In the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, but most likely doing so only after dropping out of the night sky initially from a steep angle out over the Pacific on a curving south to east trajectory, a huge object of unknown origin, possibly with protective detection devices on, at a lower altitude levels off. The object continues on a trajectory east toward the city of Los Angeles at ultra high speed barely skimming the water just above the surface. At 120 miles out, the object most likely picks up electronic probes from the Army long range listening apparatus or rudimentary early radar and retracts it's entry shields, reducing it's speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume.
Scattered eyewitness accounts from years later pick up the object apparently dropping down into the radar shadow by hugging the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction. It then turned south in the gap in the mountains around Sepulveda Boulevard and Mullholland Drive coming in BEHIND the aimed direction of the majority of the anti-aircraft guns and any possible radar or long range listening devices. In a continuing steeply angled climb out of the Santa Monica mountains the object curved slightly to the east around and well above the 511 foot altitude of Baldwin Hills in what appeared to be a concerted effort to stay away from all the potential aircraft and armament associated with Mines Field (now LAX). The object turned westward toward the ocean coming out over the aircraft manufacturing plants near the El Segundo tank farm, then, dropping altitude, south along the coast.
MINES FIELD, NOW LAX, AS SEEN DURING WW II
OBJECT- WENT AROUND IT PURPOSELY IN 1942
Earlier, as the unidentified target continued on it's apparent approach toward the Los Angeles area only to disappear behind the mountains inland west along the coast, the air raid warning system regional controller, still jittery from the oil refinery attack in the same general area only a few hours before, ordered the newly installed antiaircraft batteries to go to Green Alert --- "ready to fire." At 2:15 AM, with the object's position unknown with any amount of certainty, for the first time since the start of the war, the controller ordered the whole warning system into operation, with an area-wide blackout that effected the region from Los Angeles to the Mexican border and as far inland as the San Joaquin Valley.
Even with all that going on, as soon as it happened to as late as a full 45 years after the event and continuing to this day, people are still questioning why no U.S. planes were ordered into the skies to apprehend the object on it's approach. In the same article quoted at the top of the page and written by Paul T. Collins for FATE Magazine, Volume 40, Number 7, Issue 448, and published in July, 1987 titled World War II UFO Scare, the following by Collins if found:
"Planes of theFourth Interceptor Command were, in fact, warming up on the runways waiting for orders to go up and interview the unknown intruders. 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?"
In 1983 the U.S. Government Printing Office released a multi-volume set titled The Army Air Forces in World War II, edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. In Volume I, Chapter III, Section 8, page 283, there is found what is nothing short of an official confirmation to the above scenario. The volume specifically cites the USE of radar, which many people insist was NOT functionally operational in 1942 --- although the government seems to beg to differ in the document --- as well as the fact that the object simply disappeared or vanished over the ocean during it's inflight path toward Los Angeles. To wit:
"Radars picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles. Antiaircraft batteries were alerted at 0215 and were put on Green Alert 'ready to fire' a few minutes later. The AAF kept its pursuit planes on the ground, preferring to await indications of the scale and direction of any attack before committing its limited fighter force. Radars tracked the approaching target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 0221 the regional controller ordered a blackout. Thereafter the information center was flooded with reports of 'enemy planes,' even though the mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished."
The radar system that was reported to have "picked up" the object first has been officially confirmed as a SCR-268. SCR-268s only had an operational range of 22 miles, yet initial contact was reported as being 120 miles west of the city of Los Angeles. For more on that and the disappearing act of "the mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished" as mentioned in the above quote, please see:
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: The Radar Dilemma
At 3:06 AM, for reasons unclear, at least four Santa Monica area anti-aircraft batteries turn inland and start firing out over the city and Baldwin Hills, and suddenly "the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano." For the next three hours it was nothing but confusion with "swarms" of planes of all possible sizes reported, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000, and flying at speeds from very slow to hundreds of miles per hour.
However, whatever it was or whatever they were, no bombs were dropped nor was there any resultant destruction by the invader. So too, despite the fact that 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition had been expended, whatever was "up there" seemed impervious to the barrage --- in the end, escaping with no sign of damage or losses.
As the shore batteries and searchlights continued to wreak havoc against the night sky residents along the forty-mile stretch of coastline from north of Malibu to south of Palos Verdes had nothing but a front row seat to all the action. One of those residents, who has since gone on to do intensive academic research into the mythological dimensions of the UFO phenomenon, was a young boy at the time grown to a be an honored professor of anthropology at Occidental College, C. Scott Littleton (1933 - 2010), living along the coast in the small southern California oceanfront community of Hermosa Beach. In a recollection of the events that transpired that night Littleton writes:
"I was an eyewitness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February of 1942. I was eight-years-old at the time, and my parents lived at 2500 Strand in Hermosa Beach, right on the beach. We thus had a grandstand seat. While my father went about his air-raid warden duties, my late mother and I watched the glowing object, which was caught in the glare of searchlights from both Palos Verdes and Malibu/Pacific/Palisades and surrounded by the puffs of ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, as it slowly flew across the ocean from northwest to southeast. It headed inland over Redondo Beach, a couple of miles to the south of our vantage point, and eventually disappeared over the eastern end of the Palos Verdes hills, what's today called Rancho Palos Verdes. The whole incident lasted, at least from our perspective, about half an hour, though we didn't time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spend the next morning picking up of pieces of shrapnel on the beach; indeed, it's a wonder more people weren't injured by the stuff, as we were far from the only folks standing outside watching the action.
"In any case, I don't recall seeing any truly discernable configuration, just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob light ---a single blob. We only saw one object, not several as some witnesses later reported. At the time, we were convinced that it was a 'Jap' reconnaissance plane, and that L.A. might be due for a major air-raid in the near future. Remember, this was less than three months after Pearl Harbor. But that of course never happened. Later on, we all expected 'them,' that is, the Military, to tell us what was really up there after the war. But that never happened, either."
In February of 1942 I was a boy myself, somewhat younger than Littleton, living with my two brothers and my parents in a little house on the 300 block of South Lucia in Redondo Beach, California. I remember that night quite well. In a section called THE EARLY YEARS, as found in the source so cited at the end of the quote below, recalling my childhood background and upbringing in Redondo Beach I write:
"The giant object, before reaching Redondo, had overflown a good portion of the whole of the western area of Los Angeles after having paralleled the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains before crossing over them southbound into the basin then turning directly south along the coast near present day LAX and the El Segundo oil refinery and tank farm. In the process it caused nothing but an area wide blackout, anti-aircraft fire all over the city while withstanding some 1440 direct anti aircraft rounds before it escaped unscathed --- an object of which I along with my entire family were clearly able to see that night after it turned diagonally inland over Redondo Beach just past the Edison plant but before reaching the pier. Guns and sirens and searchlights were all over the place and even though it was two or three in the morning almost everybody on our whole block who could, got up to go outside to see it."(source)
Most people would agree that Littleton, age eight, could remember what he saw that night, but me, somewhat younger, questionable. However, I remember a lot of things, up to and well before that period of time in my life. For example, my mother nursing my brother who was three years younger than me. Seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground over the shipyards in Terminal Island where my father worked. Because metal was not available for toys during wartime, the life size cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit --- colored on one side with dials and printed only in black and white on the backside --- with a movable square cardboard joystick called Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Cockpit the girl next door owned. It should be noted that the cardboard cockpit toy wasn't made available to the public until November 6, 1941, roughly four months before the overflight. Now I am not sure what the shelf life of a cardboard toy would be with a bunch of kids playing with it, but if was still usable after six months and I remember playing with it, it had to be right around the same time as the February 1942 event.(see)
The only new wartime metal toy I owned, and of which I carried with me everywhere I went like it was gold, was a Captain Midnight decoder badge. So too, during that same period of time in my life I remember well, like it was yesterday, my dad taking me to see a two-man Japanese Midget Submarine that washed up on shore just south of the pier. And, as described in World War II Comes To Redondo, lifting me up to look inside the sub through the open hatch. The oil derricks in the field behind my house and me telling the workmen there my mother made the best apple pie in the world --- and all of them coming over to try some at my invitation, hard hats and all. I remember as well, my dad, like Littleton's dad, was an air raid warden --- with a white doughboy helmet and an armband, both of which I would put on and run around playing air raid warden all day long, that is, until I got my own as found in Footnote .
My dad got up that night when the sirens went off quickly donning all of his air raid warden stuff while running outside still putting it on with me following in his footsteps doing all my Junior Air Raid Warden stuff right behind him --- although at that point in time I was yet to have ordered or received my official air raid warden kit. In a very short time, if not before us, right with us, practically everybody on the block was outside to see what was going on. Littleton was quite right about the object heading inland a couple of miles south of him over Redondo Beach. After apparently skirting some distance off the surf line from somewhere around El Segundo to Hermosa Beach, for unknown reasons just as it passed south of the Edison electric generating plant in Redondo, rather than continue south around or past Palos Verdes peninsula, it turned diagonally inland headed in a south southeast direction. See PART III. Later reports stated the object had been flying at an altitude between 8,000 to 12,000 feet, and if such was the case, with all the searchlights trained on it you would have thought at that altitude we could easily see it coming, but we couldn't. True, from our vantage point on Lucia Street, because of the low hills rising up just across Torrance Boulevard at the end of the street, our view of the steam plant was blocked. However, the craft must have been slowly dropping altitude ever since it left Baldwin Hills to El Segundo because when it came over us, the object, whatever it was, was not that high off the ground. It was a huge giant thing that loomed up over the hills looking so big that when it crossed above our heads you couldn't see the sides, only the bottom --- and it took forever for the thing to finish passing over. When it crossed over our house, because it was so low, my dad actually thought it was coming in for a landing. In those days a few miles southeast of us was the Lomita air strip along with the remnants of a dry lake and my dad thought that was where it was headed --- as if maybe the craft had been damaged or something. When he was assured there was no longer any imminent danger my dad and a few neighbors, some armed with rifles and shotguns, hopped into a couple of cars with some of the men standing on the running boards, and took off down old Sepulveda chasing after it. It continued south southeast, gaining both speed and altitude. Not landing like they thought and not being able to keep up the men turned back. The object eventually crossed somewhere between Palos Verdes on the west and Signal Hill on the east coming out over Long Beach heading south along the California coast toward Huntington Beach --- although at a much, much higher altitude than when it went over Lucia Street. Where it ended up nobody knows. Or do they?
Even though the object basically came straight on and crossed directly over the top of us, being out of the range of the searchlights it's actual shape was hard to discern against the upper night sky. My dad, who in 1929 had actually watched the Graf Zeppelin land in Los Angeles at Mines Field (now LAX and about eight miles north of Redondo Beach) and even walked along side and under the giant airship, often said the object that passed over us that night was as big, if not bigger, than a Zeppelin. Some of what I remember about the thing besides its size, although it was huge, as I have grown older I am not totally sure how close it was to the actual size of the Graf Zeppelin in length at 776 feet as my dad's enthusiasm suggested. Littleton, however, and a highly competent fellow collaborator and editor of the UFO Chronicles, Frank Warren, using what seems to be sort of triangulation, have a much different estimated of the object's size. Using the black and white photograph below as a starting base their conclusion, as found in the quote following the graphic, is even larger:
"From the width of the light beams at the point they reached the object, plus the knowledge that at least one of them came from a searchlight battery in Manhattan Beach, some ten miles away (the others appear to have come from Inglewood or El Segundo), Frank Warren has concluded that it must have been considerably larger, that is, around 800 feet in length, and I (that is, Littleton) agree with this estimate."
Face on as I remember it, the object was not round or circular like a Zeppelin or a blimp, but wide and flat or slightly curved toward the center concave-like across the bottom from the the outside edges. It seemed bluntly-wedged or possibly sloped toward the top and back somewhat in the front, sort of like the triangular or boxy shape of present day stealth aircraft or more closely, an upsidedown pointed shovel. From my vantage point there was no sign of of ribs or superstructure. No markings, alien Hieroglyphic Writing, insignias, or numbers --- earth-based or otherwise. No openings, windows, portholes, hatches, seams, or lights that I remember. No propellers, exterior motors and no sound. It had no wheels, wings, fins, or stabilizers either, although it did have the capability to rise and fall in altitude and pick up and gain speed as well as have the ability to go so slow it barely moved. After all it took well over thirty minutes to travel the twenty miles or so from Baldwin Hills to the ocean to Redondo Beach, then when my dad and neighbors attempted to follow it the object took off at a fairly high speed --- so much so their cars could not keep up with it. However, when it first turned in off the ocean, crossing the beach into Redondo proper, one of the first places it went over was the Happy Hour Cafe on the Strand, re the following:
"(In) February 1942 right there on the Strand, just south of the Edison steam generating plant, a huge, giant object, as big as a locomotive, came in off the ocean and flew right over the top of the Happy Hour Cafe and the apartments. She had heard a ruckus going on outside, sirens, guns firing, all kinds of stuff, so she went out on to the Strand only to see this 'thing' a few hundred feet above the beach slowly glide overhead off the ocean, not making a sound and, because of its length, taking forever to pass over."
FIFIE MALOUF: Eyewitness Report
REDONDO BEACH AS IT WAS WHEN I WAS A KID. A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE BEACH IT ENDED AT THE OIL FIELDS
In 1942 the Happy Hour Cafe was located on the beach-level corner of one of the apartments along with several other apartments owned by the infamous alleged South Bay madam Fifie Malouf, at 300-400 The Strand, Redondo Beach --- between the Edison steam plant and the Redondo pier --- the exact place the object is said to have come in over off the ocean (none of the buildings in question along the Strand or that portion of the Strand exits today, first wiped out by powerful storms in 1953, then later torn out for redevelopment). Neither of the then 1942 standing versions of the Happy Hour Cafe or the Edison steam plant are depicted in the above graphic, both being just out of view beyond the lower left hand bottom corner. However, moving across the graphic toward the very center you can see what looks like a rectangle shaped dirt field and just to the left a two-story building that appears to have eight dark large multi-pane windows. The field next to the building was actually the playground for Central School, in those years a grammar or elementary school of which I attended. The building next to it is the actual school itself, both located along Pacific Coast Highway. The 1942 object came in across Redondo Beach from what would be the left of the graphic about one-third of the way up, crossing toward the right slightly diagonally in a south east direction directly over or somewhat east of Central School.
Further down the page I write about a boy and his mother who lived on the 200 block of South Guadalupe Avenue near where it crosses Garnet Street. The mom woke her son up to get him out of the house because rounds of gunfire were whizzing right across their front yard, tracking toward some airborne object just north of them that was coming up from the beach. His mother had gone outside to see what all the commotion was and saw the object darkly shadowed on-and-off from behind apparently by distant searchlights trying to find it. By the time she got the boy outside the shooting had stopped and whatever the guns were trying to hit had already crested over the hill to the east so, although his mother saw it, he himself never did.
