Various legends about aliens and flying saucers have circulated about World War I - of which the most astonishing is that German fighter ace the Red Baron shot down a UFO.
The report - from Austrian news site OE24 - recounts rumours allegedly from fellow flyers who claim Baron Manfred von Richtofen shot down a flying saucer.
The witnesses claim that two ‘aliens’ fled from the downed craft after the fighter ace shot it down, according to reports recounted in Nigel Watson’s book UFOs of the First World War.
Tireless alien-hunter Scott C Waring of UFO Sightings Daily says, ‘Its possible that the Red Barons two front machine guns could have damaged not the UFO, but the airier antenna on the top center of the craft. If this antenna was hit by the Baron, then yes, a UFO would lose control and be forced to land to make repairs.
UFO fans also believe that aliens may have ‘abducted’ people from the battlefields of World War I - with a claim of hundreds of men ‘vanishing’ into a cloud during the Gallipoli campaign.
Fellow German pilot Peter Waitzrick said that fighters flying with the ‘Red Baron’ saw an aircraft like an upside down saucer, ‘We were terrified because we’d never seen anything like it before. The Baron immediately opened fire and the thing went down like a rock, shearing off tree limbs as it crashed into the woods.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind that the Baron shot down some kind of spacecraft from another planet and those little guys who ran off into the woods were space aliens of some kind.
The story is highly dubious, however - given that Waitzrick didn’t share his story until 80 years after the event, and chose to do so in the U.S. tabloid Weekly World News.