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Mystery Missile Launched Near LA

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the he-did-it dept.

The Military 858

J. L. Tympanum writes "CBS News is reporting the launch of an unidentified missile off the coast of California. No one wants to take credit for it." The article has visuals taken from a CBS affiliate's helicopter, and a Navy spokesman said it wasn't theirs.

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Obvious Explanation (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175918)

A Google van was dispatched to get street view data of the Moon.

*ominous voice* Phase II has started ahead of schedule ... but it's still in Beta.

Re:Obvious Explanation (1)

rvr777 (1082819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176054)

"Sorry, the Moon has not allowed us to display street view. Check again later."

Re:Obvious Explanation (5, Funny)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176140)

Then 'accidentally' sniffs Facebook credentials from extraterrestrials and extends Costa Rica's border all the way to the Kuiper Belt. Film at eleven.

Re:Obvious Explanation (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176312)

Almost. According to the summary, "an unidentified missile of the coast of California", the coast of California was sent to do the job. Good riddance.

YEEEEEHAAAAW (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175932)

Slim Pickens was seen straddling the missle, waving his hat, and proclaiming "YEEEEEEHAWWWWW".

The War Room could not be reached for comment, as there was a fight going on at the time.

Re:YEEEEEHAAAAW (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176036)

Slim Pickens rode a bomb not a missile.

This message brought to you by the literal net.

Re:YEEEEEHAAAAW (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176146)

Major T. J. "King" Kong: Stay on the bomb run, boys! I'm gonna get them doors open if it harelips ever'body on Bear Creek!

(credit: IMDB)

True story but his comment is still pretty funny :)

Re:YEEEEEHAAAAW (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176308)

Slim Pickens rode a bomb not a missile.

Even after the Cold War, the US Military maintains the ability to ride any weapons delivery system in to Armageddon.

Drug Cartels (2, Funny)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175952)

Will do anything to cross the border. I wonder how much pot was in that thing?

Hmmm .... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175954)

So, the two likely scenarios would be: 1) The US test firing something, but nobody knows who or what just yet because it is being kept secret. 2) Someone else firing off missiles off the coast of the US to demonstrate a point.

I consider 1) likely, and 2) just downright scary.

Re:Hmmm .... (1, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175996)

The end of the article says that some Ex Ambassador says that it MIGHT be a demonstration to China that US Subs can launch intercontinental missiles - since Obama is touring over there right now.

Re:Hmmm .... (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176090)

The end of the article says that some Ex Ambassador says that it MIGHT be a demonstration to China that US Subs can launch intercontinental missiles - since Obama is touring over there right now.

Indonesia, China. Same thing.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176278)

I guess you think India and Indonesia are the same thing as well.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176300)

Chinonesia?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176156)

Obama is in India at the moment. David Cameron (prime minister of Britain) is in China.

Re:Hmmm .... (2, Funny)

loafula (1080631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176254)

'Cept if it was a demonstration to China, why do it 35 mi off the coast of LA? It seems unlikely to be seen from China there.

That's the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176322)

Funny thing about intercontinental missiles is that they, well, can reach other continents. Shooting one from your home turf and having it fly overhead of the one you're trying to impress half a planet away might just be the demonstration you're after.

Re:Hmmm .... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176366)

Way too positive. What's the point in demonstrating to China that you still have some missile if you also still have a large nuclear arsenal that is ready to be delivered any time? Its not like China is going to be impressed because of some additional sub-launched missile.

If anything, this is China or some one else showing that they now got subs that can come close the the US coast unnoticed... or a test / accidental firing by the US military.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176024)

2) is even more scary if true because there's no evidence that the US military responded as it is supposed to when that kind of event happened.

In that case you'd have to wonder just exactly what the state of US second strike capability is in.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176242)

I can promise you the anti-missle systems are in place...and unless someone purposefully turned them off, they'd have responded in /some/ way, even if unsuccessfully. That they didn't, means this was a known event.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176316)

Are they manned by properly-trained crews that take their jobs seriously or have they been overcome with complacency?

Do they still keep a bomber crew with sprinting distance of each aircraft at all times?

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176066)

There's a rather huge problem with #1... (not that it doesn't make it any less likely, however).

