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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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Saint-Quentin, France, on February 25, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-02-25-SAINTQUENTIN-1

Summary:

The 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester is said to indicate that there was a sighting on February 24-25, 1944, southwest of Saint-Quentin, in France.

The report indicated that during a night operation against targets in Schweinfurt, Germany, three silver objects, about 30 feet long were seen 1,000 feet below and 600 meters eastern of the observers. They were described as looking like Zeppelins and moving in formation independently of the wind. They were apparently not interconnected. The report apparently stated that "a closer view was obtained" bit there still "remained confusion over the object's identity."

The report apparently ruled out that the objects were balloons or dirigibles.

The sighting apparently appeared in a military summary report about German flak operations for March 7, 1944.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 25, 1944
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 7, 1944
Reporting delay: Hours, 2 weeks.

Geographical data:

Country: France
State/Department: Aisne
City: Saint-Quentin

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military summary report, UFO book by Keith Chester.
Visibility conditions: Night.
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: ?

Classifications:

Sensors: [X] Visual: ?
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: ?
Armed / unarmed: Probably armed, machines guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Possible barrage balloons, insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 34

February 24-25, 1944

Southwest of St Quentin, France

During a night operation against targets in Schweinfurt (Germany), three silver objects, about 30 feet long were seen 1,000 feet below and 600 yards eastern of the observers. They were described as looking like Zeppelins and moving in formation independently of the wind. They were apparently not interconnected. The report stated that a closer view was obtained and still there remained confusion over the object's identity. Balloons and dirigibles were apparently ruled out, indicating that some form of unknown aircraft was encountered.

Sources: Consolidated Flak Liaison Officer report / Strange company, Keith Chester, 2007

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

The website indicates that the following sighting occurred on the night of February 24/25, 1944, being described in a March, 1944 Military Attache Report:

"Southwest of St. Quentin, three silver objects about 30 ft. long were seen 1,000 ft. below and 600 yards astern of the observers. They were described as resembling Zeppelins and, although moving in unison independently of the wind, were apparently not interconnected. Similar phenomena were described in Consolidated FLO report No. 205 and, although on this occasion a closer view was obtained, there is no explanation at present of the purpose they may serve."

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

[1944] Feb. 24/25, 1944; St. Quentin, France

Three silver objects & resembling zeppelins & moving independently of the wind & not interconnected. (Page 60 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. 24/25, 1944

Location: St. Quentin, France

Time:

Summary: Three silver objects & resembling zeppelins & moving independently of the wind & not interconnected.

Page 60 Ref.1

[Ref. get1:] GEORGE M. EBERHART:

1944

[... other cases...]

February 24

Night. Southwest of Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France, three silver objects are seen by an RAF bomber returning from a mission over Schweinfurt, Germany. They resemble Zeppelins but move independently of the wind. (Strange Company 60)

[... other cases...]

Aircraft information:

There is no aircraft information in the available report. But we are told the sighting occurred over France, by night, after a raid on Germany; this would mean that the aircraft was, or were, Royal Air Force heavy night bombers, for examples Avro Lancasters or Vickers Wellingtons.

Discussion:

Map.

At the beginning of World War II, the German had barrage balloons. They were egg-shaped and had four fins at the tail end: a top fin, two side fins, and a bottom fin. When inflated, the shape of the balloon could be likened to a short fat cigar, with a tail like a Japanese goldfish. These balloons were of course unmanned.

The main purpose of these German barrage balloons, like their Allied counterparts, was to hold a steel cable suspended vertically in the air. Thus, below the operating height of the balloon, this cable obstacle presents both a physical and mental hazard to enemy pilots attempting to enter that space.

The description of the objects in the report is very compatible with German WWII barrage balloons (photo below).

German WWII barrage balloon.

The report apparently ruled out that the objects were balloons or dirigibles, but we do not know why; at least, whereas it is certain that they were not piloted airships, we do not know why barrage balloons would have been excluded.

I even appears quite odd that the allied military would have had "no explanation" in 1944 "of the purpose they may serve" when the English coasts and cities had been protected by barrage balloons since the "Battle of Britain" in the Summer of 1940.

This explanation of the sighting by barrage balloons is thus not validated, but cannot be totally excluded.

Evaluation:

Possible barrage balloons, insufficient information.

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 18, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [sua1], [nip1], [tai1], [get1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 18, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 18, 2023.