the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Hide the Incline!

Posted by Jeff Id on November 9, 2010

UPDATE: I’m totally wrong!

I understood some of the images as being after the event. Look though at the diffusion of the contrail in the shot below where the plane is still glowing at the top.The contrail behind had a long time to diffuse so this is not  a missile.

OOPS!  It takes only one image to disprove a theory!  At least it was fun.


A missile plane was launched off our coast today, in case you are new here, I’m an aeronautical engineer.  I’ve watched rockets and planes my whole life.  Today a mysterious missile was launched off the California coast which was very disconcerting.    The pentagon is calling it everything except what it was.

No US agencies are claiming responsibility

Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters the video is so far “unexplained” by anyone in the U.S. Military.

Multiple sources are giving false potential explanations while couching their words but this video should kill the whole plane concept outright…

What is interesting in the commentary is the ex-defense secretary states that it is far bigger than a tomohawk. He also didn’t mince words about what it was.  From the video, which likely won’t last much longer, you can see there is a light at the head of the contrail.  What is more telling is that there is no gap between the light and the smoke.  That means that the smoke is not water vapor.  Were it vapor, there would be a gap of clear air as the gas cooled and the air condensed.   Think of any plane contrail you’ve ever seen, were there any rocket style lights behind the plane? Did the vapor touch the plane or form behind? More importantly than even that, the contrail has turbulence which has a visually significant size. You can judge the size of the contrail by the roughness of the column.

There are more hints to the size and direction of this thing, here is a photo of the contrail after the fact:

In the above photo, note the wave of the contrail as it passed through the topmost cloud layer in this photo taken well after the launch.

Above, the light of the solid rocket engine can be seen penetrating the smoke.

If that is unconvincing, this shot  below shows the thick lower atmosphere contrail when the missile was slower, followed by the thinner one as it gains speed.

What is more telling than even all of this overwhelming evidence, is the angle of the contrail.  From a sub, missiles launch vertically, it is only after they gain aerodynamic speed that they begin to tilt over using air for lift.  See the straight up path, followed immediately by the course correction!  That is exactly the trail you would expect from a missile.  The multiple slightly awkward course corrections are also indications as well.

What we have folks, is the launch of a major scale missile off the coast of California and nobody filed for FAA clearance.  There are far too many clues as to what it was and every military in the world is fully aware of this event.

It was a major missile too because of the size of the contrail and the slowness of the far off bright light, which will make the future handling of this interesting.  Can we assume it is coincidence that a presidential Asia trip is in progress?  The US wouldn’t dare mess with that without a purpose I don’t think.  In fact I can’t recall ever seeing that sort of ‘show’ from the US – not that it would be impossible.   Does that sound like Obama’s style?

How do I emphasize this enough,  NORAD can track a baseball in orbit.  They would not miss a major launch and for the pentagon to pretend that they might not know if it were a plane or a rocket, is a LIE.  You are being lied to by the US government.  We don’t know the reason for the LIE but it is still a LIE because the radar is too sensitive to not know.  Of course the public will believe much of what is said if it is said in a reasonable manner but when you are clearly being LIED to, you should pay attention.

The video is incomplete, the contrail comes to an abrupt halt and without full video how can we interpret it?  From my opinion, it looks like a first stage launch of a solid rocket booster from a sub (because there is no land).  The only question I have is how they shut down the rocket so instantaneously.  Where is the falling junk or the next stage?  That means to me that it was likely of US origin.

Still there are two possibilities.

1 – the US is launching hardware outside of treaty and prohibited law.

2 – Someone who doesn’t like the US, just showed us that we are very vulnerable.

In either case the US government has some excuse to lie.

87 Responses to “Hide the Incline!”

  1. Intriguing!

    I do not understand these observations, nor do I doubt the ability of our government to deceive.

    We live in interesting times!

    With kindv regards,
    ‘Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  2. boballab said

    Jeff to me as a USN vet it looked like an errant Tomahawk launch.

    The above link is a shot of a Tomahawk launch.

    Tomahawks for those that don’t know are a subsonic missile, ie they fly the same speed as a 747 airplane, so that explains the low speed. Also just to the Southwest of Santa Catalina is the island of San Clemente that is home to a USN Rocket test facility and is where the USN does live fire exercises in the San Clemente Gunnery Range.

    The U.S. Navy acquired the island in 1934. It is the Navy’s only remaining ship-to-shore live firing range and is the center of the integrated air/land/sea San Clemente Island Range Complex covering 2,620 nm² (8,990 km2).
    During World War II, The island was also used as a training ground for amphibious landing craft. These small to mid-sized ships were crucial to the island hopping that would be required to attack any of the islands occupied by the Japanese.
    It is an active sonar base and has a $21 million simulated embassy for commando training.
    There is also a U.S. Navy rocket-test facility on San Clemente. Some Polaris-program test rockets were launched from San Clemente between 1957 and 1960.

