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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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Between Ie Jima and Iwo Jima, Japan, on August 28, 1945:

Case number:

ACUFO-1945-08-28-IEJIMA-1

Summary:

In 1957, in his book "Inside Saucer Post... 3-0 Blue", US ufologist Leonard H. Stringfield (1920 - 1994) narrated his UFO sighting:

"To start at the beginning properly, I must go back to "sometime" 1950 when my roving half-hearted inquisitiveness about flying saucers finally brought home a rich reward - two glowing first-hand reports each occurring within a short time of the other. One told of a local family sitting outdoors, being shocked by an object zooming low over their house. According to the key witness, the object lit up the whole yards and the rooftop. The other report described a blue-colored ball swinging like a pendulum across the expanse of a ridge just north of Cincinnati."

"To me, these reports had the ring of genuineness, mainly, I suppose, because the sighters themselves were "genuine" people. Somehow, I thought, the press accounts had always made the sighter seem unreal! But my judgment of past events at the time was hardly a creditable one. In no one instance can I remember doing more than gloss over a story. In brief, my life between 1947 when saucers were first publicized, and 1950 was mainly one of "husbanding" and plying a career in advertising. Remotest in my mind were spacemen and spaceships."

"But when the 1950 sightings reached me, all at once an incident in the past leaped into real significance. The incident, one which had been forgotten along with other distasteful events of the war years, suddenly lent tremendous support to the suggestion that saucers were interplanetary, and, accordingly, took on a new and ominous meaning. From it eventually grew CRIFO and the underlying reasons for the many pessimistic tones in its publications..."

"I have many times since 1950, tried to reconstruct the facts of the incident, hunting for details, trying to remember my reactions. But the terrors of the moment, plus the erasure of time, have left me little to go on, save only the starkest highpoints. A check into my army diary told me the incident occurred August 28, 1945, while flying from Ie Shima, near Okinawa, to Iwo Jima. I was being transported in a C-46, a "flying coffin" whose number was 304. I was one of nine members of 5th Air Force personnel1 (with special equipment) assigned to occupy Atsugi Airdrome, near Tokyo, Japan, prior to the major landing forces. For the incident itself I must rely on my memory."

"During the flight, about midway between Ie Shima and Iwo Jima, the C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine, the prop feathering. As the plane dipped, sputtered oil and lost altitude, I remember looking out through one of the portholes and to my surprise, seeing three unidentifiable blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime held at arm's length."

In a footnote, he indicated that according to a note in his diary, the passengers were Harry Berning, Stouch, W. J. Smith, Ramsey, Greenwell, Vucetich, Caverly, Briggs, and three unknown crew members, pilot, co-pilot and navigator. In his search for possible verification, he located only one passenger, Harry Berning of Cincinnati. Without putting words into his mouth, he asked Berning what he recalled about the incident at Iwo, and Berning said: "I'll remember the flight as long as I live. I was plenty scared... I remember our plane getting off course. We were lost. I first knew something was wrong when the co-pilot came back and told us, 'We're in trouble.' I remember our plane flying in heavy clouds and the co-pilot handed me a pair of binoculars so I could help them look for a clearing." When he asked Berning about seeing the three objects, he said he didn't. When he told him he had seen them from the left side of the plane, Berning said he was on the right side and again emphasized, "I was plenty scared." Stringfield added that in spite of his belief that the objects were responsible for the plane's behavior, he hopes that he hasn't over-dramatized the incident."

"The blobs were traveling in a straight line through drifts of cloud, seemingly parallel to the C-46 and equal to its speed. I vaguely recall that when my plane pulled up, the objects remained below and they disappeared into a cloud bank. All other details are hazy for I had no reason at that time to rationalize the objects or try to identify them. Also, my prime concern at the moment was the performance of the C-46 and my personal safety. I remember pointing out the objects to a companion nearby, but cannot recall any unusual concern about the lights on his part, for he too was more apprehensive of his safety. The plane, without further incident, landed safely at Iwo. I remember it undergoing extensive check-up so that it would be ready and airborne for the final hop to Atsugi. No one, during the stop-over, mentioned the objects as I recall, nor did I report them, for Iwo at that time was a bustling staging area waiting for the war officially to end."

"At this writing, still relying on my memory revived in 1950, I can find no mundane explanation for the three objects flying abreast of my plane high over the Pacific. It is my opinion that the objects were propelled devices, being possibly analogous, in appearance and behavior, to the popular "foo fighter" of World War II vintage, which is still unexplained, according to Air Force statements. I also believe that the sudden erratic behavior of my plane was due to a mysterious force generated by the UFOs."

