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Folklore: Ghost Fliers

08 Nov 10 - 06:08 PM (#3027114)
Subject: Folklore: Ghost Fliers
From: josepp

Starting in late November or early December of 1933, residents of Västerbotten, a county in Sweden bordering Norway just below the Arctic Circle, reported seeing strange lights off in the distance at night. The lights seemed to follow the valleys of the area—pacing them—heading toward Norway. While we are prepared to write them off today as lights of ordinary planes this was 1933 when there were very few planes to be seen in this area. Any plane at all was reason for interest among the residents. The only planes normally seen in this remote area were the occasional customs and border patrol planes and a single "ambulance plane" for emergencies. Border patrol and customs had no planes up and the ambulance plane was grounded for repairs. There was no air force or military bases in the area. People began assuming perhaps a smuggler was at work. Who the smuggler was and what he was smuggling remained to be discovered. Liquor was the assumed cargo and the customs planes began patrolling the region.

The reports of strange, unidentified lights continued to come in. In addition to airplane lights, strong searchlight beams originating from the air and mysterious airplane sounds began to be reported as well. The strange planes began to be seen more inland up to the Baltic coast. Three to five sightings a day were reported but no aircraft were actually seen until December 31, 1933, when Olov Hedlund of Sorsele heard the sound of a plane overhead and, looking outside, reported seeing a gray, unmarked airplane with pontoons visible in the sky by bright moonlight. He said the plane flew at about 1300 feet and circled the railway station before heading north—appearing to pace the railroad tracks.

By January 1934, 10 to 25 reports of "ghost fliers" were being reported. They flew in all kinds of weather including weather so inclement that normal planes were grounded. No one had seen any of the planes taking off or landing. Where their bases were located was subject to much speculation including a secret aircraft carrier because mysterious boats or ships were also seen in the waters during the ghost flier flap. The Scandinavian air forces took the reports with dead seriousness and swept the area repeatedly for strange planes and also shared their information with one another as well as coordinating with local police who would investigate and catalog each sighting. Consequently, there is a very good record of these ghost flier sightings and that information is still on file but we are no closer to an answer today than we were back then.

The official conclusion was summed up by General Pontus Reuterswärd in an April 28, 1934 seventeen-page secret memo to the office of the Secretary of War that stated "The collected and analyzed data…has given me the impression that unauthorized air traffic has occurred."

The Swedish General Staff in Stolkholm investigated 487 ghost flier reports during the winter of '33-'34 of which 46 were judged "credible." The Finnish General Staff investigated 111 reports from that same period and found that 5 cases involving airplane sounds and 10 involving actual sightings remain unsolved. The Finns also found that no sighting was ever observed from two vantage points making the departure and arrival points of the planes impossible to pinpoint.

The reason the reports were taken so seriously is that the Scandinavian nations were fearful of both Russia and Germany conducting iron ore reconnaissance on their nations. Northern Scandinavia was a center of iron ore mining and Germany required large amounts and may have been trying to secure a steady supply. The Russians may have been trying to find ways to cut off iron ore to Germany. In fact, much of the military brass thought the planes were of Russian origin.

Ghost fliers were still being reported all the way to the start of WWII but were usually identified as Russian, German or American planes. From 1940-1945, some 16,000 ghost flier reports were logged of which 5890 are still classified to this day as unknown. Ghost planes are still being seen and are just as strange as ever:

08 Nov 10 - 06:10 PM (#3027115)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Ghost Fliers
From: josepp

First message and the four (deleted) equally voluminous messages following it are from UFO Casebook We can go there to read it. --Mod

08 Nov 10 - 06:25 PM (#3027131)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Ghost Fliers
From: josepp

I wrote that article at UFO casebook. I wrote a lot of them.

08 Nov 10 - 06:35 PM (#3027138)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Ghost Fliers
From: josepp

I'll be taking my leave of Mudcat. This won't work. But if you go to UFOcasebook (I'm not a member anymore by choice) go in the conspiracy folder and look for "Anatomy of a Conundrum". My best work on the subject.

Gotta go!