Foo Fighters

A

Anonymous

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#1
Okay, this is my first time posting here, and I'm doing it a bit hurriedly in my lunch hour, so bear with me...

Apart from Forteana, two of my main interests are aircraft and WW2, so something combining all three is obviously of great interest to me. I'd like to ask:
1) I've read a lot about the so-called "foo fighters" in general "unexplained" and UFO books, but are there any specialist books/websites on the subject? (i.e. _not_ cock & bull yarns about Nazi UFOs, all of which are ridiculous, to my mind)
2) Does anyone have any parents, grandparents etc. who served in the various air forces during the war and who ever told them any "foo fighter"-esque stories?
3) Does anybody have any theories on foo fighters, what they were, etc? I get the impression that the smart money these days is on it being some sort of weather/electrical phenomenon, but I'm more interested in the effect the rumours and legends had on the aircrews involved.
4) What's your take on the pre-war "phantom planes" and post-war "ghost rockets" in Scandinavia?
5) What about the Los Angeles Air Raid? Isn't that a great story? More so because it's pretty clear that it was largely (entirely?) the result of wartime nerves and hysteria and they were all probably shooting at civilian aircraft/clouds/nothing at all.

Anyway, that's all and I'd like to hear from you.
 

_schnor

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#2
Top, c'mon - help this man out people!

Sorry I can't help out myself, but I'm very interested in this too :eek:
 
A

Anonymous

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#3
I've got one miniscule bit of information - if it helps:

During WWII (towards the end, 1944 maybe), my grandfather was in the German Luftwaffe, not as a pilot but as some sort of navigator, I think. He did a trip to somewhere in the former Yugoslavia. While there on an airfield, they were all of a sudden all ordered to lie face down on the ground and not to look up under any circumstance. This was followed by a tremendous roar like he had never heard before. This lasted for a couple of minutes, then they were ordered to stand up and warned not to talk to anyone about what they had seen (which in his case was nothing) or heard. Now, he told me this was NOT one of the then new jet engined ME262s (I think that's what they were called, sorry if I'm wrong), as he had encountered them before. The V1 and V2 rockets were not in use in the Balkans, to the best of his knowledge, so what the heck it was is anyone's guess.

Make of it what you will.
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
That's a pretty good story - it'd make a good opening for a Jack Higggins-type book, I reckon. As to what your grandad experienced, I think it's clear that there were a whole range of "secret weapons" under development in Germany in the last part of the war, in the form of advanced aircraft, missiles, etc, as is well-known to modern historians, aviation writers, etc. However, I don't believe that any of those weapons were advanced enough to account for the "foo fighters" or post-war UFOs.
On a related note, a fellow who used to work with my dad back in the 70s once told us how _his_ dad (starts to sound like a FOAF story, I know) was involved in capturing an airfield in western Germany in 1945. Seems that the soldiers found an underground bunker filled with big silver-coloured egg-shaped things. They didn't have a clue what they were, and the objects got taken away to headquarters and were never seen again. In the end the general consensus was that they were bombs filled with deadly bacteria, poison gas, etc. But actually, it would seem that they found a fuel cache for the Me163 rocket-propelled fighters developed by the Luftwaffe. The rocket fuel used was fairly nasty stuff, incredibly corrosive and spontaneously combustive in contact with organic material, and had to be stored in these special silvered containers.
I don't know what your grandad heard/felt, but I'd love to know.
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
Just thought of something else - re the notion of foo fighters being some sort of secret weapon (which was, I think one of the theories put about actually at the time, as well as later). I was reading recently about how RAF bomber crews over Germany quickly realised that the Germans were employing some sort of anti-aircratf projectile that, when it exploded, simulated an exploding bomber. The aircrews called this weapon "Scarecrow" and believed that it was intended to scare and demoralise them. The RAF brass also came to believe in "Scarecrow", memos, reports etc. were written and circulated.
Except, of course, when the war ended and they had a chance to question the Germans themselves, the RAF realised that there was no such thing as "Scarecrow" - what the aircrews were seeing were _real_ exploding bombers, but they preferred to believe in a legend of their own making rather than recognise the full dangers of what theywere doing.
Maybe a similar thing was going on when people tried to "rationalise" foo fighters as being a German weapon, and maybe post-war "Nazi UFO" authors were just regurgitating wartime mythology, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
 

