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"Battle of Los Angeles" On February 25, 1942:


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When America's 37th Coast Artillery Brigade Fired Off

1,430 Anti-Aircraft Shells At A UFO

by Linda Moulton Howe

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Actual photograph taken of eight search lights aimed by American anti-aircraft batteries at an

unidentified object or objects during the "Battle of Los Angeles" some time after 3:06 a.m. PT, February 25, 1942. Santa Monica, California, hills are silhouetted. Photographer, Mr. Calvert.

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Above, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in communication with U. S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall soon after the "Battle of Los Angeles." FDR refers to "atomic secrets learned from study of celestial devices." Below, General Marshall replied on Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit letterhead dated March 5, 1942. Marshall states the Army Air Corps also recovered an object similar to the UFO in the "Battle" from the San Bernardino Mountains that was of "interplanetary origin."

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U. S. Army Chief of Staff George Marshall replied on March 5, 1942, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt

on Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU) letterhead about: "...Army Air Corps also recovered a similar object

in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles," and "mystery airplanes are in fact not earthly and according to

secret intelligence sources, they are in all probability of interplanetary origin." These documents

and many others from pre-1948 are available at www.majesticdocuments.com.

April 14, 2005 Los Angeles, California - Sixty three years ago on February 24-25, 1942, all of southern California from the San Juaquin Valley to the Mexico border were blacked out. Fearing a WWII Japanese invasion attack, air raid sirens had gone on and off the evening of February 24, as intermittent unidentified aerial lights were reported. Then at 2:25 a.m. on February 25, most of the greater Los Angeles region's three million population was awakened by loud air raid sirens that kept wailing for the next thirty-eight minutes. Powerful searchlights were aimed at a glowing unidentified aerial object over the Santa Monica Mountains that was shaped like a "lozenge." Moments later, America's 37th Coast Artillery Brigade fired off 1,430 anti-aircraft shells at the UFO.

An eyewitness, who was 8-years-old that night, is C. Scott Littleton. As Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at Occidental College, in 2003 he wrote about what he recalled:

Prof. Scott Littleton: "I was an eyewitness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February 25 of 1942. I was eight-years-old at the time, and my parents lived at 2500 Strand in Hermosa Beach, right on the beach. We thus had a grandstand seat. While my father went about his air-raid warden duties, my late mother and I watched the glowing object, which was caught in the glare of searchlights from both Palos Verdes and Malibu/Pacific/Palisades and surrounded by the puffs of ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, as it slowly flew across the ocean from northwest to southeast. It headed inland over Redondo Beach a couple of miles to the south of our vantage point, and eventually disappeared over the eastern end of the Palos Verdes Hills, what's today called Rancho Palos Verdes. The whole incident lasted, at least from our perspective, about half an hour, although we didn't time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spent the next morning picking up pieces of shrapnel on the beach. Indeed, it's a wonder more people weren't injured by the stuff, as we were far from the only folks standing outside watching the action. [Editor's Note: Six people died during the event from injury and heart attacks.]

"In any case, I don't recall seeing any truly discernible configuration - just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob of light - a single blob. We only saw one object, not several as some witnesses later reported. At the time, we were convinced that it was a 'Jap' reconnaissance plane, and that L. A. might be due for a major air-raid in the near future. Remember, this was less than three months after Pearl Harbor.

"...And yes, I'm pretty sure it was a UFO. However, what might at first glance be taken for a 'bubble' similar to those often reported atop disk-shaped UFOs is, I strongly suspect, simply an anti-aircraft burst that occurred a second or so before the picture was snapped. Also, as I think about it, the searchlight beams we saw simply converged on the object and did not extend beyond it, although after sixty-one years, I can't be certain. And the fuzzy lozenge shape I remember seeing does jibe with the much closer image in the photograph. By the way, did he (Calvert) use a telescopic lens? I strongly suspect he did, as they were available in the early 1940s, though not for Speed Graphics, which would mean that he used his private camera, perhaps a Leica. In this connection, I'm willing to be that at least one other person had the presence of mind to photograph the object during t hour r so t was visible from Santa Monica to Orange County. Indeed, one or more pictures of it might still be lurking in local family albums. Maybe we should put out a call on the internet asking for folks in Southern California to search their family albums and snapshot collections from that era."