"While I have often alluded to this incident in previous writings and lectures, I have never disclosed its details. In the early days of CRIFO I was tempted several times to give it top billing in the Newsletter, but then it was a matter of keeping up with all the late news. Later silence, however, was a matter of circumstance. In the March, 1955, issue of Newsletter, which spoke out against the theory suggesting saucers were secret U.S. weapons, I had planned to include a section on the foo-fighter, A perfect tie-in, I thought, for such "foo-nomena", as witnessed by myself, could not have possibly been earthmade. No nation, in defeat or in victory, in my opinion, would have been so foolhardy as to use a secret weapon during the delicate period of surrender. I had all my arguments lined up, good ones, I reasoned. In support of my contentions, I would lead off with other foo fighter reports, already published in saucer literature. Next, was the possibility of getting two more good reports from reliable sources."

Stringfield published this sketch he made from his memory:

Scan.

Stringfield also reported this experience in his 1977 book "Situation Red - The UFO Siege", in which he added that they were flying at 3 000 meters, in a brightly sunny sky. He described the three objects as "bright white, like burning magnesium", approaching the C 46 on a parallel course, when suddenly the left engine failed. He added that he later learned that the magnetic needles of the navigation devices had gone crazy and that the last fleeting vision he had of the three machines placed them at about 20 degrees elevation relative to the plane, still in tight formation. They then disappeared into a bank of clouds, and immediately the faulty engine started running smoothly again.

Data:

Temporal data:

Date: August 28, 1945
Time: Day.
Duration: Short.
First known report date: 1957
Reporting delay: 1 decade.

Geographical data:

Country: Japan
State/Department:
City: Midway between Ie Jima and Iwo Jima

Witnesses data:

Number of alleged witnesses: 2
Number of known witnesses: 1
Number of named witnesses: 1

Ufology data:

Reporting channel: Personal testimony.
Visibility conditions: Day, sunny, clouds.
UFO observed: Yes.
UFO arrival observed: No.
UFO departure observed: Yes.
UFO action: Fly.
Witnesses action:
Photographs: No.
Sketch(s) by witness(es): Yes.
Sketch(es) approved by witness(es): Yes.
Witness(es) feelings: Puzzled.
Witnesses interpretation: Extraterrestrial craft.

Classifications:

Sensors: [X] Visual: 2
[ ] Airborne radar:
[ ] Directional ground radar:
[ ] Height finder ground radar:
[ ] Photo:
[ ] Film/video:
[ ] EM Effects: Possible compass failure.
[ ] Failures: Possible failure or one of the two engines.
[ ] Damages:
Hynek: DD
Armed / unarmed: Unarmed.
Reliability 1-3: 2
Strangeness 1-3: 3
ACUFO: Possible extraterrestrial craft.

Sources:

[Ref. lsd1:] LEONARD H. STRINGFIELD:

Scan.

THE INCIDENT TO IWO...

To start at the beginning properly, I must go back to "sometime" 1950 when my roving half-hearted inquisitiveness about flying saucers finally brought home a rich reward - two glowing first-hand reports each occurring within a short time of the other. One told of a local family sitting outdoors, being shocked by an object zooming low over their house. According to the key witness, the object lit up the whole yards and the rooftop. The other report described a blue-colored ball swinging like a pendulum across the expanse of a ridge just north of Cincinnati.

To me, these reports had the ring of genuineness, mainly, I suppose, because the sighters themselves were "genuine" people. Somehow, I thought, the press accounts had always made the sighter seem unreal! But my judgment of past events at the time was hardly a creditable one. In no one instance can I remember doing more than gloss over a story. In brief, my life between 1947 when saucers were first publicized, and 1950 was mainly one of "husbanding" and plying a career in advertising. Remotest in my mind were spacemen and spaceships.

But when the 1950 sightings reached me, all at once an incident in the past leaped into real significance. The incident, one which had been forgotten along with other distasteful events of the war years, suddenly lent tremendous support to the suggestion that saucers were interplanetary, and, accordingly, took on a new and ominous meaning. From it eventually grew CRIFO and the underlying reasons for the many pessimistic tones in its publications...

I have many times since 1950, tried to reconstruct the facts of the incident, hunting for details, trying to remember my reactions. But the terrors of the moment, plus the erasure of time, have left me little to go on, save only the starkest highpoints. A check into my army diary told me the incident occurred August 28, 1945, while flying from Ie Shima, near Okinawa, to Iwo Jima. I was being transported in a C-46, a "flying coffin" whose number was 304. I was one of nine members of 5th Air Force personnel1 (with special equipment) assigned to occupy Atsugi Airdrome, near Tokyo, Japan, prior to the major landing forces. For the incident itself I must rely on my memory.