The launch would inevitably be highly visible to anybody looking in that general direction, and although keeping it secret might very well keep the identity of the originator secret, it's not going to hide the fact that it happened, and such deliberate concealment about its origin is only liable to foster fear and anxiety about it. Was it also part of their agenda to create fuel for what could turn into a public panic if the origin of it is not discovered soon?

Re:Hmmm .... (4, Interesting)

The Pirou (1551493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176072)

'Test' firing and attempting to keep a secret immediately off the coast of LA don't jive. If they were attempting to TRULY keep it a secret they would've performed tests elsewhere. Sabre rattling, or something else, it wasn't your first scenario.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176210)

'Test' firing and attempting to keep a secret immediately off the coast of LA don't jive.

OK, Pedantry first ... it's jibe [wsu.edu] . ;-)

Sorry, I intended to include intentional saber rattling as part of scenario 1 -- they didn't shoot at anything, so it was more about being seen with the capability.

The fact that it was on the news and fairly visible tells me that someone wasn't trying to really keep it a secret -- merely keeping the who did it secret.

But, yes, I should have articulated that better.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176246)

accident? just sayin', screw-ups happen. maybe somebody spilled coffee on a sub's weapons control console.

Re:Hmmm .... (4, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176332)

maybe somebody spilled coffee on a sub's weapons control console.

SLBM launches don't work like that.

It would make just as much sense for you to spill coffee on your keyboard and accidentally install Windows Vista.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

sirrunsalot (1575073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176296)

Agreed, but hard to see how it's even sabre rattling. I thought we were marginally above such displays of hubris, if only because it's about as revolutionary as walking out into a field and firing a canon. The first submarine-launched ballistic missile [citizendium.org] was the Polaris A1 in 1960 with a range of 1000 nmi. The cat is out of the bag.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

AdamsGuitar (1171413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176352)

Unless, of course, the point of the launch was to test some kind of covert launching mechanism that simply didn't work.

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

ciscoeng (411359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176124)

#1.

  This wasn't a Chinese sub sitting off the coast of SF. Our military would've dropped a collective deuce. This is missile-waving to get someone's attention.

Re:Hmmm .... (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176160)

Has anyone looked at the NOTAMS for that day?
If it was a government launch then a NOTAM must have been filed to clear the air space.
They would not risk an accident that would take out an airliner full of people.

I tried to look but found nothing listed.
As to a demonstration that the US can launch ballistic missiles from a sub... Well yea that has been proven for about the last 50 years. And you can bet your bottom dollar that you do not just pop off long range missile with out telling Russia and China that you are going to do it!
That could be bad...
BTW Subs do not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles "ICBMs". They launch Sub launched ballistic missiles "SLBMs"

At this point the fact that nobody is saying anything and it is getting so little press really scares the daylights out of me.
 

Re:Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176374)

If it was a government launch then a NOTAM must have been filed to clear the air space.

Yeah, because no shady parts of the government exist who don't do things in public. I mean, do the CIA and NSA really admit to anything? What's to say some agency with a fancy radar that can say there's nothing to hit didn't sidestep the whole process?

And you can bet your bottom dollar that you do not just pop off long range missile with out telling Russia and China that you are going to do it!

Hasn't China done that exact thing?

BTW Subs do not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles "ICBMs". They launch Sub launched ballistic missiles "SLBMs"

Are all SLBM's implicitly intercontinental? You make a good point, but clearly you know more about this than most of us. I have no idea if most sub-launched missiles have that kind of range or not.

At this point the fact that nobody is saying anything and it is getting so little press really scares the daylights out of me.

Or, have people gotten used to not being told what's happening and moved onto other things? Maybe people have simply stopped asking when they get told to stop asking or the government denies something?

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176184)

3) CIA building case for going to war with suspect foreign power.

Re:Hmmm .... (5, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176200)

3) New Navy seamen ordered to get the Captain his mid-day meal and presses the "Lunch" button.

Re:Hmmm .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176314)

Lunch? I thought you said "launch"!

Did someone say Missile? (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175956)

No one wants to take credit for it? Okay.

I'll take credit for it. If found please return it. Thanks.

Actually, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34175970)

It was me. I did it.

