"The Battle of Los Angeles" - *Audio of original news broadcast linked*


by Ivan Seeking
Tags: audio, broadcast, linked, news, original
Ivan Seeking
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#19
Mar5-11, 08:44 PM
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Given that Hollywood is playing with history, it seemed reasonable to give this thread a bump.

The Real Player link above doesn't appear to be working, but the WMP file still does.
WMP: http://mfile.akamai.com/5022/wma/coa...s_news_ufo.asx
nismaratwork
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#20
Mar8-11, 01:44 PM
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Hmmmm... given the conusion at the time, the weak RADAR by our standards, and what you can clearly see and read as being a state of panic... who the heck knows?

I doubt we'll ever know, but it doesn't strike me as being overly significant except that we were waiting for another attack from that direction.
Ivan Seeking
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#21
Mar10-11, 08:45 AM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
Hmmmm... given the conusion at the time, the weak RADAR by our standards, and what you can clearly see and read as being a state of panic... who the heck knows?

I doubt we'll ever know, but it doesn't strike me as being overly significant except that we were waiting for another attack from that direction.
That people were watching may be the only reason this isn't just another minor UFO event with a few sporadic reports. This is the mystery: With an average speed of less than one mile per hour, it couldn't have been a plane. That leaves balloons or a blimp, neither of which should have survived the shrapnel from the anti-aircraft fire seen exploding all around the object. Given that it was tracked for over a half hour over a distance of about 30 miles, it seems clear that something real was in the sky that night, but nothing seems to fit the profile. Also, no evidence has ever been produced showing that the Japanese had anything to do with this.
nismaratwork
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#22
Mar10-11, 09:05 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
That people were watching may be the only reason this isn't just another minor UFO event with a few sporadic reports. This is the mystery: With an average speed of less than one mile per hour, it couldn't have been a plane. That leaves balloons or a blimp, neither of which should have survived the shrapnel from the anti-aircraft fire seen exploding all around the object. Given that it was tracked for over a half hour, it seems clear that something real was in the sky that night, but nothing seems to fit the profile. Also, no evidence has ever been produced showing that the Japanese had anything to do with this.
Oh, I doubt it was a balloon from Japan in '42, but it could have been a friendly craft, such as a balloon. True, flak would generally shred a balloon made of mylar, or rubber, but given the RADAR of the day... maybe they missed... a LOT. I don't mean that they had bad aim, but maybe they were off in terms of altitude, or you have the "basket" (whatever in this case) suspended some distance below the "balloon". You riddle the basket with shrapnel, but that doesn't materially effect the flight characteristics, and a balloon can take a lot of damage if made well. It would have slowly lost altitude, but unlike an aircraft, it wouldn't have plowed into the ground, but drifted.

The "why", or "who"... can only be speculation IMO. Was it ours, and a mistake was made, and a secret kept so that a potential technology or weapon wasn't exposed? Maybe, or maybe it was a gift from Nippon, but who knows? If this was a "right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" this is not a situation in which that would have come to light... better a UFO of whatever stripe than, "Whoops, air defense tracked our balloon that drifted off course..."

I can only say that as UFO's go, it fits a balloon very well, or a 'basket' with a series of balloons hung from different lengths above it.

edit: It could have been some form of helicopter perhaps?... although I'm still going with balloon , not a rigid frame
Ivan Seeking
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#23
Mar10-11, 09:11 AM
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To me it seems unreasonable or even irrational to assume that a 1400 rounds of fire couldn't get close enough to a balloon moving at less than 1 mph, to damage it beyond flight capability; esp when considering the photo on the front page of the LA Times the next morning. They didn't need a direct hit. Anything in the neighborhood should have been sufficient to take it down. In fact, any of the shells seen exploding in the photo should have taken it down, but it remained aloft for at least another thirty minutes after the photo was taken. Also, no balloon was ever found.

Some eyewitnesses reported seeing a large craft.

Btw, I don't know if I mentioned this earlier in this thread, but my dad was living there at the time and remembered collecting shell fragments the next morning. My aunt was home alone with a new baby and a husband overseas. There was an ack-ack gun in her neighbor's backyard. It was all so terrifying that to this day she refuses to talk about that night.
nismaratwork
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#24
Mar10-11, 09:13 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
To me it seems unreasonable to assume that a 1400 rounds of fire couldn't get close enough to a balloon moving at less than 1 mph, to damage it beyond flight capability; esp when considering the photo on the front page of the LA Times the next morning. They didn't need a direct hit. Anything in the neighborhood should have been sufficient to take it down.
That depends on the fire... flak wasn't quite as impressive then as it is now, and shooting a balloon with non-fragmenting rounds, at night, with only general radar tracking (not guidance)... I'd say missing more often than not is not hard to imagine at all.

A direct hit though... that would be hard to explain away...
Ivan Seeking
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Mar10-11, 09:54 AM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
That depends on the fire... flak wasn't quite as impressive then as it is now, and shooting a balloon with non-fragmenting rounds, at night, with only general radar tracking (not guidance)... I'd say missing more often than not is not hard to imagine at all.

