Month: November 2006

The Land of 10,000 Foo Fighters

By Ken Korczak

A story about a flying orange globe over Grygla, Minnesota, I wrote about a couple of weeks ago produced a strong response from readers of this blog!  Thank you all for reading and your kind and insightful e-mails!

I also published this story in a local print publication, which generated a lot of calls from other people here in NW Minnesota who also say they have had enounters with firey, glowing UFOs in the Minnesota night skies.  I will now share some of these stories with you, as they were told to me:

One elderly gentleman from the tiny town of Skime, Minnesota, called to say that he and a friend were startled by a strange object which appeared suddenly to them above a line of trees. This is the way he told it to me, in his own words:

“This was about 10 years ago. We were playing cards at a friend’s house until about 11 o’clock at night. It was wintertime. There were no stars or moon…it was a cloudy night. We were driving home…just as we were crossing where County Road 18 crosses Number 9 this big bright thing just suddenly appeared.

“It was very luminous…a dull orange in color. It had a definite outline to it…I would say it was oval or egg shaped. It was about 400 yards from us. We were due north of it…it was so low we could see the outline of the trees in front of it.

“The strange thing about it was that it appeared suddenly…as if it had been there in the dark before and turned on its lights when we came upon it…like we had scared it up, or something.

“We were dumbfounded. ‘What the heck it that!’ we said to each other. We watched it for about a minute…and then a brilliant white flash went off…it was like a giant flash bulb from a camera…it was bright enough to light up the entire countryside and drown out my headlights… then it was gone.

“We were flabbergasted. The next day we read in the Grand Forks Herald that there were UFOs spotted in North Dakota that same night.”

“The more I think about it, the goofier it gets!”

Another man, David Danielson, an artist who lives in Roseau, Minnesota, called to say that the Grygla UFO story brought back vivid childhood memories of a frightening event which happened on his aunt’s farm about 20 years ago. In his words:

“I was a little boy…it was about 25 or 30 years ago… I remember my aunt coming over and telling my mom about this…one night they heard a loud humming sound outside…this was on their farm one mile north of Roseau…they looked out the window and saw a bright orange object hovering in their yard…she described it as a hat-shaped object, like a flying saucer…it was about the size of a haystack.

“It had a big effect on me as a kid. My aunt’s daughter had nightmares about the thing for many years after that…they were really scared by this thing. I still think about it all the time.”

David said that he recalls reports of orange-red UFOs being spotted near the town of Malung during this same time period, and that one woman even reported being followed by one as she was driving her car.


Flying red and orange globes are nothing new to pilots, especially fighter and bomber pilots of World War II and other wars. World War II pilots dubbed the objects “Foo Fighters,” using the French word for fire.

Foo fighters were commonly seen by pilots to rise from the surface of the earth, level off and fall into formation with airplanes. Sometimes the globes would “buzz” or harass airplanes. At other times they would come in groups of five or six and fly in tight formation beside, behind or in front of war planes.

Foo fighters were usually red or orange globes of fiery light. They were one foot to six feet in diameter.

The Allies believed Foo Fighters were some kind of technology being employed by the Nazis, while the Nazis were convinced they were something developed by the Allies.

Today, flying globes, or Foo Fighters, are one of the most common and persistently reported type of sightings classified as unidentified flying objects.

Here in northern Minnesota, encounters with Foo Fighters are plentiful.

Some scientists believe that Foo Fighters are a natural phenomenon caused by certain kinds of geologic formations beneath the surface of the earth. These formations rub together, scientists say, and occasionally cause the discharge of large electrical bursts, which may rise above the surface and float into the air.

Furthermore, scientists claim that much of northern Minnesota has exactly the kind of geologic subsurface that would be highly conducive to this kind of energy discharge.

But the scientific jury is still out on the geologic formation, electrical discharge theory, and most scientists would call it just that—a theory—until further proof can be obtained.

Another common natural explanation for flying globes of light is the famous “ball lightening.” But again, the existence of ball lightening is disputed by many scientists, some claiming that the law of physics would not allow electricity to act that way.

Furthermore, people who have seen Foo Fighters would tell you that they don’t act like natural objects—they follow cars, buzz farm sites, harass animals—and some sightings coincide with the appearance of “strange creatures,” as in the Grygla case.

So what are they? That’s unknown. What we do know is that they’re here. It’s a fact that Foo Fighters are spotted frequently and consistently by Minnesota residents. Perhaps a new slogan for the state is in order:

Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Foo Fighters!

E-mail Ken with your questions or comments: