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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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Tokyo, Japan, on May 25, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-05-25-TOKYO-1

Summary:

In 2007, Francis Ridge, us ufologist who manages The NICAP Website, received and published an email from Daniel Wilson about a sighting on May 25-26, 1945, over Tokyo, Japan.

It occurred on Mission 11 of the Crew 44 of a B-29 of 62nd Squadron of the 39th Bombardment Group. The mission was a night incendiary raid on downtown Tokyo and nearby waterfront.

After the bomb drop in clear weather, they were picked up by a "Fireball" at the coast of Japan, and it followed them for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea.

The report said the tail gunner was Henry Matthaus, the radio operator was Lloyd Volkmar. A historical document exists on the plane and the other members of Crew 44.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: May 25, 1945
Time: Night.
Duration: Minutes.
First known report date: 2007
Reporting delay: 6 decades.

Geographical data:

Country: Japan
State/Department: Kanto
City: Tokyo

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 1 to 11
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: ?

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Probable personal narrative.
Visibility conditions: Night, clear weather.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: ?
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Follows on 35 miles, goes away.
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: 1 to 11.
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects:
[ ] Failures:
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: NL
Armed / unarmed: Armed, 12 Browning M2 12,7 mm machine guns.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 2
ACUFO: Possible extraterrestrial craft or enemi plane.

Sources:

(Ref. nip2:) "THE NICAP WEBSITE":

Screenshot.

Form: FI-4, Initial Report
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 21:55:09 +0000 (GMT)
From: daniel wilson daniejon2000@yahoo.co.uk
Subject: May 25-26, 1945; Tokyo, Japan / Fireball Report
Cat: 11
To: Francis Ridge nicap@insightbb.com

May 25-26, 1945; Tokyo, Japan

Fireball follows a B-29 of the 39th Bombardment Group for 50 miles. "A 'fireball' picked us up at the coast and followed us for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea." Crew 44, 62nd Squadron - 39th Bomb Group (VH).

Mission 11 - 25-26 May 1945

The mission was a night incendiary raid on downtown Tokyo and nearby waterfront. The visual bomb run was made at 9,100 feet in clear weather. Searchlights picked up four minutes short of the target and remained on us for a total of nine minutes. One fighter made a pass at us over the target and several others were seen. About 50 flares were seen (many carried explosives). A "fireball" picked us up at the coast and followed us for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea. We were hit several times by flak - hole in the nose, three in the left wing, several in the bomb bay and center wing tank areas, two in the top blister and an undetermined number in the tail compartment and tail surfaces.

Tail Gunner Henry Matthaus was hit by flak and ammunition exploded and much of the equipment was destroyed or damaged. Matthaus failed respond on intercom. Charles Smith went back and broke open the tail compartment door. Lloyd Volkmar, Radio Operator (our first aid man), decided to move the severely injured Matthaus to the radar compartment, where he was able to render first aid. Iwo Jima was socked in and due to our damaged aircraft; we couldn't take a chance on landing there. On our return, we had to open the bomb bay by manual means to eject six bombs, which had hung up due to a release malfunction. The rear doors wouldn't close - we landed with them open. Despite the co-pilot's controls being completely inoperative and the elevator trim tabs and other control functions knocked out, we made an excellent landing.

We had also seen a B-29 go down in a flat spin with wing fire.

Time of mission: 15 hours, 20 minutes

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

May 25, 1945; Tokyo, Japan

Fireball follows a B-29 of the 39th Bombardment Group for 50 miles. "A 'fireball' picked us up at the coast and followed us for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea." Crew 44, 62nd Squadron - 39th Bomb Group

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

Date: May 25-26, 1945

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Time:

Summary: Fireball follows a B-29 of the 39th Bombardment Group for 50 miles. "A ‘fireball’ picked us up at the coast and followed us for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea.” Crew 44, 62nd Squadron – 39th Bomb Group

Source: VH

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

Date: May 25-26, 1945

Location: Mission 11

Time:

Summary: The mission was a night incendiary raid on downtown Tokyo and nearby waterfront. The visual bomb run was made at 9,100 feet in clear weather. Searchlights picked up four minutes short of the target and remained on us for a total of nine minutes. One fighter made a pass at us over the target and several others were seen. About 50 flares were seen (many carried explosives). A "fireball” picked us up at the coast and followed us for 50 miles before falling off toward the sea. We were hit several times by flak – hole in the nose, three in the left wing, several in the bomb bay and center wing tank areas, two in the top blister and an undetermined number in the tail compartment and tail surfaces. Tail Gunner Henry Matthaus was hit by flak and ammunition exploded and much of the equipment was destroyed or damaged. Matthaus failed respond on intercom. Charles Smith went back and broke open the tail compartment door. Lloyd Volkmar, Radio Operator (our first aid man), decided to move the severely injured Matthaus to the radar compartment, where he was able to render first aid. Iwo Jima was socked in and due to our damaged aircraft; we couldn’t take a chance on landing there. On our return, we had to open the bomb bay by manual means to eject six bombs, which had hung up due to a release malfunction. The rear doors wouldn’t close – we landed with them open. Despite the co-pilot’s controls being completely inoperative and the elevator trim tabs and other control functions knocked out, we made an excellent landing. We had also seen a B-29 go down in a flat spin with wing fire. Time of mission: 15 hours, 20 minutes

Source:

Aircraft information:

The Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" was the heaviest bomber of the US Army Air Force, used in operations from May 8, 1944 and on. Its maximum speed was 574 km/h.

Its defensive armament was 12 Browning M2 12.7 mm machine guns.

B-29.

Discussion:

Map.

Crew 44, of the 39th Bomb Group (Very Heavy), on 39th.org/39th/aerial/62nd/crew44.html:

Screenshot.

It appears from the report that the "Fireball" was not interpreted as an enemi plane; as the crew also reported on enemy planes.

But it is quite impossible to exclude that it was a plane. A good number of similar reports existed in the Mission reports of the B-29 on the Pacific Theater in 1945, in which it was said that a "ball of fire" followed the B-29's on such distances onto the sea, after bomb drop. In some instance, it was said that it was enemy planes.

A quasi constant feature of such reports was that, whether it was called "ball of fire" or "enemy plane" or "unidentified enemy plane", there was no hostile action.

Evaluation:

Possible extraterrestrial craft or enemi 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 31, 2023 Creation, [nip2], [nip1], [tai1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 31, 2023 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 31, 2023.