Re:Did someone say Missile? (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176040)

I was going to take credit for it, however, after a moment's thought I realized that taking credit for firing a missile inside US coastal waters without proper approvals could land me in all sorts of hot water with the wrong sorts of government agencies. I'm glad you're willing to take that heat.

Re:Did someone say Missile? (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176060)

I'm glad you're willing to take that heat.

Of course, I'm Canadian! I'll take any heat I can get!

Re:Did someone say Missile? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176280)

I'll take credit for it. If found please return it. Thanks.

We'll be sure to, uh, send it your way. Or at least one of similar manufacture.

Re:Did someone say Missile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176302)

Skynet, my friend, has gone live.

However...why do I keep on visualizing Mike Myers?

Re:Did someone say Missile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176354)

No, I did it! It was meant to strike LA but the Con Air guy and James Bond stopped me. Didn't even get the chance to make a ransom demand :(

Re:Did someone say Missile? (2, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176394)

I confess! It was me. Off the coast of California. With a missile launcher.

Re:Did someone say Missile? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176404)

You don't want it man. Per the "Drug Cartels" post above it was filled with their pot. Those people are gonna be pissed when they found out you have their product.

QE3 (3, Funny)

NapalmV (1934294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175968)

They're testing the "dollar cluster bomb" for the Quantitative Easing 3 phase. Bernanke reckoned that helicopters were not good enough.

James Bond (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34175980)

Has the supervillian set his doomsday plot into motion?!?

Bond villian? Please... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176256)

Clearly this is can be work of only ONE criminal mastermind. Lex Luthor. [imdb.com]

Life imitates art (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176006)

How many movies are there where the villain sets out to start a war by launching an attack meant to look like it came from one of the super powers?

But seriously.... a SLBM was fired a few miles off our coast and we don't know where it came from?

Is the area around that launch site full of planes dropping SONAR buoys? It better damn well be if we don't know where this came form.

Re:Life imitates art (4, Insightful)

CdBee (742846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176098)

Much more likely, it was some sort of prototype/enhanced/modified missile tested by the USN, and they won't admit it just because doing so would mean admitting theres a development programme going on (and anyone getting a radar track of its mision profile might be able to deduce things about it)

I understand that stealth aircraft were tested for years before the technology was publicly acknowledged

Re:Life imitates art (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176360)

As I've posted below, a sub-launched Trident II gives a completely different trail [youtube.com] (~1:20). They're 44 feet tall, though, so that's around the same ballpark of size. Testing a new solid-fuel system?

Re:Life imitates art (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176126)

Most likely it was a classified test and the Navy representative question didn't have a need-to-know.

See post below from mp3LM - apparently NOTAMs were sent out for this area as part of an unspecified NAWC test.

Re:Life imitates art (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176186)

We know where it came from. Just because you don't isn't a problem.

Signed,
Your Overlords

my bad (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176012)

i went to get lunch for the whole crew and i had to carry those 3 cups as well as the sandwiches and i just had to put the sandwich bag down

yeah, i know i should have looked at the control panel and see if the bag would shift and hit any switches, but i got lunch. you go get lunch next time mr. high and mighty

and so what if i took novosibirsk. whoever heard of that place anyway? i can't even pronounce it. sounds like i did the world a favor

don't look at me like that, i'm outta here. get your damn lunch next time

It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (4, Informative)

mp3LM (785954) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176018)

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/e3gf3/a_missile_was_launched_off_the_california_coast/c14zqpm [reddit.com]

NOTAM for LA. KZLA LOS ANGELES A2832/10 - THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED DUE TO NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION ACTIVATION OF W537. IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, ALL NON-PARTICIPATING PILOTS ARE ADVISED TO AVOID W537. IFR TRAFFIC UNDER ATC JURISDICTION SHOULD ANTICIPATE CLEARANCE AROUND W537 AND CAE 1176. CAE 1155 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1316 & CAE 1318 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1177 WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. W537 ACTIVE, CAE 1176 CLOSED. SURFACE - FL390, 09 NOV 20:00 2010 UNTIL 10 NOV 01:00 2010. CREATED: 08 NOV 20:52 2010

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (4, Insightful)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176076)

Wrong date. November 9 is today, not last night.

