The Battle of Los Angeles

In the early hours of February the 25th, 1942,
major cities along the Pacific Coast of the United States were blacked out due to concerns
of an incoming enemy attack. As powerful searchlights scoured the heavens,
the roaring streets of Los Angeles fell silent. Suddenly, the silence was broken by the deafening
sound of explosions. The army had opened fire and the city was
under attack. The blackout persisted until dawn and the
troubled masses now demanded an explanation. But no one seemed to know exactly what had
transpired. Nothing but shrapnel had fallen from the sky
and witness accounts were hopelessly at variance. As the war raged on across the Pacific, this
frantic episode soon faded from public consciousness. Years later, the story resurfaced under the
banner of conspiracy. The true nature of the affair had supposedly
been covered up by the government and The Battle of Los Angeles has
since become a staple of UFO mythology. On the morning of December the 7th, 1941, the Imperial
Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor. The devastating attack sent shock waves throughout
the country and in response the United States formally declared war on Japan the following
day. [Franklin D. Roosevelt]
A state of war has existed between the
United States and the Japanese Empire. As the war progressed, Japanese submarines
patrolled the Pacific Coast and occasionally sunk a ship within sight of a major coastal
city. Alerts and blackouts became routine as fear
of a Japanese invasion quickly enveloped the entire western seaboard. Less than three months after the attack on
Pearl Harbor, Japan attacked the US mainland. As the Sun was setting on February the 23rd, 1942,
a Japanese submarine surfaced a few kilometers northwest of Santa Barbara. After taking aim at Ellwood Oil Field, gunners
manned the large deck cannon and opened fire. The shelling lasted for 20 minutes and more
than a dozen exploding shells came raining down on the docks and nearby installations. Although the damage was minimal and without
casualties, the attack had a significant impact on public fears and the
threat of a Japanese invasion now seemed imminent. Due to concerns that the Bombardment of Ellwood
had been a diversion intended to draw attention away from more significant targets, the military
maintained a state of readiness that lasted well into the following day. On the evening of February the 24th,
Naval Intelligence issued a warning that an attack could be expected within the next 10 hours. As such, the southern California coast was
put on Yellow Alert. After 3 hours, the situation somewhat relaxed
when the alert reverted back to White but tensions remained high as repeat attacks could
come at any time. At 01:44 AM on February the 25th, three separate
radar stations picked up an unidentified flying object approaching the city of Los Angeles. By 02:00 AM, the target was roughly 200 km
offshore and a few minutes later antiaircraft batteries were put on Green Alert
and gunners prepared for the city to be raided. Some 25 minutes later, the UFO had been tracked
to within 5 kilometers of the city and so the alarm was sounded and Los Angeles was
blacked out. Even though the UFO soon vanished from the
radar scopes and never reappeared visual sightings of enemy airplanes now
flooded the information center. At 03:07 the artillery units were given the
order to opened fire and from this point onwards the skies above Los Angeles erupted like a
volcano. The firing became sporadic as a great variety
of targets were sighted all over the city. They ranged from a lone enemy fighter to
an entire fleet of up to 200 high-altitude bombers. Meanwhile, equally competent witnesses failed
to see anything at all. Diverging estimations of altitude and speed
only confused the situation further. Some thought the planes resembled birds while
others insisted they had seen balloons or even a blimp. Although the blackout persisted until dawn,
the barrage itself concluded shortly after 04:00 AM by which time more than 1,400 rounds
of antiaircraft artillery had been expended. The evening newspapers struggled to make sense
of the situation. Initial reports indicated that multiple enemy planes
had been shot down across southwestern Los Angeles. A police officer had allegedly seen two planes
fall from the cone of the searchlights. However, investigations by the local police
found nothing but shrapnel and the Western Defense Command announced that no bombs had been dropped and no planes had been shot down. The confusion was only compounded by the lack
of agreement between military officials. The Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Knox,
speaking at a press conference in Washington, claimed the incident had been a false alarm
and that no planes had been present. Further adding that the barrage had been provoked
