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NAVIGATION

Six 'Saucer-Shaped' UFOs And Face-To-Face ET Contact in LA, 1957
UFO Depiction

By Frank Altomonte

alto100@ca.rr.com

3-18-2009

Sandwiched between Los Angeles International Airport on the South and Marina del Rey on the North is the small beach community of Playa del Rey, a district of the City of Los Angeles. It is here on the coastal highway that still skirts sumptuous coastal properties that our story begins some 52 years ago.

It has been mentioned in a number of UFO books, but the full story was found in a rare out of print book, "Encounters with UFO Occupants," by Jim and Coral Lorenzen, 1976. This was the second edition of an even more rare, "UFO Occupants," published in 1968. The following text is taken from the second edition.

"A strange story about stalled cars and little men was told to authorities and the press on the morning of November 6, 1957, when Richard Kehoe, an employee of the General Telephone Company of Santa Monica, related his early-morning experience. This is another tale which has fallen into ill repute because of the reluctance of researchers to accept human-like occupants as real, and the lack of corroborating witnesses.

Kehoe claimed that while driving along Vista del Mar at Playa del Rey in California (a beach area) at 5:40 AM, his engine stopped as did the engines of two other cars. When the drivers got out to see what was wrong they saw an egg-shaped spaceship wrapped 'in a blue haze' on the beach.

Kehoe claimed two "little men" (about 5 feet 5 inches, which isn't really small) got out of the object and asked questions of him and the two other drivers, such as: 'Where we were going? Who we were? What time it was? etc.'

He said their skin appeared to be yellowish-green in the early morning light, but that otherwise they looked normal. He said they were wearing black leather pants, white belts, and light-colored jerseys.

The two other drivers were identified as Ronald Burke of Redondo Beach and Joe Thomas of Torrance, and Kehoe claimed Thomas called the police. He said the little men sounded as though they were talking English, but he couldn't understand them, and said simply that he had to go to work.

The men got back into their ship and disappeared into the sky, whereupon his car started up immediately. The ship was oval, tan or cream in color, with two metal rings around it upon which the object apparently rested, according to Kehoe."

The approximate location today has many changes. The coastal neighborhood overlooking the highway was nearly all purchased by LAX in the late 60's for airport expansion. The jets take off constantly overhead during the day and land from over the beach in the late evening and early morning.

What's left to the South of the remaining neighborhood is fenced off. Within there is a ghostly scene of vacant streets with 40's vintage street lamps still intact and vacant lots still showing their decapitated foundations with overgrown landscaping and aging untended palm trees.

It would be difficult to find anyone who still remembers since it was so long ago. With this date in mind, the Los Angeles Public Library main branch downtown held some clue. The Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, as well as various small community publications were found in the stacks by this writer one Saturday a couple of years ago.

The historical volumes of microfilm were scanned on and around this date for any further information. It wasn't until this exact date was referenced in the Los Angeles Times that the following story was found. Would you look at these headlines!

Newspaper Headline

"They (USAF personnel) spotted six 'saucer shaped flying objects' at an altitude of about 7000 feet at the base of a cloud bank about 3:50 p.m. "

WIDE AREA COVERED BY REPORTS Los Angeles Times Nov. 6, 1957

Those unidentified flying objects first reported over Texas and Gulf of Mexico arrived over Southern California yesterday.

Reports of unidentified flying objects cluttered police switchboards in the west and southwest portions of the city. There were two sightings in Orange County and a belated report of an early sighting Monday at Borrego Springs, San Diego County.

None could identify the objects, neither could they agree on what they looked like.

People living in the Hollywood Hills told of a "ball of fire" in the sky. In the San Fernando Valley people saw "a great green light". A housewife in Corona del Mar saw what looked like "an orange jack-o-lantern."

Hovers Over Ocean

Mrs. Charles Weitzel, 243 Driftwood Drive, Corona del Mar, said the object hovered just above the horizon, out over the ocean in the south southwest quadrant. She had the exact time of her sighting -- 6:04.pm -- because that was the time she put the corn-on-the-cob in the pressure cooker, then stepped to her picture window to look out.