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I don't care what photo evidence you have...e.t.'s are bunk! Crap...do not believe in aliens! People are lying to you when you see an official disclosing material on "aliens" or "et's".

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You cant prove that statement. UFO's may or may not be real. Im sure most alleged sightings are next generation military craft still under black budget and not being admitted too. But that does not mean none exist. I myself have doubts but find it interesting none the less.

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Why would aliens want to attack LA? Its already got enough aliens there anyway tongue.gif . The aliens should come to Cleveland, I'll show em how do it in the MId-West. We use water pollution and smog. Yay...... hmm.gif

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They shot at it, but claim it did not go down. If you google search this event, you will find hundred of eyewitness accounts and almost no debunking efforts. This really happened.

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You would think this is a case that would be researched more than Roswell. Not even a mention of this one on that Peter Jennings special - probably because no one can deny it happened. Now, that just wouldn't be balanced journalism, now would it? rolleyes.gif

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It probably happened and involved extra terrestrials, like most of the others ( Kecksburg, Roswell, China's Roswell, etc.)

Sooner or later the truth will be revealed and I will laugh in the skeptics faces.

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I have done a history search on that date and other than UFO sites cannot seem to locate the story.


I emailed the archivist at the LA times to see what they know.

Let you know as soon as they respond.

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Good thought SC..After all the years reading about UFO sightings and encounters I've never heard even one mention of this one. Nor do I know anyone who has..It seems odd, especially if it made front page copy..

I'm sensing a hoax, but we'll wait and see..

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how niave do you have to be to not belive in Aliens dmgspycat? 100 billion stars in our Galaxy, over 100 billion galaxies, you do the math. There is a near 100% chance that there is 1 and most likely alot more Sentient Beings out in the cosmos.

Anyway, i have never heared of the Battle of LA, ill look it up. sounds like an interesting event.


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This is an awesome read. Never heard of it until now. Up until, the only "Battle of Los Angeles" I heard about was that RATM album.

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Yes indeed. I never heard of tis either unitl I ran accross it today. I found it interesting and credible. I think thats a good thought by SC to email LA Times and research it. I googled with the word hoax as well to see if I could find some debunkers, but no, I only found info it really occured.

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Here is a reported eyewitness account and different pic where the craft is more visible.

Katie Saw It All

By Jeff Rense


Pay close attention to the convergence of the searchlights and you will clearly see the shape of the visitor within the illuminated target area. It's a BIG item and seemed completely oblivious to the hundreds of AA shells bursting on and adjacent to it which caused it no evident dismay. There were casualties, however...on the ground. At least 6 people died as a direct result of the Army's attack on the UFO which slowly and leisurely made its way down to and then over Long Beach before finally moving off and disappearing. ___

In February, 1942, Katie was a young, beautiful, and highly-successful interior decorator and artist who worked with many of Hollywood's most glamorous celebrities and film industry luminaries. She lived on the west side of Los Angeles, not far from Santa Monica. With the outbreak of the war with Japan and the rising fear of a Japanese air attack, or even invasion of the West Coast, thousands of residents volunteered for wartime duties on the home front. Katie volunteered to become an Air Raid Warden as did 12,000 other residents in the sprawling city of Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

In the early morning hours of February 25th, Katie's phone rang. It was the Air Raid supervisor in her district notifying her of an alert and asking if she had seen the object in the sky very close to her home. She immediately walked to a window and looked up. "It was huge! It was just enormous! And it was practically right over my house. I had never seen anything like it in my life!" she said. "It was just hovering there in the sky and hardly moving at all." With the city blacked out, Katie, and hundreds of thousands of others, were able to see the eerie visitor with spectacular clarity. "It was a lovely pale orange and about the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. I could see it perfectly because it was very close. It was big!"