by nothing more than nervousness and overexcitement. Meanwhile, the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson,
assessed that up to 15 unidentified planes had in fact flow over the city. Given the lack of an actual strike, the planes
were thought to have been part of a Japanese reconnaissance mission or perhaps a group
of commercial planes flown by enemy agents who sought to spread fear and chaos. While the military insisted that every effort
was being made to ascertain the facts this was as close to an explanation as the American
people were going to get. It might have been something. It may have been nothing. No one seemed to know and speculation abound. As the war came to a close in late 1945 this
all but forgotten mystery was suddenly dragged back into the spotlight. Declassified documents revealed the army had
conducted an investigation shortly after the blackout had been lifted and testimonies provided
by military personnel and civilians alike had disclosed a number of interesting details. For instance, the barrage had supposedly commenced
after a red flare attached to a balloon was spotted above Santa Monica. A number of batteries had then opened fire
upon an assortment of aloft vessels including balloons, airships, and airplanes. One unit even reported setting a plane on
fire soon after the barrage commenced and some had both seen and heard the planes soaring
through the clear night sky. Conflicting accounts notwithstanding, a conclusion
written on March the 22nd reads as follows: Japanese involvement was subsequently ruled
out as Japan had not sent any planes near Los Angeles that night and so any planes observed
must have originated from the Americas. But that seemed unlikely given that a thorough
search with help from the FBI had turned up nothing. As such, the Battle of Los Angeles was once
again ripe for speculation and by 1948 another theory had gained support. In 1948, a former Army Air Force Major and
college professor by the name of William Goss extensively researched the incident on behalf
of the US Air Force. Goss was given full access to all relevant
military records and he came to the conclusion that weather balloons had been responsible. And there is a lot of evidence to support
that theory. As previously mentioned, the barrage had supposedly
been provoked by a balloon carrying a red flare. At least three officers testified that they
had identified the target as a weather balloon and one of them choose not to fire after learning
that a weather balloon had indeed been released by one of the regiments. His testimony was corroborated by a General
who claims that two meteorological balloons had been released near Hollywood that night. Furthermore, a balloon may account for the
slow movement. According to some, the UFO required nearly
30 min to cover a distance of some 40 km. In fact, artillery units were criticized by
the investigation for failing to take the slow rate of travel into consideration. On the other hand, the balloon theory does
raise a few valid questions. For one thing, why did the army open fire
on a harmless balloon? Well, one possible explanation comes from
a former Army Colonel by the name of John Murphy who participated in the investigation. In 1949, Murphy wrote an article in which
he claims that when the Regional Controller in San Fransisco received word of a balloon
over Los Angeles he misconstrued its description as that of a large enemy zeppelin. As such, he gave the order to open fire despite
having no authorization to do so. This is somewhat supported by the army investigation
which states that: However, there is one major point of contention
that persists to this day. How is it that some 1,400 rounds of antiaircraft
ammunition failed to bring down a mere balloon? The lack of a satisfying answer to this question
along with the relative ambiguity of many others seems to have given conspiracy theorists
just enough wiggle room to suggest that something extraordinary
must have occurred. It gets even stranger when you realize that
an LA Times correspondent by the name of Bill Henry claimed the UFO had withstood direct
hits by antiaircraft shells. Although, further down in the same column Henry writes the UFO looked like a
batch of balloons floating in the wind. Then there’s this photograph. It was published by The Los Angeles Times
the morning after and it has attracted a lot of controversy after it was found to have
been retouched prior to publication. This is the image initially published on February
the 26th while this is the unpublished original. To complicate matters, yet another version
was then published in 1945. In this version, the image has been flipped
and these explosions have been enlarged. It may seem a bit strange but photographic
retouching was a quite common practice at the time. Nevertheless, in the original photograph the light
beams appear to converge upon something in the sky but what that something is cannot
