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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 January 2, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-01-02-GERMANY-1

Summary:

Barry Greenwood, of the Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), reportd in the ufology lobbying group's newsletter that on September 3, 1992, he searched the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland, USA, to find more documents on the Foo-Fighters emanating from of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, and had found some, mainly "Mission Reports". One of them was:

"January 1/2, 1945 - Mission 8 - 0230/0600 - Patrol. Vectored on to Bogey when at angels 11. Could not get closer than 7 miles. Lost contact when Bogey entered IAZ."

Greenwood did not fail to note that one of the frustrating aspects of these reports was their brevity; which made it difficult to formulate a hypothesis about the origin of the Foo-Fighters with such fragmentary information, so caution should be exercised when reading them.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: January 2, 1945
Time: Between 02:30 a.m. and 60:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: January 2, 1945
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Country: Germany
State/Department:
City:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1 à 3
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report, Barry Greenwood.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: No.
UFO departure observed: No.
UFO action: Outdistanced plane.
Witnesses action:
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: ?
Witnesses interpretation: ?

Classifications:

Sensors: [ ] Visual: ?
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar: Yes.
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: R or RV
Armed / unarmed: Armed, four 20 mm cannons and 6 7.62 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 3
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Possible enemy night fighter plane.

Sources:

[Ref. jce1:] UFOLOGY BULLETIN "JUST CAUSE":

The Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) newsletter reported that on September 3, 1992, their editor Barry Greenwood searched the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland, USA, to find more documents on the Foo-Fighters emanating from of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, and had found some, mainly "Mission Reports". Barry Greenwood reported:

[...]

Archives personnel provided a large cardboard box holding three feet of file folders of the 415th NFS and affiliated bomber groups. The period covered was late September 1944 - April 1945. It was obvious that I would spend at least a full day scanning this bunch. The records were not in the best condition, a fact which should be of great concern to those interested in the contents of old files, not just on this but on any subject. Many of the papers were onion-skin copies, very fragile and yellowing. Other reports were on coarse, brown paper which was very brittle, flakes of which were coming off on my hands. It was no longer surprising why quite often when CAUS would request and receive government files the copies were difficult, and sometimes impossible, to read. We are in a race against time as many government records are literally self-destructing on the shelf. With the millions of copies for which the National Archives is responsible, there is simply not enough staff or resources to take care of it all.

What also became clear is that the staff of the National Archives are not absolute authorities on the records that we have obtained regarding UFOs. The response I had to a request for help in locating a particular Air Force document with an identifying number was, "Good luck, we don't know." Not that they were being fresh but that the Air Force had lost the inventory to that group of documents. I had a new appreciation for the time delays in responding to FOIA requests as well. It took me the best part of a day just to scan one box thoroughly. I was in a room with about thirty to forty people, all of whom had their own agenda and own piles of paper to scan. Factor in mail requests and the demands on the staff must be terrific. I heard a complaint by one of having to pull hundreds of boxes himself to fulfill researchers’ requests just for that day.

The 415th's mission reports tended to be brief in their descriptions of everything. There were reports of aircraft destroyed, buildings bombed, flak, vehicles destroyed; etc. Then, scattered amongst the information, were reports of strange lights in the sky.

He then gave the 15 such cases he found, including:

January 1/2, 1945 - Mission 8 - 0230/0600 - Patrol. Vectored on to Bogey when at angels 11. Could not get closer than 7 miles. Lost contact when Bogey entered IAZ.

Greenwood noted:

One frustrating feature of these reports is their brevity. It is difficult to form a hypothesis on the origin of Foo-Fighters when such fragmentary information is available. It is sometimes hard to tell whether reports of "lights" by the pilots were in the air or on the ground so one should exercise caution when reading reports where this is not clear.

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 US Army Air Force until the end of the war, but most were replaced by the P-61 "Black Widow" beginning in December 1944.

Discussion:

Map.

I would bounce back to Barry Greenwood's comments of the frustrating aspect of many such reports.

In this case, what we can understand is that the ground radar station detected and echo, that they interpreted it as a possible enemy plane, that they radioed the US night fighter plane to it.

The night fighter plane applies the operational tactic, that it, take a position several miles behind the position of the indicated echo, to try to track it on their onboard radar, and if this goes well, approach and shoot it down.

The night fighter plane tried this, but the target did not let them approach more than 7 miles, and then they lost contact.

What we do not know is:

Whether it was the ground radar station that spotted the target at "Angeles 11", ie, 11 000 feet altitude, or whether this was a visual estimate by the plane crew.

Whether the night fighter plane detected the target on their on-board radar, or if they were still vectored by the ground radar station.

Whether the night fighter crew saw it visually of not (whether this is a Radar case or a Radar-visual case).

In my opinion, it is likely that the crew did not see the tarhet, because they give no description of what it was.

Whether it was lost by the ground radar station of by the night fighter radar or visually or one or the other combined.

We also know that there was no indication in this report that anyone thought it was a Foo-Fighter.

The conservative options are thus that it was a failed attempt to intercept a German night fighter plane, or that it was a false radar echo appearing only on the ground radar station set.

Evaluation:

Possible enemy night fighter plane.

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 December 29, 2023 Creation, [jce1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 29, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 29, 2023.