NORAD: Er, we’re still not sure what the mystery missile is; Update: Looks like a plane, say defense analysts

posted at 5:02 pm on November 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

The good news: They don’t think it came from a foreign military. The bad news: That’s … about all they can tell us. I just asked on Twitter whether it’s normal for U.S. air defense specialists to need a full day to figure out whether and why a ballistic missile was launched off the coast of Los Angeles.

The answer, via Danger Room: No, it’s not normal. Or at least, it shouldn’t be:

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. 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.

If this missile was launched at sea, was it launched from a ship or sub? If it wasn’t our ship or sub, then whose ship or sub was it? Did anyone cross-reference the launch with public AIS logs from the port of Los Angeles yet? How many dozens of times have we had someone give Congressional testimony regarding the scenario where a non-state actor launches a short ranged ballistic missile from a ship off the coast?

I raise that last point to note, if the mystery missile didn’t come from our military, you have to start looking for alternatives… and most of those alternatives are a threat to national security.

Here’s a military expert on Fox News insisting that someone, whether at NORAD or elsewhere in the government, knows exactly what’s going on and at this point they’re simply trying to figure out a way to explain it to the public. On Twitter, John Noonan assures me that this couldn’t possibly have been an accidental launch from a sub since launches involve multiple sailors and intricate procedures. It would take more than someone hitting a button by accident.

Update: Patterico, who lives in L.A., thinks he saw the contrail last night:

I assumed it was an airplane contrail, with a bright orange trail leading into the sea somewhere north of Catalina.

What I found interesting, though, was that if you traced it back away from the sea towards land, it became a sort of ghostly translucent dark blue color. I had never seen a color like that before on a contrail and it got my attention.


Update: The experts say it’s a plane, but we’ve all seen planes overhead before and I’ve never seen a contrail like that. For what it’s worth.

But to GlobalSecurity.org director John Pike, there’s an easy explanation: “It is obviously an airplane.”

“The aircraft is flying towards the observer; the air over the Pacific is clear, so the contrail is visible all the way to the horizon. This creates the optical illusion of a rocket flying up, rather than the actual situation of an airplane flying horizontally,” Pike tells Danger Room. “The object generating the contrail is moving too slowly to be a rocket; the contrail is not expanding as the ‘rocket’ gains ‘altitude’ — which would be the case as the exhaust plume expanding into less dense high altitude air.”

MIT astronomer Jonathan McDowell tells New Scientist pretty much the same thing. Although he does note that the Navy owns a missile target and launch facility at nearby San Nicolas Island.


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If you’ve ever done range time around Catalina, it can be a goat rope.

Hah! It’s not a job, it’s an adventure!

RocketmanBob on November 9, 2010 at 10:00 PM

I agree with JE and rocketman. From what I can see, this appears to be more rocket/missile-like than aircraft. I do believe the errant launch theory from (most likely) a surface anti-air, anti-missile test that mistakenly let one loose. Far far less likely is a sub that let one go, too many failsafe mechanisms.

I’ve seen military rockets going down range. Even HIMARS rockets don’t have as large a contrail as this. HIMARS did also have a bright/hot appearing tail once at a significant altitude similar to this. Vandenberg AFB missile interceptor shots also have strange appearing contrails, similar to this, not suggesting this originated from VAFB, just similar appearance (and I lived at Ft Irwin, CA where there are some wacky things flying around all the time–China Lake NWS and other strange areas over in NV). I’m not sure that Patriot missiles have as large a signature as this. If I were betting, I’d say this was an anti-air or anti-missile shot from a US Navy ship. If that’s the case, then its comforting and they’re stalling while they look for it. If not, well…*shrug*…

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Ya know…it looks like 10…no make that 12 missles, ya thats the ticket, 12 super duper secret missles…way cool!

dmann on November 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I seriously doubt an enemy sub launched a missile in this case. But you’re assuming the military would tell us they had detected this event using our national sensor network. That assumption is erroneous. They won’t tell us that.

