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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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The Po valley, Italy, on February 17, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-02-17-POVALLEY-1

Summary:

Ufology sources in the 2000's reported that according to the 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester, there was a sighting on February 17, 1945, over the Central Po Valley, in Italy, when at 09:20 p.m., Lieutenant Schaeffer, pilot, and Lieutenant Ayres, radar operator, of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron were conducting an intruder mission.

They were cruising at 8 000 to 10 000 feet, 2,000 feet above the fog, and after 20 very quiet minutes, with no flak and no enemy aircraft, they suddenly saw out of nowhere "two very bright lights which appeared directly in front of them."

Lieutenant Schaeffer immediately reacted by firing on the lights and "strafed the area beneath them." The crew said that the lights "appeared in pairs" at "about 8-10,000 feet, and stayed on for approximately two minutes."

The original source is said to be the 414th NFS Daily Operations Report of February 17-18, 1945.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 17, 1945
Time: 09:40 p.m.
Duration: 2 minutes.
First known report date: February 17, 1945
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Country: Italy
State/Department: Po valley
City:

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1 or 2
Number of named witnesses: 2

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report, UFO book Keith Chester.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: Yes.
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Appeared.
Witnesses action: Fired at UFO with machine guns.
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 2
[ ] Airborne radar: Not reported.
[ ] Directional ground radar: Not reported.
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 4 7.62 mm Browning machine guns and 4 20 mm Hispano cannons.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Insufficient information.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Scan.

Case 94

February 17, 1945

Central Po Valley, Italy

At 21 h20, Lt Schaeffer (pilot) and Lt Ayres (radar operator) of the 414th NFS were also on conducting an intruder mission in the Central Po Valley. They were cruising at eight to ten thousand feet, 2,000 feet above the fog. After 20 minutes very quiet, no flak and no enemy aircraft, they saw suddenly, out of nowhere "two very bright lights which appeared directly in front of them." Immediately Lt Schaeffer reacted, firing on the lights and "strafed the area beneath them." The crew said that the lights "appeared in pairs" at "about 8-10,000 feet, and stayed on for approximately two minutes."

Sources: 414th NFS Daily Operations Report, 17/18 February, 1945, NARA / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

[Ref. sua1:] WEBSITE "SATURDAY NIGHT UFORIA":

And at the same time [February 17, 1945], pilots from the 414th Night Fighter Squadron based at Pontedera, Italy were reporting similar encounters. The Operations Report for the night of February 16/17 tells of an encounter over northwestern Italy with two "very bright lights which appeared directly in front" at "about 8-10,000 feet," also reporting that they "stayed on for approximately 2 minutes" -- even though the crew reported that it had "strafed the area beneath them."

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

Feb. 17, 1945; Central Po Valley, Italy

Observed two very bright lights appear directly in front of aircraft; fired upon without result. (Page 137 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: Feb. 17, 1945

Location: Central Po Valley, Italy

Time:

Summary: Observed two very bright lights appear directly in front of aircraft; fired upon without result.

Source:

Aircraft information:

The de Havilland DH.98 "Mosquito" was a British multirole aircraft, which served as a fighter-bomber, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. The code name for these missions was "Bluestocking".

Its armament was 4 7.62 mm Browning machine guns and 4 20 mm Hispano cannons.

Its pilot and its navigator were seated side by side, the navigator being shifted back about thirty centimeters for shoulder width.

DH.98 Mosquito.

Discussion:

Map.

So far I did not find biographical information about Lt. Ayres and Lt. Schaeffer.

The report is, as often, meager, and we do not know what the crew thought they were firing at, so that I cannot draw a firm conclusion about what the two lights were.

Evaluation:

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 January 13, 2024 Creation, [dwn2], [sua1], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 13, 2024 First published.

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This page was last updated on January 13, 2024.