In the graphic above, straight up the street just to the right of the dirt field that I designate as the playground for Central School, not far above the upper right corner of the field is what appears to be a light colored or white two-story building. That building is at the end of the 100 block of South Guadalupe just before the 200 block starts across Garnet Street. The rounds that were whizzing by the woman's house were coming overhead up her street from an anti-aircraft battery in South Redondo.
The point past the Edison steam plant where the object turned inland toward the southeast, the ground generally slopes up from sea level at the beach to around 150 feet within a mile or so. The object must have already been flying at or near that height as it did not seem to need to change altitude much as it approached the level of the top of the hill. It was clearly exposed to ground fire in the open air broadside from both the north and south before it began hugging the rooftops of the houses built along the higher level ground. It was out of range of anything from the north and to the south, the Hollywood Riviera battery was almost two miles away. That did not stop it from opening up on the object for the short time it had it in profile. It just was not effective, the rounds were falling all over the place before and beyond its path. The anti-aircraft firing was fully attested to the next day by the boy going around with a couple of buddies picking up pieces of shrapnel in various far-flung parts of the neighborhood.
On the far right of the graphic you can see an up-and-down street with a very definite S-like curve that nearly goes off the right side of the picture after heading from the bottom near a clump of trees just above the ocean toward the green area of the oil fields at the top of the graphic. That street is Torrance Boulevard. After swinging left the top of the curve reaches the green area. About two-thirds of the way up the graphic there is what appears on the right of the top of the curve at the start of the green area to be about four houses, then maybe a few trees, followed by a couple of more houses leading to the right edge of the graphic straight from Torrance Boulevard. Behind those houses is nothing but green fields and oil wells. Those houses are on Lucia Street where I lived. The object, crossing over Central School on a slight diagonal continued barely above the houses shown in the graphic, crossing Torrance Boulevard going right over the top of my house into the oil fields, then off the picture. The oil fields, like I cited previously above regarding what I remembered or not, were directly behind my house. So close were they that even as the very young boy that I was, in those much more easy going trustworthy days, I could walk over to the derricks by myself and much to my mother's chagrin, ending with the following results one time, with me remembering:
"The oil derricks in the field behind my house and me telling the workmen there my mother made the best apple pie in the world --- and all of them coming over to try some at my invitation, hard hats and all."
On the night of the fly-over, between from where I stood in the dirt alley behind my house and the oil wells began to rise up out of the fields, I had a perfectly clear and unobstructed view of the back of the object. So said, people often want to know if the rear of the craft had any exhaust ports or rocket-like thrust openings. The answer is no, at least none that I remember. However, my dad said when he tried to catch it, coming almost abroadside although well below and somewhat behind, he could see what looked like three distinct, possibly four, narrow red-orange slit-like openings on the side toward the back, describing them as "looking like shark gills only glowing." I saw nothing like that. Matter of fact I am not sure what the motive power for the object was. I do know, even though its size was likened to a Zeppelin it didn't act like one. Zeppelins are lighter than air machines and there is a certain physical and psychological buoyancy to them, both in reality and perception. This object seemed more like a battleship. There was something heavy about it. The thing is, is that it made absolutely no sound. Totally silent, which is odd because almost everything I ever saw that moved and was that big --- locomotives, airplanes, ships --- all made lots of noise. The only other thing that stood out about the object was that it left a very slight but distinct odor trailing off behind it. If any of you have ever owned an electric train like a Lionel for example, and noticed the smell the transformer gives off during a lengthy period of use, after the object passed overhead, in it's wake, the air reeked with an odor very similar to that same smell. For me however, what I remember the most, even to this day, was how sad the thing seemed. It was like a lost baby elephant just searching for its mommy, and everywhere it went it got chased away or shot at.
Some minutes after it passed over Redondo Beach and my dad lost track of it by not being able to keep up with it, the object was out over the agriculture fields that existed in those days a few miles inland east and south of the beach cities. That same night Albert Nozaki was helping guard a friend's field from vandals that had been ruining crops. Below describes what Nozaki saw that night in the early morning hours:
"(A)pproaching him well above the fields from the west, silhouetted against the slightly lighter night sky, was a fairly huge dark airborne object coming straight toward him at a fairly quick pace. At first it seemed as though it would take a path off to the right of where he was standing, but before it reached him it just barely began turning flatly toward the south, almost as in a controlled drift. By then he was just under the edge of the object as it went over him with the center off to his left, continuing its turn and eventually disappearing in the southern night sky while all the time gaining altitude. It was huge, dark, very long and wide with no lights or signs of windows. Although it did not have protruding wings like an airplane, the object's outside edges ominously curved down. As well, other than feeling a slight vibrational "hum" in his chest as it passed over, the object made no sound."
Nozaki, who later went on to be an Oscar nominated art director, apparently drawing upon his experiences in the field that night in 1942, designed the terrifying Martian flying machines seen in the 1953 movie War of the Worlds. In a personal one-on-one interview Nozaki said he incorporated some of the ominous-like aspects of the object he saw such as the curving down contours into his 'War of the Worlds' craft wanting to capture some of the fear he felt as the real-life dark object came toward him --- as though he was going to be clutched up by it. So too, how it mysteriously remained aloft, apparently with some sort of technology or power we did not have. In Wells' novel the machines were held upward by three robot like legs. In the movie he tried to make it seem they were being held off the ground and "walking" by three invisible force-field legs. That is why they appeared to tip to one side and fall over when they began crashing.
----- A NUMBER REPORTED SEEING SOMETHING THAT LOOKED LIKE A GIANT BUTTERFLY
(RENO EVENING GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 26, 1942)
NOTE: The above article titled "The 'Attack' on Los Angeles" can, for easier reading, be increased in size by clicking it then clicking it again.
In an interesting twist of fate, five years after the UFO over Los Angeles and unrelated to any it as far as I was concerned, my Uncle, after a quick heads up from his friend the famed meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz, took me along with him to the suspected crash site at Roswell, my uncle walking much of the then nearly fresh debris field wanting to see if there was any truth behind the so called hieroglyphic writing reported by many to have been found on some of the metal scraps. For more on walking the fresh debris field by getting through the supposedly heavily militarized, well-guarded, and cordoned off the Roswell crash site see: Frank Edwards
WHAT A YOUNG BOY REMEMBERS --- OR NOT
Over and over the question comes up, in that I was such a little kid at the time of the "Battle of L.A.," how is it possible that I remember so much?
I get into some of my suspicions as to a potential answer a bit more thoroughly in a footnote at the very bottom of the page. However, even though what I have presented covers a lot of material, most of what is presented comes not just from my memory, as a kid or otherwise, but plain out-and-out research, including at least two highly exclusive eyewitness interviews --- research and interviews that I have shoe-horned around what I DO remember. For example, the date and time of the oil field shelling near Santa Barbara: 7:15 PM February 23, 1942. I didn't know that as a kid. Matter of fact, I didn't even know there had been an oil field shelling. I discovered it in my research and connected it with the fact that the shellings by Japanese submarines just up the coast from Los Angeles only hours before the L. A. fly over most likely made a lot of folks jumpy or trigger happy.
Same with the following. I don't "remember" it from my childhood. I have extrapolated what appears in the paragraph from research:
"Less than thirty-two hours later, in the early morning hours of February 25, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, but most likely doing so only after dropping out of the night sky initially from a steep angle out over the Pacific on a north to east trajectory, a huge object of unknown origin, possibly with protective detection devices on, at a lower altitude levels off. The object continues on a trajectory east toward the city of Los Angeles at ultra high speed barely skimming the water just above the surface. At 120 miles out, the object most likely picks up electronic probes from the Army long range listening apparatus or rudimentary early radar and retracts it's entry shields, reducing it's speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume."
The Government Printing Office multi-volume set reported that radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles and because of same, at 0215, anti-aircraft batteries were alerted. The report goes on to say they tracked the target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 0221 a blackout was ordered even though the object "tracked from the sea" seemed to have vanished.
So, at 2:15 AM the object is out over the open ocean west of Los Angeles. Then, six minutes later, at 2:21 AM although it should have been right on top of the coast and still in radar contact it disappeared --- of which I write "reducing it's speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume." Radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles out, the last half of which it must have slowed to a crawl. How do I know? Now, I don't remember that as a kid, I have extrapolated it from the research, that is what I found in the government multi-volume set and other sources. The report says the object "vanished." It must have dropped altitude and crossed into the mountains behind the radar shadow, thus appearing to disappear. My eyewitness says at the exact same time something crossed overhead above him in the mountains near Agoura, "a huge gigantic flying thing not much higher than the tops of the trees --- and not making a sound, but all the while blocking out a good portion of the night sky and most of the stars --- slowly crossed overhead curving toward the east after coming out of a more south southwesterly direction." He says the object SLOWLY crossed overhead --- which means it reduced it's speed to a crawl. To have crossed overhead where the eyewitness saw it, it would had to have turned inland somewhere around Point Dume, again my speculation from the facts so presented. The giant object skirted the north side of the Santa Monica mountains toward the east along Ventura Boulevard only to turn south in a gap in the mountains about midway along the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley. After turning south the object crossed over Baldwin Hills and turned westward toward the ocean coming out over the aircraft plants near the El Segundo tank farm. From there it went south along the coast turning back inland somewhere past the Edison plant in Redondo Beach. The anti-aircraft guns opened up at 3:06 AM --- 45 minutes after it disappeared --- that is, when it showed up again, not on radar, but visually and BEHIND the sea facing anti-aircraft guns. Smart. The thing is, none of that has anything to do with what I remember or don't remember. It only supports what I remember.
What do I remember? Well, whatever it was, the object crossed right over the top of my house in Redondo Beach in the middle of the night. Also that it didn't look like a blimp like some people say, but more like an upside down shovel. Why would I remember that? Because in those days, like so many others, we had a Victory Garden in the backyard and I used to help my grandfather and mother maintain it. For that we had a number of garden tools, of which some were shovels. One of the shovels had a broken handle and my father removed what was left of the handle out of the sleeve portion that held it. The metal spade part looked so much like the object to me I used to run around holding it like a kid might do with a model airplane, mimicking the flight of the craft --- and when I did, the other kids that didn't see it that night, made fun of me. They had wood and cardboard toys of what would one day come to be my favorite fighter the P-40 Warhawk to do pretend battles with Zeros. I used an upside down shovel.
What else do I remember say besides the Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Cockpit that the girl next door had?(see) I remember that the object was NOT round in the front like a blimp is round face-on. Like I say, my father worked in the shipyards in Terminal Island I remember seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground all around the shipyard area. To me they were "blimps" and face-on they were round. I remember it clearing the oil wells behind the house, that the rear of it, unlike a shovel, was rectangle in shape across the back, thick where you put your foot to push a shovel into the ground. Also there was a distinct odor in the air like a Lionel electric train transformer gives off following in it's wake. Almost everybody remembers smells, and the smell of a Lionel train transformer is one of them for me. Like burnt electricity. So too, as found in the A Quick Personal Note Or Two link below, I also drew information not JUST from memory, but, for example, a whole page of notes that contained nothing but comments from my dad's own eyewitness account --- a dad who was not just a kid at the time of the incident like me --- but a grown man 37 years old. Hence, my ability to add to and present more specifically such things as my father and neighbors taking off down old Sepulveda, the Lomita air strip, shark gills, etc. I could go on and on, but by now I am sure you get the point. Besides, a good portion of those who question my "young age" and any ability to remember because of that young age do so with some bone to pick. They are looking to discredit or weaken what has been presented, which in turn would blanket the whole presentation as being inaccurate. However, again, a whole host of what has been presented is from facts and sources from other than my "kid" memory --- I have just shoehorned them around what I remember. For more see:
A QUICK PERSONAL NOTE OR TWO
It is quite clear that C. Scott Littleton, usually acknowledged as the foremost authority on the 'Battle of L.A.,' mentioned above, apparently likes my eyewitness accounts of the event, if not a great deal, at least within reason. I say so because they are the only ones he ever seems to include over-and-over in what he presents. However, even though he includes them, he has a strong tendency to always qualify what I have said as calling them, for example, "shaky," --- or as in the case below where he says my recollections of the object are "atypical" and "and perhaps skewed" --- albeit all the while using them:
"(D)espite the Redondo Beach man's atypical --- and perhaps skewed ---recollection ..."
He then goes on to say:
"(W)hat we(Littleton) saw, together with the majority of the descriptions Frank (i.e., Frank Warren, Littleton's collaborator on the subject) and I have collected, as well as the object caught in the Times reporter's photograph, all jibe closely with literally tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades."
Littleton was talking about the stereotypical percolator coffee pot lid disc-like objects of the day with little glass humps on top, of which the L.A. Times photograph seems to show. However, the UFO over L.A. was far from typical. If anything it was highly atypical of the UFOs of the era. It was huge for one thing. More people reported it was Zeppelin-size than anything else. Even Warren himself, as cited in the main text above, figured the object was at a minimum at least 800 feet long. Very few of the "literally tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades" have claimed to have seen UFOs anywhere near that size.
LITTLETON VS THE WANDERLING:
BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES OR UFO OVER L.A.?
Now that you know all about the 1942 "Battle of Los Angeles" and the UFO over L. A., if you want to know how a huge, giant, nearly Zeppelin size object seen by thousands could simply vanish into the night sky without a trace, please visit PART II, below, as it contains some rather interesting additional information, including speculation as to where it went to and what actually happened to the object.
FIRST THERE WAS THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES, THEN THE GIANT OBJECT DISAPPEARED
WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?
In an article published in Nexus Magazine, Volume 5, Number 3 (April - May 1998) titled Inside Revelations on the UFO Cover-Up and written by Dr. Richard Boylan --- a magazine and article that contains a tad bit more in the way of way out UFO stuff than typically suits my own personal tastes --- a man by the name of Dr. Michael Wolf (died September 16, 2000), who is an author of his own book Catchers of Heaven (1996) and claimed to have been either a member of or a consultant to a secret National Security Council Special Studies Group known as OPERATION MAJESTIC-12 (sometimes MJ-12) that oversees ET type affairs in the United States, offers:
Dr. Wolf provided a revisionist history about the beginning of the modern UFO era. "The first UFO came down in 1941 into the ocean west of San Diego, and was retrieved by the Navy." The Navy has held a leadership position in UFO matters ever since.
