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

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posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 02:24 AM
Just in case...

The 208th were in Australia.

The 102nd were on the same ship as the 208th.

posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 02:39 AM
reply to post by Extralien

Nice find! If you are able to find out where all of our AA Units were, you'll have earned more than my respect, holy crap!

This site has great info though, even though the location is Australia (and yes, from the dates it looks like they were still onboard their ship en route during the time of the Battle of Los Angeles.

The photos are all copywritten to the site and owner, but I highly recommend anyone interested to check out this site. There are several pictures of the guns in use at the time, and one in particluar of a 3" (Caliber) Gun that looks like it may have been the same type used in our event.

Anyway, just wanted to recommend the link for any who pass it by, it's got great comparison data from a parallel site of the same time...

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:02 AM
I apologize for my absence of late, work has been taking up progressively more and more of my time

I've been doing some digging regarding the AA Guns and Shells, and found some good info, I thought I'd share...

This abstract report was written on the fifth of January, 1942


The conclusions are detailed here:
"The estimated relative efficiencies of mechanical and point detonating fuzes for A. A. shell obtained from various sources are compared. It appears that for combating small bombers the mechanical fuze should be more efficient if radio height finders are used, especially for the larger calibers. For combating very large bombers, the point detonating fuze seems to have an advantage. Such a fuze should have a delay of about .0005 sec. and should have a self destroying feature. The fuze should be used to arm a relatively small caliber shell such as a 3 in. To attack high flying bombers the 3 in. shell should be fired from a high velocity gun."

This site has good information on the general defenses of February 1942:

It's a good source of reference from Fort MacArthur, and provides supplement study for comparison with their Battle of LA page.

This source outlines possible new locations for AA Batteries, and Searchlights:
"During WWII a number of these guns were stationed near the Long Beach Airport to protect the Douglas Aircraft plant, near the shoreline at Bluff Park in Long Beach, on the athletic fields of local area high schools, and in city parks where the large open areas provided a clear field of fire into the night sky."

Also from this site, we learn that the Bofors Gun was not in use until 1943:
"The Bofors 40mm M1 Automatic Gun was developed in Sweden in the 1930’s and found its way into American manufacture in 1940. Delays in production and a greater need by the navy meant that it would not be full deployed with the army until 1943."

I also found another Historynet page that tells us a bit about the Anti-Aircraft fire itself, that was expended that evening:
"Anti-aircraft guns from the IV Interceptor Command opened fire at 3:16 a.m., fired steadily until 3:36, stopped, then resumed at 4:05 for another 10 minutes. During their 30-minute fusillade, the command's guns hurled 1,440 rounds of 3-inch and 37mm ammunition into the night sky above Los Angeles. Not counting unofficial shots, 48 shells were fired per minute. And almost 10 tons of expended ammunition fell somewhere on the city during the supposed raid."

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this into the mix. I would really like to confirm this information through other sources if possible. These sources seem pretty solid, but it never hurts to have multiple frames of reference.

I hope I'll have more time in the next few days to participate, but either way I'll post again as soon as I'm able

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 07:21 PM
WFA, Don't worry, I know real life sometimes takes priority and this topic is not something that's going to be fully written up and detailed too quickly.

Was just on Yahoo answers

and found this... thought you might like it..

Strange Corridor: Battle Of Los Angeles Open this result in new window
MSNBC News Report 2 mins 31 secs. Original CBS Radio Broadcast Feb 26 1942 2 mins ... I don't know but I know it wasn't a weather balloon. ...
The Smoking (Anti-Aircraft) Guns (of Los Angeles, 1942), page 1 Open this result in new window
Discusion about The Smoking (Anti-Aircraft) Guns (of Los Angeles, 1942) in the website alternative topics discussion forum Aliens & UFOs.
The Smoking (Anti-Aircraft) Guns (of Los Angeles, 1942), page 1 Open this result in new window
Discusion about The Smoking (Anti-Aircraft) Guns (of Los Angeles, 1942) in the website alternative topics discussion forum Aliens & UFOs.
1942 World War II Chronology Open this result in new window
It became known as "The Battle of Los Angeles. March 2, 1942 ... a responsible member of each Japanese family in San Francisco is to report there for instructions. ...;_ylt=Ao8NUwYfIEbarrYxSZfBsFEjzKIX;_ylv=3?p=+Feb.+25th+1942%2C+Los+Angeles

That was related to a qustion on the weather that day.
The link i posted is a search on just the date. your thread comes up in 3rd and 5th place that way.
1st, 2nd and 4th are wikipedia links.

