Los Angelenos are so forward thinking and by the number of cars, so forward moving that the city’s history is often confined to museum tributes and public television. However, today Los Angeles marks a major historical landmark that most may not have a clue about and it involves aliens.

On February 25th, just after 2 am, unidentified flying objects appeared in the sky over Los Angeles. The country was already at war and the threat was taken seriously. Air raid sirens blared as a total blackout was ordered. At 3:16 am, the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade fired over 1,400 anti-aircraft shells at the flying objects over the next hour to no avail. Not a single shell managed to touch the aircraft. Eyewitnesses swore that it wasnt a plane nor a balloon. It was quickly proved that they weren’t the initially suspected Japanese bombers. According to eyewitnesses, the objects floated, glided and General George C. Marshall in his initial memo to President Roosevelt claimed the “unidentified airplanes….[traveled at speeds ranging from] ‘very slow’ to as much as 200 mph from elevations of 9000 to 18,000 feet”.


To see the official military memo, click here.

The aircraft migrated south from Santa Monica to Long Beach. Reports on the number of craft varies from 9 to 25, but what wasn’t in dispute is their existence. Although according to the Los Angeles Times (February 26th, 1942) Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox tried to dismiss the event as a “false alarm” due to “jittery nerves” of a populace on edge by war, the press and the public were persistent. The next day, Secretary of War Henry Stinson not only confirmed that the craft was real, but so was the ensuing battle. This culminated in Santa Monica’s US Representative Leland Ford calling for a congressional investigation, which unfortunately got buried. Since then, various theories have said the aircraft were weather baloons to blimps to German aircraft launced from secret bases in Mexico. UFO theorists and witness accounts give 1400 reasons (see above) why those theories don’t hold water.

During a press conference to celebrate this anniversary as well as promote Columbia’s upcoming film Battle: L.A, a panel of UFO experts and retired military personnel gathered to discuss this event as well as other UFO encounters witnessed by the military. What made this gathering unique is that it didn’t so much deal with tabloid accounts of body probes and flying cows, but how the military has documented contact with UFOs.

Capt. Robert Salas and Lt. Col. Charles Halt spoke about their own UFO encounters that featured, among many things, the neutralizing of nuclear weapons and electronic communications where they were stationed. William Birnes, publisher and creator of UFO Magazine and Mark Easter of the Mutual UFO Network were also on hand to explain a history of UFO encounters as well as to petition the government for full disclosure on any and all UFO contact.

In “Battle:LA”, starring Aaron Eckhart, Earth is attacked by aliens and it’s up to a Marine Staff Sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his brave platoon to make a final stand against an invading alien force.