A direct hit though... that would be hard to explain away...
Who said anything about non-fragmenting rounds? One can actually see the rounds bursting in the air. Clearly they were fragmenting. What's more, many people kept fragments as mementos. They were all over the city the next morning.
nismaratwork
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Mar10-11, 10:22 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Who said anything about non-fragmenting rounds? One can actually see the rounds bursting in the air. Clearly they were fragmenting. What's more, many people kept fragments as mementos. They were all over the city the next morning.
I'm not arguing against flak being used, it clearly was, I'm just wondering if other rounds were used too, given that AA at the time included... well... some big bullets if you want to put it that way (which I do).

A dirct hit with either should have destroyed ANY balloon, but flak at least has a chance of bursting well off target if the altitude is at all off. Still... it is very odd... it's the only reason I'm reaching for, 'multiple balloons, suspended high above the body caught in searchlights and flashes.'

It could have been a really clever drill, but I admitted before and will again, I doubt we'll evere know. SOMETHING was there, tracked on radar, caught in searchlights, and a hell of a lot of live rounds were expended... it's a mystery to me.
FlexGunship
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#27
Mar10-11, 02:42 PM
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I understand that in 1983 the Air Force pointed towards meteorological balloons as the culprit. I don't think that's too far-fetched to believe. A weather balloon would be too high to be affected by flak guns and, during that time, I believe they were known to cause radar "ghosts" on the clouds below.

I'm kind of hunting for a source right now, and all I have is the Army's official statement about the event on Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Los_Angeles)

@Nismar: I wouldn't be so sure something was caught in the spotlights. A light hitting a spot on a cloud could create the initial illusion. Once additional lights are drawn to the area (as in the famous photo), the contrast would likely be too high against the dark sky to be able to make out anything but a disc-shape.

I kid you not when I say an ex-girlfriend called me in a panic from Taco Bell saying there was a UFO above the clouds. It was a searchlight. I can only imagine that multiple in one area would conflate the problem.
Ivan Seeking
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#28
Mar10-11, 03:46 PM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
I'm not arguing against flak being used, it clearly was, I'm just wondering if other rounds were used too, given that AA at the time included... well... some big bullets if you want to put it that way (which I do).

A dirct hit with either should have destroyed ANY balloon, but flak at least has a chance of bursting well off target if the altitude is at all off. Still... it is very odd... it's the only reason I'm reaching for, 'multiple balloons, suspended high above the body caught in searchlights and flashes.'

It could have been a really clever drill, but I admitted before and will again, I doubt we'll evere know. SOMETHING was there, tracked on radar, caught in searchlights, and a hell of a lot of live rounds were expended... it's a mystery to me.
This is one that strikes me as a genuine mystery as well. I just don't see a balloon or a blimp surviving the barrage of shells fired. Hot steel should have been flying in all directions around the object and for a good distance.

Flex, the military has offered a number of explanations. First was that people actually saw US planes. The next was the nothing was there at all. The latter explanation was rejected by at least one ranking official.

If a balloon was so high that no gun could hit it, then it would seem that no one should have seen it. Also note the angle of the lights from the Hollywood hills. Those hills are only about 1000 feet high. The target couldn't have been too high. Maccabee guesses the altitude to be about 8000 feet based on his analysis, but there is no way to know for certain.

I think the ack-ack guns were good to about 20,000 feet but haven't spotted a source for the guns in use at that time - I Don't know if that's real information or something I saw in a movie. But just by looking at the photo, altitude didn't seem to be a problem. The shells appear to be bursting at about the proper height.

Were all lights trained on a cloud with guns firing? This goes back to the suggestion that nothing was there in the first place. But that is inconsistent with testimony from the time. Keep in mind that this event lasted for thirty minutes with the track of the object clearly identified; both time and distance.
Ivan Seeking
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#29
Mar10-11, 04:08 PM
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Note that one witness, a now retired Professor of Anthroplogy [C. Scott Littleton], states that the object was a glowing blob.

I was an eyewitness 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 lasted, at least from our perspective, 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. 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..
http://wanderling.tripod.com/la_ufo.html
nismaratwork
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#30
Mar10-11, 07:40 PM
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Hmmm... well the "glowing blob" idea could very well fit with a weather balloon, and tracking via RADAR without guiding shells and fusing would almost certainly fall well short... although it might look impressive. On the other hand, it seems like a rather huge mistake to make, at the cost of so many live rounds, but that's just speculation .

The clouds... this could be as Flex says it... or not. If this balloon were illuminated, it would certainly produce a diffuse "glow", and I'd imagine clouds would too. We'd need to know if the spotlights converged on a "guide" via RADAR, or if it was just flocking to one point.

One thing, you an definitely have a weather balloon WAAAAY up there, beyond the reach of flak shells, and still be visible depending on the design, or it could be tracked on RADAR and the rest was about the exploding shells and searchlights.

Given the well deserved fear at the time, and the need to cover even a simple error... I doubt we'll ever know. Truly a UFO, even if Flex's explanation is the one I... well... prefer.


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