Thursday, 5 May 2016

Possible "Foo Fighter" Documents Found For Australia?

Part 1


“Foo-Fighters” – the strange, unidentified aerial phenomena witnessed by flight crews and ground forces during the latter half of WW2, still have yet to be fully understood. Witnessed over both the European and the Far East theatres, Foo-Fighters caused fits within military intelligence. Classified messages were exchanged between intelligence officers trying to fathom what kind of secret weapons were seemingly evidence in the skies over war zones. The most complete appraisal of this peculiar situation is author Keith Chester’s excellent book “Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II”, published by Anomalist Books in May, 2007. Chester visited the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington DC over a hundred times to locate a staggering eight thousand pages of records related to the Foo-Fighter phenomenon. Those records include mission reports, flak reports, intelligence summaries and messages, and general correspondence.  Prior to this, a relatively threadbare amount existed in the form of an assortment of articles, retrospective reports and recollections of former pilots and ground personnel.    

Chester, having moved on to other projects, donated his collection of assembled files to Barry Greenwood, who oversees a large archive of papers on unusual aerial events. This month, Barry commenced the gigantic task of creating and inventory of the entire eight thousand pages. On top of that, added to this will be records already compiled by sources like Project 1947, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) and a host of work by researchers in the form of articles, letters, veterans newsletters and other ephemera.

While painstakingly going through these documents, Barry discovered two pages that contain information relating to Australia, which he immediately scanned and sent to me. Both contain short intelligence messages, originally carrying the security classification SECRET. And both have list “Brisbane” as a location for message routing or transmittal.

The first message has, “Brisbane 4845” on the left-hand side, with “1949Z  9/10/43” next to it. This equates to 7:49pm, ZULU time, on the 10th of September, 1943. The main part of the message states:

“No. 7846, September 10, 1943. To Kenney signed Arnold. Cylindrical yellow objects 3 by 6 feet have been reported in various locations in areas south of GASMATA. Also SOPAC area recently reported that similarly described objects exploded upon approach of aircraft. This reported by Com 7th Flt. Request all available information these objects and possible means of actuation.”

The right-hand column states:

“AIR ORD. OFFICER  Info copies to: Mat. Maint. & Dist. Chief of Supply & Serv. Air Ord. Officer.”

Being cautious not to assume “Brisbane”, and indeed the whole message, related to Australia, I did some background checks. There are very few locations on Earth called “Brisbane”, and those that are have no military history, let alone anything that could relate to the American war effort. Also, note that the message mentions the “Com 7th Flt”. This refers to the Commander of the United States Navy’s (USN) 7th Fleet. This is important because the 7th Fleet has always been based in Asia, and was a component of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT). The most important piece of information is the reference “…south of GASMATA”. Gasmata is a village in Papua New Guinea which was briefly occupied by Japanese forces during World War II. In fact, a number of Australian soldiers were executed there in 1942 in what amounted to a war crime. So, there is no doubt that this information relates to activity in the Asia-Pacific Region, and one has to assume that “Brisbane” refers to a message relay station or intelligence support unit in the Queensland city of Brisbane in the 1940’s. Whether this was a US or Australian effort, I don’t know. The objects themselves, and the way they are cited in the message, may refer to nothing more than wartime ordinance, but judging by the fact that so many wartime oddities were diligently reported by servicemen – many of whom were skilled pilots and specialised intelligence gatherers – one can’t immediately brush aside the possibility that we could be looking at an early kind of UFO report here. If the objects reported were wartime hardware, another mystery begins: Japanese forces were not using rockets or missiles during WWII. No one was. So the description of “Cylindrical yellow objects 3 by 6 feet…” begs to be matched with something else. We’ll probably now never know. The page in question is imaged below.  

The next page of interest is, exactly like the first, a short intelligence message with “Brisbane” as on the far left-hand side, and “1618Z  9/29/43” listed for time and date. This equates 4:18 Zulu time, on the 29th of September, 1943. The information delivered in the message states:

“No. C-6161, Sept. 29, 1943. To AGWAR from CINC SWPA Signed MacArthur. Complete report on suspected attempts at radar countermeasures made reference your 8398 25th is being prepared and will be forwarded by air mail. Phenomenon possibly related to that observed in NEW GEORGIA has been recorded and will be described in detail. NOTE: WD Msg. 8398 was logged on page 115 of the current Out Log.”

