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Thread: Pentagon: Mystery Contrail Spotted Off Calif. Coast Was No Missile

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    Pentagon: Mystery Contrail Spotted Off Calif. Coast Was No Missile

    The spectacular contrail spotted Monday off the coast of Los Angeles may have spurred widespread reports of a mystery missile launch, but Pentagon officials now say it was not a missile at all.

    CBS affiliate KCBS recorded video of the unusual contrail near sunset on Nov. 8, and early reports suggested it was a missile launch from about 35 miles out at sea, west of Los Angeles and north of Catalina Island.

    After an initial investigation, the military has quashed the "mystery missile" scenario, with many experts suggesting the contrail was caused by a run-of-the-mill jet aircraft.

    "While there is nothing at this time that leads the Department of Defense to believe this is a missile launch, the department and other US 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," DoD spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said in a written statement. [7 Things That Make Great Space Hoaxes]

    "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," Lapan added. "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."

    NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command — worked in conjunction with U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) to investigate whether the contrail was indeed from a missile launch. NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian organization that provides aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.

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

    "We did not approve any commercial space launches in that area for Monday, and any additional information should come from NORAD. That's pretty much all I can say right now," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told SPACE.com yesterday (Nov. 9).

    The U.S. military does, on occasion, conduct missile test launches and other weapons tests over the Pacific Ocean that are publicly announced.
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    Re: Pentagon: Mystery Contrail Spotted Off Calif. Coast Was No Missile

    Experts think California ‘mystery missile’ was merely a plane See for yourself






    Surely by now you've heard about the "mystery missile" that darted across the Southern California sky. Military officials and other federal authorities don't appear to have a clue as to what the flying object could have been. But some outside experts have a simple explanation for the uproar: What appeared to be a projectile spreading across the sky in the video was simply a contrail, the plume of smoke that airplanes typically leave in their wake.

    (UPDATE: The Pentagon is now also saying that it was a plane.)

    "This thing is so obviously an airplane contrail, and yet apparently all the king's horses and all the king's men can't find someone to stand up and say it," John Pike, a defense and aerospace expert, told the Washington Post's John Pomfret. Pike noted that the projectile was moving much slower than a missile would, adding that "there's a reason that they're called rockets."

    Here's how Pomfret laid out Pike's case for the contrail theory:

    It looked like a missile launch, he said, because of an optical illusion that made the contrail appear as though it started on the ground and zoomed straight up. In reality, he said, the contrail began on the horizon and ran parallel to the ground.

    "It was an unusually clear day," he said. So what looked like a missile launch 35 miles off the coast of Los Angeles was actually the contrail of a jet that stretched 300 miles into the distance, he said. "At the end of the day, you really have to go with the simplest explanation," he added.

    Pike is not alone in that assessment.

    Harvard astronomer Jonathan McDowell told New Scientist that because a helicopter in flight recorded the video of the incident, it employed a visual angle that distorted the arc of the contrail. That effect was compounded, McDowell maintained, by the distinctive lighting of the sky at twilight -- and the net result was a bit of an optical illusion.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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