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176208)

It was Nov 9 GMT.

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176266)

...is that really what you're going with?

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176230)

Wrong date. November 9 is today, not last night.

Hah. You think last night was interesting.

Just you wait...

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (3, Informative)

locofungus (179280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176258)

Being in the UK, who are currently on GMT, I can tell you that it's not yet 20:00 on 9th Nov. Not for another 2 hours.

If these times are local times then it's even worse.

Either there's been a mega screw up and the missile was launched early (or the announcement was late) or this is for something else.

Tim.

Re:It's not a mystery, people are just dumb (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176402)

Remember - the Internet is killing investigative journalism.

Solid fuel, for sure... (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176026)

That is a *big* rocket. Solid fuel, for sure.

I'd say that it's too BIG to have come out of a sub, but there doesn't seem to be a more likely prospect. Will we have to wait for Obama's Asia trip to end for the Navy to own up to this?

Re:Solid fuel, for sure... (2, Interesting)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176216)

Trident II's are 44 feet tall, which is a good ballpark for this object, but their 'trail looks completely different (~1:20 in the vid). [youtube.com]

New type?

Missile defence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176032)

If the Pentagon didn't know about it why didn't they shoot it down? Looks like it boosted within site of Vandenberg AFB.

Re:Missile defence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176096)

You mean sight? Because "site" would have a substantially different meaning here.

Where'd it go? (1)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176034)

Anybody know where this thing came down? The article says nothing about the course of the missile, just its start point.

Also, seems to me like the "show of force" for Asia's benefit explanation is pretty lame; wouldn't you rather do that over there where, ya know, they could see it?

Re:Where'd it go? (1)

paperdiesel (809538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176220)

Exactly. The whole time I'm watching the news coverage and reading the article (crazy, I know...), I'm thinking "Ok, so where did this thing END UP, exactly?"

It seems to me that finding out where it went -- and what happened when it got where it was going -- are just as important as knowing where it came from. Why is no one asking about that?

Re:Where'd it go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176270)

It just launched. Takes between 25 and 55 minutes for ICBMs to reach their target usually, depending on trajectory.
So within the hour we should know.

Sounds like... (2, Funny)

the_one_wesp (1785252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176044)

Lt. Chillders had his woman down there, demonstrating how to "launch a missle," and somehow, through some "unknown act" the big red button got pushed.

Gilly...!!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176046)

Yeah, I hate that sketch, too.

Backup your data, (1)

sbenson (153852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176056)

Maybe the EMP did not go off this time. You should back up all that pirated porn if you live in L.A.

where did it *go*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176058)

So, umm, where did it go? Just splash down in the pacific somewhere? I'm sure other first world nations know exactly who was there to pick it up.

Seeing as DHS Threat adviso remains at just Orange (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176070)

It is obviously some super-secret government/military thing.

If it was not sanctioned by the military, we would be at high alert right now, right?

First Suspect : ( +4, Informative ) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176084)

should be Sarah Palin [cbsnews.com] who ordered Ben Bernanke to seize and desist from QE2.

Looking forward to Rand Paul filibustering the Senate vote to extend the U.S. debt ceiling, thereby declaring the former U.S.A. to be in de facto default on its outstanding debt.

Yours In Electrogorsk,
Kilgore T.

No! The OTHER big red button! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176108)

Hurray, an ICBM got launched! WWIII is here!
Finally, my years of hording supplies and fortifying my re-purposed Y2K bunker are going to pay off!

I just hope some game developers survive... I can't wait to play the video games that will be based on this new Earth-shattering war!

FAA NOTAM (2, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176120)

KZLA LOS ANGELES A2832/10 – THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED DUE TO NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION ACTIVATION OF W537. IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, ALL NON-PARTICIPATING PILOTS ARE ADVISED TO AVOID W537. IFR TRAFFIC UNDER ATC JURISDICTION SHOULD ANTICIPATE CLEARANCE AROUND W537 AND CAE 1176. CAE 1155 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1316 & CAE 1318 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1177 WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. W537 ACTIVE, CAE 1176 CLOSED. SURFACE – FL390, 09 NOV 20:00 2010 UNTIL 10 NOV 01:00 2010. CREATED: 08 NOV 20:52 2010 It's not a mystery, it's been planned and announced.