Interestingly enough, for our purposes here, another time given for that UFO retrieval --- without altering the fact that the object came down in the ocean west of San Diego --- comes in a letter Dr. Boylan received from the son of a Colonel William Brophy, now deceased. In the letter, written in response to the Nexus article, the son relates his father told him in conversation on more than one occasion that the date for the UFO retrieval was NOT the more general 1941 as Dr. Wolf extrapolated from his sources, but actually the following year on the more specific date of February 25, 1942 (i.e., "Air Force Colonel's Son Reveals 1940s U.S.-UFO/Star Visitor Encounters," UFOfacts, July 21, 2003, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UFOFacts/message/10345).-- Dr. Boylan makes it clear, however, that there is no independent corroboration for the February 1942 date other than details provided by Brophy's son through his father, which have otherwise been proven to be consistent with little known facts Dr. Boylan is privy to that are known to be accurate and harmonious to the event --- the event being the recovery of the UFO by the Navy. Even though the date/year may not have independent corroboration the EVENT itself, that is, the recovery of the UFO by the Navy off San Diego, most certainly does, as it is backed up in the March 5, 1942, memo from the Army Chief of Staff to the President of the United States cited below. Personally, I find the March 5, 1942 memo date, considering the timing and sum of its contents, to be much more consistent with a February 1942 down date than a whole one-year-before 1941 date. However, personal conjectures aside, neither Dr. Boylan nor the colonel's son are necessarily putting the date of February 25, 1942 into the perspective it deserves nor together with anything else.
The date IS, of course, totally consistent to our thesis here, as February 25, 1942, is the EXACT same date that the object was seen by hundreds if not thousands of people to have crossed somewhere between Palos Verdes on the west and Signal Hill on the east before coming out over Long Beach and heading south along the California coast before it just disappeared --- with the same direction of travel being, if continued, San Diego. If you remember from above, when it crossed over my house in Redondo Beach, because the object was so low, my dad actually thought it was coming in for a landing --- as if the craft may have been damaged or something. Since nobody seems to know what happened to the thing, the possibility exists that it could have gone down in the Pacific somewhere off San Diego.
If it did go down off San Diego and was recovered by the Navy it is certainly not a widely known fact even among those who are familiar with most of UFO lore --- hence Dr. Boylan's interjection of the revisionist history tag line. However, a LOT of people, and I'm talking regular old sailors here, deckhands, cooks, and able-body seamen --- probably ALL without security clearances --- would have to had been involved in any type of deep water recovery of something said to be so big. I had a confidential clearance working on the U-2 as a civilian, and because of the nature of the work I did, bumped to a top secret security clearance upon entering the military --- and I know from experience it would be very, very difficult to keep a lid on such an operation over any period of time under similar circumstances. All of the beach towns south from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach reported seeing the object. None of the beach towns from Long Beach south --- except possibly Seal Beach --- reported it. In my opinion I think some distance off the coast west of Seal Beach or Sunset Beach, or possibly even Huntington Beach, the object turned more west southwest and headed out to sea toward the basically uninhabited island of San Clemente. Coming down the coast from the north, San Clemente is the last and most southern of the Channel Islands, located probably less than fifty miles off the California mainland and about halfway between Long Beach and San Diego. The craft landed for damage assessment or maybe to administer some sort of repairs, then took off before anybody could act.
THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS, FEB. 26, 1942
(for larger size click image then click again)
In February of 1942 there was a barely used if not practically abandoned, wide open Naval Auxiliary Air Station located right in the middle of the island. In 1938 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and a contractor had built two runways, one 2,000 feet the other 3,000 feet over an old airstrip. The construction was completed by 1941, but for all practical purposes it really wasn't being used. It is not that the object needed a runway to set down, only an unobstructed, wide open area --- without a major population to contend with. The San Clemente strip was the only viable landing area for a wounded or disabled craft for thousands of miles around that met such criteria. No coast defense guns, no shore batteries, no searchlights, no prying eyes to speak of. It was only sometime AFTER the incident that any real sort of military presence showed up on the island, first with a Marine scouting squadron that suddenly began operations from the airfield with 19 Vought SB2U Vindicators sometime in 1942, then the Army installing and activating TWO fully equipped radar stations. In other words, at the time the object exited over the Pacific south of Long Beach heading toward the general direction of San Diego, the island had so few people on it, it was basically uninhabited.
If the object successfully slipped away to wherever UFOs go, took off and fell into the ocean only to be retrieved later, or is laying at the bottom of some deep sea canyon rotting away I can't say. It could have even been captured on the ground on San Clemente, negating any use of "lots of able-body seamen without clearances" or anybody else for that matter.
Please note in the purported letter or memo of communication below, between then U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, dated February 27, 1942, two days after the UFO over Los Angeles, where FDR refers to "atomic secrets learned from study of celestial devices." The date, being just two days following the February Los Angeles event, is most likely coincidental as nothing if anything --- except perhaps speculation --- could have been garnered of any substance or significance over such a short period of time. The gist of the memo does, however, set the tone for a more receptive atmosphere of such events by powers that be. The Dr. Bush referred to in the memo by the way is Dr. Vannevar Bush, the chairman of FDRs National Defense Resource Committee (NDRC), which looked into the invention and development of atomic weapons for the war effort.
(please click image)
Prior to the outbreak of World War II, because of the potential threat of hostilities between the U.S. and Japan coming closer and closer to a full-blown reality, Roosevelt promoted the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Captain Walter C. Anderson, who personally had done extensive top secret work breaking the Japanese code, to be the new Commander of Battleships, Pacific Fleet.
On March 5, 1942, less than two weeks after the above message, Marshall sent another top-secret memo to the President regarding the air raid over Los Angeles stating "it was learned by Army G2 that Rear Admiral Anderson recovered an unidentified airplane off the coast of California with no bearing on conventional explanation. This Headquarters has come to the determination that the mystery airplanes are in fact not earthly and according to secret intelligence sources they are in all probability of interplanetary origin." -Notice that Marshall says Army G2 learned, implying the Navy was keeping the information to themselves. Notice as well Marshall also uses "airplanes are" indicating the plural, or more than one. All the talk of "airplanes" is probably how the Army got wind of the whole thing in the first place. In 1942 the Air Force was not a separate entity, but under the Army's umbrella. Inter-service rivalry not withstanding, flying things by their very nature fell under Army's purview --- and no doubt how Air Force Colonel William Brophy, not a Navy man, became privy to the information he eventually shared with his son.
Questionable of course, but as far as "airplanes" go it could be the major craft in a effort to reduce weight or some such thing left a shuttle craft or two, or even an escape pod or two on the island --- or dumped just off shore --- and once located and retrieved by the military, because of advanced technology, were taken for something much more important. Which would be in analogy much like capturing or finding one or two of the gasoline or diesel operated boat launches as used by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to shuttle crew back and forth to shore and deducing from the technology onboard the launches as being equivalent to that of the aircraft carrier itself.
As stated above Dr. Boylan has related there is no independent corroboration for the claim of Colonel Brophy regarding the February date. If you recall previously I mentioned my Uncle knew the famed meteorite hunter and astronomer Dr. Lincoln La Paz. Dr. La Paz knew of my early childhood experience regarding the object seen over Los Angeles and, although he never discussed it with me, was, according to my uncle, fascinated by it because on July 10th, 1947, only a few days after the Roswell Incident, La Paz --- who had thousands and thousands of hours of scientific time observing celestial objects --- reported seeing a HUGE elliptical-shaped object flying in the sky near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, while driving by car with his wife and children. According to La Paz's calculations, confirmed by his wife, the object was 235 feet long and 100 feet thick. Its horizontal speed ranged between 120 and 180 miles per hour and its vertical rise between 600 and 900 miles per hour. For more regarding the sighting by La Paz please refer to CASE 21, Hearings before the COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS, U.S. House of Representatives, Nineteenth Congress, Second Session, July 29, 1968.
My Meeting Dr. La Paz occurred when he visited my uncle and me while we were camping along the rim of Meteor Crater doing minor archaeological work associated with the little known ancient Native American ceremonial pit houses on the the southwest rim. He didn't really pay much attention to me, but my uncle did tell him in conversation that I had been witness to the Battle of Los Angeles, both my father and I having seen the object quite clearly and up close. According to my uncle, after La Paz had his own experience near Fort Sumner he became fascinated with my account of the Los Angeles object because, not unlike the one he saw, it was huge --- most such phenomenon reported falling into the somewhat smaller disc-like or saucer-shaped object category. La Paz especially liked the fact I had said the rear or stern was rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat on the bottom and top and fairly thick. He liked the thick part, because he determined the object he saw to be a 100 feet thick --- an unusual statistic at the time. La Paz, who, while on leave from Ohio State during World War II, served as Research Mathematician at the New Mexico Proving Grounds and as Technical Director, Operations Analysis Section, for the Second Air Force, told my uncle that the object I had observed, and that he was so fascinated with, did in fact go down off the coast of San Diego around sunrise on the morning of February 25, 1942. One could, if one were to so choose, detect a significant difference in actual application between "it came down into the ocean" as cited by Dr. Wolf and "the recovery of an unidentified airplane off the coast" as seen in the memo by the Secretary of the Army. For me, "going down off the coast of San Diego" is basically semantics and continues to jibe with my belief that the object landed on San Clemente Island --- which we know is off the coast of San Diego. One way or the other, in the end, it remains my contention the big one got away.
AND NOW THIS:
It should be noted for the reader that since this article was put online several years ago, many people have taken my original idea of the L.A. object landing on San Clemente Island and ran with it --- and done so nearly always without citing sources or giving credit. However, the possibility for the potential landing at San Clemente was extrapolated directly from MY uncle through personal conversations with Dr. La Paz.
Now while it is true La Paz never paid much attention to me personally, basically because I would guess, I was "just" a kid, he did become fascinated with my story of the L.A. object because I said it was "thick." If you remember from the above:
According to my uncle, after La Paz had his own experience near Fort Sumner he became fascinated with my account of the Los Angeles object because, not unlike the one he saw, it was huge --- most such phenomenon reported falling into the somewhat smaller disc-like or saucer-shaped object category. La Paz especially liked the fact I had said the rear or stern was rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat on the bottom and top and fairly thick. He liked the thick part, because he determined the object he saw to be a 100 feet thick --- an unusual statistic at the time.
Any of you who have read my online material more than likely have come across the fact that during my last few years in high school up until several years afterwards when I was drafted into the Army, I owned an immaculately restored 1940's wooden Ford station wagon. One morning when I felt the weather permitted I took the woody out of it's hermetically sealed stone and gravel garage area shared with rock haulers and cement trucks --- well, not quite. Actually, my ancient and decrepit over-the-hill and now deceased grandmother's dilapidated and falling down clapboard single car backyard garage, and drove it down to one of my favorite for breakfast South Bay restaurants. Shortly afterwards a man came running in yelling at the top of his voice asking if anybody in the restaurant owned the wooden station wagon out front. Instantly seeing in my mind's eye tiny little bits and pieces of wood flying into the air and scattered all over the parking lot thinking he or somebody else had smashed into it breaking it to smithereens, I jumped from my seat, brushing the man aside, and ran out the door.
THE WINDJAMMER AROUND 1959 TO MID 1960's, SOUTH REDONDO BEACH, CA
WANDERLING'S FULLY RESTORED 1941 FORD SUPER DELUXE WOODY WAGON
(please click image)
The woodie was not touched. Matter of fact it was just as I left it.
The man doing all the yelling was a skipper of a yacht come marlin boat moored in the Marina Del Rey harbor owned by David J. Halliburton, the grown son and an heir to the Halliburton Oil fortune. The skipper just wanted to know who owned the wagon out front and who the person was that was responsible for maintaining the wood on it. Showing a huge sigh of relief that the car was not demolished beyond repair in some fashion I told him the person responsible for keeping the wood in such great shape was me. The skipper asked if I would be interested in doing, as he called it, the brightwork on his boat --- meaning, basically, sand, scrape, and spar varnish all the natural-color wood on the boat over and over for the rest of my life. Although I changed my mind later, initially my answer was no, but it did lead me, out of curiosity, to go to where the boat was moored and look it over.
It just so happened the day I was there a young woman was walking along the dock with several small children in tow when one of them, a very little girl who I guess could not swim, missed her footing somehow and slipped off the edge of the dock into the water. For all practical purposes she was drowning. The mother started yelling like crazy and since I was probably the only person really within earshot close enough to respond, I leaped off the boat onto the dock and into the water. While still in the water I handed the little girl up to the skipper, who had been running all the way along the dock only a few steps behind me. In the process, due to all the commotion, a small crowd gathered.
Amongst the crowd on the dock that day was a woman that recognized me, a former Rose Marie Reid swim suit model that I knew as Sullivan, but since married to the son of a renowned ocean explorer. They had a boat in the harbor and since we had not seen each other in years, after everybody was sure the girl was OK, she asked me to join her for drinks on her yacht, get into some dry clothes and get caught up. As I was leaving later in the afternoon Sullivan asked if I would be willing to go to a party she was throwing in a couple of weeks. As I slowly strolled away down the dock I halfheartedly turned back and nodded in agreement that I would attend. Little did I know at the time that anything related to what was going on would eventually involve the woman on the dock, a crash of a PBY, and the prophecy of an ancient tribal elder as found in the Navajo Code Talkers. 
THE LADY ON THE DOCK
(please click image)
I duly showed up at the designated time and duly circulated and engaged in small talk. Unexpectedly, during the chit-chat sessions two things related to the L.A. UFO came up --- both from the same person, a diver by the name of "Jack" --- who would one day become a highly respected, albeit non-academically affiliated, marine archaeologist. At the point in time we are talking about here however, he was a low level player in the field working his way up the ladder and on his degree. Even so, he was still well known up and down the California coast for his diving expertise and underwater archaeology skills.
We got to talking and one thing led to the next, eventually the conversation turning to the L.A. object. He told me although he was too young to have participated in any original dive related to the object --- actually he had not even been born yet --- he had met a couple of old timers, hard hat guys, who had. They told him they participated in a retrieval effort of a highly secret nature off San Clemente Island a few months after the start of the war --- not between the coast and the island proper, but on the west to south open ocean side. They told Jack, to their knowledge nothing ever came of it and nothing of any size was found or located, although over the years they heard rumors to the contrary. For one thing, apparently whatever they were looking for sonar was not able to detect it. So too, they had been diving during the day which was fairly typical, doing so in conjunction with the civilian contracted Navy salvage vessel ARS-1 Viking. However, the regular daytime teams, including the two aforementioned hard-hat guys, were pulled and sent back while a so-called specially trained night diving crew was brought in moving to the deep open V-shaped trench directly off the south southwest tip of the island. What the night-divers found, if anything, is not known.
Secondly, Jack told me even though San Clemente Island was run and controlled by the Navy and off limits HE could, if I was so interested, get me on the island. Which needless to say, I took him up on. So, even though some may talk about San Clemente using my ideas, unlike most, I have actually been there and looked the place over to see if any of it was remotely possible. To this day I cannot say for sure, only that I saw the object that night as a young boy, it was huge, as big as a Zeppelin, and that La Paz told my uncle it went down off the coast.
SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND AND THE 1942 UFO
THE BATTLE OF L.A. OBJECT HAD 1440 ROUNDS OF ANTI-AIRCRAFT ROUNDS THROWN AGAINST IT, YET IT STILL GOT AWAY.
HOW DID IT ESCAPE?
