Wednesday, November 10, 2010

False flag?*

As a lover of thriller novels, science fiction and apocalyptic storylines, this tidbit out of California caught my attention: what appeared to be a missile trail heading into space off the coast. Missiles aren't just launched willy nilly. Especially not missiles carrying large thermonuclear packages.

And most space launches are made from the East Coast, which allows the Earth's rotational velocity to aid the booster and makes sure debris lands harmlessly in the Atlantic.

So what is this?

The final countdown?

In the end, the generally accepted explanation was that it was a jet contrail seen from an odd angle, making it appear vertical instead of horizontal. I guess that works, physics-wise, but I still wonder why there appeared to be a glowing rocket motor at the tip of the smoke trail.

Here's an example of an actual contrail that looks like a missile launch...

Harmless, unless you're a high-flying bird.

... and here's what a real ICBM launch looks like... you can see that it does, in fact, move quite a bit faster than what was spotted in California.

The final countdown. (test-firing edition)

But if it is a missile, why are all the branches of the military, including U.S. Space Command, saying they know nothing about it? Could it be a vast conspiracy aimed at generating a hot new novel?

*is a great book title

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