What is a Foo Fighter?
What is a “Foo Fighter”? If you answered, “A guy in a rock band.”, then you are correct by today’s standards. However, if you asked that same question in the 1940s, you’d get a whole other story. A story of strange phenomenon seen by the pilots of both the Axis and the Allies in World War 2. You see, “Foo Fighter” originated way back around 1944, when radio operator Donald J. Meiers coined the term to describe the glowing red or orange orbs of light and fire that pilots had been describing as “chasing their planes”. The orbs were described as fast moving, were said to dart in and out of pilot’s lines of sight with tremendous precision, and were even said to occasionally fly in formation when presented with groups of planes. Some other descriptions also had them as resembling Christmas or fog lights that toyed with other aircraft. Despite their gnat-like pestering of aircraft, the foo fighters were said to have never been violent or aggressive towards planes on either side of the conflict. Even when one was reportedly shot down by allied forces (it’s said to have broken into smaller fire balls which crashed into the ground), no retaliation took place. Most encounters took place between 1941 and 1945, with one being reported by a pilot in the 1960s (this was actually his second sighting, with his first being reported during the war). To this day, information on exactly what these strange balls of fire and light really were is lacking, but theories range from the scientific, to the fantastic.
The most popular theory as to the origin of the foo fighters is that they were actually a German weapon. Known as a feuerball (fireball), the Nazi weapon reportedly resembled a turtle shell and flew via gas propulsion (the gas discharge reportedly created the “glowing” effect). It was meant to be a ground launched air-mine, and was only in it’s testing phase during the war. With the Nazis losing of the conflict, it’s believed the research and development behind the project was lost. Other scientific theories include foo fighters being ball lightening, a side effect of aviator’s vertigo, and “St. Elmo’s Fire” (a type of glowing plasma discharge created by the intersecting of coronal discharges and electromagnetic fields). Of course, with any unexplained phenomenon, there will always be those who point to otherworldly origins, and this case is no different. Many people believe that foo fighters were an effort by extra terrestrials to observe the war and our military patterns. These same theorists don’t believe that these extra terrestrials had any sort of sinister motives, and therefore didn’t attack, even when fired upon.
Almost seventy years later, we still have very little information on what exactly foo fighters were, or why they appeared. Many believe that any information we do have will remain classified for years to come. So until then, speculation is all we have, and foo fighters will remain an Other World Mystery.