I have a funny idea that something known as "Scarecrow" was much in vogue in the night skies of Germany in 1944 which bomber crews were assured was a cunning German device to scare them, but was quite harmless. However this later proved to be real, and what the crews had been seeing were exploding Lancasters an Halifaxes! Does anything along these lines ring bells with anybody? This was also mentioned to me by an ex-Lancaster pilot who was over Germany in the late 1944/early 1945 period, but he claimed that, although they had heard about the "scarecrows", they KNEW it was really exploding bombers as they were sometimes close enough to see them (although it was not clear to me that this particular pilot had seen them himslef, or whether he heard about from others who had.
David D