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October 1943 Schweinfurt Report

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posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:27 AM
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I just found this interesting document image on an old drive and had a look to see where it came from. No idea where I personally got it from although several web pages have it down as a ‘Foo Fighter’ incident. Andy Roberts explained it as probable 'flack' and maybe he was right? It’s certainly a more useful explanation than ‘unexplained’ which is how I would describe it.

Here’s the document:



Background
The squadron that apparently reported the incident was the 384th Bombardment Group (heavy). They were a USAAF squadron based at RAF Grafton from May 1943 until June 1945.

Constituted as 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 25 Nov 1942. Activated on 1 Dec 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, May-Jun 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment organization, concentrating its attacks on airfields and industries in France and Germany. Targets included airdromes at Orleans, Bricy, and Nancy; motor works at Cologne; a coking plant at Gelsenkirchen; an aircraft component parts factory at Halberstadt; steel works at Magdeburg; and ball-bearing plants at Shweinfurt.
384th Bombardment Group



Aircraft
The 384th flew Boeing B-17s; the legendary ‘Flying Fortresses’ that undertook heavy bombing raids across Europe. The Germans had a different name for them – ‘flying porcupines.’ Both names show respect for what was a heavily armoured aerial destroyer.

These beasts had a top speed of 295mph. It could drop some 17, 000lbs of bombs and carried a dozen or more .50 machine guns to defend against enemy fighters. It would cruise at around 180mph and had a great service ceiling of 35000ft.



German defences


The Germans weren’t about to let the enemy air forces bomb them without making it very hard to survive the raids. Out of 291, 60 were shot down over Germany and most of that damage was caused by FLAK. These were initially anti-aircraft cannons that would fire 20lb exploding shells at approaching aircraft. They’d explode in the air and send shrapnel in all directions and black smoke to obscure lines of sight.

Here’s a fine image (source) that shows a B-17 squadron under fire from German FLAK. The black smudges are clouds of smoke from exploding shells.



The report

[…] 348th Group reports a cluster of disks observed in the path of the formation near Schweinfurt, at the time there were no E/A above. Discs were described as silver coloured - one inch thick and three inches in diameter.


It’d be great if another member could find some details about the crews who flew this mission. Andy Roberts couldn’t in 2000 and maybe more records are now available? For instance, if they were new or inexperienced, we could possibly put these details aside as imagination or misperception of shrapnel? However if they were experienced, wouldn’t we have to reappraise the FLAK explanation?

Some B-17 crews were veterans of around 20+ raids and would presumably be able to recognise aerial bursts and flying shrapnel.
As noted, the B-17s would be flying at between 180mph and 290mph. When I look for velocities of shell bursts, there are some figures of 400feet per second (fps) which converts to ~272mph.

By describing these small ‘discs’ in such detail, it appears unlikely they were travelling at a perceived speed of up to ~540mph. The crews explain that no aircraft were above them to be dropping such objects. We don’t know the mass of the objects to estimate terminal velocity if they were free-falling.

About 20 feet from these discs a mass of black debris of varying sizes in clusters of 3 by 4 feet. Also observed 2 other A/C flying through silver discs with no apparent damage. Observed discs and debris 2 other times but could not determine where it came from.


The remaining details of two B-17s passing through clusters of the small ‘discs’ doesn’t seem to conform to either the trajectories, or velocities of exploding shells. Neither do the descriptions of ‘discs’ feature in the literature of anti-aircraft artillery.

It’s tempting to imagine the crew being confused and mistaking a black cloud of smoke as a ‘mass of black debris.’ The photos we have of FLAK shells exploding could easily explain this element of the report. That is until we try to imagine why the crew chose to report something as mundane as smoke clouds? Between the mission, returning to RAF Grafton and filing the report, there seems to be many a missed opportunity to realise that they were describing smoke. Even the act of justifying writing the report seems at odds with FLAK and smoke as an explanation.



