Mystiske UFO'er set af WWII Airman stadig uforklarlig

Mystiske UFO'er set af WWII Airman stadig uforklarlig


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Det var næsten slutningen på Anden Verdenskrig. Men for flyvere i 415th Night Fighter Squadron føltes det mere som begyndelsen på Verdenskrig.

Løjtnant Fred Ringwald var den første, der så den. Han kørte som observatør i en natjager, der blev ledet af Lt. Ed Schlueter, med Lt. Donald J. Meiers på radar. Det var en sen november aften i 1944, delvis overskyet med en kvartmåne. De vandrede rundt i Rhindalen lige nord for Strasbourg på den fransk-tyske grænse, da Ringwald sagde: "Jeg spekulerer på, hvad disse lys er derovre i bakkerne," ifølge en American Legion Magazine historie om observationer fra 1945.

Der var otte til ti af dem i træk, glødende brændende orange. Så så Schlueter dem fra sin højre fløj. De tjekkede med allieret jordradar, men de registrerede intet. Tænker at lysene kan være et slags tysk luftvåben, drejer Schlueter flyet for at kæmpe ... kun for at få lysene til at forsvinde.

Først sagde mændene ingenting og frygtede, at de ville blive udstødt. Men så spredte observationer sig gennem enheden.

LÆS MERE: Interaktivt kort: UFO -observationer taget seriøst af den amerikanske regering

Flere besætninger, flere observationer

Den 17. december 1944, nær Breisach, Tyskland, fløj en pilot omkring 800 fod, da han så "5 eller 6 blinkende røde og grønne lys i 'T' -form." Lyset så ud til at følge ham og lukkede "til omkring 8 -tiden og 1.000 ft." før de forsvandt så uforklarligt, som de kom.

Den 22. december så to yderligere flybesætninger lys. Et besætning i nærheden af ​​Hagenau rapporterede om to lys i en stor orange glød, der tilsyneladende stiger fra jorden til 10.000 fod og hale jagerflyet "i cirka to minutter." Derefter lyser lysene, ”skræl af og vender væk, flyver langs niveauet i et par minutter og går derefter ud. De ser ud til at være under perfekt kontrol hele tiden, «ifølge Keith Chester Strange Company: Militære møder med UFO'er i Anden Verdenskrig.

Og så var der løjtnant Samuel A. Krasneys oplevelse: et vingeløst cigarformet objekt, lysende rødt, kun få meter fra flyets vingespids. Løjtnant Krasney, der med rette var forfærdet, instruerede piloten om at prøve undvigende manøvrer, men den lysende genstand blev ved siden af ​​jet i flere minutter, før den "fløj af og forsvandt."

Til sidst navngav flyverne lysene: foo -krigere, inspireret af tegneserien "Smokey Stover", hvor Smokey (en brandmand) ofte erklærede, "Hvor der er foo, der er ild."

LÆS MERE: Da snesevis af koreanske krigsinstitutioner hævdede, at en UFO gjorde dem syge

‘Bekæmpelses -træthed’ -forklaringen

En Associated Press-reporter bragte nyheder om foo-fighter-observationer den 1. januar 1945, og teorier om deres oprindelse bugnede hurtigt: Observationerne var blus eller vejrballoner eller St. Elmo's Fire-et fænomen, hvor der vises et lys på spidserne af genstande i stormvejr. Men medlemmerne af 415. afviste alle disse teorier. Opblussen og vejrballoner kan ikke spore fly, som disse objekter kunne, og de havde set St. Elmos brand og kunne skelne de to.

Så var der dem, der påstod, at flyverne led af "kamptræthed", en høflig måde at sige, at krigsstress gjorde dem vanvittige. Men der var knappe beviser for at tyde på kollektiv psykose: Den 415. havde en ellers fremragende rekord, og da en reporter for American Legion Magazine gik for at rapportere om eskadrille, han beskrev dem som "meget normale flyvere, hvis primære interesse var kamp, ​​og derefter kom pin-up-piger, poker, donuts og derivaterne af druen."

Løjtnant Krasneys søn, Keith Krasney, siger, at hans afdøde far ikke passede til den stereotype profil af en UFO -teoretiker. Faktisk foreslog han aldrig engang, at den glødende vingeløse cigarlignende genstand, der fløj ved siden af ​​hans fly, var udenjordisk oprindelse.

"Han var meget plan, meget analytisk," siger Krasney om sin far og tilføjer, at han havde en notesbog, hvor han skrev om (og tegnede) sin foo-fighter observation. Men selvom han aldrig syntes at være tilbøjelig til konspirationsteorier, siger Krasney, at hans far var åben over for en: ”Han underholdt tanken om, at det kunne være sen-brydende tysk teknologi. Han gav udtryk for den opfattelse, at der var mange ting under krigen, der blev holdt stille. ”

LÆS MERE: Da en amerikansk jagerpilot kom ind i en hundekamp med en UFO

Var det nazistiske astrofysikeres arbejde?

At holde Nazityskland ansvarlig for de flyvende glødende kugler er ikke alt for langt ude. For det første fandt observationerne sted over det nazistisk besatte Europa på et tidspunkt, hvor Tysklands Luftwaffe gjorde enorme fremskridt. Så er der det faktum, at observationerne stoppede, når den tyske hær blev besejret.

Men det mest overbevisende link til foo-kæmperne kan være Wernher von Braun, en 32-årig vidunder-raketingeniør. Von Braun hjalp nazisterne med at udvikle V-2-raketten: et langdistanceret ballistisk missil, som Hitler brugte i 1944 mod Belgien og andre dele af det allierede Europa. Det er ikke svært at forestille sig, at piloter-der ikke kender ballistik med lang rækkevidde-sammenligner disse raketter med et cigarlignende vingeløse fly. V-2 kunne endda forklare gløden, da halen udsendte en lang brændende plume.

Nicholas Veronico, en forfatter, der har skrevet flere bøger om militær luftfartshistorie, siger, at forklaringen kommer kort.

"V-2-raketten har ikke manøvredygtighed," siger han. “Det kunne ikke tænde en skilling og ændre sit accelerationsmønster. Når det begyndte at brænde, brændte det og frembragte tryk på en rating. ”

Intet i Nazitysklands militære luftfartsarsenal kan forklare beskrivelsen af ​​foo-fighter, siger Veronico. En flyveres observation fra dengang - at foo -kæmperne følger krigerne så tæt på, at de virker næsten magnetiserede for dem - er særlig forvirrende, da "der bare ikke var fremdrift eller metallurgisk teknologi, der kunne muliggøre sådan noget."

LÆS MERE: Hvorfor mystiske grønne ildkugler bekymrede regeringen i 1948

Og alligevel er von Brauns karriere efter Anden Verdenskrig værd at overveje. Efter sammenbruddet af Det Tredje Rige blev ingeniøren rekrutteret til at være en del af Operation Paperclip, et hemmeligt amerikansk militærprogram, der skånede 1.600 nazistiske forskere for retsforfølgelse for krigsforbrydelser, og flyttede dem i stedet ind i det amerikanske militær, hvor deres fortid blev hvidkalket for offentligheden .

I 1952 havde von Braun genopfundet sig selv som talsmand for rumfart og skrev et stykke det år Colliers blad, der erklærer, at “inden for de næste 10 eller 15 år vil jorden have en ny ledsager i himlen, en menneskeskabt satellit, der enten kan være den største fredskraft, der nogensinde er udtænkt, eller et af de frygteligste krigsvåben- afhængigt af hvem der laver og kontrollerer det. ” Hans forudsigelse viste sig at være alt for konservativ: Sovjetterne lancerede Sputnik 1 kun fem år senere. Von Braun hjalp den amerikanske hær med at lancere Explorer 1 kort tid efter. I 1960 var han hos NASA, hvor han blev chefarkitekt på Saturn V - raketten, der sendte Neil Armstrong og Apollo 11 -mandskabet til månen.

Da von Braun omarbejdede sig selv som en amerikansk patriot, skyggede hans karriere i det nazistiske parti ham, en tvetydig hemmelighed, som journalister legende ville stikke ved. På et pressemøde før en Apollo -opsendelse bad en reporter von Braun om at forsikre pressen om, at raketten ikke ville ramme London. Men de kunne aldrig bevise hans engagement, og det var først i 1985 - flere år efter von Brauns død - at CNN brød nyheder om det fulde omfang af luftfartsingeniørens nazistiske fortid, mere end 40 år efter det faktum.