Oh, BTW, weather...

[edit on 1-2-2008 by Extralien]

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 01:56 AM
Thanks for the words of encouragement!
I've done a new experiment that may help us analyze the original image. I'll be posting it tonight, probably in 4 parts. Hope you enjoy!


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 02:06 AM

There are times when pictures are able to convey much more than words.

One of the most striking pieces of evidence in the case of the Battle of Los Angeles (BOLA), in my opinion, has been the photo analysis of the original image done by Dr. Bruce Maccabee. At the time I first read up on this case (many years ago on a now defunct computer) I remember duplicating Dr. Maccabee's enhancements, to prove to myself that he hadn't tampered with the composition of the photo. In his enhancement, there appears to clearly be an object caught in the searchlight beams. Here is Dr. Maccabee's original enhancement:

Direct Link:

My original recreation of this enhancement is now lost, so I decided to do the work again, for this presentation. Below, during the comparison photos, you will see the details of each enhancement I undertook, and the software I used to make the enhancements. In my initial recreation, years ago, I was using image software available on the office computer I worked at then. I don’t remember the program name, (It might have been Corel) but I was able to use Bruce’s exact specifications on Brightness and Contrast at the time. Using the software available to me on my present computer at home, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I had to use different settings to achieve Bruce’s results. These specifications are also listed and explained in the Comparison 10 presentation below.

First though, for background on the photo (Picture 6) that I'll be using for comparison purposes, I will describe how I took these comparison photos.

I was traveling on the 405, South of Long Beach in a city called Costa Mesa. I was headed North. The time was approximately 8-8:30PM, and it was fairly cloudy. I noticed searchlight beams combing the sky in a pattern, when I got to Bristol St. (which is either in Costa Mesa or the North part of Irvine, I'm not sure on the boundary). I recognized this pattern immediately as promotional lighting, I've seen it before. [NOTE: These promotional lights are MUCH less powerful in comparison to the searchlights used for coastal defense in 1942.] I pulled off of the freeway soon after, and tried to take pictures of the beams from a distance with a Sony 7.2 MegaPixel Cybershot Digital Camera. Although I could see the beams visually, I could not get them to come out in my pictures. There is a lot of light pollution in Southern California, so that was also a factor.

I continued on to the Harbor Blvd. exit, and pulled off the highway and into the parking lot for Whittier Law School. I parked and got out of my car, then walked to the back of the parking lot so the parking lot lights were behind me. I snapped two pictures from this distance that barely show the beams.

As you can see from the edited Google map of this area, the marked photo location at Whittier Law School was only .7 miles away from the location of the lights. This illustrates well the power differential between these promotional searchlights and the ones used in 1942 by the army. This distance should illustrate further that this experiment was done on a smaller scale than the original, and I as the researcher conducting this experiment would be intrigued to see testing of a full scale experiment, if funding, equipment and permissions could be arranged for such. Throughout my research into this case, it has occurred to me that a full scale reproduction of the photograph could entirely be possible, on the anniversary of the event, as a part of the re-enactment, if proper permissions were acquired from the city, and the locations of the lights and the photographer could be determined, and the appropriate equipment in place. I doubt such an experiment could be arranged by this year’s anniversary, but perhaps if we can solve for our missing variables such an experiment could be possible in February of 2009.

Here is the map referenced above, with the Whittier Law School parking lot and the lights themselves marked for distance:

Direct Link to Map:

Next I drove the remaining distance to the source of the lights, to acquire further data. The source of the lights turned out to be a parking lot for Wickes Furniture, a Lazy Boy Outlet Store, and several other storefronts, where a SkyTracker promotional lighting module with 4 spot-lamps was placed. These shops were along the backside of a larger mall in Costa Mesa. (See the above map for specifics).