In the above main text I write:
"(F)or unknown reasons just as it passed south of the Edison electric generating plant in Redondo, rather than continue south around or past Palos Verdes peninsula, it turned diagonally inland headed in a south southeast direction."
In the text I use the term "for unknown reasons." The term is used here by me because other than my own suspicions or speculations, the REASON for the object's change in direction is not known. How could the object and/or any intelligent or artificial intelligent operating systems thereof, have reached the conclusion, i.e., "known," that continuing along the coast in the same direction that it would encounter anything any different than what it already had encountered? That is to say, if the potential possibilities of what it faced was so much different than what it already faced that it would necessitate a change of direction at that specific place and time just past the Edison steam plant? As far as the object was concerned if there was a difference, what could that difference be --- and how would it have known? I do not know how it would have known, but there was a difference, and because of that difference, a very good reason for a change in direction.
It has to do with air and coast defenses.
People have a tendency to think that the defenses deployed around the Los Angeles area generally and the aircraft factories specifically in February of 1942 was adequate to good when in reality they were less than adequate to hardly good at all. Matter of fact, in December of 1941, only 60 days before the Battle of L.A., it had been reported that there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants in the area. From The Army Air Forces in World War II Volume VI :
"Similarly, the antiaircraft (AA) units, trained and administered by the Coast Artillery but assigned to the interceptor commands for operational control in 1941, were too few and their equipment too scarce. There were so many vital installations in relation to available AA strength that dispositions had to be based on a system of priorities--which meant in reality that responsible officers did the best they could to guess where attacks were most likely to be made. Typical of the gulf between needs and resources was the situation in southern California. The first plans of 1941 were so ambitious as to be dubbed, later, the 'Santa Claus Plans.' By late August 1941 a moderate schedule to cover immediate emergencies had been framed. This minimum plan called for 120 three-inch guns for Los Angeles and its immediate environs, but in December there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants of that area. For San Diego the Army had no mobile AA strength at all to assign. The planners related later that they had done everything they could for San Diego--they had prayed that no attack would come."
It was anti-aircraft guns from the 4th Antiaircraft Command that opened fire against the giant unidentified airborne object. The unit involved under the aegis of the Command was the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade (AA) under of which the 65th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) located in Inglewood and the 205th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) located in Santa Monica were the initial active participants. At the time both regiments armament consisted of 3-inch and 37mm anti-aircraft guns and it was a combination of those guns and those from surrounding batteries that expended the nearly 10 tons of ammunition that rained down all over Los Angeles and the surrounding cities during the supposed raid.(see) At higher elevations the 3-inch guns and the 1.5 inch shells of the 37mm guns made no visible impact. As the object turned south along the surf line near El Segundo and headed toward Redondo Beach it lowered its altitude to parallel the beach just above the ocean with still no ill effect. Just after passing the Edison plant it turned diagonally inland toward the south southeast crossing almost directly over the Happy Hour Cafe at 400 Strand and owned by the infamous Fifie Malouf, barely staying above the low lying hills that crested along Garnet Street, dropping to the south side of the hill along Torrance Boulevard and crossing over the 300 block of Lucia Street. Then, gaining altitude, it headed out over the oil fields and agriculture lands beyond.
It is my suspicion the diagonal turn inland just past the Edison plant was a designed move and done so because of what was forging out in the ocean just a short distance south of the generating plant. The Redondo Beach pier. According to World War II Comes To Redondo installed on the end of the pier were two 155mm guns. Not wussy 3-inch or 37mm guns, but huge big babies that fired full 6-inch in diameter projectiles. The object seems to have had the ability to withstand the anti-aircraft rounds without incident, but the 155mm rounds at such a close range from both guns in tandem, maybe not so well.
ONE OF TWO 155mm GUNS PLACED ON THE END OF
REDONDO BEACH'S PIER, DECEMBER 1941 TO 1943
The object turned inland toward the low coastal hills, hugging first the top then cresting over toward the bottom as they ran eastward along Torrance Boulevard. The guns on the pier did not have full 360 degree turning ability, and even if they could swing around they would not have been able to level their barrels on the object because it could not be seen. Plus, firing with such large bore rounds so close to the ground would have torn to shreds any civilian structures in its path.
The same is true when the object first turned south along the surf line near El Segundo and headed toward Redondo Beach and lowered its altitude. The reason it skirted just above the surf line at a fairly low elevation was because sitting between El Segundo and Redondo Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach were two of the most formidable weapons it would have encountered along its path. Even more so than the two 155mm guns on the Redondo Beach pier.
In the center of Manhattan Beach just a few blocks inland off the ocean were TWO huge 8-inch railway guns mounted on specially built flatcars sitting on a spur track laid just for the guns. Although actual construction of the final emplacement site did not officially begin until just about the same time as the giant object's fly over in February of 1942, most probably for defense but possibly to test the feasibility of the project and ease doubters, both cannons, in fully operable condition, were at the time, already parked on a siding in Manhattan Beach along present day Ardmore near 14th Street. A detachment (two gun sections) of Battery E, 52nd U.S. Coast Artillery manned what was called Battery Eubank from December 1941 until the spring of 1944. After final construction both guns were hidden inside false-sided buildings built in such a way to resemble two oversized farmhouses in order to disguise the guns from enemy agents, aircraft, or submarines.
The guns could easily fire their five-hundred pound projectiles for up to twenty miles. So to, unlike the Redondo guns, they were able to rotate all the way around in a full 360 degrees. They just were not able to fire at an object so close in just above the beach --- and, even if they did, everything in their path between the end of their gun muzzle and the beach would have been pulverized. Instead the object just slipped on by.
Of course the object making the diagonal turn over Redondo Beach just prior to reaching the pier then cutting across the flatlands and passing in behind the sea-facing 16 inch coast defense guns emplaced at Fort MacArthur was not such a bad choice either. A single hit by one of their 2,240 pound projectiles within a range of 26 miles and most likely it would have been goodbye object.
In conjunction with the above, two other Redondo Beach residents other than just myself have come forward over time and expressed their experiences regarding the Battle of Los Angeles, in turn inadvertently confirming the actual flight path of the object as it traveled over Redondo that night after it turned inland just past the Edison plant.
In high school, before I got my first car, and long before I ever thought of writing anything about the Battle of Los Angeles, my buddies and I used to stop at a mom and pop market for cokes and penny candy on the way home from school. The market was not really "mom and pop" per se' as it was actually owned and run by a father and son team named Edwards who had lived in the neighborhood for years. My brother and I used to cut the grass of many homes in the area on weekends and during the summer, and school or not, we always stopped by the little market to get snacks and drinks. They would even let us run a tab if we were short of cash.
The senior Edwards, who collected coins and had a complete set of Lincoln pennies himself, encouraged all the kids who came into the market on a regular basis to start a penny collection, which my brother and I did. Since Edwards had access to lots of change he used to save piles of pennies for any kid starting a collection to sort through for any they might need or wanted to upgrade to. All of us, of course, were always hoping to find a 1909 S-VDB or a 1943 copper penny. The younger Edwards, overhearing us kids talking about the lack of 1943 copper pennies one day enlightened us with wartime shortages and such. A couple of local men who came into the store joined in and soon the topic turned to the Battle of Los Angeles.
The younger Edwards was around 20 years younger than his dad, and was himself a grown man, married with a family. He grew up in Redondo Beach and lived in a house on Juanita Avenue two or three houses past my Merchant Marine Friend, almost on the top of the crest of the Garnet Street hill. He was probably in his early 30s or so in 1942 when the object crossed right over his house. As he told it he was awakened in the darkened pre-dawn hours by what he thought was the sound of gunfire. Then the house began to rattle, then shudder, causing a few things to fall off the shelves as though a bulldozer or a freight train had gone by right out front of the house on the sidewalk or something. He ran outside just barely catching a glimpse of what he said looked like the dark black hull of a "flying ship" cresting over and going down the hill toward Torrance Boulevard. He raced inside, threw on a pair of shoes and a jacket over his pajamas and ran out to the top of the hill thinking all along that whatever it was crashed into the houses on Lucia Street or into the oil fields beyond. When he got to the top of the hill none of the houses were destroyed, nothing was on fire, and there was no sign of the object.
I recently received a credible email from a reader of my works who now lives in Arkansas or Oklahoma who lived in Redondo Beach as a young boy at the time of the Battle of Los Angeles. He lived with his mom on the 200 block of South Guadalupe Avenue near where it crosses Garnet Street --- only a few blocks down the hill due west from where the younger Edwards lived. If you remember, Edwards was awakened by what he thought was gunfire. The mom of my emailer woke him up and got him out of the house because rounds of gunfire were whizzing right across their front yard, tracking toward some airborne object just north of them that was coming up from the beach. His mother had gone outside to see what all the commotion was and saw the object darkly shadowed on and off from behind apparently by distant searchlights trying to find it. By the time the emailer got outside the shooting had stopped and whatever they were trying to hit had already crested east of him over the hill so he never saw it.
The interesting part is that years and years before the man ever emailed me to tell me he lived in Redondo Beach as a kid and rounds of gunfire whizzed right across his front yard the night of the Battle, when the younger Edwards and the men were talking about the incident in the market the day I was looking at pennies, there was a boy with one of the men he was talking to. The boy, who we did not know, had come over to the end of the counter where we were sorting pennies and told us he was from Hollywood Riviera and when he was a kid they had an anti-aircraft gun mounted in their front yard. He said that in February of 1942, a couple of days after his 7th birthday, "the Army was firing it north up the beach toward Redondo all night long."
90mm Anti-aircraft guns OR 3-inch Anti-aircraft guns:
Over and over in reports regarding the Battle of L.A. it is stated that the the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells at the unidentified object (just Google "12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells" and you will see what I mean. The last time I checked there were over 43,000 results). The 12.8 pound figure given as the weight of the anti-aircraft rounds used against the unidentified object is a typo most likely from some long lost original source that has been repeated again and again until it has taken on a life of it's own. Even Wikipedia cites the 12.8 figure. It should have been 12.5 pounds. BUT, in either case, using 12.5 or 12.8, the guns used against the unidentified aerial object that night could NOT have been 90mm.
- The shell weight for the 90mm anti-aircraft round is 23.4 pounds
- The shell weight for the 3-inch anti-aircraft round is 12.5 pounds
The below from History of the 4th Antiaircraft Command, I, 115-25, and IV, Docs 28 and 29.:
"During the next hour they expended some 1,400 rounds of 3-inch antiaircraft ammunition against a variety of "targets" in the Los Angeles area. Exhaustive inquiries on 25 February accumulated a mass of conflicting evidence as to what these targets were."
The source for the following figures regarding the number of of anti-aircraft rounds expended and the size of the rounds expended has been compiled through the research data provided by The History of the 4th AA Command, Western Defense Command, Jan 9 1942 to July 1 1945:
TIME: 0306. Batteries B, C and D of the 65th and Battery B of the 205th
482 rounds of 3-inch
TIME: 0333. Batteries B, C, D, G and H of the 78th and B, C and D of the 122nd
581 rounds of 3-inch, 38 rounds of 37mm
TIME: 0355. Batteries C and D of the 65th
100 rounds of 3-inch
TIME: 0405. Batteries B, C, and D of the 78th
246 rounds of 3-inch
TOTAL ROUNDS: 1447
TOTAL WEIGHT OF 3-INCH ROUNDS @ 12.5 LBS EACH: 17,612.5 POUNDS (8.8 tons)
From the Footnote text above:
"At the time both regiments armament consisted of 3-inch and 37mm anti-aircraft guns and it was a combination of those guns and those from surrounding batteries that expended the nearly 10 tons of ammunition that rained down all over Los Angeles and the surrounding cities during the supposed raid."
The above 17,612.5 pounds of 3-inch rounds does not factor in the 38 rounds of 37mm shells nor do the figures reflect additional or "unaccounted" ordinance which could easily add up to the NEARLY 10 tons of ammunition so cited. However, considering the almost two-to-one weight ratio between 3-inch rounds and the 90mm rounds it is almost impossible to rectify the use of 90mm rounds.
Please note that the total number of batteries officially reported as responding to the raid that night, Batteries B, C and D of the 65th; Batteries B, C, D, G and H of the 78th; B, C and D of the 122nd; and Battery B of the 205th, add up to the total number of guns (12) as found in The Army Air Forces in World War II Volume VI:
"(The) plan called for 120 three-inch guns for Los Angeles and its immediate environs, but in December (of 1941) there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants of that area."
For whatever reason the anti-aircraft battery at Hollywood Riviera is not included in any of the statistics. It was most likely not on a full up and running status or even on an active operational list, with the crew still in training status. They most likely simply just joined in impromptu.
AN ODE TO PROFESSOR LITTLETON
Littleton is the recognized authority on the subject, while, according to his words my observations are shaky, atypical, and skewed. It is up to the reader to decide. However, regardless of what Littleton says one way or the other, most small pickings to be sure, I love Littleton's works. He will be greatly missed, by me as I struggled to make my works better, and by all that knew him and had the privilege to study under him. My page THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: 1942 UFO is the BEST most comprehensive page on the subject on the net. You can go to page after page on the subject, but if you want it right you have to come back to mine. It has the most personal eyewitness interviews and the best research. In it, for example, rather than take the quote 1440 anti-aircraft rounds that everybody simply regurgitates over and over I have gone back in and researched where the quote came from. Why? Because of Littleton. My page grew from one chapter in length to three because of back and forth banter between Littleton and myself --- each time with me going back in and resolving some issue he questioned. With thanks to Littleton, like I say, it is without a doubt the best page on the subject on the net. I'll miss him.
UFO OVER L.A.: THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
1942: THE GREAT LOS ANGELES AIR RAID
ROSWELL: WHAT CAUSED THE UFO CRASH?
THE GREAT 1947 SUNSPOT, ROSWELL AND CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS
THE ROSWELL RAY GUN
(please click image)
THE SEARCH FOR EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
ARTIFACTS AND 1991 VG
ON THE RAZOR'S
ROSWELL DAILY RECORD
WILLIAM "BILL" STOUT:
In the main text above, I write that the object, after leveling off over the ocean "reduc(ed) it's speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume." I then go on to say:
"Scattered eye witness accounts from years later pick up the object apparently dropping down into the radar shadow by hugging the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction."
Sometime in the early 1990s I set a meeting with a man who had been an eyewitness to a portion of the Battle of Los Angeles and able to add a bit of credence to the possible accuracy of the "scattered reports" that the object hugged the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction as it headed toward it's rendezvous with history.
In my exclusive interview, according to the man's story, whose name was William "Bill" Stout, and who had been a carpenter in civilian life and after the war went on to build hopped-up Ford flathead wooden hull speedboats based on PT boat designs with his one-eyed pirate of a partner Tom Shaw, had joined the Navy in his late teens or very early 20s following Pearl Harbor. The Navy shipped him off to Point Hueneme and Point Mugu near Ventura, California, to help in the early stages of construction of the naval facilities they were building there. In the process he met and started seeing a young woman that lived in a fairly isolated section of the mountains east of Heuneme not far from Paramount Ranch, an old western movie set used on and off over the years by various film studios.
