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The Smoking (Anti-Aircraft) Guns (of Los Angeles, 1942)

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posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 12:41 AM
reply to post by Extralien

Cool! That's very neat, I'm honored.


posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 12:47 AM
Okay, finally here are two videos of the Re-Enactment 'Battle' itself. Really it's just a nice fireworks show, but I wanted to put it up online for posterity of the reporting on the Re-Enactment.


(click to open player in new window)


posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 12:49 AM
Part 2 -

(click to open player in new window)


posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 01:56 PM
im new here
just wanted to say your work isnt going unappreciated
really enjoying this thread
and i hope this ends up being that final solid undoubtable piece of evidence which prooves intelligently controled ufos which didnt originate from earth

posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 11:53 PM
History Channel's documentary series Cities Of The Underworld will be showing the BOLA incident today 26/03. It is Season 3 Ep8. Though the title is about Manson they are doing BOLA as well. I heard it while on the net, but stayed tuned in until i could confirm that which i thought i heard.

posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 10:12 AM
why is no1 looking into it or following up on this!!

posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by WitnessFromAfar

Very nice WFA!

ATS is lucky to have members (like you) who really know how to approach and delve into an event every ufologist is familiar with.

Your points are valid. There was no japanese air raid in LA in 1942.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 02:04 AM
This has always been my favorite UFO case. = )
Pity it happened so long ago and during a time of war, that blurs things a little.
But the credibility of this event is amazing and beyond any other ufo happening I know of.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 02:37 AM
I have always believed that the older cases are the ones that should in reality, be getting the most attention.

There was less hullabaloo surrounding ufos back then. Cases had more merit. Hoaxers were not as common as fleas. It was much more difficult to fake photos. Heck, even the military helped out, such as their surprising claim they found a flying disc at Roswell.

This one is pretty good, since the best the debunkers can come up with are "they shot at clouds."

posted on May, 25 2009 @ 05:53 AM
reply to post by fleabit

And this particular video offers a theory as to where this craft possibly came from.

First I've heard of it being linked in this way, but it kinda would make some sense.
You'll see what I mean at about 2:50

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:00 PM
I started out reading a recent thread and it linked to another thread, which finally linked here, so I know this is a bump for a thread that hasn't had a post in a while, but this is really an excellent collection of information so I guess it deserves a bump once in a while.

Kudos to witnessfromafar for putting this incredible amount of fact and detail together regarding this highly unusual and unique case. It took me quite a while to read the whole thread but finding interesting topics like this is one of the reasons I like ATS. S+F.

I guess let's start with the radar contact. At 2am an object was 120 miles away from LA. Then at either 2:21 or 2:27 (depending on which source you believe) an object was 3 miles outside LA. If it was the same object then the speed would be traveling between 260-330mph depending on the 2:21 vs 2:27 time, too fast for a weather balloon. Even the jet stream in winter travels at typically 150mph, and 200mph would be pushing it. But, was it the same object? From one of the sources posted by witnessfromafar we find this:

A careful study of the evidence suggests that meteorological balloons—known to have been released over Los Angeles —may well have caused the initial alarm. This theory is supported by the fact that anti-aircraft artillery units were officially criticized for having wasted ammunition on targets which moved too slowly to have been airplanes. After the firing started, careful observation was difficult because of drifting smoke from shell bursts.

So at least one possibility could be a balloon or some other object made radar contact 120 miles away at 2am. The next radar contact at 2:21am or 2:27 am could have been a different balloon? If it was a balloon on the 2nd radar contact and maybe a different object on the first radar contact 120 miles out, then any speed calculations would be meaningless.

I couldn't find any reports of balloons released at 2:15am or so, but I did find this report of balloons released at 3am shortly before "all hell broke loose":

At 3 a.m. on the morning of the raid, the 203rd launched two balloons, one from its headquarters on the Sawtelle Veterans Hospital grounds in Westwood and the other from Battery D, located on the Douglas Aircraft plant site in Santa Monica. So that the balloons could be tracked at night, a candle placed inside a simple highball glass was suspended under each balloon, whose silver color would reflect the light enough to be tracked to heights usually well above 25,000 feet. Lieutenant Melvin Timm, officer in charge of Battery D’s meteorological operations, ordered his balloon launched and had notified the filter room–also known as the Flower Street Control Center, where all planes, identified or otherwise, were tracked on a giant, flat table map–of its departure, when ‘all hell broke loose.’