    Then take into account that this was seen within 35 Miles of LA and it happened yesterday. If there had been a plane at that altitude, at that time and at that location LAX and the US military would have been tracking it on radar. Anyone that thinks a Jet can get within 35 miles of a major American City with out it being tracked in this 9/11 world is smoking crack. So the Plane excuse is bogus on that ground, they would have know it was a plane 5 mins after KCBS asked YESTERDAY. Now take this into advisement: The USN doesn’t fire off a lot of Tomahawks in exercises due to cost. The older Tomahawks are being replaced by new purchase (remember alot of them were used in the past 20 years) so if there is a manufacturing flaw or internal programing problem in the new missiles the Pentagon is NOT going to advertise that no matter what since the Tomahawk is the USN’s front line weapon. So with all that in mind OCCAM’s Razor is that it was an errant Tomahawk from a US Navy ship off the coast of San Clemente.

  3. Steve Koch said

    There was a very large helicopter (Chinook?) in the same video, maybe there to take pictures of the flight and do telemetry acquisition. I read in the LA Times that the US Navy had sent out a warning that that particular section of the sea was off limits at that time. I don’t think it was a surprise to the USA.

    My guess is that it was an ally doing a test firing from a sub. Maybe a message to Iran?

    OTOH, why test it right off the coast from LA where you are guaranteed to frighten the population? It should be mentioned that Obama wants the Senate to ratify a nuclear arms limitation treaty asap. Could this be the Chicago school of public relations in action?

    What is amazing is that there is still no info on where this thing landed.

  4. boballab said


    Steve see my link to San Clemente Island to find that the Poseidon Submarine missile system was tested there, then look at the map on the wiki site. I was in the USN from 1984 to 1995 and San Clemente is where the Navy drops bombs from aircraft, as well as test their gun systems for Shore bombardment and do live fire exercises for their shipboard Missile systems. Now if there was a screw up with the GPS mapping system in the missile that caused it to head 180° out from its programed course it fits everything about this exhaust trail.

    Think of this:

    A new Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer west of Santa Catalina island is doing a missile fire test by firing off a Tomahawk at San Clemente test range south of them. They fire the missile and because of a built in flaw the missile thinks North is South and South is North (this has happened before in the early missile programs). So instead of flying to San Clemente Island it flies north past LA and is seen by that Helicopter. Also since it is a Tomahawk it will not go Supersonic, it can only fly at speeds comparable to a jet airliner. Also since it is a Cruise Missile it can change course in mid flight unlike a ballistic missile.

  5. Jeff Id said


    I think the missile had a solid rocket with course correction ability. Ballistics can course correct until engine cutoff. Because it was A SRB, it was potentially supersonic.

  6. agesilaus said

    Well if it was a foreign boat that close to the coast the Navy must be falling down on the job. Many a time we were ordered out of bed and over to the boat in Dago to go chase foreign boats off the coast, way off the coast not any 35 miles. The various ASW detection systems were very effective.

  7. Jeff Id said


    Exactly, if it were a foreign boat, it is a fancy new one which likely didn’t launch a rocket.

    Why would the US launch a rocket and then claim they didn’t?

  8. boballab said


    Tomahawks are Solid Rocket fueled. Also over on WUWT someone found that a NOTAM was put out yesterday at that time by the USN:

    JG says:
    November 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    A Notam was put out for that area for 20:00 yesterday.


    The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division is the USN’s Weapons development branch, so the odds of it being a ballistic missile over a Cruise missile or a AAM is low since the only ballistic missiles the USN uses it Trident which is not being looked at for replacement at this time.

    The Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWCWD) is an organization within the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), dedicated to maintaining a center of excellence in weapons development for the Department of the Navy (DoN). NAWCWD has two locations in sunny Southern California; China Lake hosting the land test range and Point Mugu hosting the sea test range.

    Two things since that came out (he didn’t provide a link so far:
    1. That NOTAM is for a weapons test in that area
    2. if you check out the NAWCWD site you will see they deal in AAM and ship launched cruise missiles

    AIAA Point Mugu. “Established in 1946 to provide a comprehensive test and evaluation site for tactical missiles, Point Mugu has been instrumental in the development, test, evaluation and inservice support of systems including Regulus, Sparrow, Phoenix, Bullpup, Harpoon, SLAM, Tomahawk, Standard, and Rolling Airframe Missile. The first missile launch from an operational submarine was also accomplished at Point Mugu.”

    LOGIR. A low cost, precision accurate, enhancement kit for rockets, able to kill large numbers of small moving targets in a single sortie quickly and surgically, with reduced pilot exposure. LOGIR does for rockets what JDAM does for iron bombs!

  9. Jeff Id said


    there we go. Now why the denials? Did they want the press?

  10. Graeme said

    Chinese Jin Class Missile submarine at

    JL-2 SLBM at

    Chinese penetration of US Navy ASW defenses with a Song class boat at

    My take is that its a message from the ChiComs. Note that the PLA (PLAN) sometimes do things that surprise the Party. like the ASAT takedown with a missile awhile ago.

    I have an open Q? – Is the PLA the military arm of the Communist Party, or is the Communist Party the political arm of the Military. I.e. who is the real centre of power within China, or is it a playing off between the two groups, who sometimes seem to surprise each other.

  11. agesilaus said

    I’ve seen Tomahawk launches from the bottom up and they generally follow a fairly low trajectory. Popping way up just increases the chance of them being picked up by radar after all, and that defeats the purpose of them being ground hugging. Of course it could be a wild shot but that close to the coast? And the safety officer would have brought it down.

  12. tallbloke said

    Guys, relax. This was obviously a brit tourist using up a spare rocket left over from Guy Fawkes night celebrations on Nov 5th.

