GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE I RACING WARS I FOO FIGHTERS I NASA NAZIS
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Foo Fighters
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  • Smokey Stover Comix - Color photos
  • Smokey Stover cartoon - Chicago Tribune - a popular name for boys and planes
  • The war experiences of the pilot and crew of the B17 "Smokey Stover" - from the 486th Bomb Group, 832 BS (1944-1945) A chronology of the events and places from the personal archives of Albert I. Pierce.
  • Smokey Stover - The Foo Fighter - By syndicated cartoonist Bill Holman - Based on the Famous Comic Strip - Whitman Publishing Company - Copyright 1938 . . Number - 1421 . . 425 pages. Holman's luck changed when he created 'Smokey Stover' in 1935, a strip about firemen. In the Second World war, the figure of Smokey Stover appeared as paintings on several American bomber planes. The strip ran until 1973, and had a great, funny style with witty punchlines. In 1961, Bill Holman became president of the National Cartoonists Society. He died on 27 February, 1987.
  • foo /foo/ 1. interj. Term of disgust. 2. [very common] Used very generally as a sample name for absolutely anything - When `foo' is used in connection with `bar' it has generally traced to the WWII-era Army slang acronym FUBAR (`Fucked Up Beyond All Repair'), later modified to foobar. Early versions of the Jargon File interpreted this change as a post-war bowdlerization, but it it now seems more likely that FUBAR was itself a derivative of `foo' perhaps influenced by German `furchtbar' (terrible) - `foobar' may actually have been the original form. For, it seems, the word `foo' itself had an immediate prewar history in comic strips and cartoons. The earliest documented uses were in the "Smokey Stover" comic strip published from about 1930 to about 1952. Bill Holman, the author of the strip, filled it with odd jokes and personal contrivances, including other nonsense phrases such as "Notary Sojac" and "1506 nix nix". The word "foo" frequently appeared on license plates of cars, in nonsense sayings in the background of some frames (such as "He who foos last foos best" or "Many smoke but foo men chew"), and Holman had Smokey say "Where there's foo, there's fire". One place "foo" is known to have remained live is in the U.S. military during the WWII years. In 1944-45, the term `foo fighters' was in use by radar operators for the kind of mysterious or spurious trace that would later be called a UFO (the older term resurfaced in popular American usage in 1995 via the name of one of the better grunge-rock bands). Because informants connected the term directly to the Smokey Stover strip, the folk etymology that connects it to French "feu" (fire) can be gently dismissed.
  • 1942 'Battle Of Los Angeles' - Attack on UFO kills 6 Americans on ground - Including Stunning New Photo Analysis! This UFO was photographed on the 25th February 1942 and was featured in the Los Angeles Times. A strange aerial intruder hovered over the Culver City area of Los Angeles during that morning. It was described by one eyewitness as "enormous" and "pale orange" in colour. The blobs of light are not UFOs but bursts of anti aircraft shells being fired at the object. Nearly 2000 rounds of ammunition were discharged before the object disappeared from view. The beams of light are earth based search lights focussing on the object which can just be made out.
  • Smokey Stover Yorktown Memorial Theatre - Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, Charleston SC lists 8,080 names of carrier aviation men lost in World War Two and all wars thereafter - Stover's is the first of those 8,080 names - Stover's name came to stand for all who never return once they left the carrier's flight decks, yet who had no grave marker and no place for families to go to love and remember
  • USS Yorktown recovery of NASA Apollo 8 "Moon" mission - Time Magazine's "Men of the Year" Astronauts Air Force Col. Frank Borman, Navy Capt. James Lovell, Jr. and Air Force Major (later Lt. Col.) William Anders piloting their spacecraft through the final re-entry phase, the capsule splashed down in the Pacific 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii at 4:52 a.m. (Yorktown time) on December 27, only 2 1/2 miles from this 25 year old carrier.
  • A Staff Report by the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board - "Smokey Stover" was probably the most screwball comic strip ever published. It was begun in 1935 and distributed by the Chicago Tribune/New York Daily News Syndicate. The cartoon was famous for putting little sight gags and puns in almost every frame, including the words "foo", "1506 Nix Nix" and the aforementioned "notary sojac," all of which Holman refused to explain. Actually, Holman is better remembered for "foo." Stover drove a truck called the "Foomobile" and the word was later picked up and used by Bob Clampett in some of his cartoon work for Warner Brothers. There is some evidence that the phrase "foo-fighters," in reference to pilots investigating alleged UFOs during World War II, can be traced back to Stover.
