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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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Germany, during World War II:

Case number:

ACUFO-1943-00-00-GERMANY-1

Summary:

Mark Ian Birdsall, when he was the director of "Quest Publishing", a British company who published sensation magazines about UFOs, claimed in 1989 that he met "a former member of the British Army" who made him "aware of a potentially interesting piece of film footage acquired by American Air Force Intelligence which shows one Allied aircraft in flight over Germany being intercepted by a so-called 'Foo Fighter'."

Birdsall claimed the film showed "phenomena closing in on an Allied aircraft", and he described the "phenomena" as "a circular lens shaped object (dark in colour, and resembling two dinner plates joined and spinning vertically) moved furiously alongside the aircraft in a rolling fashion."

He the claimed the film footage, "taken during the war shows without doubt what many ill-informed UFO researchers believe was a 'drawing board plan'. We have without doubt learned of a remarkable weapon which was developed by a research facility under the private sector in Austria."

He went on with claims of "having heard information" on "mysterious German-built extraordinary weapons", giving no source and no details, getting away with it with phrases such as "The code name for this weapon is known, but I would like to clarify certain details before releasing the data."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: During World War II
Time: ?
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1989
Reporting delay: 5 decades.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department:
City:

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Sensationalist magazine director.
Visibility conditions: ?
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Approaches wingtip.
Witnesses action:
Photographs: Yes, unavailable.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Sensors: [ ] Visual: ?
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video: Yes, unavailable.
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Armed.
Reliability 1-3: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Invention by sensation author.

Sources:

[Ref. mbl1:] MARK IAN BIRDSALL:

Scan.

During my researches I was fortunate to meet a former member of the British Army who related some puzzling data. In this respect, I am aware of a potentially interesting piece of film footage acquired by American Air Force Intelligence which shows one Allied aircraft in flight over Germany being intercepted by a so-called 'Foo Fighter'. The film footage depicts the phenomena closing in on an Allied aircraft (wing tip) a circular lens shaped object (dark in colour, and resembling two dinner plates joined and spinning vertically) moved furiously alongside the aircraft in a rolling fashion. This information was supplied from an ex-military person of substantial background. The film footage, taken during the war shows without doubt what many ill-informed UFO researchers believe was a 'drawing board plan'. We have without doubt learned of a remarkable weapon which was developed by a research facility under the private sector in Austria.

Birdsall goes on with suggestions that the foo-fighters were German "advanced" aircraft such as the Me-262. He wonders:

"I have never heard it said that perhaps a number of Foe Fighter reports could be identified as the after-burner of such weaponry?"

[This is false, even the pilots at the time suggested or wondered whether they were seeing German jet exhaust flames.]

He went on with claims of "having heard information" on "mysterious German-built extraordinary weapons", giving no source and no details, getting away with it with phrases such as "The code name for this weapon is known, but I would like to clarify certain details before releasing the data."

Aircraft information:

No information is given except that it was an Allied plane.

Discussion:

The director of "Quest Publications" had been Graham William Birdsall; Mark Ian Birdsall was his brother. In any case, he was the director of Quest Publications from 1992 until the 2000s.

Quest Publication published, among others, the very sensationalist British UFO Magazine, and the Unopened Files.

One of Mark Ian Birdsall's "specialties" was the propagation of myths about "Nazi saucers" inspired by earlier authors like "Major Lusar" or "Dr. Richard Miethe" or Renato Vesco. I have shown elsewhere (examples below) why all of these stories were good for the "circular file" (the wastebasket).

In this case, all I can say is that Mark Ian Birdsall's claims are quite typical of these "Nazi saucer" inventions. He says he met "a former member of the British army" whose name we will never know; he knows a "film sequence" that we will never see, which would be "potentially" interesting, but we don't know why it would be "potentially" interesting instead of "really" interesting. We will never see this "film sequence", we will not know where it came from, who took it, who owns it. He tells us that it shows "an Allied plane in flight over Germany", but we will never know whether the plane was English or American, nor where over Germany it occurred. He tells us that the film shows a "Foo-Fighter" but he describes the typical "flying saucer" of the 1950s, "a circular lens-shaped object... resembling two plates joined together" while no pilot had made a description in such words during the Second World War. He assures us that this "information" was provided by a former military man "with solid experience", the same or not, but this time again we know nothing about this "former" military man, not even in what field he would have had of experience; in fact, this could simply be one of the many authors of books and articles on "Nazi saucers", like Renato Vesco for example, and not specifying this allows one to believe that there would still have one more... Then, Birdsall tells us that the "Nazi saucer" would have been developed in "a private sector research center in Austria", as if under the Nazi regime there could really have been "private" developments in aeronautics.

Some readings on the stories of "Nazi saucers":

Evaluation:

Invention by sensation author.

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 16, 2023 Creation, [mbl1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 16, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 16, 2023.