Re:FAA NOTAM (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176148)

Check those dates and compared to the date of the event in TFA.

Zulu time (3, Informative)

Slutticus (1237534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176328)

I don't think NOTAMs are in local time

Re:FAA NOTAM (0, Redundant)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176176)

Today is November 9th. The warning is for November 9th. The launch was last night.

Mythbusters (4, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176128)

Missile firing off the coast of California? Gotta be the Mythbusters. This week's myth was that you could easily build and fire a missile near the US without being caught. Myth confirmed!

Re:Mythbusters (5, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176188)

If it was Mythbusters, it was not a rocket, but another water heater.

--
BMO

How are you gentlemen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176136)

Someone set up us the missle!

Engage! (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176150)

"It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that," speculated Ellsworth.

Just because, you know, we outsourced all our missile manufacturing to China and we just weren't that sure it would work.

Missile of the coast of California? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176166)

Maybe the whole silicon valley decided to offshore itself?

It was mine (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176174)

It was mine, I was launching my orbital Laster beam.

Re:It was mine (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176224)

>Laster beam

Well, I've got a firster beam, but it keeps getting modded down.

--
BMO

Re:It was mine (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176244)

But there are no sharks to attach it to in space!

Not my secret base (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176180)

GUYS, I want you to KNOW, it is NOT the location of my secret evil lair. Or ANyone else's. THere IS noevil Lair. really. Don't come searching. Please. The squid are causing enough problems. I mean. Ignore that.

SPECTRE (1)

elton (5651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176194)

It's obvious who it is: SPECTRE [wikipedia.org]

Just wait for the USAF to deny it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34176206)

Just wait for the USAF to deny it, and we'll know it was theirs.

It's just a jet contrail (5, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176212)

An expert named Brian on the seesat-l list [satobs.org] says:

This pops up every once in a while. Seen it myself.

It's an airliner leaving a contrail that's being lit by the setting sun.
It appears to be going straight up because it's coming straight towards
the observer from over the horizon.

If we had a time, direction, and location of the viewpoint it would
not be difficult to determine which flight it was.

The contrail more than likely also shows on satellite weather imagery.

As many of us here know who have observed known missile launches, this
thing is moving WAAAAAAAAY too slow.

Re:It's just a jet contrail (1)

allawalla (1030240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176398)

I am not sure how you qualified Brian as an expert... but this explanation sure sounds good.

Seems clear... (2, Insightful)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176228)

Seems clearly likely that the US military knows exactly what it is and doesn't want to talk about it. (Maybe it's high up enough that even the local commanders don't have a full picture)
Considering how this country often goes apeshit over fake or small threats, hell hath no fury like the US facing an actual incident. :P

Another possilibity... (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176240)

The State Department getting a diplomatic communication from China or Russia that just says, "Don't fuck with us."

Sheep (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176252)

Two months later a small Chinese village will be found to be non-existent. But no one will put two and two together =( Poor sheep.

Skynet misfire? (1)

smammon (88123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176264)

I guess Skynet hasn't learned it's lesson about Windows Vista yet... Wrong way, Wooton er Mr. 1000...

Obama finally snapped (2, Insightful)

tautog (46259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176284)

Here's yo free shit, motherfuckers!

"...speculated Ellsworth." (1)

ciscoeng (411359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176310)

'"It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that," speculated Ellsworth. '

What likely happened:

Obama: So, Mr. Ambassador, if you'll be so kind as to turn on CNN. Oh hey, look at that, we launched an ICBM. Rest assured, your enemies are our enemies."

NOT the first mystery missile (3, Interesting)

trelayne (930715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176370)

This isn't the first mystery missile that has been launched near a coast that has baffled military and intelligence experts. It happened 12 months ago off the coast of Canada where THREE missiles were seen. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/28/ufo-newfoundland-dnd.html [www.cbc.ca] http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jjl6k8NB7mE [youtube.com]

Nuclear Launch Detected! (2, Funny)

Crasoose (1621969) | more than 3 years ago | (#34176384)

You have 10 seconds to find the little red dot.
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