During the flight, about midway between Ie Shima and Iwo Jima, the C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine, the prop feathering. As the plane dipped, sputtered oil and lost altitude, I remember looking out through one of the portholes and to my surprise, seeing three unidentifiable blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime held at arm's length.

1 According to a note in my diary, the passengers were Harry Berning, Stouch, W. J. Smith, Ramsey, Greenwell, Vucetich, Caverly, Briggs, myself, and three unknown crew members, pilot, co-pilot and navigator. In my search for possible verification, I have located only one passenger, Harry Berning of Cincinnati. Without putting words into his mouth, I asked Berning what he recalled about the incident at Iwo. Said Berning, "I'll remember the flight as long as I live. I was plenty scared ... I remember our plane getting off course. We were lost. I first knew something was wrong when the co-pilot came back and told us, 'We're in trouble.' I remember our plane flying in heavy clouds and the co-pilot handed me a pair of binoculars so I could help them look for a clearing." When I asked Berning about seeing the three objects, he said he didn't. When I told him I had seen them from the left side of the plane, he said he was on the right side and again emphasized, "I was plenty scared." In spite of my belief that the objects were responsible for my plane's behavior, I hope that I haven't over-dramatized the incident.

Scan.

The blobs were traveling in a straight line through drifts of cloud, seemingly parallel to the C-46 and equal to its speed. I vaguely recall that when my plane pulled up, the objects remained below and they disappeared into a cloud bank. All other details are hazy for I had no reason at that time to rationalize the objects or try to identify them. Also, my prime concern at the moment was the performance of the C-46 and my personal safety. I remember pointing out the objects to a companion nearby, but cannot recall any unusual concern about the lights on his part, for he too was more apprehensive of his safety. The plane, without further incident, landed safely at Iwo. I remember it undergoing extensive check-up so that it would be ready and airborne for the final hop to Atsugi. No one, during the stop-over, mentioned the objects as I recall, nor did I report them, for Iwo at that time was a bustling staging area waiting for the war officially to end.

At this writing, still relying on my memory revived in 1950, I can find no mundane explanation for the three objects flying abreast of my plane high over the Pacific. It is my opinion that the objects were propelled devices, being possibly analogous, in appearance and behavior, to the popular "foo fighter" of World War II vintage, which is still unexplained, according to Air Force statements. I also believe that the sudden erratic behavior of my plane was due to a mysterious force generated by the UFOs.

While I have often alluded to this incident in previous writings and lectures, I have never disclosed its details. In the early days of CRIFO I was tempted several times to give it top billing in the Newsletter, but then it was a matter of keeping up with all the late news. Later silence, however, was a matter of circumstance. In the March, 1955, issue of Newsletter, which spoke out against the theory suggesting saucers were secret U.S. weapons, I had planned to include a section on the foo-fighter, A perfect tie-in, I thought, for such "foo-nomena", as witnessed by myself, could not have possibly been earthmade. No nation, in defeat or in victory, in my opinion, would have been so foolhardy as to use a secret weapon during the delicate period of surrender. I had all my arguments lined up, good ones, I reasoned. In support of my contentions, I would lead off with other foo fighter reports, already published in saucer literature. Next, was the possibility of getting two more good reports from reliable sources.

Scan.

Sketch, from memory, of three unidentified "blobs" of light seen from imperiled C-46 while flying from Ie Shima to Iwo Jima, south of Japan, August 28, 1945. While this sighting is inconclusive, I have classified it along other unexplained "foo fighter" penomena seen by airmen during World War II.

[Ref. lsd2:] LEONARD STRINGFIELD:

Leonard Stringfield explained that while he listed pilot encounters in his CRIFO publications, many of which, admittedly were "borderline cases bearing only suspect evidence", he is however more pointedly reminded of his own experience while flying to Iwo Jima in 1945. Had his plane plunged into the sea, he explaned, no one, including the Air Force, would have been the wiser as to its cause.

[Ref. gld1:] GORDON LORE AND HAROLD DENEAULT:

Leonard H. Stringfield was a passenger on a C-46 that was en route to occupy Atsugi Airdrome, near Tokyo, on August 28, 1945, prior to the major Allied landing.

Stringfield recalled that midway between Ie Shoma and Iwo Jima the C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine.

"As the plane dipped, sputtered oil and lost altitude," he said, "I remember looking out through one of the portholes and to my surprise, seeing three unidentifiable blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime held at arm's length."