    We let rockets off every year to celebrate Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up the houses of parliament with barrels of gunpowder in 1605. 🙂

  13. boballab said

    Hit submit to soon:

    Look at the Partner list for Point Mugu:

    Foreign. Australia, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK.

    Click to access WDQF2010Final.pdf

    As to why they wouldn’t admit to it? Simple because it is a Black Weapons test. This is just like with the F-117, they were flying the F-117 past LA and out to sea for secret weapons tests for years before they acknowledge the thing. The early F-117 pilots joke about how they caused hundreds of UFO stories and how the Air Force kept going: “What aircraft? No, there was no Aircraft there it was nothing but birds, or Venus or Methane Gas or…”

  14. boballab said


    That would be my second guess if there just didn’t happen to be a NOTAM for the area and two US Navy weapons test ranges nearby. What better way to send a message to the US.

  15. smokedgoldeye said


    “A Notam was put out for that area for 20:00 yesterday.”

    But the “missile” was launched at 17:00…?

  16. smokedgoldeye said

    “On Tuesday, a Chinese official speaking before Volcker at the financial forum repeated Beijing’s criticism of the move.

    “If the United States can increase the volume of dollars and it can transmit inflation to other countries to lessen the pressure of debt, then it will bring about a catastrophic influence on the world,” said Cheng Siwei, a deputy chairman of China’s legislature.”

  17. smokedgoldeye said

    The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced


    Last updated at 00:13 10 November 2007

  18. boballab said


    Times in NOTAMS are not local but UTC so that is 2000 UTC not 20:00 PST (8pm PST for those that do not know 24hr clocks. Now do the math, since California is UTC -8 that turns 2000 UTC into 12:00 PST.

  19. smokedgoldeye said

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    But is there still the chance of a Navy cover up here?

    You posted:

    “someone found that a NOTAM was put out yesterday at that time by the USN”

    That hasn’t appeared anywhere in the news. Can we find other “someones” who can prove they actually received that NOTAM at noon — five hours before the launch? I guess I’m just saying: if I were the Navy and a Chinese sub snuck up on us (again), I’d want to make it look like it was really a US exercise….And why isn’t the Pentagon coming right out and saying “it was us, we issued a NOTAM at noon that day in preparation” One can see why it would be in their interest to put out false info…

    Be great if you could clear this up to for me! Thanks.

  20. wes george said

    OK, I’ll buy into the missile theory over the airplane contrail illusion theory. And I can see that the principle of parsimony suggests that the US Navy goofed up. The missile was likely ours, the pentagon is going slow while working out a public relation position that needs approval from the top.

    However, IF the missile isn’t ours-and we have to take this possibility seriously until the Pentagon comes clean-then the situation become very dire indeed.

    Obama is in Asia and his secretary of state, Hillary is (or was) in Australia where she made some rather pointedly undiplomatic statements about China’s growing military power. Something along the lines that China is behaving badly in the South China Sea and needs to be taught a lesson. She sounded like a Bushie Neocon, but the media here gave her a total pass. Meanwhile, she seems to have started talks on creating huge new US military bases in Australia! Why? All eyes are on China new aggressive Naval tactics in the eastern Pacific. In India, Obama also made sounds about a US/ Indian alliance to dominate the Indian Ocean shipping lanes. This tough talk would be considered a direct and vile affront by China which fears that the US will organize a coalition stretching from Japan, through SE Asia/Aus to India to hem in Chinese naval ambitions.

    Obama’s foreign policy (until this Asian tour) has been one of waffling weakness towards aggressive totalitarians-dropping the defense missile shield in Poland, no action on Iranian nukes or the brutal suppression of the Iranian protests after the rigged election, etc. etc…. Now Hillary and Barry are roaming around Asia talking tough on China?! It’s confusing… Maybe some pissed off Chinese generals decided to up the ante and call Obama’s bluff….

  21. boballab said


    I have been looking for it to get a source link but haven’t found one yet. The reason they wouldn’t acknowledge something that is our own or allies system test is because it is a new weapons system, ie Black. I have pointed out earlier that the F-117 was flying for about 6 years prior to the government admitting the thing existed, even though popular mechanics ran stories on it and a game company called Microprose came out with a flight simulator game for it in 1986 (started flying in 1981, acknowledged to exist in 1988). For years people were calling the LA news stations reporting seeing the F-117 and after each time that happened the Air Force denied, denied, denied until they admitted it existed and then admitted all those sightings were real. Just keep in mind that Military logic is not the same as regular logic as I know from years in the Navy.

    Here is an example from back in 1993 when I was stationed at Naval Medical Center San Diego as part of Fleet hospital 6. One day we got a secret message in telling us to prepare for a crash deployment to South Korea because they believed we were within 72 hrs of open warfare with North Korea due to the NK’s moving troops towards the DMZ and they were bringing Chemical Weapons with them. Now ask yourself why was this a secret since I’m sure the NK’s knew they were sending troops to the border and they certainly knew the US knew they were doing this since they know we have spy sats. So did they really need to classify that message as “Secret”?

  22. wes george said


    Why would the Navy do a “black” weapons test silhouette by the sun 35 miles west of LA on a clear afternoon? Kinda ruins the secret part. Although I suppose the top brass could be back home in time for cocktail hour.