The U.S. Army anti-aircraft searchlights by this time had the object completely covered. "They sent fighter planes up (the Army denied any of its fighters were in action) and I watched them in groups approach it and then turn away. There were shooting at it but it didn't seem to matter." Katie is insistent about the use of planes in the attack on the object. The planes were apparently called off after several minutes and then the ground cannon opened up. "It was like the Fourth of July but much louder. They were firing like crazy but they couldn't touch it." The attack on the object lasted over half an hour before the visitor eventually disappeared from sight. Many eyewitnesses talked of numerous "direct hits" on the big craft but no damage was seen done to it. "I'll never forget what a magnificent sight it was. Just marvelous. And what a georgeous color!", said Katie.

--Jeff Rense

Bruce Maccabee's analysis of the Battle of LA photograph


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Edited by ForRizzle
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The Battle of Los Angeles 1942

Only 1 message in topic - view as tree

JCarew Jul 8 2001, 7:44 pm show options

Newsgroups: soc.history.war.world-war-ii

From: "JCarew" <oth...@prodigy.net> - Find messages by this author

Date: 8 Jul 2001 22:26:28 -0400

Local: Sun,Jul 8 2001 7:26 pm

Subject: The Battle of Los Angeles 1942

Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse

During the night of 24/25 February 1942, unidentified objects caused a

succession of alerts in southern California. On the 24th, a warning issued

by naval intelligence indicated that an attack could be expected within

the next ten hours. That evening a large number of flares and blinking

lights were reported from the vicinity of defense plants. An alert called

at 1918 [7:18 p.m., Pacific time] was lifted at 2223, and the tension

temporarily relaxed. But early in the morning of the 25th renewed activity

began. Radars picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los

Angeles. Antiaircraft batteries were alerted at 0215 and were put on Green

Alert-ready to fire-a few minutes later. 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. Radars tracked

the approaching target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 0221 the

regional controller ordered a blackout. Thereafter the information center

was flooded with reports of "enemy planes, " even though the mysterious

object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished. At 0243, planes were

reported near Long Beach, and a few minutes later a coast artillery

colonel spotted "about 25 planes at 12,000 feet" over Los Angeles. At 0306

a balloon carrying a red flare was seen over Santa Monica and four

batteries of anti-aircraft artillery opened fire, whereupon "the air over

Los Angeles erupted like a volcano." From this point on reports were

hopelessly at variance.

Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell

bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy

planes. In any case, the next three hours produced some of the most

imaginative reporting of the war: "swarms" of planes (or, sometimes,

balloons) of all possible sizes, numbering from one to several hundred,

traveling at altitudes which ranged from a few thousand feet to more than

20,000 and flying at speeds which were said to have varied from "very

slow" to over 200 miles per hour, were observed to parade across the

skies. These mysterious forces dropped no bombs and, despite the fact that

1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were directed against them,

suffered no losses. There were reports, to be sure, that four enemy planes

had been shot down, and one was supposed to have landed in flames at a

Hollywood intersection. Residents in a forty-mile arc along the coast

watched from hills or rooftops as the play of guns and searchlights

provided the first real drama of the war for citizens of the mainland. The

dawn, which ended the shooting and the fantasy, also proved that the only

damage which resulted to the city was such as had been caused by the

excitement (there was at least one death from heart failure), by traffic

accidents in the blacked-out streets, or by shell fragments from the

artillery barrage.

Attempts to arrive at an explanation of the incident quickly became as

involved and mysterious as the "battle" itself. The Navy immediately

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. At the same conference he

admitted that attacks were always possible and indicated that vital

industries located along the coast ought to be moved inland. The Army had

a hard time making up its mind on the cause of the alert. A report to

Washington, made by the Western Defense Command shortly after the raid had

ended, indicated that the credibility of reports of an attack had begun to

be shaken before the blackout was lifted. This message predicted that

developments would prove "that most previous reports had been greatly

exaggerated." 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 enemy's purpose

must have been to locate anti-aircraft defenses in the area or to deliver

a blow at civilian morale.

