Mystery Missile

Some time last night, CBS News recorded footage of an unknown missile launch off the coast of California, generally over the skies of Los Angeles. The buzz is circulating now, and so far nobody seems to know what it is. An ex military official, Robert Ellsworth, interviewed by CBS isn't sure what it is either, but he had an interesting theory. Watch the video, it's interesting to be sure. Especially if he's right, but that doesn't seem likely.

One possibility was an unscheduled launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. As you can see on the picture I've provided with this post, that seems unlikely. Vandenberg is well to the northwest of the red area I circled, and the CBS news chopper footage clearly shows the contrail from the launch receding away from the coast, not coming toward it. Vandenberg's normal launch pattern for events like this is always out to sea, away from the coast, and they usually let everyone know they're doing it.

Another possibility is a common airplane leaving behind a normal contrail. The guys here do make a good case, and have some interesting pictures of previous contrails, but if you take a look there, you'll note that most of them are obvious trails originating away from the coast and moving toward it. The CBS footage does not show this. They go on to say that millions of people must have seen this and haven't bothered to report it, thus proving it's just a contrail, but if that were the case then why would CBS bother to run with it? With the thousands of contrails we get around here, people do know the difference, and you don't get a whole lot of folks calling the news desk to report them.

Bolstering the case that it wasn't a plane, the FAA and the Pentagon both have said publicly they didn't know what it was. If anyone is in a position to verify a plane, it should be the FAA. Los Angeles International Airport is right there in that area and they have one of the most sophisticated radar systems around. If they say it wasn't a plane, I'm inclined to accept that.

Ellsworth's speculation that it might have been a sub launch intended to display American military power seems plausible. One does have to wonder though, if such a display were to be made, wouldn't it have been far more effective to do so out past Pearl Harbor? If it was a test, perhaps it wasn't to convince Asia we have what it takes, perhaps instead it was to convince us we have what it takes.

Of course, there's always the possibility that it was some kind of accidental launch, and if that's the case I seriously doubt the Navy is going to own up to that and tell us. They sure as hell didn't when their missiles knocked TWA 800 out of the sky.

For now, nobody knows what it was. Or nobody's talking. Perhaps the mystery will be solved soon. More likely it'll just be forgotten in a week.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Nov 9, 2010 7:59 pm by Samson in: | 165 comment(s) [Closed]
Strange shit. Still, I'd put money on it being from somewhere in the US military. If they were trying to show off military power though, wouldn't they want to do it publicly rather than do it in secret and deny having any idea where the hell that missile came from?

Mystery missiles are one thing though. Australia had a Japanese doomsday cult doing nuclear tests in the desert for twenty years before anyone managed to work out what those distant flashes of light and unusual recordings on seismographs were from (and after the cult had managed to fail to blow up Tokyo).

The premis that this was to show off, seems a tad unrealistic to me, the whole look at me i am tough thing is more likely to be done by some piss ant nation like North Korea or Iran. I think it is pretty much a given what the capability of the US military is, Iraq 1 and 2 and Afgahistan are pretty shining examples of how well you can bomb someone into submission and that the need to show off your missiles is hardly needed.

Until someone comes out and says exactly what it was, one can only speculate, but it was obviously a single rocket engine of some design and it was moving very fast.

It was obviously a missile of some sort. Why we launched it from NW of Catalina is beyond me. Usually that's Vandenberg that does those. I'm pretty sure that since the FAA says it isn't a plane and NORAD doesn't know what it was, someone screwed up and fired a missile of some kind by accident. There's all sorts of little islands out there big enough to hold a launch platform and not much else, plus a sub could hide out there easy.

I doubt we were flexing muscle. That would have made far more sense off the Philippines or Japan, not here in LA.

Dallen [Anon] said:
Comment #4 Nov 10, 2010 8:03 am
I guess it's also possible it was some other country showing off there missle.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #5 Nov 10, 2010 8:53 am
The "accidental" launch seems most plausible to me, especially since no one is owning up to it. I'm not buying it was an airplane.
Does nobody know where the mysterious object went?

Oops, that was me up there. Wondered why I was suddenly subject to spam control, lol.

Yeah, I'm noticing that too. All this talk of mysterious missile launches and how visible it was over LA. Nobody is asking where the thing ended up though - and I think that's at least as important as who sent it there. People are even claiming the FAA had no radar contact with anything on that trajectory. As clearly visible as it was, if that's true, we're probably more screwed than the government wants to admit as far as security.

