ACUFO index -> Home 

Cette page en franšaisCliquez!

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.

Previous case Next case >

Numazu, Japan, on July 16-17, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-07-16-NUMAZU-1

Summary:

In the 2000's, US ufologist Jan Aldrich noted in a catalogue of pilot ufo encounters during WWII that on the night of July 16-17, 1945 near Numazu, Japan, a B-29 of the 58th Wing, during Mission #271, saw a ball of fire at 10,000 feet following the aircraft; the ball of fire "disappeared into smoke" to the right of the B-29.

Aldrich indicated he found this sighting in the reports of Mission 271-274 of July 16/17, 1945, of the Headquarters of the 21st Bomber Command.

I was able to read the report of this mission, #271. It contains exactly what Jan Aldrich reported, but also other events, as follows:

During the mission, 21 enemy aircraft were seen, but none attacked the bombers.

A crew reported sighting a plane believed to be a Japanese "Betty" bomber between the initial point and the main target at Numazu. This Betty flew from the 7 o'clock direction to the 11 o'clock direction at 10,800 feet, which was the intended altitude of the American bombers. it was seen releasing what was believed to be a "Baka" when he was heading towards 11 o'clock, and this supposed "Baka" flew past the B-29, from 11 o'clock to 7 o'clock, then was observed exploding in the distance. The B-29 gunners did not fire at this object.

The event cited by Aldrich may be the same; it is said to have taken place "near the target", which is unclear enough so that I cannot be sure whether it was what the other B-29 had estimated to be a "Betty" releasing a "Baka" which exploded. This second B-29 reported seeing a "ball of fire" near the target, at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The "ball of fire" had followed "the level of the plane and seemed to be getting closer, when it disappeared in smoke to the right of the B-29."

A third sighting was that of a light seen during the bomb run at 10,800 feet. This one was observed 500 feet above the B-29 and appeared to be getting closer. When it was within 500 feet of the B-29, the light went out, turned to the right and disappeared. In the opinion of the officer interviewed, the sudden maneuvers carried out by this light which followed the B-29 "did not support the Baka theory."

Finally, another B-29 had observed a red light at 6 o'clock, which passed to the right of the B-29 while making sharp turns. At the time of this observation, tracer fire was being directed at this B-29 from the ground.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: July 16-17, 1945
Time: Night.
Duration: ?
First known report date: July 1945
Reporting delay:

Geographical data:

Country: Japan
State/Department: Shizuoka
City: Numazu

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: Several.
Number of known witnesses: ?
Number of named witnesses: 0

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Military operations report.
Visibility conditions: Night.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: Yes.
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Follows or passes planes, explodes.
Witnesses action: None.
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): No.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): No.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Baka, not Baka.

Classifications:

Sensors: [X] Visual: Several.
[ ] Airborne radar: N/A.
[ ] 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: 3
Strangeness 1-3: 3
ACUFO: Unidentified.

Sources:

[Ref. aaf1:] US ARMY AIR FORCE:

Scan.

a. Mission 271. 58th Wing. Numazu:

(l) Although 2l aircraft were seen none attacked. One crew reported sighting an aircraft believed to be a Betty between the initial point and the primary target. The Betty flew from 7 to ll o'clock level at 10,800 feet. It was seen to release what was believed to be a Baka from about 11 o'clock level. The supposed Baka flashed past the B-29 from 11 o'clock to 7 o'clock and then was observed exploding in the distance. No jet was observed. The B-29 gunners did not fire at the object.

(2) One B-29 reported sighting a "ball of fire" in the vicinity of the target at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The "ball of fire" followed the plane level and seemed to be gaining, when it disappeared into smoke to the right of the B-29.

(3) One light was seen on the bomb run at 10,800 feet. This was observed 500 feet above the B-29 and seemed to be gaining. When within 500 feet of the B-29 the light went off and turned to the right and disappeared. In the opinion of the interrogated officer the sharp maneuvers engaged in by the light which followed the B-29 failed to support the Baka theory.

(4) One aircraft observed a red light high at 6 o'clock. This red light passed to the right of the B-29 making sharp turns. At the time of this observation, tracer fire was being directed at the B-29 from the ground.

[Ref. prt4:] JAN ALDRICH - "PROJECT 1947":

N - 1945.07.16/17 - Night near Numazu, Japan.

B-29, 58th Wing, Mission #271, ball of fire at 10,000 feet followed aircraft. Disappeared into smoke to the right of the B-29.(Mission 271-274 16/17 July 1945, HQ 21st Bomber Command)

[Ref. dwn1:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

July 16-17, 1945

Near Numazu, Japan

At night the pilot of a B-29 of the 58th Wing (mission #271) observed a ball of fire at 10,000 ft which followed the bomber and disappeared into a smoke to the right of the B-29.

Sources: Project 1947, Jan Aldrich / Mission 271-274, 16-17 July 1945, HQ 21st Bomber Command.

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 141

July 16-17, 1945

Near Numazu, Japan

At night the pilot of a B-29 of the 58th Wing (mission #271) observed a ball of fire at 10,000 ft which followed the bomber and disappeared into a smoke to the right of the B-29.

Sources: Project 1947, Jan Aldrich / Mission 271-274, 16-17 July 1945, HQ 21st Bomber Command.

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.

The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka was a Japanese rocket plane used for suicide "Kamikaze" missions at the end of World War II. It carried an explosive charge of 1,200 kg, constituting a flying bomb, it was dropped from the belly of a twin-engine Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bomber. Guidance was provided by the pilot alone, the machine flew at 900 km/h and was not very maneuverable, it is known that many "Baka" had exploded in flight before reaching their target. The first use took place on March 16, 1945, the last recorded use took place on June 22, 1945.

In historical sources, all "Baka" attacks were carried out by day and against ships. I haven't found any mention of a nighttime "Baka" attack on bombers.

Below: photo of the drop of a "Baka" by a Japanese bomber, by day:

Baka.

The mission report indicates that Mission #271 of the night of July 16-17, 1945, by the 58th Bomb Wing took off from Tinian, flew over Okinawa and bombed Numazu. 128 aircraft, all B-29, were involved. The targets were plants, road junctions, the harbor.

Map.

Above: planned route for Mission #271, in the mission report.

The bombers were assigned 10.800 feet flight altitude with individual planes altitudes left to the decisions of the Wing. There was a 10/10 cloud under cast under the bombers and over the targets, they used the onboard radar to find the targets.

As with many reports in 1945 over targets in Japan, its is hard to assess exactly what happened. Here we have one crew reporting what they thought was a "Betty" bomber dropping a "Baka" which exploded; another crew reporting what was possibly the same event, and a third crew reporting at a different time a light pacing them, performing maneuvers that in the officer's opinion excluded that it could have been a "Baka".

Evaluation:

Unidentified.

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 6, 2023 Creation, [aaf1], [prt4], [dwn1], [dwn2].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 6, 2023 First published.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on December 6, 2023.