On June 24, 1947, Kenneth Arnold became one of the first highly credible UFO witnesses. As a pilot, he observed 9 unusual objects flying near Mount Rainer, Washington and was possibly the man who coined the term flying saucer. He would later describe the erratically flying objects as crescents or flying wings. As a pilot, Arnold’s credibility and his knowledge of things in the sky made him highly credible. Arnold, however was far from the only pilot to see such phenomena. The fighter pilots of World War II regularly observed mysterious lights flying past or alongside them. They called them Foo Fighters.
UFOs Initially Mistaken as Nazi Weapons
Many World War II pilots reported strange flying orbs in the skies, but there was a war going on. Pilots assumed they were being targeted by Nazi anti-aircraft fire or some unknown weapon. Sightings were common. Usually the sightings included a round orb moving at great speed. Sightings were actually so common that they frequently appeared in mission reports:
Saw a brilliant red light at 2000 feet going E at 200 MPH in the vicinity of Erstein. Due to AI failure could not pick up contact but followed it by sight until it went out. Could not get close enough to identify object before it went out.
The Nazis: “It Wasn’t Us”
Spy games were a critical part of WWII and the intelligence agencies of the time were able to intercept communications from Germany and Japan. As it turns out, German and Japanese pilots were seeing these Foo Fighters as well.
US allies also reported sightings of Foo Fighters. In December of 1942 a Royal Air Force pilot flying in a Hurricane Interceptor over France saw two lights shooting from near the ground up towards him. He was flying at 7000 feet. The pilot assumed the lights were tracer fire until they began following him and mimicking his evasive maneuvers. The objects followed him for a few minutes before zooming off out of sight.
What Were the Foo Fighters Really?
If it wasn’t then Nazi’s then who or what was it? Regardless of the truth, newspapers often claimed the Foo Fighters were some type of new Nazi weapon. They claimed the objects were either transparent or silver which was different than the fiery red or mixed colors that pilots normally reported.
According to author Renato Vesco, the Foo Fighters were indeed some type of Nazi secret weapon. He wrote about them in his book, Intercept UFO. The book claims that UFOs are from Earth, created by a technology race driven in World War II. Many people believe the Nazis actually obtained and reverse-engineered alien technology during the war.
Skeptics have suggested the Foo Fighters were the result of electrical discharges. Although electrical discharges are common, they normally occur at the wingtips of aircraft. While this might account for some sightings, there are many pictures of Foo Fighters far off the wings of the planes.
It’s important to note that the quality of photography during World War II wasn’t great. Poor photo quality can easily explain away many of the available images. Images that are more clear remain a mystery.
But how is it that fighter pilots, who were very familiar with aerial objects, continuously reported things which they couldn’t identify? The Foo Fighters are a classic example of how photographic evidence doesn’t always match up with eyewitness reports. While grainy photos and conspiracy theories run amuck, the perfect eyes of trained pilots must be taken seriously. These men saw things they couldn’t explain.