be discerned. It could be a plane, a weather balloon,
a cloud of smoke, or perhaps a spaceship from beyond the Earth. It’s impossible to say. Other photographs taken that night are equally
devoid of clarity. Although, it should be noted that none of
them depict a UFO of any kind. In any case, a balloon withstanding scores
of antiaircraft ordnance seems highly improbable. Unless, of course, it didn’t. I mean, are we absolutely certain the two
balloons released that night actually remained aloft? Well, according to the aforementioned
Colonel, John Murphy, they did. In 1949 he wrote: “Both balloons, as I remember, floated away
majestically and safely.” But in complete contradiction to that statement,
an unnamed air raid warden claims the firing was concentrated on a big bag that looked
something like a balloon. The bag had then been torn to shreds by the
gunfire and slowly fallen towards the ground. But there is an even simpler explanation. While the type of weather balloon is never
made clear, it is relatively safe to assume the balloon ascended into the sky because,
well, that’s what balloons tend to do. The added difficulty of trying to hit a target
that’s moving both horizontally and vertically may explain why the balloons survived for
as long as they did. If we take these factors into account then
events may have unfolded like this. A weather balloon is first released
around 01:00 AM. Reports of a balloon are then mistaken for a zeppelin
and the barrage commence shortly after 03:00 AM. The balloon is then obliterated by exploding
shells or escapes by means of ascension. In the midst of all this chaos a second balloon
is released and the whole thing starts all over again. Meanwhile, smoke produced by
more than a thousand explosions now create the illusion
of any number of targets. That last part is based on a testimony by
the Acting Commander in which he states that he was initially certain that he’d seen a
squadron of planes only to realize he was deceived by drifting smoke produced by the
exploding shells. I’ve actually covered this case before, over
four years ago, and back then I was firmly in the camp of “this cannot be explained.” [Past LEMMiNO]
Whats more is that because this was during World War II
right after Pearl Harbor had been attacked [Past LEMMiNO]
the military quickly pointed spotlights at the
object thinking it might be another attack. [Past LEMMiNO]
Soon after they began firing and even sent out
fighter planes to attack and destroy the UFO. But much like the channel name I used back then,
my claim that American planes had pursued the UFO was a mistake. While an anonymous source initially claimed
the Air Force had pursued the UFOs… …this was immediately refuted. The investigation justified the lack of pursuit
planes as follows: Now, there is one last major flaw
with this theory. The radar readings. As previously mentioned, three separate radar
stations picked up a UFO at 01:44 AM. The UFO was then tracked to within 5 km of
Los Angeles before it vanished. In addition, multiple radar stations scanned
the intersection of the searchlights while the barrage was still ongoing but found nothing
and the UFO never reappeared on the radar scopes. The thing is, back in 1942, American radar
equipment leaved a lot to be desired. Just prior to The Battle of Los Angeles
British radar pioneer Robert Watson-Watt conducted a detailed analysis of
American early-warning systems. In January of 1942 Watson found radar equipment
along the West Coast to be “gravely unsuitable.” He described it as being in
“grave danger of plotting false tracks.” Furthermore, radar personnel lacked sufficient
training to properly operate the stations. A complementary analysis by the army, completed
in early February, confirmed Watson’s findings and described the conditions of the
Western Defense Command as “entirely inadequate.” Even so, it is rather strange that these targets were
visible to the naked eye and even through binoculars yet seemingly invisible to radar. So where does that leave us? Well, I’m afraid there’s no definitive conclusion
to this story. As an article from 2011 so aptly put it: “[There’s] ample room to support a variety
of conclusions and beliefs.” While there is sufficient evidence to support
the weather balloon theory a mountain of conflicting evidence
still makes it difficult to accept. In order for the theory to work, one must be willing to
discount a vast amount of incompatible information. It’s entirely possible that nothing flew over
Los Angeles that night. The barrage may have been provoked by nothing
more than wartime anxiety amplified by the submarine shelling
from the night before. As Secretary Knox put it, a false alarm. As most witnesses have long since passed away and no additional information
has been uncovered for decades this more than 75 year old mystery
may never be truly resolved.