At the lights, I was able to do a few experiments. I took several pictures of the beams in the sky, and in those shots (posted below) you can see that even though the beam originates from a circular plane (bulb) the beam of light, and at times the circle at the top of the beam of light (where the beam terminates) appear to stretch into an ellipse form. This effect is also seen in the original LA Times BOLA Photo.

Meanwhile at the scene of the present experiment, upon examination of the lights’ pattern of movement I noticed that for a split second all four lights came together, directly above the SkyTracker, and seemed to form a much brighter spot of light in that instant before sweeping apart again. After several attempts, I was able to capture on camera the merging of all 4 beams (see Picture 6 in the SkyTracker Photos, below). Further, the beams came together upon a cloud. If the original LA Times BOLA photo only shows spotlights merged on smoke, this comparison photo should be the ideal test (on a smaller scale) to prove that theory.

After viewing the photo set below (which includes all of the photos I took during this experiment), I encourage everyone to examine the Comparison Images, where the above referenced photo of the ‘beams merging’ (Picture 6) is compared to the original LA Times BOLA photo. I have prepared several versions of each image for comparison, and used exactly the same photo manipulation techniques (outlined below) on the original LA Times and SkyTracker images.

Part 2 coming up next...

[edit on 5-2-2008 by WitnessFromAfar]

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 02:10 AM
PART 2 of 4:
First, the entire SkyTracker data set, acquired this past Friday evening…
Modern Day SkyTracker Photo Pictures:
Picture 1- The lights from the Whittier Law School Parking Lot, .7 miles away.

Direct Link:

Picture 2- From the same parking lot, with a better lighting angle.

Direct Link:

Picture 3- From directly next to the unit looking up, pictured are two beams of light and an airplane.

Direct Link:

Picture 4- From directly next to the unit, looking at an approximate inclination of 45 degrees, pictured are the beams and the top of the storefront, for size reference.

Direct Link:

Picture 5- From directly next to the unit, looking directly up, pictured are 4 beams of light in formation, right before they all merge into one larger/brighter beam for an instant.

Direct Link:

Picture 6- From directly next to the unit, looking directly up, pictured are 4 beams of light merged into one larger/brighter beam of light.

Direct Link:

Picture 7- From directly next to the unit, zoomed in shot, showing SkyTracker label.

Direct Link:

Picture 8- From directly next to the unit, un-zoomed shot, including mall sign for scale.

Direct Link:

Picture 9- From approximately 15 feet from the unit, standing on the bumper of my car, to give a slightly above ground view of the unit.

Direct Link:

Technical Data on the SkyTracker Lights can be found here:

Here are the specification sheets on the SkyTracker lights, acquired from the above referenced sources:

Direct Link:

Direct Link:

Direct Link:

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 02:15 AM
PART 3 of 4:
Now for the Comparison Photo Enhancements…
Notes on Photo Comparison Enhancements:
All of the Photos below (excluding the Originals in Comparison 1, and Inverted Colors in Comparison 9) were manipulated using Microsoft Office Picture Manager Copyright 2003. For each comparison, ONLY the stated change has been made from the original photos. In Comparison 9, Microsoft Paint (Version 5.1) was the software used to invert colors. All photos labeled A), below, were made using the original LA Times Photo (scanned to digital) acquired from
All photos labeled B), below, were made using the original comparison SkyTracker photo, labeled as Picture 6 in the photo set above.

Comparison 1- (Original Photos)
A) The Original Untouched LA Times Photo

Direct Link:

B) Comparison Photo SkyTracker (Pic6) Promotional Spotlights (4 lights) Original, Untouched

Direct Link:

Comparison 2- (Brightness Only) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Brightness’ turned down to -83

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Brightness’ turned down to -83

Direct Link:

Comparison 3- (Midtone Manipulation) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Midtones’ turned down to -97

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Midtones’ turned down to -97

Direct Link:

Comparison 4- (Light Color Manipulation) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Highlight: adjust light colors only’, to -100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Highlight: adjust light colors only’, to -100

Direct Link:

