Validating the First Annual Report
Validating the 1st Annual Report:
an Important Development:
BY NICK REDFERN
I mportant information has surfaced into the public domain that assists in validating the Majestic Twelve Project 1st Annual Report. One of the entries contained within the Report relates to sightings of so-called Foo Fighters over Germany during the Second World War. The entry (on page 15, Annex C, Entry 7 of the 1st Annual Report) reads thus:
“Aerial interference with military aircraft has demonstrated the ability to observe our air operations in war and peacetime conditions. During the war over 900 near-miss incidents were reported by allied pilots and crews in all theater of operations. One of the most dramatic near-miss encounters occurred on 14 October 1943, 8th AF Mission 115 over Schwienfurt, Germany. B-17 crews reported many formations of silvery discs flying down into the B-17 formations. Several times during the bombing mission, large objects were seen following the discs descent into the formations. Unlike previous reports, no engine failures or airframe damage was reported. After the surrender of Nazi Germany, GAF fighter pilots were interrogated by AF intelligence concerning Mission 115. GAF did not have any aircraft above our bombers at that time.” (Reference 1)
While it is true that references to the Schwienfurt raid have been made in UFO literature for several decades, the story has always been somewhat problematic due to the lack of official, verifiable confirmation of the events in question. That situation has now changed. To demonstrate the importance of this breakthrough, it is essential to review the history of the story from its origins in the UFO literature to the present day. The first person (outside of official channels, at least) known to have postulated a link between the Schwienfurt raid and unidentified aerial phenomena, and to have reported on the matter, was the late writer Martin Caidin. According to Caidin, as the bombers of 384th Group swung into the final bomb run, “pilots and top-turret gunners, as well as several crewmen in the Plexiglas noses of the bombers, reported a cluster of discs in the path of the 384th’s formation, and, closing with the bombers.” Caidin continued: “The startled exclamations focused attention on the phenomenon, and the crews called back and forth to one another on the interphones, discussing and confirming the astonishing sight before them. The discs were agreed upon as being silver-colored, about one inch thick and three inches in diameter. The B-17 crewmen saw them easily, and repeatedly.
The discs appeared above the bombers, gliding down in very uniform clusters. And then the ‘impossible’ happened. Boeing B-17 Number 026 closed rapidly with a cluster of discs. The pilot junked the aircraft violently, attempting to evade an imminent collision with the discs. The sudden and violent maneuvering of the B-17 proved the maneuver futile.” Caidin further maintained that at an intelligence briefing, the pilot of the aircraft in question stated; “my right wing went directly through a cluster with absolutely no effect on engines or plane surface.” Moreover, Caidin elaborated, “The pilot explained further that about twenty feet from the discs – a report confirmed by other pilots and crew members – they watched a mass of black debris of varying sizes, in clusters of three by four feet, floating past their aircraft.” (Reference 2)
The author, Frank Edwards, also reported the details of the Schweinfurt raid. “As early as 1943, the British had set up a small organization to gather information on these objects,” maintained Edwards. “It was under the direction of Lieutenant General Massey, and it had been inspired to some extent by the reports of a spy who was in reality a double agent, working under the direction of the Mayor of Cologne. He had confirmed that the Foo Fighters were not German devices but that the Germans thought they were Allied ranging instruments, which of course the British knew they were not.
