Palembang, Sumatra - August 10 & September, 1944

Sumber: "Fakta dan Dongeng Sekitar Piring terbang." (1978)

Piring terbang dikabarkan pula terbang di atas Plaju (Sumatera Selatan) pada waktu perang dunia kedua. Seorang penerbang B-29 AS yang mendapat tugas menyerang kilang-kilang minyak Shell di Plaju melihat benda aneh ini dan menyangkanya senjata rahasia Jepang. Sebaliknya pihak Jepang mengira piring terbang itu senjata rahasia Amerika.

Another UFO appeared over Sumatra in September. The witnesses, members of the Japanese Imperial Navy, thought the object was the size of a B-29 at 8,000 feet. It was white, egg-shaped, and brilliant. [source]

Captain Alvah M. Reida of the 486th Bomb Group, 792nd Squadron, 20th Bomber Command, based at Kharagapur, India was on a mission from Ceylon to bomb Palembang, Sumatra, flying a B-29 Bomber at an altitude of 14,000 feet and an indicated airspeed of 210 mph. The right gunner and copilot reported a bright red or orange spherical object pacing the plane about 500 yards off the starboard wing. It was about 5 or 6 feet in diameter and seemed to vibrate constantly. Captain Reida attempted evasive action, but the object followed every maneuver for about eight minutes, then suddenly made an abrupt 90 degree turn and accelerated away rapidly.

"I was on a mission from Ceylon, bombing Palembang, Sumatra. The date was August 10, 1944, time shortly after midnight. There were 50 planes on the strike going in on the target at about 2 or 3 minute intervals. My plane was the last one in on the target and the assignment was for us to bomb, then drop photo flash bombs, attached to parachutes, make a few runs over the target area, photographing damage from the preceding planes. The weather was broken clouds, with an overcast above us. Our altitude was 14,000 feet, indicated air speed about 210 mph.

"While in the general target area we were exposed to sporadic flak fire, but immediately after leaving this area it ceased. At about 20 or 30 minutes later the right gunner and my co-pilot reported a strange object pacing us about 500 yards off the starboard wing. At that distance it appeared as a spherical object, probably 5 or 6 feet in diameter, of a very bright and intense red or orange in color. It seemed to have a halo effect. Something like this:

"My gunner reported it coming in from about five o'clock position at our level. It seemed to throb or vibrate constantly. Assuming it was some kind of radio controlled object sent to pace us, I went into evasive action, changing direction constantly as much as 90 degrees and altitude about 2000 feet. It followed our every maneuver for about 8 minutes, always holding a position of about 500 yards out and about 2 o'clock in relation to the plane. When it left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn, up and accelerating rapidly; it disappeared in the overcast."

Capt. Reida added: "During the strike evaluation and interrogation following this mission, I made a detailed report to Intelligence, thinking it was some new type of radio controlled missile or weapon."

Various explanations were given for Foo Fighters. The official explanation was that they were the effect of magnetic fields created across the wings of aircraft. But why none of these effects are present on modern aircraft and why the objects were not always observed in contact with the wings and were often seen far away from aircraft has never been explained. Military censorship kept reports of these phenomena out of the newspapers until December 1944. Throughout the war, similar objects were sighted by both military and civilian observers in the United States.