The "blobs" traveled in a straight line through drifts of clouds, "seemingly parallel to the C-46," keeping pace with them at a speed that Stringfield estimated to be equal to the plane's. "When my plane pulled up, the objects remained below and they disappeared into a cloud bank."

Not until the "flying saucer" era began in June, 1947, did Stringfield realize that the three "foe-fighters" could have caused the failure of the C-46's engine. Only the left engine failed, and the objects appeared on the left.

The authors indicate that the source is "Inside Saucer Post... 3.0 Blue", by Leonard H. Stringfield, self-published, 1957, pp 7-10.

[Ref. lgs1:] LOREN GROSS:

Twenty days after the Japanese surrender, August 28th, U.S occupation forces were scheduled to land on Japanese soil, but a typhoon delayed troop movements. Out at sea on a flight between Okinawa to Iwo Jima, a C-46 carrying some occupation personnel experienced some engine trouble while flying through the bad weather. The plane began to lose altitude and the crew and passengers watched the sputtering engine with great concern, hopping it would not be necessary to ditch in a storm tossed ocean. While everyone's attention was drawn to one side of the plane, one passenger, Army Air Force officer named Leonard Stringfield, glanced out the windows on the opposite side. To Stringfield's surprise he saw three brilliant, white colored fireballs paceing the C-46. Just then the aircraft's balky engine started to run smoothly again and the plane rose to its former altitude. The fireballs did not stay with the plane in its climb and Stringfield eventually lost track of them in the clouds below.

[Ref. jkl1:] JOHN KEEL:

Air Force records show that one of the first cases of an electromagnetic effect took place over Iwo Jima on August 28, 1945, when a C-46’s engines failed as three UFOs manoeuvred around it. In those days military men called UFO’s Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters baffled both Allied and Axis pilots over Germany and Japan in the final days of the war. Bomber crews were also reporting constant appearances of little green men who invaded their planes and caused all kinds of mischief. The press labelled them Gremlins and the popular conclusion was that the crews were merely hallucinating because of the high altitude and thin atmosphere. Since then there have been thousands of little green men reports from all over the world. They are now an integral part of the flying saucer lore.

Notes: here we have yet another example of John Keel's delusions or inventions. The case does not come from the Air Force archive, but directly from witness Leonard Stringfield. The three balls of fire did not "maneuver around" the plane. It is not established that the engines failed because of these UFOs. There is no report of "Foo-Fighters" by "Axis pilots" (Germans, Italians, Japanese), only reports by Allied pilots. Whereas Keel claimed that bomber crews reported "constant appearances of little green men", there was never any such report. No press article talked about "Gremlins". The "little green men" are in no way a fact or a constant in UFO casuistry, they are only a manifestation of mockery on the subject. Keel did not provide any source to justify his claims although he constantly criticized ufologists for not providing their sources.

[Ref. jcf1:] JEROME CLARK AND LUCIUS FARISH:

Leonard Stringfield, who would later become a prominent ufologist, was among those aboard a C-46 en route to occupy Atssgi Airdrome, near Tokyo, on August 28th, just prior to the proposed major Allied landing of occupation forces. Suddenly, midway between Ie Shoma and Iwo Jima, the plane's left engine began to fail.

"As the plane dipped, sputtered oil, and lost altitude," he wrote, "I remember looking out through one of the windows and to my surprise, seeing three unidentifiable blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime held at arm's length." The lights traveled in a straight line through the clouds, keeping pace and staying parallel with the C-46. "When my plane pulled up," Stringfield said, "the objects remained below and then disappeared into a could bank."

It was only years later that Stringfield, who my then had become familiar with cases in which UFOs seem to have cause electromagnetic interference with planes and cars, thought to connect the sputtering engine with the enigmatic blobs. He remembered that it had been the left engine which had malfunctioned, and that the UFOs had been on that side of the aircraft.

[Ref. lsd3:] LEONARD H. STRINGFIELD:

Scan.

It was around 1950 that I really woke up to the importance of the problem. Two unusual testimonies, obtained directly from unassailable witnesses on low altitude saucers seemed to me loaded with significance.

The information vividly reminded me of a personal experience dating back to World War II. It could have been a disaster and I tried to forget it. It was on August 28, 1945, during the delicate period of the Japanese surrender. I was one of the twelve specialists of the 5th Air Force embarked aboard a C 46 going from Ie Shima to Iwo Jima where it had to make a technical stopover to immediately reach the Atsugi airfield, near from Tokyo. Personally I was in charge of intelligence. We had to land in Japan three days before the main occupying forces.

