- The Germans have thrown something new
into the night skies over Germany -- the weird, mysterious "foo-fighter,"
balls of fire that race alongside the wings of American Beaufighters flying
intruder missions over the Reich.
- American pilots have been encountering
the eerie "foo-fighter" for more than a month in their night
flights. No one apparently knows exactly what this sky weapon is.
- The balls of fire appear suddenly and
accompany the planes for miles. They appear to be radio-controlled from
the ground and keep up with planes flying 300 miles an hour, official intelligence
reports reveal. "There are three kinds of these lights we call 'foo-fighters,'"
Lieut. Donald Meiers of Chicago said. "One is red balls of fire which
appear off our wing tips and fly along with us; the second is a vertical
row of three balls of fire which fly in front of us, and the third is a
group of about fifteen lights which appear off in the distance--like a
Christmas tree up in the air--and flicker on and off."
- The pilots of this night-fighter squadron--in
operation since September, 1943--find these fiery balls the weirdest thing
that they have yet encountered. They are convinced that the "foo-fighter"
is designed to be a psychological as well as a military weapon, although
it is not the nature of the fire-balls to attack planes.
- "A 'foo-fighter' picked me up recently
at 700 feet and chased me twenty miles down the Rhine Valley," Lt.
Meiers said. "I turned to starboard and two balls of fire turned with
me. I turned to the port side and they turned with me. We were going 260
miles an hour and the balls were keeping right up with us."
- "On another occasion when a 'foo-fighter'
picked us up, I dove at 360 miles per hour. It kept right off our wing
tips for awhile and then zoomed up into the sky.
- "When I first saw the things off
my wing tips, I had the horrible thought that a German on the ground was
ready to press a button and explode them. But they don't explode or attack
us. They just seem to follow us like will-o'-the-wisps."
- [An Associated Press report from Paris
on Dec. 13 said that the Germans had thrown silvery balls into the air
against day raiders. Pilots then reported that they had seen these objects,
both individually and in clusters, during forays over Germany.]
- Lt. Wallace Gould of Silver Creek, NY
said that the lights had followed his wing tips for a while and then, in
a few seconds, zoomed 20,000 feet into the air out of sight. Lt. Edward
Schlater of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, said that he had seen the "foo-fighter"
on two occasions and it "looked like shooting stars." In his
first experience with them, Lt. Gould said, "I thought it was some
new form of jet-propulsion plane after us. But we were very close to them
and none of us saw any structure on the fire balls."