The most Credible UFO case ever witnessed by a whole city is the battle of los angeles.
Two and a half months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, at 0215 hours on February 25, 1942, Los Angeles military radars detected an unidentified traffic over the Pacific about 220 kilometers west of the city. The naval intelligence had warned of the risk of an imminent Japanese attack, there had been a false alarm hours earlier and, on the afternoon of February 23, a Japanese submarine had shelled an oil field near Santa Barbara. So the antiaircraft batteries and the pilots of the 4th Commander of Interceptors were alerted -no plane took off-, while the radars followed the object, which was flying towards Los Angeles.
When, six minutes after the first contact, the intruder was a few kilometers from the coast, the military authorities ordered a blackout in the city and its surroundings. And, at 0316 hours, the guns of the 37th Coastal Artillery Brigade opened fire on the unidentified object. In all, they fired 1,400 projectiles for an hour. None hit the target. At 7.21 am, the alert was raised with several buildings damaged by friendly fire, three killed in traffic accidents and three others of heart attack.
“The Army says the alarm was real,” headlined the Los Angeles Timesthe next day. Like other newspapers, he asked for explanations from the authorities. And it was not clear what had happened: “In two official statements, issued while Secretary of the Navy (Frank) Knox attributed in Washington the activity to a false alarm and nervous tension, the Command (Western Defense Army) confirmed and reconfirmed in San Francisco the presence of unidentified aircraft in Southern California “, read on the first page of the newspaper from Los Angeles.
General George Marshall, chief of the Army General Staff, believed that the incident had been caused by commercial aircraft used by the enemy to spread panic among the population. In the end, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, concluded that between one and five Japanese aircraft had flown over Los Angeles from secret airfields in California or Mexico, or submarines. The discrepancy between Marina and the Army led the main media to dispatch at ease.
The Washington Post pointed out on February 27 that the theory of the Army explained everything, “except where the planes came from, where they were going and why they did not send US fighters in pursuit.” A day later, The New York Times poked at the wound: “If anti-aircraft batteries shot at anything, as Secretary Knox maintains, it is a sign of incompetence and nervousness. If they fired at planes, some flying as low as 2,700 meters, as Secretary Stimson maintains, why were they totally ineffective? Why were not American planes sent to chase or identify them? What would have happened if it had been a real air attack? “
“Symphony of noise and color”
Artillery Colonel John Murphy witnessed the battle. The shots woke him up when he slept in a hotel whose roof he went up to see what was happening. “It was a beautiful moonlit night, but the magnificence of the Moon was eclipsed by the brilliant glow of the 90-millimeter and 3-inch guns spitting fire into the heavens, the flashes and the noise of projectiles exploding, the delicate red strokes and green 40-mm and 50-mm howitzers arching lazily through the skies, and the bright incandescence of the reflectors, from here to there, up and down, “he recalled in 1949 in the Antiaircraft Journal .
He saw the same thing as tens of thousands of civilians. “A beautiful image, a great show! But what were they shooting at? “The soldier asked rhetorically in the artillery magazine seven years later. For him, it was clear: “The imagination could easily have revealed many forms in the sky in the middle of that strange symphony of noise and color. But the cold objectivity did not discover in the sky any airplane of any type, friend or enemy. And suddenly, there was silence and only the light of the Moon alleviated the gloomy panorama of a totally dark city “. When he arrived at the headquarters of the 37th Coastal Artillery Brigade, “nobody knew exactly what had happened”.
Along with General Jacob Fickel and Colonel Samuel Kepner, Murphy interviewed 60 civilian and military witnesses to try to clarify the facts. The results were surprising: half had seen airplanes; the other half, nothing. One pilot “described ten devices in V formation.” An artilleryman, “many planes”; his partner, none. The conclusion of the researchers was that everything had started when someone thought they saw a balloon – “Of course, visualized a Japanese or German zeppelin” – and, “once the fire started, the imagination created all kinds of objectives in the sky and they all joined the fight. ” The unidentified object that triggered the alarm was, according to Fickel, Kepner and Murphy, a meteorological balloon launched by the military itself shortly before, an opinion in which Experts from the Air Force History Office agreed in 1983 that they also highlighted how the Japanese had denied after the war that they had carried out an air raid that night in the Los Angeles region.
The best proof of the presence of something strange about California that night is a photo published by the Los Angeles Times in which the light of the projectors seems to merge into an object among the antiaircraft discharges. However, in another snapshot in which the lights of the spotlights do not converge, only the detonations and the beams of the reflectors are seen in the sky. In addition, Scott Harrison, photographer of the newspaper from Los Angeles, has recently discovered that the image with the object is so retouched -with some beams highlighted with white paint and others erased to make it look good in the newspaper-, that, “with current standards, it would not have been published. “
The film Invasion to the Earth ( Battle: Los Angeles ), which premieres next Friday in Spain, takes this war episode as the starting point of an alien attack on a planetary scale. What, in Hollywood fiction, happened on February 25, 1942 is that alien spacecraft overflew the Californian city to prepare a subsequent invasion. “We decided that all previous UFO appearances, including that of that night, were reconnaissance missions … They prepared the ground for the invasion of unknown forces,” explains producer Ori Marmur.
Nobody 69 years ago thought that the alert was related to extraterrestrials because, among other things, the first flying saucers were not seen in the skies of the United States until June 1947. The battle of Los Angeles was incorporated into UFO folklore in the second half of the 60s, but his rise to Olympus from the massive sightings of possible ships from other worlds did not reach until 1987 in the magazine Fate . From that moment on, the craziest ufologists – the same ones who maintain that in a secret base in Nevada there are corpses of aliens and that we are victims of hybridization experiments – appropriated the event , minimizing the historical context and ignoring, like many others Sometimes, it was explained from almost the day after.
That night of the Second World War in which a meteorological balloon triggered all the alarms in Southern California, however, there were many people with reasons to be happy. “The people of Los Angeles had to feel very happy. They had visual and audible confirmation that they were well protected. And the anti-aircraft gunners were happy! They had fired more projectiles than they would have authorized in ten years of peacetime practices, “Colonel Murphy wrote in 1949. And all because nerves led an artilleryman to open fire abruptly.
Japanese submarines on the Californian coast
Seven Japanese submarines had begun to patrol the Pacific coast of North America after the bombing of Pearl Harbor , on December 7, 1941, that brought the United States into World War II. Late in the afternoon of February 23, 1942, one of them shelled the Ellwood oil field near Santa Barbara, California. This attack, led by Commander Kozo Nishino’s Submersible I-17 , and the Battle of Los Angeles inspired Steven Spielberg for his comedy 1941(1979), in which John Belushi plays a fighter pilot chasing Japanese planes everywhere.
The bombing of Ellwood resulted in the destruction of a derrick, a bomb room and a walkway. It was a minor incident. However, it served as a pretext for the internment of the Japanese-Americans, alerted the military and took to the western coast of the United States the fear of an imminent attack that would end up provoking, the following night, the battle of Los Angels After the early hours of February 25, Japanese submarines continued to attack ships and bombard coastal installations.