We were approaching, flying at three thousand meters, in a brightly sunny sky, when I saw, to my great amazement, through a starboard porthole, three pear-shaped objects. They were bright white, like burning magnesium, and were approaching the C 46 on a parallel course. Suddenly the

Scan.

left engine failed. I was to learn later that the magnetic needles of the navigation devices had gone crazy. The C 46 was falling. Oil was gushing from the failing engine. The pilot raised the alarm. The crew and passengers were warned to be ready for the dive. I don't remember what I thought or did during the horrible minutes that followed. But the last fleeting vision I had of the three machines placed them at about 20 degrees elevation relative to us. However, still in tight formation, they disappeared into a bank of clouds. Immediately the faulty engine started running smoothly again. The plane regained altitude, and took us safely to Iwo Jima.

This extraordinary experience was for me sufficient proof that the Foo fighter 1 of the Second World War, also called in the European theater: "kraut fireball" and the flying saucer, were only one and the same craft and came from the same extra-terrestrial origin. Major Donald E. Keyhoe launched the extraterrestrial theory in 1949. His article in True Magazine had the effect of a bomb. In 1953 he was to provide even more convincing proof in his book Flying Saucers From Outer Space.

[Ref. lwr1:] DR. LOUIS WINKLER:

Scan.

1945 Aug 28/Iwo Jima, Pacific O./Lore-Deneault, Stringfield (1957)

Three brilliant blobs kept pace with the airplane as it developed engine trouble at 10,000 ft. It lost altitude and oil from the engine, and the magnetic navigation system went wild. When the airplane pulled up, the objects remained below and the engine began to work properly again.

[Ref. dwn3:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

August 28, 1945 Iwo Jima, Japan

A pilot had engine malfunction while in the same time three bright luminous spots followed his plane at an altitude of 10,000 ft. The aircraft lost oil and altitude and the magnetic navigation system went crazy. Then the pilot climbed and the lights stayed behind his plane and his engine started to function normally.

Source: Analysis of UFO-like data before 1947, FUFOR, p.63

[Ref. gvo1:] GODELIEVE VAN OVERMEIRE:

1945, August 28

JAPAN, Iwo Jima

A C 46 transporter in difficulty: engine failures and loss of altitude during the observation of 3 UFOs. (Marcel J. Lefèvre – 1968 – Brussels) I was one of twelve specialists from the 5th Air Force on board a C 46 going from Ie-Shima to Iwo Jima where it was to make a technical stopover... (...) We were approaching, flying at three thousand meters, in a brightly sunny sky, when I saw, to my great amazement, three pear-shaped objects. They were bright white, like burning magnesium, and were approaching the C 46 on a parallel course. Suddenly the left engine failed. I was to learn later that the magnetic needles on the navigation devices had gone crazy. The C 46 was sinking. Oil was gushing from the faulty engine. The pilot raised the alarm. The crew and passengers were warned to be ready for the plunge. (...) The last fleeting vision I had of the three machines placed them at approximately 20 degrees in elevation relative to us. However, still in close formation, they disappeared into a bank of clouds. Immediately the faulty engine started running smoothly again. The plane regained altitude (...) (Leonard STRINGFIELD: "Alerte Générale OVNI", France – Empire pub., 1978, p. 27, 28) The C-46, on its way to occupy the Atssgi aerodrome near Tokyo, was halfway between Shoma and Iwo Jima, when the right engine misfired. The plane descended, spitting oil. On board was Leonard Stringfield. He looked out one of the portholes and saw to his surprise three spots of bright white light, each the size of a thumb held at arm's length. The lights flew in a straight line through the clouds, flying parallel to the C-46. When the plane was able to regain altitude, the lights remained below and then disappeared into a bank of clouds. (The Mysterious Foo Fighters of WWII. – Jeroen Wierda PUFORI, 19.5.1997)

[Ref. lhh1:] LARRY HATCH:

555: 1945/08/28 00:00 5 139:50:00 E 33:00:00 N 3331 ASP JPN IWJ 7:7
nr IWO JIMA,JAPAN:L.STRINGFIELD+12 OBS:3 WHT TEARDROPS PACE AAF C46:/r215p52
Ref#176 STRINGFIELD,Leonard: SITUATION RED Page No. 25 : IN-FLIGHT

[Ref. jck2:] JEROME CLARK:

This author indicates that on August 28, 1945, a C-46 was en route to Atssgi Airdrome near Tokyo, just prior to the proposed Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland when its engine faltered between Shoma and Iwo Jima. Among those on board was the soldier Leonard H. Stringfield. As the plane began to lose altitude, he became very nervous and happened to glance out the window, where he saw "three unidentifiable blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime held at arm's length." They moved in a straight line through the clouds, staying on a parallel course with the endangered transport plane. The engine suddenly resumed normal functioning, and the C-46 resumed its previous altitude and course, and the objects did not follow it, they remained beneath it, and then disappeared into a cloudbank. Stringfield, who died in 1994, went on to become a well-known UFO investigator in the years after 1947, when flying saucers became recognized as a phenomenon. Like all ufologists, he became familiar withe cases in which engine trouble or failure was associated with UFO appearances, and he wondered if the presence of the mystery lights had affected the plane's performance.

