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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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Frankfurt, Germany, on February 4, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-02-04-FRANKFURT-1

Summary:

In his 2007 book "Strange Company", dealing with WWII UFO sightings by pilots reports, Keith Chester reportedly indicated that during a massive raid on Frankfurt, on February 4, 1944, the crew of the 303rd Bomb group sighted a stationary object "of teardrop shape, resembling a balloon just above the clouds at 16,000 to 17,000 feet."

The Saturday Night UFOria Website, in 2011, indicated about what was certainly the same incident, that in February 1944 came a report from a raid over Frankfurt of a "stationary ball" estimated to be 10 miles distant and which "appeared to be a shiny silver ball of several feet in diameter and shining by its own incandescence".

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 4, 1944
Time: Day.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 2007
Reporting delay: Hours, 6 decades.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: Hesse
City: Frankfurt

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Probably military report, UFO book by Keith Chester.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Stationary.
Witnesses action:
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: Resembles balloon.

Classifications:

Sensors: [X] Visual: Several.
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] 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: 1
ACUFO: Probable weather balloon.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Scan.

Case 32

February 4, 1944

Frankfurt, Germany

During a massive raid on Frankfurt, the crew of the 303rd Bomb group sighted a stationary object "of tear drop shape, resembling a balloon just above the clouds at 16,000 to 17,000 feet. During the same raid, the crew the 92nd Bomb group saw at ten miles from their aircraft one object that appeared

Source: Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

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

This Website indicates that in February 1944 came a report from a raid over Frankfurt of a "stationary ball" estimated to be 10 miles distant and which "appeared to be a shiny silver ball of several feet in diameter and shining by its own incandescence".

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

[1944] Feb. 4, 1944; Frankfurt, Germany

Two sightings: stationary object of tear-drop shape, resembling a balloon; shiny silver ball looking like a very bright weather balloon with a metal sheen. (Page 59 Ref.1)

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

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

[1944] Feb. 8, 1944; Frankfurt, Germany

Silver-colored ball-like object changing stationary. (Page 59 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: Feb. 4, 1944

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Time:

Summary: Two sightings: stationary object of tear-drop shape, resembling a balloon; shiny silver ball looking like a very bright weather balloon with a metal sheen.

Page 59 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.

Discussion:

Map.

It is historically verified that on February 4, 1944, the 303 Bomb Group bombed the Frankfurt city. This was the group's mission 104.

Below: the flight map of this mission.

Map.

The bombers were US Boeing B-17F and B-17G, totaling 39 airframes.

The aircraft encountered an impressive quantity of flak, but almost no enemy fighter aircraft.

Very little information is available on the sighting. Apparently, one crew of the 303rd Bomb Group sighted a stationary object of tear dropshape, "resembling a balloon", just above the clouds at 16,000 to 17,000 feet.

The Saturday Night UFOria tells of a "stationary ball estimated to be 10 miles distant and which appeared to be a shiny silver ball of several feet in diameter and shining by its own incandescence." This was probably the description of the same phenomenon by different observers.

The question, thus, is merely: why would it not have been a balloon?

Weather balloons were used, to get weather information, obviously. Nothing in the report goes against this explanation; there were no impossible maneuvers, pursuit, effects, or any other strange thing.

The only apparent strangeness that could be discussed is that the ball was "shining by its own incandescence"; however, this is a usual phenomenon with balloons lighted by the sun and reflecting sunlight.

There is no indication that the phenomenon was interpreted as unusual by the crew or any other military authority at the time.

Evaluation:

Probable weather balloon.

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, [dwn2], [sua1], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 15, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 15, 2023.