We (I mean DOD; I was DOD for 20 years) don’t gratuitously offer more information about our sensors than necessary. There is no need to do so here. This isn’t a case where DOD is clarifying the nature of an event Americans know about ONLY through the military’s intel reporting, like a missile launch in Iran. In this case, everyone has already seen video of the event. DOD is going to give some kind of final characterization of the event, but it’s not going to discuss what its sensors picked up — there’s no reason to.

I urge readers not to overinterpret the DOD silence on what was detected. DOD isn’t going to tell you what it detected. It’s just going to give a top-brass-approved statement about what happened.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM

As J.E. pointed out, even if the cause of this odd phenomena was an aircraft, it was most likely detected by 2, or more, sensory systems.

Seems likely, but in order to pin in down to a specific flight they’ll have to know the coordinates where the video was taken and the direction of the “missile launch” and the time.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:06 PM

I urge readers not to overinterpret the DOD silence on what was detected. DOD isn’t going to tell you what it detected. It’s just going to give a top-brass-approved statement about what happened.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM

yep. and it’s not going to come until there are all hands on deck holding a smoking, wet missile with all of its guidance systems/payload systems intact.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Doesn’t seem like a Jet. I feel it was a missile. Unnerving is all I can say. Something going on. Seemed like it went straight up so wouldn’t been fired from a Jet. Who knows.

sheebe on November 9, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Seems likely, but in order to pin in down to a specific flight they’ll have to know the coordinates where the video was taken and the direction of the “missile launch” and the time.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Apparently, NORAD can track virtually any thing that flies down to an incredibly small size. Something that large and smoking, is most certainly trackable.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM

I seriously doubt an enemy sub launched a missile in this case. But you’re assuming the military would tell us they had detected this event using our national sensor network. That assumption is erroneous. They won’t tell us that.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM

No, I don’t assume they’ll reveal that information, however, if it was a missile test they wouldn’t try to cover it up after the fact unless it’s top secret, but if it’s top secret they wouldn’t have launched it off the coast of California for everybody to see.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:12 PM

My post updated with this just-released, full-throated Pentagon denial:

The Dept. of Defense statement from Col. Dave Lapan, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, reads:

“While there is nothing at this time that leads the Department of Defense to believe this is a missile launch, the department and other U.S. government agencies with expertise in aviation and space continue to look into the condensation trail (CONTRAIL) seen and reported off the coast of southern California on Monday evening.

All DoD entities with rocket and missile programs reported no launches, scheduled or inadvertent, during the time period in the area of the reported contrail. NORAD and USNORTHCOM confirmed that it did not monitor any foreign military missile launch off the California coast yesterday and has determined that there was no threat to the US homeland.

“In addition, the FAA ran radar replays from Monday afternoon of a large area west of Los Angeles. Those replays did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets. The FAA also did not receive reports of any unusual sightings from pilots who were flying in the area Monday afternoon.

“If any new information comes to light in the coming days, we will update the press and public.”

Cuffy Meigs on November 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

How stupid do all of the “experts” really believe us to be?

What “plane” is launched from below the water’s surface and takes off like that – a new version of the space shuttle? Nancy Pelosi’s new taxi!

Either this was a home grown thing they want to play “stupid” with – to test NORAD’s ability to identify it (e.g. new US Navy submarine), or…

we’re screwed.

If the latter… who would be stupid to reveal their brand new ability to penetrate US defenses – unless it was an entity which didn’t care (e.g. Iran) – doubtful.

One thing, however, if the missile lands on the government seat in California – that may not be such a bad thing. It may be the most painless way to save that sinking state…

But we still could be screwed.

Danny on November 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Apparently, NORAD can track virtually any thing that flies down to an incredibly small size. Something that large and smoking, is most certainly trackable.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:11 PM

That makes sense but they’d filter civilian aircraft out of their missile alert system. I’m not sure they keep records on such routine flights unless it’s flagged for some reason.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:15 PM

yep. and it’s not going to come until there are all hands on deck holding a smoking, wet missile with all of its guidance systems/payload systems intact.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Probably right about that, ted c. The thing splashed down somewhere. I’m betting we have a pretty good idea where.

