BONN, Germany -- The flamboyant fighter pilot known as the Red Baron not only shot down 80 enemy planes for the Germans during World War I -- he also was the first human in history to gun down an alien spaceship!
DOGFIGHT between the Red Baron and a flying saucer occurred in 1917. The UFO crashed in a ball of flames.
That's the fascinating claim of former German Air Force ace Peter Waitzrik, who says he watched in astonishment as the deadeye fighter pilot shot a UFO with undulating orange lights out of the sky over Belgium in 1917.
Then, Waitzrik says, he stared in disbelief as two bruised and battered occupants of the downed craft climbed from their spaceship and scampered off into the woods -- apparently never to be seen again.
"The Baron and I gave a full report on the incident back at headquarters and they told us not to ever mention it again," the feisty, 105-year-old retired airline pilot recently told a reporter.
"And except for my wife and grandkids, I never told a soul. But it's been over 80 years, so what difference could it possibly make now?"
The aging Waitzrik said he and Baron Manfred von Richtofen -- the renowned Red Baron -- were flying an early morning mission over western Belgium in the spring of 1917 when the UFO suddenly appeared in a clear, blue sky directly ahead of their Fokker triplanes.
"We were terrified because we'd never seen anything like it before," recalled the easygoing great-great grandfather of five. "The U.S. had just entered the war, so we assumed it was something they'd sent up.
"The Baron immediately opened fire and the thing went down like a rock, shearing off tree limbs as it crashed in the woods. Then the two little baldheaded guys climbed out and ran away."
Waitzrik said he assumed the glittering silver spaceship was some sort of enemy invention until the flying saucer scare that began in the late 1940s convinced him that his buddy had shot down a UFO.
"The thing was maybe 40 meters (136 feet) in diameter and looked just like those saucer- shaped spaceships that everybody's been seeing for the last 50 years," the awed oldster said.
"So there's no doubt in my mind now that that was no U.S. reconnaissance plane the Baron shot down, that was some kind of spacecraft from another planet -- and those little guys who ran off into the woods weren't Americans, they were space aliens of some kind.
"You know, sometimes I wonder what ever became of those guys, anyway."