  23. Andrew said

    That definitely resembles no jet contrail I’ve ever seen. I’ll admit that I am not (yet) the expert that Jeff is, but, seriously, look at the trajectory, it’s just totally wrong for a plane. So that explanation is a non-starter.

    Let me also say that we see quite a lot of rocket “contrails” in the here in Florida, where we can see the shuttle launches pretty close. So I have a pretty good idea what that sort of thing looks like. Once again, this trail is looking to me like something which is pretty obviously a rocket or a missile.

    So now the question is WHOSE WAS IT? The government? If so, they are either totally asleep at the wheel, because they really can’t avoid having access to the information on what they, themselves, are doing-or they are lying. I’d actually rather believe my government was lying to me about this, than that they are that incompetent. Some foreign power? How the heck would they possibly get a ship/sub that close to US without it getting noticed? If our security is that easily compromised…well, that’s unthinkable (and I think fortunately improbable). Some individual, or corporation? Not likely, given the apparent size. The government, then, remains the most viable possibility. Which means they are, indeed, likely lying to us about it…

  24. boballab said

    Here is going to be the bottom line:

    No matter how many people with expertise in the area of aeronautics, like Jeff, scream Rocket/Missile or someone like myself with Navy experience and seeing many shuttle launches while being stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando Florida and can recognize a rocket/missile launch the Pentagon will latch onto the “contrail” excuse. Keep in mind that the Pentagon still hasn’t confirmed the Contrail theory over 6 hours after that one “debunking group” came out with that theory, they have just started saying that it is likely now. It will be a short blogossphere debate that can be done in fun but don’t hold your breath that the Pentagon will come clean on this. Remember that it took the Air Force 50 years to even acknowledge that Roswell was not a weather balloon as they proclaimed but a top secret high altitude nuclear testing program (if that is even the truth). Did they really need to wait 50 years to admit they were testing the air for Russian Nukes? Not hardly since the program ended by the late 50’s but they kept quite on that all the way until the late 90’s to the early 2000’s.

  25. Bob Reed said


    I happen to agree that it was a missile and not a contrail. But I have to say, the NOTAM you posted was only in effect between 09 NOV 2000 2010 to 10 NOV 0100 2010 which in local time would translate to 09 NOV 1200 2010 to 09 NOV 1700 2010 in PST.

    These times would be the day after the episode. Was there a scheduling error? Who knows. Maybe this NOTAM was to prevent prying eyes while recovering the bird.

    My Regards

  26. Konrad said

    It definitely looks like a large solid or hybrid missile. The close connection of the exhaust plume to the engine glow and the density of the plume do not look like an air breathing jet or liquid fuelled rocket. The flight profile looks similar to a surface launched cruise missile being boosted to operational altitude and speed. The puzzling thing is the size of the plume and speed of accent seem to indicate a device larger than a cruise missile. The question I would be asking is what other UAV or UCAV technology does the US have that is air breathing after being ground launched with an SRB? I would expect a modernised D21 being ground launched to look like this.

  27. Konrad said

    Maybe something like this?

    Did anything go bang on the other side of the planet 1-2 hours later? Not of course that this would be noticeable amongst the constant cacophony of human violence around the globe…

  28. boballab said


    First keep this in mind: When they did the secret weapons tests for the Poseidon ballistic missile they did that at San Clemente Island which could be seen from Santa Catalina easily and the secret Trident Missile tests were done from Point Mugu test range which is less then 70 miles from LA:

    Military facility on the California Channel Islands, used for rocket launches in support of other missile tests from Vandenberg or Point Mugu. In use from 1957. Known to have been used for 10 launches from 1958 to 1984, reaching up to 672 kilometers altitude. Later plans were made for an off-shore launch platform here for the Starstruck vehicle.

    Point Mugu is located on the California coast, approximately 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles. As a result of its location, its interaction with civil air traffic and its exposure to non-aviation mission constraints and influences are complex and occasionally confrontational. Some of these influences arise from the rapid growth in the surrounding communities. Others arise from the intense environmental activism, both governmental and non-governmental, which characterizes the coastal areas of California. In at least some cases, aviation pressure is being applied on offshore airspace by environmental activists who are attempting to displace civil aircraft operations from close onshore airspace so as to reduce perceived aircraft noise and other effects at both populated and unpopulated seashore areas. Much of this highly publicized activism is directed specifically at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and is driven by residents of the coastal communities adjacent to Los Angeles. A recent FAA study indicated that displacing LAX departures five miles offshore could increase air carrier costs as much as $56 million/year. Previous studies had suggested a much lower economic impact.

    Now if your test firing goes off as planned they never see the thing near LA, however if it doesn’t then it can be, it was just bad luck the helicopter was in position to film the thing. Now as to why do it during daylight, it is so you can recover the missile/rocket body when it splashes down. Remember if they are firing from East to West the sunlight is traveling with them so they can recover what they need to for post flight testing. The CIA used to do this all the time to the Soviets when they fired missiles into the pacific, they would race out and recover them for intelligence, even if the USSR blew the Missile up they were still able to recover parts that were of valuable intell (see the book Blindmans Bluff).


    I doubt the Chinese sub angle myself since there is a Sonar station not far away on San Clemente Island:

    It is an active sonar base and has a $21 million simulated embassy for commando training.

