Talk:Foo fighter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated B-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
B This article has been rated as B-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Paranormal (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article falls under the scope of WikiProject Paranormal, which aims to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to the paranormal and related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the attached article, help with current tasks, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 

Assertions[edit]

Do the following assertions need to be mentioned:

  • The Foo Fighters over Europe disappeared when the Allies captured the territory where German secret research labs were known to exist.

http://www.project1947.com/articles/amlfoo.htm

Unsigned comment by User:216.254.126.167 02:42, 21 September 2005

Ummm, Me 262?[edit]

After reading the description here, and then on other pages I googled, I would like to propose that the series of foo fighters seen by the US night figther pilots were possibly the Me 262B-1a/U1. The B-1/U1 was a "quick and dirty" conversion of the B-1 trainer to the NF role via the addition of the FuG-218 Neptun radar.

This aircraft would:

  1. Show two glowing balls of light, unlike the Me 163
  2. Be able to maintain formation for lengthy periods of time
  3. Easily be able to keep up with any US aircraft in a dive
  4. Easily "zoom up into the sky"

Limited operations started in October 1944, and continued until the end of the war IN May 1954, so the time frame of the Time article (Jan 1945) is well within the realm of possibility. I know they were flown operationally only by 10./NJG 11, as well as experimentally by Kommando Stamp/Kommando Welter. If the US pilots met aircraft operated by the later, that might explain why they didn't actually get fired on.

Frankly I can't imagine why anyone would even think the description fits the Me 163, and at the same time why no one has proposed the Me 262 instead. I believe this is simply an initial guess made in 1944, one that has remained with us even in the face of better post-war information.

Note this item (found in the Time article):

Day bombers have met the Me163, which has an explosive charge in the nose and is apparently designed to crash into Allied planes.

This is almost certainly a reference to the Enzian missile, not the Me 163. The Enzian looks quite a bit like the 163, and indeed was remotely controlled in order to explode near bombers. It shows that given the limited information available during the war, experimental designs could easily be mistaken for ones that were already known. The point here is that since the Me 163 was known earlier than the Me 262 (albiet not long) it is not all that difficult to believe they would have ascribed it to the first thing they could think of.

BTW, many of the articles noted above make mention of the foo fighters not showing up on radar. This is hardly surprising, Germany is well beyond the horizon as seen by the Chain Home sites in England, which would be the primary radar sites during this period. Although there were short-range gunlaying systems on the continent, notably the excellent SCR-584, these had ranges of about 25 miles and were attached to AA guns. The mention of a "sector radar" not seeing them is simply laughable.

Maury 13:28, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Maury, the identification of foo-fighters with the Me 163 seems to be based upon a single sighting, which was not published until Jo Chamberlin's article, "The foo-fighter mystery", was printed in the December 1945 issue of American Legion:
The next night the same two men, flying at 10,000 feet, observed a single red flame. Lt. David L. McFalls, of Cliffside, N. C., pilot, and Lt. Ned Baker of Hemat [sic], California, radar-observer, also saw: "A glowing red object shooting straight up, which suddenly changed to a view of an aircraft doing a wing-over, going into a dive and disappearing." This was the first and only suggestion of a controlled flying device. [Emphasis added.]
The behaviour described is certainly suggestive of an aircraft or missile that is powered by a single rocket engine, rather than a twin-engined aircraft like the Me 262. However, this appears to be the only time that such a sighting was claimed, so it must be taken with a grain of salt.
Chamberlin seems to have obtained his information from pilots and airmen of the USAAF 415th NFS, which is the same unit that war correspondent Robert Wilson mentioned, in his story "Foo-fighter latest menace to Yankees" (The Charlotte Observer, 1 January 1945). Since the 15 January 1945 NEWSWEEK article, to which you referred (but misidentified as being from 15 January 1945 issue of TIME), is also based on Wilson's report (same names and incidents reported), it's possible that the whole "bright light turning into an aircraft" episode had already given rise to suggestions that foo-fighters were missiles that resembled the Me 163, even though the incident itself was not reported until much later. Oboroten 22:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


