This is a segmented series of my arm chair investigation into The Battle of L.A. that took place Feb. 25, 1942.
- Feb. 25, 1942 The Battle of L.A. (Two months after Pearl Harbor)
- Jan. 17, 1942 L.A. Times Article: Southern California Defense
- Feb. 23, 1942 Japanese Submarine Shells refinery near Santa Barbara
- Photo Tampering. Is this evidence of photo tampering?
During the early morning hours of Feb. 25th 1942, Army searchlights converge on an unidentified flying object in the skies over Los Angeles. The air raid alert was followed by more than 1,400 anti-aircraft shells. On the following day, the L.A. Times published a story with photos of the event that is now known as the Battle of L.A. and witnessed by a million people.
Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the incident a "false alarm." But due to the high number of eye-witness accounts, newspapers published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up. Some modern-day UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft.
When documenting the incident in 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves" likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.
In order to understand how unlikely it is that the Battle of L.A. was simply over a weather balloon, one should have a clear understanding of the methods employed to attack the unidentified item.
At the time of the attack, the 36th __ had a total of 12 AA (Anti Aircraft) Guns most of which were M3 3" Guns that were being phased out and replaced with the ,,mm. The M3 fires a 12.87 pound 3" HE (High Explosive) shell. HE's have a strong case, a bursting charge, and a fuze. The fuze detonates the bursting charge which shatters the case and scatters hot, sharp fragments and splinters of the shell casing called shrapnel at a high velocity. Most of the damage to soft targets such as unprotected personnel is caused by shrapnel rather than by the blast. Despite the fact that eye-witnesses describe seeing direct hits, a direct hit would not be necessary to bring down a weather balloon that was being shot at with over 1400 HE rounds of AA artillery. The photo below was published just 1 month prior to the Battle of L.A. for an L.A. Times news series and illustrates both the size of the gun as well as the shells. There is a high probability that this was one of the guns and crew that fired at the UFO.