Late one night after seeing and cavorting around with the young woman (his words, not mine), he was racing back to the base to make sure he would not miss morning muster when, on a small road leading up toward the town of Agoura, his car got a flat tire.
The man had borrowed the vehicle from a fellow Navy buddy and in that he was totally unfamiliar with all the ins-and-outs of changing the tire on that specific model of car, as well as being caught on a super dark night along the road with no flashlight, it took much longer to change than expected -- as well as quite a bit more effort. Finally finished, even though it was cold and late as well as him being tired and dirty, he sat on the side of the road, lit a cigarette and sort of leaned back in the tall weeds to rest his back for a few minutes. No sooner had he done so when some sort of a giant object, a huge gigantic flying thing not much higher than the tops of the trees --- and not making a sound, but all the while blocking out a good portion of the night sky and most of the stars --- slowly crossed overhead curving toward the east after coming out of a more south southwesterly direction.
When he got back to the base the place was in turmoil. People were running everywhere, forming up into platoons, getting into the backs of trucks carrying rifles, grenades, and gasmasks. He was told the city of Los Angeles was under attack from the air, there was a statewide blackout and everybody was going to be spread out along the coastline to protect the city and country from invasion. Some trucks did leave, but most didn't and by sunup everything had pretty much calmed down. Eventually they were told the whole thing was a fluke, to put the weapons away and to go back to their regular business. Shortly thereafter he was sent to the South Pacific and because of his wood-working craftsmanship ability (read, carpenter) he was assigned to PT boat duty, PT boats being made out of plywood after all. With the passage of time and being swept up in the intensity of his duties he pretty much forgot the whole thing.
Then one day in the late 1980s he saw a movie on television titled 1941. Although a comedy, in the movie the California coast was attacked by a Japanese submarine and the ensuing outcome, except for the giant airborne object, was highly similar to what he began to remember from his experience in 1942. When he began to tell people about the incident HE experienced nobody knew what he was talking about and would make little air circles around their ears with their fingers like he was crazy.(see)
Eventually his story filtered down to me when I overheard two men talking one day about another man they were sort of making fun of. They were knocking his comments of having seen, while in the Navy, a giant airborne object come in off the ocean and fly over Los Angeles during the war for hours that couldn't be stopped or pulled out of the sky by anti aircraft guns. Neither of the men had ever heard of such a thing and figured the man was a little nuts. The other thing was he was always telling everybody he had the same name as the man who designed the Scarab. When I asked what the man meant by that they told me a Scarab was a car and his name was William Stout. The only car I knew called a Scarab was a race car built by Lance Reventlow, the multi-millionair heir to the Woolworth fortune and who I had known personally since we were kids, us having met when he was around 14 and I was 12. To my knowledge there was no one on his design team with the same name as the man. The thing is, although I had to laugh at the Scarab side of things, that part of the story checked out, giving credibility to the rest of his story, i.e., that he was an eyewitness to the event. Re the following graphics of the 1936 Stout Scarab, the world's first mini-van:
Since I had seen the object myself as a young boy, I sought him out to hear what he had to say and then went to physically visit the areas he mentioned.
As far as describing the object itself is concerned, he said, because there were trees on both sides of the road where he stopped and the fact that it made no sound, the object was practically on top of him before he ever saw it. He said at first he thought it might have been a blimp except it was shaped more like a "brick" and seemed heavy like one too, albeit possibly curved somewhat rather than square-like and flat in the front like a brick. Also, as he found out later, at the time of the fly over there was an area-wide blackout. The thing is, not knowing about any blackout, because it was so dark that night where he pulled over, he left the headlights on to reflect off the trees to give him as much light as he could in order to change the tire. He thought the object flew over his location on purpose because the headlights, dim as they were, unbeknownst to him at the time, still provided the only real visible light source for miles around.
In addition to his description of the object "looking like a brick," later in the conversation he told me the incident was an eerie-like reminder of another incident that happened a few months before. He was doing some sort of training for the Navy using an inflatable seven-man life raft. He was coming onto the beach IN the raft with some equipment as several of his buddies guided it alongside in the water holding onto ropes when the boat was swamped by a huge wave and flipped over. He was trapped underneath as the forward momentum of the waves pushed him along with his face and body being scraped by the sand and rocks. Until the raft washed back into deeper water and he was able to get out of underneath it with the help of his buddies he thought he was either going to suffocate or drown. He said when he first saw the giant flying object overhead that night he thought it looked a lot like an upsidedown life raft --- he also, for a quick few moments, felt the same apprehension or fear that he felt when he was trapped under the life raft in the water. Like he was going to suffocate or drown.
In June of 1966, one of only two operational prototype mach three XB-70 bombers crashed. As a result there was a short term rash of publicity surrounding the plane in the press, including the release of photographs in a number of popular magazines and other sources that depicted the plane from a variety of angles and operational modes.
Albert Nozaki, an eyewitness to the 'UFO over L.A.' reports that although the XB-70 itself did not resemble the object he saw that night in its totality, some photos that he did see during that rash of publicity following the crash struck him because of the way the plane was photographed reminded him of the object he saw that night. The closest that captures the essence of what he was trying to say looked something like the following:
MACH-3 XB-70 SEEN FACE-ON IN FLIGHT WITH WING TIPS DOWN
It is fairly easy to visualize that if an airborne object of similar configuration, especially of any length, flew directly over the top of you at a slow suffocating low altitude and you looked up, that you might describe the object --- at least from your viewpoint --- as looking like an upside down life raft.
A PRESENT DAY SIGHTING?
In a first ever description of a similar observation that I have ever heard of from any source, one that parallels the account given by MY own eyewitness --- that is, that the the huge object he observed looked like an upside-down life raft --- has been brought to my attention. Although I am yet to pinpoint a specific year or date, it seems to have been seen sometime in the 1980s, around thirty to forty years AFTER the Los Angeles flyover --- and not over L.A., but in place called Bickel's Camp located in the desert about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, in an area called Last Chance Canyon. The object, as described below, was seen by three men, Mark Aslin, the current caretaker of Bickel's Camp, John Bullock and Walt Bickel:
"The three men went outside and beheld an awesome sight. In the eastern sky hovering over the nearest hill was an enormous dark object.
"'It was shaped more or less like an inflated life raft,' Aslin recalled. 'The sky was crystal clear and it was a brilliant, star-studded night.' Aslin pointed out that desert living had made them accustomed to ambient stillness, but the silence they encountered that night was like being deaf.
"'Then the shape moved over the cabin slowly,' he said. Everything became unearthly hushed. 'You couldn't hear animals, insects or even the wind. It became frighteningly quiet in a desert known for silence.' The object moved on slowly and disappeared in the west."(source)
I had been in and out of the Bickel Camp since the time, as a young boy, I was found wandering in the desert all alone by an old man in a jeep who took me there. Because of that I knew one of the witnesses personally, Walt Bickel, the man the camp was named after. However, I had not been to Bickel Camp since 1972 when I stopped by to tell Bickel that my dad, who was a onetime old prospector friend of his, died. The object flew over the camp well after my last visit so, not only had I never discussed the sighting with Bickel, I wasn't even privy that it happened until recently. I do know Bickel's word was as good as gold and if he said he saw it, he saw it. And if it was huge and looked like an inflated life raft it was huge and looked like an inflated life raft. For more on Walt Bickel and any relationship I may have had with him through my father from my youth to adulthood please see The Tree and/or go to:
NOTE: Even though the Navy man was sent to the South Pacific and says he pretty much forgot the incident it should be stated that at the time of his covorting around with the young woman in the mountains near Paramount Ranch he was engaged to another woman, a woman of which he eventually married after the war. Now while it is true he pretty much forgot about the incident, that is the fly over of the giant object, he found it difficult to discuss under most circumstances and so he didn't because he felt the how of how it happened undermined the fidelity of the relationship with his wife.
In relation to what I have presented above there are some that see what they consider as inconsistencies regarding sirens going off or not going off in the Redondo Beach area when the object flew diagonally over the city. A number of people have said they lived in Redondo Beach at the time of the alleged incident and apparently, if it happened they say, slept right through it. They were sure they would have woke up if air raid sirens had gone off --- hence in their esteemed opinions, no sirens went off and thus then, in turn, my father could not have been woken up by sirens, meaning I guess, the whole thing is hot air.
In the main text I say my dad got up that night when the 'sirens went off' to do his air raid warden stuff and eventually practically everybody on our block was outside to see what was going on. Further on, in Chapter 3, writing about a Redondo Beach resident named Edwards, and, although not mentioned, like my father an Air Raid Warden, related the object crossed right over his house --- which was directly under the path of the object and only a minute at the most before it crossed over my house. As Edwards told it he was awakened in the darkened pre-dawn hours by what he thought was the sound of gunfire. He said nothing about sirens. So too, no mention of sirens from a young boy who lived only a few blocks down the hill due west from where Edwards lived. His mother woke him up and got him out of the house because rounds of gunfire were whizzing right across their front yard, tracking toward some low-flying airborne object north of them.
Just as the object came off the ocean and a few minutes before it reached the boy's and Edwards house, a woman who lived along the Strand that paralleled the beach said she had heard a ruckus going on outside, sirens, guns firing, all kinds of stuff, so she went out on to the Strand only to see this "thing" a few hundred feet above the beach slowly glide overhead off the ocean, not making a sound. Before it reached Edwards an eyewitness reported hearing sirens. When it got up to Edwards at the top of the hill a mile inland he says nothing about sirens but, like the boy's mother, being awakened by gunfire. Seconds later my dad says he was awakened by sirens. So, what's the scoop?
Being a very young boy at the time of the object's fly over, I mention, in relation to my ability to remember things of the era, that the girl next door had a life size cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit --- colored on one side with dials and windshield and printed only in black and white on the backside --- with a movable square cardboard joystick.(see) The girl's name was Mary Lou. Now, while it is true I am not sure of her age, if she was into her teens or not, however old or young she was my mother saw it such that she was old enough to babysit my brother and I. She lived with her parents along with her curmudgeon old grandfather. I remember him specifically because he helped me out of a childhood bind I had got myself into. He was a sort of Rube Goldberg inventor type guy that seemed like he could fix or build anything. He had set up a junk filled workshop in the detached dirt floor single-car garage on the back of their property collecting, working on, and making stuff he said was to thwart the "impending invasion."
The old man's concerns with an impending invasion, by the Japanese of course, was based on facts the way he had it figured. He had a huge full page article from the Los Angeles Examiner on the wall dated November 7, 1937, four years before Pearl Harbor that had a full page full color map, linked below, showing everything. According to the old man the article outlined exactly how the Japanese would invade the U.S. Anybody who came into his shop that he could corner for any length of time he would talk to for hours going over every minute detail. The headlines on the newspaper article read:
REMEMBER, THE DATE OF THE ARTICLE WAS NOVEMBER 7, 1937, FOUR YEARS BEFORE PEARL HARBOR
HOW JAPAN COULD HAVE ATTACKED THE U.S. IN 1937
Soon as World War II started my dad went to work at the shipyards in Terminal Island. Up until just before the war began my dad worked for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in South Gate, California. While there, after doing some sort of beyond the cause of duty work for some high ranking officials, as a reward, in addition to just compensation, he was given a very rare Firestone promotional object --- a deep blood red special-built scale model version of the 1939-1940 Indianapolis winner, the Boyle Special. It was an exquisitely handmade down to the last nut and bolt scale model, about 12 inches long, and just like the actual race car, had real (albeit miniature) inflatable Firestone tires on wire wheels. The model also had a highly louvered hood that was held down by little miniature belts and when undone and opened, revealed a scale model albeit non-operable engine. Just like the real car it also had a metal steering wheel rimmed with wood, attached in some fashion to the front wheels that by turning the steering wheel the front wheels would turn. My father was continually telling my brother and I the race car was not a toy and not to mess with it. Of course, every chance I got and nobody was around I would get it down and run it all over the floor by hand. One day in doing so I broke the steering mechanism.
After tinkering with it myself for awhile in an attempt to fix it with no results I asked Mary Lou if she could get her grandfather to look at it. He was able to repair it in no time and as far as I knew my father never knew about it. I bring it up because amongst his junk while I was in his shop I saw a portable hand held, hand-crank air raid siren similar to the one pictured above in conjunction with this footnote. It wasn't unusual to find Mary Lou's grandfather out in his shop at all hours of the day and night for one reason or the other. On the night the giant object flew over he was awake during the early morning hours working in the garage while at the same time monitoring emergency-band radio frequencies like he often did when he became aware something big was going on. After hearing gunshots in the distance he grabbed his air raid siren and went out on the street. It was his siren that awoke my father and it was he that gave an early warning to the rest of my family and the residents on our street.
BOYLE MASERATI 8CTF
OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN
One day I was shuffling around in the old man's shop going through his junk when I came across what turned out to be one half of a two part set that was called a Tom Mix Straight Shooters Telegraph Set. The set was a couple of years old when I found it, having originally been a onetime box top offer promoted by the Ralston Wheat Cereal company several years before. One box top and .10 cents in coin or free with two box tops. Ralston had tried the telegraph gig once before but that product-offer was never designed to actually send and receive, being more of a practice set. The one the old man had was the kind that worked, so after I found the second half, as quick as I could convince him to do so we wired the set between the two houses. It wasn't long after that we were sending and receiving code, although I have to admit the old man sort of tired of it quickly and I couldn't find anybody who really wanted to send and receive code at the level I did. Eventually the old man just gave me the whole set and anytime I was able to catch somebody to participate in Morse code with me I did. Lots of time it was my mom humoring me. She could read and write classic Greek so picking up dots and dashes was easy for her. The extent of most of my older brother's interaction was cutting the wires and stealing the batteries. What ever happened to the Tom Mix Straight Shooters Telegraph Set I have no idea. By the time I reached high school and still interested in sending and receiving Morse code I jumped to what was called a Western Union Standard Radio Telegraph Set as linked below:
WESTERN UNION STANDARD RADIO TELEGRAPH SIGNAL SET
To my dad my older brother, the first born, was like a prince. In my young mind as I saw things or how I felt it in my bones, my dad lavished, if not all, an inordinate amount of his affections and care towards him, leaving me feeling shortchanged in the bargain. In order to counteract that lavishness and have my dad aim some of that affection in my direction, I did everything I could to gain or establish an equal level of worthiness. The difference was that my older brother received his worthiness, at least as I saw it, with no effort on his part, but I had to continuously prop up mine diligently, making any outcome dubious or short term without my constant input. Thus entered into my young childhood me being a Junior Air Raid Warden.