The most plausible explanation I've seen tossed around so far was that it was a test of our missile defense system, which was supposed to have been scheduled for after dark when it wouldn't have been as likely to be seen, but that they fouled up due to the recent clock change back from Daylight Stupidity. Why the government wouldn't just come out and say so is beyond me, but it's the best explanation so far.

I'm certainly not falling for the plane theory. I'm not exactly an aeronautics expert, but I've seen enough jet contrails after living here for 37 years to know what those look like. This wasn't one.

I would be inclined to agree that it's target, or at least it's destination, would be important information that might even help determine it's origin.

Dallen [Anon] said:
Comment #9 Nov 10, 2010 1:55 pm
The latest news report claims, "what ever it was, it was defininately not a military missle, ours or any other countries. It is possible it is possible it is an 'amatuer missle'; We do not have enough evidence to tell what it 'is', but we have enough evidence to tell what it is 'not'. "

Kid with model rocket kit on a surfboard? :shrug:

I would think a model rocket wouldn't have been large enough to attract major attention.

Not usually, no. But I guess you "could" build one big enough. Another theory is it's just a common jet contrail picture taken with the camera turned sideways inside a helicopter. (In other words, deceptive reporting)

Well, deceptive reporting certainly wouldn't be a first, and it is certainly possible to build a model rocket that's, relatively speaking, huge and powered by multiple rocket engines. So either is possible... of course, if it was an amateur rocket, let alone missile, someone's going to eventually be in a lot of trouble once the authorities find them because of flying it over controlled airspace, let alone for all the attention it's garnered, even if very few "concerned citizens" reported it it's still obvious that plenty of folks did see it.

Actually, I thought "toy rocket" was what they meant by "amateur missle". If it's some kind of militia group that made a missle in the garage, they'd get in trouble just by possessing it. Plus, how did they get it out in the ocean, i mean it would make more sense originating inland.

As far as can be told, there was nothing unusual in the area at the time.

A model rocket or even a crude amateur device would not have been visible from 40 miles off shore.

It's also unlikely to be a hoax since this went out live over the airwaves and all of the fixed points are in the correct orientation.

What seems most plausible to me at this point is that the military fired a dummy missile and didn't realize how visible it was going to be at that hour. Either through total incompetence or through a simple mistake on the timing. An hour later and it would have been pitch black out that far from shore and the contrail would have been invisible. The clock change happened the day before. Certainly seems possible.

What that was NOT though is an airplane. If they expect us to buy that one it's about as dumb as Roswell being the victim of crashed weather balloons.

It was Aliens.

Well, yes, I was sort of assumig you'd meant toy rocket too, though an amatuer missile would certainly be a world of trouble for someone even just for possession, whereas a model rocket would only be trouble if it was made large enough to actually fly as far as this one was said to have managed including through the cities major airspace.

There are all sorts of hoaxes, Samson, not all of them involve using faked information.

Without a doubt it's plausible that someone screwed up on an intended night fire drill due to the time change, but that's the sort of silliness the military usually would apologize for and move on rather than intentionally stirring up conspiracy theorists by remaining silent, after all, it's not like anyone was hurt by it and it has very little overall impact, so it's purely PR.

Yes, Fury, of course it was. But was it one of their weapons or one of their ships or..? :rolleyes:

How do we know it didn't hurt anyone or destroy something? Nobody bothered to ask where it was going.

I've asked, but without an answer, I sort of have to assume that it didn't because I would expect that to be bigger news than it's flight over the city.

It didn't actually fly over the city, it flew over the ocean off the coast from the city. It would have been a much larger story than it was if the missile had flown directly over the city.

Some research on my part revealed that there is a Navy missile testing area off the NW part of Catalina island, which is where the launch originated from. The way it was tracking in the sky, that means it was heading north-northwest out into the Pacific missile range. So I don't really get why they're being so coy about all this unless it was either unauthorized or launched by accident.

Expect faked satellite footage any day now insisting it was a normal contrail.

Ah, I must've misunderstood what I read above then.

Wait, so it basically launched from a Navy missile testing area and flew over the ocean into a missile testing range.. ok, I don't get what the big deal is either then, it sounds pretty routine to me. :(

So far, they're insisting it was a normal contrail. There's supposed to be more information at 11 (for me and Samson @ least).
:strike: Hurry up and finish Frostcrag Village! I want to get on with annoying my subjects! :strike:

Well, it's already just shy of midnight here... where's y'all's update for us? ;)

Since it's only 9:48pm here, that's not coming for another hour or so. Not that I know which network is supposed to be carrying this new information.

@Dallen: If you're patiently waiting on Frostcrag Village, keep patiently waiting, it doesn't have priority right now and may be awhile :)

@Samson: :cry: but I want it!!


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