Comparison 5- (Dark Color Manipulation) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Shadow: adjust dark colors only’, to -100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Shadow: adjust dark colors only’, to -100

Direct Link:

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 02:18 AM
PART 4 of 4:
Comparison 6- (Contrast Only) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Contrast’ turned up to +100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Contrast’ turned up to +100

Direct Link:

Comparison 7- (Brightness&Contrast) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Brightness’ to -100, ‘Contrast’ to +100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Brightness’ to -100, ‘Contrast’ to +100

Direct Link:

Comparison 8- (Isolation of 'Object') – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, ‘Brightness’ to -100, ‘Contrast’ to +100, ‘Highlight (adjust light colors only)’ to -100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, ‘Brightness’ to -100, ‘Contrast’ to +100, ‘Highlight (adjust light colors only)’ to -100

Direct Link:

Comparison 9- (Inverted Colors) – Made with MS Paint, referenced above.
A) The LA Times Photo, Inverted Colors

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, Inverted Colors

Direct Link:

Comparison 10- (Recreation of Dr. Bruce Maccabee's Analysis) – Made with MS Office Picture Manager, referenced above.
In Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I cannot set the image to a brightness value higher than 100, in fact, setting it at 100 leaves the image washed out completely. This leads me to believe that Dr. Maccabee was using different software. I did manage to recreate the image he ended up with, but for my software the values were Brightness 73, Contrast 68. I also had to create a negative, by inverting the colors in the above used picture, in order to achieve Dr. Maccabee’s results. I created the negative first, then adjusted the Brightness and Contrast.
A) The LA Times Photo, Brightness 73, Constrast 68

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, Brightness 73, Contrast 68

Direct Link:

For further examination, Dr. Maccabee tweaked the Brightness and Contrast again, and inserted a small image within the larger image. That smaller image is recreated and detailed here:
A) The LA Times Photo, Further Enhancement of Above Recreation, Brightness 40, Contrast 100

Direct Link:

B) The SkyTracker Photo, Further Enhancement of Above Recreation, Brightness 40, Contrast 100

Direct Link:

I’ve come to the conclusion while studying these comparisons, that the Original LA Times Photo cannot be explained by the cross beams of the searchlights, without some sort of solid object also being present. I will be online again tomorrow most likely, and will explain my reasoning for this conclusion as soon as is possible. I thought it important to isolate my thoughts on the results of this experiment from the experiment itself. I thought I would go ahead and post the data here, so that the many great minds here at ATS can examine the experiment for themselves. I also encourage anyone with image enhancement software that surpasses the capabilities of my own, to recreate and/or expand upon the data already present. Particularly, converting the new Skytracker image to Black and White (MS Paint doesn’t do this very well, there is a lot of data loss) and applying these filters to the Black and White image may help provide us a better comparison. Thanks for your time everyone, I’ll be back to comment on this new data myself as soon as I’m able.


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by Extralien

Thanks for that weather data, Extralien! I noticed though that you used January instead of February on accident though. I tried to get the data from the weatherunderground site for February 25th, but I can't seem to set the year field any farther back than 1996. Do you have to sign up with them to do so? How did you do that?

Thanks for your help!


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 10:56 PM
reply to post by Extralien

After like all day long (LOL) I realized that I could get the right data by modifying your link. I swapped out the 1 for a 2 in the month field within the URL, and got the engine to pull the results for me. Here's the new link:

And just in case it doesn't open for some, here is the weather data from that day, with proper credit to NWS Daily Summary [Note, some values are blank, not recorded]:

Mean Temperature - 60 °F / 15 °C
Max Temperature - 70 °F / 21 °C 94 °F / 34 °C (1986)
Min Temperature - 51 °F / 10 °C 35 °F / 1 °C (1890)

Degree Days:
Heating Degree Days 65 5
Month to date heating degree days 129
Since 1 July heating degree days 639
Cooling Degree Days 1
Month to date cooling degree days 21
Year to date cooling degree days 36

Dew Point -
Average Humidity
Maximum Humidity
Minimum Humidity

Precipitation - 0.13 in / 0.33 cm 4.80 in / 12.19 cm (1913)
Month to date precipitation 3.16
Year to date precipitation 6.49
Since 1 July precipitation 10.28

Wind Speed - ()
Max Wind Speed -
Max Gust Speed -

T = Trace of Precipitation
MM = Missing Value
Source: NWS Daily Summary


On a separate note, my analysis of the above posted experiment is taking longer than I thought, but I don't want to post it until I'm satisfied with my conclusions and my illustrations are complete. I apologize for the delay.

