The following pictures are variations of the the photograph
that appeared in the LA Times on February 26, 1942 during the "LA
This is a print from the original negative.
Here is the same picture in reverse with adjustments made to the
"gamma, brightness, contrast and intensity settings.
Here is a trace of the "adjusted image."
If one accounts for the "shell bursts" that appear "very
close too" and in front of the object, and omits them from the picture
in their minds eye, you are left with a perfect "elliptical shaped
In the days that followed the "air raid" the Navy tried to explain
away the incident stating that it was the result of "jittery nerves"
following the bombing of the oil fields that occurred the night before
from the Japanese submarine, I-17. The Army on the other hand, didn't make
statements quite so preposterous; they announced that;
1.-"Unidentified airplanes, other than American Army or Navy planes
, were probably over Los Angeles and were fired on by elements of the 37th
Coast Artillery Brigade (anti-aircraft guns) between 3:12 and 4:14 am.
These units expended 1430 rounds of ammunition."
2.-"As many as 15 airplanes may have been involved, flying at various
speeds, from what is officially reported as being as 'very slow' to as
much as 200 miles per hour, and at an elevation of from 9000, to 18,000
3-"No bombs were dropped."
4.-"No casualties among our troops."
5.-"No planes were shot down."
6.-"No American Army or Navy planes were in action.
The Army further speculated that the "unidentified planes may be from
a 'commercial source' operated by enemy agents, who had a 'secret base,'
possibly in Mexico, for the purpose of spreading alarm, disclosing locations
of anti-aircraft positions, or the effectiveness of blackouts."
While speculation was rampant on just what the objects were, some of the
more plausible explanations were one; that the object captured in the photograph
was either a "blimp," or what was called a "barrage balloon,"
which was very important to "British defenses' during the war. However,
during that time there were only "3" barrage balloons in the
LA area, and all were accounted for. Moreover, the barrage balloons had
"wings and a tail" which are clearly not evident in the pictures
Secondly, it was suggested that the object might have been a plane launched
from the I-17 Japanese submarine which shelled the oil fields on the coast
on the 23rd. The planes that were capable of being launched from a Japanese
submarine were called "GLEN's" which was the "allied code
name" for said aircraft. The "GLEN" was a reconnaissance
floatplane launched by catapult from the submarine. On September 9, 1942,
a Yokosuka E14Y1 GLEN was "rigged" with bombs, and dropped it's
payload on the Oregon coast. Again, there is no evidence of "wings
or a tail" and it is highly unlikely that the GLEN, or any plane for
that matter could fly that slow. (As described by eye witnesses).
Finally, it has been suggested that it could have been a "Fugo balloon"
that were indeed used by the Japanese towards the end of the war, however,
the "Fugo" was "round" in shape, and it's likely that
they did not have access to "fireproof helium" at that time.
It's important to note that the object as reported by eye witnesses as
well as evidenced by the photograph, took "direct hits" from
anti-aircraft fire. The objects described by one witness (Chief of Police
J.H. McClelland of Long Beach) as "silvery looking planes." So
this leaves us with some very interesting questions; what in 1942, could
achieve flight, was elliptical in shape, silvery in color and could survive
direct hits from 3 inch anti-aircraft guns?
To read about similar events that took place shortly after the attack on
Pearl Harbor, please visit the "Historic UFOs Data Base" which
is a featured side-bar at this site.