The late Pete Younger

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#6
Some years ago when I was working in the city, the city of london that is, I was having lunch in a pub near Gracechurch street and got talking to an elderly gent, he told me of a time when he was in the navy in 1942 or there abouts, he said he was on a ship sailing to Alexandria, it was around 11pm when the lookout reported seeing a ball of golden light that seemed to be sitting just above the surface of the water, he said that he and several other sailors came to have a look, he said it remained stationary for about five minutes and then shot straight up and vanished from view.
This was all apparently entered in the ships log.:confused:
 
A

Anonymous

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#7
Sure sounds like a Foo Fighter to me...
You wouldn't happen to remember the name of the ship, or what type of ship it was, would you? Because if it was a British warship, surely the possibility exists that the logbook is preserved somewhere, providing confirmation for the story?
Somebody really should collect some of these "wartime paranormal" stories, while the sources are still alive, and do a book or something. I don't know how useful they would be from a research standpoint, but they're great stories.
It occurs to me that if these sort of phenomena are objectively "real", and presumably go on all the time, then during WW2, with vastly increased numbers of people in the air or at sea at any given time, they were more likely to be witnessed. Of course, that would imply that "air-to-air" sightings ought to be vastly up in our current age of regular air travel, whereas in fact they seemed to enjoy their heyday in the 1940s-1970s.
This tale actually reminds me of some of the yarns in those daft old Charles Berlitz "Bermuda Triangle" books. Did anybody ever read any of those? I got a big box of mangled secondhand copies from my uncle when I was about twelve, and didn't read anything else for abour three years. Does anybody still believe in the Bermuda Triangle?
 

The late Pete Younger

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#8
Sorry PDM, but I never thought to ask the name of the ship at the time, but if I remember correctly it was a supply ship, I'd like to see that log book too.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#9
"The UFO Phenomenon", a Time-Life publication of 1987, has
a photograph of two Foo Fighters taken as they buzzed a
formation of aircraft. It is credited to the Fortean Picture Library,
Wales?? Alas no details as to its provenance.

The name is said to have derived from a US cartoon of the time called
Smokey Stover. The line "Where there's foo there's fire" was a comic
attempt at the French word "feu".

The Foo Fighters are usually passed over quickly in the early chapters
of UFO books and perhaps there is not a lot of detail that can be
added? This particular book says they emerged late in the war, in the
autumn of 1944, when American Air Force pilots reported them over the
Rhine.

If they appeared so late in the conflict, the rumours that they were a new
German techology can be understood. The catch-all explanation that
they were a kind of St Elmo's Fire makes me wonder why they were not
noticed earlier. Pilots said they exhibited intelligent manoeuvres or seemed
to be playing with them.

German pilots who also experienced them thought they were an Allied
technology.

Along with others, I would be interested to know of any fuller treatment
of the subject. :)
 

rynner2

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#10
PiltdownMan said:
It occurs to me that if these sort of phenomena are objectively "real", and presumably go on all the time, then during WW2, with vastly increased numbers of people in the air or at sea at any given time, they were more likely to be witnessed. Of course, that would imply that "air-to-air" sightings ought to be vastly up in our current age of regular air travel, whereas in fact they seemed to enjoy their heyday in the 1940s-1970s.
I think you're probably right about wartime being more favourable for sighting such things. In those days radar was in its primitive infancy, and even so many ships and aircraft would not have carried it, so keeping a sharp look-out relied on the good ol' Mk I eyeball. This would have been a vital duty, because if the enemy saw you before you saw him you were likely to be on the wrong end of a HE shell.

Nowadys, sadly, the standards of visual watch-keeping are much lower. Radar and other electronic aids are relied on for collision avoidance and navigation, and nobody's likely to be shooting at you.

A few years ago I witnessed a ship sailing the wrong way in the Traffic Separation scheme off Dover, and he wasn't replying to radio calls. At the time a big cable laying barge was laying electric cables between England and France, so there were several Guardships on duty, painted red. The ship still did not respond when these practically crossed her bows, and eventually they resorted to firing maroons over her bridge!! Clearly, this ship had been keeping NO kind of a look-out!
 