Veronico håber, at foo-fighter-fortællingen vil følge en lignende bane.

»Fantasien er, at 100 år efter krigen vil USA eller Sovjet frigive oplysninger om, hvad de fangede, og det vil slå os i hovedet. Men jeg tror, ​​at de ville have udnyttet det på dette tidspunkt, «siger historikeren. "Eller våbenbevæbnet det."

SE: Fuld afsnit af Project Blue Book online nu.


UFO -mysterier: Disse observationer er aldrig blevet løst

Nedbrud i Roswell, New Mexico og blinkende lys over New Jersey - i årtier har mennesker rundt om i verden kigget op mod himlen og rapporteret om mystiske uidentificerede objekter (UFO'er).

Men er disse observationer tegn på fremmede besøg? Og er de virkelig uforklarlige?

En nylig undersøgelse fra New York Times viste, at Pentagon i årevis havde finansieret et program til at besvare netop det spørgsmål. Programmet fandt flere rapporter om fly, der syntes at rejse med høje hastigheder og ikke har tegn på fremdrift, rapporterede Times.

Mens langt de fleste UFO -observationer, når de blev undersøgt, har vist sig at være et resultat af almindelige jordiske fænomener, såsom vejrballoner, blusser eller raketter, efterlader nogle stadig eksperter, der klør sig i hovedet - og kigger til himlen efter små grønne mænd. Fra hvide Tic Tacs til blinkende lys, her er nogle af de mest mystiske UFO -observationer derude. [7 ting, der oftest fejles for UFO'er]


Klip-og-tør rapport?

Der er allerede dem, der siger, at rapporten som udgangspunkt vil udgøre en "ingentingburger".

"Jeg er interesseret i rapporten, men mindre end optimistisk vil noget væsentligt dukke op," sagde Scott Miller, formand og professor i Aerospace Engineering Department ved Wichita State University.

Det vil sandsynligvis være en typisk, klippet og tør regeringsrapport, tilføjede Miller-en gennemgang af observationer, formodningsfrihed, følsom over for politiske spørgsmål og fravær af klassificerede oplysninger. "Selvfølgelig vil disse egenskaber efterlade det åbent for kritik og muligheder," sagde han til Space.com.

Miller formoder, at mange af observationerne er relateret til enkeltpersoner eller nationer, der simpelthen laver noget "spionage". Bygger og driver højtydende ubemandede luftfartøjer er relativt let for erfarne individer og især lande. Han forestiller sig mennesker, der laver deres eget fly og betjener dem på steder, de ikke burde være, f.eks. Inden for et begrænset luftrum, hvor der er observeret UAP'er.

"Kineserne og russerne kunne sagtens gøre denne slags indefra USA ved hjælp af hobby og andre fælles ressourcer," sagde Miller. "Hvis jeg var dem, ville jeg sikre mig, at mit spionkøretøj så anderledes ud. At blive set, mens spionage ikke er ønsket, men den tilhørende forvirring, der opstår, øger støjen fra deres ulykker. Det er også sjovt for dem."


De underligste uløste mysterier fra anden verdenskrig

Anden Verdenskrig var en periode med dramatiske ændringer over hele kloden. Men sammen med alle de politiske overgreb og militære strategier skete der nogle alvorligt bizarre ting. Her er fem af de mest mystiske hændelser fra Anden Verdenskrig.

Det forbløffende slag ved Los Angeles

Et par måneder efter Pearl Harbor var Amerika temmelig på kanten, især langs vestkysten. Alle scannede himmel og hav i frygt for endnu et japansk angreb. Faktisk havde en japansk ubåd beskudt oliefeltet Ellwood nær Santa Barbara i februar 1942. Senere samme måned eksploderede den stigende spænding til fuldt udblandet hysteri. En AWOL vejrballon udløste den første panik. Derefter blev affyrer affyret ind i nattehimlen, enten for at belyse potentielle trusler eller signalere fare. Folk så blusserne som flere angribere, og en spærre af luftfartsbrand fyldte snart natten.

Aktiviteten fortsatte i flere nætter. I sidste ende var de eneste tilskadekomne fra hele affæren tre hjerteanfaldsofre og tre døde på grund af venlig ild. Ingen japanske fly blev fundet, og japanerne nægtede senere at have noget i luften nær L.A. på det tidspunkt.

Det er i hvert fald den officielle historie. På det tidspunkt var der påstande om en coverup og en flok vilde teorier. Hændelsen var fem år forud for Kenneth Arnold flyvende tallerkenrapport, der udløste den amerikanske UFO -dille, men dette beskrives undertiden med tilbagevirkende kraft som en af ​​de første store UFO -observationer. Aviser på det tidspunkt troede, at det hele var orkestreret til at tromme op til støtte for krigsindsatsen ved at fremkalde panik. Stramme militærrapporter lindrede kun bekymringer-en fuld offentlig undersøgelse blev ikke udført før 40 år senere.

Den mystiske forsvinden af ​​flyvning 19

Dette er en af ​​de mest berømte mystiske hændelser nogensinde. Det skete teknisk et par måneder efter krigen var slut, men det involverede det amerikanske militær og fly, der blev brugt under anden verdenskrig. Den grundlæggende historie er ganske enkel: Løjtnant Charles Taylor leder en flyvning på fem TBM Avenger -fly på en træningsøvelse fra en Naval -luftstation i Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over radioen klagede Taylor over, at hans kompasser ikke fungerede, og at han ikke vidste, hvor han var. Efter at have fløjet rundt i forvirring i flere timer, løb flyene tør for gas. Ingen af ​​dem er set siden, og alle 14 mænd om bord blev formodet døde.

Navy 's-forespørgslen var også ret klar. Taylor havde en historie om at fare vild, mens han flyvede, og flere radiooperatører og endda juniormedlemmer fra Flight 19 syntes at vide, hvor de var, men efter Taylor 's fejlbehæftede lederskab fløj de langt ind i Atlanterhavet i stedet for tilbage til Florida. Meget af mysteriet omkring hændelsen stammer fra Marinens bestræbelser på at dæmpe Taylor 's mor, der klagede, da undersøgelsen bebrejdede hendes søn uden hårde beviser. De ændrede det til & quotcause ukendt. & Quot

Senere ville forfattere vikle overnaturlige elementer rundt om historien, skabe legenden om Bermuda -trekanten og opfinde detaljer ud af hele klud, såsom piloter, der havde forudsigelser om tragedie, der forhindrede dem i at deltage i den dødsdømte flyvning, og mysterioso radiotransmissioner som, & quotthe himlen er alt forkert her. & quot

Det er en uhyggelig historie på egen hånd - fem fly tabt over åbent hav med natfald og dårligt vejr, der går ind over sig, og den indgribende sikkerhed for deres egne død truer over dem. Selve den endelige radiotransmission var en svag, forvirret besked. Radiooperatører kunne kun finde ud af flyve- og#x27s kaldesignal, & quotFT ... FT ... FT ... & quot

Da flyene stadig aldrig er blevet genoprettet, er den sande skæbne for Flight 19 teknisk set et mysterium.

Rudolf Hess's mærkelige liv

Rudolf Hess ' livet er lige ud af en spionroman, fyldt med bizarre vendinger, før du overhovedet kommer til de virkelig mærkelige ting. Han var en højtstående nazist, der bar titlen & quotDeputy to the Fuhrer. & Quot Den 10. maj 1941 spiste Hess aftensmad i sit hjem i Augsburg, Tyskland, og hoppede derefter ind i en Messerschmitt Bf 110 og fløj til Skotland. Han blev jagtet af britiske fly, styrtede ned, overlevede og blev taget til fange af en landmand. Han bad om at tale med hertugen af ​​Hamilton og andre britiske embedsmænd og hævdede, at han søgte en fredsaftale mellem Tyskland og Storbritannien (han frygtede blodbadet af en langvarig krig mellem Tyskland, Storbritannien og Rusland).