In the meantime, is NOBODY going to even comment on that experiment?
I'm a little confused? Has the BOLA mystery been solved during my day or two of stepping away from the internet?

I would sincerely appreciate the analysis of the above comparisons by any qualified image analyst here at ATS.

I am not an image analyst by trade, and welcome comments from others like me as well.

Surely the above comparisons must be intriguing? It certainly took a long time to prepare. If my techniques are for some reason not helpful, I'd like to know this as well. I like learning

Thanks for your help ATS!


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 11:34 PM
I really don't see why on the LA photo there must be a solid object.
Comparison 10 should be an indication that the two pictures cannot be compared the way you did(note how one picture completely lacks any evidence of beams, while the other clearly shows them). If comparison 10 is doing that, I wonder what the other comparisons do.

Also to consider: Exploding shells were fired at the location were the beams converged, a smoke cloud should be expected.

Not to discredit you in any way, as this is probably as close as this incident can get to a real analysis. The ideal, but highly improbable one, is to use a camera with the same quality settings, and have spotlights(that deliver the same lighting as the ones used back then), that are spread over a big area, converge just like in the LA incident.

As far as image enhancing, that's a big no-no.
Enhacing implies adding/removing information from the source, the only good use I find for filters is to verify if an image is authentic or if it was made with photoshop by looking at other information(like 'noise') that can't be spotted with the naked eye, or doing comparisons like the one you just did, but like I said, to make such comparisons you need to pictures that have about the same quality.

Great work anyways.

[edit on 5-2-2008 by daniel_g]

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 11:48 PM

Originally posted by daniel_g
Comparison 10 should be an indication that the two pictures cannot be compared the way you did(note how one picture completely lacks any evidence of beams, while the other clearly shows them). If comparison 10 is doing that, I wonder what the other comparisons do.

There are extreme differences in some of the comparisons, absolutely.
I believe that in Comparison 10 the power of the beams in the SkyTracker photo is so low that they don't show up once the photo is filtered, whereas some of the beams in the LA Times photo are powerful enough to remain in the filtered image. You'll notice also that some of the less powerful beams in the LA Times photo (or farther away beams) don't show up under this filtering either.

In fact, doing this experiment made me really get a mental grasp on the distances involved in the original LA Times Photo. Some of those searchlights (while clearly aimed at the convergence point) do not appear to be capable of delivering light to the target. Notice how they stop at a certain point in the sky, even in the original picture before filtering...

As for AA Shells exploding to create smoke, these pictures were taken on a cloudy night, and the 4 beams come together in that picture on a cloud.
It's not smoke, but the reflectivity of the cloud should be comparable.

You are absolutely right that a full-scale test would provide better results.
Although it seems unrealistic, I believe such a test could be conducted during the yearly re-enactment of the event, here in Los Angeles, perhaps in Feb. of 2009 (as this year's is too close to now for feasible logistics planning).

Thanks Daniel for your reply! I was beginning to wonder if I'd stumbled into the twillight zone
I really appreciate your thoughts.


posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 12:19 AM
Didn't know that there was a yearly reenactment of the event, and yeah, that does provide a very good chance of doing what I though was highly improbable. Maybe some ATSers from LA(I'm sure there must be quite a few) can actually get together to pull this off

[edit on 6-2-2008 by daniel_g]

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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.


Thank you Jeff for your thoughts!
Some great points are made there. While I do think there are things we can learn from this experiment, Jeff's absolutely right when it comes to duplicating the original photo. Daniel, I think you and I got a bit too excited there LOL even though we were both aware of the smoke/cloud issue.