  29. wes george said

    It is still doesn’t add up, Bob. Sure, weapons testing goes on in the LA region.

    But a real Black operation 35 miles from LA silhouetted by the sun? Black ops are suppose to be really, really top secret. I suppose the Navy does screw up sometimes. There are so many other better places to do a real black ops testing on the planet rather than on the doorstep of the greater LA area with its 13 million inhabitants. Like what if the missile veered off course to the east? If it were a more routine weapons test then the Pentagon would just admit it. The fact that air traffic control wasn’t forewarned means it wasn’t a routine test. Black ops in the area at the time seems irrational. Therefore, it’s probably one of three things:

    1. A Navy sub letting one loose in error and the Pentagon is slow in working up an excuse or is going to go for a Roswell style cover-up as Bob outlines in #24. In this case, maybe Bob is right, it WAS a black ops test, just that it was suppose to be a dry run without actually firing off the missile to announce the test to the entire world…

    2. It was a Chinese sub sending the Obama administration a message, a bit over-the-top like finding a horse’s head in your bed. (The Godfather) As Graeme #10 points out the Chinese ruling central committee might not even have been in on the prank, as Chinese generals have a history of taking matters into their own hands. The fact that the US has a sonar base in the area doesn’t rule out a surprise attack. Pearl Harbor had a primitive, but fully functional radar station too. It’s all what you are looking for. The San Clemente sonar base doesn’t gets many Chinese subs. I can imagine some cowboy Chinese sub commander on an adrenalin rush shooting off a blank just to prove he really did get within 35 miles of LA. Besides, who’s to say the US Navy didn’t know he was there, but was just nursing him along studying his tactics? Who knew he was insane enough to let an ICBM loose? This would definitely cause sh*tstorm at the Pentagon while the implications ascended the chain of command. Not surprising that they are publicly denying everything…or…

    3. Back to the contrail optical illusion/Great-Balls-of-Fire theories.

  30. boballab said


    Wes take a look at where the Navy’s top secret test site is: Point Mugu. Trident was tested there when it was classified as burn before reading, so was Tomahawk, Harpoon, Sidewinder and Phoenix. I gave the link to it and they say straight out that is where they do the over water tests. The sister base to Point Mugu is China Lake where they do the high energy laser tests.

    As to testing in the LA area, the F-117 was flown over it in the early 80’s as a test of the system and that was when the Stealth program was the blackest of the black programs. To show that being out in the middle of nowhere provides no relief from prying eyes, how many people each year take guided tours of the hills around Area 51 and also look up Operation Mogul:

    Project Mogul (sometimes referred to as Operation Mogul) was a top secret project by the US Army Air Forces involving microphones flown on high altitude balloons, whose primary purpose was long-distance detection of sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests. The project was carried out from 1947 until early 1949. The project was moderately successful, but was very expensive and was superseded by a network of seismic detectors and air sampling for fallout which were cheaper, more reliable, and easier to deploy and operate.

    In 1994/5, the Air Force published a report which concluded that Mogul Flight #4, launched from Alamogordo, New Mexico, on June 4, 1947, was what crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, and formed the source of the debris which sparked the Roswell UFO Incident.

    now doing that Top secret program out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico didn’t work out too well since everyone and their grandmother knows about the Roswell incident.

    Another example is that besides Vandenberg AFB (where the Air Force does their secret testing on launch vehicles) and the Cape, the other place the Air Force and Nasa launch classified satellites from is Wallops Island which is less then 2 hrs travel from Washington DC:

    Wallops Island is a 6 square mile (15.5 km²) island off the east coast of Virginia, part of the barrier islands that stretch along the eastern seaboard of the United States of America.

    It is located in Accomack County, Virginia. The island is just south of Chincoteague Island, a popular tourist destination.
    Wallops Island proper, originally known as Kegotank Island, was granted to John Wallop by the Crown on April 29, 1692. Ownership was divided down through the years, until the Commonwealth of Virginia seized the property in 1876 and 1877 in lieu of unpaid taxes. From 1877, ownership was again divided and sub-divided until 1889, when it was held by various trustees for the Wallops Island Club. The Club was incorporated and assumed ownership in 1933 as the Wallops Island Association, Inc. Association members and their families spent the summers fishing and swimming on the island. The Association grazed sheep, cattle, and ponies on the area until the mid-1940s. In 1947, the U.S. Navy began using the upper two-thirds of the island on a lease-rental basis for aviation ordnance testing. N.A.C.A. (The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), forerunner of NASA, leased the lower 1,000 acres (4 km²) for rocket launching facilities.

    The island is primarily used for NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, although the name also refers to the peninsula area surrounding the island for the purpose of mailing addresses.

    The current population of Wallops Island (the peninsular area, not the island itself) is 434.

    The bottom line is that whether you “buy” it or not, I’m not guessing on this aspect I’m stating fact: Every Missile/Rocket in the US inventory gets tested in the LA area, either via Vandenberg or Point Mugu. I provided the link to the USN site on Point Mugu where they listed every missile and rocket they have tested, now here is Vandenberg:

    Vandenberg Air Force Base is headquarters for the 30th Space Wing. The 30th manages Department of Defense space and missile testing, and placing satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast, using expendable boosters. Vandenberg is located on California’s “Central Coast”. Vandenberg and central California’s residents consider the climate mild. The 150 square-mile area between San Francisco and Los Angeles is surrounded by the Santa Ynez mountains, the Pacific, and ranches of northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

    Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California, about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It is operated by Air Force Space Command’s 30th Space Wing, and is the only military installation in the United States from which unmanned government and commercial satellites are launched into polar orbit. It is also the only site from which Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are launched toward the Kwajalein Atoll to verify weapon systems performance.

