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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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Mannheim, Germany, on November 26, 1944:

Case number:



In the 1970 - 1990, “Citizens Against UFO Secrecy” (CAUS) was a lobby started by ufologists Todd Zechel, Peter Gersten and Brad Sparks trying to get declassified UFO documents from the US government. Barry greenwood was the wditor of their bulletin Just Cause.

In the issue for June 1992 of the bulletin, CAUS announced that they managed to get the first “Foo Fighters” official reports in the War diaries of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron and its summary. Extracts were cited, such as:

November 27 [1944]- “The following weird excerpt comes from Lt. Schlueter's report of an intruder mission: 'Upon returning to base saw a red light flying through area about 35 miles ENE of Pt. A. Came in to about 2000 feet off starboard and then it disappeared in a long red streak.”

The War diary of the unit for November 1944 told that on the night of November 26, 1944, between 18h00 and 19h30, Lt. Edward A. Schlueter, pilot of a Beaufighter of the USAAF 415th Night Fighter Squadron stationed at the Ochey Air Base near Dijon, France, and his radar operator Lt. Donald J. Meiers, reported that in an intruder mission on Mannheim, Germany...

“Upon returning to base saw a red light flying through area, came in to about 2,000 ft off starboard and then it disappeared in a long red streak.”


Temporal data:

Date: November 26, 1944
Time: Between 06 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: November 1945
Reporting delay: Hours, 4 days.

Geographical data:

Country: France or Germany
City or place:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1 to 3
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 2

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operation reports.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Flies.
Witnesses action: ?
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?


Sensors: [X] Visual: 1 to 3
[ ] Airborne radar: Not reported.
[ ] Directional ground radar: Not reported.
[ ] Height finder ground radar: Not reported.
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 20 mm canon, machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 3
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Insufficient information.


>[Ref. hws1:] HAROLD T. WILKINS:

The Strange Mystery Of The FOO FIGHTERS

During the closing months of the war our fighters chased weird colored balls of fire that suddenly disappeared.

By Harold T. Wilkins

[...] Three nights later they were again seen by a U.S. pilot flying in the same area. They were seen for a third time on the night of December 22-23, 1944, by a U.S. pilot flying a mission over the same area.


[Ref. vgs1:] VINCENT GADDIS:

Four nights later [November 27, 1944] Lieutenant Henry Giblin, pilot, and Lieutenant Walter Cleary, radar observer, were flying at a thousand feet altitude in the Alsace-Lorraine region, south of Mannheim-am-Rhein, when they saw a large red light about a thousand feet above them, noving at an estimated speed of 200 miles per hour. They did not rush to report their experience.


These authors say that on November 27, 1944, in Mannheim, Germany, an American fighter on a mission with Lieutenant Pilot Henry Giblin and Lieutenant Radar Operator Walter Cleary on board, encountered an intensely bright orange sphere flying at a speed around 400 km/h.

[Ref. ara1:] ANTONIO RIBERA:

This Spanish ufologist reported in 1976 that during the Second World War, both Allied pilots and Axis aviators observed strange luminous phenomena which they most of the time described as "balls or spheres of fire" which seemed to want to follow their planes both in Europe and in the skies of the Far East.

He indicated that these mysterious "balls of fire" had a diameter which generally did not exceed 50 centimeters, they appeared immaterial, but they executed movements which, "to a certain extent, were directed intelligently since they followed the planes exactly, avoiding them when a risk of collision came up, accompanied the fighters in the dizzying dives that they executed during aerial combats and, generally, behaved as if all their movements were controlled by an intelligent will."

He indicates as an example coming from the 415th Fighter Squadron, that on November 27, 1944, during a patrol carried out in the region located south of Manheim [sic] by a night fighter piloted by an officer from California, Lieutenant Henry Giblin accompanied by a radar specialist, Lieutenant Walter Cleary, of Massachusetts, as their aircraft approached Speyer, a town on the banks of the Rhine, the two men were struck with amazement when they saw, about 450 meters above their plane “a huge luminous mass of orange color” which crossed the sky at nearly 400 kilometers per hour. Informed of this strange appearance, the radar stations responded that no enemy aircraft had been spotted in that area. For fear of ridicule, Giblin and Cleary decided not to report this event to their chiefs.


The bulletin of “Citizens Against UFO Secrecy” (CAUS) published that they managed to get the first Foo Fighters official reports in the War diaries of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron and its summary. Extracts were cited, such as:

Frame 1611 begins coverage of the first Foo Fighter incident from an intruder mission out of Longvic Air Base in France:

November 27 [1944]- “The following weird excerpt comes from Lt. Schlueter's report of an intruder mission: 'Upon returning to base saw a red light flying through area about 35 miles ENE of Pt. A. Came in to about 2000 feet off starboard and then it disappeared in a long red streak.”

Comment: Interestingly, unless the War Diary omitted other incidents in late November, this account is quite different from the “first incident” reported in American Legion Magazine. This told of Schlueter and Meiers encountering eight to ten orange balls moving at terrific speed which disappeared, reappeared, stayed in view five minutes and then once again vanished.


