Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Mystery missile launch caught on camera off southern California coast
A missile launch off the southern coast of California remained a mystery Tuesday with no clue who launched it, or why.
The contrail was caught on camera by a KCBS news helicopter at around sunset Monday evening, approximately 35 miles out to sea and west of Los Angeles
It lit up the sky over the Pacific, but the US military claims to have no knowledge of it.
A navy spokesperson told KCBS that no navy activity was reported in the region.
A sergeant at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County said a Delta II rocket was launched from the base last Friday, but insisted there were no launches since then.
According to Fox News, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and NORTHCOM (United States Northern Command) would only say they were aware of the launch.
However one unnamed senior defense official added: "There was no threat to the homeland."
On viewing the footage, former deputy defense secretary Robert Ellsworth speculated on KCBS that the launch could be a show of military muscle.
"It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine … to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that," Ellsworth said.