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

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posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by HazyChestNutz

A radio host at the time, Can be found on youtube. Also jet pilots who were "pursuing the object" and the man on the Ancient Aliens episode. Just use a search engine.


USAAF jet pilots in 1942, eh? So much for your credibility in discussing this case.

Furthermore, claiming some radio host at the time who says something on YouTube about it, along with some cat on an Ancient Aliens episode hold the ultimate answer regarding this case-- and telling us to go google them, rather than providing the specific links -- makes for an extremely underwhelming counter argument to the non-ET hypothesis for the Battle of LA.

And frankly, I don't know why ET UFO wannabelievers keeping on citing this as a classic credible UFO case, based primarily on one not very compelling touched-up photo, and taking it completely out of historical context, i.e. never mind that radar was in its infancy; Pearl Harbor happened a month before, hence extreme trigger-happy paranoia on air defenses' part; the Japanese may have had sub-based seaplanes cruising the West Coast as well as possibly balloons; and the US itself was launching weather or barrage balloons, including that night.

It only helps to undermind any legitimate ET UFO contention. Desperately grasping at straws, such as the Battle of LA case, only makes it seem that ET UFO proponents have nothing better with which to support their hypothesis -- that and the "noise" of such cases drowns out the information regarding the more credible ones. Hence the ill repute of UFOlogy as a whole.




posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


i.e. never mind that radar was in its infancy;

By the time of the battle of LA, Radar had defeated the German attempt to invade England. and the Germans were slaughtering tens of British bomber crews, often on a nightly basis, because of their use of Radar. What's more , you can bet every last bit of intelligence the Brits had about the sue of Radar had been passed to the relevant people in the USA. Until the British invention of chaff, the bomber offensive against Germany was running at around a 20% loss rate per mission, which in military terms is right on the edge of being unsustainable. That was, almost exclusively down to Radar being used as part of a chain of defense.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 


If the AA couldn't reach an altitude of much over 15,000 feet, the shrapnel is not going to go up another 10,000 feet -- particularly with a whole lot of velocity. Also, as was mentioned somewhere on this thread (or cited by link, I am not sure now), the USAAF had experience with seeing how hard it was to shoot a balloon out of the sky, even when they were in range of the AA shells. I would also suspect that a month after Pearl Harbor, the US home defense AA crews weren't all that well trained, and that war jitters were involved in a good deal of the firing. I also read some accounts of pilots who were possibly going to be ordered up that night, who were quite glad they weren't because they had an idea of how well the AA gunners could spot real targets vs. friendly air craft (again, think it was directly on this thread, but not sure). Bottom line: the fact that no shot-down balloon was recovered does not mean that the UFO wasn't, in fact, a balloon; moreover, there are other more prosaic explanations than an ET UFO for why the AA barrage began. And once it began, it is not surprising that it continued for a while.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by MrInquisitive
 


No, the simple fact the wind was blowing in the wrong direction meant there were no balloons shot down over LA that night a fact that is often completely overlooked . The air defense did their job exactly as ordered and trained. Interceptor pilots were often told to stay out of the allotted ack ack boxes for their own safety although, individuals did brave it, knowing they were liable to be shot down by their own side. Just cos, in hind site it looks confused, is just ascribing modern methods in a wholly wrong and pointless manner.

How many times does it have to be explained. Ack Ack fired up into the air very rarely at a specific target. Yes, to the untrained observer it looks like it's chaotic and as a result of war nerves. It is not and it wasn't in this case, it was how ack ack was ultilised, all over the world, when defending a large urban area.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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need 20 post



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 

As pointed out here:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
at the time of the Battle of Los Angeles the air defense capabilities, including radar equipment an operators, on the West Coast were dismal.

Equally serious was the problem of equipment. In a report filled with illuminating detail, the British expert found our seaward reconnaissance grossly inefficient because of the total lack of ASV equipment and because of the limited number of patrol aircraft of suitable range. The radar screen along the West Coast was based on too few stations, and the equipment itself had inherent defects which made it "gravely unsuitable." All radar experts were agreed that each set represented a compromise between a variety of demands, but the principal American radar was "unique in combining slow search with poor cover in elevation, with lack of all facilities for eight finding, and with a grave danger of plotting false tracks." Moreover, dependable employment of this radar had been made even more unlikely because of a mistake in the selection of sites for its installation. Personnel to operate the radars had not been carefully selected and were inadequate both in numbers and in training. The United States was found to have repeated an early error of Britain in failing to provide for the training of large numbers of skilled radar technicians.