During World War II, on our block and for several around, my dad was an air raid warden, a position he not only relished, but a fine one at that. My older brother didn't care about it one way or the other, but I saw it as a window of opportunity to upgrade my status in my father's eyes. If my solution did or didn't work relative to my dad is nothing I have any real recollection of, however I liked it. On my own initiative and a little help from my mother, I became a Junior Air Raid Warden primarily on the basis of responding to an ad similar to the one below and reading comic book stories such as Edison Bell. In the process of doing so, among my peers and adults on the block, I raised my importance beyond any recognition simply from just my dad, making me understand for the first time, sadly though, that there was a much wider world of significance out there.
JUNIOR AIR RAID WARDENS
(please click image)
In Roswell Incident Updated, describing a dual "disc" sighting near Williams, Arizona on Monday morning June 30, 1947, just days before the so called Roswell crash down, the following is presented:
"(S)wooping in behind and over his left shoulder from out of the northwest and only a few hundred feet above the top of the truck were two large, sharp-edged, almost flat circular-shaped objects, blunt across the back and seemingly made of metal. The objects were flying side by side with one slightly in front, both headed ESE out over the horizon at an incredible high rate of speed. In only the few seconds it takes the boy to scramble up from under the dash the objects are gone, leaving in their wake only a small residue lingering in the air like the smell of electricity and a quarter-mile wide swath of thick swirling air laying turbulently above the treetops like a sweltering mirage over a desert dry lake."
The quote is accompanied by the following drawing:
Now, while it is true the description of the two objects over Williams were more "fighter-like" and lithe than "bomber-like" and heavy, the general shape of the crafts are frightenly similar to what is written describing the L.A. object. Notice the shovel shape and the "blunt across the back" comment in comparison with the drawing. In that the L.A. object is said to be more "battleship like," in a form follows function sort of way, a PT boat and a battleship are similar in that both are boats, thus because of their nature similarly shaped. The two Williams objects and the L.A. object are similar even if the dimensions are quite different.
Four hundred miles north in Reno, Nevada, in an article recounting the L.A. event from reporters on the scene and witnesses that contacted friends or relatives in Reno, the major local newspaper, the Reno Evening Gazette, dated February 26, 1942, presented the following:
"Still others who watched the spectacle, if it can be called that, sighted no planes in the glare of the army's searchlights. A number, however, reported seeing 'something that looked like a giant butterfly.'"
Seen from a distance others have reported the L.A. object was round with a slight hump in the middle, and overall, possibly elliptical in shape. Round meaning more circular like a plate or Frisbee, not dimensionally round like a globe or a ball. So too, the object was not cigar shaped either. As far as THIS report goes, the L.A. object as seen was never observed from the side, in profile, or in profile from a distance --- only at very close range from the front, underneath, then the stern, all at night during a blackout and all out of range of searchlights. The upside down shovel shape similar to the drawing still stands. If you recall from the above:
Face on as I remember it, the object was not round or circular like a Zeppelin or a blimp (i.e., not cigar shaped), but wide and flat or slightly curved toward the center concave-like across the bottom from the the outside edges. It seemed bluntly-wedged or possibly sloped toward the top and back somewhat in the front, sort of like the triangular or boxy shape of present day stealth aircraft or more closely, an upsidedown pointed shovel.
The rear or stern was thick and rectangle in shape(i.e., blunt across the back), rounded on the corners, flat or slightly concave on the bottom, flat on top toward the rear curving gently or falling off to the sides near the front as it narrowed, thinning more so toward the front, although not aerodynamically so.
THE TYPICAL COFFE POT LID-LIKE FLYING OBJECT
AS DESIGNED OR OBSERVED DURING THE 1950's
--------------------(please click image)
My comments on "the stereotypical percolator coffee pot lid disc-like objects of the day with little glass humps on top," is not intended to make fun of or denigrate any of the "tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades" that DID report objects of such a nature. It is just that the L.A. object did NOT fit into one those types of sightings. So, regardless of Littleton's comments saying my observations of the object were "skewed" or "atypical" it could be mine, if not spot on, at least slipped more closely into the perimeters of reality. If you remember from the main text above, the following is what Littleton himself said he saw:
"(M)y mother and I failed to spot either the hump or the possibly reflective orange glow. Indeed, I strongly suspect that what we saw was the object's ventral, or 'belly' side, which at that altitude was simply glowing white. In any case, as the Times image clearly indicates, the anti-aircraft barrage had begun, and the searchlights were following it steadily."(source)
Now while it is true I have never seen one of the "typical" coffee pot type discs personally, a person very influential in my life I call my Mentor, of whom I originally began my study-practice under between my junior and senior years in high school and who himself had studied under the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, observed an object of similar nature while traveling in the Himalayas in search of the Hemis Manuscripts. It is from his sighting I get the nomenclature "coffee pot lid."
He told me what he saw after we ran across a movie poster in a comic book store one day regarding one of my favorite movies, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I brought up the fact that as a young boy I had gone with my uncle to Roswell because he wanted to see if there was any truth behind the so called Hieroglyphic Writing reported on some of the metal scraps --- and before that I had personally observed the giant airborne object of unknown origin that came known as the Battle of Los Angeles.
(click then click again for larger size)
With all those thoughts in mind, when we got back to his place he went through a handful of leather bound diary-like books until he found the specific one he was looking for. Then he thumbed through the pages until he found the page he wanted. On the page showed me an entry with a small drawing and the date and time: "AM August 1927." The entry, and I remember it well because a few days later I went back and copied it word for word with a ballpoint pen on the inside-back of my belt --- and saw it there many times for years afterwards, read:
"Coming in just above the horizon arcing out of the north, a huge circular object, shiny like polished metal. Not an aeroplane. No wings, no sound. Like a coffee pot lid. Very fast."
What is most interesting about the whole thing is that a man by the name of Nicholas Roerich, of which I found out about many, many years after seeing my mentor's entry, was traveling in almost the exact same general area, only in the opposite direction (i.e., headed toward Tibet from China) also in search of the Hemis Manuscripts. In 1929 he published his diary chronicling HIS search under the title Altai-Himalaya: A Travel Diary. On pages 361-62, Roerich writes the following under the date August 5, 1927:
"On August fifth - something remarkable! We were in our camp in the kukunor district, not far from the humboldt chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At the same moment another of our caravaneers remarked: 'there is something far above the bird,' and he shouted his astonishment. We all saw, in the direction north to south, something big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest, and we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun."
My uncle and I had been sitting in a cafe in a remote section of northwestern New Mexico when a Native American spiritual elder, who had long known my uncle joined us. Because of rather extensive travels throughout the desert southwest with my uncle from a very young age I had developed a fairly strong general working knowledge of Native Americans cultures, absorbing as a second nature many of their subtle intricacies.
The spiritual elder had been talking with a group of Navajo men about a story I told some days earlier regarding a World War II U.S. Navy aircraft called a PBY. Because some in the group had been Code Talkers in the South Pacific during the war and knew about PBYs he thought the story I told about a man I personally knew and his mysterious survival at sea after weeks and weeks on the open ocean, a survival that the elder felt had to have been spiritual in nature, would be of some interest. A truly elderly man amongst the group who had not been a Code Talker nor ever even left the general area of the Navajo Nation, although not interested in the specifics because much of it was foreign to him and his culture, liked the overall theme of the story, in turn listening intently.
As the story progressed, for some reason the telling of the story put the truly elderly man into some sort of trance. Using his native language the truly elderly man told the spiritual elder for ME to beware of PBYs. Because of the unusual nature of the warning, PBYs and all, the spiritual elder brought us all together. The truly elderly man was somehow privy to a story that it had been said that I, as a young boy, had been touched by the White Painted Lady. Because of such, he felt a connection that otherwise might not have been there. Basically, through translators, because the truly elderly man did not have a full command of the English language, he wanted to know if I had access to a PBY. I told him although I had long known of PBYs, not only had I never been on one or near one, to my knowledge I did not think I had ever even seen one. Then the following happened:
"The old man slumped back almost as though he had fainted. Within minutes he returned to consciousness. He said that if not me someone from my past, possibly a woman, and if not her someone close to her would be impacted adversely in the use of such a craft. He told me to stay away from such aircraft and ensure that any of my friends that might fit the bill stay away from them as well."
Some years following the above more spiritual-like incident, the more mundane incident mentioned in the main text above involving me, my woody wagon, and the skipper of the marlin boat occurred. That more mundane incident resulted in me, if not from an inner gut feeling, at least curiosity, visiting the marina, looking over the boat, and judging more future prospects.
It just so happened the day I was there a young woman was walking along the dock with several small children in tow when one of them, a very little girl who I guess could not swim, missed her footing somehow and slipped off the edge of the dock into the water. For all practical purposes she was drowning. The mother started yelling like crazy and since I was probably the only person really within earshot close enough to respond, I leaped off the boat onto the dock and into the water. While still in the water I handed the little girl up to the skipper, who had been running all the way along the dock only a few steps behind me. In the process, due to all the commotion, a small crowd gathered.
Amongst the crowd on the dock that day was a woman that recognized me, a former Rose Marie Reid swim suit model that I knew as Sullivan, but since married to the son of a renowned ocean explorer. They had a boat in the harbor and since we had not seen each other in years, after everybody was sure the girl was OK, she asked me to join her for drinks on her yacht, get into some dry clothes and get caught up. As I was leaving later in afternoon Sullivan asked if I would be willing to go to a party she was throwing in a couple of weeks. As I slowly strolled away down the dock I halfheartedly turned back and nodded in agreement that I would attend. Little did I know at the time that anything related to what was going on would eventually involve the woman on the dock, a crash of a PBY, and the prophecy of an ancient tribal elder as found in the Navajo Code Talkers.
Now, I do not recall if the above incident between the former model and myself occurred before or after the warning by the elderly man, but please note that I say the woman in question was married to the "son of a renowned ocean explorer." She and I never had an opportunity to talk or cross paths again after the aforementioned party. However, some years later --- and with me being in absolutely no position to know of such things --- they, in the mid-1970s, bought a PBY. Four years after the purchase her husband was killed piloting the plane during a water landing.
NAVAJO CODE TALKERS
THE LADY ON THE DOCK, THE PBY, BLACK CATS, AND HIGH BARBAREE
(please click image)
While still in high school and many years before I came across the marine archaeologist that night at Sullivan's party who told me about U.S. Navy hardhat diving teams searching for a downed object off the coast of San Clemente Island I met an ex Navy diver that was a member of one of those hard hat dive teams --- without me realizing the gravity or importance of it all.
Following the death of my mother and short term placement with relatives I was put long term with a series of foster couples, a series because for at least two of those placements I ran away from home. On one of those run away occasions I ended up at my stepmother's ranch in the Mojave Desert, she at the time only just divorced from my father. Not sure of the potential complications or the role she should play in my life she tried to contact my father to no avail. Still unsure she called my dad's brother, my uncle, who lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to see if he might know where my dad was. He didn't. However, he did say he would take me in if need be until my dad was located and/or he offered a solution. To get me to my uncle's on such short notice my stepmother arranged for me to fly to New Mexico in a World War II two-seat trainer called an AT-6 that a pilot she knew was ferrying to Texas for a wealthy collector.
Two years later, in high school and living comfortably with my grandmother in Redondo Beach, California, a man who owned an AT-6 he bought right after the war for pennies on the dollar was hoping to sell it for a good profit. Hearing I had flown across country in one that was bought by a rich Texan collector he contacted me to see if I could put him in contact with the collector. Typically he and I would have no reason to know or cross paths with each other let along carry on any sort of an at length conversation over time, but because of his interest in selling his plane and my potential ability to reach the collector changed all that. The ex Navy diver's name was Bob Drake, an accomplished and well respected Southern California sports car road race driver at the time.
According to Drake, during our conversations on our way to and from the airport and the back and forth excursion to where the AT-6 was kept, he, in some aspect or level of training in a Navy dive school or course, had an instructor that was one of the Navy's foremost divers, especially in one notable area, night time deep sea hard hat diving at great depths. The instructor was pulled from his teaching duties to participate or lead a top secret deep water recovery operation off the coast of Southern California and he requested Drake, because of having strong innate diving skills and a tendency toward risk taking tempered by a certain cautious sensibility, to be part of the team. Apparently higher ups agreed because Drake, sworn to secrecy, ended up associated with the San Clemente Island UFO, diving off the coast searching for the unknown airborne object said to have gone down in the deep marine trench west of the island. Drake said he barely got close because he was handling high intensity broad-width light sleds, but he clearly saw something was there and for sure it wasn't a submarine or a ship. He wasn't in on any recovery operation and never heard if there was one having been pulled from the operation and put on routine dive status shortly thereafter.
What the end results of Drake's all on endeavors to part with his AT-6 favorably or unfavorably is something I have never learned.
S.S. MONTEBELLO, SUNK BY THE JAPANESE SUB I-21 DECEMBER 23, 1941
Two months before the giant object flew over Los Angeles, off the coast of Northern California, a 350 foot long fully combat ready aircraft equipped Imperial Japanese Navy submarine, the I-21, rose up out of the Pacific, torpedoing the American owned and operated oil tanker SS Montebello with the following results as found in the source so cited:
"On December 23, 1941, six miles off the northern California coast near the community of Cambria a Japanese submarine, the I-21, let loose two torpedoes against the unarmed Unocal oil tanker SS Montebello with at least one of the two hitting its mark. As soon as the sub was sighted the captain gave the standby lifeboats order, then to abandon ship with the crew escaping unharmed even after their lifeboats were strafed by machine gun fire from the sub. Within seconds the Montebello was headed to the bottom of the Pacific some 900 feet down carrying over 3 million gallons of crude oil. Interestingly enough neither the U.S. Navy or the West Coast Defense Command officially claimed any knowledge of the attack. So too, no mention of the attack shows up in the Navy Department's 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II one of the major go to tomes for such information and confirmation of same."
SECRET JAPANESE SUBMARINE BASES ON THE PACIFIC WEST COAST
Fifty-five years went by. Then, in November 1996, because of a continuing chorus of concerns that the Montebello was known to have gone down with four intact holds filled to the brim with all that crude oil, and as far as anybody knew it still remained within it's aging hull, a financial grant was given to fund an exploration of the sunken vessel. It just so happened that the same marine archaeologist that headed up the exploration and aboard the first dive in the two man submersible on the Montebello was the same then up and coming marine archaeologist I talked with that night at Sullivan's party.
I was never much of a diver guy. Did quite a bit of snorkeling in and around Malaga Cove and the kelp beds off Palos Verdes in my early years plus some SCUBA but never certified. Last time was from my older brother's boat in Mexican waters off Guadalupe Island using some of his equipment in a semi-attempt to get close enough to the island to make a quick dash to look over the remains of the Liberty ship S.S. Lewis Cass that was found mysteriously grounded on the island full of holes the size of one pound coffee cans on it's maiden voyage in January 1943, an outcome the Navy has remained silent on but many have attributed to the I-9. We made onto the rocky shoreline where the remains of the marooned hulk was but had to leave before accomplishing anything of value because of an approaching hurricane.
