Mysterious Missile Spotted Off the Coast of Los Angeles
Mysterious Missile Launch off U.S. West Coast
A local news helicopter caught footage of a contrail appearing to be that of a missile ascending over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles on Nov. 8. Nearly 24 hours later, there remains no official explanation or announcement of a missile launch in the area. While some officials have raised the possibility that this contrail could have come from a jet or a weather pattern, the video footage available on open source appears to capture a flame emanating from the contrail’s source, making those two theories unlikely. Missile launches in the area are not uncommon. The U.S. military conducts ballistic missile and ballistic missile defense test launches in the area on a fairly routine basis, and scientific missions are conducted on a regular basis from Point Mugu, just north of Los Angeles — consistent with the orientation of the missile sighting and contrail. This sighting, however, was not preceded by a customary warning, and the U.S. Defense Department has denied that it was responsible for the missile.
The Defense Department also made clear that this incident did not pose a direct threat and was not the work of a foreign power. The U.S. government has said very little else about the incident, and it has neither increased threat levels nor issued warnings that would be expected if it was concerned with this incident.
There is an oft-repeated fear that a country like North Korea or Iran could sneak a nuclear device mounted on a missile into U.S. waters via cargo ships and then launch the missile into or over U.S. territory for a surprise nuclear or electromagnetic pulse strike. This is the doomsday scenario that comes to mind when hearing about a mysterious missile being launched off the coast of a major U.S. city, but the relaxed response from the Defense Department indicates that they knew all along that this incident was not such a scenario.
The U.S. operates constellations of satellites dedicated to detecting the slightest heat signature to be aware of any missile launch that may be happening that could affect the United States. It is thus odd that no one from the Navy or Defense Department has chosen to share more details to prevent a host of conspiracy theories and fear-mongering such an incident could spark. Given U.S. surveillance capabilities, it would seem that not only would the U.S. military know that there was a launch, it would know what it was, where it came from and whether it posed a threat.
Working with the knowledge we currently have, including the fact that the U.S. military conducts missile tests in this area on a regular basis, everything points to a missile launched by the United States. Still, why deny knowledge of something that appears to be a rather routine launch at a time when the president is out of the country? NORAD is expected to issue a statement on the incident in the coming hours, with which we expect this mystery to be cleared up.
See more at Stratfor.com
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