Officials in Washington accepted the report in the constructive spirit in which it was offered. The director of Air Defense at AAF Headquarters concurred in every detail with the findings and called the study "a damning indictment of our whole warning service." He also expressed the view that the situation on the East Coast was worse than the conditions reported along the Pacific. The Chief Signal Officer and the Chief of the Army Air Forces agreed that the cause of the trouble lay in the lack of time for improvement of radar equipment and the limitations imposed by considerations of security. But these officers also pointed out that the War Department and its subordinate units were not organized in such a way as to promote a maximum integration of effort in the field of radar.

Independent analyses by American officials bore out the general verdict rendered by Watson-Watt. Early in February 1942, an Army Air Forces report described the defenses of both the Eastern and Western Defense Commands as "entirely inadequate."

www.ibiblio.org...

edit on 7/7/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


What has radar got to do with the ack ack guns simply doing their job as trained and ordered? If there is an alert they loose off the guns end of,. In other words whatever the capability of the Radar might have been, the guns were firing because something they didn't recognise had entered their air space and 1000s of civilians were dead in Europe because of bombing raids.

The radar at Pearl Harbour picked up the incoming Japanese quite clearly and passed the information down the line. The officer in charge of that area decided they were a known flight of B17s coming in to land on the Island, Surprise surprise the ack ack guns a few weeks later in LA were told to open fire rather than risk another Pearl Harbour, in the sense of, not even taking notice of a possible attack. Had they been Japanese bombers do you think anyone wanted to be the person who said. "Oh we didn't want to scare people so we let em just attack unhindered"

To be hones the USA's arrogance and stupidity art times during world war 2 is not really at issue, although I suspect the families of hundreds of dead merchant navy sailors might take issue with the German U boats having a nice back lit target to shoot at, cos no-one thought to black out eastern coastal sea board towns until it was too late.

Military reports written in the aftermath of a perceived disaster/cock up always err on the side of the inflammatory because they , as they always do, want more money spent on their particular arm of the military. As such, they routinely over estimate the enemies capabilities and under estimate the home defense's capabilities. Many of the problems that plagued the USA radar defense plagued those of the British and the Germans in 1941,early 42, that hadn't stopped them changing the face of war as it was conducted up to that point in history.

Whatever the pro or cons of radar back then on the West Coast of the USA, which were actually primarily a bun fight over who got to order who around and who got to run the Radar, as much as the equipment itself. Something flew over LA and was shot at. The batteries that opened up did so,a s trained.to. The huge difference between the USA and the warring European nations was organisational. That is Radar was in command and both combatants air defense were build from radar up, in the USA it wasn't, Blaming the tools, was as much, a convenient manner of shifting the blame from human error on the basic operational organisational level.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by FireMoon
No more lame and incompetent than your understanding of a 3 inch Archie shell. Ack Ack was area effect weapon and the shells fragmented into hundreds of razor sharp pieces, only one of which had to hit something important to bring down a plane let alone, rip through the flimsy fabric of a balloon's envelope
What do hundreds of fragments look like? I posted pictures of some fragments earlier here, and am reposting the photos below for reference.

These fragments look too large to get hundreds of them from a 3" shell. I understand there are smaller fragments they didn't find, but still, this photo gives some general idea of fragment size, doesn't it? But if you have a better source documenting hundreds of fragments, post it and I'll read it.

framework.latimes.com...




Originally posted by MrInquisitive
If the AA couldn't reach an altitude of much over 15,000 feet, the shrapnel is not going to go up another 10,000 feet -- particularly with a whole lot of velocity.
That may have been part of the reason why weather balloons might not be so easy to shoot down, if they were at 25,000 feet and the range of the 3" shells was more like 15,000 feet or perhaps a bit more, but they couldn't reach 25,000 feet to my knowledge.