Hah! It’s not a job, it’s an adventure!

RocketmanBob on November 9, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Ain’t it the truth. :-)

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Cuffy Meigs on November 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Thanks for the update.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Cuffy Meigs on November 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

In addition, the FAA ran radar replays from Monday afternoon of a large area west of Los Angeles. Those replays did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets. The FAA also did not receive reports of any unusual sightings from pilots who were flying in the area Monday afternoon.

these statements support an aircraft theory. If the aircraft theory is to be supported, then I want to see a plane, a flight plan, route, and an interview with the helicopter crew as to their location, and bearing of visual contact for this sighting. If it’s a plane, then someone was flying it and it has landed. Who are they?

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Purity of Essence

pedestrian on November 9, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Ha, that was on tv tonite, great movie.

“This is it boys, nukulur war, toe to toe with the RusskiesChicoms”

Looked like a rocket to me, solid propellant. A big one. Like a Minuteman3 sized monster. Blue color could be nitrous oxide over a solid core. Only thing we have like that would be maybe Virgin Galatics Spaceship2?

orbitalair on November 9, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Well, Cuffy’s updated post, with the well defined and adamant denial, sure is intersting…

I think I’ll sleep on it, since I have an 0-dark-30 curtain call.

Thanks for everyone’s insights,
My Regards to all.

RocketmanBob on November 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Cuffy Meigs on November 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

I recommend reviewing RocketmanBob’s earlier quote. This DOD update is basically what they already said: no launches were scheduled by an entity known to DOD during the timeframe of the video, and no foreign launches were detected.

This doesn’t mean nothing was detected, nor does it mean DOD didn’t know of launch activity that was supposed to take place at a different time.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:28 PM

The cloud the missile trail passed through is illuminated somewhat from above while the missile trail is brightly illuminated from the side. The composition of the trail is dense enough to block the light from passing through and the unlit side is in fairly deep shadow. Contrails are thin and wispy and appear just as bright from all angles.

Contrails form a short but discernible distance behind an aircraft – the “steam”(water being the major by-product of burning jet fuel) coming out of the engines being hot enough to remain in vapor until it mixes with and is cooled by the very cold surrounding air then forming ice crystals and becoming the contrail you see. This trail is coming directly out of the arse end of the missile – or UFO if you prefer.

Contrails are also split in two and kept split by the vortexes coming off the wings. Look at the next contrail you see with a pair of binoculars and you’ll be able to witness this phenomenon.

Questions: Why are there no reports as to how long the “trail” lasted? What happened to the vehicle that produced the trail? Did it simply disappear?

Surely whomever controls/monitors our ADIZ has the answer.

Speculation: It was a launch from an unfriendly – close enough to our shores to show we can be had.

Woody

woodcdi on November 9, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Now we need a good debunking thread that explains the physics behind how an airplane contrail can appear to be a missile launch in certain circumstances.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:31 PM

How is this for a scenario…Iran is getting wind of an imminent Israeli attack. They tell the USA through back channels that any attack on them would result in retaliation against us. We do not believe they have the capability outside of terror to attack us..so they demonstrate it.

Message sent and received all back channel. Cannot be admitted or acknowledged so…we get silly airplane contrail stories.

JIMV on November 9, 2010 at 10:34 PM

This DOD update is basically what they already said

Then you already knew that it wasn’t a US missile launch, intentional or accidental, that they didn’t detect a missile launch and that it was just an ordinary airplane’s contrail?

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Then you already knew that it wasn’t a US missile launch, intentional or accidental, that they didn’t detect a missile launch and that it was just an ordinary airplane’s contrail?