Det er ikke rigtigt klart, at Hess havde autoritet til selv at oprette en fredsaftale (Hitler var bestemt ikke med på aftalen), og briterne holdt ham ganske enkelt som krigsfange. Han tilbragte lidt tid i Tower of London og andre fængsler, derefter blev han prøvet i Nürnberg. Hess blev fundet skyldig i sammensværgelse og forbrydelser mod fred og fik livstidsdom. Han tilbragte det meste af den tid i Spandau -fængslet i Berlin - i de sidste 20 år af sit liv var han den eneste fange hele stedet. Da han døde i 1987, rev de Spandau ned, dels fordi det var forældet og unødvendigt, men dels for at forhindre det i at blive en helligdom for nynazister.

Det er alt sammen temmelig underligt, men der er masser af konspirationsteorier. Russerne havde altid mistanke om, at Hess i hemmelighed forsøgte at forene Tyskland og Storbritannien, så de kunne slå sig sammen mod Rusland. Churchill og Stalin havde nogle mindeværdige konfrontationer om sagen. Hess ' mental tilstand faldt dramatisk, da han blev fængslet, på trods af rapporter om, at han virkede mentalt egnet, da han først ankom til Skotland. På tidspunktet for Nürnberg -retssagen led han af svær hukommelsestag og kunne med jævne mellemrum ikke huske noget fra sine år som nazist. Dette resulterede i påstande om, at den virkelige Hess skjulte sig, og manden forsøgte i Nürnberg og lod rotte i Spandau var en bedrager.


Hvad var de mystiske "Foo Fighters" iagttaget af WWII Night Flyers?

Mod slutningen af ​​Anden Verdenskrig tog missionsopdateringer fra 415th Night Fighter Squadron en mystisk drejning. Sammen med detaljer om hundekampe over den tysk besatte Rhindalen begyndte piloter at rapportere uforklarlige lys efter deres fly.

En nat i november 1944 fløj et besætning fra Bristol Beaufighter —pilot Edward Schlueter, radarobservatør Donald J. Meiers og efterretningsofficer Fred Ringwald — langs Rhinen nord for Strasbourg. De beskrev at se "#til#1020 lyse orange lys fra venstre fløj" og#8230 flyve gennem luften ved høj hastighed. ” Hverken luftbåren radar eller jordkontrol registrerede noget i nærheden. “Schlueter vendte sig mod lyset, og de forsvandt, og rapporten fortsatte. “ Senere dukkede de op længere væk. Displayet fortsatte i flere minutter og forsvandt derefter. ” Meiers gav disse objekter et navn og tog et nonsensord, der blev brugt af tegn i den populære “Smokey Stover ” brandmandstegneserie: “foo krigere. ”

Rapporter blev ved med at komme ind. Objekterne fløj sammen med fly ved 200 mph, de var røde eller orange eller grønne, de dukkede op enkeltvis eller med så mange som 10 andre i formation, og de udmanøvrerede ofte de fly, de jagtede. De dukkede aldrig op på radar.

Abonner på Air & amp Space Magazine nu

Denne historie er et udvalg fra augustnummeret af bladet Air & amp Space

Richard Ziebart, historiker for den nærliggende 417th Night Fighter Squadron, hørte mange af historierne direkte fra de 415. besætningsmedlemmer: “ Piloterne var meget professionelle. De gav rapporten, talte om lysene, men spekulerede ikke i dem. ” Alligevel fandt piloterne observationerne ubehagelige. “Bange skitløse ” var, hvordan en 415. pilot beskrev følelsen for Keith Chester, forfatter af Strange Company: Military Encounters With UFO ’s in World War II.

I slutningen af ​​året fejrede en kredskorrespondent fra Associated Press, Robert C. Wilson, nytårsaften med 415. Den næste dag blev hans historie om foo -krigere omtalt på forsiden af ​​aviser i hele landet. Andre eskadriller havde set dem, men det var antallet, konsistensen og indvirkningen på de 415. mandskaber —og det faktum, at en reporter lyttede til flyverne, der endelig fik undersøgelser af observationer.

Amatørpsykologer, militære luftfartsinteresserede og konspirationsteoretikere tilbød forklaringer, men ingen, som flyverne fandt troværdige. De troede ikke, at de hallucinerede på grund af kamptræthed. Og fordi lysene ikke forårsagede skader, tvivlede piloterne på, at de kom fra fjernstyrede tyske hemmelige våben. St. Elmo ’s ild, en udledning af lys fra skarpe genstande i elektriske felter, virkede usandsynligt, da foo -krigere udviste en så ekstrem manøvredygtighed.

Til sidst sendte Army Air Command officerer for at undersøge, men deres forskning gik tabt efter krigen, rapporterede Chester. I 1953 indkaldte CIA et panel af seks topforskere, der var fortrolige med eksperimentel luftfartsteknologi for at afgøre, om lysene udgjorde en national sikkerhedstrussel. Robertson -panelet, opkaldt efter sin stol, Caltech -fysikeren Howard P. Robertson, tilbød ingen officiel konklusion.

Ziebart, historikeren, gav heller ingen forklaring, kun et indblik. Jeg tror, ​​foo -krigere ikke dukkede op på radar, fordi de var almindeligt lys, ” sagde han. “Radar skulle have et solidt objekt. Hvis der var nogen bogey derude, ville piloterne absolut kunne fortælle. ”

Om Zoe Krasney

Freelance skribent Zoe Krasney bor i New Mexico, omgivet af både historie og fremtid inden for luftfart og rumforskning.


De virkelige gremlins fra anden verdenskrig

Når de fleste mennesker hører ordet "gremlins", er det første billede, der kan dukke op i deres hoveder, det af de mærkelige reptilskabninger fra Joe Dante -filmen fra 1984 med samme navn, hvor de titulære små monstre løber amok og forårsager kaos inden for en lille by. Det, som nogle måske ikke ved, er, at disse faktisk var baseret på angiveligt virkelige enheder, der under Anden Verdenskrig og endda før, plagede piloter og flybesætninger med al mulig ulykke, da de kæmpede i himlen under en af ​​de blodigste epoker af menneskets historie. Her i Anden Verdenskrigs blodige himmel, blandt den tilsyneladende uendelige røg, bombeeksplosioner, spænding af luftfartøjer, summende fjendtlige fly og død, blev besætningerne på forskellige fly fra alle sider konfronteret med en ny fjendtlig bizar dyre dyr, der blev sagt at angribe fly og syntes ikke at ville andet end at skabe kaos og bringe dem ned fra skyerne.

Oprindelsen af ​​det moderne udtryk “gremlin ” er omstridt, men siges ofte at stamme fra det gamle engelske ord greme, hvilket betyder at irritere eller irritere. Det refererer til en type ondskabsfuld gnome-lignende imp eller dæmon, der typisk siges at være omkring en fod høj, som sandsynligvis har sine rødder i den gamle folklore om nisser og feer. Den oprindelige tidlige repræsentation af disse skabninger var dygtige håndværkere med en overmenneskelig færdighed med maskiner af alle typer, og de blev engang krediteret af nogle for at hjælpe menneskeheden sammen med vores teknologi, såsom i oprettelsen af ​​dampmaskinen og endda hævder, at de hjalp med Benjamin Franklins arbejde med elektricitet. Men for alle de velvillige tidlige folklore, der var forbundet med de uretfærdige skabninger, var det deres hang til ulykke og kaos, som de ville blive mest kendt for.

Den moderne version af gremlinen som en ondsindet, problemer med at lave helvede til at rejse sig har sin oprindelse hos britiske flyvere, hvoraf nogle mente, at der var miniaturer, nisser eller feer, der syntes at vise en intens interesse for luftfart og forårsagede fly- eller navigationsfejl . En af de første omtale af skabningerne kan spores tilbage til en tidlig henvisning til dem i begyndelsen af ​​1900'erne i en britisk avis kaldet Tilskuer, hvori der stod:

Den gamle Royal Naval Air Service i 1917 og det nyligt oprettede Royal Air Force i 1918 ser ud til at have opdaget eksistensen af ​​en flok mystiske og ondsindede sprites, hvis hele formål i livet var ... at få så mange som muligt til de uforklarlige uheld, som , i de dage som nu, generer en flyveres liv.

