The varying reports of the morning’s events represent the mass confusion and paranoia of the time. Some reported there were just a few planes, while others claimed to have seen several dozen aircraft. There were even reports that planes were shot down, when in reality, nothing was hit by the AA guns—except three civilians killed and a few buildings damaged by friendly fire. Guns fired at the flying object for more than an hour between 3:15 and 4:15 a.m. on 25 February 1942.
To this day it is still uncertain what the flying object actually was, giving rise to many conspiracy theories of aliens, UFOs, and a subsequent government cover-up; but the most likely scenario is that the object was simply a rogue weather balloon.
Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo (unrelated) via the National Park Service
P.S. Neatorama contributor Eddie Deezen starred in 1941, a movie about this period of World War II.