Foo Fighters: World War II UFO Sightings and the Nazi UFO Program

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While most know of the Foo Fighters as a popular rock band, the term was actually used for a very different reason during World War II. The term was coined by Allied pilots to describe UFOs while working in both Europe and the Pacific theater. The best guess as to what these “foo fighters” were? Secret enemy technology, particularly developed by the Nazis.

The Start of Something Odd

The first recorded instances of the foo fighters began in November 1944, when Allied pilots began flying over Germany, saying that they were seeing weird, fast and round glowing objects following their planes. They were described as almost looking as if they were on fire, with a red, white or orange glow, while some pilots said they looked like flying Christmas trees. The weird unidentified flying objects were additionally said to be a little mischievous, undergoing crazy maneuvers and acting very much like they were under conscious control. While the objects were never harmful, nothing happened if a pilot attempted to shoot one (except for one single instance, where the pilot said the fiery ball broke into pieces and caused the landscape below to catch flame), and they could never be outran.

foo fighters and Nazi UFOs

Later accounts described foo fighters and Nazi UFOs as looking similar to the Catherine Wheel firework.

Around the same time, the press got ahold of the story, and reported that whatever pilots were seeing was a new kind of German weaponry. However, after the fact, further research showed that the Germans and Japanese had also reported similar sightings.

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Cause and Effect

Scientists from the day claimed that these foo fighters were possible optical allusions, or caused by electrostatic phenomena. However, one writer published a book on the matter, causing a quite different opinion to grow in popularity.

Renato Vesco published “Man-Made UFOs: 50 Years of Suppression,” in which he claimed that the objects were automatic jet packs, operated from the ground by Nazi soldiers. The advanced technology, he said, allowed the jet packs to track any other flying objects, and also to avoid any weapon fire. The purpose, Vesco claimed, was to interfere with Allied plane engines, causing crashes, and also to distract pilots from other things that would be happening in the vicinity.

Nazi UFOs

Much more complex conspiracies, however, surround the idea of Nazi UFOs, which some suspect the foo fighters to be grouped under. Conspiracists suspect that the Germans were attempting to create an advanced aircraft or even a spacecraft, and that even after World War II was over, the Nazis were still working on similar projects in Antarctica and South America.

Accounts of Nazi UFOs did not occur during the actual war (then, all sightings were attributed to the mysterious foo fighters), but rather afterwards, in the 1950s. It’s suspected that the theory began partially in thanks to historical accounts of German specialized engines that were being developed in World War II. These accounts, mixed in with fiction, media and conspiracies, led to the idea that the Nazis were, in fact, building UFOs. While the facts surrounding the theory are vague, it does rely heavily on a few true key points — first, that the Third Reich had claimed and sent expeditions to Antarctica; second, that the Third Reich had conducted extensive advanced propulsion technology; and third, that pilots had spotted the so-called foo fighters in World War II.

a model of UFO incident

A model of the Bell UFO.

After the war, in 1947, when flying saucer reports began surfacing, the U.S. Air Force’s UFO investigation team noted that the Germans had some projects underway during World War II that could be connected. Additionally, press around the world began to continuously feature interviews with and articles on scientists who claimed they knew the Germans were working on “flying disk” and “saucer”-type weaponry.

One case in which a UFO was connected to the Germans was during the incident of the Bell UFO. The object is reported to have crashed in the Pennsylvania woods in the 1960s, and was a large bell-shaped flying object, about the size of a small car, covered in hieroglyphics and pagan symbols. While citizens living near where the crash occurred can very succinctly describe the fallen object, the U.S. Army claims they searched the area and found nothing. The object was then supposed to be the work of a German engineer, who developed it along with a team in Prague, before fleeing, supposing his work would be used for unlawful actions. Today, the town where the UFO was said to land has a model of it located near the local fire station.

Later Claims and Sightings

Ernst Zunder, Holocaust denier and believer in Nazi UFOs.

Ernst Zunder, Holocaust denier and believer in Nazi UFOs.

As time wore on and the UFO craze died down over the decades, occasionally someone would come forward with some sort of information on a Nazi-UFO link. In 1970s, Ernst Zundel, Holocaust denier, published numerous books claiming that all flying saucers originated from a Nazi underground base in Antarctica, where the Nazis were also planning to take over the Earth and then other planets. He planned an exploration team to visit Antarctica and find the entrance to the base, selling tickets at $9,999 each.

Later, in 1978, Miguel Serrano, a diplomat from Chile, published his own book, in which he claimed that Hitler was communicating with Greek gods in the underground Antarctic base. He said Hitler would establish a Fourth Reich and lead his own fleet of UFOs.

Miguel Serrano (left) published a book detailing Hitler's life in Antarctica, where he was supposedly preparing to lead an army of UFOs into the Fourth Reich.

Miguel Serrano (left) published a book detailing Hitler’s life in Antarctica, where he was supposedly preparing to lead an army of UFOs into the Fourth Reich.

The next year, Richard Chase, a serial killer convicted of killing seven and eating their remains after drinking their blood, claimed he was forced to commit his murders by Nazi UFOs. He also said that the prison officials were working alongside the Nazis, to poison him.

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About Author

Holly Riddle is a freelance writer and editor focusing on a myriad of topics, but one of her many passions has always been history, both war-related and otherwise. You'll always find her with a biography of some royal figure or significant historic female in hand. She's currently based out of Philadelphia, a city with its own intriguing past, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

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