    The transition from Army camp to missile base was fully realized on 16 December 1958 when Vandenberg successfully launched its first missile, a Thor IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile). Vandenberg set another record on 28 February 1959, when it launched the world’s first polar orbiting satellite, Discoverer I. The launch vehicle for this mission consisted of a Thor/Agena combination.

    The first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Atlas ICBM, flew from Vandenberg on 9 September 1959. The following month, equipped with a nuclear warhead, the Atlas at Vandenberg became the first ICBM to be placed on alert in the United States. As a space booster, the Atlas was also configured with an Agena upper stage and carried many different types of satellites.

    The advent of solid-propellant gave the three-stage Minuteman ICBM a major advantage over earlier liquid propellant ICBMs. Minuteman I flight tests began at Vandenberg in September 1962.

    Now that should tell you that they do test top secret missile systems near LA (within 160 miles) and even put the first Nuclear tipped ICBM on the pad there. Now how long would it take for an Atlas ICBM to fly from Vandenberg, 160 miles, to LA with a Nuke payload? 5 mins max?

  31. HLx said

    Just wanted to note:
    Who gets to fire off a missile at that location: Only USA
    Would they be testing a new type of missile at that location: No!

    So it would be a know missile-type, fired by the US navy.

    I also agree that there has to be a reason for this, why did they do it?
    I don’t think it’s a message to the asian countries. If it is a message, it’s a message to US citizens: “Stay calm, we have got your back!”

  32. Lynn said

    I saw this post right after Jeff put it up and didn’t say anything because I thought everyone would sort it out very quickly. Boy, was I wrong! I can’t believe everyone here thinks this is a missile. Really guys, get a little perspective. It’s an aircraft coming toward the camera from way over the horizon, not going away. The light at the “back end of the missile” isn’t the flame coming out of the back-end of a missile. It’s the sun reflecting off the nose of the aircraft. Really. I’ve been a fan of this blog for a long time, but this post is, well, embarrassing.

    Please tell me you’re all kidding.

    BTW, WUWT has all the details you need understand the truth about this.

  33. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barrowice, Piers Corbyn. Piers Corbyn said: Mysterious Missile USA […]

  34. boballab said

    For those that think they don’t do top secret testing in the LA area here is this story from this past October of a SDI test of an airborne laser against a test missile launched from a barge off the coast at Point Mugu California, which is just 60 miles from LA.

    “Last week, in the skies off Point Mugu, California, a 747 equipped with solid state lasers successfully tracked and targeted at the speed of light a short-range ballistic missile target launched from a sea-based barge; however it failed to switch on and engage its megawatt class lethal chemical laser to destroy the boosting missile.

    The latest glitch came at a crucial time for the program, which has been under intense scrutiny from Congress looking to cut Pentagon spending on new weapons. The Pentagon quietly conducted the test late Wednesday night over a military test range near Point Mugu.

    Here is another classified program that was tested at Point Mugu:

    OUA flights were successfully completed this September at the Point Mugu Sea Range in California. The specific role for Joint STARS was as a command and control node as well as a third-party source to transmit in-flight target updates to guide Navy stand-off weapons to their target.

    Using the Link 16 Network Enabled Weapon software, messages were exchanged regarding targeting, command and control, identification and weapon-fly out information. During three days of testing, Joint STARS successfully completed 13 runs with two Navy F/A-18 Hornets, two Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOW C-1) and two instrumented target ships.

  35. kuhnkat said


    The moisture/cloud/contrail starts from the nose of an aircraft???

  36. wes george said

    Well, bob you make a good argument for a black ops test. I especially grok your comment: “Military logic is not the same as regular logic as I know from years in the Navy.” So I shall defer to your informed opinion. Although if it was a black ops test, some officers are deep doo-doo about now, since it’s not so black anymore.

    Furthermore, the circumstances surrounding this mystery missile, with the US President in Asia tut-tutting Chinese expansionism in the Pacific, seem a bit too coincidental to be a coincident. Something is up. If the Pentagon doesn’t defuse this story later today, something big just happened.

    Whatever the case, US, Chinese or Allied, misfired, black ops testing or some sort of confused US gesture of resolve, this damn thing was definitely a rocket, not a contrail.

    As an aside: I find it interesting that the media and the blogosphere has so little posted about the imminent confrontation between Israel and Iran. We are within few months to a few years away from a middle eastern war with global implications just as the Fed is freaking global inflation, destablizing the world’s economic balance of power. It’s the sort of historical conditions that existed before WWI and WWII. Appeasing, weak free world leadership, assertive totalitarians, unstable economic conditions and an enticing window of opportunity that might well slam shut after 2012. Meanwhile, Israel is facing its greatest ever existential crisis in a vacuum of US leadership. What’s coming will make the 1974 OPEC induced oil shortage look like the good old days. The Gulf states are scared sh*tless and about to switch sides to Iran, given US lack of resolve. You can bet that Russia, China, Venezuela, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, et al are calibrating their realpolitik ambitions to take advantage of the coming chaos. As Rahm sez, never let a good crisis go to waste. The proverbial Sh*t is about to hit the fan of history and we are busy adjusting the lint in our nation’s belly button–regulating barber shops and happy meals, obviously the greatest threats to our national security….