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Since the DOD update didn’t say any of those things, it’s not clear why you’re asking the question.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:40 PM

The night the nation went insane over a CBS shadily edited video publicity stunt of an international jetliner. If you slow the video frame down you will actually see the aircraft navigation lights blinking between Green and Red, Green and Red on the last few seconds of the clip. Missiles didn’t require FAA regulation aircraft navigation lights the last time I checked. CBS editors had to have seen this in post editing, It was apparent even on the low resolution version. They film in HD nowadays, by the way. I’m sure they had more than 10 seconds of video they shot from the Helicopter but only managed to get the fuzzy and blurry scenes spliced in. Amazing.

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Speculation: It was a launch from an unfriendly – close enough to our shores to show we can be had.

Woody

woodcdi on November 9, 2010 at 10:30 PM

that is the most nefarious, but certainly within the realm of possibility, theory. If that is the case, then every long gray thing that says “USN” on it should be putting to sea and chasing whatever launch platform they suspect could’ve done this. I’m not a conspiracy theorist when the theory is plausible.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Occam’s Razor has failed the nation tonight.

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Since the DOD update didn’t say any of those things, it’s not clear why you’re asking the question.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Then I’ll parse my statement with theirs.

It wasn’t a US missile launch, intentional or accidental:
“All DoD entities with rocket and missile programs reported no launches, scheduled or inadvertent, during the time period in the area of the reported contrail.

that they didn’t detect a missile launch:
“NORAD and USNORTHCOM confirmed that it did not monitor any foreign military missile launch off the California coast yesterday

and that it was just an ordinary airplane’s contrail?:
“Those replays did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Missiles didn’t require FAA regulation aircraft navigation lights the last time I checked. CBS editors had to have seen this in post editing, It was apparent even on the low resolution version. They film in HD nowadays, by the way. I’m sure they had more than 10 seconds of video they shot from the Helicopter but only managed to get the fuzzy and blurry scenes spliced in. Amazing.

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:42 PM

an alternative theory is that the firing of a rockets second stage, or a self-destruct mechanism, could’ve produced flashes of bright light shown. And, if those were anti-collision lights, why weren’t they visible during the first part of the film, presuming the A/C was in “level” flight (and the lights would be similarly visible earlier in the video).

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Occam’s Razor has failed the nation tonight.

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:47 PM

what is the most simple explanation?

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Imagine, this whole event is completely dependent upon a single video shot of CBS video which was shot the cost of the one and only city that probably has the highest density of e cameras per square meter on the planet, yet not a single other video source is available.

We all know that CBS is actually telling the truth with this sloppily edited video. And of course filmed exactly when they claim it was filed. CBS has the highest standards of journalism and integrity in the world. Why doubt it?

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Why doubt it?

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:53 PM

true on all but, if they’re sloppy journalism is in play, what they hell would motivate them to push a story like this? Other than exposure? Dont’ get it.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Imagine, this whole event is completely dependent upon a single video shot of CBS video which was shot the cost of the one and only city that probably has the highest density of e cameras per square meter on the planet, yet not a single other video source is available.

Egfrow on November 9, 2010 at 10:53 PM

No actually thousands of people saw it. On the FOX news thread they were saying how people stopped and took pictures, so it isn’t just one video. The one video has been released so that is what we discuss.

sharrukin on November 9, 2010 at 11:01 PM

… If that is the case, then every long gray thing that says “USN” on it should be putting to sea and chasing whatever launch platform they suspect could’ve done this. …

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 10:44 PM

We don’t know that that isn’t going on …
Woody

woodcdi on November 9, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Don’t feel bad guys. If you go back to page one I originally thought it was a missile, too. What’s worse, I’ve actually heard of this phenomenon in the past yet it didn’t occur to me in this case until somebody else pointed it out in the Headline thread. In my defense, I assumed that the original reporters had accurately determined the launch location north of the island, like they said, but when I looked again with a more skeptical eye I noticed that they didn’t provide their source or method.