Anyway, I've spent a lot of time analyzing the above experiment too, and when I get a chance (hopefully soon) I'll post that here as well.
I think Jeff makes some good points though, and he's most assuredly correct that we can't really 'prove' this one way or the other using a modern recreation that is almost certain not to duplicate the many variables in play that night in 1942...

I still welcome thoughts and observations!


posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 01:00 PM
There's still the math to do regarding distances and sizes etc. We've got most of the data here already, just not the scale of the terrain.

i'm in no way a maths person.. hated it at school..just couldn't get my head around it...

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
I'm just saying it's a little early to draw conclusions, as all the data isn't quite in. But again thanks for the map, and I'll certainly post a flight plan map that reflects the data as soon as I have one. If you beat me to it I'll be more than pleased to duplicate the results independently so we can have a 'sure' thing!

I do happen to agree with you that we don't know what the referenced 'peak' is yet. It could well be an oil tank, like you suggested, or it could be the backside of Griffith Observatory, or any number of other things, including a mountain/hillside.

Okay, after re-reading some of the descriptions, I see I got my directions wrong. Here is a representation of a few of the flight paths mentioned. They don't all agree. Some seem to think the "UFO" came in from the ocean higher north than others, as there are some descriptions mentioning the thing "hovering" over east Santa Monica and the MGM Studios at Culver City. Others say it veered into shore south of Redondo Beach. Like this:

In any event, the construction seen in the photos is unlikely Griffith Observatory, which is located a few miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the park. I haven't been able to find a 1942 photo of the specific oil tank on that hill in Palos Verdes, however, that area is full of oil storage tanks since it is so close to the major oil drilling areas in the area, as well as the port of Long Beach.

Again, the descriptions are all over the place, and the pro-UFO contingent tends to de-emphasize the accounts that mention multiple airplanes. If I was a squadron out searching for Japanese subs and the whole coastline opened up on me, I'd maybe try to short cut past Palos Verdes, then if that didn't work, I'd head back out to sea and see if I couldn't circle around and get back to El Toro or wherever else I originally came from without somebody blasting me out of the sky.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by Nohup

Woo Hoo! Nohup is back on the case!
Thanks for the re-analysis, your original flight path looked off to me, but I really haven't had a chance to actually make a map myself.
This map looks much more in line with the flight paths I've read about!

Would you mind Nohup, (NOT that I'm doubting in any way that you really plotted existing reference points from eyewitness testimony) listing for us which 3 accounts you used in this map? It would help me, because I'm planning to map every eyewitnesses testimony on a comparitive map with a lot more reference points, and knowing what you've already mapped will save me the trouble of plotting those.

Thank you sincerely for following up on this point. I got busy with other aspects of this case and it slipped through the cracks.

I'll be posting again in a few minutes (FINALLY LOL) with what I think I've learned from the above experiment...


posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:08 PM
Okay, I finally put my thoughts into picture form, and I think I can finally explain coherently what I think we're seeing in the BOLA Picture...

Here is my newly created image:

EDIT: As always, please click on the above image to get the full size in a new window. You can save this image and open it in an picture viewer if you prefer. END EDIT

This image was made using the above image in the comparisons, where the Contrast on the original LA Times Photo was turned up to (+)100.

I'll start with what we still don't know, outlined above in blue. These are the distances from the photographer to each searchlight. The math that Extralien referenced above is getting closer to possible, but we need to find out these values. Doing so will require getting the searchlight positions correct, and knowing the photographer's (approximate) location.
I'm planning on taking my data in print form to this year's re-enactment. Hopefully I can locate someone there who knows for certain the searchlight locations, and can verify them for us. From what I understand there are a lot of history buffs in attendance...

Okay, now onto my analysis. Daniel, your above post mentioned that you couldn't see why there has to be an object in the photo. Hopefully this will explain why I think there is one.

The Red lines in the above enhancement (and the red ellipses at their terminus) represent the full power of the searchlight beams. I did this visually, by placing each terminus point at the brightest part of the beam. After this point in each beam, the power (brightness) of the beam decreases expectedly.

I intentionally used the image with the Contrast tweaked up, in order to be generous on the distances that the searchlights can shine. We can note in comparison to the original image that there it's a generous estimate.

