By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 24, 2022) – In Issue 2022-038 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we learn about an invasion of space.

Invasion – UFOs or Japanese?

The Battle of Los Angeles – no, not the one during the Mexican-American War, rather the one that took place during the night of 24 February, 1942.  Air raid sirens blasting, search light illuminating the skies and anti-aircraft artillery shelling above the city.

There are multiple theories as to what really set off that barrage.  The official version from the government is that a meteorological balloon was spotted and was mistaken for Japanese planes.  The other theory is that it was just “war nerves” on part of some soldiers, remembering that the US just entered World War II two months prior on the heels of the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese.

And then there is the UFO theory.  Well, the LA Times did publish a photo showing an alien spaceship being illuminated by the search lights.  This photo was heavily retouched, however. 

So, take your pick as to what really happened: believe the government, the press, or just some scared soldiers shooting at nothing.

Here is a bit different map of Los Angeles, one that shows population density of LA from 1953.  LA has grown from a mere 1600 inhabitants when it incorporated in 1850, to 2 million within city limits in 1950 to 4 million today.

Map of Los Angeles 1953 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.