I know it looks just like a missile trail but there really is an alternate explanation that simultaneously explains why so few people noticed a large, energetic “missile launch” near such a populated area. They didn’t notice it because if you view it from a different angle or watch it long enough it soon becomes apparent that it’s not a rocket.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 11:14 PM

We don’t know that that isn’t going on …
Woody

woodcdi on November 9, 2010 at 11:02 PM

true. I hope I’m wrong about a missile. If it was, I hope it was a woopsie daisy shot. If not.. ?

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 11:16 PM

We seem to have an awful lot of Sudden Contrail Experts commenting here at Hot Air. Either that or a whole bunch of people stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

J.E. Dyer on November 9, 2010 at 8:26 PM

I’m no rocket scientist but I did live a few miles away from Cape Canaveral for the last few years.

CatchAll on November 9, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Unless the government is lying, it’s an ordinary jet plane or a stealth missile provocation. It’s not ours because we wouldn’t test a stealth missile where everybody could see it and then deny that a missile was even launched. They’d just keep the stealth aspect secret.

Perhaps if it were an accidental missile launch they’d try to cover it up, but I doubt it.

Nothing else makes sense. It’s an ordinary jet plane flying in from over the Pacific.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Nothing else makes sense. It’s an ordinary jet plane flying in from over the Pacific.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 11:26 PM

then there is a jet, with a pilot, a crew and a flight plan with proof. Moreover, there are the venerable Mythbusters that can take whatever type of jet it was, fly it in the same path, film it from the same angle, same time of day, and see what results they get.

It’s the newest Zapruder film. Or Sasquatch.

ted c on November 9, 2010 at 11:29 PM

The bad news: That’s … about all they can tell us.

Maybe because it’s DARPA’s Cormorant Submarine/Sea-Launched and Recovered Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MPUAV)

BDU-33 on November 9, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Perhaps if it were an accidental missile launch they’d try to cover it up, but I doubt it.

Nothing else makes sense. It’s an ordinary jet plane flying in from over the Pacific.

FloatingRock on November 9, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Maybe one of the incompetent Obamacrat czars pushed the wrong button…

Does anybody doubt that Obama would deny that it happened and try to cover it up??

landlines on November 10, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Time to do some careful research at the Estes Model Rocketry website…

trigon on November 10, 2010 at 12:29 AM

I take back what I stated so emphatically in the first post.

The more I watch these videos; here’s another one:

http://www.necn.com/11/09/10/Mysterious-missile-launched-off-Californ/landing_scitech.html?blockID=348833&feedID=4213

It could be just a jet.

Ususally, when a rocket launches from Vandenburg, you get the contrails hanging around at very high altitudes, and they make all sorts of funky swirls and such from high altitude winds. But, contrails, whether from jet or a rocket plume, sometimes fade quickly away due to atmospheric conditions (relative humidity at altitude being the biggest factor).

Did some work on contrails back in the day; they can form either right away, next to the exhaust nozzle, or hundreds of aircraft lengths behind the airplane. They are subject to many variables, not always consistent. That’s why some days you see them, some you don’t. Sometimes they linger for a long time and turn into a cirrus cloud, other times they evaporate quickly and disappear.

Jimmy Doolittle on November 10, 2010 at 12:42 AM

I was a launcher, but now that I saw the video at

http://www.necn.com/11/09/10/Mysterious-missile-launched-off-Californ/landing_scitech.html?blockID=348833&feedID=4213

I think its just a plane now.

tommer74 on November 10, 2010 at 1:17 AM

A Launcher. Love it!

So was I, but I’ve now seen the truth.

So cathartic, more should try it.

Jimmy Doolittle on November 10, 2010 at 1:45 AM

The Bilderburgers did it (with a little help from the Trilateral Commission).

BTW, has anyone seen Slim Pickens today?

hillbillyjim on November 10, 2010 at 2:50 AM

Awesome Post, courtesy Ace, and dave g:

http://uncinus.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/4/

Pretty much nails the Contrail Proof, in my mind.

