUS would request and receive government files the copies were difficult, and sometimes impossible, to read. We are in a race against time as many government records are literally self-destructing on the shelf. With the millions of copies for which the National Archives is responsible, there is simply not enough staff or resources to take care of it all.

What also became clear is that the staff of the National Archives are not absolute authorities on the records that we have obtained regarding UFOs. The response I had to a request for help in locating a particular Air Force document with an identifying number was, "Good luck, we don't know." Not that they were being fresh but that the Air Force had lost the inventory to that group of documents. I had a new appreciation for the time delays in responding to FOIA requests as well. It took me the best part of a day just to scan one box thoroughly. I was in a room with about thirty to forty people, all of whom had their own agenda and own piles of paper to scan. Factor in mail requests and the demands on the staff must be terrific. I heard a complaint by one of having to pull hundreds of boxes himself to fulfill researchers’ requests just for that day.

The 415th's mission reports tended to be brief in their descriptions of everything. There were reports of aircraft destroyed, buildings bombed, flak, vehicles destroyed; etc. Then, scattered amongst the information, were reports of strange lights in the sky.

He then gave the 15 such cases he found, including:

December 22/23, 1944 - Mission 1 - 1705-1850 - Put on bogie by Blunder at 1750 hours, had A.I. [air intercept radar -ed.] contact 4 miles range at Q-7372. Overshot and could not pick up contact again. A.I. went out and weather started closing in so returned to base. Observed 2 lights, one of which seemed to be going on and off at Q—2411.

Greenwood noted:

One frustrating feature of these reports is their brevity. It is difficult to form a hypothesis on the origin of Foo-Fighters when such fragmentary information is available. It is sometimes hard to tell whether reports of "lights" by the pilots were in the air or on the ground so one should exercise caution when reading reports where this is not clear.

[Ref. nck1:] NICK COOK:

"December 22-23, 1944 — Mission 1, 1705-1850. Put on bogie by Blunder at 1750 hours, had AI contact 4 miles range at 0^7372. Overshot and could not pick up contact again. AI went out and weather started closing in so returned to base. Observed two lights, one of which seemed to be going on and off at 0^2422."

[...]

The reports made it clear that the sightings covered a period between September 1944 and April 1945.

["Blunder" was the code name of a CGI (ground) radar station.]

Aircraft information:

The Bristol Type 156 "Beaufighter", nicknamed "Beau", was a British multi-role aircraft developed during WWII. It was originally conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber; it proved to be an effective night fighter, which came into service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Battle of Britain.

Originally, armament consisted of four 20mm cannons and six 0.303-in machine-guns but many variants were built; for example, versions had the ability to additionally carry eight rocket projectiles, some had a Vickers 'K' gun, Beaufighter TF.Mk X was used for anti-shipping operations.

The Beaufighter Mk VIF was fitted with the Mark VIII radar.

Below: Beaufighter Mk VIF of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron.

Beaufighter VIF 415th NFS.

The Beaufighters served with the US Army Air Force until the end of the war, but most were replaced by the P-61 "Black Widow" beginning on March 20, 1945.

Discussion:

Map.

It is not obvious that Barry Greenwood thought this sighting among the others in the mission report was odd, there is no evidence that the crew did. But others did.

The usual procedure in the night fighters operations of 415th NFS was as follows:

The ground radar station (CGI) would scan the skies, and if a suspicious echo was detected, they would vector the nearest available night fighter plane in flight to a position 7 miles behind that target. The night fighter would then use its onboard radar (AI) to track the target and attack it.

Here it seems that there was ot great anomaly. The ground radar detected something, the night fighter got there and also detected something, but failed to intercept it.

It is of course impossible to explain in any detailed manner what happened, but it could have been an enemy nightfighter that successfully took evasive action.

Evaluation:

Low strangeness, probable enemy plane.

Sources references:

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

File history:

Authoring:

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

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 17, 2023 Creation, [jce1], [nck1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 17, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 17, 2023.