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Who Fired this Missile?

The Navy says it wasn’t them. NASA says it wasn’t them either. By all accounts, including actual video captured by a KCBS-TV News traffic helicopter, a fairly large missile shot up out of the water west of Los Angeles, north of Catalina Island and 35 miles out to sea right around 5pm, PST on Monday November 8th.

Here’s the statement from NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command:

From: James, Desmond Lt(N) CAN NORAD USNORTHCOM HQs PA Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 12:57 PM
Subject: NORAD and USNORTHCOM statement – UPDATE

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

The latest:

NORAD and USNORTHCOM are aware of the unexplained contrail reported off the coast of Southern California yesterday evening. At this time, we are unable to provide specific details, but we are working to determine the exact nature of this event. We can confirm that there is no threat to our nation, and from all indications this was not a launch by a foreign military. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Former Deputy Defense Secretary, Robert Ellsworth was shown a video of the event and he said it definitely looked like a big-ass missile. Actually, I think he used the word, “large.”

He speculated, and underscores it’s just a guess, that with President Obama travelling in Asia, it may have been a show of military muscle, a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine.  Ellsworth suggested it may have been done “to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that.”

Hello? Didn’t we send a man to the moon? Don’t we have enough nuclear weaponry to explode the earth about a hundred times over? We really send messages this way to other countries? Well, ok, that was Ellsworth’s self-admitted conjecture.

I’ll tell you what, though. If it wasn’t us, we damn well better figure out who has the resources and the firepower to launch an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile out of the ocean near the 2nd largest city in the United States.

We’ll keep you updated as we get more e-mails from NORAD.


Note:  NBC News tonight is pretty emphatically reporting that it was not a missile but the contrail of an airplane, and likely a jumbo jet.  The appearance of an upward trajectory, says NBC, may have been an optical illusion.  NBC quotes military officials as saying they’re fairly certain it was not a missile and FAA officials who say no fast-moving objects were spotted on tapes of radar around that time of day.

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