In the 1940s, Allied pilots during the World War II reported being stalked by fast-moving blobs, which they dubbed “foofighters.”
Shaped like clouds, donuts, balls and spheres, and often glowing or translucent, these strange entities fueled conspiracy theories that Earth was being visited by advanced civilizations.
A paper now suggests that the phenomena are actually plasmas, or ionized gases, attracted by the electrical charge of planes, spacecraft and satellites.
Plasmas behave like living organisms
Experts from the Universities of California, Arizona and Harvard-Smithsonian say the strange properties of plasmas make them appear to behave like living organisms, even though they are not.
Plasmas can grow and replicate, come into contact with each other and can “feed” on electromagnetic radiation from satellites and spacecraft, they say.
Huge luminous masses measuring up to a mile wide, which behave similarly to swarms of living organisms, have been filmed by 10 NASA Space Shuttle Missionswhile astronauts have reported strange phenomena since the 1960s.
Astronauts Ed White and James McDivitt spotted a huge “metallic object” approaching the Gemini 4 orbiter in June 1965, while James Lovell reported a “10 o’clock bogey” during a mission six months later. late.
Strange “L” shaped object
Buzz Aldrin also said that he and his crewmates saw a strange L-shaped object that was “very large and getting closer” during the Apollo 11 moon landing, although he later stated that it was It was a reminder sign.
The team thinks plasmas from the thermosphere – between 66 and 372 miles above sea level – could descend into the lower atmosphere and explain the pilots’ reports.
Co-author Dr. Rudolph Schild of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “These plasmas are electromagnetic entities that have a variety of shapes and sizes. They have repeatedly approached spacecraft and space shuttles and are attracted by electromagnetic activity, including thunderstorms.
“They were filmed from space, descending into the lower atmosphere and appear to be attracted to airplanes, fighter jets, nuclear power plants and radiation ‘hotspots’, such as Hiroshima, which was destroyed by an atomic bomb .
“Based on video, photographic, and computerized analyses, including reports from military officers and astronauts, we believe that these plasmas explain at least some of the numerous reports of UFOs and unidentified aerial phenomena over the past thousands of years, including the “foofighters” observed by German, Japanese and Allied pilots during World War II.
The “Foo Fighters” were first reported by Royal Air Force personnel in March 1942, and several American pilots saw glowing lights over Germany throughout the war.
A new type of weather phenomenon
The sightings were widely dismissed as German weapons or flight fatigue, although some speculated at the time that it could be a new type of weather phenomenon, such as St. Elmo’s Fire , a plasma effect that makes airplane wings glow.
Plasma represents the fourth state of matter, distinct from solid, liquid and gas, but its properties have yet to be discovered. It is responsible for lightning and phenomena such as the northern lightswhen the Sun’s plasma interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field.
Plasma-like entities have been filmed gathering in the hundreds, particularly around satellite tethers that generate electromagnetic activity.
They have many shapes and move in different directions, some moving quickly while others hover in place. They even appear to target or follow each other and sometimes collide, leaving what looks like a trail of plasma dust in their wake.
Co-author Dr. Christopher Impey, of the University of Arizona’s Department of Astronomy, said: “This does not mean that these plasmas are alive or that they are engaging in intelligent, intentional behavior.
“Rather, as has been documented experimentally, these upper-atmosphere electromagnetic plasmas could engage in ‘energetic cannibalism’ and behaviors called ‘collisionality’ in which they rotate, follow, collide, pass each other, and eventually exchange energy.”
Plasmas could represent “an alternative form of life”
Some authors believe that plasmas could even represent an alternative form of life that is not based on carbon, although others are skeptical.
The team called for more research into plasmas, including sending electromagnetic pulse-generating satellites equipped with infrared and X-ray cameras to capture the phenomena.
Commenting on the research, Daniel Mitchard, Professor at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, said: “It is not surprising that previously unknown charging phenomena exist at this altitude and that they exhibit a behavior that we do not yet fully understand.
“They are also likely to be attracted or repelled by satellites and the space shuttle, which can themselves accumulate static charges.
“Even at ground level, balls of light from thunderstorms that behave strangely are sometimes reported, often called Ball Lightning, and no one knows what they are either – they can be the same as ‘foofighters’ .This is really interesting research.
“Relatively unknown to the public”
He added: “There is a whole world of lightning science that is relatively unknown to the public, even though we try to make it known.
“There are giant structures called Sprites, which look like jellyfish 25 miles (40 km) tall, Elves, which are giant disks that can extend up to 250 miles (400 km) in diameter, and upward lightning bolts from of clouds called Jets that are three or four times larger.longer than anything we can see from the ground.
The new research will be published in the Journal of Modern Physics.