  • PROJECT 1947 - FOO FIGHTERS: THE STORY SO FAR - The subject of Foo-Fighters, the mysterious aerial phenomenon seen by aircrew during W.W.II, is probably the most neglected area of study in the field of ufology. Once ufologists realised that their world did not in fact begin on June 24th 1947 with Arnold's infamous sighting, it has become fashionable to conduct research into "historical" UFO's which has led to some useful insights into the nature of the UFO phenomenon as a whole. The pre-Great War Airship and between the wars Mystery Flier Waves plus the post-war Mystery Rocket waves have all been admirably covered by researchers in the UK, USA and Sweden, but foo-fighters have been virtually ignored. With this in mind I began in 1987 to seek out all material extant relating to foo- fighters to try and put the subject into much-needed perspective and with the hopeful intention of publishing the end results in book form as a reference tool for other ufologists. For a start even the name `foo-fighter' is problematic; did it come from the old Smokey Stover cartoon character saying "Where there's foo there's fire"; or was it from the French word feu, meaning fire, or was it, according to one ex-B17 waist gunner I spoke to, from "phooey". Needless to say, he didn't believe they existed! Also, what exactly is the definition of a "foo-fighter"? For instance, if we constructed a "family tram" of foo-fighter material we would find, almost without exception, that the "grandpappy of them all" is the 1945 American Legion Magazine article, written by Jo Chamberlin. This article forms the substance of almost every piece written on the subject of foo-fighters. Fortunately this article is based on accounts which can be (has been) checked with squadron records and appears largely correct. This is a direct result of Chamberlin's article and has led to further speculation that perhaps they were Nazi secret weapons pulled out of the hat at the last minute, or even perhaps that the foo were extraterrestrials keeping an eye on us before we used the atomic bomb. This time scaling is false and the first record I have of a foo-fighter being seen comes from 1940 and they were seen often throughout all the war years. We have at least one outright hoax too in foo-fighter lore. For years rumours had been flying round that the Germans had been fully aware of the foo-fighter phenomenon (perhaps that's where the above canard originated) and that they had a special study group formed to look into the problem under the name of "Project Uranus," backed by a shadowy group by the name of Sonderburo 13 (reminds you of Majestic 12 doesn't it?). This was first detailed in La Livres Noir De Soucupes Volantes (The Black Book of Flying Saucers- 1970) by French ufologist Henry Durrant. When I checked this out with Durrant he informed me that the whole "Project Uranus" affair was a hoax which he had inserted in his book precisely to see who would copy it without checking. None of my respondents had fired on the phenomena, in some cases fearing it to be a secret weapon which would explode when fired upon and in others just attempting to evade it on the basis that as long as it wasn't firing at them they weren't going to antagonise it. A few pilots and crew chose not to report their experience at the time for fear of ridicule or for fear of being grounded for having hallucinations. Many though did record and report what they saw however and the response of the intelligence de-briefing staff varied considerably from total disinterest or hilarity to, in one case only, great interest and a further interview by intelligence officers. This was more than likely to be concerned with the possibility that the crew had seen one of the new German jets than anything else. The German secret weapon hypothesis (GSWH) promoted by such writers as Renato Vesco is unlikely to be valid. Out of all this some clear facts are apparent. Hundreds of aircrew saw and recorded what we now call foo-fighters during W.W.II. There must be many thousands of ex-aircrew who have stories to tell.
  • Historical UFO photographs - Pre 1947
  • Foo Fighters - World War Two UFOs - What's a Foo Fighter? If you said it's a band started by ex-Nirvana drummer David Grohl, you'd be right. But where did the name come from? In the 1930's and 1940's, a comic strip called Smokey Stover seems to have captured the public imagination. Smokey Stover was a fireman whose boss was Chief Cash U. Nutt. His wife was Cookie and they had a son named Earl. Smokey drove around in a two-wheeled fire truck called the Foomobile, and he called himself a foo fighter rather than a firefighter. The word foo turned up often in the strip, in such places as on car tags and on menus. Holman claimed that he got the word from a Chinese figurine and that it meant "good luck", but he used foo in many contexts in which that meaning didn't fit. The French word for fire is feu, and that may somehow fit in as well. Holman used other nonsense phrases in the strip such as notary sojac and 1506 nix nix. Some people read the strip more for the oddball stuff in the background than for the main humor of the strip. The word foo caught on outside of the Holman strip, and was also used by other cartoon characters, including Daffy Duck. During World War II, when U.S. pilots and sailors began seeing odd balls of light or shiny metal that could fly circles around our planes and that sometimes followed ships at sea, somebody called them Foo Fighters, and the name caught on. Others called them kraut fireballs because it was thought that they were some sort of Nazi secret weapon, but foo fighter was the name that stuck. Various explanations were given for Foo Fighters. The official explanation was that they were the effect of electrostatic or electromagnetic 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. In reality, no one knew what foo fighters really were. Hitler thought they were a U.S. secret weapon, and is said to have had them investigated. The British thought they were German and allegedly set up a group called the Massey Project to study them. The U.S. 8th Army also scrutinized them, but once it was determined that they were not of German or Japanese origin, the studies were dropped. The Foo Fighters themselves didn't go away until the war ended, and possibly not even then. After the war, new names for unidentified aerial phenomenon came into use, such as flying saucer.