The British Air Ministry, in 1966, told me that the Massey Project was officially terminated in 1944. Perhaps it is only coincidence that the double agent was exposed and executed in the spring of 1944. But the Foo Fighters were very much in evidence, even though official British interest is said to have waned. Typical was this example from a bombing attack on great German industrial complex at Schweinfurt on October 14, 1943. The detailed discussion of the phenomenon is taken from a signed report by Major E.R.T. Holmes, F.L.O. 1st Bombardment Office, Whitehall, London, under date of October 24, 1943. (Mission No. 115 in the British records.) “Major Holmes reports that as the bombers of the 384th group (American-made B-17s) roared on their bombing path, they found themselves closing rapidly with a formation of small, silvery discs. The objects were very numerous – ‘scores of them’ - and they were flying headlong toward the bombers. They were gliding downward under apparent control and on a collision course. “One bomber pilot told Intelligence interviewers later that the objects barely missed his right wing as he went through their formation. Another pilot said that one of the things struck the tail surfaces of his bomber a glancing blow but without apparent effect.” (Reference 3)
As detailed as Frank Edwards’ account certainly was, to what extent does it have a basis in fact? Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard, the first Deputy Director of Air Intelligence to the Air Ministry in 1935, has stated without hesitation that:
“To the best of my knowledge there has never been any official study made [of the Foo Fighters]. This implies Treasury sanction; it suggests that in the middle of the War against Germany when we had our hands full and it was far from certain that we could survive, the Air Ministry was concerned that a UFO menace existed; it most certainly was not. [General Massey] is not included in my earliest Who’s Who of 1955. So, unless he died meanwhile, he did not exist in the British Army.” (Reference 4)
With regard to the existence or otherwise of the Lieutenant General Massey, Timothy Good comments: “Interestingly, there is a Lieutenant General Hugh R.S. Massy listed in the 1945 Who’s Who. Born in 1884, he was appointed Director of Military Training at the War Office 1938-39 and then Deputy-Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1939-40, retiring in 1942. Is it possible that this is the man Edwards was told about? My research has failed so far to throw any more light on the matter. If Edwards was not lying, did he get the spelling wrong? Or was he misinformed by the Ministry of Defense?” (Reference 5)
Despite the intriguing nature of the Schweinfurt raid as described in the 1st Annual Report and by both Frank Edwards and Martin Caidin, no confirmation for its reality has ever been forthcoming – until now. An industrious UFO investigator, Andy Roberts, has located at the Public Record Office at Kew, London, England, a copy of the official Air Ministry documentation pertaining to the curious encounters described above. Circulated to a Colonel Kingman Douglas, a Wing Commander Smith of AI [Air Intelligence] 3 and a Wing Commander Heath of AI 2 at the Air Ministry, the document states: “Received 17 October 1943” and reads thus:
Annexe to intelligence report mission Schweinfurt 16 October 1943. 306 Group report a partially unexploded 20mm shell imbedded above the panel in the cockpit of A/C number 412 bearing the following figures, 19K43. The Group Ordinance Officer believes the steel composing the shell is of inferior grade. 348th Group reports a cluster of discs observed in the path of the formation near Schweinfurt, at the time there are no E/A [Authors note: Enemy Aircraft] above. Discs were described as silver colored – one inch thick and three inches in diameter. They were gliding slowly down in very uniform cluster. A/C 026 was unable to avoid them and his right wing went directly through the cluster with absolutely no effect on engines or plane’s surface. One of the discs was heard striking tail assembly but no explosion was heard. About twenty feet from these discs a mass of black debris of varying sizes in clusters of 3 by 4 feet. Also observed 2 other A/C flying through silver discs with no apparent damage. Observed discs and debris 2 other times but could not determine where it came from. Copies to: PR and AI6, DB Ops, WAR ROOM, DAT (Reference 6)
Having analyzed the document at issue, Andy Roberts feels that this particular report may have less to do with Foo Fighters and more to do with German flak. (Reference 7) This may indeed be the case; however, it is worth noting that according to Frank Edwards, the Schweinfurt encounter was one that made its way into the Air Ministry’s Foo Fighter files – this alone suggests there were those within officialdom who believed the report represented something beyond the norm. More importantly, this particular document does not stand-alone. Having also spent time at the Public Record Office seeking out material pertaining to the Foo Fighters, I succeeded in locating the following paper, extracted from a Secret publication of 1943 titled Bang On and that served as a semi-official newsletter for the Royal Air Force’s 115 Squadron. In a section titled PHENOMENA, the report reads thus:
Under this heading there occur from time to time reports of weird and wonderful apparitions seen during our (and the American) attacks on Germany. We have asked our local Inner Circle bloke to comment on the latest species of wizardry. Here is his story…believe it or not. On the 11th December the Yanks paid one of their daylight visits to Emden. Visibility was good and the weather clear. “An unidentified object was seen in the target area. It was about the size of a Thunderbolt and passed 50-75 yards beneath the formation. It flew straight and level (No chaps it was not a Lanc. gone mad…) at a terrific speed, leaving a streak like a vapour trail, which remained visible for a long time.
