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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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Halberstadt and Hanover, Germany, on January 3, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-01-02-HALBERSTADT-1

Summary:

In their 2002 book "Out of the Shadows", Dr. David Clarke and Andy Roberts showed an extract from Flight Lieutenant Mortimer's Berlin raid report from the night of 2 January 1944:

"Engaged by two rockets in vicinity of Halberstadt and later near Hanover, 90 degrees alteration of course made and definitely established that rockets altered course. Overtook us slowly, appearing with a fiery head and blazing stern on a parallel course. Initial velocity seemed to be fairly great. Duration approximately one minute."

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 3, 1944
Time: Night.
Duration: 1 minute.
First known report date: January 1944
Reporting delay: Hours, days.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony
City: Halberstadt, Hanover

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: RAF military operations report.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Fly parallel to aircraft and overcome it or them.
Witnesses action:
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Sensors: [X] Visual: 1 or more.
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 8 7.62 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 3
ACUFO: Unidentified.

Sources:

[Ref. dcr1:] DR. DAVID CLARKE AND ANDY ROBERTS:

These authors explain that most foo-fighter sightings were passive, the phenomena simply appeared from nowhere and vanished just as mysteriously, without interaction with the airborne witnesses, but in ssveral cases where aircraft were "chased".

They show this extract from Flight Lieutenant Mortimer's Berlin raid report from the night of 2 January 1944, a detailed account of such a pursuit:

"Engaged by two rockets in vicinity of Halberstadt and later near Hanover, 90 degrees alteration of course made and definitely established that rockets altered course. Overtook us slowly, appearing with a fiery head and blazing stern on a parallel course. Initial velocity seemed to be fairly great. Duration approximately one minute."

They comment that the word "rocket" to describe his encounter as although sightings were widespread, aircrews had not yet found a name for them: because they were small and fast-moving, rockets were the enemy weapon the foo-fighters most closely resembled, so they were often called rockets.

The authors find it unlikely that they were actually rockets or jets of any kind as German technology was insufficiently advanced to develop any form of ground-toČair or air-to-air rocket which could "chase" an aircraft; and the German jet fighter ME262 only played a limited role toward the end of the war and was easily spotted by Allied aircrews.

They recall that none of the foo-fighter witnesses who observed the phenomenon closely saw the outline of a rocket or aeroplane; nor did the foo-fighters ever shoot at Allied bombers or fighters - they just appeared and then 'disappeared without explosion.

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 28

January 2-3, 1944

Halberstadt and Hannover, Germany

Flight Lieutenant Mortimer a Mosquito pilot (RAF 463 Squadron) reported: "engaged by two "rockets in the vicinity of Halberstadt and later near Hannover, 90░ alteration of course made and definitely established that rockets altered course. Overtook us slowly, appearing with a fiery head and blazing stern on a parallel course. Initial velocity seemed to be fairly great". It disappeared without explosion. Duration: one minute.

Comments: According to Allied assessments, remote-control rockets were not in operation at that time.

Sources: Raid report M/463 Squadron night 2-3 Jan. 1944 / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

[Ref. snu1:] "SATURDAY NIGHT UFORIA" WEBSITE:

This website indicates that in 1944, a 'Raid Report' from M/263 Squadron recounted the experience of a Mosquito pilot on the night of January 2/3, 1944:

"Engaged by two rockets in the vicinity of HALBERSTADT and later near HANOVER, 90 degrees alteration of course made and definitely established that rockets altered course. Overtook us slowly, appearing with a fiery head and blazing stern on a parallel course. Initial velocity seemed to be fairly great. Duration approximately one minute; Disappeared without explosion."

The website cites a follow-up intelligence memo:

"He estimates that one of them was at range of approximately 200 yards at its closest and kept pace at this range with M/463 for 30/40 seconds. He did not fire, in case a hit might detonate it, causing damage to the aircraft at that range."

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

[1944] Jan. 2/3, 1944; Halberstadt, Germany

Two rockets; altered course; fiery head and blazing stern. (Page 54 Ref.1)

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

[Ref. tai1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Date: Jan. 2/3, 1944

Location: Halberstadt, Germany

Time:

Summary: Two rockets; altered course; fiery head and blazing stern.

Source: Page 54 Ref.1

Aircraft information:

The Avro 683 Lancaster was a four-engine night bomber built in more than 7,000 units and it became, with the Handley Page Halifax, the main bomber of the Royal Air Force from 1942 on.

Its defense against German fighter planes was 8 7.62 mm machine guns.

Avro Lancaster.

Discussion:

Map.

The distance between Halberstadt and Hanover is about 100 km.

No. 463 Squadron was not a Royal Air Force squadron, but a Royal Australian Air Force heavy bomber squadron formed in the United Kingdom in late 1943 from personnel and aircraft allocated from No 467 Squadron RAAF. In 1944 it was based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, and equipped with Avro Lancaster heavy night bombers with a crew of 7, and flew its first raids on Germany immediately after being formed.

I found confirmation in WWII historical sources that 463 Squadron Lancasters took off from RAF Waddington on January 2, 1944, at 11:13 p.m., for a mission to bomb Berlin.

This means that while the mission is rightly dated "January 2-3, 1944", the sighting did not take place on January 2, 1944, but January 3, 1944.

Since the first sight was near Halberstadt and the second sight near Hannover, the witnesses were on the return to England after their bombing of Berlin.

The description does not fit a German jet fighter or any German plane at all. The description would be perfectly fit for a meteor, except there two of them; which is quite rare for meteors, and except the 90░ change of course, presented as duly verified in the report ("90 degrees alteration of course made and definitely established that rockets altered course.").

Yet I am not comfortable in calling the two "rockets" alien spaceship. I remain puzzled an unconvinced of any explanation.

There are weaknesses in the report. One of them is that whereas two rockets are reported, it is not entirely clear whether it was one rocket near Halberstadt and another near Hannover, or two rockets each times.

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 October 15, 2023 Creation, [dcr1], [dwn2], [snu1], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 15, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 15, 2023.