On the right-hand side it is stated:

“OPN. COMMIT. & REQ. (AIR COMMUNICATION DIV.)  (Lt. Casey - 74170) Info. Copies to: Air Defense Branch”

This is interesting not so much for the “phenomenon” mentioned, as it is, other than being a radar issue, too vague. What stands out is the reference to “CINC SWPA” which in WWII stood for “Commander-in-Chief South West Pacific Area”. The SWPA was the name given to the supreme-echelon Allied military command, which included Australia and Australian territory. “Signed MacArthur” certainly refers to General Douglas MacArthur, who was the Supreme Commander of the SWPA in 1943.  “New Georgia” is one of the largest islands of the Solomon’s, and featured heavily in American battle efforts against the occupying Japanese. All these clues leave no doubt that this message was created due to wartime activity on Australia’s doorstep. Also, there are two lines of text which imply more records existed regarding this event: “WD Msg. 8398 was logged on page 115 of the current Out Log” and “Complete report on suspected…”. While we have no idea if this intelligence material relates to unusual aerial activity or something duller, it was obviously ongoing. What is meant by “Phenomenon possibly related to that observed in New Georgia”?  The image of this document is presented below.

It is only my speculation that the above messages relate to something highly unusual. More likely they are just part of wartime nerves, radar malfunction or enemy ordinance. What these records do show us is that WW2 records exist, that relate to Australia, at least in American archives, which may contain more detailed oddies. In fact, hundreds of boxes of unopened World War Two records remain to be seen, and are stored at least two facilities in Washington D.C. They are still unavailable for study by the outside world. For Australia, the National Archives of Australia (NAA), plus the Australian War Memorial, hold hundreds of thousands of pages of Australian WW2 files. I have started looking at the many commands and divisions of the Australian Armed Forces, plus other areas, like the old Department of External Affairs, to identify which bodies were responsible for air defence, coastal surveillance, mission assessment, bombing raid activity, etc in the hope of finding where UFO events were reported, studied and filed. It is not enough to simply say “Well, that would be the Royal Australian Air Force, or the Navy!...”. Any fool can do that. Moreover, the other real key is to determine what type of records were kept after the war. There is no point, for example, feverishly trying to locate Royal Australian Navy (RAN) flight crew debriefing records if they were all shredded two generations ago. This will be a huge task, and certainly too cumbersome, initially, for one person (me). What I need is a military historian on side. 

          And now we come full circle. Back in Boston, there sits Barry Greenwood, stuck in his house doing all this sort of work, plus helping everyone else. To be sure, there are very few researchers on Earth who are committed to collecting, indexing, scanning and preserving information on this scale. “Strange Company” author Keith Chester recently wrote on his Facebook timeline:

“Barry is one of only a few in the United States –  if not the only – who has amassed a huge collection of newspaper and magazine articles, private researcher’s files, and official government and military documentation. It is a tremendous collection that rivals any university library or national archives. Barry is considered one of the foremost authorities on the subject of aerial phenomena and works primarily behind the scenes. It was my intention to publish Strange Company as a primer for others to build upon. I could not think of any other individual who could handle and utilize my files like Barry, giving serious future researchers access to the best material available, and to expand upon my own research. Thank you, Barry!”

If anyone is interested in Foo Fighters and UAP/UFO during WW2, the blurb on the back of “Strange Company” reads:

“Mankind had reached a threshold in the forth decade of the twentieth century. There were unprecedented scientific and technological achievements, but despite such progress, humanity was entering one of its darkest chapters. World War II would grip the world with terror for six years. During that time military personnel reported seeing numerous highly unconventional aircraft in all theaters of operation. These objects had extraordinary flight performance capabilities, came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and were able to travel at extraordinary speeds and avoid radar detection. "Strange Company" is the first in-depth account of unconventional aircraft observed and reported by the military during World War II. It includes the reactions by military commands, their viewpoints, and theories as they struggled to make sense of the observations. Strange Company presents one of the greatest wartime mysteries, one that has been shrouded in ignorance for more than sixty years. And it suggests that while an immense twentieth century war was raging on Earth, there appeared to be someone, or something, from somewhere else, watching us.”

I have imaged a copy of the book opened below.


  1. Coast Watchers? Weren't they station on remote islands and behind enemy lines? US did the same with Hawaiian volunteers. In the US, we had the Aircraft Warning Service (AWS) a network of ground observers who reported any aircraft to filter centers for clearance aircraft observed. Have seen about a half dozen UFO-like reports for this source which has not been thoroughly checked at all. In the US most non-military aircraft could not fly near the coast during WWII without special clearance.

    1. Not sure.. I have to look into Australia's WW2 history to get an organisational structure for all our security and surveillance operations. There will be UFO or like activity for sure if I can ever get to the National Archives here for a real look. Could take years. As you can imagine from your own experience.