The foo fighters were seen with considerable regularity by both Allied, Axis and Soviet pilots in both theatres of operation, European and Pacific, and upon inquiry, neither side came to a conclusion as to what they were, other than non-engaging and harmless (even in the rare cases when they were fired upon), or at the very least observational only of the war-related activity around them. German technology was not responsible, for instance, for foo fighter reports over the Indian Ocean. --Chr.K. 23:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Chr.K., could you point me toward any verified foo-fighter reports that originated from Axis or Soviet sources? The only alleged Axis report that seems to be readily available apparently arose from Henri Durrant's infamous "Sonderbüro 13" hoax, and my Russian sources have turned up nothing at all. It's a real puzzle. Oboroten 22:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

External images[edit]

Please dont link them like that. I have uploaded it to wikipedia with a fair-use tag but it is likely PD as I believe it is a US gov employee taking the picture. That needs to be verified. --Cat out 10:20, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

the article has one source. the paragraphs under Etymology and History subtitles do not cite their sources (we can presume one). I request research into the sources of those claims.

Plastic Canopys?[edit]

The article states that "curved plastic canopy of an aircraft". However I'm pretty certain that the canopys are glass? I don't think even transparent plastic would have been able to be made in the 40's! Also plastic canopys would melt from the engine heat & air friction. However I'm not certain, does someone want to verify this?

86.138.44.123 10:35, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


Plexiglas, aka Perspex, was introduced in 1933. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plexiglas

Perspex bubbles were used in WWII aircraft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Typhoon

Flight suits were required to keep pilots warm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_suit

If air friction caused heating, wing icing would not be a problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icing_conditions —Preceding unsigned comment added by 63.201.83.27 (talk) 02:07, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

u-FO Fighters[edit]

Removed this from article:

  • Common sense demands considering that the term may have also originated from pilots pronouncing the term "UFO" phonetically, ie. "u-FO Fighter." This would make sense because the sounding-out of letters in radio transmissions, as would be required to transmit the acronym (UFO), is generally discouraged, especially among military personnel. This is because letters are more difficult to discern than words, when heard over the relative low-quality of radio audio. When spoken into a radio, "UFO" could easily be misunderstood, or mistaken for "USO", for example, so it seems to follow that in the interest of speedily and reliably conveying information, pilots would have developed a phonetic nickname for the acronym.

Seems far too speculative and smacks of original research. Furthermore, I believe the pilots, if they wished to say UFO over the radio would simply have used the army-navy phonetic alphabet (Uncle Fox Oboe) rather than creating a new term that doesn't even really resemble the original acronym.

Mordien 15:08, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what Wikipedia's stance is on common sense. If anyone has any insight, please share it. As for using the phonetic alphabet, they wouldn't have used it for an acronym that they need as a commonly-used term. The point of the phonetic alphabet is to spell out unique strings of letters that aren't come across often; things that are read by the speaker from somewhere -- such as map locations, license numbers, serial numbers, etc. UFO wasn't a unique string of letters read off of somewhere. It was a term used to describe a phenomenon that was common at the time, and needed to be as easy to say as "bogey". It would not have been spelled out phonetically each time.Equazcion 14:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

This theory seems impossible because "UFO" wasn't coined till 1953, when it was an official term. During the war, the lack of identification wasn't the main issue. The supposed aircraft were assumed to be enemy, so the label "unidentified flying objects" doesn't really fit.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:04, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

FU Fighters[edit]

I have heard on more than one occasion from WWII pilots that foo fighters is actually a phoneticized spelling of "FU fighters," and that it stood for "fucked-up fighters." This explanation has the benefit of being consistent with other WWII slang, e.g. "fubar" ("fucked up beyond all recognition").

As to plastic canopies being used in WWII, they most certainly were, and in fact were mass produced by Foster Grant and other plastics manufacturers in Leominster, MA among other locations.