Boy, do I feel stupid………

Jimmy Doolittle on November 10, 2010 at 3:03 AM

In a fast paced blog environment like this with so many voices it is easy to forget that all of our opinions on this subject today yesterday fell into the category of initial speculation.

Human nature dictated that we speculate about what we knew while we awaited more information, which was slow to develop.

While it’s always preferable to be on the winning side of a debate like this there’s no reason be feel too bad about having vigorously defended a speculative opinion that turns out to have been wrong.

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 3:20 AM

Only piece of information easily supplied is ID of the plane. If plane was flying without a flight plan in area of Vandenburg AFB there would be a follow up. The plane would have to be some plane to issue that trail. There are multiple videos

Not a plane

The plane/ICBM/target rocket seems to have no landing point, although that too is tracked by sattelite. There is indeed no curiosity on the part of gov as to where the unregistered flight landed

I do not expect those who know to share info

entagor on November 10, 2010 at 3:53 AM

I don’t *really* have the faintest, but I have observed jets, other planes, and rockets and missiles for many years. If it is an aircraft contrail resulting from unusual weather phenomenon, it would be the very first time I’ve seen anything like it.

On the other hand, it does look just like a missile launch, which is an odd coincidence.

I described it elsewhere as a huge plane that’s either steam-powered or on fire, as the only way I could see it as a plane. Also, it appears to be going to the moon, which is an odd place for a plane to go.

It could all turn out to be a tempest in a teapot, but it has the *smell* of something really unusual.

Merovign on November 10, 2010 at 4:20 AM

Merovign, check this out. Most of these pictures are of different events of this nature and it explains why it looks like the plane is flying to the moon.

http://uncinus.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/4/

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 4:32 AM

Someone is pissing on my leg and trying to tell me its raining….

Warning shot, pure and simple.

gdonovan on November 10, 2010 at 6:05 AM

I’m still not buying the plane theory. There appears to be a corkscrew in that contrail, something a jet couldn’t do–only a cylindrical object with guidance fins can do that.

We have the plane theory, the surface ship “woops” AA missile theory, the amateur rocketeer theory, the jet theory, the Chinese “warning shot” theory, the US sub “woops” theory–

What if it were a non-US sub that thought it snuck undetected to within a few miles of LA, but was actually being followed by a USN Seawolf class fast attack sub. The enemy sub may have stopped and commenced a missile drill and was either torpedoed or otherwise notified that it was in the kill zone of 1-2 US subs, or it may have been damaged already? who knows. Green Chinese crew, far from home, new ship, 30 miles from enemy territory, doing missile drills…maybe they took a torpedo or were going to get torpedoed anyway and commenced a sub launched missile firing because if they got back to China, they’d be dead anyway for getting detected. Very conspiratorial, I know, but this still does not look like a jet. If it was a jet—then reproduce it (same jet/model, time of day, location, shot from same vantage point) and produce the proof of the flight.

ted c on November 10, 2010 at 6:18 AM

Someone is pissing on my leg and trying to tell me its raining….

gdonovan on November 10, 2010 at 6:05 AM

“LEAVE CHRIS MATTHEWS ALONE!”

Shy Guy on November 10, 2010 at 7:48 AM

What if it were a non-US sub that thought it snuck undetected to within a few miles of LA, but was actually being followed by a USN Seawolf class fast attack sub. The enemy sub may have stopped and commenced a missile drill and was either torpedoed or otherwise notified that it was in the kill zone of 1-2 US subs, or it may have been damaged already? who knows. Green Chinese crew, far from home, new ship, 30 miles from enemy territory, doing missile drills…maybe they took a torpedo or were going to get torpedoed anyway and commenced a sub launched missile firing because if they got back to China, they’d be dead anyway for getting detected.

ted c on November 10, 2010 at 6:18 AM

we’ve had this conversation before, Andre.

Shy Guy on November 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM

Anyone mention North Korea?

Buster says 74% probability it was North Korea.

justltl on November 10, 2010 at 8:21 AM

As I said before, its a dragon. Heh.

