Battle over Los Angeles

Date: February 25, 1942
Location: Los Angeles
Summary: A UFO was witnessed by hundreds of inhabitants, fearing a Japanese attack.

Battle of LAOn February 25, 1942, a giant UFO hovered over Los Angeles, witnessed by hundreds of observers. Many Americans were expecting a wave of Japanese fighter planes, and thought this is what they would see as they left their homes.

Radars picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles. Air raid sirens sounded and a citywide blackout was put into effect. Fearing that the city was under attack by the Japanese, anti-aircraft batteries fired 1400 rounds of ammunition at the UFO. But apparently, none of them hit anything, because no wreckage was found. Six persons were found dead from the artillery shells.

The Army's Western Defense Command insisted that the Los Angeles' blackout and anti-aircraft action were the result of unidentified aircraft sighted over the beach area. Secretary of War Henry Stimson said that at least 15 planes had buzzed the city. He even advanced the theory that the fighters might have been commercial aircraft "operated by enemy agents". But later on, officials ascribed the incident to a combination of a false alarm and mass hysteria.

The incident became also known as "The Great Los Angeles Air Raid".