PsyOps[edit]

In the documentary film UFOs:The Secret Evidence Nick Cook thinks that the vehicles are Psychological warfare-type vehicles or experimental aircraft with little or no immediate threat to the pilot's, which makes sense, especially if the Foos disappeared after the capturing of secret R&D labs.Firehawk1717 03:48, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

It might be a documentary but this is just something that some person is speculating. 08:18, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Origin[edit]

Which came first, this term or the rock band? Doctorfluffy 17:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Huh, well what came first, WWII or 1995... I'm not sure, lol. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.75.243.37 (talk) 19:17, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Propaganda[edit]

May I kindly suggest that the part of the article that links, 'alleged by the documentary Secrets of the Third Reich,' be removed since the video that it links to is not only wholely inaccurate but is frankly little more than a piece of neo-nazi propaganda.; —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yabasto (talkcontribs) 03:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation to band[edit]

This page really needs a disambiguation with link to the band Foo Fighters. The a search for "foo fighters" leads directly here, no mention of the band whatsoever! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.103.205.155 (talk) 19:27, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Done, at some point, by someone; and vice versa. (Thanks.) Misty MH (talk) 20:28, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

"Captain Lever"[edit]

"During a raid on Turin the night of November 28/29, they twice spotted an object an estimated 200-300 feet in length, 1/5 to 1/6 that in diameter, and traveling at an estimated 500 miles an hour. It had four equally spaced red lights along its length. The pilot, Captain Lever, said he saw a similar object about three months before north of Amsterdam."

Four points here:

  • "1/5 to 1/6" should be spelled out, i.e. "one-fifth to one sixth";
  • the two sightings (Amsterdam and Turin) suggest that the phenomenon may have been in Lever's mind;
  • there was no rank of "Captain" in the air forces of the British Commonwealth that contributed personnel to RAF Bomber Command in WW2. It is possible, but unlikely, that Lever was an exile from Occupied Europe. However, the RAF did not normally accept exogenous ranks within its own units and would likely have referred to a Captain of another air force in Bomber Command as "Flight Lieutenant Lever" and;
  • last but not least: the absence of further identifying details (such as other crew members, a first name/initials or squadron) is worrying. Grant | Talk 07:31, 6 June 2008 unsigned comment (UTC) 07:31, 6 June 2008 User:Grant65
Apparently it is Aircraft J of 61 Squadron, a Lancaster squadron operating out of Syerston, Lincolnshire.[1] Also, his rank is not Captain, the original military report calls him Captain in the sense of captain of the aircraft[2] SpinningSpark 10:00, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

I've just added a citation request to the opening paragraph, which makes the assertion that Foo sightings began in Nov 1944. The 'howstuffworks' website (usually quite credible) asserts that all sightings were kept quiet until December 1944, here: [3]. Further states there were sightings in 1942. It also opens with "A little remembered cartoon character named Smokey Stover used to declare, 'Where there's foo, there's fire.'" Which might help with the word-origin question. Wish I could help more myself. Twang (talk) 01:39, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The lede is meant to be a summary of the article and therefore does not require citations so I am going to revert that. The para in the text where the 1944 date is stated does cite its source and it checks out. If you want to add more, go ahead, but I would not consider 'howstuffworks' to be a tremendously reliable source as they do not say where they got the info so it is not verifiable. SpinningSpark 13:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Sightings section[edit]

Some of the sightings listed seem to be UFO sightings as opposed to foo fighter sightings, which were a very distinctive phenomena. Additionally, the two books referenced, i.e. Clark and Good, appear to be run-of-the-mill UFO fodder, full of reprinted legends and such, in other words not reliable references. Salmanazar (talk) 15:05, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The Sightings section of this article includes the Robertson Panel which, technically, is not a sighting. More importantly, the entry asserts: "Interestingly, the Robertson Panel's report noted that many foo fighters were described as metallic and disc-shaped ...", which simply is not correct. The Robertson Panel Report mentions foo fighters only twice, and characterises them as "balls of light". Oboroten (talk) 09:06, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Theories and Explanations[edit]