A

Anonymous

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#11
A websearch on the subject "Foo Fighters" produced some interesting results. By the time I filtered out all of the sites on that band made up of those ex-Nirvana people, I was left with a range of sites that all displayed certain features:
1) They all seemed to quote extensively from one particular article in some general UFO book from the 1970s (possibly the one you've mentioned)
2) They all featured the same (handful) of cases, which makes you wonder how many Foo Fighter sightings there actually were, or whether (more likely) the people who keep these sites are just lazy researchers/have all read the same book.
3) They all seemed to be more interested in daft tales about Nazi UFOs etc, which is disappointing.
A couple of interesting factoids I picked up in the course of all this:
a) Apparently the RAF are supposed to have run some secret investigation under the shadowy Group Captain Massey (a sort of proto-MIB), which, according to legend, remains under wraps to this day (sounds like typical UFO folklore, to me).
b) The Luftwaffe allegedly had an office called Sonderburo 13 (the Nazi version of Blue Book, apparently) who kept collating Foo Fighter stories right up to the end of the war, as the bombs rained down around them.(this actually sounds likely - those Nazis had no sense of priorities)
c) Apparently, the USAAF were interested in the Foo Fighters, and acoording to legend Luis Alvarez (of "a meteorite killed the dinosaurs" fame) and Lloyd V Berkner (of MJ-12 fake fame) were regarded as the "leading US experts" on Foo Fighters during and immediately after the war.
Now, probably none of this is true, it's just what I unearthed after a brief trawl of the web, but as Leonard Nimoy said in that Simpsons episode "it's _interesting_ lies, and isn't that what really matters?" (or words to that effect).
Still haven't found a fuller treatment of the Foo Fighter story, online or in print, but I'm sure there's lots of material out there, probably mostly in the form of oral accounts, if anybody could be bothered tracking them down. This subject cries out for more attention, I reckon.
 

naitaka

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#12
A

Anonymous

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#13
"Christmas trees up in the sky"?!??!!

Thanks for the links, which I read with interest. The second one was particularly interesting, as I've seen the article partially quoted in various UFO books and magazines, but I've never read it in full. As for exactly what the Foo Fighters were, I don't subscribe to the ET hypothesis as far as Ufos are concerned, but I remain thoroughly mystified. Certainly, if the wartime acounts are taken at face value, a natural phenomenon would seem very unlikely indeed.
Yours, baffled,
PiltdownMan
 
A

Anonymous

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#14
Something I have to ask about Foo Fighters is related to the context:

I'm assuming that they were only ever seen by Allied aircraft on raids over Germany (were any ever seen by German aircraft?)?
Has anything similar been seen by commercial pilots?
If the answer is no, this seems to preclude some kind of natural phenomenon.
A secret weapon seems to be precluded by both sides thinking it was a weapon of the other side.
So that leads me to wonder whether we're seeing a combination of factors - a group of airmen in a high state of alert and agitation, an incoming barrage of triple A, possibly some atmospheric conditions (refraction, reflection effects perhaps), something generated by the aeroplanes themselves maybe.

Were Foo Fighters only ever seen at night at high altitude?

Then of course there's the source material - as pointed out above was this limited to a single book in the 70s, similar to how the Roswell and JFK conspiracy industries were started?
 
A

Anonymous

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#15
PiltdownMan said:
What about the Los Angeles Air Raid? Isn't that a great story? More so because it's pretty clear that it was largely (entirely?) the result of wartime nerves and hysteria and they were all probably shooting at civilian aircraft/clouds/nothing at all.
Am i completely cock-eyed in thinking this was the Japanese discovering the "Jet Stream" when they launched a load of meterological balloons? As soon as they saw the distance those puppies were travelling they swapped out the science stuff for good old gelignite(sp?), in the hope that enough of them would get to the continental US.

If not, my coat is getting cleaned at Johnson's, but will be available later today :D
 

_schnor

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#16
Yes, they did think about sending indcendiary paper hot air balloons from the mid pacific, but the top brass didn't think it could be done - I haven't heard about the discovery of the jet-stream by the Japanese though, although IIRC it was during WW2 when the allied bombers were having difficulties running out of fuel in the head winds
 

Melf

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#19
just a thought:-

the term "foo-fighter" is it possible that its just made up of the intial letters of "Flying Object(s) Observed"?

someone may have posted this idea in a link
 

Jerry_B

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#20
No - the word 'foo' was derived from a comic strip of the time, whose catch line was 'where there's a foo, there's a fire'. I think 'foo' is a cut down version of 'fool'.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#21
The comic strip catch-phrase was a French joke - "Where there's
foo there's fire." Feu = Fire, Fr. The name of the once popular comic
strip was Smokey Stover. :cool:
 
A

Anonymous

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#23
I seem to remember a story about the pacific war. A battleship came into contact with something in the sky, think it may have been the USS NEW YORK, or a similar name.

