The Rise of
UFO Reports

Foo Fighter from World War II

During World War II the first war time UFO reports came from sightings of “Foo Fighters.” The Term “Foo Fighter” is said to have taken its roots from the comic strip “Smokey Stover.” Smokey, a firefighter was fond of saying "Where there's foo there's fire." A book titled “Smokey Stover the Foo Fighter” was published in 1938.

In 1941, the first UFO reports of Foo Fighters were made by two Polish seamen while on duty aboard a merchant ship transporting British troops in the Indian Ocean. The two crew members reported "strange globe glowing with greenish light, about half the size of the full moon as it appears to us." The object followed the vessel for more than an hour.

In February 1942 the USS Houston reportedly saw a large number of strange, unexplained yellow flares and lights that illuminated the sea for miles around. Later in 1942 members of the United States Marine Corp, while on duty in the Solomon Islands, spotted about 150 objects grouped in lines. One of the men Stephen J. Brickner described the objects as seeming to "wobble" as they moved, Brickner reported that the objects resembled polished silver and seemed to move a little faster than common Japanese aircraft. He described the sighting, saying "All in all, it was the most awe-inspiring and yet frightening spectacle I have seen in my life."

Throughout World War II UFO reports of “glowing spheres” or “orbs” following, or flying very close to aircraft were common place. Many pilots reported seeing the Foo Fighters during the war. Maybe because of the number of pilots in the air during that period contributed to the extra ordinary number of “Foo Fighter” or UFO reports, that being the case, the reduction in sightings following the close of World War II is understandable.

In 1945 a story in Time Magazine about Foo Fighters stated "If it was not a hoax or an optical illusion, it was certainly the most puzzling secret weapon that Allied fighters have yet encountered. Last week U.S. night fighter pilots based in France told a strange story of balls of fire which for more than a month have been following their planes at night over Germany. No one seemed to know what, if anything, the fireballs were supposed to accomplish. Pilots, guessing it was a new psychological weapon, named it the 'foo-fighter' ... Their descriptions of the apparition varied, but they agree that the mysterious flares stuck close to their planes and appeared to follow them at high speed for miles. One pilot said that a foo-fighter, appearing as red balls off his wing tips, stuck with him until he dove at 360 miles an hour; then the balls zoomed up into the sky."

The Robertson Panel cited foo fighter reports, noting that “their behavior did not appear to be threatening.” Interestingly, the Robertson Panel's report noted that many Foo Fighters were described as metallic and disc shaped, and suggested that "If the term "flying saucers" had been popular in 1943-1945, these objects would have been so labeled”

The next series of UFO reports coined the phrase “flying saucers”, first reported by pilot Kenneth Arnold on the 24th June 1947.

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