I have, however, always wanted to see if I could get the marine archaeologist mentioned above to make a dive on Cottonwood Island, a onetime island with some history now totally submerged under Lake Mohave, the so said history running thus:
"Through the great canyon a large river flows from the north to the south and falls into the northern end of the Gulf of California. Now, in the useful translations of the Spanish authors of 1540 AD we find that the scribe of the Conquistadors placed near the Colorado River, in a small island, a sanctuary of Lamaisra, or of Buddhism. He mentions a divine personage living in a small house near a lake upon this island, and called, as he says, Quatu-zaca, who was reputed never to eat."
VOYAGES: l'Histoire de la D'couverte de l'Amerique, Vol IX, Henri Ternaux-Compans (1836)
BOB DRAKE AT THE WHEEL OF MAX BALHOWSKY'S OLD YELLER II, 1960
(please click image)
MANHATTAN BEACH RAILWAY MILITARY RESERVATION 1942-1944
During WWII, in the period immediately after Pearl Harbor, the 8 inch Gun M1888M1A1 on Railway Mount M1918, 12inch Mortar M1890 on Railway Mount M1918, and 8 Inch Gun MkVIM3A2 on Railway Mount M1, were removed from storage and were emplaced at the following locations, Fort Hancock, NJ, Harbor Defenses of Southern NY; Fort Miles, Harbor Defenses of the Delaware; Fort John Custis, Harbor Defenses of Chesapeake Bay; Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles, Battery Eubanks, Manhattan Beach, CA; Harbor Defenses of Gray's Harbor, Oregon; Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, Cape George, Washington; Harbor Defenses of Pearl Harbor, Brown's Camp; Harbor Defenses of Kaneohe Bay/North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, Fort Hase: Battery Sylvester; Paumalu M.R.; Kawailoa M.R.; North Shore: Battery Kahuku; and also the Defenses of Bermuda. Some of these emplacements were in use for only a few months, others operated to the end of the war.
Lee R. Unterborn
Member, Coast Defense Study Group
NOTE: In the paragraph this footnote is cited from I state the cannons in question were on site, albeit parked on a siding, operable, and manned at the time of the fly over although construction of the site itself was not completed, or, as a matter of fact, only just being started. So said, there has been some question as to the following sentence found in the main text above that says there was a detachment at the site from December 1941, two months before the fly over:
"A detachment (two gun sections) of Battery E, 52nd U.S. Coast Artillery manned what was called Battery Eubank from December 1941 until the spring of 1944."
The source for what is presented in the sentence is extrapolated from the following paragraph from the source so cited:
"(In) December 1941 two gun sections of Battery E, 52nd U.S. Coast Artillery, (Railway) arrived from Fort Hancock, New Jersey, on 24 Dec 1941. This unit arrived with two 8" railway guns and supporting cars and initially emplaced on 27 Dec 1941 at Railroad Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan Beach pending the construction of a rail spur and support structures. The rail spur and support facilities were completed in August 1942 and the railroad guns moved into position on the high ground on 18th Street, Manhattan Beach. The railroad guns remained emplaced until they were ordered sent to the Sierra Ordnance Depot on 19 Apr 1944.(source)
A QUICK PERSONAL NOTE OR TWO:
Between the time of the February 1942 incident regarding the huge flying object over Los Angeles (of which above, I state I remember so clearly even though I was of a young age) and me going to Roswell with my uncle in the summer of 1947 (of which I also remember quite clearly), a series of unusual and dramatic events transpired that impacted my life adversely. The sum total of those events did nothing but strengthen my memory and insight into the incidents surrounding the so-called Battle of L.A.
The events included the unexpected (at least by me) death of my mother sometime around the time I started kindergarten or first grade. Being taken to India by a couple from another country without the approval or authorization of my father even before the death of my mother, albeit with the unintended privilege of meeting the venerated Indian holy man, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in the process. My return from India and death of my mother was followed quickly by the suicide of a dear and close relative from the blast of a shotgun he stuck in his mouth and of which, within minutes of the aftermath, I personally stumbled upon --- followed even more quickly by an auto accident wherein I was rendered unconscious and found wandering in the middle of the desert all alone. The cumulative effect of all those events on my child's mind initiated a two year-plus blackout period of any memory, a collapse of thought reaching from my mother's death forward to the end of that two year period. The blackout period, as I have chosen to call it, is elaborated more thoroughly in the quote below --- from The Last American Darshan, linked further down and of which the quote is found:
"There I was, a young boy barely even closing down on six or seven years of age, not long returned from India, without a mother, having missed both her final days and her funeral as well, standing with my mouth open, staring down on what only minutes before was someone else dear to me, not just gone, but excruciatingly gone. My aunt, stunned into disbelief at what she saw, with the car still in gear and engine running let her foot slip from the clutch as she apparently tried to step out of the car and run toward her husband. The vehicle lurched forward in one huge leap, crashing into the swung open garage door knocking it and me down and rendering me unconscious. It took nearly two years and reasons unknown before I suddenly came out of a nearly amnesia-like walking coma. Everything that I knew and should have remembered about my mother's sickness, India, the time leading up to that moment in the garage, and being with my grandmother, either evaporated or was deeply covered over. Days, weeks, months, all gone. In closing that gap I remembered only up to one side, a side well before my mother ever got sick. A happy loving childhood with a mother and father and playing with my brothers and kids in the neighborhood. A house full of toys and my older brother learning to ride a bicycle. Then suddenly out of nowhere finding myself on the other side, somehow being almost two years older and stepping out of a car clutching a tiny suitcase with nothing but a handful of crummy belongings and sack full of dirty underwear and not knowing how I got there, taken by a stranger to live with a family that owned a flower shop, and of which, I was sure I had never seen or heard of before in my life --- a time period which encompassed the failure of me to stay with the flower shop people including me running away from home on more than one occasion and because of same, ending up with living with my grandmother and uncle --- with everything else in-between those two moments of my short childhood gone." (source)
The reason I bring it all up is that Professor Littleton, now deceased (November 2010. see), upon reviewing my material on the L.A. UFO as presented above, and, although he tends to agree with what I have to say because it substantiates his observations that the object turned inland somewhere around Redondo Beach, seems to think --- because of being younger than him at the time --- that my observations of the incident are, or can be, as he puts it, "shaky." Under any other normal circumstances I would have a tendency to agree. However, and this is a BIG however, because of the fact that as a kid I lost so much of my childhood due to the blackout period, in my mind, during and after that blackout period I went over and over everything that I could think of that happened prior to the death of my mother, a time period, of course, that included the 1942 L.A. incident. I dredged up and held onto anything and everything I could remember, talk about, or think of --- down to the most minute thing that involved me, my mother, father, and family. I needed to. My family was gone. I had nothing. In doing so, tons of things were permanently imprinted in my mind from my early childhood that anyone else in a normal situation would most likely sort out as unimportant and discard from their memory banks.
In many places around the net in my works I relate in context a number of instances that could be cited relative to the above, but have chosen not to do so because whatever is being discussed is part of what is being presented and not part of a proof of what I may remember or not. If you don't include what I have said about the air raid siren in a previous footnote, one of the best examples of an uncited memory reference (until relating it here now) is the importance of the circa 1942 Captain Midnight decoder badge played in my life called a Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph. The following, of which I recall the events very clearly, is from the source so cited:
"Up until the start of high school the only real possessions I dragged about with me throughout my childhood in good order, other than the U-235 Atomic Pistol, was a collection of cereal box-top offers called Captain Midnight decoders. Although I eventually collected all of them up through 1949, my favorite was the 1942-1944 Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph. People who knew me as a young boy recount that after I got my first decoder badge, a Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph, which I sort of misappropriated from my older brother without his approval or knowledge and after which not only I wouldn't give up, but for years, once getting my hands on it, they seldom saw me without. They say me listening to Captain Midnight and deciphering his Secret Squadron messages all the while coveting the decoder for myself raised a huge inter-sibling calamity and fuss in the family. But my mother, seeing that using the decoder required dealing with letters and numbers, and me willingly learning them at such an early age, bought a bunch of Ovaltine and sent for another decoder so both my brother and I would have one --- one of the few fond memories I have of my mother prior to her death a couple of years later, and why I think, a major reason for the importance of the decoder throughout my life."(source)
As time has moved on, of course, I have taken in and discarded thousands of things --- but those childhood memories that I so intensely called up relating to a time growing up while my mother was still alive and my family was still together will always, higher powers willing, remain super-etched in my memory.
A few years later in my childhood, as I reached toward my mid to late eights to around twelve years old, although on and off my father was in and out of the picture, as was my grandmother, stepmother, et al, for the most part during that four year period I was overseen by my uncle .
My uncle told me the first time he ever saw me I was basically not much more than a walk-around one or two year old toddler. According to how he remembered it he came by the house one day to see my mother and father while on a trip through Southern California. After that, nearly six years went by before we were to cross paths again. Because of my blackout period, which happened several years after he first saw me, but before catching up with me at eight years old, and his remembering me as seemingly a regular kid, he became concerned with "how my brain worked" --- or didn't work like everybody else's as the case may be. That, along with the fact I did not talk much, after discussing his concerns with my dad, but for reasons unexplained to me at the time, my uncle began taking me around to various people he thought might share some light on my so-called predicament. In the process he took me to the temple of Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego(see) as well as high into the mountains of the Sierras to meet with a man of great spiritual Attainment by the name of Franklin Merrell-Wolff. After our meeting and without me being within earshot, Wolff and my uncle talked a long while. Following the several hours drive after leaving Wolff's mountain compound I was tired and wasted and fell asleep for what seemed like forever.
What followed after I woke up I cannot confirm had anything to do with Wolff except from my own suspicions. It could have been because my uncle was an artist and it would be an easy ploy for him to work it in, but, following the several hours drive after leaving Wolff's mountain compound and my long sleep, within minutes of me waking up my uncle had me make simple free-form drawings in cartoon or comic book narrative style of what was going on in my head --- something we had started long before Merrell-Wolff and continuing on for years afterwards. Then we would sit down and go over the drawings verbally, with me explaining in my own words what I drew and the why of my thoughts behind their visual content. In the process of those discussions my uncle either took notes at the time or wrote notes later about my drawings and what I said.
One day many years later as an adult, during a period of time just prior to his death, I went to visit my uncle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a visit that I am sure both of us felt in our hearts would be our very last time. During the process of that visit, as we often did, we started going over the many years we spent together as I was growing up. Only this time, besides just talking, unlike in the past, he began rummaging around in a few old boxes he pulled down from the attic. In those boxes he came across several files and large envelopes filled with a jumble of handwritten notes --- notes he made over the years regarding any number of things, but mostly notes that contained references to our travels and times together. No dates were included to speak of nor were any of the notes to my knowledge --- except for possibly a few --- written on the scene. Most were jotted down several days or more after the fact from informal talks while riding in the truck, sitting in a cafe, or huddled around some rock-ring campfire someplace. For an additional perspective on the handwritten notes please see Footnote  at The Sun Dagger site.
Contained within that jumble of handwritten notes were at least two full pages that either covered or were related to what I told him following drawings I made on the Battle of Los Angeles, the night of the battle, and the object (although it wasn't called the Battle of Los Angeles in the notes --- nor were any of MY drawings in with the notes). One of the two pages was fully covered both front and back with his personal comments along with his own Da Vinci-like small sketches included here and there, of what I told him.
At the time my uncle penned the notes, and having no idea about me having gone over and over everything I could think of about my early childhood as mentioned above, he was somewhat surprised with the minute details I seemed to be able to remember. Knowing I would have to had been fairly young at the time of the incident --- and thinking what I said was more of a product of a vivid imagination than memory --- he approached my father who, although for unknown reasons never talked about it, experienced seeing the object quite clearly himself that night. Apparently he asked my dad to confirm what, if anything, I had told him. In the process, not only did my dad confirm all that I said almost down to the letter, but my uncle ended up with a whole other page of notes that contained nothing but comments from my dad's own eyewitness account, a dad who was not just a kid at the time of the incident like me, but a grown man of age thirty-seven years. Hence, my ability to add to and present more specifically such things as my father and neighbors taking off down old Sepulveda, the Lomita air strip, shark gills, etc.
According to how I understood it the page of notes my uncle read from my father were working notes he used for a more formal report on the night's events that he wrote and turned in as part of his official air raid warden duties. Now, if those formal notes were actually turned in or not is not known. However, in doing so, i.e., turning in reports because of being an air raid warden it was a normal process, there should be thousands of reports floating around because there were thousands of air raid wardens --- although in all of my investigations I have never ran into anything that would substantiate such an occurrence at an official level. If it were so, what happened to all of the reports?
THE WANDERLING'S UNCLE, THE WANDERLING, AND THE L.A. UFO:
Even though from a fairly early age I had been known to jump off one-story porches, garages, and house tops with a bed sheet made into a parachute or behind my back tied to my wrists and ankles a la Captain Midnight's glider chute on more than one occasion, my very, very first serious attempt to build an airplane-like craft that would carry me in flight, except for a few slight modifications, was based almost entirely on a glider I saw in the 1947 black and white Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie titled Tarzan and the Huntress.
However, well before the time of that first wayward flight so inspired by the glider as seen in Tarzan and the Huntress, I was already well on my way toward a fascination regarding the ability to fly, flying machines, giant flying creatures, giant feathers, et al, that seemed to dominate in later life, including the venerable World War II fighting machine, the P-40 Warhawk. The following in from the source as so cited:
"My uncle stated many times that he felt the reason for my fascination with flying and flying things went back to an incident that involved the fly over of a giant airborne object that I witnessed as a young boy. The object, of an unknown nature and an unknown origin and as large as a Zeppelin at over 800 feet in length, was seen by literally thousands of people along the coast of California barely three months into World War II. Known variously as the UFO Over L.A., The Battle of Los Angeles, etc., etc., or as I call it The Battle of Los Angeles: 1942 UFO. Even though the object was able to take over 1440 direct rounds of anti-aircraft fire and still escape unscathed, the incident is mostly forgotten now except by maybe myself and a few others. Actually, although the L.A. UFO no doubt had a major impact, I personally think what really capped my fascination regarding the ability to fly was born from a germ initiated from building, flying, and watching a glider-like paper flying toy with a penny in it's nose called the Flying Captain Marvel."
FLYING CAPTAIN MARVEL: Zen and the Art of Flying Men
(please click image)
THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE
Their Life and Times Together
THE LIVERPOOL LETTERS
In the above, of which this Footnote is referenced to, I write:
"Because of my blackout period, which happened several years after he first saw me, but before catching up with me at eight years old, and his remembering me as seemingly a regular kid, he became concerned with "how my brain worked" --- or didn't work like everybody else's as the case may be. That, along with the fact I did not talk much, after discussing his concerns with my dad, but for reasons unexplained to me at the time, my uncle took me high into the mountains of the Sierras to meet with a man of great spiritual Attainment by the name of Franklin Merrell-Wolff."