An object was observed in the sky, they had range finders for the big guns and they got a good fix on this thing. They shot a couple hundreds rounds at it and it was seen to dodge out of the way of the incoming shells.

I may have read it in fortean times or maybe UFO magazine, cant quite remember and tried once to find info about it on the net with no luck.

Anyone know anything about this ?

I guess it falls into the foo fighter category, well maybe :)
 

lopaka

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#24
There's this (slightly credulous, to my mind, anyway) version of the LA air raid.
The cited further reading at the end does not exactly inspie confidence. I like Jim Marrs, but he is one paranoid gentleman. But, FWIW, here:

Conspiracy Theory


Few remember the Los Angeles air raid of World War II
UFOs and a government cover-up.

6/22/2000

The View from Marrs by Jim Marrs challenges bureaucratic secrecy and the status quo. Big Media watch out!

Quickly lost among the ever-increasing reports of the battles and home front campaigns of World War II, the Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942 has all but been forgotten, except to those who lived through it. Although the incident was brushed off by government officials the very next day, there remain aspects of this event with a decidedly UFO flavor.

By late February, 1942, just three short months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, tensions were high on the West Coast - and rightly so.

America had been attacked and there was a fear of imminent invasion. Air raid drills had been conducted regularly since the attack, and on February 23, a Japanese submarine shelled the Bankline Oil Company refinery in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara.

At 2:25 a.m. on February 25, Los Angeles County residents were awakened by the wail of air raid sirens. Most believed it was simply another drill. They were blissfully unaware that one of America's most recent military secrets - radar - had picked up blips indicating a flight of approaching aircraft about 120 miles west of Los Angeles, shortly after 2 a.m.

According to a report on the incident sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt the next day, 1,430 rounds of antiaircraft ammunition were fired at the incoming craft, yet no planes were shot down and no bombs were dropped. There were no casualties among American military forces and no Army or Navy planes were involved.

The firing, which went on for about an hour, caused considerable damage to several homes and public buildings. The city was littered with pieces of metal from exploded ordinance. At least six civilians died as the result of automobile accidents and heart attacks attributable to the gunfire. The all-clear signal did not come until 7:21 a.m. and traffic jams lasted well into the morning rush hour.

For all the commotion, there was no evidence that an enemy attack took place. Embarrassed military officials immediately began to downplay the incident. In Washington, Navy Secretary Frank Knox said, "as far as I know the whole raid was a false alarm and could be attributed to jittery nerves." But West Coast witnesses did not support his reassuring statement.

They told of fast-moving red or silver objects high in the sky, accompanied by a large slower-paced - some said as slow as 60 miles per hour - object, which then hung motionless in midair for some time as antiaircraft shells burst around it.

Peter Jenkins, on the staff of the Los Angeles Evening Herald Examiner said, "I could clearly see the 'V' formation of about 25 silvery planes overhead moving slowly across the sky toward Long Beach."

Long Beach Police Chief J. H. McClelland said he watched from the roof of Long Beach City Hall and gave this description: "An experienced Naval observer with me using powerful Carl Zeiss binoculars said he counted nine planes in the cone of a searchlight. He said they were silver in color. This group passed along from one battery of searchlights to another, and under fire from antiaircraft guns, flew from the direction of Redondo Beach and Inglewood on the land side of Fort MacArthur, and continued toward Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. Antiaircraft fire was so heavy, we could not hear the motors of the planes."

Paul T. Collins, an employee of the Douglas Aircraft Company, observed the objects as he stood beside his car. He said he saw several "unidentified red objects . . . appearing from nowhere and then zigzagging from side to side". Collins said he and other observers estimated the objects' top speed "conservatively to be five miles per second."

