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The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, is the name given by contemporary sources to the rumored enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles, California. The incident occurred less than three months after the United States entered World War II as a result of the Japanese Imperial Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one day after the Bombardment of Ellwood on 23 February.
Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the incident a "false alarm." Newspapers of the time published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up. Some modern-day UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft. When documenting the incident in 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of "war nerves" likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.
Within hours of the end of the air raid, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox held a press conference, saying the entire incident was a false alarm due to anxiety and "war nerves". Knox's comments were followed by statements from the Army the next day that reflected General George C. Marshall's belief that the incident might have been caused by commercial airplanes used as a psychological warfare campaign to generate panic.
Some contemporary press outlets suspected a cover up. An editorial in the Long Beach Independent wrote, "There is a mysterious reticence about the whole affair and it appears that some form of censorship is trying to halt discussion on the matter." Speculation was rampant as to invading airplanes and their bases. Theories included a secret base in northern Mexico as well as Japanese submarines stationed offshore with the capability of carrying planes. Others speculated that the incident was either staged or exaggerated to give coastal defense industries an excuse to move further inland.
Representative Leland Ford of Santa Monica called for a Congressional investigation, saying, "...none of the explanations so far offered removed the episode from the category of 'complete mystification' ... this was either a practice raid, or a raid to throw a scare into 2,000,000 people, or a mistaken identity raid, or a raid to lay a political foundation to take away Southern California's war industries."
The Lubbock Lights were an unusual formation of lights seen over the city of Lubbock, Texas, from August-September 1951. The Lubbock Lights incident received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great UFO cases in the United States.
The first publicized sighting of the lights occurred on August 25, 1951, at around 9 pm. Three professors from Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University), located in Lubbock, were sitting in the backyard of one of the professor's homes when they observed the "lights" fly overhead. A total of 20-30 lights, as bright as stars but larger in size, flew over the yard in a matter of seconds. The professors immediately ruled out meteors as a possible cause for the sightings, and as they discussed their sighting a second, similar, group of lights flew overhead.
The three professors - Dr. A.G. Oberg, chemical engineer, Dr. W.L. Ducker, a department head and petroleum engineer, and Dr. W.I. Robinson, a geologist - reported their sighting to the local newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Following the newspaper's article, three women in Lubbock reported that they had observed "peculiar flashing lights" in the sky on the same night of the professor's sightings. Dr. Carl Hemminger, a professor of German at Texas Tech, also reported seeing the objects, as did the head of the college's journalism department.
The three professors became determined to view the objects again and perhaps discover their identity. On September 5, 1951, all three men, along with two other professors from Texas Tech, were sitting in Dr. Robinson's frontyard when the lights flew overhead. According to Dr. Grayson Mead the lights "appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in color. They were smaller than the full moon at the horizon. There were about a dozen to fifteen of these lights...they were absolutely circular...it gave all of us...an extremely eerie feeling." Mead claimed that the lights could not have been birds, but he also stated that they "went over so fast...that we wished we could have had a better look." The professors observed one formation of lights flying above a thin cloud at about 2,000 feet (610 m); this allowed them to calculate that the lights were traveling at over 600 miles per hour (970 km/h).
Originally posted by xpoq47
April 27, 1950, TWA Flight 117, the first known airline case of a close sighting by flight and cabin crew, as well as passengers. Major Keyhoe interviewed 11 of the passengers, including two Boeing engineers, who are very impressed, as well as the crew (after checking their backgrounds). There used to be a NICAP page on this case that came up in a search but not this time. But it is described in Donald Keyhoe's second UFO book Flying Saucers from Outer Space, a free download from the NICAP Web site.
Originally posted by WingedBull
I am doing historical research regarding the UFO phenomenon in the 1950s for a project I'm working on and am asking your help.
What, in your opinion, are the best or strangest cases from that decade (and even earlier...back to '47)?