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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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Bologna, Italy, on February 27, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-02-27-BOLOGNA-1

Summary:

In the 2000's, French ufologist Dominique Weinstein noted in his catalogue of WWI "Foo-Fighters" cases that on February 27, 1945, in the Bologna area in Italy, the same crew of a Mosquito of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron that made an observation on February 22, 1945) was conducting another patrol aided by a ground radar station, over the area north and south of Bologna.

They vectored onto a "bandit" - a suspected enemy plane - that was up at 20,000 feet, but when they got to his altitude, "no contact was made." Communication with the ground radar station "Rhubarb" had revealed that "there was nothing there."

Later at 08:00 p.m., the crew observed "three lights" at 10,000 feet in the "shape of a triangle." Now in pursuit, the radar operator was unable to get a contact on his on-board screen. The pilot continued closing in on the lights. Zeroing in for a kill, his Mosquito was around 2,000 feet away, when suddenly "the lights disappeared."

Weinstein indicated that this came from the 416th Night Fighter Squadron Operations Report for February 27, 1945, according to the 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: February 27, 1945
Time: 08:00 p.m.
Duration: ?
First known report date: February 27, 1945
Reporting delay: Hours.

Geographical data:

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

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report, UFO book Keith Chester.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Escaped.
Witnesses action: Tried onboard radar and visual intercept.
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: Negative.
[X] Directional ground radar: Yes then lost.
[ ] 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: Possible false radar echo and enemy plane.

Sources:

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 100

February 27, 1945

Bologna area, Italy

A crew (same as February 22) of a 416th NFS Mosquito crew was conducting another GCI patrol over the area north and south of Bologna. They vectored onto a "bandit" that was up at 20,000 feet, but when they got to his altitude, "no contact was made." That fast it was gone. Communication with the Ground Control Intercept (GCI) "Rhubarb" had revealed that "there was nothing there." Later at 20h00, the crew observed "three lights" at 10,000 feet in the "shape of a triangle". Now in pursuit, the radar operator was unable to make AI (Air Intercept) contact on his screen. The pilot continued closing in on the lights. Zeroing in for a kill, his Mosquito was around 2,000 feet away, when suddenly "the lights disappeared."

Sources: 416th NFS Daily Operations Report, 27 February, 1945, NARA / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

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

Feb. 27, 1945; Bologna, Italy

Chased three lights in shape of triangle observed; no radar contact. (Page 141-142 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. 27, 1945

Location: Bologna, Italy

Time:

Summary: Chased three lights in shape of triangle observed; no radar contact.

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:

The 416th Night Fighter Squadron was first established in February 1943, at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida for training. The 416th was among the first Army Air Forces dedicated night fighter squadron formed. By April 1943, the squadron settled briefly in United Kingdom for training under VIII Fighter Command, attached to the Royal Air Force for familiarization in theater night fighter techniques. It was then equipped with RAF Bristol Beaufighters.

The unit then moved to North Africa for operations with XIIth Air Force. It carried out defensive night patrols over Allied held territory during the North African campaign, and then move with other allied forces into Italy in September 1943, performing intruder sweeps over Sardinia, Corsica, Italy and Southern France in 1945 on British-built Mosquito night fighters.

At the time of this sighting, they were operating from airfields at Pomigliano Airfield, Italy, with detachments at Tre Cancello Landing Strip, Italy.

Map.

The night patrol tactic was, in short:

A ground radar station ("GCI", "Ground Control Intercept"), scans an area and, when something that could be an enemy plane is detected, they report it by radio to the night fighter plane, giving the position of this echo and the direction of its movement. The night fighter plane then positions itself a few miles behind this target, try to locate it with its on-board radar - of lesser range - ("AI", "Airborne Intercept"), moves closer and open fire.

So we have:

First, an echo on the ground radar is reported to the night fighter plane, but when the plane arrives at the location of this echo, there is nothing, and the ground radar does not detects anything anymore either; we can therefore think of a radar "angel", a false detection of an object which would have been on the ground, for example, or a real echo of an enemy plane which would have dived towards the ground to escape this interception. Whatever it was, I do not see anything "extraterrestrial" here.

Then, at 8 p.m. GMT, the plane observed "three lights" at 10,000 feet "in the shape of a triangle". But the on-board radar operator detected nothing. This is not total proof of absence because the on-board radar sets were not entirely reliable. The pilot approached the lights to attack them, but when he was about 2,000 feet away the lights disappeared.

The fact is that one can easily offer various ordinary explanations. For example, the lights may have been flares that went out. Or they were enemy planes that entered a layer of clouds.

As is often the case in reports of Allied night fighters from this period over Italy, there is not the slightest indication that the crew thought they were encountering anything out of the ordinary.

Evaluation:

Possible false radar echo and enemy 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 25, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 25, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 25, 2023.