From: Paul Novak <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 15:53:59 -0700 (PDT) Fwd Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 09:17:25 -0400 Subject: Re: Playing With '42 LA UFO Pic - Novak >From: David Acres <email@example.com> >To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 23:57:57 +1000 >Subject: Re: Playing With '42 LA UFO Pic >"So why the Army's hesitance to release the balloon >news? Why blame it on commercial Aircraft?" As I noted, none of the various military branches wished to take responsibility. Each sought to blame the other. The secretary of the Navy Fank Knox stated it was a false alarm and that no planes were confirmed. Secretary Stimson claimed there were probably planes yet had no concrete answers as to their origins or why they were never affected by the barrage. But it should be noted that the efforts of these branches from all appearances were geared towards hiding that they were shooting at nothing or blaming the others for allowing a false alarm to escalate to such proportions. Not that they couldn't shoot down a UFO. The balloon theory is just that. A guess based on the fact that these were known to be used and had been seen before and one was sighted prior to the barrage. Just as the commercial planes explanation was also a 'guess'. But much more likely is that these were excuses offered simply to try placating an upset public and hide the fact that they royally screwed up although I tend to favor a flare balloon being responsible for setting off the incident. For all we know, one excitable artillery commander could have given the order for his group to fire upon seeing the flare balloon and voila, a fiasco of epic proportions. I doubt the military would have been willing to give such an explanation though considering their efforts to keep the publics confidence in their ability to defend them. Also of note is that the last thing the military would have like publicized was that the west coast was defended by apparently inexperienced and nervous battalions. The Japanese would have welcomed such news eh? I would like to note that further relevant material can be found on the pages linked below, if you have not already checked. >From THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II.... http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist9/aaf1.html "As these and other forces took up their defensive positions, coastal communities suffered from an "invasion fever" which first showed itself with the calling of an alert in San Francisco on 8 December...." "If the batteries were firing on nothing at all, as Secretary Knox implies, it is a sign of expensive incompetence and jitters. If the batteries were firing on real planes, some of them as low as 9,000 feet, as Secretary Stimson declares, why were they completely ineffective? Why did no American planes go up to engage them, or even to identify them?... What would have happened if this had been a real air raid?" These questions were appropriate, but for the War Department to have answered them in full frankness would have involved an even more complete revelation of the weakness of our air defenses...." "The many alerts of this period reflect the inexperience of both the public and the defense forces. To some critics they indicated a deliberate attempt by the Army to frighten the public in order to stimulate interest in war preparations. Before accepting this view, however, it should be noted that many of the reports of unidentified aircraft, leading to precautionary blackouts, resulted from mechanical difficulties with new radar equipment and from the understandable mistakes of inadequately trained personnel...." I would also like to point out this. The radar had a blip which dissappeared. And AFTER it disappeared people reported seeing planes. The numbers of which varied wildly. So if there were planes as the witnesses claimed why were they not showing on the radar? This I feel is a further indication that nothing was indeed there to seen. >"Maybe not so common Paul?" Concerning my hasty assumption regarding flare balloons. Military flares themselves were and are very common in many forms predominantly parachute flares used to illuminate targets. I concede balloon flares may not have been as common as to be considered extensively used. But it is documented that meteorlogical balloons carrying candles and flares were routinely used and also that flare balloons were believed to be used by the japanese to test enemy air defenses. The latter is yet another speculation by the military as to the origin of the red flare carrying balloon mentioned in the article. Coupled with the fact that the japanese submarine I17 was present from the 20th through the 23-24th and shelled the oil field it is not an unreasonable speculation. Unfortunately most mentions of them I have found are as side notes in various articles regarding the world wars. There was plenty of BS it appears, but more as a result of paranoia, nervousness, and passing the buck to avoid responsibility it would appear. This seems apparent to me from the different explanations given by the Navy and Army, the change in explanations by the Army, and the finger pointing done by the Army and Navy. I have contacted the LA Times and am waiting to find out if a reproduction of the original print before it was published is possible and what the fee will be. I suppose I may need to contact them again, maybe in writing or by phone. I tried a year ago and if I remember correctly was told it would be fairly expensive but I never followed up. I have also contacted a dealer in historic newspapers within the past two days but doubt this will prove worthwhile as it appears the newspapers printed copy also shows the spotlights abruptly cutoff. Why the photo would have been retouched in this manner is also a mystery. As soon as, and if I have a copy in my possession it will be made available. I'm all for others attempting to locate one as I have been trying for some time to obtain one and it is not in the least proving to be an easy undertaking. But I do myself think it would do much to at the least satisfy the questions of just what is shown in the photo and "was it truly altered?" once a viable copy is available.
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