Seriously — assume that as part of the trip to India, the US military and the Indian military had arranged to launch an Indian missile from a US submarine as a demonstration and as part of inter-military alliance activities. Now in that context, lets parse the DoD statements:

“All DoD entities with rocket and missile programs reported no launches, scheduled or inadvertent, during the time period in the area of the reported contrail.

And of course launch of an Indian missile is not part of any “DoD entity with rocket or missile program”.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM confirmed that it did not monitor any foreign military missile launch off the California coast yesterday…

And the Indian missile was not a “foreign military missile launch” if it was launched from a US submarine.

…and has determined that there was no threat to the US homeland.

And the only way that this statement can actually be true is if the DoD knows just what it was. This is a key phrase.

In addition, the FAA ran radar replays from Monday afternoon of a large area west of Los Angeles. Those replays did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets.

Key here is the word “unidentified target” — since it would be neither “unidentified” if they know what it is, and it is not a “target” in any case.

The FAA also did not receive reports of any unusual sightings from pilots who were flying in the area Monday afternoon.

Key phrase here is “in the area”.

See — you too can understand DoD speak when you parse it carefully.

SunSword on November 10, 2010 at 8:54 AM

It’s possible that the footage was edited so the plane itself was not seen. Maybe this is a “Wag the Dog” scenario since the election?

Let’s ask the Loose Change folks what it is…..

Lothar on November 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I’m still not buying the plane theory. There appears to be a corkscrew in that contrail, something a jet couldn’t do–only a cylindrical object with guidance fins can do that.

We have the plane theory, the surface ship “woops” AA missile theory, the amateur rocketeer theory, the jet theory, the Chinese “warning shot” theory, the US sub “woops” theory–

What if it were a non-US sub that thought it snuck undetected to within a few miles of LA, but was actually being followed by a USN Seawolf class fast attack sub. The enemy sub may have stopped and commenced a missile drill and was either torpedoed or otherwise notified that it was in the kill zone of 1-2 US subs, or it may have been damaged already? who knows. Green Chinese crew, far from home, new ship, 30 miles from enemy territory, doing missile drills…maybe they took a torpedo or were going to get torpedoed anyway and commenced a sub launched missile firing because if they got back to China, they’d be dead anyway for getting detected. Very conspiratorial, I know, but this still does not look like a jet. If it was a jet—then reproduce it (same jet/model, time of day, location, shot from same vantage point) and produce the proof of the flight.

ted c on November 10, 2010 at 6:18 AM

Wake turbulence combined with perspective effects? Occam’s Razor.

DarkCurrent on November 10, 2010 at 9:24 AM

So, are you Launchers over your hysteria yet?

Contrail.

pseudonominus on November 10, 2010 at 10:16 AM

It looks like the price of gold every time that idiot Bernanke opens his mouth.

viking01 on November 10, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Just Alex Jones trying to draw traffic to his site.

If you look close at the side of it it reads “InfoWars”.

:-)

PappyD61 on November 10, 2010 at 10:59 AM

So, are you Launchers over your hysteria yet?

Contrail.

pseudonominus on November 10, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Don’t confuse un-deluded logical assessment with hysteria.

It would seem to me that with all the planes flying in and out of that area that there would be hundreds of these “contrails” to be seen throughout the day. Why just this one? Surely it wasn’t the only airliner in the air at that time or within a half hour before or after – if it was indeed an airliner or other jet capable of leaving such a large and dense trail …

Don’t close your mind to all the possibilities. Closed minds ignored the possibility of there being more than one airliner turned into a guided missile on 09/11/2001. Some closed minds wouldn’t admit that the first plane into the towers was an attack.

I may be wrong and I pray that I am. At the least, I won’t get caught with my pants down around my ankles.(Trust me, that’s a sight you don’t want to see!)

Woody

woodcdi on November 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM

It was US Airways flight 808
http://blog.bahneman.com/content/it-was-us-airways-flight-808

FloatingRock on November 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Survival Kit contents check. In them you will find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Rooshan phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings — shoot, a fellah could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff….

