9. Fukuoka Incident
1948 was a big year in terms of military encounters with UFOs. Aerial radar was just starting to appear on combat aircraft, so not every fighter in the United States Air Force had it. That is why the Fukuoka incident is so interesting, since it involved an F-61 Black Widow night fighter, which had radar. The airplane in question was on night patrol above Japan when the radar operator picked up an unidentified object nearby. The F-61 pilot decided to attempt to intercept the mysterious object.
When the crew closed within gun range, the object suddenly acceleratedfrom 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph) to 1,900 kilometers per hour (1,200 mph). It slowed down, allowing the F-61 to catch up once again, but this time, the object made a sharp turn and dived under the plane. The F-61 pilot tried to follow the turn to keep the object in sight, but he was quickly outmaneuvered. Four more times, the crew almost intercepted the object, but each time, it ran away right before it fell within gun range. On the last time, the crew could see their target, which they described as a stubby craft, 6 to 9 meters (20–30 ft) long with no discernible design features aside from its bullet-shaped fuselage.
This was probably the first time that pilots used airborne radar to track a UFO. Oddly, the ground radars nearby didn’t pick the object up during the 10-minute dogfight. While the strange appearance of the object has become a point of proof for UFO believers, it’s also interesting to note that one of the crew members said that the object looked very similar to the German Me-163 rocket fighter. At the time, the US Air Force owned captured examples of the fighter.