Originally posted by FireMoon
No, the simple fact the wind was blowing in the wrong direction meant there were no balloons shot down over LA that night a fact that is often completely overlooked .
You need to re-read the account of the guys who launched the balloons. They said the balloons were being shot AT, not being shot down. After they reported that to command, their unit received orders to shoot at the balloon also, so whoever was shooting at the balloon wasn't having much luck bringing it down.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 



Originally posted by FireMoon
That was, almost exclusively down to Radar being used as part of a chain of defense.
The chain of defense was pathetic as admitted by its own command. Radar being one of the weakest links.

An aircraft attack at Pearl Harbor months before. A shelling by a Japanese sub to the north the day before. A questionable radar contact reported by poorly trained operators. AA batteries manned by poorly trained troops. A weather balloon with a light. One battery opens fire...

All the elements of a case of war nerves taking over.

edit on 7/8/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 02:32 AM
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Tilting at Windmills -- or more to the point: Clouds or Balloons

reply to post by FireMoon
 


The issue of radar has to do with the fact that some pro-ET BoLA folk cite the radar observations of an offshore object going at 300 mph as precluding that it could be a slower Japanese sub-based plane that overflew the LA basin that night -- even though the purported object was indeed flying much slower than this while on land and being shot at.

Comparing the Pearl Harbor radar hits of a large Japanese flying force to one (possible) airship off the California coast is comparing a bushel of apples to one orange. My point being that this speed estimate for this purported object (300 mph) can't be relied on a whole lot given the state of radar technology at the time. Sure it was good for tracking bomber fleets then, but for picking out an individual plane or other object vs. other possible radar scatterers and getting a good velocity estimate is a whole other matter. Thus, if something did fly over the LA basin that night, it could have been a much slower Japanese sub-based sea plane. That a large Japanese sub had lobbed shells into a Goleta (up the coast from LA) oil refinery 36 hours before suggests this is a not unlikely possibility -- certainly more likely than an ET flying saucer. That this attack may have made AA crews more trigger happy is also likely.

Your argument concerning the AA firing protocol doesn't help the ET UFO explanation. If the AA crews just started firing in their allotted grid areas because something was believed to be up in the air somewhere over the basin, then who's to say that anything in particular was sighted to be shot at?

You mention in one of your posts that the wind was blowing the wrong way that night. Could you cite the source for this? I haven't found anything about the wind conditions that night. I am both curious about wind direction and speed as well as possible scattered cloud cover (The site www.climate.gov only goes back to June 1, 1943 -- for LA anyway). In reading various accounts of the night in mention, I have seen nothing about wind conditions and possible scattered clouds. From certain versions of the picture, it appears stars are visible, so perhaps it was mostly clear until the smoke of the shells began to accumulate. This doesn't rule out rogue clouds as being misidentified as a target.

Clearly the phase of the moon is also pertinent to this issue. It was a gibbous, waxing moon (about 4 or 5 days from full) that night according to this site:

moon phase calendar

From what I read in the below article, the blackout commenced about 2:25 am (I'm guessing due to the offshore radar sighting), and the shelling began at 3:36 am and continued intermittently until 4:14 am. And, according to the article, it was a clear, stat-studded sky (which doesn't preclude rogue clouds) . It was also supposedly bigger than an apartment house, which sounds like it could have been a cloud or large balloon. Of course, the actual size of the object could only be ascertained if its elevation were known -- which it wasn't. What was actually seen is also in dispute: one "experienced Navy observer with powerful binoculars said he counted nine planes in the cone of the search light"; clearly that was not, in fact, the case. If people couldn't agree back then on what they saw, how are we to decide now that it was definitely one thing or another?

Battle of LA article

Well high moon for a full moon is midnight. Five days earlier than this would be about four hours earlier, so the firing began near or after moonset. Hence, there wasn't much lighting besides that of the search lights at the time of the AA barrage. From what I read, there were no reports of aircraft engines heard, so I wonder how any searchlights were able to first train onto it in the first place. Perhaps there were air raid sirens too, which would have drowned out the drone of one lone airplane even before the AA firing commenced.

The below article notes that two weather balloons were released at 3 am (just before the firing started), in order to give AA gunners an idea of wind conditions higher up, and that they had little candles attached to them, to aid in observing them. It also says that the AA firing commenced in Santa Monica just after these were seen (although no citation is given for this).

US military weather balloons launched over LA that night

In addition, the Japanese attempted to use bomb laden balloons against the West Coast; perhaps this is what the object was.