After the Red ellipse, I've continued to trace out the diminishing searchlight beams in Green, and their terminus in a Green ellipse. Some of these terminus points are obvious, as in searchlights 4,5,6 & 8. These lights don't even reach the target, although it is clear that their operators are pointing them in the right direction. (This is a clear indication of the distance of these lights from the photographer, much greater than lights 1 and 9).

Some of the terminus points are theoretical, these are lights 2,3 & 7.
For the sake of argument that the merging beams did cause the 'object', I plotted these points at the merge point. Determining the searchlight's power and distance from the merge point will give us exact locations for these terminus points, BUT

Here's what stands out to me as striking, in searchlights 1 &9, those clearly closer to the photographer, the beams never begin to diminish. The brightest point (outlined in Red) for these beams is ON the target, or the merge point.

Now, if the source of these beams was directly in front of the photographer, and the beams made a line straight from the photographer to the merge point, we could not clearly analyze their brightest points, as the whole of the beam would be in the photographer's path.

As it is, these two searchlights are coming from wide angles on either side of the photographer. This tells us that if there were nothing at the merge point to stop the searchlight beam, we should expect to see the overflow light from each beam extending out away from the merge point on either side.

These overflow beams are missing. (NOTE, I made up the term 'overflow' here, it's not a real term, just what makes sense to me as a good descriptive term for the searchlight beam after the point of maximum brightness.

In fact, since the terminus points for searchlights 2,3 & 7 are theoretical at best, it's highly likely that the overflow light from these searchlight beams is also being stopped by a physical object at the merge point.

This suggests to me that there is a physical object blocking these beams at the merge point.

I honestly looked long and hard at this image, to see if there was some way that the Artillery Shell Smoke and/or cloud cover at the merge point could be blocking the searchlight beams, but as noted in the above photo, this smoke and cloud cover exists throughout the photo, not just at the merge point. In fact, much of the smoke lies in the path of the searchlights, and they seem to shine right through it to the merge point.
Additionally the bulk of the exploding shells seem to occur above and around the merge point.

Further, the smoke apparent in the lower left portion of the photo indicates a strong wind is blowing. We do not see the effects of a 'tail' of the theoretical smoke cloud reflecting the searchlights. We do see a 'tail' in the smoke in the lower left portion of the image.

If each searchlight in the picture is the same make/model (which would make a lot of sense to the military) then we should see the overflow light from these beams (at the very least those for searchlights 1 & 9) on the far side of the merge point, with the merge point only appearing brighter than the beams individually due to overlap.

Okay, to be perfectly honest, I think there is a lot more that I've learned from the above experiment, LOL, but this is as much as I've been able to format for presentation so far.

Anyway Daniel, I hope that answers your question about why I think there is an object at the merge point (It also appears visually that there is an object in the LA Times Image, under several enhancements, where comparitively the SkyTracker image does not appear to show an object).

I welcome your thoughts on this, and the thoughts of any other ATS member on my conclusions outlined in this post.

Thanks to everyone for their time and patience, this thread has been a labor of love from all involved, and the fact that brilliant minds keep returning to this issue is quite motivating.

I feel there are many more aspects to this case to be investigated, and I'll present more data when I have it


[edit on 7-2-2008 by WitnessFromAfar]

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:42 PM
A few images and data with reference to flak smoke and its coverage.

Hope it's helpful

The white lines and dots are tracer and flak explosions from ground Anti-Aircraft positions.

WW II searchlights formed part of a system of aircraft detection linking (a) locator devices, (b) searchlights, and (c) antiaircraft (AAA) guns. The locators sent electronic information to the lights and guns, which in turn tracked the target in synch with each other. Once a locator of any of the aforementioned types had "locked on" to an aerial target, the concept was for both lights and guns to be trained on the target (via the height and distance data received from the locator) so the target could be nearly simultaneously illuminated and then destroyed.

How WW2 search lights were used...find out here..

Zepelin caught in searchlights WW1

A view from an RAF Liberator of "moderate, inaccurate heavy and light flak" over a target. The black puffs are exploding A-A shells.

[edit on 8-2-2008 by Extralien]

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