At 0306 a balloon carrying a red flare was seen over Santa Monica and four batteries of anti-aircraft artillery opened fire, whereupon “the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano.” From this point on reports were hopelessly at variance.

Is that just a coincidence that all hell broke loose shortly after those balloons were released? I don't think so.

I immediately reported to our regimental commanding officer, Colonel Ray Watson, that the guns were firing at our balloon and that there were no aircraft in sight

Watson sent out the order that none of the 203rd’s 3-inch guns were to fire, then notified the Flower Street Control Room of what was happening. Astonishingly, the order came back from Flower Street to shoot down the balloon.

Are you starting to get the picture? was there a coverup? apparently so based on this:

said Timm, ‘I was summoned. I was told to keep my mouth shut, and that there had been seven Japanese planes up there. I was also told that if I repeated my story about shooting at a balloon and not enemy planes, I would be put behind bars.

As for the statement that if they had shot at a balloon, the balloon would have been shot down. Probably so, however what seems clear from that story is that the balloon STARTED the shooting. Once everyone was shooting like crazy, there didn't have to be a balloon to shoot at any more, they could be firing at previous bursts of AA fire.

But, you say, we have a photograph of the object right? This one:

Well thanks to excellent analysis done by Lazyguy in this post at the top of page 3, we have an enhanced view of the "object"

What I can see from this enhancement that what I thought I saw as a saucer shaped object is a collection of puffs of smoke from the AA fire. Lazyguy confirms this in highlighting a smaller object circled in light red in this photo:

In that analysis I have to admit I'm having a hard time seeing any solid object in the red highlighted circle, however this is still an excellent analysis to show that the larger disk shape which appeared to be a disk is not really a disk at all.

So again even the photographic evidence doesn't support any solid object when I look at this analysis. If lazyguy is right and there's a smaller object there, it's not clear.

What about all the witness testimony? well we know that was pretty divergent from this excerpt from the same source:

Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy planes.

This seems very likely since the photographic evidence supports exactly this statement, we see the spotlights focused on a barrage of air bursts, and if there's a real solid object in there, I certainly don't see it, and Lazyman sees a different object than most people do and he's studied it a lot more closely, so it's certainly not clear..

The source continues (See next post):

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:05 PM
The source continues:

In any case, the next three hours produced some of the most imaginative reporting of the war: “swarms” of planes (or, sometimes, balloons) of all possible sizes, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes which ranged from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000 and flying at speeds which were said to have varied from “very slow” to over 200 miles per hour, were observed to parade across the skies.

As witnessfromafar said just because the reports are divergent doesn't mean we should dismiss them all, and I agree, however the lack of consistency does little to confirm what if anything was really over LA. This brings us to another excellent source posted by witnessfromafar:

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
Internet Articles [E-]on the Battle:


Regardless of what was or was not overhead, once the shooting started nobody seemed to care. Whenever and wherever searchlights stopped probing and focused on something, orange-colored bursts of exploding anti-aircraft shells quickly filled the sky around it. At least one unit, the 211th Coast Artillery Regiment, admitted that although its members did not see any planes, they shot anyway.

OK we got at least some guys being honest and admitting that they didn't see any planes but were shooting anyway. Maybe others fell into this category but were reluctant to admit it with the "incompetence" charges being hurled about, not to mention some civilian casualties. If you are still skeptical of mass hysteria consider the words of John Ziesler:

Sergeant John Ziesler, with the 122nd Coast Artillery in Downey, said that as soon as his battery went into action everyone went crazy: ‘Guys were seen firing .45 pistols, rifles, submachine guns; even the 37mm guns from the roof of the aircraft plant were firing. You could hear the expended ordnance landing all around.

And the final conclusion in that story which nobody else seems to have mentioned so I'll mention it here as a possible alternative explanation:

Although nobody from the Fourth ever came forward to admit that, possibly, the ‘raid’ was more the result of overreaction by its men than marauding Japanese aircraft, it is almost certain that the excitement that evening stemmed from a misread radar contact that placed the city on a red alert, and underexperienced and overanxious anti-aircraft gunners who chose to shoot first and ask questions later when the balloons began floating over the city.

