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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, on April 11, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-04-11-GERMANY-1

Summary:

Ufology sources indicate that in his 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II", Keith Chester indicated that on April 11-12, 1944, over Germany, an alleged air-fired projectile was seen to follow for about one minute, gaining on the observing plane.

The plane made corkscrew maneuvers, the object pursued the plane at first, then lost altitude and curved away to the ground.

On the same time, a similar sighting took place in the same area, both reports were believed to be the same phenomenon. The second observer, in a different aircraft, saw one object approaching from a distance of six miles to starboard and 2-3 miles in front; a large orange glow was emitted, leaving a smoke trail. The projectile was then observed to make a turn of approximately 120░ towards the aircraft, lose height and disappeared into a cloud.

The source is said to be a summary report of flak operation "M115" for May 4, 1944.

It was said that the object described in these two reports "may have been glider bombs", but it is not clear whether this assessment came from the military summary report or was made later.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: April 11, 1944
Time: Probable night.
Duration: 1 minute or more.
First known report date: May 4, 1944
Reporting delay: Hours, weeks.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department:
City:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Summary military report.
Visibility conditions: Probable night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Followed.
Witnesses action: Evasive 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: 2 or more.
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Possible plane on flames, insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 37

April 11-12, 1944

Germany

An alleged air-fired projectile was seen to follow for about one minute and to be gaining on the observer, when the corkscrew turns were made it pursued the aircraft at first, then loosing altitude, curved away to the ground.

On the same time a similar sighting took place in the same area, both reports are believed to be the same phenomenon. The second observer (in a different aircraft) saw one object approaching from a distance of six miles to starboard and 2-3 miles in front; a large orange glow was emitted, leaving a smoke trail. The projectile was then observed to make a turn of approximately 120░ towards the aircraft, lose height and disappeared into a cloud. The object described in these two reports may have been glider bombs.

Sources: Consolidated Flak Liaison Officer report Ml 15, 4 May 1944 / Strange company, Keith Chester, 2007

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

[1944] April 11, 1944; Location unknown, probably Germany

Projectiles resembling glider bombs; a large orange glow & smoke trail. (Page 66 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: April 11, 1944

Location: Location unknown, probably Germany

Time:

Summary: Projectiles resembling glider bombs; a large orange glow & smoke trail.

Page 66 Ref.1

Aircraft information:

Nothing is said about the two planes where the observers were; we can only consider it almost certain that they were night bombers.

Discussion:

Map.

The report could suggest that the phenomenon was some kind of rocket weapon. It was reasonable to make this suggestion at the time.

However, History shows that the German had never succeeded in producing any kind of rocket, gliding bomb, or missile that could follow a plane. No solution to do that, either by automated guidance or ground base or plane based radion guidance, was obtained by the Germans in WWII.

Germany did try to develop a number of surface-to-air missile systems: Enzian, Rheintochter, Henschel Hs-117 Schmetterling, Wasserfall, and Feuerlilie; but none of then were used operationally, and none had the ability to follow a plane.

The Ruhrstahl X-4 was an actively wire-guided missile. Two 5.5 km cables would be used from a joystick the cockpit of the launching plane to control pitch and yaw of the missile. The missile head would contain a 20 kg fragmentation bomb. The first flight test took place on August 11, 1944, using a Focke-Wulf Fw-190 for the launch platform. This is sufficient to eliminate that the phenomenon in this report could have been the Ruhrstahl X-4. Let's add that production began in early 1945, but it was hampered by Allied bombing of the BMW rocket engine factory at Stargard. it is estimated that the Germans nevertheless produced about 1,000 X-4, but the missile was never delivered to the Luftwaffe, and there is no record of any use of it during WWII.

Another possibility was that the phenomenon was a Messerschmitt Me-163 "Komet" rocket-propelled plane. However, we are told in the report that it followed a plane, a perception that would mean that its speed was, at some point at least, lower than the speed of the plane. But the "Komet" indeed had the operational issue of being too fast elative to the enemy planes, which made it almost impossible to aim and fire at enemy planes.

Now, advanced weapons put aside, there is another possible explanation, much simpler: the phenomenon might have been a German fighter plane on flame. We now it was first seen in the air, and seemed to go down in the end. We know a "large orange glow was emitted, leaving a smoke trail."

Because no word is said in the report of the interpretation possibly made by the two or more witnesses, because the report is only a summary, because the original reports by the witnesses is not availbale, this is certainly not a bulletprrof explanation, but a possible explanation that I cannot rule out.

Evaluation:

Possible plane on flames, 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 19, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 19, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 19, 2023.