witness an early UFO Encounter.
On Wednesday, February 25,
1942 Los Angeles was was the setting for one of the most bizarre
and yet little-known UFO events in human history. What unfolded
that night occurred five years before the Kenneth Arnold 'Flying
Saucer' sightings and long before the world was gripped with
UFO fever. At a time when the worst thing America could imagine
was a Japanese invasion, no-one suspected that the invaders
may come from further away, perhaps even from another galaxy!
Something appeared over Los Angeles that night and attracted
heavy anti-aircraft gun fire. Lots of shells exploded on or
near the object but had no visible effect. Officials tried
their hardest to explain what it was. The Japanese denied
being involved. A piece of evidence that can be studied is
a single photograph of the attack. Will modern technology
reveal the secret of the Los Angeles UFO? Read on and find
Timeline of Events February 24-25, 1942 Los Angeles, California.
On the 24th, a warning issued by naval intelligence indicated
that an attack could be expected within the next ten hours.
||A Yellow alert is sounded over
||The Yellow alert is called off.
||Radar's picked up an unidentified
target 120 miles west of Los Angeles. All over Los Angeles,
south to the Mexican border, and inland to San Joaquin
is alerted by the scream of Air raid sirens. The whole
area is blacked out and shrouded in darkness.
||The AAF kept its pursuit planes
on the ground, preferring to await indications of the
scale and direction of any attack before committing its
limited fighter force (no fighters were ever launched).
The mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have
vanished. But then a coast artillery colonel spotted about
25 planes at 12,000 feet over Los Angeles.
||All local radio stations are
ordered to go off the air.
||The 37th Coast Artillery Brigade's
anti-aircraft batteries open fire on an airborne craft
spotted above Los Angeles. The searchlights go on and
converge on the craft guiding the anti-aircraft fire onto
it. The sound of the explosions a dull 'boomp boomp' noise
is heard throughout southern California.
||The guns go quiet. A total of
1430 2.8 pound artillery shells were fired at the object
exploding all around it and lighting up the night sky.
||The blackout is lifted and the
sirens sound the all clear.
The Aftermath of the Attack.
On the following morning the
questions began. The official response was contradictory.
The U.S Navy insisted that there was no evidence of the presence
of enemy planes, and Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox announced
at a press conference on 25 February that the raid was just
a false alarm.
The Fourth Air Force had indicated its belief that there were
no planes over Los Angeles. But the Army did not publish these
initial conclusions. Instead, it waited a day, until after
a thorough examination of witnesses had been finished. On
the basis of these hearings, local commanders altered their
verdict and indicated a belief that from one to five unidentified
airplanes had been over Los Angeles.
Secretary Stimson announced this conclusion as the War Department
version of the incident, and he advanced two theories to account
for the mysterious craft: either they were commercial planes
operated by an enemy from secret fields in California or Mexico,
or they were light planes launched from Japanese submarines.
In either case, the enemys purpose must have been to
locate anti-aircraft defenses in the area or to deliver a blow
at civilian morale.
The Los Angeles Times, in a first-page editorial on 26 February,
announced that the considerable public excitement and
confusion caused by the alert, as well as its spectacular
official accompaniments, demanded a careful explanation.
The New York Times on 28 February expressed a belief that
the more the incident was studied, the more incredible it
became: If the batteries were firing on nothing at all,
as Secretary Knox implies, it is a sign of expensive incompetence
and jitters. If the batteries were firing on real planes,
some of them as low as 9,000 feet, as Secretary Stimson declares,
why were they completely ineffective? Why did no American
planes go up to engage them, or even to identify them?
At the end of the war, the Japanese stated that they did not
send planes over the area at the time of this alert. The latest
official study of the evidence suggests that meteorological
balloonsknown to have been released over Los Angeles
may well have caused the initial alarm.
If the officials can't explain a UFO then they always seem
to resort to the weather balloon scenario! Perhaps the same
weather balloon crashed in Roswell.
These conflicting theories do nothing to get to the truth
of what really happened that night. Perhaps we would never
be able to solve the mystery, except for a single photograph
that was taken during the air raid. We have examined this
photograph and enhanced it, on the following page you will
see the astonishing results of our investigation.
SAYS ALARM REAL - LOS ANGELES TIMES 26.02.42
Overshadowing a nation-wide maelstrom of rumors and conflicting
reports, the Army's Western Defense Command insisted that
Los Angeles' early morning blackout and anti-aircraft
action were the result of unidentified aircraft sighted
over the beach area. In two official statements, issued
while Secretary of the Navy Knox in Washington was attributing
the activity to a false alarm and "jittery nerves,"
the command in San Francisco confirmed and reconfirmed
the presence over the Southland of unidentified planes.
Relayed by the Southern California sector office in Pasadena,
the second statement read: "The aircraft which caused
the blackout in the Los Angeles area for several hours
this a.m. have not been identified."
The term foo fighter was used by Allied aircraft pilots
in World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious
aerial phenomena seen in the skies over Europe and the
Pacific theater. Contemporary witnesses often assumed
that the foo fighters were secret weapons employed by
the enemy. Despite these fears, foo fighters were apparently
never reported to have harmed or tried to harm anyone.
Since the war no explanation can be made as to what these
Street gangs, cops and free poker players reminisce on the peculiar night of Feb 25, 1942 with what could have been a genuine UFO encounter that didn't get much hype. The different stories and accounts remain in the memories of those who witnessed this very strange event in the history of Los Angeles and its people.
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