WW2 Mystery: Foo Fighters - Anna Whiity Interview
Anna Whitty is a British author and UFO researcher whose latest book ‘UFOs: A Fundamental Truth’, looks at some of the biggest UFO mysteries of the last century in their political and historical context.
In WW2 Mystery: Foo Fighters, Anna explores the mystery of the Foo Fighters, strange glowing orbs - that later gave their name to a band - that appeared over the battle-torn skies over Europe during WW2.
These glowing balls ducked and dodged military flight formations at high speed, under apparent intelligent control. Some were even photographed or filmed. Military chiefs rushed to explain the craft in official reports as Nazi or Japanese secret weapons. At the end of the conflict, the mysterious interceptor sightings faded away, to be replaced with their modern counterpart: the UFO.
Sky HISTORY spoke to Anna about the Foo Fighters phenomenon along with the director of WW2 Mystery: Foo Fighters, Nik Coleman.
Can you explain the phenomena of the Foo Fighters?
Anna Whitty: American fighter pilots generally coming back from missions in Central Europe, would spot these huge spherical lights in the sky - either at the wingtip or behind the plane - that would follow them passively. They wouldn't menace the pilots and so they weren't sure what their purpose was but they assumed it was some sort of Nazi weapon. That's not the case and it later transpired that the Nazis also saw these lights.
What was unusual about their movements which suggest they weren't traditional aircraft?
Anna Whitty: What was strange about them was how they were there at all, let alone what they were doing. How did these things fly? What was the propulsion system? How did they stay there? How did they track these planes
Nik Coleman: Manoeuvrability. These things would stop, they would move left to right, without banking. They're moving at an unprecedented speed compared to what WW2 aircraft were capable of.
Are there any theories that explain what was happening?
Anna Whitty: There isn't a technology now that explains a huge light in the sky that could tail an aircraft and certainly not during World War Two. There still isn't an explanation to this day of what they were which is interesting because we have something that we still can't explain.
We did look at ball lightning and St Elmo's fire but these don't cover what they reported seeing. It wasn't an object alight or an atmospheric effect. It's an object separate from the aircraft that is mirroring or following it.
How did the military view these Foo Fighters at the time?
There was a massive debate about it. In 1938, there was the famous Orson Welles War of the World's radio drama, so there was probably excitement about the possibility of extra-terrestrials. On the other hand, they're in the middle of a war. They're going to assume that this is possibly a weapon.
How similar are these WW2 Foo Fighter sightings to the ones that have been reported today such as in the Pentagon's declassified UFO footage?
Anna Whitty: We still see lights in the sky, that seemed to be doing nothing very purposeful just hanging just like the Foo Fighters. But since WW2 - and this might be a separate thing - we've seen a sort of evolution of how unidentified aircraft look.
For example, in the 40s and 50s, sightings, flying saucers have aerials on them, then in the 80s, they are more sleek and they have more layers on them. Now we're seeing more tic-tacs [craft with a smooth white appearance, named after the sweets]. Even the military has released pilot's records of their encounters with these tic-tacs. There's more than one thing going on there but the Foo Fighters phenomenon is still happening.
Do you think that UFO sightings have occurred throughout the whole of human history and have been reported in mythology and folklore?
Yes definitely. In Celtic folklore, there are stories of people hearing a whistle and then fairies would appear. Not like Disney fairies but small 4ft tall people who would appear and disappear. They were trans medium and could walk through walls. This is the same story that you hear about extra-terrestrials.
If you go back to the stories about extra-terrestrials encounters in the '30s, '40s and '50s, they tend to be four-foot-high, human-looking with hair. Sometimes they're described as looking Italian. These encounters seem to be related to our cultural expectations. In Irish culture, they refer to fairies or as 'The Good People' in Scotland, but now we would see these encounters as extra-terrestrial.
These experiences have gone back in history, and they've been described as angels, fairies or gods and in Islamic tradition you have the jinn.
Do you think there are there sentient beings in these crafts piloting them or is there another explanation?
Anna Whitty: There's more than one explanation, there's certainly advanced tech. We don't know whether they're at a point where they can make these superhuman movements that a human couldn't survive because of gravity or if it's still at the stage of being a drone.
Nik Coleman: We don't know what they are but we're getting to a situation where we know there is positive evidence that they exists. Whoever, whatever it is controlling them - whether it's the Russians, whether it's the US, whether it's little green men - has got their hands-on technology that is simply mind popping compared to where we're at today.
We know that there's something out there. Was it developed from alien technology, I doubt it but I wouldn't rule it out? Is it being flown by aliens? I don't know. Have they come from some other parallel dimension? That's as good a chance as anything else. That's what the programme sets out to do, is to say there's a whole range of possibilities.
If in classic 1950s style, if a UFO landed on the White House lawn tomorrow, I think at this point I'm going to go. 'I thought so,' because I just think anything's possible. I really do.
Anna Whitty: We worry too much about alien invasion because of the media but if you look at evolution, it's all about collaboration. Going from a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organism is all about cooperation and working together.
Human beings are at that point now where we can blow each other apart or we could start working together. That's going to be the deciding factor as to whether we survive as a species.
I'm personally I'm not worried about an alien invasion because I think if they've made it that far and they haven't blown each other up, it's because they have met that evolutionary process of working together and being peaceful.
WW2 Mystery: Foo Fighters premieres on Sky HISTORY on Monday 23 August at 9pm. Sky HISTORY is available on Sky 123, NOW, Virgin 270 and TalkTalk 327. All episodes will be available on catch up services.