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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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Massa, Italy, on February 21, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-02-21-MASSA-1

Summary:

In 2009, French ufologist Dominique Weintein indicated in his "Foo-Fighters" reports atalogue that in the 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester, a case of February 21, 1945, in the "Masa" area, in the Po Valley, Italy, in the evening:

The crew, pilot Lt. Rausch and radar operator Lt Lindhof, of a 414th Night Fighter Squadron P-61B "Black Widow" was flying over Po Valley covered by heavy fog. They first saw a stationary "cluster of 11 or more orange colored "flares" that burned for four minutes". Moments later, while flying over Masa, they saw "a cluster of 15 orange balls of fire." At about 5,000 feet, "appearing every time their fighter approached the area." They appeared "five different times and burned for about four minutes."

The original source was said to be the 414th Night Fighter Sqadron Daily Operations Report of February 21, 1945.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 21, 1945
Time: Evening.
Duration: ?
First known report date: February 21, 1945
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

Country: Italy
State/Department: Tuscany
City: Massa

Witnesses data:

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

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report.
Visibility conditions: Evening or night, thick ground fog.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: No
UFO departure observed: No.
UFO action: None.
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: 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 Hispano 20 mm cannons, 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 1
ACUFO: Probable flares and/or fires.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 96

February 21, 1945

Masa area, Po Valley, Italy

In the evening, the crew (pilot Lt Rausch and radar operator Lt Lindhof) of a 414th NFS P-61B Black Widow, was flying over Po Valley covered by heavy fog. They first saw a stationary "cluster of 11 or more orange colored "flares" that burned for four minutes. Moments later, while flying over Masa, they saw "acluster of 15 orange balls of fire." At about 5,000 feet, "appearing every time their fighter approached the area." They appeared five different times and burned for about four minutes."

Sources: 414th NFS Daily Operations Report, 21 February, 1945, NARA / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

[Ref. tai1:] "THINK ABOUT IT" WEBSITE:

Date: Feb. 21, 1945

Location: Po Valley, Italy

Time:

Summary: Alleged flares: cluster of 11 or more colored flares that remained motionless; cluster of 15 orange balls of fire.

Source:

Aircraft information:

The Northrop P-61 "Black Widow" was a high performance american night fighter plane used in WWII.

It was twin-engined, with a maximum speed of 589 km/h, 3,060 km range. The crew was of three men.

It was equipped with a radar and armed with 4 Hispano 20 mm cannons in the fuselage and 4 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns in the remotely controlled upper turret.

Carte.

Discussion:

There seems to be no "Masa" in Italy, it was likely "Massa" where US night fighters operations where indeed reported in February 1945. Massa is not in the Po Valley, but on the other side of the mountains at the south of the Po Valley.

Map.

The 414th Night Fighter Squadron operated from Pontadera, Italy, from November 25, 1944 to July 15, 1945.

They were operating on Beaufighters night fighters when received their first P-61B on December 20, 1944.

The fact that only 2 crew members were mentioned in this case may indicate that the plane was not a P-61 (crew of 3) but still a Beaufighter (crew of 2).

Obviously, this crew reported flares or fires. Nothing indicates that they found this strange, nothing indicates that the lights were flying.

That some of the lights were only seen as the aircraft approached the area may be due to a visual obstruction such as a hill, or the presence of a "hole" in the ground fog.

Evaluation:

Probable flares and/or fires.

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 15, 2023 Creation, [dwn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 15, 2023 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross December 23, 2023 Addition [tai1].

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This page was last updated on December 23, 2023.