So what are we left with? From the 1940s to the present day, pilots, crews and passengers have been reporting objects up there that shouldn't be. Sure, not all of them sound like intelligent objects and many are described like inanimate items passing by. In fact, some of them have been intriguing because they are mundane rather than spectacular. They might not be as spectacular as those describing 'Intelligence' and the 'Folk from Elsewhere,' but they must also come from somewhere.




posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:37 AM
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I think aluminium foil strips were used for clouding radar back in the day. Perhaps these disks were something like that?



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:44 AM
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a reply to: weirdguy

Yeah they call it 'Chaff' and it's used as a counter-measure for radar. The aluminium spreads out and causes a paint on radar screens and confuse the operators.

The Germans wouldn't use chaff against bombing raids as it'd make their jobs harder.




posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:46 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I love to read about old/vintage UFO cases. They are so hard to investigate and fascinating at the same time. Right now working on one too. Thanks!



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:48 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I'm not sure about the USAF but it looks as though the RAF used it for night missions.


It was low tech but highly effective, involving nothing more than throwing out small bundles of thinly cut strips of aluminum foil regularly while flying to and from the target. The “Window” foil strips were cut to the specific length to reflect the German radar frequencies. This left German radar operators with screens that showed an indistinct mass of white lines instead of clear indicators for each enemy aircraft flying through their zone.

fly.historicwings.com...


But then, experienced crews would recognize chaff surely.

edit on 4-10-2014 by weirdguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 05:59 AM
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a reply to: Trueman

Yeah me too. Right now, I'm in the mood to touch base with some of those earlier reports. They were so much more straightforward and solid. Nowadays, it's all about perception, psychology and belief-systems and back then it was simply about technology and whose was it?

Let me know when you've posted yours so I can check it out


a reply to: weirdguy

They did use it, yes. I was going to dismiss the idea and now you have me wondering.

Perhaps they used chaff and, in this case, it didn't deploy properly? Instead of the aluminium foil coils unravelling, maybe they remained intact? Worth looking into? I'll see if there's anything in favour of the idea? Lots of avenues I can think of


ETA -

edit on 4-10-2014 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:06 AM
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Another interesting place is Ohrduf greyfalcon.us...

Many Arnstadt witnesses described occasions when electrical equipment and automobile engines cut out. They always knew when this was about to happen, for the ship's diesel engine at Amt 10 would smoke. A diesel motor is not affected by an electro-magnetic field. In 1980, Russians scientists were still able to measure the field on their equipment, but they were never able to identify the source.

During the war, the Allies never photographed Ohrdruf from the air, nor bombed it, even though their spies must have assured them it was crawling with SS and scientific groups. A German electro-magnetic field which interfered with their aircraft at altitudes of up to seven miles is admitted by a 1945 United States Air Force Intelligence document . The USAF suspected that it was a device to bring down their bombers,

A similar device to the one operating below Ohrdruf finds a place in declassified literature as follows: On December 6, 1944, the US Military Intelligence Service commenced Research Project 1217 "Investigation into German Possible Use of Rays to Neutralize Allied Aircraft Motors".

They were well ahead of everyone by decades



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:08 AM
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Hmm... Would make for good science fiction. Either time travellers that used some kind of uavs, maybe to collect flak to protect the squadron, or a bunch of aliens that didn't want WWII to go in Germany's favour.

Interesting that an unexploded shell ended up in a cockpit at the same time the discs were seen, and that they apparently went through aircraft without physically colliding with them.

Ball lightning? Swamp gas?



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:10 AM
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One inch thick and three inches in diameter would make it roughly the size of a hockey puck. You would have to be very close to even see them. How strange and interesting. I have never heard of anything like this and I believe that the so called "Foo Fighters didn't show up in theater until the end of the war but I could be mistaken. As Trueman said above, I also love these old UFO cases. It doesn't seem that whomever wrote the report was to worried about it since no apparent damage was reported. Therefore, no harm no foul, but we gotta report it. Lol



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:13 AM
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originally posted by: boncho

Ball lightning? Swamp gas?


There is a site that claims it is a just hoax by a French UFOlogist wondering who would actually check up on details...


When I checked this out with Durrant he informed me that the whole “Project Uranus” affair was a hoax which he had inserted in his book precisely to see who would copy it without checking. The hoax apparently had been revealed in France some years before but hadn’t percolated its way through to English speaking ufologists. Perhaps other foo hoaxes await discovery.”