Excerpt from a story about an incursion mission from the Longvic base in France:

November 27: the following bizarre extract is taken from the report of Lt. Shlueter on an incursion mission: “On returning to base, saw a red ball flying across the area about 35 miles east-northeast of point A. Approached about 2000 feet from starboard then disappeared in the form of a long red streak.”

It is interesting to note that, unless the War Journal omitted other incidents in late November, this account is very different from the “first incident” reported in the American Legion Magazine. The latter evoked the encounter by Shlueter and Meiers of eight to ten orange balls, moving at a maddening speed, which disappeared, reappeared, remained visible for five minutes, and vanished again.


Case 61

November 26, 1944

Mannheim, Germany

Between 18h00 and 19h30, Lt. Edward A. Schlueter pilot of a Beaufighter of the USAAF 415th Night Fighter Squadron (attached to the 64 Fighter Wing, Longvic Air Base, France) and his radar operator Lt Donald J. Meiers, were on an intruder mission reported that “Upon returning to base (Dijon-Ochey, France) saw a red light flying through area, came in to about 2,000 ft off starboard and then it disappeared in a long red streak”.

Sources: USAAF 415th Night Fighter Squadron diary, November 1944, page 2 (classified secret) / Project 1947, Jan Aldrich / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

(Ref. nip1:) "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

(1944) Nov. 26, 1944; Mannheim, Germany

Red light that disappeared in long red streak. (Page 93-94 Ref.1)

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


Date: Nov. 26, 1944

Location: Mannheim, Germany


Summary: Red light that disappeared in long red streak.


The case seems to have been entrered a second time with another date:

Date: Dec. 23/24, 1944

Location: Germany


Summary: Red streak in sky.



The author indicates that on December 22, 1944, the crew of an American bomber on a mission over Germany saw two 2 bright lights darting from the ground in their direction, and once within range from the plane, they stabilized at its level and remained in its wake for almost 2 minutes. They were huge, shiny and orange in color, and the pilots believed that they were controlled remotely, without being able to prove this.

The source is given as “Mondes d'ailleurs, Hilary Evans, MLP publishers, 1999, page 80.”

The author then indicates as if it were another case, that on December 22, 1944, two pilots from the 415th Fighter Squadron based in Dijon, lieutenants David MacFalls and Edward Baker, flew over Haguenau in France, at an altitude of 3,000 meters. While they were 32 km north of Strasbourg and 26 kilometers west of the Rhine, the pilot made the following communication:

- It is 6 p.m. Two very bright lights left the ground and headed towards us. They are following us for now. They were two orange spheres which remained in the wake of the plane for two minutes then, suddenly, these lights left the plane and disappeared.

Aircraft information:

The Bristol Type 156 “Beaufighter”, nicknamed “Beau”, was a British multi-role aircraft developed during WWII. It was originally conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber; it proved to be an effective night fighter, which came into service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Battle of Britain.

Originally, armament consisted of four 20mm cannons and six 0.303-in machine-guns but many variants were built; for example, versions had the ability to additionally carry eight rocket projectiles, some had a Vickers 'K' gun, Beaufighter TF.Mk X was used for anti-shipping operations.

The Beaufighter Mk VIF was fitted with the Mark VIII radar.

Below: Beaufighter Mk VIF of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron.

Beaufighter VIF 415th NFS.

The Beaufighters served with the U.S. Army Air Forces until the end of the war, but most were replaced by the P-61 “Black Widow” beginning on March 20, 1945.


The crew of Lt. Edward A. Schlueter reported 3 different sightings of “Foo Fighters”; the Air Force reports were not declassified simultaneously, and one version was the non-official article by Jo Chamberlin in the American Legion magazine which mentioned only one of the 3 sightings by this crew. This is why there was some confusion in the first ufology sources, noting that one version was not the same as another. These were different observations, not different versions of the same observation.

The 415th NFS operated from Dijon-Longvic Airfield (Y-9) from September 25, 1944, to November 30, 1944, when they moved to the Toul-Ochey Airfield (A-96). They moved to Saint Dizier-Robinson Airfield (A-64) on March 18, 1945.

The observation took place on the return from a mission to Mannheim in Germany, returning to the Longvic base; we therefore do not know whether the observation took place in France or in Germany. I therefore keep the location “Mannheim” for pure convenience.


We can somewhat forget all the explanations of the more or less advanced “German plane” type. None left a red streak.

The “least worst” prosaic explanation would be that the light was a meteor. Of course the information here is insufficient (no duration for example) to either confirm this or rule this out, and the numerous other reports with more details must be taken into account.

Also, in meteor cases, I quite easily find the other reports. A meteor is seen over quite a wide area and reports are generally numerous. With this case, I found nothing. This is not “bulletproof” that it was not a meteor, of course.


Insufficient information.

Sources references:

* = Source is available to me.
? = Source I am told about but could not get so far. Help needed.

File history:


Main author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history:

Version: Create/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 9, 2023 Creation, [jce1], [bgd1], [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 9, 2023 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 30, 2024 Addition [hws1].
1.2 Patrick Gross May 3, 2024 Addition [tfo1].
1.3 Patrick Gross May 31, 2024 Addition [jsn1].
1.4 Patrick Gross June 2, 2024 Addition [ara1].
1.4 Patrick Gross June 13, 2024 Addition [vgs1].

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This page was last updated on June 13, 2024.