by Linda Moulton Howe
Apr 15, 2005
Actual photograph taken of eight search
lights aimed by American anti-aircraft batteries at an unidentified
object or objects during the "Battle of Los Angeles" some time after
3:06 a.m. PT, February 25, 1942.
Santa Monica, California, hills are
Photographer, Mr. Calvert.
Above, President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt was in communication with U. S. Army Chief of Staff
George C. Marshall soon after the "Battle of Los Angeles." FDR
refers to "atomic secrets learned from study of celestial devices."
Below, General Marshall replied on
Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit letterhead dated March 5, 1942.
Marshall states the Army Air Corps also
recovered an object similar to the UFO in the "Battle" from the San
Bernardino Mountains that was of "interplanetary origin."
U. S. Army Chief of Staff George
Marshall replied on March 5, 1942, to President Franklin D.
Roosevelt on Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (IPU) letterhead about:
"...Army Air Corps also recovered a
similar object in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los
Angeles," and "mystery airplanes are in fact not earthly and
according to secret intelligence sources, they are in all
probability of interplanetary origin."
These documents and many others from
pre-1948 are available at
April 14, 2005
Sixty three years ago on February 24-25, 1942, all of southern
California from the San Juaquin Valley to the Mexico border were
blacked out. Fearing a WWII Japanese invasion attack, air raid
sirens had gone on and off the evening of February 24, as
intermittent unidentified aerial lights were reported.
Then at 2:25 a.m. on February 25, most
of the greater Los Angeles region's three million population was
awakened by loud air raid sirens that kept wailing for the next
thirty-eight minutes. Powerful searchlights were aimed at a glowing
unidentified aerial object over the Santa Monica Mountains that was
shaped like a "lozenge."
Moments later, America's 37th Coast
Artillery Brigade fired off 1,430 anti-aircraft shells at the UFO.
An eyewitness, who was 8-years-old that night, is C. Scott
Littleton. As Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at Occidental
College, in 2003 he wrote about what he recalled:
Prof. Scott Littleton:
"I was an eyewitness to the events
of that unforgettable February morning in February 25 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
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, although we didn't
time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spent the next
morning picking up 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.
[Editor's Note: Six people died during the event from injury and
"In any case, I don't recall seeing any truly discernible
configuration - just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped
blob of 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.
"...And yes, I'm pretty sure it was a UFO. However, what might
at first glance be taken for a 'bubble' similar to those often
reported atop disk-shaped UFOs is, I strongly suspect, simply an
anti-aircraft burst that occurred a second or so before the
picture was snapped. Also, as I think about it, the searchlight
beams we saw simply converged on the object and did not extend
beyond it, although after sixty-one years, I can't be certain.
And the fuzzy lozenge shape I
remember seeing does jibe with the much closer image in the
photograph. By the way, did he (Calvert) use a telescopic lens?
I strongly suspect he did, as they were available in the early
1940s, though not for Speed Graphics, which would mean that he
used his private camera, perhaps a Leica. In this connection,
I'm willing to be that at least one other person had the
presence of mind to photograph the object during t hour r so t
was visible from Santa Monica to Orange County.
Indeed, one or more pictures of it
might still be lurking in local family albums. Maybe we should
put out a call on the internet asking for folks in Southern
California to search their family albums and snapshot
collections from that era."