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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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Alfonsine, Italy, on August 18, 1944:

Case number:

ACUFO-1944-08-18-ALFONSINE-1

Summary:

In 1999, the American ufologist Jan Aldrich, leader of the historical ufology Website Project 1947, indicated that there was a sighting in the vicinity of Alfonsine, in Italy, on October 18, 1944, of a shower of silver objects about the size of silver dollars. These objects were seen floating at 10,500 feet and descending slowly.

Jan Aldrich indicated that this appeared in the Special Flak Report of the Headquarters of the 42d Bomb Wing for September - October 1944.

Jan Aldrich wondered whether these objects may have been "Windows", i.e. radar chaff.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 18, 1944
Time: Daytime.
Duration: ?
First known report date: October 1944
Reporting delay: Hours, months.

Geographical data:

Country: Italy
State/Department: Emilia-Romagna
City: Alfonsine

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military report on enemy flak.
Visibility conditions: Day.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: ?
UFO action: Float down slowly.
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: DD
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 11 12,7 mm Browning M2 machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 1
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Probable radar chaff.

Sources:

[Ref. prt4:] JAN ALDRICH - "PROJECT 1947":

N - 1944.10.18 - Day, Alfonsine

"Also on 18 October, a shower of silver objects about the size of silver dollars was reported in the vicinity of Alfonsine. These objects were seen floating at 10,500 feet and descending slowly." HQ, 42d Bomb Wing, A-2 (Sep-Oct 1944 Special Flak Report) ("Windows?")

Aircraft information:

B-26.

The Martin B-26 "Marauder" (above) was an American twin-engined medium bomber built from 1939 on, active in operations in 1941, used during World War II in Europe and the Pacific.

Its armament was 11 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns, 6 in fixed position on the fuselage, 2 in the dorsal turret and 2 in the rear turret.

Discussion:

Map.

The 42d Bombardment Wing of the US Army Air Force was a dive bombardment unit constituted in February 1943, activated on February 6, 1943, the redesignated 42d Bombardment Wing (Medium), transferred overseas without personnel and equipment, and assigned to Twelfth Army Air Force on July 31, 1943. It served in combat in the Mediterranean and European theaters until the end WWII.

At the time of this sighting, they used Martin B-26 "Marauder" bombers.

Jan Aldrich added the note "Windows?" to the case. "Window" was the code name for British radar chaff.

The principle of "Window" was to drop from aircraft a cloud of thin pieces of aluminum, metallized glass fiber or plastic, which either appears as a cluster of primary targets on radar screens or swamped the radar screens with multiple returns.

What is described in the report is very consistent with such an explanation. There is some oddity, though. The US Army Air Force could have dropped radar chaff in the vicinity of the raid to disturb the Germans; but the B-26 crews should have been informed about it, and it should thus not have appeared in the military report on flak operations. Surely there was some sort of mix-up, or wording that did not make it clear that this "phenomenon" was understood, not unidentified.

Below: British radar chaff.

Carte.

Radar chaff.

Evaluation:

Probable radar chaff.

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 25, 2023 Creation, [prt4].
1.0 Patrick Gross October 25, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on October 25, 2023.