With such witnesses running into the thousands and the damage done to the area, the official explanation of "jittery nerves" fell on suspicious ears. "There is a mysterious reticence about the whole affair," according to an editorial in the Long Beach Independent, "and it appears some form of censorship is trying to halt discussion of the matter." In fact, prior to the 1974 release of the day-after report to Roosevelt, U.S. military authorities claimed they had no record of the incident.

Some researchers offered the opinion that the whole thing was caused by the ascent of meteorological balloons. One of these apparently was released carrying a red flare by an antiaircraft unit in Santa Monica in response to the alarm. While this theory is supported by the fact that batteries were officially chastised for wasting ammunition on targets moving too slowly to be aircraft, it was shot down thanks to an Associated Press photo which showed one of the objects caught by converging searchlight beams and surrounded by bursting shells. This photo prompted one commentator to correctly conclude, "That it was not a balloon seems probable because the escape of no balloon has been reported as well as because it failed to collapse under intense and apparently accurate shell-fire."

In 1997, at a book promotion in Albuquerque, when the Los Angeles raid was mentioned in conversation, a decorated World War II bomber pilot spoke up and said, "I know all about that. I was there."

The man said he was living with his brother in Santa Monica awaiting induction into the military on the night of the commotion. The events he saw and heard was almost identical with the above account.

When asked what the gunners were shooting at, the aging pilot made a cryptic grin and with a slight wink replied, "Hell, they didn't know then and they don't know now!"

If you would like to learn more about UFOs in World War II, be sure a get a copy of the most comprehensive book ever on UFOs, Alien Agenda, by Jim Marrs. And don't miss his new e-book on the U. S. Army's top-secret remote viewing program titled Psi Spies, available right here at Alien Zoo. Jim's latest book, Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects The Trilateral Commission, The Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids, is now available in finer bookstores everywhere, or check out JimMarrs.com.

http://www.alienzoo.com
 
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#25
Please forgive me for the thread necromancy, but I was searching the archives for this topic, and I think I can add a few things.

My grandfather was in the Luftwaffe from 1942 to 1945. He was part of a bomber crew (Um...sorry about that. :oops: ) and so he was often flying and also spoke to many people who flew in many different places. When I was a little girl, I was very interested in anything paranormal, and so when I first read about the foo fighters, I right away asked him if he had seen anything like that or if he knew anyone who had. He told me that everyone talked about such things, and that he heard plenty of those kinds of stories, but that he never saw anything he could say definitely was out of the ordinary. But everyone knew about these foo fighters, and people said there were 3 different kinds according to the color/shape of the lights and what height they flew at:

-Low, yellow-white balls: these were supposed to be Russian. My grandfather said that the rumor was, later in the war, that these were a new type of bomber, very fast, and that he was told that the Schwalbe (this is what they called the jet aircraft) had been designed for the purpose of intercepting these new Russian bombers. He heard a story that a pilot had fired on one of these and had been destroyed, that the wreckage was very gruesome when it was found, and that this made people believe the story and be frightened of it. Now, I think any plane crash would be very gruesome, no matter how it happens, but my grandfather said no, that people told him this was different than normal, but the details changed so much he couldn't believe it.

-High, yellow-white streaks, very bright: these were supposed to be German. A brand new type of secret aircraft that people only saw at night flying very high above them. He said that even people who were not in the military had seen these, and he and his friend were asked on the street once by someone who had seen one, a middle-aged woman who said she saw this fly over when she lived in Essen. Now, my grandfather and his friend had never been to Essen, and didn't know what she was talking about, so they told her, you know, be careful during bombing raids and all that. But she said no, she was sure this was a German plane, it came over very fast and left a kind of streak in the sky behind it. She wanted to know from them, would there be more of these planes to protect cities, and since they had no idea what she had seen, they just told her yes and she went away happy. He said it was a very strange conversation, and that maybe the woman was crazy, but walking around in their uniforms then, a lot of people came up and wanted to talk to them, so they didn't think too much about it.

-High, blue streaks: these were supposed to be British, again a new type of bomber. He said these were seen the least often, but they were supposed to pass only over airfields, and they had some kind of weapon or device which could make engines malfunction. This seemed to be more of a joke than anything, a way to explain why something didn't work right like with gremlins, but people did see the lights.