Eksistensen af ​​sådanne mærkelige enheder blev virkelig populær fra 1923, da en britisk pilot styrtede sit fly i havet og senere rapporterede, at ulykken var forårsaget af bittesmå væsener, der havde fulgt ham ombord på hans fly og skabt kaos ombord på flyet , sabotere motoren, rode rundt med flykontrollerne og i sidste ende få den til at gå ned. Historien bredte sig, og der gik ikke lang tid, før andre britiske piloter også begyndte at klage over at blive chikaneret af lignende miniaturetroldlignende væsner med en beherskelse af teknologi og maskiner, hvilket forårsagede motorfejl, elektriske funktionsfejl, kommunikationsafbrydelser, dårlige landinger, freak -ulykker og stort set alt andet, der muligvis nogensinde kan gå galt med et fly.

Gremlins siges at engagere sig i et utal af dårlig opførsel som at suge gassen ud af tanke gennem slanger, sætte radiofrekvenser i klemme, stikke landingsudstyr op, blæse støv eller sand i brændstofrør eller følsomt elektrisk udstyr, skære ledninger, fjerne bolte eller skruer , tinker med urskiver, drejeknapper eller kontakter, stikkende betjeninger, skæring af vinger eller dæk, stikker eller klemmer kanoner eller piloter, banker uophørligt på flykroppen, knækker ruder og en lang række andre prankish -handlinger. Der var endda piloter, der hævdede, at skabningerne havde telepatiske kræfter og kunne skabe realistiske illusioner i offerets sind, såsom jordens udseende eller et bjerg, der pludselig dukker op fra skyerne. Det blev også undertiden rapporteret om at de blev set sidde på flyets næse eller flyets vinger i midtflyvning, der manipulerede med vingerne eller endda motorerne. Nogle gange blev gremlins sagt at råbe, fnise, hviske, knurre eller på anden måde lave støj for at distrahere flybesætninger, især gunners, da de lagde op til en fjende og piloter, når de udførte manøvrer, for hvilke total koncentration var en nødvendighed. Sådanne rapporter spredte sig hurtigt gennem rækken, og i slutningen af ​​1920'erne virkede det som om enhver pilot, der nogensinde havde haft et flyproblem af nogen art, havde set tingene, og de blev almindeligt rapporteret i hele Royal Air Force af piloter, der var stationeret så langt kastede steder som Malta, Mellemøsten og Indien.

En af de mest berømte påståede gremlin -beretninger fra denne periode blev foretaget af ingen ringere end den berømte amerikanske flyver, forfatter, opfinder, militærofficer, opdagelsesrejsende og socialaktivist Charles Lindbergh, da han var engageret i sin historiske solopgang direkte over Atlanterhavet fra New York til Paris i maj 1927. Lindbergh havde fløjet sit enkeltmotorede enkelt-sædefly Spirit of St. Louis fra Roosevelt-feltet i Garden City, NY til Le Bourget Field i Paris, Frankrig, hvilket skulle blive et epos 3.800 miles (5.800 km), 33 og en halv times flyvetur og den første nogensinde i sin slags. I den 9. time, da han blev luftbåren, rapporterede Lindbergh, at han pludselig havde følt sig noget løsrevet fra virkeligheden og befandt sig omgivet af flere dampende, mærkelige udseende væsener inden for de trange rammer i hans lille kabine, som talte til ham og demonstrerede utrolig kompleks viden om navigations- og flyveudstyr. Interessant nok sagde Lindbergh i dette tilfælde i stedet for at forårsage uheld, at gremlinsne faktisk holdt ham opmærksom og forsikrede ham om, at han ville forblive sikker på sin rejse. Lindbergh holdt denne bizarre oplevelse for sig selv i årevis, indtil beretningen endelig blev offentliggjort i hans bog fra 1953 St. Louis's ånd. Interessant nok ville dette ikke være den eneste rapport om velvillig gremlinaktivitet, da der fra tid til anden var andre beretninger, der fortalte om de typisk uheldige monstre, der hjalp piloter med at afværge katastrofer eller advarede dem om, hvornår de skulle dreje eller ændre kurs eller højde, som viste, at der var mere end en facet til hvad tingene end var.

De faktiske fysiske beskrivelser af gremlins varierede ret vildt. I nogle tilfælde blev de beskrevet som værende små alfiskvæsener, der ligner mennesker, iført lyse røde eller grønne dobbeltbrystede frakker, gammeldags hatte med fjer og spidse sko. Hudfarven kan være grøn, guld, lyserød eller rød. Andre gav enhederne et mere skummelt udseende og sagde, at de så dyriske ud, med behårede kroppe, store, spidse ører, dybe røde eller endda glødende øjne og horn. Stadig andre rapporter taler om gremlins som at have hårløs grå hud, være vagt krybdyr i udseende og have enorme mund fyldt med spidse tænder. Der var tilfælde, der sagde, at de lignede jackrabbits, bullterrier eller en kombination af begge. I nogle tilfælde var de blot skumle enheder tilsyneladende sammensat af tåge eller røg. Nogle konti nævner svømmehænder og fødder, finner eller flagermuslignende vinger. Størrelsesbeskrivelser varierede også betydeligt, med gremlins siges at være overalt mellem kun 6 tommer høje helt op til tre fod i højden. I nogle tilfælde siges det at have store fødder med sugekopper eller endda lædersko med kroge, som begge gjorde dem i stand til at gå rundt på ydersiden af ​​flyet eller til at hænge på hovedet. Et fælles træk i alle rapporter er, at man på alle måder vidste, at gremlins var i stand til at klæbe til flyets ydre flykrog og modstå utrolige temperaturekstremer, store højder og voldsom vind.

Gremlins og deres generende krumspring blev rapporteret i løbet af 1920'erne og 30'erne, men måske var perioden med den mest intense påståede gremlin -aktivitet under den hårde kamp under Anden Verdenskrig. Rapporter om gremlins var særligt produktive blandt de britiske RAF-enheder (Royal Air Force), især de fotografiske rekognosceringsenheder i stor højde (PRU), der fløj farlige missioner i ubevæbnede, ubevæbnede spitfires og myg i store højder på fotografiske missioner over fjenden territorium. Det var under disse rystende missioner, hvor piloter opererede i bitter, bidende kulde, da varme blev omdirigeret til kameraerne for at holde dem varme, at de små monster -tricksters regelmæssigt blev set og bebrejdet alle mulige andre uforklarlige tekniske problemer og elendigheder. I nogle tilfælde ville der kun opstå mekaniske problemer for på mystisk vis at rette sig selv igen, så snart flyene landede eller gremlins var væk.

Slaget om Storbritannien, en enorm luftkampagne, der blev ført mod Det Forenede Kongerige af det tyske luftvåben (Luftwaffe) i løbet af sommeren og efteråret 1940, især oplevede mange tilfælde af rapporteret gremlinaktivitet, så meget så faktisk, at det britiske luftministerium endda erkendte problemet og gjorde seriøse forsøg på at undersøge fænomenet. Ministeriet gik endda så langt som til at få en servicemanual skrevet af en "gremlorist", pilotofficer Percy Prune, som var et officielt dokument bestående af en liste over skabningernes bedrifter, hvordan man kan placere eller distrahere dem og forskellige måder for at undgå ulykker på grund af deres tilstedeværelse, såsom ikke at vise bravado, arrogance eller over tillid, som man troede at tiltrak væsenerne. Der var også plakater, der advarede om de ondsindede små monstre, samt bulletiner, der ofte indeholdt følgende numre:

Fly under slaget ved Storbritannien

Dette er fortællingen om Gremlins

Som fortalt af PRU

På Benson og Wick og St Eval-

Og tro mig, jer sløvere, det er sandt.

Når du er syv kilometer oppe i himlen,

(Det er et helvedes ensomt sted)

Og det er halvtreds grader under nul,

Hvilket ikke er helt varmt.

Når du er frosset blå som din Spitfire,

Og du er bange for en mygrosa.

Når du er tusinder af miles fra ingen steder,

Og der er ikke andet end drinken.

Det er da, at du vil se Gremlins,

Grøn og gamboge og guld,

Mand og kvinde og neuter,

Gremlins både unge og gamle.

Det nytter ikke at undgå dem,

De lektioner, du har lært på linket

Vandt ’t hjælpe dig med at undgå en Gremlin,

Selvom du booster, og du dykker, og du jink.

