UFO Spotted Over Los Angeles During World War II

Thousands 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 out...

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.

7.18pm A Yellow alert is sounded over Los Angeles.
10:23pm The Yellow alert is called off.
2.21am 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.
2.43am 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.
3.08am All local radio stations are ordered to go off the air.
3.36am 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.
4.14am 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.
7.21 am 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 enemy’s 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 balloons—known 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.

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 objects were.



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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