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The Battle of Los Angeles


Battle of Los Angeles, 1941


The Battle of Los Angeles

Case and point: A UFO event of mass proportion: a giant Alien spaceship hovering over one of our major cities, threatening our very existence. A scenario from “War of the Worlds,” “Independence Day,” or “The Day the Earth Stood Still”?
NO! it is NOT science fiction, it has ALREADY happened. When? February 25th, 1942 in the Los Angeles area.

Many believe that the “beginning” of the UFO era was in 1947, when Kenneth Arnold sighted flying disc-like objects over Mt. Rainier, coining the phrase “flying saucers.” This term was already common military jargon by the time of the Roswell event of the same year.

Preceding these landmark UFO events was the mass sighting of a large flying disc in the Los Angeles area in February 25th, 1942.

Coming at a time of heightened security and anxiety following the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor only a few months before, this invasion would become a major UFO event, and possibly an omen of things to come. In Ufology, this is commonly referred to as:

The Battle of Los Angeles

The early morning hours of 2-25-42 would bring the first alerts of an invasion. Naturally, the first thought in the minds of everyone was that another wave of Japanese planes was attacking America on its own soil. Citizens of Culver City and Santa Monica would be the first to witness the surreal sight of a giant unknown object hovering over the suburban areas of Los Angeles.

Immediately, an air raid siren shattered the peaceful sleep of the residents, and volunteer Air Raid Wardens grabbed their gear, and headed to the streets, affecting a total blackout.

Army’s 37th Coast Artillery Brigade swung into action, lighting up the clear, black skies with their massive spotlights. What they saw was beyond belief. With the Japanese planes still flying in their nightmares, another menacing flying machine was now right on top of them.

In a matter of a few short minutes, the entire southern area of California was looking to the skies, watching the intense spotlight beams converging on the giant invading UFO. The 37th’s anti-aircraft guns helped light up the night, firing volley after volley at the large craft.

Many eyewitness reports would state that the large object took many direct hits, but appeared undamaged. The 30+ minute barrage would send fragmented shells over homes, businesses, and citizens. In the aftermath six individuals were found dead from the spent and fragmented artillery shells.

It was reported that hundreds upon hundreds of rounds were fired at the giant UFO, yet it appeared unaffected. Eyewitness accounts described the object as a “surreal, hanging, magic lantern.” The object was especially visible as it hovered over the MGM studios in Culver City.

There are a number of newspaper articles of this event, and an astonishingly clear picture of the object as it was under its heaviest attack. The object eventually made its way over Long Beach, before it silently disappeared from view. The cannons were now silent.

Some of the most intriguing testimony of the UFO comes from a woman who was a volunteer Air Raid Warden. She lived like many others, in fear of another Japanese attack.

Nothing, however, could prepare her for what she so clearly witnessed the night of the giant UFO. Shaken awake by a call from her supervisor, she was briefed on the situation. Living not far from Santa Monica, she was told the object was close enough for her to see from her window.

Peeking out of her window, she was shocked at the sight of the massive UFO above. She described the sight as follows:

“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.”

“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!”

“They sent fighter planes up and I watched them in groups approach it and then turn away. There were shooting at it but it didn’t seem to matter.”

“It was like the Fourth of July, but much louder. They were firing like crazy but they couldn’t touch it.”

“I’ll never forget what a magnificent sight it was. Just marvelous. And what a gorgeous color!” she said

As the giant UFO moved away, things began to get back to normal, as normal as things could get, considering the times. The military clampdown on Japanese citizens, and security restrictions on its native populace made this an unusual time.

Had it not been for America being at war, news of this event would have gained more momentum. The lesson to be learned from this is simply that we must be ready at all times to defend our country, and our globe from any invading force that would take our freedom as we know it from us.

(B J Booth)


The Battle of Los Angeles

Newspaper Excerpts / Eyewitness Reports

Chilly Throng Watches Shells Bursting In Sky

By Marvin Miles

Explosions stabbing the darkness like tiny bursting stars… Searchlight beams poking long crisscross fingers across the night sky…Yells of wardens and the whistles of police and deputy sheriffs…The brief on-and-off flick of lights, telephone calls, snatches of conversation: ‘Get the dirty…’ That was Los Angeles under the rumble of gunfire yesterday.


Sleepy householders awoke to the dull thud of explosions… “Thunder? Can’t be!” Then: “Air Raid! Come here quick! Look over there…those searchlights. They’ve got something…they are blasting in with anti-aircraft!” Father, mother, children all gathered on the front porch, congregated in small clusters in the blacked out streets — against orders. Babies cried, dogs barked, doors slammed. But the object in the sky slowly moved on, caught in the center of the lights like the hub of a bicycle wheel surrounded by gleaming spokes.


Speculation fell like rain. “It’s a whole squadron.” “No, it’s a blimp. It must be because it’s moving so slowly.” “I hear planes.” “No you don’t. That’s a truck up the street.” “Where are the planes then?” “Dunno. They must be up there though.” “Wonder why they picked such a clear night for a raid?” “They’re probably from a carrier.” “Naw, I’ll bet they are from a secret air base down south somewhere.” Still the firing continued. Like lethal firecrackers, the anti-aircraft rounds blasted above, below, seemingly right on the target fixed in the tenacious beams. Other shots fell short, exploding halfway up the long climb. Tracers sparked upward like roman candles. Metal fell. It fell in chunks, large and small; not enemy metal, but the whistling fragments of bursting ack-ack shells. The menacing thud and clank on streets and roof tops drove many spectators to shelter.