I'm sure some (many here at ATS) will say that the lack of airplane engine noise points to it being an ET airship. I'd say an errant cloud or a balloon --either US or Japanese -- is a far more likely culprit. There were various reports of lights in the sky; whether these were from the AA bursts, reflecting spotlight beams, the candles/flares of the weather balloons or something much more exotic is certainly left to conjecture. I'd say Occam's razor tends to diminish the ET ship hypothesis in this case.

That there weren't any other cases like this, makes the BoLA an anomaly; one would expect that if ET ships were cruising the US seaboards during WWII, that there would have been more such incidents.

Bottom line: the Don Quixotes of UFOlogy ought to train their lances on better targets -- or in other parlance -- choose their battles more carefully.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by MrInquisitive
From what I read in the below article, the blackout commenced about 2:25 am (I'm guessing due to the offshore radar sighting), and the shelling began at 3:36 am and continued intermittently until 4:14 am.
Battle of LA article
That article indeed says 3:36 but that may be either a typo, an error, or some other kind of misunderstanding because it also gives another time the firing started which is much closer to other accounts of starting not too long after 3:00:


Why, everybody was asking, were they not ordered to go into action during the 51-minute period between the first air-raid alert at 2:25 AM and the first artillery firing at 3:16?
The 3:16 is much closer to being correct than the 3:36, according to other accounts I've read. It may have been a little earlier than that.

I agree with most of your comments, other than the time the shooting started.

Here's a link to a war department memo saying it started at 3:12, I'd say that's my best guess.
www.militarymuseum.org...
The reason I think the time matters is that if they launced the balloons at 3am and the shooting started at 3:36, it would be less likely the balloon started the shooting as the meteorological unit claims. The 3:12 time matched their claim pretty well.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Now that you mention it, I remember that one of the BoLA sources I cited also mentioned a slightly earlier time, either 3:06 or 3:16 am, when shots started being fired around Santa Monica. In any of these cases, however, the moon would still have been fairly low on the horizon and receding; hence not providing much illumination of objects in the sky.

I agree with you about the timing being more crucial as to when the firing started in relation to when the balloons were launched, although where the balloons were launched also becomes an issue and I saw nothing definitive about this; however, near proto-LAX or Santa Monica airfields seem likely candidates as they are both on the coast and the western-most approaches to LA basin, and one would think these airfields would have been tied into military use during the war.

On a completely tangential note, I found this groovy
, old Popular Mechanics article concerning muzzle velocities of WWII artillery pieces (I was fact checking the AA gun specs from first principles). Amongst other things, it states that the muzzle velocity of such AA ordinance was from 2,500 to 3,000 ft/sec. Doing the physics/math and neglecting air resistance, implies that this weapon could lob shells from 21,700 26,200 ft. if fired vertically. Obviously firing at more depressed angles and taking into account air resistance would lower this upper height limit some, so the 15,000 ft operational limit for these guns sounds reasonable.

There are some other WWII-related weapons articles there too, if anyone is interested.

muzzle velocity of 3" AA shell
edit on 8-7-2011 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


what about the synched gun-laying by the SCR-268?



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by MrInquisitive
I agree with you about the timing being more crucial as to when the firing started in relation to when the balloons were launched, although where the balloons were launched also becomes an issue and I saw nothing definitive about this
Did you look near the top of page 24 of this thread? I posted the locations of 2 of the relevant launches there along with numerous other relevant details.

edit on 8-7-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by mcrom901
 

Only battery B of the 65th had an SCR 268 radar for gun laying. Battery B took part in the firing upon the flare carrying balloon. There is no report of the use of radar for targeting the balloon.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Now you're just making stuff up. Flare carrying balloons were not anywhere near LA that night.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


but the 'directors' coordinated for the rest?

btw, what is the prosaic explanation for the 21 minute tracking?




posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 

You haven't read the CUFON report, have you?
You didn't see this post, did you?
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by mcrom901
 

No. The AAA batteries were not centrally directed.
Do we really have to rehash the whole tread?

edit on 7/8/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


point me to the discussion re the 'directors' at least....


eta...


Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by mcrom901
 

No. The AAA batteries were not centrally directed.


would you be so kind as to share your source?


edit on 8/7/11 by mcrom901 because: (no reason given)




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