Saturday, April 9, 2011

War Of The World

War Of The World - Few people are aware that many of the best-attested, best-studied, and most astonishing UFO encounters have actually involved military confrontations. Famous confrontations between air force jets and UFOs have occurred throughout the world, including Great Britain, Iran, Chile, Belgium, and the U.S. Many of these are described in detail in a couple of excellent recent books, Leslie Kean’s UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, and John B. Alexander’s UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities.

But the first military confrontation with a UFO in modern history occurred in February 1942, over Los Angeles. The real-life “Battle: LA” began about 3AM, when a huge object glided south toward the city from the Northwest. Being just after Pearl Harbor, this was naturally assumed to be some kind of Japanese airship, and the city was blacked out—later the entirety of Southern California from the San Fernando Valley to the Mexican border was blacked out. As it drifted over the city and hovered there, warning sirens blared and anti-aircraft guns, designed to defend the vital aircraft and shipbuilding facilities beneath, began an initial barrage that lasted 20 to 30 minutes. The object then moved south to Long Beach and down the coast, still tracked by searchlights. Then the object returned to LA and a second barrage began.
That night, over 1,400 shells were fired at the UFO, but it was impervious. The event was caught on film and in photographs, and it is an eerie sight: what appears to be a large oval object, hard to see in the glare of numerous floodlights shining on it from all sides, peppered continuously by bright blasts from the anti-aircraft fire (the film is below). Eyewitnesses attested that there were several direct hits, but they clearly had no effect. Army fighter planes also attacked the object (these accounted for other “sightings” of lights in formation, which has always caused some confusion in the accounts), but their guns, too, had no effect on the object, and the planes were forced to turn away. Witnesses described the scene as being like the Fourth of July, only louder, and that the object itself was beautiful, like a magic lantern.
The air raid warden for the area, a woman named “Katie,” is one of the many who described what they saw in newspaper articles:
“It was huge! It was just enormous! And it was practically right over my house. I had never seen anything like it in my life!” she said. “It was just hovering there in the sky and hardly moving at all. It was a lovely pale orange and about the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. I could see it perfectly because it was very close. It was big!”
Several people on the ground were killed during the one-sided “battle,” by falling shrapnel, in car accidents (distracted drivers), and by heart attacks from stress.
The possibility that the object was a blimp can largely be ruled out. It seems highly improbable that a blimp could withstand such a barrage, both from the ground and the air, for one thing. And it is known that the Japanese had already given up on the possibility of using blimps in warfare, due to the flammability of the gasses.
Bruce Maccabee has just posted an interesting photographic analysis of the iconic photo of the event (above), which appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on the morning of the 26th. Without knowing the exact location of the spotlights or the height of the object, there is no way to make a precise calculation of the object’s size. However, it would be nearly as big as the diameter of the illuminated area at the convergence of the lights in this photo, as the beams by and large do not continue past it. One estimate of the object’s altitude is 8,000 feet; if the angle of the spotlight beam from the right was 30 degrees, the object would have been roughly 330 feet in diameter. Whatever the exact measurements, the thing was, as the witnesses said, huge.
It’s an interesting bit of analysis. Check it out. Maccabee also reprints a number of news stories about this amazing event, which was quite possibly the first war of the worlds.

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