The object passed so quickly that the observer could not determine it more accurately. Suggestions will be welcome…serious ones…as to what this Loch Ness Monster of Emden might have been. (Prize…one year’s free issue of this News Sheet…if the publication survives as long.)
Another of the attacking aircraft was hit by a length of wire, which bit deeply into the nose. Twenty feet were coiled around the nose and something caused the bomb door to open. The wire may have been towed behind a fighter, which had just made an attack upon the bomber; some form of explosive charge or weight may have been attached to a parachute fired from a rocket projectile, though no parachute was seen. An examination of the wire is taking place and it is hoped that this will shed some light on the occurrence. In another attack, this time on Bremen, there were many reports of ‘silver and red discs above the formations’. These have been seen before but up to now no one has been able to decide their purpose. Suggestions please. (Reference 8)
Although aspects of this particular report were written in a somewhat light-hearted vein, several points are worth considering: the entire report was classified Secret; the reference to reports of “silver and red discs” conjures up images of classic flying saucers rather than straightforward Foo Fighters; the eye-opening revelation that, “these have been seen before,” suggests strongly that a number of such reports were on file with the Air Ministry by 1943; while the statement to the effect that “up to now no one has been able to decide their purpose,” leans towards the theory that attempts had, indeed, been made by British officialdom to try and determine the origin and intent of the Foo Fighters.
At the time that the 1st Annual Report surfaced into the public domain, the documentation located by Andy Roberts at the Public Record Office had not been seen by anyone outside of British officialdom – Roberts (with a research colleague, David Clarke) was the first person to view it. Up until the time that Roberts located the file, the only sources for the story were Martin Caidin and later Frank Edwards – and then the 1st Annual Report itself. If the 1st Annual Report had been nothing more than a hoax, the author of the hoax would have been taking an uncalculated risk by citing a story that was unverifiable and that could only be traced back to Caidin. If Caidin’s story was proven to be spurious then, of course, by definition so would the 1st Annual Report. However, the fact that details of the Schweinfurt raid have now surfaced in previously classified British Air Ministry files, suggests strongly that the author of the 1st Annual Report knew that the story was genuine and had been officially documented. Needless to say, Tim Cooper (or indeed anyone on the outside) would have been unaware at the time that the 1st Annual Report surfaced that this story would eventually be validated officially
Having reviewed the newly surfaced evidence, one issue more than any other becomes readily apparent. With respect to the Schweinfurt raid during the 1943 bombing missions on Germany, the author of the 1st Annual Report was talking about events that would ultimately be validated officially via British Air Ministry files from the correct time period. The fact that those files were not in the public domain at the time that the 1st Annual Report surfaced, however, is a strong indicator that the author of the 1st Annual Report was someone with access to classified wartime material on unidentified aerial phenomena that originated with both the British and American authorities.
1. MAJESTIC TWELVE PROJECT 1st ANNUAL REPORT, www.majesticdocuments.com
2. Ghosts of the Air, Martin Caidin, Bantam Books, 1991.
3. Flying Saucers Here and Now! Frank Edwards, Lyle Stuart Books, 1967.
4. Above Top Secret, Timothy Good, Sidgwick & Jackson Books, 1987.
6. Public Record Office file: AIR 40/464. Crown copyright exists.
7. UFO Updates, September 2000.
8. Public Record Office file: AIR 14/2800. Crown copyright exists.