Hvid en ’s vil vrikke med dine vingespidser,

Mandlige en ’s vil forvirre dine kort,

Grønne en ’s vil guzzle din glykol,

Hunnerne vil flagre dine klapper.

Pink one ’s vil sidde på din perspex,

Og dans piruetter på din rekvisit,

Der er en sfærisk midaldrende Gremlin,

Hvem vil snurre på din pind som en top.

De fryser dine kameralukker op,

They’ll bite through your aileron wires,

They’ll bend and they’ll break and they’ll batter,

They’ll insert toasting forks into your tyres.

And that is the tale of the Gremlins,

As told by the PRU,

(P)retty (R)uddy (U)nlikely to many,

But a fact, none the less, to the few.

At first this seemed to be a phenomenon completely unique to the Royal Air Force and it was often whispered among airmen that the gremlins were in league with the enemy, but it later became apparent that enemy aircraft were also suffering from the creatures’ tomfoolery and that they took no sides, taking equal glee in harassing both British and enemy aircraft alike. When the American Allies came to British shores, they too began to experience the strange phenomenon. American pilots and airmen typically described seeing strange creatures out on the wings of the aircraft, where they would fiddle around with the aileron, which is the hinged flight control surface on the wing that allows it to roll or bank. So persistent were the stories of gremlins fiddling and tampering with the aileron of American aircraft that the Americans often referred to the creatures as Yehudis, after a famous violinist of the time, because they were always fiddling.

One American Boeing B17 pilot during WWII known only as L.W. had a rather bizarre and harrowing experience with gremlins typical of these encounters while engaged in a combat mission. The man reported that as he was taking the enormous plane higher he could hear a strange sound coming from the engine and instruments on the panel in front of him started going haywire. When the confused pilot looked outside to his right he saw an freakish “entity” outside of the plane’s window latched onto the plane that was described as 3 feet tall, with abnormally long arms, grey hairless skin, deep red eyes, a gaping mouth full of teeth, and pointed ears with tufts of black hair at the ends like “owl ears,” just staring in at him from the wind and bitter cold beyond the glass. When the frightened pilot looked to the nose of the aircraft he was astonished to see yet another one of the creatures apparently dancing about out there and pounding away haphazardly at the fuselage. The pilot thought at first that he was perhaps hallucinating or experiencing disorientation, but he reported that he felt sharp and in control of his senses. The pilot said that the strange creatures appeared to be laughing maniacally, and that they gleefully cavorted about outside of his plane pulling on whatever they could get their clawed hands on, banging on the aircraft with all of their might, and obviously trying their best to bring the plane down. After a bit of maneuvering the pilot managed to shake the critters off of his plane, although he would later say he had no idea if they had fallen to their deaths or merely jumped to another plane. L.W. was apprehensive about telling anyone about the frightening ordeal, but when he told a gunner friend of his about it, the gunner reported having had a similar experience on a training mission just a few days before.

Interestingly, there is a rather bizarre incident pertaining to an American aircraft from 1939, before America’s participation in the war, which may or may not be related to gremlins but seems worth mentioning. Allegedly, a transport plane left the Marine naval Air Force Base in San Diego, California at around 3:30 in the afternoon in the late summer of 1939 on a routine flight to Honolulu with a crew of 13. Somewhere around three hours into the flight, it was reported that the aircraft made a sudden distress call, after which communications went dead. Despite the fact that its radio had gone completely silent, the plane managed to arrive back at its base, yet the way it limped in for a bumpy, sloppy emergency landing and the heavy damage on its exterior that almost looked like missile damage immediately worried the ground crew. As soon as the damaged plane had skidded to a halt on the runway, crews moved in to investigate. What they found would horrify them. An inspection of the craft’s interior uncovered the bodies of 12 of the plane’s crew, all of them displaying gruesome, gaping wounds of unknown origins. Further adding to the strangeness was the fact that the whole cabin reeked of a wretched sulfuric stench, and there were empty bullet shells strewn about the floor of the cockpit as well as the pilot and co-pilot’s empty firearms, indicating that the dead men had frantically fired at something. The only survivor was the co-pilot, who had managed to land the plane despite being severely wounded himself. He would die later at a hospital before having any chance to give an account of what had exactly happened aboard the doomed flight.

Reports of gremlins and their knack for hiding aboard planes to sabotage them persisted throughout WWII, from all sides and nations involved in the conflict, more often than not by experienced pilots and aircraft crew that were sober, level-headed and rational. What could have been at the heart of these accounts? What were all of these people seeing or experiencing? It is often pointed out that the lack of adequate pressurization of aircraft back in those days most likely led to hallucinations, which were then shaped by the stories of little trickster, prankish imps with a tendency to sabotage or damage machinery. There could also have been some element of “passing the buck” so to speak, or deflecting blame for human error by blaming accidents on these fantastical creatures. This could have helped build morale among the men, as it would have been more constructive to blame the gremlins for aircraft mishaps rather than accuse members of their own squadron.

Yet those who claim to have seen gremlins or to have been the victims of their attacks insist that they were no figment of the imagination and were in fact very real. Survivors of the war who have lived to tell the tale have no doubt in their minds that gremlins were a very real threat and that they were no mere folklore or spooky legend, adamantly refusing that all cases can be explained away by mere hallucinations or human error. Nevertheless, these sorts of reports largely fizzled out in the wake of the war’s end, and by the 1950s there was very little talk of gremlins among airmen, perhaps largely due to the fact that the military began to strictly discourage rumors or talk of the creatures, calling it unprofessional and morale inhibiting behavior. Most mention of gremlins nowadays in made half-jokingly, when an aircraft experiences trouble or if machinery breaks down or malfunctions for no apparent reason.

So was the gremlin phenomenon all just hallucinations, folklore, overactive imaginations, and tall tales that managed to spread out across aircraft crews of various nationalities to lodge itself squarely into contemporary myth? Or could there have been something else behind the phenomena? Could these have been somehow real creatures that gave air crews a new enemy to face in the heat of battle? If these gremlins were indeed real entities then what could they have been? Could these have been faeries, ghosts, demons, a real animal of some sort, aliens, or something from beyond our dimension? Whether they were real or not, gremlins were indeed very real to many of the brave men who served to risk their lives for their countries high in the treacherous skies of the Second World War. Perhaps next time you are flying in a plane that experiences a sudden technical difficulty or uncommon turbulence, you may just want to look under your seat or peer out of the window just to be sure. You just may see some gremlins peering right back.


Some Peculiar Air Mysteries From World War II

World War II was an expansive morass of violence that spanned two regions of the globe and went on to grip the entire world with fear and suffering. It was a turbulent time already infused with a rich history, but scattered amongst the tales of battle and valor are other, more little-known stories of strange mysteries from beyond our understanding. Many of these are connected to the skies of World War II, which were invaded by warplanes, bombs, and explosions, but which also hold some of the most intriguing unexplained mysteries of the era. Here is a selection of some of the weirder unsolved mysteries of the skies of the intense cauldron of human violence that was World War II.

Of all of the planes flying about and tearing up the skies in the era of World War II, many of them obviously never came back, but the strangest of these cases are when they simply vanished into thin air without a trace. One of the most oft-discussed and mysterious vanishings of aircraft revolves around the enigmatic Flight 19, in 1945. The flight in question was actually a group of U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers that took off from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on December 5, 1945, on a Naval exercise called “Navigation Problem Number One,” which was for the purpose of carrying out mock bombing runs along an area known as Hens and Chickens Shoals in the Bahamas. It was all a standard, routine flight, and each of the five planes in the squadron was manned by 3 experienced men, with the whole thing under the command of a seasoned pilot by the name of Lieutenant Taylor.

The first half of the mission all went according to plan, the dummy bombs were dropped, and the planes headed off on the second leg of their mission, but this was when things would get strange indeed. The leader, Taylor, began to complain that his compass was on the fritz, and he further proclaimed that the planes were all flying in the wrong direction. As the group of planes floundered about trying to get their bearings, one of the pilots radioed, “I don’t know where we are. We must have got lost after that last turn.” A passing Navy plane piloted by a Lieutenant Robert F. Cox was flying by at the time and overheard the radio chatter, after which he extended an offer of help, as well as a message to the nearest air station of what was going on. In response, he got a chilling message from a frightened sounding Taylor that said:

Both my compasses are out and I’m trying to find Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I’m over land, but it’s broken. I’m sure I’m in the Keys, but I don’t know how far down.

