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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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Stuttgart, Germany, on July 25, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-07-25-STUTTGART-1

Summary:

Ufology sources in the 2000's report that a sighting was written about in UFO Magazine, U-K., for November - December 1998.

One source says that just after the invasion of France, a RAF Lancaster pilot, George Barton, and his crew, were conducting a bombing raid on Stuttgart. As they approached their target area, they observed "spheres" approximately "the size of a large football" following right on their tail, as though "they were caught in the aircraft' slipstream. The pilot executed evasive maneuvers to get away from the "spheres", while the rear gunner tried shooting them down. The "spheres" stayed right with them, and were not affected by the gunfire.

Another source says that George Barton, an ex-British pilot living in South Africa in 1998, sent a letter to UFO magazine about an incident dating from June 1944. He is quoted:

"Starting from Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire, I was flying with 576 Squadron, 1st Tactical Air Command Group. I remember this incident vividly. This particular flight took place just after D-Day in June 1944. It was the second of three raids we made on Stuttgart, Ruhr, Germany. Our bombers never flew in a straight line to the target. They flew in hooks so the Germans could not guess where we were going. But that night was special. The enemy seemed to anticipate our every move. They sent up flares at regular intervals, which illuminated our planes despite our detours. And we suffered heavy losses.

Back at the base, for the debriefing, I was exhausted. I wasn't paying much attention to the guy who was supposed to take my report. My mind was wandering. That's why I picked up on the conversation at the next table. One guy, in particular, was very excited and talking loudly. I realized that he was a tail gunner. And here's what he was talking about: as they were approaching their target, they suddenly realized that their plane was being followed by glowing spheres. It was as if they were caught in the plane's wake. Believing that this was a new German secret weapon, he asked the pilot to perform a rather violent stall, just to outrun them. And at the same time, he shot at these spheres. All this without any result. These objects remained stuck to the bomber. They were the size of a large football. At that time, I had no idea what they were. It was only after the war that I heard about these foo fighters. And it was only then that I made the connection."

Given the indications, I determined that the raid on Stuttgart refered to took place on July 25, 1944, not in June 1944.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 25, 1944
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: 1998
Reporting delay: 6 decades.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department: Baden-Wurtemberg
City: Stuttgart

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Third party to UFO magazine.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Follow.
Witnesses action: Escape maneuvers in vain. Shoots at it with machine guns without effect.
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: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Extraterrestrial craft or searchlights.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 43

June, 1944

Stuttgart, Germany

Just after the invasion of France, a RAF Lancaster pilot, George Barton, and his crew were conducting a bombing raid on Stuttgart. As they approached their target area, they observed "spheres" approximately "the size of a large football" following right on their tail, as though "they were caught in the aircraft' slipstream. The pilot executed evasive maneuvers to get away from the "spheres", while the rear gunner tried shooting them down. The "spheres" stayed right with them, and were not affected by the gunfire.

Source: Strange Secrets: real government files on the unknown, Nick Redfern and Andy Roberts, 2003 / Strange company, Keith Chester, 2007

[Ref. ekl1:] EGON KRAGEL:

This author says that in November 1998, George Barton, an ex-British pilot, now living in South Africa, sent a letter to the English magazine UFO concerning an incident dating from June 1944. He is quoted:

"Starting from Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire, I was flying with 576 Squadron, 1st Tactical Air Command Group. I remember this incident vividly. This particular flight took place just after D-Day in June 1944. It was the second of three raids we made on Stuttgart, Ruhr, Germany. Our bombers never flew in a straight line to the target. They flew in hooks so the Germans could not guess where we were going. But that night was special. The enemy seemed to anticipate our every move. They sent up flares at regular intervals, which illuminated our planes despite our detours. And we suffered heavy losses."

"Back at the base, for the debriefing, I was exhausted. I wasn't paying much attention to the guy who was supposed to take my report. My mind was wandering. That's why I picked up on the conversation at the next table. One guy, in particular, was very excited and talking loudly. I realized that he was a tail gunner. And here's what he was talking about: as they were approaching their target, they suddenly realized that their plane was being followed by glowing spheres. It was as if they were caught in the plane's wake. Believing that this was a new German secret weapon, he asked the pilot to perform a rather violent stall, just to outrun them. And at the same time, he shot at these spheres. All this without any result. These objects remained stuck to the bomber. They were the size of a large football. At that time, I had no idea what they were. It was only after the war that I heard about these foo fighters. And it was only then that I made the connection."

The source is indicated as "UFO, November-December 1998, p. 12."

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 Royal Air Force 576th Squadron was formed on November 25, 1943, and based at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire until October 31, 1944, U-K.

From November 1943 to September 1945, they operated Avro Lancasters Mks. I and III.

In the Squadron history, I searched for raids of this squadron over Germany after D-Day. We have:

June 12, 1944 - Gehenkirchen synthetic oil plant, moderate flak, very active searchlights.
June 16, 1944 - Sterkrade synthetic oil plant, flak, and many enemy fighter planes.
July 18, 1944 - Scholven Buer synthetic oil plant, moderate flak, no enemy aircraft.
July 21, 1944 - Kiel habour, moderate flak, one German night fighter.

Three raids on Stuggart then occurred:

July 24, 1944 - Stuttgart, by night, moderate flak, no enemy fighters. To mark the target on the ground PFF had dropped green and yellow Wanganui flares.

July 25, 1944 - Stuttgart, by night. Heavy flak, no enemy aircraft, 3 red flares and 2 green flares to mark the target.

July 28, 1944, by night. Red and green Wanganui flares with white stars dropped considerable enemy fighters, 4 Lancasters had combats, moderate flak.

The next raid on Germany was on Brunswick on August 12, 1944. All other raids between D-Day and August were over France.

George Barton said the sighting occurred "just after D-Day in June 1944" and "It was the second of three raids we made on Stuttgart".

Thus, June 1944 refers to D-Day, not to the sighting date, and as there were indeed three raids on Stuttgart "just after D-Day", on July 24, 25 and 28, 1944, and as George Barton reported the sighting occurred on the second one, the date of the sighting must be July 25, 1944.

The report is a second and report. George Barton heard the report, he was not the witness. The writing of the report is also quite late, dated 1998.

One element is missing in the report: the duration.

The consequence to me is that whereas the report appears to be of high strangeness, it is possible to interpret the spheres as searchlights of the flak creating the "spheres" on a cloud layer.

If the duration had been known, it would have been possible, perharps, to exclude this. But as the report now stands, I cannot exlude searchlights.

Evaluation:

Extraterrestrial craft or searchlights.

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 23, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [ekl1].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 23, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 23, 2023.