Just came across this piece from AOL News;

(Nov. 9) — An unexplained missile shot across the sky off the coast of Los Angeles and was caught on video by a CBS News traffic helicopter during Monday night’s rush hour. Today, the missile is still a mystery. A Navy spokesman told CBS affiliate KFMB that it was not theirs, and so far the Pentagon has not been able to explain it either. The missile was reportedly about 35 miles west of L.A. and just north of Catalina Island.

NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, reports that a missile launch would not have been planned so close to a major city, and at the very least, residents would have been warned a test was imminent. A senior Pentagon official told him, “This is bizarre.”

See the video and newscast here.

One of the ways that an enemy can cripple this nation is through what is known as a High altitude ElectroMagnetic Pulse detonation, or HEMP. This missile launching is one of the ways that this could be accomplished. Supposedly located 35 miles west of Los Angeles, if this had been a real attack much of the west coast of this nation could have been wiped out, electrically and electronically. As of this point there are no claimants for the launch of this missile and our own military disclaims responsibility.

Where did it come from, where did it go, and what was its warhead, if it carried one? These questions need to be answered and answered quickly, because if this was in fact a terrorist operation, even if just a test, it means we have vastly under estimated our enemies.

This attack would have only been successful if the missile had 1; Reached a high enough altitude, 2; Carried a megaton weight nuclear warhead, and 3; had detonated in roughly the geographic center of the contiguous United States. That point a given, it is possible that some organization was also trying to see if they could achieve a multiple launch attack to detonate several lower yield nuclear devices over a broader range of coverage. Less cash would be needed to accomplish this feat, and it would in fact be more easily accomplished as well.

So what’s the answer to the riddle? Whose missile is this? But more importantly, what was the purpose of its launch?

UPDATE: 1430 hrs

This piece from the LA Times suggests that this missile poses no threat to the US. But they don’t know anything about it. Seems kind of fishy to me. Either somebody screwed up and mad a mistake, and the military is covering it up, or there is a threat to this country and they don’t want us to know about it. What is going on with this missile?

Read this LA Times piece here

Officials with the Defense Department, the Navy and the Air Force said they did not have any details on the object or its launch site. Pentagon officials said that initial indications were that the military was not involved.

“We are aware of the unexplained contrail reported off the coast of Southern California yesterday evening,” according to a statement Tuesday from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, which operates the U.S. and Canadian missile warning system. “At this time, we are unable to provide specific details but we are working to determine the exact nature of this event.

“We can confirm that there is no indication of any threat to our nation and we will provide more information as it becomes available,” the statement said.

The Federal Aviation Administration didn’t approve any commercial space launches in the area Monday, spokesman Ian Gregor said Tuesday.

Update 1630 hrs:

Michelle Malkin joins the frey with the following piece from naval analyst Raymond Pritchett, which in turn comes from The Danger Room blog;

“When someone makes an unannounced launch what looks to be a ballistic missile 35 miles from the nations second largest city (at sea in international waters), and 18 hours later NORAD still doesn’t have any answers at all – that complete lack of information represents a credible threat to national security,” he writes. “If NORAD can’t answer the first and last question, then I believe it is time to question every single penny of ballistic missile defense funding in the defense budget. NORTHCOM needs to start talking about what they do know, rather than leaving the focus on what they don’t know.”

To confuse matters even further: that contrail, seen from that CBS news helicopter, might not have been a missile at all. It’s “probably an aircraft contrail seen from a weird angle,” reader WB emails, attaching the photo below from contrailscience.com. It shows a plane plume, photographed on New Year’s Eve above San Clemente, California. It, too, was mistaken for a missile. To WB’s eyes, the ascent from yesterday’s launch was “far too slow to be a missile and the glittering exhaust ‘flame’ is, I believe, sun reflecting off the aircraft’s airframe at altitude.”

(I’ve seen a lot of air traffic where I live, but I have never seen a contrail like this from any aircraft I have seen, neither have I seen any jet travelling so slow leave a contrail. Again, what’s the story here? Are we being hoaxed, or is something being covered up here?)

Update 2045 hrs;

Fox news contributes an article to the circus here that suggests this is not a missile as first reported, but merely a jet and its contrail. I wonder about the veracity of the claim, myself. I’ve seen a lot of jets and their contrails, and the video showed something different, at least as far as I could tell. for one, the vessel, whatever it was appeared to be going more or less straight up or vertically, not horizontally as the source location was given as 35 miles out to sea, so it could not have been a plane taking off.

Further, there was a plane in view in the video. Did anyone attempt to locate the pilot and get his take on the spectacle?

Additionally, it has been suggested that this was a US sub launched missile to demonstrate our power to the Asians as Hussein Obama visited the Far East. If so, why aren’t we taking credit for it? One possible explanation could be that the Chinese launched it instead,as their own way of demonstrating their power as Obama tours the Asian nations. After all, they have been seen along our coastal waters, haven’t they?

I’m still waiting for answers, and so aren’t a lot of other people.

Update 10 November 13:30 hrs

It seems to be coming more apparent that this missile launch was more likely a jets contrail according to sources. Fox news reports on the similarities between a rockets contrail and a jets contrail under certain circunstances. Still, I don’t recall ever seeing any contrails that thick so close behind a jet aircraft. So the question remains, was it a missile or a jet? Not having an original uncompressed video makes it hard to examine in detail, so we have to go by eyewitness reports. In this case the origin of the contrail was said by the original  reporting news team to have originated 35 miles out to sea.

How could that be if the aircraft was seemingly going in a vertical direction? There abviousy are no runways 35 miles out to sea so it could not be a jet taking off. If it was indeed a jet, why hasn’t the Air Traffic Control office weighed in with an identification of the craft. Aren’t they supposed to keep tabs on all air traffic?

I’m still not convinced it is an aircraft, but it seems plausible that it could be in light of some of the information given surrounding this mystery. Until a positive ID is provided for the aircraft or missile in question I intend to keep an open opinion as to what this mysterious contrail may have been caused by.

Update 10 November 17:10 hrs

Expert says mistery missile a solid fuel rocket, not a jet airplane…..

Andy Bloxam of the “Telegraph” writes;  

Doug Richardson, the editor of Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, said it might have been a Standard interceptor, the anti-missile weapon which is fitted to the US Navy’s Aegis guided-missile cruisers as part of the American missile defence programme.

He said: “It’s a solid propellant missile, you can tell from the efflux [smoke] but they’re not showing enough of the tape to show whether it’s staging [jettisoning its sections].”

Janes is of course the worlds preeminent authority on all things military, so would they risk their reputation on a wild guess? I don’t think so, but he does caution that due to the poor or incomplete video given by the station reporting the incident, it was hard to tell for certain.

So what will the answer be? A plane? A secret test missile launch? Sombody’s screw up? Or maybe we were all hoaxed so that this little TV station can get some notoriety?

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