  • Feuerball - Nazi UFOs and Secret Bases - The year was 1945. Even as it became apparent that the tide of the war was turning in favor of the Allies, German scientists working for the Nazis still had a few tricks up their sleeves. Secret devices were being built in the labs and factories of the underground complexes in the Harz Mountains and elsewhere. Late in the war, Allied pilots began to see unusual lights and silvery globes flying at their wingtips. They nicknamed these foo fighters and kraut fireballs thinking they were some new secret weapon of the Nazis. The objects, however, never attacked an allied plane, they just flew near them. These feuerballs were unmanned, remote controlled devices whose main purpose was to jam the radar of the Allied planes and to confuse and intimidate them. They would have been great offensive weapons, but no satisfactory method of arming them was found in time. A larger, manned version, called the kugelblitz, was being built and tested, but the war ended before it could put into service. In 1938, Hitler had sent an expedition headed by Captain Alfred Richter to the part of Antarctica just opposite the tip of South America to locate a site for a secret base, and by 1945 the base was completed. In the spring of 1945, when the fall of the Third Reich had become inevitable, the untested kugelblitz, along with the engineers overseeing its construction, were loaded into a submarine, the U-977, and taken to this ultra-secret underground Nazi base. After delivering this cargo, the U-977 and those of the crew who did not wish to spend the rest of their lives in an underground base put in at Mar del Plata, Argentina on August 17, 1945. The U-977 crew thought that they would get a friendly reception in Argentina, but they were immediately turned over to the United States as prisoners of war. They were thoroughly interrogated several times by the Americans and the British before going through the normal prisoner of war process. As a result of these interrogations, the United States invaded Queen Maud Land in January 1947 to determine for sure whether or not there was a Nazi secret base there. Led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the force consisted of thirteen ships, two seaplane tenders, an aircraft carrier, twelve other aircraft, six helicopters, and a force of 4,000 men. The expedition was called Operation Highjump, and its cover mission was that of mapping the entire Antarctic coastline. Byrd lost many men and several aircraft to the Nazis the first day. The expedition, which had been planned to last for several months, was cut short after a few weeks. According to the newspaper Brisant, Byrd reportedly told a reporter later: "...it was necessary for the USA to take defensive actions against enemy air fighters which come from the polar regions.." "...fighters that are able to fly from one pole to the other with incredible speed." The United States then withdrew from the Antarctic for several years, and UFOs began to be seen around the world in increasing numbers.
  • UFOs: Foo Fighters and Ghost Rockets -
  • MOON MULLINS - "Moon" was short for "Moonshine" - Which in the Prohibition Era meant Mr. Mullins was a drinking man. Chicago Tribune Syndicate - In the early 1920s, Frank Willard was writing and drawing a comic strip called The Outta Luck Club for King Features Syndicate. Upset because he thought some of his gag ideas were being rejected so they could be passed on to George McManus for use in Bringing Up Father, he physically assaulted the more successful cartoonist, knocking him to the floor. In 1958, when Willard died, that he began signing his own name. Johnson stayed with the strip until it folded, in 1991. His 68-year stint on Moon Mullins probably stands as the longest tenure of a creator on a single feature in the entire history of American comics. Moon's final fling as a licensed property (and his only foray into animation) occurred in 1971, when he became one of several rotating back-segment characters on a Saturday morning TV show starring Archie. The series was called Archie's TV Funnies, and other characters in the rotation included Broom-Hilda, Dick Tracy and Smokey Stover. It was re-aired in 1978, without Archie, under the title The Fabulous Funnies.
  • THE NAZI UFO MYTHOS - Foo Fighters - The following is, essentially, the article published under the title 'Phoney Warfare' in Fortean Studies 7. The relationship between the history of the paranormal, and the 'consensus' history that most of us, informed by historians and the mainstream media, agree on as real, is usually pretty distant. Forteanism could be said to lie somewhere between these two histories, in that it notes the allegedly factual, but possibly anomalous accounts recorded in the media of 'consensus' history, while often rejecting the 'consensus' explanations given for dismissing the strangeness of those events, and the rationale and reasoning adopted in doing so. Fort was lucky to live and work before the worst excesses of Ufology and the New Age appeared. The article was titled 'The Foo Fighter Mystery', and was written by one Jo Chamberlin. This account is enlivened with contemporary "quotes" from the witnesses, making it that much more immediate and appealing. It begins with an account of reports from Japan, apparently after Germany had been defeated . . . During the last months of the war the crews of many B-29s over Japan saw what they described as "balls of fire" which followed them, occasionally came up and almost sat on their tails, changed color from orange to red to white and back again, and yet never closed in to attack or crash, suicide-style . . " "The balls of fire continue to be a mystery -- just as they were when first observed on the other side of the world -- over eastern Germany. This is the way they began.
  • Smokey Stover TV cartoon comix - A segment on Archie's T.V. Funnies.

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