Foo Fighters Over Europe
Foo Fighters Over Europe November 23, 1944 Vosges Mountains, France
Lts. Edward Schlueter and Don Myers of the American 415th were flying an intercept mission out of Dijon, heading for Mannheim in Germany. Suddenly the intelligence officer on board spotted several orange balls near the plane. These played "tag" with the aircraft before melting into the night. Other Allied aircraft soon witnessed similar events.
A Polish bomber unit based in England was debriefed by intelligence officer Michael Bentine and told how silver-blue balls appeared near their wing on six missions that fall. These tailed the planes as they raided the Nazi secret weapons base at Peenemunde. The crews told Bentine it must be a new weapon. "But what did it do to you?" Bentine inquired. "Nothing," they replied. "Well it was not a very effective weapon, was it?" he noted. Within days Bentine was ordered to pass his files to the Americans, who nicknamed the mystery lights "foo fighters," from the Smokey Stover comic strip in which the French word for fire (feu) was used affectionately.
After the war, it was discovered that Nazi air crews saw similar lights and assumed they were Allied weapons. Half a century later identical balls of light are still regularly seen in close proximity to commercial aircraft. More than 50 have been the subject of official air-miss inquiries across Europe in the l990s alone. Today we call foo fighters UFOs. - Jenny Randles
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