The divergence of views between the War and Navy departments, and the

unsatisfying conjectures advanced by the Army to explain the affair,

touched off a vigorous public discussion. 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.

Fears were expressed lest a few phony raids undermine the confidence of

civilian volunteers in the aircraft warning service. In Congress,

Representative Leland Ford wanted to know whether the incident was "a

practice raid, or a raid to throw a scare into 2,000,000 people, or a

mistaken identity raid, or a raid to take away Southern California's war

industries." Wendell Willkie, speaking in Los Angeles on 26 February,

assured Californians on the basis of his experiences in England that when

a real air raid began "you won't have to argue about it-you'll just know."

He conceded that military authorities had been correct in calling a

precautionary alert but deplored the lack of agreement between the Army

and Navy. A strong editorial in the Washington Post on 27 February called

the handling of the Los Angeles episode a "recipe for jitters," and

censured the military authorities for what it called "stubborn silence" in

the face of widespread uncertainty. The editorial suggested that the

Army's theory that commercial planes might have caused the alert "explains

everything except where the planes came from, whither they were going, and

why no American planes were sent in pursuit of them." 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?... What would have happened if this had been a real air

raid?" These questions were appropriate, but for the War Department to

have answered them in full frankness would have involved an even more

complete revelation of the weakness of our air defenses.

At the end of the war, the Japanese stated that they did not send planes

over the area at the time of this alert, although submarine-launched

aircraft were subsequently used over Seattle. A careful study of the

evidence suggests that meteorological balloons-known to have been released

over Los Angeles -may well have caused the initial alarm. This theory is

supported by the fact that anti-aircraft artillery units were officially

criticized for having wasted ammunition on targets which moved too slowly

to have been airplanes. After the firing started, careful observation was

difficult because of drifting smoke from shell bursts. The acting

commander of the anti-aircraft artillery brigade in the area testified

that he had first been convinced that he had seen fifteen planes in the

air, but had quickly decided that he was seeing smoke. Competent

correspondents like Ernie Pyle and Bill Henry witnessed the shooting and

wrote that they were never able to make out an airplane. It is hard to

see, in any event, what enemy purpose would have been served by an attack

in which no bombs were dropped, unless perhaps, as Mr. Stimson suggested,

the purpose had been reconnaissance.

Source: The Army Air Forces in World War II, prepared under the

editorship of Wesley Frank Craven, James Lea Cate. v.1, pp. 277-286,

Washington, D.C. : Office of Air Force History

Jim Carew



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Well, it certainly seems as if there was an alert and an awful lot of ack ack went up over L.A., but more than that I'd not be prepared to say. Going to go look at these White House communications.

UFO or no, thanks for finding something interesting to investigate! thumbsup.gif

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You know just from reading the articles from the newspaper that the event actually happened. It doesn't matter what was in the sky -- you know that it had to be something tangible in order for the military to shoot at it. The military is not going to shoot those guns off just because they believe that something might be there. huh.gif
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Yes, it's just a question of what it was. Actually, we know for certain that it was at least one UFO, because there was definitely a flying object and it hasn't been positively identified. wink2.gif

I've downloaded some of the documents that are supposed to support the alien spacecraft theory and I'm going to have a look at them, though I don't claim to be an expert. At the same time, I read the information at majesticdocuments.com about how they "authenticate" the documents they get, and I must admit that I was less than convinced. It seems to come down to "they're real because we say they are". hmm.gif

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Remeber there were actual casualties from the shelling. And property damage to farm. Couple that with the newspaper reports, military reports and eyewitnesses. It definately happened. I think much about this incident remains classified. It should have gotten as much press as Roswell did.

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I just realized something weird, or maybe it's just me. Only places with contraversy with the USA govt seems to have UFO sightings. Or places with nukes plants.

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Actually on the History channel there was a segment about htis. They said that at first they thought that L.A. was being attack by japenese airplanes but when they saw that the thing was not getting any damage they got scared. Until this day no one knows what was hovering over L.A.

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