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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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Japan or China, on 1938 to 1945:

Case number:



In the 2020s, we find this so-called photo of "foo-fighters from the Second World War" on the Web:


I also found it in the 1967 book "Flying Saucers Are Hostile" by Brad Steiger and Joan Whritenour, with the only indication that it came from the files of August C. Roberts.


Temporal data:

Date: 1938 to 1945
Time: Day.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1967
Reporting delay: 2 decades.

Geographical data:

State/Department: The Pacific theater.

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Brad Steiger UFO book.
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: ?
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: ?
Witnesses action:
Photographs: Yes.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Sensors: [ ] Visual: ?
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo: 1
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 5 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns in nose, ventral, beam tail; 1 12.7 mm Ho-103 machine gun in dorsal turret.
Reliability 1-3: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: No credibility, probably not UFOs.




From the files of August C. Roberts.



This photograph appears without caption, with the general remark:

Interestingly enough, with all the sightings and reports, and all the gun cameras and high altitude photographs, no truly GOOD pictures of Foo Fighters from the period have surfaced.

Aircraft information:

The stationed airplanes in the image are Mitsubishi Ki-21, allied code name "Sally" or "Gwen". It was a Japanese heavy bomber used during World War II. It began operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War participating in the Nomonhan Incident, and in the first stages of the Pacific War over western China, India, Malaya, Burma, Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, and northern Australia.

Mitsubishi Ki-21.


As with the other alleged photos of "Foo-fighters over Japan", the image appears on the Web in "collections" of such photos, or as illustration of "Foo-fighters" article. What is never found is a date, a place, and a sighting report.

I note that most of the other, similar "Japan foo-fighters" photos came from a book by Paul Dong called "UFOS over China" (1983), and, from US ufologist Jan Aldrich, we learn that the images in the book originated with the "Cosmic Brotherhood Association" (C.B.A) UFO group in Japan, of which late ufologist Jun-Tchi Takanashi said that all their "Foo-fighter" photographs were spurious, published without pedigree.

Thus, firstly, the image has no credibility.

Then, while it is not impossible that it was an honest, authentic wartime photo of Japanese "Betty" bombers, calling the bright spots "foo-fighters" is a bold statement. These bright spots may also be fault on the negative or the print, or some reflections. For example, the photo could have been taken from inside a barrack, behind a window, and the spots would be the reflections of the lamps in the room onto the window.


No credibility, probably not UFOs.

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 January 30, 2024 Creation, [bsr1], [gfn1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 30, 2024 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 30, 2024.