[Ref. dwn1:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

August 28, 1945

Iwo Jima, Japan

A pilot had engine malfunction while in the same time three bright luminous spots followed his plane at an altitude of 10,000 ft. The aircraft lost oil and altitude and the magnetic navigation system went crazy. Then the pilot climbed and the lights stayed behind his plane and his engine started to function normally.

Source: Analysis of UFO-like data before 1947, FUFOR, p.63

[Ref. fre1:] FRANCIS RIDGE - NICAP WEBISTE:

C-46 Encounters Objects / Magnetic Compasses "Went Wild"

Aug. 28, 1945

Nr. Iwo Jima, Japan

Keith Chester:

Aug. 28, 1945; nr. Iwo Jima, Japan

Daytime. As a member of the first troops into Japan, Sergeant Leonard Stringfield was packed in a C-46, number 304. On board was "special equipment" that he and nine others with the Fifth Air Force intelligence team were bringing with them. Their flight plan was depart le Shima, make a short stop at Iwo Jima, and then fly on to the Atsugi Air Field on the island of Honshu, Japan. They were flying at 10,000 feet, between the Japanese islands of le Shima and Iwo Jima, when their "C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine." Suddenly, "the plane dipped," and the engine struggled to keep working. It "sputtered oil" and the C-46 began to lose altitude, dropping approximately 25-50 feet. It was at this moment that Stringfield saw something that completely caught him by surprise. Looking out his "starboard-side" window, he was "shocked to see three teardrop-shaped objects." Looking carefully, he determined that the "three unidentifiable blobs" were "about the size of a dime held at arm's length." They were "brilliant white, like burning magnesium." Flying in a "tight formation," the objects "were traveling in a straight line through drifts of clouds, seemingly parallel to the C-46 and equal to its speed." Stringfield became alarmed; they "seemed to be intelligently controlled." He was convinced they were not U.S. aircraft reflecting the sun. In fact, they were like no aircraft he had ever seen. They were extremely advanced; Stringfield saw no wings or fuselage, and there was no outline of a solid object behind the mass of luminescence. Being familiar with the latest intelligence reports and summaries describing the shape and characteristics of Germany s jets and the Japanese Bakas, he was quite sure they were not enemy jets.....Much later, another source told him that the "magnetic-navigation instrument needles" in the cockpit "went wild."

[Ref. dwn2:] DOMINIQUE WEINSTEIN:

Case 146

August 28, 1945

Between Ie Shoma and Iwo Jima, Japan

The pilot of a C-46 enroute to occupy Atssagi airfield near Tokyo had a left engine malfunction while in the same time three bright luminous blobs of bright light followed his plane at an altitude of 10,000 ft. The lights traveled in a straight line through the clouds, keeping pace and staying parallel with the plane. The C-46 dipped, sputtered and lost oil and altitude and the magnetic navigation system went crazy. Then the pilot climbed and the lights stayed behind his plane and his engine started to function normally.

Sources: Analysis of UFO-like data before 1947, FUFOR, p.63 / Inside Saucer Post 3-0 Blue, Leonard Stringfield, 1957 / UFO Encyclopedia volume 2, Jerome Clark / Mysteries of the skies, Gordon Lore & Harold Deneault, NICAP, 1968, p. 128 / Strange Company, Keith Chester, 2007

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

Aug. 28, 1945; nr. Iwo Jima

Daytime. Sgt. Leonard Stringfield in a C-46 were flying at 10,000 feet, between the Japanese islands of Ie Shima and Iwo Jima, when their "C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine." Suddenly, "the plane dipped," and the engine struggled to keep working. It "sputtered oil" and the C-46 began to lose altitude, dropping approximately 25-50 feet. Looking out his "starboard-side" window, he was "shocked to see three teardrop-shaped objects." Looking carefully, he determined that the "three unidentifiable blobs" were "about the size of a dime held at arm's length." They were "brilliant white, like burning magnesium." Flying in a "tight formation," the objects "were traveling in a straight line through drifts of clouds, seemingly parallel to the C-46 and equal to its speed." (See detailed report) Note: "magnetic-navigation instrument needles" in the cockpit "went wild." (Keith Chester)

[Ref. get1:] GEORGE M. EBERHART:

August 28 - Twelve 5th Air Force intelligence specialists flying on a C-46 approaching Iwo Jima (in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan) see three white, teardrop-shaped objects paralleling the plane. Navigational needles go wild, the engine sputters, and the plane falters until the objects speed away. One of the passengers is future UFO investigator Leonard Stringfield. (Stringfield, Situation Red, Fawcett Crest, 1977, pp. 9–10; Strange Company 191–193, 209–211; NICAP, "C-46 Encounters Objects / Magnetic Compasses ‘West Wild'")

[Ref. ekl1:] EGON KRAGEL:

This author indicates that on August 28, 1945, A C-46 aircraft flies over the Pacific Ocean, towards Tokyo. Three weeks earlier, the first two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945). One of the occupants, Sergeant Leonard Stringfield, recounts:

"I was one of twelve specialists from the 5th air force aboard a C-46 going from Shima to Iwo Jima where we were to make a technical stop ... [ ... ] We were flying at 3,000 meters, in a bright sunny sky, when I saw through a starboard window, and to my amazement, 3 pear-shaped objects. They were bright white, like burning magnesium. They were approaching the C-46 while flying parallel. Suddenly the left engine failed. I was to learn later that the magnetic needles of the navigation devices had gone crazy. The C-46 was sinking. Oil was gushing out of the failing engine. The pilot raised the alarm. The crew and passengers were warned to be ready to dive. I don't remember what I thought or did during the next few horrific minutes. The last fleeting vision I had of the 3 craft was that they were about 20 degrees above us. Then, still in tight formation, they disappeared into a cloud bank. Immediately our failing engine started to run again. The plane gained altitude again and flew us safely to Iwo Jima."

This author indicates that marked by this episode, Leonard Stringfield became a renowned ufologist. He collaborated in particular with the CRIFO, the CUFOS, the NICAP and the MUFON, four American study groups studying the phenomenon. And he wrote several books on the subject.

The author indicates that the source are "Leonard Stringfield, General Alert: UFOs, France Empire, 1978, pp. 27-28 - UFODATA Magazine, September-October 2007, pp. 34-35.

[Ref. twf1:] "THE WHY FILES" WEBSITE:

28th August, 1945, Leonard Stringfied (pictured above) was, with others, aboard a U.S. C-46 aircraft en route to Tokyo when, halfway between Ie Shoma and Iwo Jima, the aircraft’s left engine began to fail. As the aircraft lost altitude Stringfield looked out through one of the windows and saw tree blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of of a dime held at arm’s length. The "blobs of light" were travelling in a straight line staying parallel with the aircraft until the plane pulled up. They continued to fly below the aircraft until they disappeared into a cloud bank. The objects were flying on the left side of the aircraft – the same side as the spluttering engine.

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

Date: Aug. 28, 1945

Location: near Iwo Jima, at sea

Time: Daytime

Summary: Sgt. Leonard Stringfield in a C-46 were flying at 10,000 feet, between the Japanese islands of le Shima and Iwo Jima, when their "C-46 suddenly developed trouble in the left engine.” Suddenly, "the plane dipped,” and the engine struggled to keep working. It "sputtered oil” and the C-46 began to lose altitude, dropping approximately 25-50 feet. Looking out his "starboard-side” window, he was "shocked to see three teardrop-shaped objects.” Looking carefully, he determined that the "three unidentifiable blobs” were "about the size of a dime held at arm’s length.” They were "brilliant white, like burning magnesium.” Flying in a "tight formation,” the objects "were traveling in a straight line through drifts of clouds, seemingly parallel to the C-46 and equal to its speed.” (See detailed report) Note: "magnetic-navigation instrument needles” in the cockpit "went wild.”

Source: Keith Chester

This Website recorded the same case a second time:

Date: Aug. 28, 1945

Location: Between. Ie Shima and Iwo Jima, Japan

Time:

Summary: Three teardrop-shaped objects, brilliant white, like burning magnesium, about the size of a dime held at arms length flying in tight formation, and seemed intelligently controlled.

Source:

[Ref. get1:] GEORGE M. EBERHART:

August 28 - Twelve 5th Air Force intelligence specialists flying on a C-46 approaching Iwo Jima (in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan) see three white, teardrop-shaped objects paralleling the plane. Navigational needles go wild, the engine sputters, and the plane falters until the objects speed away. One of the passengers is future UFO investigator Leonard Stringfield. (Stringfield, Situation Red, Fawcett Crest, 1977, pp. 9–10; Strange Company 191–193, 209–211; NICAP, "C-46 Encounters Objects / Magnetic Compasses ‘West Wild’" [link to https://www.nicap.org/450828iwojima_dir.htm])

[Ref. jbu1:] JEROME BEAU:

Leonard Harry Stringfield

Stringfield was born on Friday December 17, 1920 in Cincinnati (Ohio, United States). In high school, he was nicknamed "Webster" because he allegedly memorized the entire dictionary. He graduated in 1939.