This was strange to say the least, as the group had just successfully fulfilled the first half of their mission near the Bahamas and should have been nowhere near the Florida Keys at that point in time. After this, Taylor, convinced that he was way off course, instructed his squadron to veer off towards the northeast, thinking it would take them home but really only sending them further out to sea. Some of the other pilots in the group protested the move, saying they should fly west, but the order had been given and off they went. At one point Taylor changed his mind and directed them west, but then they changed their course to east once again. It was all rather bizarre behavior to say the least. As this was happening, the radio chatter from Flight 19 became fainter and more distorted, and one of the final transmissions was:

All planes close up tight. We’ll have to ditch unless landfall…when the first plane drops below ten gallons, we all go down together.

This seemed to suggest that Taylor was aware that their fuel was running low and that they were on a one way ticket into the sea, and after that the radio transmissions became plagued by strange static before going silent. The Navy was quick to respond, sending out a search crew almost immediately after this final transmission, but they were unable to find any sign of Flight 19. Indeed, one of the searchers, a Mariner aircraft and its 13 crew members, also suddenly lost communications and dropped off the face of the earth as well to join Flight 19 in the annals of great mysteries. This in turn prompted its own search party and the whole thing turned into a hot mess quite rapidly.

In the end, the Navy would scour over 3,000 square miles of sea in search of the missing planes but would turn up not even a scrap of wreckage. Of course, considering the proximity to the notorious Bermuda Triangle the media was all over this and theories began to fly. One was that Taylor had been somewhat unfit for duty, which had impacted his judgement during the doomed mission. There are reports that he had arrived late on the day of the mission and had for unknown reasons implored the command not to go through with it. This has led to the most popular, “rational” theory that these planes under his questionable state simply made a mistake, ran out of fuel, and crashed into the ocean to never be seen again. The mystery was even tantalizingly “solved” for a time when in 1991 a team of treasure hunters came across the wrecks of five World War II Avengers planes at the bottom of the sea, but these turned out to have not had anything to do with the mysterious lost flight. The fate of Flight 19 remains unknown.

Just as mysterious is a phenomenon that pervaded the war in both the European and Pacific theaters in the form of myriad unexplainable occurrences collectively known as “Foo Fighters.” These typically took the form of inexplicable orbs, lights, glows, and “balls of fire” that darted about in the war-torn skies with inhuman maneuverability to startle even the most experienced pilots, and which were first seen from around 1944. One of the earliest Allied accounts was from Army Air Major William D. Leet, who in December of 1944 was on a mission aboard a B-17 near the Adriatic Sea when he and his crew saw something up there in the clouds that did not belong, a small disc that seemed to defy all laws of physics in its movements and which tracked them for some time. In that very same month another pilot with the 415 Night Fighter Squadron over Hagenau, Germany had his own encounter with glowing orange balls in the sky, saying:

Upon reaching our altitude they leveled off and stayed on my tail. After staying with the plane for two minutes, they peeled off and turned away, flying under perfect control, and then went out.

Another early report is that of Charles R. Bastien, of the Eighth Air Force, who said that he had seen “two fog lights flying at high rates of speed that could change direction rapidly” while on a mission over the region of Belgium. In another report over the Indian Ocean one of the crew of a U.S. B-29 Superfortress says they saw something very unusual near the plane, saying of the bizarre experience:

A strange object was pacing us about 500 yards (475 m) off the starboard wing. At that distance it appeared as a spherical object, probably five or six feet in diameter, of a very bright and intense red or orange… it seemed to have a halo effect. My gunner reported it coming in from about a 5 o’clock position (right rear) 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 of about 2,000 feet (600 m). It followed our every maneuver for about eight minutes, always holding a position about 500 yards (475m) out and about 2 o’clock in relation to the plane. When it left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn, accelerating rapidly, and disappeared into the overcast.

Such sightings became rather common and occurred all over the place, often seen by entire crews, and with none of these experienced airmen able to find a rational explanation for what they had seen. The objects were also picked up quite frequently by radar crews and air traffic control, who often claimed that they would accelerate rapidly or vanish from view for no reason. Many pilots tried to take evasive maneuvers but this never really worked, and the occasional attempts to shoot the lights down were equally unsuccessful. These were beyond our comprehension.

Sightings of the Foo Fighters were well reported in the press at the time, and became so numerous that they were obviously not simply a figment of the imagination, and what they could be was heavily speculated upon. The most common explanation was that they were some sort of experimental German aircraft, but this didn’t seem to fit as the mysterious objects were nonthreatening and never seemed to take any aggressive action, and it would also turn out that enemy forces had been seeing the exact same kind of things, which they had conversely thought to be experimental aircraft of the Allies. Other explanations have included that they were the result of some sort of atmospheric phenomenon such as electrical discharges called St. Elmo’s fire, that they were ball lightning or an electromagnetic disturbance, that they were merely afterimages of flashes from explosions, and of course that they were alien UFOs, but the strange phenomenon of the Foo Fighters of World War II has never been fully explained and remains a mystery.

In addition to vanishings and mysterious lights there are also cases of what can only be called “ghost planes.” One famous case of such a mystery is what is often called the “Pearl Harbor Ghost Plane,” and which involves a very odd occurrence that supposedly happened on December 8, 1942, just about a year after the infamous attack. On this day, an unidentified incoming plane was detected flying towards Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from out over the Pacific Ocean, seemingly coming from nowhere. Attempts at radio contact were met with silence, and warplanes were scrambled to investigate the intruder.

On closer inspection the plane was seen to be an out of date model called a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, which had not been in operation since the attack on Pearl Harbor. The mystery aircraft seemed to have seen better days, its shell perforated by numerous bullet holes and the engine sputtering and coughing noticeably, and there seemed to be a pilot within who was bloody and struggling to keep his plane under control. The military escort paced the plane for a while, baffled as to where it had come from and wondering what to do, when the mysterious pilot waved at them and proceeded to crash land. When the wreckage was examined it is said that there was no sign of the pilot that had been seen, and the only clue that could be found was a diary in which it was written that the plane had flown in from the island of Mindanao, a full 1,300 miles away. The pilot has never been located or identified, no reason ascertained for why the plane appeared out of the blue, and the Ghost Plane of Pearl Harbor continues to be a weird World War II mystery.

Probably even more bizarre is a case from November 23, 1944, when a British Royal Air Force antiaircraft unit stationed near Cortonburg, Belgium was surprised by something they saw lumbering towards them in the sky. There barreling in their direction was an American Army Air Corps B-17 bomber, a four-engine heavy bomber so colossal and heavily armed that it was nicknamed the “Flying Fortress.” The plane was coming in rather fast with its landing gear down, and because there was no such landing scheduled and because of the speed of the incoming aircraft it was assumed that it was preparing to make an emergency landing at their base. A communication with the base proved that indeed no such B-17 landing was expected, and the gunner crew braced themselves as the massive aircraft came hurtling in towards a nearby open, plowed field.

It was a rather messy landing to say the least, with the aircraft bouncing and swerving along as the terrified gunners looked on, finally stopping dangerously close to the position after one of its wings clipped the ground, yet it was still in one piece and had not actually crashed. The aircraft sat there looming over the field as its formidable propellers continued to spin in a cacophony of noise, but as the minutes ticked by no one exited the plane. When 20 minutes had passed with no sign of human activity, and the plane just squatting there with its engines running like some growling beast, it was decided to go in and investigate.

The team warily went in, opened the entry hatch located under the fuselage and proceeded to enter, expecting that perhaps the crew had been injured or otherwise unable to get out of the plane. What they did not expect was that the plane would be completely empty. A full sweep through the aircraft showed that not a single crew member was aboard, although it would later be reported that there were signs that the crew had just recently been there and must have vacated the aircraft in a hurry. There were found to be chocolate bars unwrapped and half eaten lying about, a row of neatly folded parachutes, with none apparently missing, and jackets that had been neatly hung up. The superior officer, a John V. Crisp, would say of the eerie scene:

We now made a thorough search and our most remarkable find in the fuselage was about a dozen parachutes neatly wrapped and ready for clipping on. This made the whereabouts of the crew even more mysterious. The Sperry bomb-sight remained in the Perspex nose, quite undamaged, with its cover neatly folded beside it. Back on the navigator’s desk was the code book giving the colours and letters of the day for identification purposes. Various fur-lined flying jackets lay in the fuselage together with a few bars of chocolate, partly consumed in some cases.

