Friday, September 09, 2005

The Foo Fighters of WWII Part 2

Let’s talk more about the history of UFOs or more precisely lets talk more about the Foo Fighters…

If there were foo fighter sightings in 1943 we have no real record of them. Most likely there were relatively few sightings in 1943, because even after the Second World War, when G.I.s were free to talk about what they had seen and done, few if any recalled seeing UFOs in 1943. UFO sightings often come in cycles or waves and it is not unusual o have ‘off’ years.

On the other hand, 1944, was a horse of a different color. From April of 1944 through August 1945, there was absolutely no shortage of bizarre phenomena sighted in the skies of Europe and the Pacific.

Some of the first to witness ‘strange objects’ in 1944 were the radar plotters of the Argus 16 Combat Intelligence Center on the island Tarawa in the pacific. It was April 1944 and the Argus 16 radar operators racked a "bogey" as it was moving at, what was then the inconceivable speed of 700 miles per hour. When the radar operators had determined there was nothing wrong with their radar equipment, they had no choice but to conclude that it was a supersonic Japanese plane. Of course, it wasn't, since after the war American intelligence experts found that the Japanese had no such fighter.

The invasion of ‘Fortress Europe’ as Hitler referred to his captured French territory, began at dawn on June 6, 1944. Allied forces made a surprise landing at Normandy, after only a short time this landing caught the attention of the Nazis but apparently attracted the attention of the foo fighters as well. One foo fighter sighting reported at Omaha Beach came from the deck of the U.S.S. George E. Badger, which lay anchored just off shore. Gunner Edward Breckel, who, while on duty, was watching the sky when a dark cigar-shaped UFO crossed the horizon about five miles away. The object was only visible for some three minutes. But during those 3 minutes the UFO, which had no wings at all, was moving far too low and far too fast to be a blimp or airplane, flew a determined, circular course some 15 feet above the water.

A 1944 sighting from the European Theater was recorded in the dispatch by George Todt, a columnist for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, who recalled, "On one occasion a party of four of us; including a lieutenant colonel, watched a pulsating red fireball sail up silently to a point directly over the American-German front lines during the Battle of Normandy. It stopped completely and for 15 minutes did not move or make a sound, before moving on."

Yet another interesting foo fighter sighting from the Pacific Theater was recounted by Edward W. Ludwig of Stockton, California in a 1950 interview.

"It happened in the last week of June 1944,” Ludwig said. “The small Coast Guard-manned cargo vessel, of which I was executive officer, was approaching the tiny island of Plamyra, about 800 miles southeast of Hawaii... Suddenly the atmosphere of calm was shattered by a crackling radio message telling us that a Navy patrol plane had been lost at sea. Plamyra naval authorities appealed for our assistance in the search.

"So we cruised back and forth, shouting into the black still night, playing our searchlight beams over the dark waters. We found nothing. Not even a scrap of floating debris or spot of oil to indicate where the plane had crashed. Twenty-four hours later we anchored in the lagoon-harbor of Palmyra, weary, our minds numbed by the tragedy.

"That midnight I was on watch on our ship's bridge. Suddenly I glimpsed what first appeared to be a brilliant star, high in the dark sky over the island. As I watched, the light began to swell like a balloon and to come closer. I grabbed my binoculars, hoping for an instant that the lost plane might be returning.

"But I soon saw that the object in the sky was neither plane nor star. It was definitely round, a sphere hovering above me, motionless and silent, and at least five times as bright as the most brilliant star. The sphere began to move with almost imperceptible slowness. Then it stopped... For half an hour the light continued its slow, purposeful maneuvers until it covered an area of approximately 90 degrees. At last it headed northward, away from the island and in the direction where the plane had been lost.

"The following morning I made inquiries, my mind toying with the thought that the two incidents--the sphere and the lost plane--might be related. The Naval lieutenant in charge told me that absolutely no aircraft had been aloft that night and that no Japanese could possible be within 1,000 miles.

"He was extremely puzzled by the problem of the missing plane. Its radio direction finder, he believed, had somehow malfunctioned, resulting in a reversal of directions. But this theory, of course, would not explain why two experienced pilots, familiar with the area, would fly directly into the setting sun, away from the island, instead of in the opposite and correct direction. I will never forget the lieutenant's final words. 'Perhaps,' he suggested, 'the inhabitants of the strange sphere wanted specimens'."

Admittedly any connection between the aircraft disappearance and the UFO is purely speculative, but Ludwig's account is interesting in view of the growing number of aircraft disappearances in which UFOs seem to be connected.

Shortly after midnight on Aug. 10, 1944, a B-29 was returning to Ceylon after a bombing mission over Palembang, Sumatra, when, as the pilot said "my copilot reported a strange object pacing us about 500 yards off the starboard wing. At that distance it appeared as a spherical object, probably five or six feet in diameter, of a very bright or intense red or orange in color. It seemed to have a halo effect.

"My gunner reported it coming in from about the five o'clock position at our level. It seemed to throb or vibrate constantly. Assuming it was some kind of radio-controlled object sent to pace us, I went into evasive action, changing direction constantly, as much as 90 degrees and altitude about 2,000 feet. It followed our every maneuver for about eight minutes, always holding a position about 500 yards out and about two o'clock in relation to the plane. When it left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn; accelerating rapidly, it disappeared into the overcast."

Late in August of 1944, during the Battle of Brest in France, a UFO was seen by two soldiers of the 175th Infantry Regiment. As members of a mine-laying platoon, they were entrenched several thousand yards outside the city waiting for the Germans to launch a counterattack. The night was clear and quiet.

"I saw this craft traveling no faster than a Piper Cub on a straight course," one of them told NICAP years later; he asked that his name not be published. "When I got over the shock of seeing this silent aircraft, I tapped Sergeant Ness on the shoulder, motioning for him to look up... When he looked skyward, he leaped to his feet to stare at this phenomenon... Both of us were so awed, we forgot the war. If you knew Sergeant Ness as I knew him, you would know that he was too clever a combat soldier to stand up, even at night, near the enemy. So it had to be awesome.

"I swear to God, it was the same as a railroad boxcar, rectangular not cylindrical... It seemed five times as large as a boxcar... I looked closely for evidence of propellers, wings, or other protruding devices, but saw none on the three edges visible to us. There was absolutely no noise from it. It traveled at no more than 90 miles per hour. We had a long look at it before it vanished over the sea. Neither the German nor the American antiaircraft batteries opened fire..." For the briefest of moments the UFO flew in front of the moon and blotted it out. It finally flew off out to sea and was not seen again.

Another UFO appeared over Sumatra in September. The witnesses, members of the Japanese Imperial Navy, thought the object was the size of a B-29 at 8,000 feet. It was white, egg-shaped, and brilliant. It was spotted by several reliable Japanese military men as it moved in and around their naval formation. It made no sound other than a slight electric crackle and then flew off into the night.

There are plenty of stories of sightings from the Second World War and it really makes you wonder what these G.I.s on all sides of the battles were seeing. It is just another reason to keep an open mind and to keep walking in this big weird world of ours!

I’m Average Joe


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