The following is how it was explained to me later:
My uncle's mother was a Quaker. Even though he was raised in the religion he never followed it nor practiced it. However, through her practice of the religion his mother met and knew a woman by the name of Gretchen Green. Green was a nurse who just so happened went to India and opened, then ran, a health clinic for a major Indian personage by the name of Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore's father was a Maharshi and Tagore himself was an artist and international renowned poet, having received, in 1913, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature.
In October of 1930 Tagore was in the United States doing educational fundraising and exhibiting his artwork, with shows in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Through the long standing connection between my uncle's mother and the nurse Gretchen Green, a steadfast healthcare professional who Tagore had an exceptionally high opinion of, my uncle was able to finagle an introduction --- an introduction that turned out to be much more destiny filled than just a mere passing handshake in a crowded, cold gallery.
Tagore traveled in all the right circles, writers, artist, politicians, mystics, gurus. Among others he met Shunyata who, in 1974, I met as well. Equally interesting, during the 1930 visit we are talking about here, Tagore appeared on stage with the interpretive dancer Ruth St. Denis at the Broadway Theater in New York City. Inturn, unconnected to any of the events above, twenty-four years later, it was St. Denis who, in 1954, introduced me to Swami Ramdas.
Although Tagore was not an Enlightened being nor did he present himself as such, he did play to the hilt the Indian side of things by strongly portraying himself as a mystic poet and philosopher --- which in all reality, he was. There was something soothing or mystic-like about him my uncle sensed while in his presence. In the process my uncle was taken by Tagore and, for awhile, immersed himself into Indian religious thought.
For my uncle, raised in a Quaker tradition, eastern spiritual thought seemed so open and exotic. About ten years before meeting Tagore the groundwork for things spiritual on the eastern side of things had been set into motion, generously, in an odd sort of way, opening the door for a much more receptive attitude by my uncle when Tagore came along.
From my uncle's early post high school years through to the end of the depression he was a struggling artist. He did everything he could to earn a few bucks as long as it was art related. In the early 1920s he took a job doing minor art restoration for Edward I. Farmer. Farmer was an art dealer in New York City with upscale galleries at both 5 West Fifty-sixth Street and 16 East Fifty-sixth Street. He offered a variety of Chinese works of Art as well as European antiques. He is remembered for the most part for mounting fine Chinese porcelains and jades into decorative lamps and desk accessories. While my uncle was working in the gallery studios he met a Japanese man by the name of Yeita Sasaki that was sculpting jade for Farmer. Sasaki, who at the time was a foremost Zen adept and one of the first major Zen Buddhists in America, would, in 1928, become a full-fledged Zen master known as Sokei-an, receiving Inka Shomei from his teacher Sokatsu Shaku.
Sokei-an was an advocate of "direct transmission," as was his student and follower Mary Farkas. If you have gone to my page on Alfred Pulyan you may recall he too was an advocate of "direct transmission." You may also recall that the mysterious female, Pulyan's Teacher, and the person most responsible for his transformation, was a friend of Farkas. About "direct transmission," Sokei-an, in his own words, says:
"I am of the Zen sect. My special profession is to train students of Buddhism by the Zen method. Nowadays, there are many types of Zen teachers. One type, for example, teaches Zen through philosophical discourse; another, through so-called meditation; and still another direct from soul to soul. My way of teaching is the direct transmission of Zen from soul to soul."
Years later, because of a still lingering sub-surface lean toward Zen Buddhism and Indian philosophy-religion, and knowing I had been to India and returned in a somewhat can't quite put your finger on it altered state, it is my belief that my uncle talked with my father about his concerns, putting an India type philosophic-like spin on things. In the process he must have informed my dad that he had taken me to see Paramahansa Yogananda at his Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego.(see) My father never heard of Yogananda, but it just so happened he knew Franklin Merrell-Wolff, the two of them having met when they were both gold prospectors together in the old days. Talking with my uncle my dad remembered that Merrell-Wolff had some sort of a spiritual epiphany. Knowing him both before and after that epiphany, and remembering after that Merrell-Wolff exhibited similar --- as my father called them, fucked up tendencies --- he sent me and my uncle to see him. See The Tree.
In addition to the above, and while it is true my uncle never told me directly, it is my belief that it was through Tagore that my uncle was able to set his first meeting with Albert Einstein. In July of 1930, about four months before my uncle met Tagore, Tagore Interviewed Einstein. It is thought, by extrapolating inferences over time from my uncle, that it was through the Tagore-Einstein connection the initial meeting between my uncle and Einstein unfolded, in turn setting the stage for the meeting between the scientist and myself. See:
SKIPPING ROCKS WITH EINSTEIN
It just so happens that when my uncle took me to the Fellowship a young man by the name of Robert Adams was there seeking to becoming a monk with the order. Adams, who was around age 16 or so at the time, actually had a spontaneous Enlightenment experience a couple of years prior and was in the process of trying to make some sense of it. With no insight coming from Yogananda, Adams, still the young boy he was, made the decision to travel to India on his own, staying at the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi for three years. He and I met again some 40 years after that first encounter, described in the following from the Robert Adams link above:
"During that later crossing of paths sequence Adams, refering back to what I call our first meeting, told me he was sure he recognized me, having seen me once before, many years previously. He remembered me specifically because he was at the temple of Paramahansa Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego in the process of possibly becoming a monk with the order. He said he was around 16 or 17 years old and been there a few months when I was brought in by a man with a beard he said was my father to see Yogananda. He said it seemed I had been to India a year or so prior and returned with what the man with the beard was concerned with as being an odd perception of the world. Conjecturing somehow that the problem might be spiritual in nature, Adams said my father began taking me around to a variety of people he thought might be able to shed some light on the situation. Eventually, in the process, ending up taking me to Yogananda at the exact same time Adams just happened to be there."
The movie alluded to by the eyewitness titled "1941" it is thought by some to be loosely based on the events of 1942, at least it was close enough that it reminded my eyewitness of what he experienced. In the movie John Belushi plays an Army Air Force pilot, Captain Wild Bill Kelso. The plane he flies is a Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk painted in the colors of a Flying Tiger. Interestingly enough, the so said Curtiss Wright P-40 is not only adorned with the shark teeth of a Flying Tiger, but also U.S. military insignias on the fuselage and wings of the type with the red circle in the white star that had since been discontinued after Pearl Harbor. When the Navy man saw the movie for the first time, not only was he reminded of the Los Angeles incident, but he was also sent into a deep tailspin over Belushi's P-40 and it's markings, to wit as found in the following:
GHOST P-40: LORE, LEGENDS AND HER WHEREABOUTS
PEARL HARBOR P-40 GHOST SHIP
Many years after the war a P-40 being restored to full flight status by a friend played a huge role in one of the episodes in my life. The P-40 in question had escaped destruction during the bombing of Pearl Harbor because of being in a hanger at Wheeler Field in Hawaii undergoing maintenance --- only to crash several months later during a training flight. Nearly fifty years after the war my friend and some associates pulled the wreck off the mountain and restored it to flight condition. Me going by to see the restoration of the P-40 one day on a whim opened up a door to answering a question that had been nagging me since childhood. See:
P-40 WARHAWK: PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR
Although I didn't have a Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Training Cockpit myself as a kid, the one I write about above did however, play a major role in my later adult life because it did justly confirm what I could or could not remember from my early childhood.
One of the major historians of the battle C. Scott Littleton, even though he cites what I have to say extensively (usually uncredited), as I write further elsewhere, he usually adds that his source (me) as being too young to remember what I reported. To counteract his thoughts on the subject I have presented throughout my works a whole series of things I remember from the era, of which one is the following:
"I remember a lot of things, up to and well before that period of time in my life. For example, my mother nursing my brother who was three years younger than me. Seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground over the shipyards in Terminal Island where my father worked. Because metal was not available for toys during wartime, the life size cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit --- colored on one side with dials and printed only in black and white on the backside --- with a movable square cardboard joystick that the girl next door owned."
(please click image)
Please notice it you have clicked the above image the newspaper advertisement that shows up promoting the Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Training Cockpit is in a newspaper dated November 6, 1941 almost one month to the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that ushered the U.S. officially into World War II. Notice as well, even though I stress cardboard vs. the lack of metal toys because of the war, that the pilot training cockpit, albeit cardboard, was already anticipating the oncoming war and lack of metal. The same is true with the cardboard/paper cockpit trainer below.
Because I enjoyed the Capt. Sparks Airplane Pilot Cockpit toy so much, and played with it so often, my babysitter, Mary Lou, decided to downsize it from our or her use to my use exclusively. She did so by buying and upgrading to a different much more sophisticated model. She didn't actually give me the old Capt. Sparks one per se', but for all practical purposes it became mine --- although she never allowed me to take it home. I remember specifically the new one because it didn't have a square joystick like the one I played with, but a circular steering wheel. I also remember she didn't allow me to use it much, leaving me relegated to the use of the old one, which I recall was fine by me.
(for larger size click image then click again)
AS A BOY, REMEMBERING THE ROUND STEERING
WHEEL AS OPPOSED TO THE SQUARE JOYSTICK
Again, as far as Littleton and what I can or cannot remember relative to my ability to remember or not remember because of my so-said youth or young age at the time of the fly-over, a major key here is my total recall and remembrance of the square joystick as opposed to the circular or round steering wheel and when the square stick version formally becoming available (i.e., November 6, 1941, with the fly-over happening during the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, a little over three and a half months or 112 days in the separation of dates).
Now, while there is nothing to say my babysitter, Mary Lou, rushed right out and ordered the training cockpit on the very first day of availability, or if, when it arrived she ripped open the box, assembled it, and immediately I ran over and started playing with it. There is however, easily at least a six month overlapping period during the same time frame that it all could have happened with me still being no more older than I was for all practical purposes.
OF THE YUKON
HOW HE BECAME A MOUNTIE
I had known Lance Reventlow since we were both kids. He was probably around 14 years old and I was around 12 when we first met. My dad and Stepmother had gone off to Mexico and on to South America for a couple of years and parsed out my brothers and I to others to look after us. My older brother went to live with my grandmother and my younger brother went to live with a couple of which the woman of the couple was somehow known to my stepmother. My Uncle, who had basically had charge of me since I was eight years old was going back to Santa Fe and after some negotiating was able to convince the couple that took my younger brother to take me as well. It didn't work out with me running away on more than one occasion. My uncle contacted my stepmother who told him to stick me into some kind of boys home or some such thing until she got back, but not a disciplinary one like they had put my older brother in at one time, but an educational one. In the process my uncle checked out the Southern Arizona School for Boys in Tucson and took me with him. The school for boys idea didn't take hold because of money I think --- mostly the lack of it --- and I ended up back with the couple after promising my uncle I would behave until other solutions were found or my stepmother returned.(see)
The thing is, during my visit to the school, while my uncle was in discussion and being shown around I saw a boy sitting by himself at a table and, although later he claimed to be no kind of an artist, he was making the most fabulous pencil drawing of an open wheeled race car by a kid I had ever seen. I was always drawing pictures, mostly of planes and rocket ships, but never of race cars. I sat down next to the boy and began drawing the only race car I knew anything about, the Boyle Special that had won the 1939 and 1940 Indianapolis 500. The next thing I knew the two of us were talking on and on with the boy telling me of seeing race cars in Europe, not like the ones in the U.S. that drove around only in circles, but that raced on real roads. The boy turned out to be Lance Reventlow.
SCARAB MK I BY LANCE REVENTLOW, 14th SCCA RACES PALM SPRINGS APRIL 13, 1958
Right after graduating from high school I got a job in Hollywood. Typically like I did almost every day after work in those days I walked down to the bus stop near the corner of Sunset and Van Ness to catch a ride home when on a certain particular day a pristine mint condition Mercedes Benz 300 SL gullwing coupe stopped in traffic directly across from where I was sitting waiting for the light. Of all things, and one of the last things I would have ever expected, I recognized the driver as someone I knew. Stepping off the curb toward the car, and not totally sure if I might scare the crap out of the driver, I tapped on the window. Almost immediately after a quick glance the driver recognized me. In an open hand pointing motion he signaled as though he would pull over when he got a chance. When the light changed he crossed the intersection pulling into a red zone along the curb while I ran to catch up with him. The driver of course was none other than Lance Reventlow.
Now, I don't know how many of you have ever tried to get into a Mercedes Benz 300 SL gullwing coupe, but if you don't know how or have never done it before, it can be a little tricky, especially in the middle of rush hour traffic with horns honking and all kinds of people yelling. But got in I did and off we went in a huge big rush of acceleration. The first thing he asked was what was I doing on a bus bench on Sunset in Hollywood, implying softly if I might be homeless or something. I filled him in that I was staying at the home of a friend of my stepmother who owned a place in the Hollywood Hills while I was working as in the animation department of a major film studio just down the street from where he picked me up. He told me he lived off Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills and on his way home and could easily drop me off. Remembering back when we were both kids drawing race cars together and what I was doing now, he practically shit. Here was Reventlow, a guy that didn't have to work a day in his life and me thinking nothing I could of or ever do or say would impress him one way or the other, he was drop jawed amazed that I was working, being paid, and doing a job creating cartoons for a major Hollywood studio, and I was still just a kid. It seemed like it was almost as though he wished it was him doing it instead.
A number of people have come forward claiming to have known Lance Reventlow saying what I've written about him doesn't sound like the Reventlow they knew, i.e., spontaneously picking someone up from some bus bench in Hollywood for example and taking him home. What most of the people seem to have in common is that their coming to know Reventlow came into being after he had inherited his wealth and became a Hollywood playboy sports car builder and driver. When I first came across Reventlow he was a 14 year old product of a falling apart family situation having been dumped off in some school out in the middle of the Arizona desert for asthmatics. The day I sat down next to him and began drawing single seat open wheel race cars with him I had never seen anything like it. His incredible attention to detail without the object in front of him showed an extraordinary observant mind to small details combined with an ability to transfer what was in that mind onto paper, showing an extraordinary mental hand-brain hand-eye small motor skill coordination that I hadn't really experienced before even after all those years with my artist uncle. Immediately I began upgrading, incorporating, and refining my ability into the same set of skills. As to others and how they knew him I have to admit the most time I ever spent with Reventlow together alone was the day he took me home in his 300 SL and then he was only just then entering the era where most of the writers were telling me how he "really" was.
I did get a small sniff of that potentiality when one day I submitted a satire article I had written on Reventlow to James T. Crow the editor of Road and Track magazine at the time. I had known Crow personally from the time he was the editor of the California Sports Car Club monthly magazine and through that relationship thought he might publish the satire in Road and Track, a satire I had titled "LUNCH REVS-LOW: Or Lunch Bucks It." Crow got back to me saying even though he found the article extremely funny, falling into the same vein of Mad Comics, he was reluctant to publish it, even if was written by someone Reventlow knew because of his notorious lack of a sense of humor --- which was news to me.