In 1941, after learning of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the 5th Air Force near Wright Field. He served in Australia, the Philippines and Japan, first as a journalist and then as a member of intelligence and counterintelligence.

Observation

In 1945 Stringfield witnessed a sighting:

It was Wednesday the 28th, during the delicate period of the Japanese surrender. I was one of 12 specialists in the 5th Air Force who boarded a (twin-engine) C-46 going from Ie-Shima to Iwo Jima where we had to make a technical stopover to immediately reach Atsugi airfield, near Tokyo. Personally, I was in charge of intelligence. We were scheduled to arrive in Japan 3 days before the main occupying forces. We were approaching, flying at 3000 m, in a brightly sunny sky, when, through a starboard porthole, I saw, to my great amazement, 3 pear-shaped objects. They were bright white, like burning magnesium, and were approaching the C-46 on a parallel course. Suddenly the left engine failed. I was to learn later that the magnetic needles on the navigation devices had gone crazy. The C-46 lost altitude. Oil began to gush from the faulty engine and the pilot raised the alarm. The crew and passengers were warned to prepare for the big dive. I don't remember what I thought or did during the frightening minutes that followed. But the last fleeting vision I had of the 3 craft placed them at approximately 20° elevation relative to us. However, still in close formation, they disappeared into a bank of clouds. Immediately, the faulty engine started running smoothly again. The plane regained altitude and took us safely to Iwo Jima.

Subsequently Stringfield joined Chemed, Corp., in 1950. He worked for the division of the DuBois Chemical Company, where he created the artistic department. At the same time, he was passionate about UFOs, and for more than 30 years served various major UFO organizations in the field of public relations, ending up on the MUFON Steering Committee.

[...]

[Ref. wia1:] "WIKIPEDIA" FR:

Leonard Stringfield, born in 1920 and deceased on December 18, 1994, is an American essayist. He wrote numerous books and publications in the field of ufology, for which his authority was indisputable.

Biography

Leonard Stringfield was a military information officer during World War II. After the war, he joined the international manufacturing company Dubois Chemicals, where he worked for 31 years, becoming director of public relations and marketing services. Interested in UFOs since the late 1950s, he wrote several books and publications on the subject and was called upon to collaborate on the Condon Report. He retired in 1981 and devoted himself full time to ufology. He died in 1994 after a long battle with cancer.

Chronology of his activity

Foofighter

Stringfield said he first saw a UFO in 1945 in Japan, near Iwo Jima, three days before the end of the war, while piloting a Curtiss C-46 with a dozen aeronautics specialists. The encounter was so traumatic for him that he tried to forget it. This memory remained anchored in his memory, and in the early 1950s, he became interested in ufology in view of the numerous UFO sightings in the United States since 1940. Stringfield was convinced that the Foo Fighters spotted by the pilots during the war and the UFOs discovered later were of the same nature and that they were probably extraterrestrial craft.

[...]

Note: we can clearly see here how unreliable Wikipedia is when it comes to ufology: it is completely false that Stringfield piloted the C-46. Furthermore, no source reference is given on the page regarding the observation, the date of which is not given either; it is not because the observation had been "so traumatic" that Stringfield "tried to forget it": it is not "a UFO" but three blobs of light.

Aircraft information:

The Curtiss C-46 "Commando" (photo below) was an American twin-engine transport aircraft originally designed as a high-altitude commercial aircraft. Instead it was used as a military transport plane during World War II.

C-46.

Discussion:

Stringfield oddly said the plane flew from "Ie Shoma", and later "Ie Shima"; it must have been Ie Jima, an island of Okinawa with an airfield. The plane was thus going East to Iwo Jima. Stringfield told the sighting occurred half way of the trip; the distance between Ie Jima and Iwo Jima being of 1300 km.

Carte.

There is little choice here: either what Stringfield reports is true, or he made it up.

Evaluation:

Possible extraterrestrial craft.

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 January 17, 2024 Creation, [lsd1], [lsd2], [gld1], [lgs1], [jkl1], [jcf1], [lsd3], [lwr1], [jwa1], [dwn3], [gvo1], [lhh1], [jck2], [dwn1], [fre1], [dwn2], [nip1], [get1], [jbu1], [wia1].
1.0 Patrick Gross January 17, 2024 First published.

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