The Battle of Los Angeles
Just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was prepared for the likelihood of an attack on the West Coast by Japanese bombing raids. The skies were being watched by the military and civilians alike, from Alaska to Mexico. The day was February 25, 1942.
While Los Angeles slept, the air-raid sirens sounded. The U.S. Army's Western Defense Command ordered lights out, for LA. The city went black. It is estimated there were 12,000 wardens at their posts ready to shoot down the enemy. The search lights came on. The antiaircraft shot two thousand rounds of 12 lb. high-explosive shells, into the night sky.
Authorities stated, no Japanese plane was ever spotted in the search lights, or was ever shot down.
But, (this is where the story gets interesting) the next day in the newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, pictures that were taken during the attack distinctly showed a large round object, identified neither as Japanese nor American, not even as a conventional aircraft, a classic UFO.
Hundreds of witnesses claimed they saw an object the size of a large building floating above them, and even watched for half an hour, as U.S. Fighter planes tried to battle it out, shooting at it, to no avail.
Historians claim the object was a large Japanese Fugo balloon fire-bomb, constructed of rice paper and assembled by a bunch of school girls. These balloons were set from Japan and followed the air stream over the Pacific Ocean. The Fugo balloons were a real threat, over 400 had been exploded over California, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. They didn't cause much damage but did kill 6 people. I should mention that 6 more people were killed throughout the Los Angeles area, from falling shell fragments. Whatever it was it didn't drop any bomb.
After the war, when going over Japanese documents they discovered no balloons were ever sent to attack America and even if they did, all that artillery against a rice paper balloon, it just doesn't make sense.
To calm the public, West Coast Navy Secretary, Frank Knox, at the time publicly announced that no enemy aircraft was sighted. He laughed and shrugged it off characterizing the raid as a false alarm, caused by something called war nerves another name for psychological warfare. Where everyone is on edge.
I don't think too many people bought it! And to me it sounds like a UFO sighting and the government tried to cover it up.
They held a congressional hearing about the whole incident, but no one could come up with an explanation for the event. It's still filed under Unexplained.
ref: The Great LA Air Raid of 1942
Balloons That Bombed