In World War II, strange objects--sometime appearing as solid spheres in the day or glowing balls of light at night--were seen by airmen on both sides of the conflict. The allies believed them to be some new weapon created by the Nazis (or the Japanese when in South East Asia). The axis powers thought them to be from the allies. It has long been theorized that they were some sort of ball lightening or related phenomena, and that seems to be the recent consensus of a group of scientists: "We know what ‘foo fighters’ that buzzed Second World War pilots really were, say scientists," reports the Telegraph.
In the 1940s, Allied pilots during the Second World War reported being hounded by fast-moving blobs, which they dubbed “foo fighters”.
Shaped like clouds, donuts, balls and spheres, and often glowing or translucent, the strange entities have fuelled conspiracy theories that Earth was being visited by advanced civilisations.
Now a paper suggests the phenomena are in fact plasmas, or ionised gases, which are drawn to the electrical charge of aircraft, spacecraft and satellites.
Plasmas behave like living organisms
Experts from the universities of California, Arizona and the Harvard-Smithsonian argue that the strange properties of plasmas make them appear to behave like living organisms, even though they are not alive.
Plasmas can grow in size and replicate, make contact with each other and may “feed” off the electromagnetic radiation of satellites and spacecraft, they argue.
Huge glowing masses of up to a mile wide, which behave similarly to swarms of living organisms, have been filmed by 10 Nasa space shuttle missions, while astronauts have reported strange phenomena since the 1960s.
Astronauts Ed White and James McDivitt spotted a huge “metallic object” approaching the Gemini 4 orbiter, in June 1965, while James Lovell reported a “Bogey at 10 o’clock high” on a mission six months later.
Strange ‘L-shaped’ object
Buzz Aldrin also said he and his crewmates had seen a strange, L-shaped object which was “very big and coming closer” during the Apollo 11 Moon landing, although later said it was a booster panel.
The team believe that plasmas in the thermosphere – 66 to 372 miles high – may descend into the lower atmosphere, and account for reports by pilots.
Co-author Dr Rudolph Schild, of the Centre for Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian: “These plasmas are electromagnetic entities that have a variety of shapes and sizes. They have repeatedly approached spacecraft and the space shuttles and are attracted to electromagnetic activity including thunderstorms.
“They have been filmed from space, descending into the lower atmosphere and appear to be attracted to airplanes, fighter jets, nuclear power plants, and “hot spots” of radiation, such as Hiroshima, which was destroyed by an atomic bomb.
“Based on video, photographic and computerised analysis, including reports by military officers and astronauts, we believe these plasmas account for at least some of the numerous reports of UFOs and Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon over the last several thousand years including the ‘foo fighters’ observed by German, Japanese and Allied pilots during WWII.”