"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.
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.