Someone removed my explanation of foo fighters (they were possibly sun dogs or moon dogs distorted by the canopy of airplanes, or small chinks in the canopies) with no explanation. If you are going to remove someone's paragraph, at the very least you should provide a short explanation in the discussion page. There was no citation on my paragraph, but it was by no means controversial or an act of vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.0.72.51 (talk) 17:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I have moved your post down here because it is the Wikipedia convention to place new posts at the bottom of the page. It was also me who undid your edit. There is no suggestion at all that your edit was anything other than good faith and an explanation was given in the edit summary. You can view the edit summaries by clicking on the "history" tab at the top of the page. It is an unfortunate fact that these kind of articles attract a lot of theorizing - some of it thoughtful, some of it crackpot, and often difficult to distinguish the two. For this reason we need to be particularly strict here in asking for sources, it is the only sensible way of deciding what should and should not be in the article. A theory without a reliable source, however reasonable of logical it might be, is called WP:original research on Wikipedia. Original research is one of the things which are not considered appropriate for the encyclopedia, see What Wikipedia is not. SpinningSpark 19:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Wait a minute - citing total nonsense made up by fraudster "UFO-ologists" who make things up just to sell books justifies including theories such as alien spacecraft and fantasies about non-existant nazi secret weapons (that airial mine bit is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen on Wikipedia...), but the clearly reasonable explanations grounded in common sense are off limits? How about just citing a resource that defines "sun-dog?" This is ridiculous... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.44.0.4 (talk) 23:02, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

The article cites several clearly reasonable explanations: ball lightning, St. Elmo's fire, sun dogs, other visual phenomena... The minute we start allowing uncited "theories" -- however reasonable -- we'll be swamped with explanations involving shape-shifting alien gods who live under the desert sands. (Feel free to link to Sun dog, BTW.) - SummerPhD (talk) 23:27, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

"History" section[edit]

Disregarding hte fact that it contradicts the rest of the article in several ways (The "first" sighting was in 1944, three years after the first sighting), it only gives the American point of view. It refers to the U.S. army as "the military" (Which military?)

Also there are absoltuely no axis accounts whatsoever. Spinningspark, you claim that " The usage of the term and scope of the article is WW2 allied pilots". It certainly shouldn't be, this article should cover all accounts from all countries. Why should it be restricted to just Allied pilots? Because they coined hte name? In that case our article Tank should only cover British tanks, as they coined the name.

I'm sorry I know I shoudl be fixing this myself but I don't have the knowledge or time right now.--Patton123 (talk) 20:36, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

It is only now that you have made a post that it becomes clear what the problems are. Tagging the top of the article with generic templates does not really help get articles improved except in the very worst cases where it is blindingly obvious. It was not even clear that you were aiming at the "History" section. The rest of the article does not seem to be entirely US-centric, there is mention of British, Australian and even Polish sightings. Yes, there is an anomaly with the dates, but 1944 is stated to be the start of formal reporting, so it may refer to the first mention of foo fighters in reports. But I agree, some clarification is necessary on that score.
I disagree that this article can fairly be compared with the tank article. Tanks are used by all militaries in all periods since their invention, so that article is necessarily broad. Foo fighters, as the very name suggests, are a phenomenon of WWII and consequently limited to that period. UFOs are a broad subject, but this article only sets out to cover a narrow period, to change that you would need to change the title, but I am sure there are many articles already on Wikipedia doing a grand job on that score. It may turn out that foo fighters are connected with the general UFO phenomenon, but it is not for Wikipedia to make that link, at least not without sources verifying it.
If German and Japanese pilots have been reporting these sightings, then of course they should be covered. Do you have any reason to believe that there will be sources out there with this information? If there are no reports of German and Japanese sightings, no amount of tagging of the article can change that and it will remain a phenomenon of the allied side.
SpinningSpark 23:53, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Last paragraph[edit]

The opening of the last paragraph (and those following it) - "The foo fighters were a direct outgrowth of this naive observation of what was later defined as Aviator's Vertigo." - is written and presented as a CONCLUSION as to the origins of the phenomenon discussed.