...

We have at least one outright hoax in foo-fighter lore.For years rumours had been flying round that the Germans had been fully aware of the foo-fighter phenomenon and that they had a special study group formed to look into the problem under the name of “Project Uranus”, backed by a shadowy group by the name of Sonderburo 13. This was first detailed in La Livres Noir De Soucoupes Volantes (The Black Book of Flying Saucers – 1970) by French ufologist Henry Durrant.

The rumour spread in Europe and eventually took physical form in the English language in Tim Good’s acclaimed book Above Top Secret where it is used to help substantiate further vague rumours of an Anglo/American foo-fighter study. Good had not checked his facts and had in fact just copied the information direct from Durrant’s book.



One and the same story:


“At this moment the pilots and top turret gunners, as well as several crewmen in the Plexiglas noses of the bombers, reported a cluster of discs in the path of the 384th’s formation and closing with the bombers. The startled exclamations focused attention on the phenomenon and the crews talked back and forth, discussing and confirming the astonishing sight before them.”


magonia.haaan.com...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


So far three independent researchers over the past ten years have had the same answer — none of the flight records for that day record the event in Caidin’s book

...

Dennis Stacy contacted the 384th Bombing Group survivors association and with no account of the UFO sighting forthcoming from them was put onto General Theodore Ross Milton who led the raid that day and went in first with the 91st Group Formation. He wrote; “I don’t recall seeing black discs or hearing about any strange phenomena from any of my group.” [40]

edit on 4-10-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-10-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:19 AM
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a reply to: Spader

England entered the war long before the U.S. What became known as Foo Fighters were reported by the British as early as September 1941, with regular sightings by all sides continuing, except for a several month lull in 1943, throughout the war. On the U.S. side, although sightings occured periodically before the deployment of P-61 Black Widows in Europe, it was the night fighter pilots of Black Widows that were among the first American military men to regularly report seeing Foo Fighters, saying "unknown objects" followed or paralleled their planes and glowed in the dark. It is said the night fighters shot at them a few times, but the fire was never returned. It is also thought it was the pilots of the Black Widows that finally gave the UFOs the nickname that stuck: "Foo-Fighters," a term picked up from the then popular Smokey Stover comic strip.

sped2work.tripod.com...



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:21 AM
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a reply to: boncho

If you want to continue looking into this story though apparently there is a retired pilot who confirms the story. Whether or not he is real, or the website claiming to be him, I don't know, but it appears that he confirms the event word for word.

Wally Hoffman


Schweinfurt was historically tough and certainly no milk run, but somebody positively was out there trying to help us. Soon after we had dropped our bombs on Schweinfurt we began a shallow right turn away from the target flak to reform in a tight diamond combat formation. As I looked to the east I could see several groups advancing to the INITIAL POINT and beginning their bomb run. It was then I observed one of the most baffling incidents of my life. This was an enigma which to this day still defies a proper explanation.


Bio of Wally -



Wally Hoffman was born in Bremerton, Washington. After graduation from high school he worked in the logging camps to go to college at WSU. After two years he joined the Air Force and entered Aviation Cadet Training. He survived 35 mission over Germany in a B-17 as a member of the 8th Air Force. He returned home and was given an early discharge after which he worked for a year in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. He married an English girl from Manchester (RAF) and they have two daughters. He returned to WSU in 1946 and received a BS in Agriculture in 1948. He then worked for the US Department of Agriculture in Wenatchee, Chehalis, and Auburn until 1957. Then he worked for the Department of Natural Resources and was in charge of the land management of the state trust lands (school lands) in Olympia, Washington. In 1982 he retired. He has been active in the Lacey Fire District where a fire/training station has been named for him. He recently took some creative writing courses on the Internet and has been writing his memoirs of World War II.




www.storyhouse.org...



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 06:21 AM
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a reply to: boncho



Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


You've skimmed the linked article and rushed to a conclusion. I do it myself sometimes.