OK that's one man's opinion and whether he's right or not I think it deserves as much consideration as some of the other theories like extraterrestrial craft. So, what's my opinion?
I like the Jeff Rittzmann post by witnessfrom afar here:

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
Hello All!

Extralien took extra steps last night to get an image analyst to weigh in on the above experiment, and quite generously, Jeff Ritzmann gave it a look.

Jeff is very busy this morning, and didn't have time to post, but he sent me the following reply, and asked me to post it here:

"You can post this for me in the thread since I don't know when I'll get in today:

I think while it's an admirable undertaking you've done, it's got two very, very serious issues: cloud cover and shell smoke.

To do a fair comparison, you'd need the exact cloud cover, and the added smoke from the anti-aircraft shells exploding. You wont be able to negate that the object might be not only a convergence of spots, but also that convergence coupled with significant smoke and unknown cloud cover.

It's essentially a dead end. We cannot duplicate the night, with all it's nuances. Could the lighted object in the spots be the craft? Yup. Could it be a wishful thinking UFO made of smoke and clouds and spot convergence? Yup.

For what it's worth, I think we might be seeing whatever was up there...but I don't think we'll ever be sure.

Unfortunately, there's just too many nuances and unknowns to base that on a very old poor quality photo.


I agree with Jeff, could be either a lighted object, or lighted smoke and/or clouds. Thanks to lazyguy for helping to shed "light" on that situation (sorry for the pun) with his enhancements of the photo in question shown in my previous post.

I appreciate all the hard work by witnessfromafar and others who posted here to shed light on this mysterious case!

[edit on 28-7-2009 by Arbitrageur]

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

This post has been reprinted (with permission) from a U2U I sent to Arbitrageur, regarding the BOLA thread you are currently reading. I felt it necessary to reply first to Arbitrageur, to thank him/her for their serious research into this case. Today is the first chance I've had in a while to actually post here in the thread, so I thought I would share my reply to Arbit's well researched points here also:

From my U2U to Arbit:

"Arbitrageur -
I'm extremely impressed with the amount of research you put into the post in the BOLA thread I started.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for examining the evidence! I personally have not stopped in at ATS for several months, due to the fact that many claimed 'skeptics' here at ATS refuse to examine the evidence I've presented in the BOLA case. Thank you for showing true skepticism, by actually researching and forming tentative conclusions based upon the evidence at hand.

It's really strange that you were posting as I came to check up on the thread for the first time in months... Well met friend.

I don't really have the time in my personal life at the moment to jump back into the thread again right now, but I would like to offer you some things I've learned from my own research...

1) The radar contacts appear from the reports I've read to be the same contact target. The initial radar contact came from a coastal anti-aircraft battery (a portable radar unit, and radar was in its infancy at the time...) The second contact was a verification of the original contact, from a nearby Radar HQ (a permanent radar station with better equipment, in a position with command authority).

As I understand it, the first contact was radioed in for verification, which took some time. The soonest the contact could be verified, it had advanced significantly towards the California Coastline.

2) The 'cloud & light' theory in the LA Times image...
I cannot say my conclusions are correct, but they did come as a result of serious photographic analysis, and my findings independently corroborate Dr. Bruce Macabee's own findings. I may be wrong, but I'd like you to take another look at my photo analysis, and the conclusions I've drawn from that analysis, and subsequent experiments with light and 'fog/clouds' since... It seems to me that a physical object would be necessary to end the beam of light emanating from such a searchlight.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, however there is substantial supporting evidence for this when taken in comparison with the actual Searchlights from the Era (photographed from the most recent re-eneactment), where these beams intersect with smoke/fog created by the re-eneactment explosions under similar conditions...

Thank you again for your diligent analysis here friend! I'd love to hear your thoughts on these points.

Sorry for lack of direct sourcing, I'm hoping you can find this in the thread itself... Here is the photographic analysis I was referring to:

and here is the post in the thread where I explain that image:

And here is Dr. Macabee's independent study, coming to similar conclusions:

Thanks again for examining this case and all of it's evidence!


... more to come as time allows ...

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:11 PM
reply to post by WitnessFromAfar

Hi Witness, Yes good stuff, I'll post my U2U reply to you here as well, it's a good discussion so we may as well share it in the thread:

"Hey thanks for the U2U because now I can personally thank you for putting such a great thread together! I didn't know much about that case before I read your thread so it was very informative and all those great references you pulled together helped a lot! So, THANK YOU!!!