Where had they gone and how had the plane landed on its own? No one had any idea. Crisp had the engines shut down and the interior was further inspected. The log book was found opened, and the last cryptic words written in it were “bad flak.” Yet considering that all of the parachutes seemed to be accounted for and the exterior of the plane did not have evidence of damage except for what it had incurred in its rough landing, such as the buckled wing and one disabled engine, it seemed to be a rather strange last message.

The mystery B-17 began to be called the “Phantom Fortress,” and nobody knew just how it could have come in to make a landing by itself minus a crew, or what had become of those aboard. It would not be until a team was sent in by the Advanced Headquarters, 8th Air Force Service Command in Brussels, that a picture of what occurred was formed. It was ascertained through the aircraft’s serial number that the plane had been part of a bombing squadron called the 91st Bombardment Group, and that they had been on a mission to bomb oil refineries in Merseburg, Germany, when problems arose.

According to the bomber’s crew, all of whom were tracked down and found to have been alive and safe, their aircraft at some point had developed a malfunctioning bomb rack and had been forced to abort. They flew off away from the rest of the group but had been hit by enemy fire, which knocked out one of the aircraft’s four engines. There was also a hit on the bomb bay itself, which had caused a bright flash, but rather oddly had not set off the ordnance. The decision was made by the crew of the limping, damaged plane to set a course towards England, but this idea was quickly abandoned when it became apparent that the hobbled aircraft was never going to make it that far.

They changed their course towards Brussels, Belgium, at the same time making the plane lighter by dumping and jettisoning any unnecessary or nonessential equipment on board. When the plane still continued to suffer and a second engine on the struggling plane sputtered out, it was decided that the aircraft would be unable to make the journey, and the crew had then decided to bail out. The B-17 was put on autopilot and left to its fate as the crew jumped to safety. No one thought it would make it very far, let alone somehow land, but land it did. This was all very interesting information, but it still did not seem to explain a lot of odd details. For one, why did ground crew report all 4 engines working as the bomber had approached, with one being damaged only upon landing, when the report said that 2 engines had been knocked out during the mission? Indeed, where was the damage from the claimed enemy fire? Also, why were all of the parachutes still there if the crew had bailed out? Perhaps most mysterious of all, how had a large, cumbersome plane like the B-17 manage to come to a landing without a pilot?

Authorities on the case, as well as crew members of the Phantom Fortress, offered up some theories to try and shed some light on at least a few of the mysteries surrounding the event. For instance, with the engines it could have been that the technical difficulties cleared up on their own after the crew had bailed out, making the plane seem to have 4 fully operating engines on approach, although why they would start working again after being taken out remains mysterious. If the engines had been in bad enough shape for the crew to abandon the aircraft it seems odd that they should kick back into working order on their own and continue whirring away even after the rough landing.

With regards to the lack of any apparent visible damage from enemy fire, it has been suggested that this could have just been simply due to the untrained eyes of the team that initially investigated the plane after it had landed. They were after all a gunner crew, not trained aviators, and may have mistaken the damage reported by the B-17 crew as being from the crash. They simply might not have noticed that the aircraft had sustained battle damage, but then again they were antiaircraft gunners and might have had some idea. With the parachutes, it was surmised that they had possibly mistaken some spare parachutes as the full compliment. However, this is all speculation, and the mystery has never been totally solved.

As to how the B-17 could have come to a landing mostly intact without a pilot, that is still largely a mystery as well. Autopilot is one thing, but landing is another beast altogether. After all, there is that old saying, “Flying is easy, landing is hard.” Even with a pilot landing such an immense aircraft would be very difficult. A pilotless B-17 landing by itself with no one on board was totally unprecedented, and one would expect it to have careened into the ground to crash into a ball of fire and debris, or at least ended up a heap of twisted wreckage, so how could this happen?

Although no one really knows for sure, the main theory is that the plane simply lost altitude slowly, at just the right speed, and with just the right angle of descent to come down relatively softly enough to appear as if it was landing, with the B-17’s legendary toughness and sturdy frame managing to hold it together to keep it from disintegrating. The odds of all of this happening in just such a way seem to be extremely small and unlikely, but is this really possible at all? Also, there is the rather odd detail that this unmanned plane just happened to come down in the exact best place to land under the circumstances, in that wide open field, and not one of the countless other places it could have come down more tragically. This could very well all be pure, blind chance, and these disparate factors all amazingly coming together just right, but it still all seems very strange indeed.

The mystery landing of the “Phantom Fortress” did happen, but the details of how it did remain mysterious and open to speculation. What we do know for sure is that this B-17 was on a bombing mission in Germany, that it did land without a crew in that field, and that the crew members were later found to have been alive and well with quite a story to tell, but questions remain. Are the B-17 crew’s reports or the British gunnery crew’s accounts totally accurate? Why don’t they line up? Did everything happen as they said it did? How could this plane have landed by itself in just the right way and in just the right place to keep from being a mangled pile of metal? Just what in the world happened here?

There is also the ghostly plane that haunted the skies of Northern Italy during the war to rain down destruction upon the countryside, and came to be known to the cowering people as “Pippo.” The rather cartoonishly named Pippo was said to appear only at night, always alone, and would most often perform punishing strafing runs on seemingly indiscriminate targets, either firing with its blazing machine guns or dropping fiery bombs. Sometimes it was said to deploy rather bizarre ordinance, such as exploding pens, incendiary flares, or poisoned candy. Sometimes it was known to drop so-called “butterfly bombs,” which was interestingly a German 2 kilogram anti-personnel submunition used by the Luftwaffe.

The mystery plane seemed to have no rhyme or reason to its choice of targets, unleashing death upon everyone from both Axis and Allied soldiers, to innocent civilians, to farmers working their fields. At other times, the plane would not attack at all, and would merely circle overhead for some inscrutable reason known only to it, all the while emanating that strange, haunting sound said to be unlike any other known aircraft. The terrified people deeply feared the plane, and would retreat into their homes at the slightest sign of the unique, unmistakeable, and rather strange unsettling “pip-pip” sound it was said to make, perhaps the origin of its relatively non-threatening sounding name. Once inside, the lore suggests that it was necessary to turn off or block all lights or else the phantom plane might choose your house as its next target.

Most of the time the bizarre phantom plane remained unseen and cloaked in darkness, its odd sound and the destruction it delivered the only evidence that it was even there at all. In every case, Pippo would appear from nowhere, go about its dark work, and then simply vanish. In more than a few cases it was said to sometimes vanish into thin air right in the middle of one of its attacks, as if it had never been there at all, with only burning rubble and dead bodies testament to the fact that it had made its presence known. It is unsure just where Pippo came from, what type of plane it was, or who was piloting it. Those loyal to the fascist government regime blamed the plane on the Allies, while those siding with Allied Forces thought it to be a Luftwaffe or Italian Air Force aircraft. Most of the terrified people claimed that there was no pilot at all, and that it was a ghost plane powered by some malevolent force loyal to no one or even the devil himself.

There are scarce records of this phenomenon in the official aviation literature. Accounts of Pippo are known of mostly through oral tradition, letters, diaries, and newspaper reports, but as phenomenal as the idea of a spectral plane flying solo missions over the Italian countryside may seem, it has been mostly agreed upon that the stories have some grain of truth to them and were likely based upon an actual plane. However, it is not clear just what its origins could have been. One possibility was that it was the Italian government orchestrating a propaganda campaign against the Allies or some kind of psychological warfare, by having one of their own planes attack its own civilians and then blame it on the enemy to turn public opinion against them. Others say it was some loose cannon pilot waging a personal vigilante war against his enemy, perhaps on some unknown vendetta. There is also the possibility that the plane could have been one of the many tactical night missions launched by the Allies in the aftermath of gaining the upper hand in Italy.