So obviously each side in the war thought these things were aircraft from the other side. And I showed him the book (it was in English, but I can't remember the title now, it was something about UFO's and was written for kids, maybe in 1985 or so) and explained that the Allies airforce saw these too, and he was very curious then about what these things could have been. But he never believed they were UFO's, and he told me that at the time, nobody thought such a thing either. He said you heard a lot of stories about ghosts, and about omens and things like that, but nothing about UFO's. I think at the time, before anyone had gone into space, it just wasn't part of the public consciousness.

I have plenty of stories from this same grandfather that are somewhat paranormal, but this is really all he knew about the foo fighters. Thank you for having such a good messageboard to discuss these things, and for reading my story. (I hope my English wasn't too bad!) :D
 

rynner2

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#26
toast_museum said:
Thank you for having such a good messageboard to discuss these things, and for reading my story. (I hope my English wasn't too bad!) :D
Your English is excellent (better than that of some people I could mention! ;) )
-High, yellow-white streaks, very bright: these were supposed to be German. A brand new type of secret aircraft that people only saw at night flying very high above them. He said that even people who were not in the military had seen these, and he and his friend were asked on the street once by someone who had seen one, a middle-aged woman who said she saw this fly over when she lived in Essen.
Since Essen is in the west of Germany, I wonder if the citizens had seen V2 rockets flying towards England? This would have to have been in the last year or so of the war. (The V1s were much more distinctive, with their pulsed ramjet engines.)
 

rynner2

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#27
The V2s were mostly fired from mobile launchers:
The missile could be launched practically anywhere, roads running through forests being a particular favorite. The system was so mobile and small that not one Meillerwagen was caught in action by Allied aircraft.[citation needed], although Raymond Baxter reported that he shot at a V2 from his Spitfire as it was launched.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-2_rocket
 
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#28
rynner2 said:
...

Since Essen is in the west of Germany, I wonder if the citizens had seen V2 rockets flying towards England? This would have to have been in the last year or so of the war. (The V1s were much more distinctive, with their pulsed ramjet engines.)
V2s, being rockets, flew, more, or less, straight up and after using gravity to create a sub-orbital, parabolic trajectory, came straight down, in the general direction of their target.
http://www.v2platform.nl/book/technical.html

[Book 'V2-VERGELTUNG' from The Hague]

...

The ballistic trajectory of the V2-rocket

The V2 was a ballistic rocket. The rocket ascended vertically over 4 seconds, after which it followed the programmed trajectory. The rocket ascended over a period of 43 seconds at an angle of 47°. After approximately 65 seconds the fuel supply was cut off to stop the rocket motor. The projectile described a parabolic trajectory and reached a maximum altitude of approximately 97 kilometres. After reaching the highest point of the trajectory (the so-called culmination point), the rocket started a free fall on the target. At this point a small number of the rockets exploded due to passing through the atmosphere at a wrong angle (Luftzerleger).

The range of the rocket could be influenced only in the first stage of the trajectory, namely at the moment the fuel supply was cut off. The minimum duration of combustion was 45 seconds, which resulted in a firing range of 80 kilometres. The maximum duration of combustion (about 70 seconds) could be attained without cutting off the fuel supply, when the rocket used all the fuel. The rocket could reach 295 kilometres with a variation of 35 kilometres either way. This is why an effective attainment of 260 kilometres was used.

...
They were almost the first effective space weapons. One of the things that's supposed to make them so effective as a, 'terror' weapon, was that its victims wouldn't have seen, or heard, them coming, although locals near the launch sites might have seen and heard them being launched.

http://www.v2platform.nl/book/loosduinen.html
 

rynner2

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#30
Pietro_Mercurios said:
V2s, being rockets, flew, more, or less, straight up....
http://www.v2platform.nl/book/technical.html

[Book 'V2-VERGELTUNG' from The Hague]

The ballistic trajectory of the V2-rocket

The V2 was a ballistic rocket. The rocket ascended vertically over 4 seconds, after which it followed the programmed trajectory. The rocket ascended over a period of 43 seconds at an angle of 47°. After approximately 65 seconds the fuel supply was cut off to stop the rocket motor. The projectile described a parabolic trajectory and reached a maximum altitude of approximately 97 kilometres.
I'm assuming they were seen after launch during the powered, angled, sector of their flight.

Rockets that fly more, or less, straight up have a disconcerting tendency to fall straight back down! ;)
 
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