Wardens were on the job, doing a good job of it. “Turn off your lights, please. Pull over to the curb and stop. Don’t use your telephone. Take shelter. Take shelter.” On every street brief glares of hooded flashlights cut the darkness, warning creeping drivers to stop. Police watched at main intersections. Sirens wailed enroute to and from blackout accidents. There came lulls in the firing. The search lights went out. (To allow the fighter planes to attack?). Angelinos breathed deeply and said, “I guess it’s all over.” But before they could tell their neighbors good night, the guns were blasting again, sighting up the long blue beams of the lights.


The fire seemed to burst in rings all around the target. But the eager watchers, shivering in the early morning cold, weren’t rewarded by the sight of a falling plane. Nor were there any bombs dropped. “Maybe it’s just a test,” someone remarked. “Test, hell!” was the answer. “You don’t throw that much metal in the air unless you’re fixing on knocking something down.” Still the firing continued, muttering angrily off toward the west like a distant thunderstorm. The targeted object inched along high, flanked by the cherry red explosions. And the householders shivered in their robes, their faces set, watching the awesome scene.


Army Says Alarm Real Roaring Guns Mark Blackout

By Marvin Miles

Identity of Aircraft Veiled in Mystery; No Bombs Dropped and No Enemy Craft Hit; Civilians Reports Seeing Planes and Balloon

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.” Insistence from official quarters that the alarm was real came as hundreds of thousands of citizens who heard and saw the activity spread countless varying stories of the episode. The spectacular anti-aircraft barrage came after the 14th Interceptor Command ordered the blackout when strange craft were reported over the coastline. Powerful searchlights from countless stations stabbed the sky with brilliant probing fingers while anti-aircraft batteries dotted the heavens with beautiful, if sinister, orange bursts of shrapnel.

City Blacked Out For Hours

The city was blacked out from 2:25 to 7:21 am after an earlier yellow alert at 7:18 pm was called off at 10:23 pm. The blackout was in effect from here to the Mexican border and inland to the San Joaquin Valley. No bombs were dropped and no airplanes shot down and, miraculously in terms of the tons of missiles hurled aloft, only two persons were reported wounded by falling shell fragments. Countless thousands of Southland residents, many of whom were late to work because of the traffic tie-up during the blackout, rubbed their eyes sleepily yesterday and agreed that regardless of the question of how “real” the air raid alarm may have been, it was “a great show” and “well worth losing a few hours’ sleep.” The blackout was not without its casualties, however. A State Guardsman died of a heart attack while driving an ammunition truck, heart failure also accounted for the death of an air raid warden on duty, a woman was killed in a car-truck collision in Arcadia, and a Long Beach policeman was killed in a traffic crash enroute to duty. Much of the firing appeared to come from the vicinity of aircraft plants along the coastal area of Santa Monica, Inglewood, Southwest Los Angeles, and Long Beach.

Eye Witness Testimony


H.C. writes:

I’m a WWII veteran. Just thought I’d let you know that I was an eyewitness to the event back in February of 1942. I was 14 at the time, living in the Adams and Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. My family and I observed the entire episode through the large bay window of our home facing west.

The air raid sirens awoke us at 2 AM. There was a period of silence following that, then the thumping of antiaircraft fire. The northwest sky was lit up with bursting shells and searchlights. The action was moving south along the coastline. I remember distinctly the convergence of searchlights reflecting off the bottom of some kind of slow moving objects, apparently flying in formation. They seemed to be completely oblivious and impervious to the shells exploding around them.

I was quite the aviation buff back then, as I am now, but I must admit that I had a devil of a time trying to identify the objects, what with the awe, excitement and speculation of the moment, the bursting shells, tracers, etc. I was surprised in the days that followed to discover that with all that aggressive firepower there was no evidence that we had brought anything down.

I lived on Virginia Road, a half block south of West Adams Boulevard and one-quarter mile south of what is now the Interstate 10 Santa Monica Freeway; about 5.5 miles southwest of what is now the Los Angeles Civic Center; and approximately 10.5 miles due east of the Pacific coastline of Santa Monica.

We were looking in a westward direction from our large living room bay window which gave us an unobstructed panorama of view facing the northwest, west and southwest. We then went to our south-facing kitchen and porch windows to observe the action where it culminated in the south. Ergo, the action followed the coastline.

It could have been two, or three, or up to six miles away, I can’t recall exactly since it occurred so long ago. But I strongly remember the searchlights converging on the bottoms of the reddish objects flying in formation

Scott Littleton writes:

I was an eye-witness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February 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 last, at least from our perspective, lasted about half an hour, though we didn’t time it.

Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spend the next morning picking up of 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.

In any case, I don’t recall seeing any truly discernable configuration, just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob light-a single, blob, BTW. 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. But that of course never happened. Later on, we all expected “them,” that is, the Military, to tell us what was really up there after the war. But that never happened, either…

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