At this time, there were numerous solitary sorties done in the dark of night which were meant to halt German troop movements and prevent them from reinforcing their ranks. For such perilous missions, the Royal Air Force made much use of a type of aircraft called the de Havilland Mosquito, which was known for its rather unusual and distinctive buzzing drone, a fact that could explain the persistent detail of Pippo’s unusual sound. It has been surmised that the planes on these solo night missions, such as the Bristol Beaufighter, Northrop P-61, or de Havilland Mosquito, may have given rise to the stories of a lone ghostly plane terrorizing the populace. Still others stand by the theory that Pippo was exactly what many of the citizens thought it was a phantom or ghost hellbent on some unknowable purpose.

There are other cases like this as well, and this has only been a section of the many air mysteries of World War II. It seems that even as the sky exploded and warplanes buzzed overhead there was something more to just the blood and the carnage. Beyond the violence and the fog of war were also mysteries that have never really been satisfactorily explained, and which serve to put a new sheen of the weird over one of the most tumultuous and bloodiest times in human history.


Mysterious UFOs Seen by WWII Airmen Called Foo Fighters Remain Still Unexplained Here In 2020

FROM HISTORY: Lt. Fred Ringwald was the first to see it. He was riding as observer in a night fighter piloted by Lt. Ed Schlueter, with Lt. Donald J. Meiers on radar. It was a late November evening in 1944, partly cloudy with a quarter moon. They were roaming the Rhine Valley just north of Strasbourg on the French-German border when Ringwald said, “I wonder what those lights are, over there in the hills,” according to an American Legion Magazine story on the sightings from 1945.

There were eight to 10 of them in a row, glowing fiery orange. Then Schlueter saw them off his right wing. They checked with Allied ground radar, but they registered nothing. Thinking that the lights might be some kind of German air weapon, Schlueter turn the plane to fight…only to have the lights vanish.

At first the men said nothing, fearing they’d be ostracized. But then the sightings spread through the unit. On December 17, 1944, near Breisach, Germany, a pilot was flying at approximately 800 feet when he saw “5 or 6 flashing red and green lights in ’T’ shape.” The lights seemed to follow him, closing in “to about 8 o’clock and 1,000 ft.” before disappearing as inexplicably as they came.

CLICK TO READ ARTICLES AND MEMOS OF FIRST-HAND TESTIMONY OF SEEING THE FOO FIGHTERS BY US PILOTS

Then on December 22nd, two more flight crews sighted lights. One crew, near Hagenau, reported two lights in a large orange glow, seeming to rise from the earth to 10,000 feet, tailing the fighter “for approximately two minutes.” After that, the lights, “peel off and turn away, fly along level for a few minutes and then go out. They appear to be under perfect control at all times,” according to Keith Chester’s Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II.

And then there was Lt. Samuel A. Krasney’s experience: a wingless cigar-shape object, glowing red, just a few yards off the plane’s wingtip. Lt. Krasney, justifiably spooked, instructed the pilot to attempt evasive maneuvers, but the glowing object stayed right next to the jet for several minutes before it “flew off and disappeared.”

ENTER THE WORLD OF VERIFIED AND LEGIT UFOs AND FOO FIGHTERS COMPLETE WITH PHOTO AND VIDEO EVIDENCE

Eventually, the airmen named the lights: foo fighters, inspired by the comic strip “Smokey Stover,” in which Smokey (a firefighter) would often declare, “Where there’s foo, there’s fire.” An Associated Press reporter broke news of the foo-fighter sightings on January 1st, 1945, and theories about their origins quickly abounded: The sightings were flares, or weather balloons or St. Elmo’s Fire—a phenomenon where a light appears on the tips of objects in stormy weather. But the members of the 415th rejected all those theories. Flares and weather balloons can’t track planes like these objects could, and they’d seen St. Elmo’s fire and could distinguish the two.

Then there were those who claimed that the airmen were suffering from “combat fatigue,” a polite way of saying that war stress was driving them insane. But there was scant evidence to suggest collective psychosis: The 415th had an otherwise excellent record, and when a reporter for American Legion Magazine went to report on the squadron he described them as “very normal airmen, whose primary interest was combat, and after that came pin-up girls, poker, doughnuts and the derivatives of the grape.”

Lt. Krasney’s son, Keith Krasney, says his late father didn’t fit the stereotypical profile of a UFO theorizer. In fact, he never even suggested that the glowing wingless cigar-like object that flew next to his plane was extraterrestrial in origin.

“He was very level-headed, very analytical,” says Krasney of his father, adding that he kept a notebook where he wrote about (and drew) his foo-fighter sighting. But although he never seemed prone to conspiracy theories, Krasney says his father was open to one: “He entertained the idea that it could be late-breaking German technology. He did express the view that there were a lot of things during the war that were kept quiet.” LÆS MERE


4 mysterious UFO sightings that are still unexplained

Some UFO sightings can be explained away – but we still don't know the truth behind these ones.

Published: 22nd January, 2021 at 20:11

Many objects have been mistaken for UFOs, from natural phenomena such
as lightning sprites and meteors, to experimental aircraft and weather balloons. The French UFO research group, GEIPAN, found that 3.5 per cent of sightings remained unidentified. Here are a few that, so far, have defied explanation.

Florence, Italy, 1954

In 1954, two local football clubs were playing in Florence, Italy, when the crowd stopped watching the game. Instead, around 10,000 fans were looking upwards at a strange craft.

It was described by witnesses as either cigar-or egg-shaped along with silvery-white threads falling from the sky. Samples mostly disintegrated on contact, but some were examined at the University of Florence and found to contain boron, silicon, calcium and magnesium.

While migrating spiders, which use webs as sails, were suggested as a rational answer to this aspect of the sighting, their silk is an organic compound and does not contain any of those elements.

Melbourne, Australia, 1966

Around 350 children and teachers at Westall High School in Melbourne, Australia, watched five planes surround a silvery flying-saucer-shaped UFO in 1966. The planes attempted to aerially herd the craft for about 20 minutes before it disappeared.

A UFO-themed play park commemorates the event and, to this day, witnesses meet once a year to discuss their experience.

USA and Mexico, 1997

In 1997, thousands of people reported lights across several hundred miles of night sky in Arizona and Nevada in the United States, and Sonora in Mexico. These lights were either stationary, or on a moving V-shaped craft in a triangular formation (artist’s impression above).

The United States Air Force stated that the lights over Phoenix were military flares but the V-shaped UFO remains a mystery.

Rendlesham Forest, UK, 1980

In December 1980, US airmen stationed at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk, England were investigating reports of lights in Rendlesham Forest when they saw red and blue lights and a UFO land. It was described as around three metres high and three metres in diameter and appeared to be standing on fixed legs. The material of the craft was like ‘smooth, opaque black glass.’

The next day, indentations were seen on the ground and radiation levels recorded. On a separate night, another member of the US Air Force set out to disprove his colleagues with a tape recorder. He reported lights in the sky that looked ‘like an eye winking at you’ and observed ‘a beam coming down to the ground’. Three years later, the US government released a report that described the encounter, which has become known as Britain’s Roswell.

While there remain believers, psychologist Prof Chris French – who has also visited the site – is among many of those who are unconvinced. A local forester said the indentations were caused by rabbits, and the levels of radioactivity were not especially high. As for the lights? “I’ve heard the tape,” says French, “and the lights are in complete synchrony with Orfordness Lighthouse nearby.”

Enter the BBC Science Focus draw an alien competition by 5 January 2021 for a chance to win a bundle of Dara Ó Briain’s science books.


Sightings over the US

Pilots offer our best source of anecdotal data when it comes to UFOs. To the common observer, a zeppelin or a weather balloon might look like one, but pilots have unique knowledge of the shape and aerodynamics of airframes and are experts in the maneuvering capabilities of aircraft as allowed by simple physics.

Getty Images

Pilots seeing UFOs is not something localized to WWII either, as in the case in 2004 when an F-18 out of San Diego captured spectacular footage of a &ldquotic-tac&rdquo shaped object flying at speed. &ldquoIt accelerated like nothing I&rsquove ever seen,&rdquo the pilot told The New York Times. &ldquoI have no idea what I saw.&rdquo It seems foolish to think it was an American super weapon, effectively meaning the pilot was tricked by his own government. But they&rsquore out there in many shapes and forms, and since not one pilot has been able to successfully make contact with foo fighters of UFOs (as far as we know), the instances in WWII and since remain a mystery.


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