I ended my analysis with the quote from Jeff because he said it could be either a solid object, or just smoke, and we'll probably never know, and I think he's right.

As for Dr. Macabee's study, I have to say I personally find the analysis done by Lazyguy to be much more persuasive, so if I have to pick one, I'd choose Lazyguys as being closer to being correct.

As for your analysis, yes it could be a solid object blocking the searchlights. But one "flaw" I saw in your logic in ruling out smoke is that you produced a picture of smoke that didn't block the searchlight and concluded that "therefore smoke doesn't block searchlights" and therefore it must be solid. What you really proved is that in that one photo, the smoke wasn't dense enough to block the light. I think if they fired enough shells all in the same spot, it's conceivable the smoke could get dense enough to block the light. But as I already said, it could be either a solid object, or smoke, I happen to think the smoke and or clouds seems a little more likely but am not 100% convinced it was just smoke.

There are 2 very puzzling facts I never figured out. Yes I agree it seemed to be an object they tracked from 2am to 2:21 am, but what happened to it at 2:21? It disappeared right? Where was it from 2:21 to 3:00? That's the biggest mystery of the entire case, and I have no answer for that.

The other mystery is why no planes were launched to intercept the object. They had plenty of time to scramble a squadron between 2:10 and 3am yet no planes were ever launched. This one I can answer, it's because whenever the object disappeared at 2:21, it never re-appeared, therefore there was nothing to launch the planes after at 3:05 when they started shooting. At least, the air force maintains there was nothing in the sky OVER LA after 3am. All the research I did on the case supports the assertion by the Air Force. There was a radar contact from 2am to 2:21 am but once that disappeared there was nothing for them to intercept.


Thanks again and take care!


[edit on 21-8-2009 by Arbitrageur]

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:29 PM
witnessfromafar, one more thing....

Congratulations!! Your topic made the top UFO post "Hit Parade" here:

That was stickied as a permanent UFO reference by the site owners. I'm glad they did that because great threads like this one with so many valuable references, need to be indexed so all the great work you did isn't lost in the shuffle of new threads, many of which aren't even in the same class of this detailed work.

So now all the hard work you put into this excellent reference on the topic won't be lost.

Way to go!! I also thanked jkrog08 and themythlives for the index and you may want to drop them a "thank you" note in their thread also, to thank them for their efforts and for making your thread their pick for THE site UFO index. It's people like you and them that make ATS such a great site with these great references. Thanks again for your contribution! I'm glad they recognized it too!

posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Holy Crap! Thanks for the Link Arbit! I didn't even know such a thread existed... I guess I stepped away from my work at ATS for far too long...

I'm extremely honored that this case was featured, it's a testament to all of the dedicated researchers who contributed to this thread. Another ATS member, Frank Warren, should also be properly credited for his research into this case. If not for the Frank's research, much of the assembly and analysis done in this thread would have been impossible.

Wow. What a great day for those interested in examining evidence!

Arbit, I'm about to head out the door at work today, so I probably won't get a chance to post again until next week. I'm glad to have you involved in this investigation, and have no fear that I'll reply further to our conversation as time allows.


posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

You beat me to it.. I was just about to post that link up here too.. But i know I can still do one thing.. and that is

Congrats WFA!!!! You made it into ATS history..
well done on your outstanding work and effort in bringing this thread to all the members of ATS, both old and new.

I know how much time and study and writing goes into such a thread and you have proved your worth with this one thread..

Well done again my friend. Outstanding

posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 11:46 AM
reply to post by Extralien

Thanks Extralien
And nice to see you again!


posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by WitnessFromAfar

I just want to drop by an offer my personal thanks to WitnessFromAfar, as well the many other posters for continuing the FANTASTIC research in this thread. This is a top case and well deserving of the attention it is getting. It looks like much progress is being made so far and hopefully sometime a general consensus can be made as to what the object was. This is ATS at its FINEST. So thanks again for making this awesome research thread, everyone should read this. I really can't add much that is not already known at this time but I wanted to give this thread a well deserved bump and thank the OP and others who have contributed.

posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 12:17 PM
reply to post by jkrog08

i think its pretty clear Arbitrageurs evidence shows this to be a case of war nerves.

when all the evidence is shown theres only 1 conclusion we can draw. There was no threat or ufo it was simply war nerves.

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