    Somehow, this mystery missile is just another piece in this geopolitical puzzle.

  37. Jeff Id said


    We don’t ever have to agree here but this looks exactly like a controlled SRB ascent to me. Here is a really huge one.

  38. Jeff Id said

    You can even see the slight dirtiness of the trail but its density is a huge key.

  39. Chris D. said

    Jets don’t “light up the night sky”, as was reported in this story.

  40. Mike S. said

    The light at the “back end of the missile” isn’t the flame coming out of the back-end of a missile. It’s the sun reflecting off the nose of the aircraft.

    I have trouble with that one. According to above posts, the event was at 1700 local time, meaning the sun was low to the west. The plane theory posits a plane flying west-to-east, meaning the nose would be pointed away from the sun.

    Also, the NOTAM listed above, in addition to being for the wrong day, appears to be for a different area. W537 is well to the northwest, and the closest CAE to the event – 1177, a little southeast – is listed as being available. Unless the NOTAM was issued for a recovery effort.

    If it’s an aircraft, “we don’t know what it is” makes zero sense to me. How could it not show up on air traffic control radar? Even if it couldn’t be identified, heading and altitude would have been observed.

  41. Paul Linsay said

    American West Flight 808, same time, same place, same contrails, next day

    Another aerospace engineer, it’s contrails

  42. Jeff Id said


    Your video’s are fairly convincing but there are some differences that I have trouble with.

    If you look at the thickness of the contrail smoke the plane contrails are wispy by comparison. Also, if you watch closely the plane is not attached to the contrail but out in front of it in all of the video’s shown. It kind of has to be out in front because the air from the engines of a plane is too hot for condensation. The other issue is the sudden stop of the plume. In the other video’s there is still condensation but it come’s and goes behind the plane as it transitions into different air and greater separation as the plane enters different air. The above sighting there was a slight flash of blue/green and it just stopped right at that moment.

    Still though, I may be forced to admit I’m wrong on this. It wouldn’t be the first time. I just tried to view the video at CBS again, and it is not functioning. Tried to find it somewhere else to review it again and no luck.

  43. Mike S. said

    Flight 808. Hmm. If correct, that would make sense – it did appear on air traffic control, but anyone looking for something “unidentified” wouldn’t have made the connection.

    The glow still bugs me though. Reflection off the nose makes no sense given the sun’s position, but perhaps the tail, wing or belly?

  44. Jeff Id said


    I’m not an expert but I think air traffic control uses transponders for tracking planes that far out. I’m not sure that they would pick up a launch.

  45. Mike S. said

    I just tried to view the video at CBS again, and it is not functioning. Tried to find it somewhere else to review it again and no luck.

    A segemnt of the CBS Early Show with this is on YouTube. There are some related videos to the right which might include some other clips of the same thing.

  46. Mike S. said

    I’m not an expert but I think air traffic control uses transponders for tracking planes that far out. I’m not sure that they would pick up a launch.

    That was actually my point back in #40 – sorry, my wording must have been unclear. If it was a plane they should have seen it on air traffic control radar, even if they couldn’t identify it as a particular flight. If nothing could be matched to it from ATC, missle seemed to me more likely.

  47. Carrick said

    I vote jet contrail. This is a known contrail. So is this. (There were both from the same day, illustrating the importance of the right weather conditions.)

    It is were a rocket, it would be a slow-flying one for a rocket, and flying more or less horizontal not vertical.

  48. Artifex said

    Sorry about that guys. It is really embarrassing to launch a missile from the secret base in order to hold the world hostage and have the video link transmitting the demands malfunction. This sort of thing never seemed to happen to Ernst Blofeld.

  49. Andrew said

    Ladies and gentlemen, a case study in how photo evidence can be very misleading…

    The new image is much more plausibly a plane. I still don’t get how the heck a plane would result in the older images, but I guess, you know, the details are not that easily discerned from a simple photo.

  50. Mike S. said

    Whoops. We’re all wrong. It was the Pleideans. 🙂

  51. Charlie A said

    Has anybody been able to find out the actual time and location of helo when the video was shot.

    There are various programs that record the location and altitude of flights. If we know the exact time and a general location we can check the validity of the contrail hypothesis. Particularly since there is apparently helo in the foreground of one of the shots.

    Looking at and using the replay function for 11/8/2010 16:45 to 17:10 there are several possibilities.

    A couple airplanes come through going NW, pretty much in the middle of the channel between Long Beach and Catalina. A couple others go almost due north from Catalina to LAX and then turn left about 10 degrees as they continue on.

    Altitudes are 22,000 to 34,000′. Some, such as SW1029, a 737-700 headed to Oakland are climbing. Right around 5PM. A few miles north of Catalina it is at 22,000. By the time it gets to LAX it’s at 30,000, and seems to level out at 32K soon after.

    Other possibilties include Alaska 225 and Alaska 233. at 32K and 34K’ altitude.

