In February 1942, Americans, especially those living on the West Coast, were still reeling from the shock caused by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii just a couple of months before. That attack had left numerous battleships sunk or heavily damaged and almost 3,000 American military personnel and civilians dead.

America was now at war and people were fearful that another attack could happen at any moment.
That month, folks in the city of Los Angeles were nervously watching the skies and patrolling the Pacific coast. What happened next would become known as the Battle of Los Angeles and to this day, some suspect that the invader was not of this Earth.

During the night of Feb. 24, 1942 and the early morning hours of Feb. 25, a large unidentified flying object or objects were reported over Los Angeles. Air raid sirens were sounded throughout Los Angeles County at 2:25 a.m. on Feb. 25 and a total blackout was ordered. Thousands of air raid wardens were summoned to their positions, according to a Web site.

At 3:16 a.m. on Feb. 25, the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing anti-aircraft shells into the air at the strange object or objects in the sky. More than 1,400 shells would eventually be fired. Searchlights pierced through the darkness to find what was really overhead. Some people reported seeing a single massive craft in the sky while others spotted several flying in a formation.

One air raid warden later testified that the weird object was "just enormous. And it was practically right over my house. I had never seen anything like it in my life. It was just hovering there in the sky and hardly moving at all. It was a lovely pale orange and about the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. I could see it perfectly because it was very close. It was big!"

Pilots of the 4th Interceptor Command were alerted about the large object or objects but for some reason their aircraft stayed on the ground. The artillery fire continued until 4:14 a.m.

After the firing ceased, the weird flying object or objects were seen over Santa Monica and Long Beach. By sunrise, they were gone and the "all clear" was sounded by civil defense officials. The blackout order was lifted by 7:21 a.m.

Even though the bombardment lasted for just an hour, the incident left its impact on Los Angeles. Several buildings were accidentally damaged by friendly fire and three civilians were killed by the anti-aircraft fire. Three more people died of heart attacks attributed to the stress from the hour-long bombardment, according to a Web site.

The incident also made headlines along the West Coast and across the nation. A reporter for The Los Angeles Herald Express wrote that several of the anti-aircraft shells struck one of the weird flying objects but even the intense shelling could not bring it down. Editor Peter Jenkins of The Los Angeles Examiner stated that he could clearly see the "V formation of about 25 silvery planes overhead moving slowly across the sky toward Long Beach."

An experienced Navy observer using powerful binoculars reported seeing nine planes in one searchlight. He too said they were silver.

But were these objects really enemy airplanes? Were the Japanese attempting to attack Los Angeles? Or were they some kind of strange craft from another world?

Over the years, investigators have put forward various explanations about what really happened. Some have speculated that the artillery was really firing at some misidentified weather balloons or blimps. But the problem with that explanation is those objects were moving much faster than any balloon or blimp. And it is very unlikely that such a fragile object could survive the intense bombardment from the artillery, like those weird craft reportedly did. In fact, no debris from these objects was ever found on the ground after the bombardment was over.

Like the Roswell incident that happened a few years later, the Battle of Los Angeles has become the subject of much speculation. The government never gave a satisfactory explanation for what happened on the early morning hours of Feb. 25, 1942.

Some researchers believe that this was an early UFO sighting and perhaps Los Angeles faced the possibility of being attacked by aliens from outer space instead of the Japanese.