January 14, 2019 (radiox.co.uk)
• Many people know “Foo Fighters” as the name of ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s rock band. But where did the name come from?
• The term “foo fighter” was first coined by the US Army Air Force in World War II, as a term for strange phenomena sighted in the sky. In November 1944, pilots flying over Western Europe had spotted glowing objects flying quickly around the night sky – which were thought to be a new Nazi secret weapon.
• These objects were dubbed “foo-fighters” by a radar operator, Donald J. Meiers, who named them after a then-current comic strip called Smokey Stover. Smokey was a fireman, or “foo fighter”, who traveled to incidents in his “Foomobile”. The term was in common usage by the 1930’s, even showing up in a Daffy Duck cartoon.
• “Had I actually considered this to be a career, I probably would have called it something else, because it’s the stupidest fucking band name in the world,” said Grohl.
• Grohl has long been fascinated by the extraterrestrial phenomenon. In 1996, he and his then-wife Jennifer Youngblood made a brief cameo appearance in an episode of the X-Files tv show. (see video clip below)
• [Editor’s Note] Actually, there were accounts of American pilots seeing glowing “foo fighter” balls as early as the summer 1943 on a bombing run over industrial targets around Schweinfurt, Germany, which resulted in a disastrous loss of American planes and crew. Survivors secretly spoke of these ‘foo fighters’ assisting the Nazi Luftwaffe in their defensive attacks. Did Hitler’s extraterrestrial allies deploy these orb craft to help protect Germany’s industrial efforts to build a space fleet, which soon led to the Nazi’s relocating their spacecraft industry to Antarctica?
Foo Fighters – a name that’s synonymous around the world with heavy guitar anthems and the legend that is Dave Grohl. But why did Big Dave pick such an unusual name? What does “Foo Fighters” actually mean?
Back in the Nirvana days, Grohl had written and recorded songs but had kept them to himself as he considered Kurt Cobain to be the musical genius in the group. When Cobain died in April 1994, it looked like Dave would join another band as a superstar drummer, but the world was surprised when he came out of the studio with a whole album’s worth of his own songs, recorded pretty much by himself.
Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters
But Dave still wasn’t confident enough to release the music under his own name. He told Clash magazine in 2010: “Around the time that I recorded the first FF [demo] tape, I was reading a lot of books on UFOs. Not only is it a fascinating subject, but there’s a treasure trove of band names in those UFO books!”
“I had recorded the first record by myself, but I wanted people to think that it was a group, I figured that FOO FIGHTERS might lead people to believe that it was more than just one guy. Silly, huh?”
“Had I actually considered this to be a career, I probably would have called it something else, because it’s the stupidest fucking band name in the world.”
The term “foo fighter” was first coined by the US Air Force in World War II, as a term for strange phenomena sighted in the sky, before the term “unidentified flying objects” became a term. In November 1944, pilots flying over Western Europe had spotted glowing objects flying quickly around the night sky – which were thought to be a new German “secret weapon”.
Dave Grohl and wife in the background of the X-Files tv show – S3 E17
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