While it may be (as it obviously is) the conclusion of a single individual, I see no justification for its inclusion in the article in its present form. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.143.37.120 (talk) 03:53, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

You are, of course, welcome to edit the article yourself. I also cannot locate the article referenced, the publisher is not given and the author does not come up on google. SpinningSpark 08:32, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
I found the Lindell article and added its URL to the citation. I'm not completely sure if it counts as WP:RS given that it's on what appears to be someone's homepage. Salmanazar (talk) 18:47, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
It's not RS in the sense of being peer reviewed or having been through any sort of editorial process, but I would be prepared to give it credence as it is clearly the result of a structured investigation by someone with expertise in the field. However, what is in the article is not entirely supported by the ref. The conclusion is extended into a general principle which I could not find in the ref. In particular, the phrases "dialectic argument", "naïve realism" and "scientific realism" are not found. It is OR to make this extension when the ref does not do so. This needs to be removed, and if the paragraph is to stay at all, the conclusion that Lindell did make needs to be clearly attributed to him and not be a statement by Wikipedia. SpinningSpark 21:04, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Remote Control Vehicle or Nazi Jet?[edit]

It would seem unlikely Foo Fighters were remote control vehicles or Nazi Jets as American Bomber Crews often opened fire on the Balls of light, only to watch their cannon rounds pass through the Foo Fighters. While there seems no German Records of Foo Fighters being seen by their Aircraft, an American Intelligence Officer who analysed German Aircraft Radio Transmission records said German Pilots were reporting the same phenomenon from above England. Foo Fighters strongly resemble Ball Lightning, and Ball Lightning is almost certainly the explanation.Johnwrd (talk) 14:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

A children's book published in the US in the 1960's about the daylight bombing campaign against NAZI Germany had a photo of a foo fighter alongside a B-17. The hypothesis was given that large masses of conductive metal (such as hundreds of heavy bombers) crossing the Earth's lines of magnetic force caused an unknown luminescent phenomena (Ball Lightning). The photo was similar to this footage: http://keyholepublishing.com/projectprove/Arts/foo/foo.html A veteran B-17 gunner said that he had never heard of foo fighters (personal communication).

Backronym?[edit]

The suggestion that FUBAR is a backronym (although referenced) directly contradicts wp's own article on FUBAR (more authoritatively referenced), which states clearly that it is an acronym. I propose we remove the suggestion here that it is a backronym unless other evidence is found. DonGoat (talk) 09:01, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. But I will keep the citation because it has a good discussion of the nonsense word "foo". I also don't think we need the story about it deriving from a Chinese figurine. This is probably more nonsense - a Chinese inscription would probably use characters - and in any case it has no bearing on the etymology of "foo fighters". The explanation here is that "foo" was a popular nonsense word and that pilots used it to describe this bizarre phenomenon. What the cartoon was really about is beside the point.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

explanition[edit]

surely extraterrestrial visitors must be one of the most common explanation of the phenomena, i don't know so much about UFO's and aliens to cite anyone specific though.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.183.144.242 (talk) 19:21, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

"[unreliable source]", "fringe"[edit]

Spinningspark/User:Spinningspark, You seem a pundit or expert on what is a "unreliable source". Please use Talk for discussion of that, and why, especially in reference to your reverting people's edits, and referring to the Journal of Scientific Exploration the "epitome" of an unreliable source. You also use terms like "fringe". One could name-call the whole UFOlogy field "fringe" if one wanted to (and people do), but it's a budding field of study, sometimes doing the best that it can, using investigative techniques, while facing daunting obstacles. Not everyone involved in the study of UFOs and UAP has a PhD, but then one does not have to. ¶ Some people would name nearly anyone who takes the study of this seriously to be "fringe", crazy, stupid, etc. That kind of labeling is about as scientific as a skeptic who thinks that it's a virtue not to believe in anything. Or one might think that people who insult vs. present logical arguments could be part of a cover-up of this or that. Misty MH (talk) 22:11, 26 June 2013 (UTC) Misty MH (talk) 22:13, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

...the Journal of Scientific Exploration necessarily publishes claimed observations and proffered explanations that will seem more speculative or less plausible than in some mainstream disciplinary journals.

That's not what I say, that's what the journal says about itself. Couldn't have put it better myself. By the way, please do not use my signature to refer to me, it can make it look like I have posted something I did not. I have removed it from your post and replaced with a simple link. SpinningSpark 09:34, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
No problem, good idea. The JSE's own comments, however, are not being claimed in that quote as overly speculative or implausible. Misty MH (talk) 19:58, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

foo - Usage and Etymology[edit]

While cartoonist Bill Holman may have originally found the word "foo" or "fu" on the bottom of a Chinese figurine, and thus began to include it in his Smokey Stover fireman cartoon strips, his later usage of it may have branched to other meanings, for humor or other reasons. However, if he ever used it as a euphemism for the f- word, he may not have wanted to admit this, as this was, after all, a comic strip frequented at times by children.

Once this word was in use for one particular purpose, he eventually used the word for some of its other purposes. He probably got questioned all the time as to its meaning or source. One wouldn't want to lose one's career over admitting any kind of questionable use in comic strips or books read by children.

While his original use of "foo" may have come from some figurine (who knows what that said), unrelated to fire, it is STRANGELY COINCIDENTAL that his comic strip is about a FIREMAN, and that several European languages have some word for FIRE that can sound or look a lot like "foo" (or feu, fu, etc.).

While the article here suggests that at some point, it may have derived from the French word for fire, "le feu" – and it may have – the German word for fire is FEUER, and the article in question here refers in large part to "foo fighters" and fireballs that appeared in air in flights over or fights with Germany.

Other, select, European, Indo-European, or nearby-countries' words for fire: fuego (Spanish); fuoco (Italian); foc (Romanian). The Hindi word sounds interesting.[1] And a lot of English and European words come from Hindi, or so say many etymologies. Speaking of which:

I added the following paragraph to the top of Etymology section today:

The word "foo" was used in English by at least the 19th Century. A dictionary.com reference says that "the nautical construction "foo-foo" (or "poo-poo"), used to refer to something effeminate or some technical thing whose name has been forgotten... common on ships by the early nineteenth century."[2]

It is therefore highly likely that such constructions were used by a number of English-speaking Navies and militaries, long before the 20th Century uses listed in the article.

Since aerial fireballs and various other kinds of "foo fighters" (UAP/UFOs) were reported in or related to Germany, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some possible etymological connection to some German word, especially if the Allies got such a reference from a translation gotten from German forces, or from having broken the code of various Axis transmissions and messages.

German was a common language in early years of the United States, even if it didn't almost become its official language.[3]  :)

Non-German-speaking folks could easily misread/mispronounce the German word for FIRE, "feuer", as foo-er, especially since the French word is almost-pronounced like foo (and even the Spanish word isn't far off from that).

Misty MH (talk) 21:34, 27 June 2013 (UTC) Misty MH (talk) 21:42, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Citations don't work in Talk. LOL. Oh well. Misty MH (talk) 21:46, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
They work if you add a {{reflist}} template. That's all very interesting, but in the absence of a source saying that is, or might be, the etymology of the foo in foo fighter it is WP:SYNTH (ie not allowed) to put it in the article. By the way, the German pronunciation of feuer is not "foo-er", it is closer to "foyer". SpinningSpark 00:51, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The term "foo fighter" obviously originated in American (or possibly British) pilots' slang during the war. It is unlikely they took it directly from another language, especially not from German.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:08, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Misty MH might be on the right track, according to the edition of 'Dizionario enciclopedico di ufologia' in my possession the term foo derives from the French 'feux' for fire, thus closely linking it to a phenomenon such as St Elmo's fire. As a note, the emergence of the term among Allied pilots coincides with the closer integration of French airmen into the Allied air forces. The mayor of Yurp (talk) 21:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
If you have a source, you can add it to the article. However, it seems very unlikely. Simply having French (or Polish) pilots flying with the RAF wouldn't necessarily trigger linguistic borrowing. I think English already has a word for fire!--Jack Upland (talk) 09:54, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Earlier Origin of Term?[edit]

I have removed the following from the Etymology section:

However, in a Channel 4 documentary aired 3 June 2011, reporter Nick Cook showed an RAF pilot's report, obtained from RAF archives, reporting a UFO incident with a similar red ball of fire on a bombing mission over Germany, but dated 1942 and taken with fact that the term was already in use by radar operators in 1944, must raise some doubt as to the origin of the term [1]

The Ch 4 documentary's discovery doesn't seem to have any bearing on the etymology. The reference to radar operators (see the Internet Society webpage cited earlier in this section) is just imprecise summary of the accepted story.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:24, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/ufos-the-secret-evidence/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1