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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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Kiel, Germany, on January 5, 1944:

Case number:



In the 2007 ufology book “Strange Company” by Keith Chester, it is indicated that the operational report of the 306th Bomb Group indicated that on January 5, 1944, by day, near Kiel, Germany, several crews of the 40th Combat Wing of the 306th Bomb Group, reported that not long after departing the target area, they observed “black plate sized discs, leaving a smoke trail, which did not explode.”

I explain in this file that one cannot exclude that these discs were German Messerschmitt Me-163 “Komet” rocket-propelled fighter planes.


Temporal data:

Date: January 5, 1944
Time: Day.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 2007
Reporting delay: Hours, weeks.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: Schleswig-Holstein
City or place: Kiel

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

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


Sensors: [X] Visual: Several.
[ ] Airborne radar: N/A.
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: DD
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 5 7.62 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Possible Messerschmitt Me-163's, insufficient information.




Case 29

January 5, 1944

Kiel, Germany

During a daylight raid on Kiel and no longer after departing the target area, several crews of the 40th Combat Wing (306th Group) observed “black plate sized discs, leaving a smoke trail, which did not explode.”

Sources: Operational report, 306th Bomb Group / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007


Date: Jan. 5, 1944

Location: Kiel, Germany


Summary: Black plate-sized discs.

Source: Page 55 Ref.1

Aircraft information:

The US B-17 “Flying Fortress” was a heavy bomber fitted with five 7.62 machine guns for its defense against enemy fighter planes.

B-17 formation.


Historical WWII sources indicate that the 40th Combat Bomb Wing of the 8th US Army Air Force was based at Thurleigh on September 16, 1943 Its Groups were, in 1944, 92d, 305th, 306th, 492d. 306th Bomb Group had been the first US Bomb Group over Germany. The cited unit “40th Combat Wing (306th Group)” is therefore confirmed.

Historical WWII sources indicate that Mission #23 over Kiel took place on January 5, 1944, the mission took off about 08:00 a.m. and landed back in England at 03:00 p.m. They encountered about 30 enemy fighters, and suffered flak damages. The group used B-17 “Flying Fortresses”. The raid on Kiel at this date involving this unit it therefore confirmed.

As for the report on the “discs”, it is quite tenuous. It occurs shortly after the bombers left the area to be bombed, the witnesses are several crews, the objects observed were “black plate sized discs, leaving a smoke trail, which did not explode.”

There is missing information on how these “discs” moved, and the mention that these disks were “the size of a plate” is useless since we do not have the notion of the distance at which the “plate” would be seen. The color of the “smoke” is not indicated either. The number of these disks is not given.

This “smoke” is an element to consider since the German fighter planes did not release smoke, except for the Messerschmitt Me-163 “Komet” rocket plane, which left a white trail. The shape of the “Komet” is not that of a disc, but if the “Komets” had intervened too far from the bombers, their flying wing silhouette could have been called “disc”, and they could be the explanation.


Bad Zwischenahn, where “Komets” in the operational test phase had been based since August 1943, is not far from a logical return route for the bombers. The “Komet” had a range of only 40 km; we would therefore have to think that the return of the bombers made a curve of around forty kilometers towards the South, which is not impossible. There were “Komets” based at Husum, also on a possible return route for the bombers; but historical sources indicate that the “Komet” were deployed there only in April 1945. Historical sources date the first engagement with Allied aviation to May 13, 1944 only, with a “Komet” attacking in vain two P-47 fighter planes.

The “Komet” (photo below) therefore seems to me a possible explanation, but not confirmed: it would have been necessary to know at least the number of discs and the color of the smoke.



Possible Messerschmitt Me-163's, insufficient information..

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 October 13, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 13, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 13, 2023.