Akzed on November 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Its moving far too slowly to be a missile. With the xception of the Harpoon missile, all other missiles are supersonic. Ballistic missiles will continue to accelerate until the fuel is exhausted (which occurs outside the atmosphere).

This object doesn’t show any evidence of acceleration.

BobMbx on November 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM

I am laughing my a** off. Rush just mentioned this.
I agree.

ORconservative on November 10, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Someone is pissing on my leg and trying to tell me its raining….

gdonovan on November 10, 2010 at 6:05 AM

Maybe you need Depends?

;)

Shepherd Lover on November 10, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I’ve seen thousands and thousands of contrails over the years, in all weather, from all planes- both commercial and military. I live on the western coast of Florida so I see them in the setting sun all the time. I’ve never seen on look like this. Is it? Maybe. But it is the first of its kind.

On the other hand, at my website I linked to a youtube that highlights a series of missile launches.

http://truthandcommonsense.com/2010/11/09/missile-launch-over-california-nothing-good-here/

Decide for yourself.

With China pushing, N Korea having a regime change, it would not be outside the probability that one sent a message. What would or could Obama do? He’s weak. We’re weak.

Or as a buddy of mine pointed out, it could be a terrorist attack by an Iranian sub. However, as the missile harmlessly flew to the west, in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan there is a pissed off terrorist leader screaming on a satellite phone- “I said ATTACK THE WEST, not AIM TO THE WEST!!! YOU IDIOTS, THAT WAS OUR ONLY NUKE!”

Just saying…

archer52 on November 10, 2010 at 5:11 PM

“How about a nice game of chess”

J_Crater on November 10, 2010 at 5:42 PM

I’m still not buying the plane theory. There appears to be a corkscrew in that contrail, something a jet couldn’t do–

Yes you can have twisting of a contrail. Air does turn up and over the aircraft wings, and in the right circumstances, it does give a twisting in the contrail.

firepilot on November 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM

That is NOT a contrail. A contrail, such as airliners produce, only occurs above 30,000 feet, and is caused by incompletely burned fuel rapidly cooling in the high altitude, resulting in instantaneous condensation, then freezing, of moisture in the atmosphere.

The video shows a propellant exhaust trail. If that trail is an optical illusion, where the tip is coming TOWARD the viewer, then the trailing portion of it, which must be farther away, is massive. Contrails invariably maintain a more consistent density and thickness.

There is no optical illusion here. The CBS news helicopter, which had an airborne, mobile viewpoint, would have instantly recognized an illusory path once they shifted their point of perspective.

Compare these many photos of various contrails, fresh and decayed, and find a single example with similar traits to the Los Angeles missile launch exhaust trail.

Conservative Samizdat, it’s rather difficult to keep a supersonic flight very secret, they tend to get noisy. Is it possible we have something we don’t want anyone to know about? Given that the SR-71 Blackbird flew from 1963 until 1981 before its existence was publicly acknowledged, and that was 47 years ago. I’d say there’s a chance we haven’t stopped designing new stuff just because Kelly Johnson passed away. But anything we have which is “super-secret” is going to be designed not to leave a big fat signature in the air.

Freelancer on November 10, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Contrails can do a huge variety of things. High altitude winds easily get above 100 knots. We have high winds in LA those days this last week, so high alt winds could have been high also.

Contrails from jets can spread out and eventually turn into cirrus clouds.

They can also: form directly behind the exhaust nozzle, wait till 100 plus airplane lengths behind the airplane, stay and linger for hours (see the cirrus cloud comparison), evaporate within 10 seconds.

Much variables in atmospheric conditions affect them.

Don’t just this event based on what you expect contrails to look like.

I’ve worked airplane projects where we were trying to affect (suppress) contrail formation. We got into the science of them quite a bit.

Jimmy Doolittle on November 11, 2010 at 5:17 AM

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