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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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Bologna, Italy, on March 13, 1945:

Case number:



Ufological sources from the 2010s indicate that in the 2007 book "Strange Company - Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II" by Keith Chester, it is reported that during the night of March 13, 1945, four crews of P-61 "Black Widows" of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron patrolled the front line near Bologna in Italy.

Hours after 7:40 p.m., the final patrol mission flown by pilot Lieutenant Price and his radar operator, Flight Officer Wilkinson, observed "two balls of fire" flying 15 miles south and west of Bologna.

It is stated that the source was the daily operations report of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron of the US Army Air Forces of March 13, 1945.


Temporal data:

Date: March 13, 1945
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: March 13, 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: 2

Ufology data:

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


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: 2
ACUFO: Unidentified, moderate strangeness.



Case 106

March 13, 1945

Bologna, Italy

During the night, four P-61 Black Widow crews with the 414th NFS were patrolling the front line near Bologna (Italy). At 19h40, pilot Lt. Schaeffer and his navigator, Lt. Ayers, were at 3,000 feet when they saw "I 00 balls of orange fire" illuminating the whole area around them. A couple of hours later, the last patrolling mission flown by pilot Lt. Price and his radar operator, flight officer Wilkinson, observed "two balls of foo fire" flying 15 miles south and west of Bologna.

Sources: USAAF 414th Night Fighter Squadron Daily Operations Report, 13 March 1945 / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007.

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

March 13, 1945; Bologna, Italy

Two sightings: (1) 100 hundred balls of orange fire; (2) two balls of foo fire. (Page 147 Ref.1)

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


Date: Mar. 13, 1945

Location: Bologna, Italy


Summary: Two sightings: (1) 100 hundred balls of orange fire; (2) two balls of foo fire.


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.


It is specified in the report that the plane was a P-61. However, we are told of only two crew members while the P-61 crew consisted of three men. I therefore do not exclude that the aircraft could have been a Bristol Beaufighter, which had a two-man crew.

The British decided on January 1, 1944, to no longer build their Bristol Beaufighters. The 414th Night Fighter Squadron, which was then equipped with them, continued to use them, but received P-61s at the end of 1944, while continuing to use Beaufighters.



Sources published two different observations by two different crews separated by hours as one case; but this should have been published as two cases.

I have been unable to find any information on the crew, Lieutenant Price, pilot, and Officer Wilkinson, radar operator.

This observation is not of an obvious strangeness; and the information is very meager.


Unidentified, moderate strangeness.

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 December 19, 2023 Creation, [dwn2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 19, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 19, 2023.