The document and incident are/genuine. The *hoax* was in how the story was related by UFO authors and given details and impetus that weren't present in the original report.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 07:12 AM
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originally posted by: douglas5
a reply to: Spader

England entered the war long before the U.S. What became known as Foo Fighters were reported by the British as early as September 1941, with regular sightings by all sides continuing, except for a several month lull in 1943, throughout the war. On the U.S. side, although sightings occured periodically before the deployment of P-61 Black Widows in Europe, it was the night fighter pilots of Black Widows that were among the first American military men to regularly report seeing Foo Fighters, saying "unknown objects" followed or paralleled their planes and glowed in the dark. It is said the night fighters shot at them a few times, but the fire was never returned. It is also thought it was the pilots of the Black Widows that finally gave the UFOs the nickname that stuck: "Foo-Fighters," a term picked up from the then popular Smokey Stover comic strip.

sped2work.tripod.com...

I stand corrected Dougla5, thank you. You have a much better understanding of the Foo Fighter than I. To your knowledge did any reports of Foo Fighters describe them as being able to "pass through" an aircraft, or have an apparent collision without damage? By the way, the p-61 Black Widow was one of my favorite models to build when I was a kid. A beautiful aircraft.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 07:40 AM
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Nicely written and presented mate.

I wish the majority of posts showed as much effort as this. I did once try to look into the foo fighter phenomenon as it seemed such a huge part of UFO history (even though reports came in just before UFO history officially began in 1947!). I didn't really find out that much as a lot of websites seemed to rinse and repeat the same tales over and over again. Although one conclusion (can't remember who the source was) claimed 'foo' was caused by the use of radar.

As for this document, according to Andy Roberts anyway, he did eventually trace it to the National Archives in Kew. So it seems it's a bona fide report. Not sure what 3" x 1" discs could be myself?

I have an old copy of "R V Jones - Most Secret War" somewhere in the spare room. I'll see if that mentions anything and get back to you on it.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 08:22 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

The "Foo Fighters" seen during aerial combat in WWII are well documented. Some appeared to have other-dimensional capabilities, as the document described, of appearing substantial yet being able to pass thru solid objects. I'm guessing these were "observational craft" - either by "concerned" aliens in their ET-craft, or from our own future.

Global wars can be pivotal moments for any planet with intelligent life. And "weapons of mass destruction" frequently have destructive abilities far beyond that planet, that the natives seldom understand - like nuclear weapons. They can tear the fabric of Time and Space far beyond Earth. That's why so many UFOs are seen around nuclear power plants and weapons, and some have even been seen shooting down our missiles.

www.amazon.com...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412428546&sr=1-1&keywords=foo+fighters+i n+UFO+books
edit on 4-10-2014 by MKMoniker because: clarification



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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Almost definitely Chaff that has not deployed properly, here is how it looks


As you can see it closely resembles what is in the report. But, the B-17's had their chaff attached to little parachutes to assist opening, I would assume thats what it's for anyway.

www.warrelics.eu... tems-photos-propaganda/chaff-aluminum-foil-fool-radar-15672/

The unexploded 20mm shell would most likely be from a German fighter bf-109 or similar.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 08:46 AM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
a reply to: boncho



Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


You've skimmed the linked article and rushed to a conclusion. I do it myself sometimes.

The document and incident are/genuine. The *hoax* was in how the story was related by UFO authors and given details and impetus that weren't present in the original report.


Not really, I left judgement open, and posted the additional report by someone who said he was there. It is still bad news, any incident with any kind of hoax label attached to it, or some kind of easy explanation, make it less powerful than something that truly can't be explained, or has lingering doubts around it.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: boncho

True, for me this one is easy to explain but there are many other reports and incidences that are not. The battle for LA photo for example.



posted on Oct, 4 2014 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

There was actually a book written about the incident, that is still in print, or at least on Kindle:

www.amazon.com...=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412442271&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Caidin%2C+Marti n.+Black+Thursday%2C+Dell+1960

The only person who might have some insider information on this case, would be Nick Pope. A journalist who didn't believe in UFOs, he was hired by the UK Ministry of Defense to go thru their UFO files. He not only became a "UFO believer", but has had access to England's UFO files back thru WWII. If anyone knows the whole story, it's probably him.

alienswithin.com...
INTERVIEW WITH NICK POPE (8/21/078)



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