100 Replies to “The Battle of Los Angeles”

  1. Two Japanese submarine crew are ontop of the deck.
    Soldier 1: Starts filling up a weather balloon.

    Soldier 2: What are you doing?
    Soldier 1: What Im gonna do here is called a pro gamer move…

  2. It was aliens, but they simply couldn't understand why you guys wanted to open fire on them, all over that shithole. They've wanted to study us ever since.

  3. Haha! How are you supposed to shoot down a Japanese zero if you can't even shoot down up big balloon barely moving?

  4. Lets be perfectly honest, if they were here to kill us, we'd be dead. Interplanetary travel is already difficult, but interstellar travel isn't even something we can consider yet. The durability of a ship would have to be insanely high, or you'd have to have a way to either dodge or destroy every asteroid that comes close to the ship. Being able to move that fast with something that could withstand the impact of an asteroid/meteor, we simply couldn't fight back against it. If they invest half the amount of time into developing weapons as we do, wiping us out would take just a few minutes.

  5. This seems to be the first time something like this was explained as a weather balloon. (It probably just kept going south and ended up in Roswell.)

  6. Japanese Navy actually did planned for submarines to carry airplanes AND a aircraft carrier that could submerge like submarine.

    Guess why they lost the war.

  7. I think they just shot down some local farmer flying in a crop duster and when us military heard about it they just thought that "Yeah maybe public doesn't need to now about this".

    I mean the chances of the thing they were shooting was a ufo is small

    Also like what multiple people said in the comments

    the aliens were probably thinking of how to communicate with us then when just decided to land and got shot by everything the military had
    they just left and when they come back they probably are gonna mess us up or just never come back because we are proclaimed hostile

  9. Okay the clip at the beginning of the attack on pearl harbor announcement,,, i have that cip memorized because it was part of a play i was in and i heard it over a hundred times

  10. I definitely think there is something up with this. Though I hesitate to assume aliens, I think some planes and balloons came to la and were shot down. Maybe the military just took the wreckage away in the subsequent investigations for some reason. It's fun to theoriz

  11. Its been UAT & UAP for a while now.. not UFO. Maybe it rained hallucinogens n everybody was high as balls.. baaallllzz high

  12. Having launched weather balloons for ham radio I can tell you they go up quickly 1200 ft a min, I just dont see a balloon hanging around for 2 hours. Ours burst at 100,000 ft about 80 min after launch

  13. Ok don't attack me I am not saying this to start a fight but US IS famous for it's hoaxes and nonexistent battles to create panic over it's citizens during war times. And considering this was around the time they bombed Japan twice maybe, just maybe, this attack was made on purpose. Idk don't quote me on that I'm just speculating according to US's battle strategies with middle east.

  14. Yo your videos sure are amazing but damn putting that kind of music with a fucking bomb image???? that’s kinda horrible


  16. i had to pause and laugh my frigging ass off for a solid 5minutes, when it dawned upon me that they unleashed hell in panic over a weatherbaloon no WONDER they covered it up, specially in War times but still funny as hell

  17. Dumb ass shit… you're telling us they were shooting at balloons and missed? Let's make this happen now with same tech and we will compare result. Obviously independently audited.

  18. Whats missing is the eyewitness accounts. There is a documentary out there that had an eyewitness account from a young boy, now elderly who could recall seeing the UFO with his mom. There have to be more records of eyewitnesses both military and civilian. Yes, memories can be fake or faded but this is what is missing here.

  19. This was very interesting ! -Shooting at their own Balloons – Always good at friendly fire ! – As we've found out !

  20. Unable to shoot down a balloon with a missle? Should have used a throwing dart like at the county Fair. Stupid fucks of course it's a ufo

  21. Considering this happened during the terror of WWII, I can forgive people for being a little trigger-happy with a weather balloon or two. That being said, if I was a space alien, I'm gonna make sure I'm flying around the planet in an area populated with a whole mess of balloons if I wanna get away with murder.

  22. The USA government knew of the imanat atack on Pearl Harbor but chose to stay scilent because they needed it to be devestating to get the war support hight enought to fight WW2.

  23. Why is it that some people can see the UFO's and then others can't? There is something more sinister going on here on this planet and it is worldwide. South America, Europe, Canada, The UK, Russia, Asia. There are evil beings in Mt. Shasta, the grand canyon, National parks, triangle areas (Alaska, The Great Lakes, Bermuda, Dragon's and Nova Scotia) I just don't understand the fact that they are visible to some and not others. I know they are real and have had my experiences with them even from the age of 5 but I have never seen them visibly.

  24. It’s funny becuz when it showed 1945 the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were dropped and he was playing calm music while Japanese people are dying by the bomb

  25. At least one things for certain even today, UFO'S are factual.

    Seen one myself few years ago and I still have no clue as to what the hell it was.

  26. Even aliens picked the Axis side. Fuck america and their propaganda news terrorist nation fuckin jew ass lickers