The object vanished in the several seconds it took Mrs. Weitzel to summon her husband, a Marine Corps flier, to the window. Although most persons reported just fleeting glimpses of the extraterrestrial phenomena, other observers claimed to have the objects in view for more than an hour.

Personnel at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station reported unidentified objects in sight almost continuously between 6:05 and 7:25 p.m.

Lt. Richard Spencer, a flying officer, saw the object from the ground. "It was not a star and it was not an airplane", he said. He admitted, however, that it appeared to be "star like," and added that it glowed in varying colors, changing from bright to dim and back again.

Airport Tower Operator Louis D. Mitchell and a sentry on duty, Hospital man Charles Kreiger, also observed the object. Almost all observers were agreed that the object moved slowly -- almost imperceptibly, across the sky. Most were agreed that the direction of travel was north or northwest.

Lending credence to the reports was the fact that there Air Force weather observers, including the commanding officer of the unit, acknowledged sighting unidentified phenomena over Long Beach Municipal Airport.

They spotted six "saucer shaped flying objects" at an altitude of about 7000 feet at the base of a cloud bank about 3:50 p.m.

Larger Than C-46

Maj. Louis F. Baker, commanding officer of the weather observation post, who sighted the objects with his assistants Airmen Joseph Abramavage and William Nieland said: "They were circular and shiny like spun aluminum changing course instantaneously without loss of speed like planes in a dogfight," Maj. Baker said. He said the objects were larger than a twin engine C-46 aircraft and were in sight for about a minute and a half.

The objects also were observed by 10 military personnel waiting to board an airplane at the airport, the spotters reported. Maj. Baker said he rejected the theory that the objects were sheet ice in a cumulonimbus cloud because of their regular circular shape.

Winked Slowly

An electronics executive, Merlin G. Perkins, 1102 N. Wright St., Santa Ana, said he observed an object though binoculars for almost a half hour as it moved slowly overhead finally fading away into the reflected light above the Santa Ana business district. It appeared to be round and it winked slowly from dim to bright, with a reddish glow, Perkins said.

Two residents of Borrego Springs, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Burnand Jr., belatedly reported "a powerful mysterious light in the desert about 6 p.m. Monday. "It appeared to be about twice the size of the moon," Burnand said, "and it flashed about eight times, each flash being about two seconds duration."

Reddish in Color

"When it flashed the rays shot out in all directions and it made you think of an explosion without sound," he added. It was reddish in color, the couple said.

U.S. Weather Bureau official here said last night they knew of no atmospheric conditions which could account for the rash of reports. One weather analyst did observe, however, that the objects sighted in Texas last week end and appeared to be considerably larger than those seen here.

Two brief related reports appear after this on the page to fill out the columns:

Mystery Object, Like A Planet, Seen Over Gulf

New Orleans, Nov 5 (AP) -- The Coast Guard cutter Sebago sighted an unidentified flying object over the Gulf of Mexico at 5:21 a.m. today. The object, seen for about three seconds, resembled a brilliant planet moving at tremendous speed.

Coast Guard headquarters in New Orleans received a radio message about the sighting. The message did not say exactly who on board the cutter had seen the object.

Air Force Alerts Its Radar Network By The United Press

The Air Force yesterday alerted its radar network to watch for strange flying objects which might approach the ring of stations surrounding the United States and Canada. The alert followed a flurry of reports of unidentified objects, some as long as 500 feet, mainly in the South and Southwest.

Quite a wild night out! Whatever happened to journalism like this? Everyone appeared to be open to inquiry including military. There are no reports from "prefers to remain anonymous" in these articles. Something happened and a door was closed.

Whatever happened on the beach in Playa del Rey that morning so long ago was definitely a part of a larger flap. The tantalizing details can be found in the research notes of Jim and Coral Lorenzen now kept at some mid-west University according to one report and not readily accessible.

One day hopefully, those will all be published in their unedited format. They were the best researchers and compilers of UFO cases that ever lived with an international network of field investigators called the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO).

If only those old lamp posts on the highway could speak.

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