Rumors of a flying saucer landing spurred importer Robert Balzer and actress Gloria Swanson – a UFO believer – to investigate.
Los Angeles Times writer Cecilia Rasmussen reported in a Dec. 17, 2000, story L.A. ‘Battle’ Launched a Golden Age of UFOs:
In January 1957, actress Gloria Swanson and a group of friends heard that a spaceship had landed in the Hollywood Hills. So, off they trekked through mud and dark of night to an area off Lakeridge Road. (History does not record what they had been consuming before they set out.) In a shallow hole at the end of their hike, they found a 12-foot-diameter disk, which purportedly had knocked down a lamppost upon landing. The cockpit seats were upholstered in coral Leatherette, and two electrical cords dangled to the wooden flooring.
Amazed by their find, they called The Times.
After a careful inspection, Times aviation writer Dewey Linze not only found that the “spacecraft” was lacking an engine and controls, but — after interviewing neighbors — learned that it was a prop that had been discarded after a documentary was filmed on the site.
This photo by former staff photographer Gordon Wallace was originally published in the Jan. 25, 1957, Los Angeles Times accompanying an article on the movie prop saucer. Wallace’s photo also was published with Rasmussen’s story in the Dec. 17, 2000, Los Angeles Times.