    Meanwhile, there are several AS 350 Astar helos doing circles out SW of Long Beach — probably sightseeing or TV helos doing videos of sunset.

    If we could find out the time and location of the video, the mystery can probably be easily solved.

    Another plane along that

  52. Anthony Watts said

    In the 30 years I’ve been in radio and TV I’ve taken dozens, maybe hundreds, of (lights, objects, things) in the sky calls.

    I’ve yet to see one unexplained by simple rather than fantastic facts. It appears the was US Airways flight AW808.

    See the update on WUWT along with a neat video from John Coleman.

  53. wes george said

    Oh, well, a bit embarrassing. Goes to show just how a little evidence combined with a good imagination can lead to ridiculous conclusions. The one positive thing about this whole kerfuffle is that it illustrates that skeptical minds are willing to admit their errors and change their position as the evidence evolves. Just like the recent Gavin post at realclimate where he admits they were so wrong about Mann’s climate reconstruction. (just joking.)

    I think I’ll just tip toe off stage right now….

  54. Mike S. said

    I’ve yet to see one unexplained by simple rather than fantastic facts.

    Well, I’ve seen a few where the “simple facts” used to explain things don’t quite seem to add up, but this no longer looks like it might be in that category. Especially since we have yet to see a video taken from a different angle that also looks like something rising vertically (it kinda belatedly struck me that, with a few million people down there and so many with camera phones and camcorders, if it was really a missle somebody else surely would’ve taken some “home video” of it and posted it on YouTube or something).

  55. tallbloke said

    “I’m totally wrong”

    Mike, Phil, Ben! Did you see how easy that was?

    Good on you Jeff.

  56. Geoff Sherrington said

    Please excuse, I have not had time to read all of the speculation above.

    If you want answers, ask Australia.

    Answer is Aloha 808, all birds are in the nest.

  57. mrpkw said

    I’m going to be laughing myself silly for a while with all the people that thought this was a missile and some of the wild theories about it.

    The best part will be how many people going forward will still think it was a missile launch and that there is a cover up going on !!

    No shame in admitting you were wrong!!

  58. Jeff Id said

    I’m often wrong as my wife will happily tell you. I’m occasionally right as well. Either way, I’ve lived with that curse for a long time now, the trick is learning to deal with it. 😀

  59. agesilaus said

    Just listened to a USAF General McInnery (probably spelled wrong) who is a pilot with a lot of experience with missiles and he insists that this was a large missile and probably a SLBM. This was on FoxNews He said he spent the afternoon looking at the video and also looking at Standard and Trident missile launch video. And went on to give several reason, mostly the same as yours Jeff, aboput why he is convinced that is was no jet.

    The woman commentator said she had spent the day talking to various aerospace people and the common opinion was: missile.

  60. Jeff Id said

    #59 It would be nice to have the full original video.

  61. agesilaus said

    I’m guessing this may be a USAF General(ret) since he doesn’t seem to be toeing the official line as you would expect from a active duty officer. And yes it would be good to have the full video.

  62. Eric Anderson said

    Jeff, I actually stopped by this evening to see if you were going to admit you mis-called this one. Kudos on having enough courage to admit you were wrong — something that is needed more than ever these days.

  63. Carrick said

    Jon Stewart skewers the media.

    Jeff’s comment about the dispersion of the contrail is completely correct. Stewart raises the issue of the time scale over which this was shot (10 minutes).

    I’ve seen real live missile launches, only if you zoomed in on one portion of the contrail did it even resemble that.

    Warning for the wise: Anytime you see a tight shot from the media, they are probably lying to you. Zombietim gives some nice examples of media lies.

    Unfortunately, you can’t trust anything our lying, manipulative media says. You have to learn all of the production tricks they use to create their little magical stories so you can deconstruct them to learn the truth.

  64. DeNihilist said



    “Jeff ID?”


    “This is agent M. We would like to have a quick meet with you.”


    “Ding -dong”

    …sound of door opening…

    “Hey Bud, what you doing with sun glasses on at 11 at night?”

    “Oh Mr. ID, don’t worry about that, just look at this pretty pen…”

    sudden bright glare, then fade to black….

  65. j ferguson said

    Interesting observation on another blog noted the odd tendency of people who find media reports in their own expertise to be unreliable at best and often totally wrong, to believe what they read in areas outside their expertise. Why?

    Some of us used to think it took media about ten days to get the story more or less straight on any aviation event, these often having combinations of technical issues and excitement. The information needed to reach an accurate perception of what had happened was almost always there from the start, but the guys writing it up were so woefully ignorant of physics and so forth that they couldn’t see it.

    In blogs we now have a confluence of well informed educated questioners who can very quickly hone in on the specifics of a particular event. I don’t think this is something the world has ever seen before.

    Whenever I get too comfy with how informative all this is and how much my views of how the world works have been better focused by reading here and there, I have a look st HuffPost and see the ravings of the multitudes regarding some new proposal to manipulate the climate. The world is coming to an end in 15 minutes and my Ipod will still be charging.

  66. Mike S. said

    “I’m totally wrong”

    Mike, Phil, Ben! Did you see how easy that was?

    Sorry – that’s way too simple a response for me. I prefer to keep obsessing over details, just changing the angle I look at them from.

  67. Like the blog content. Have a good knowledge more, Thank you.

  68. Kan said

    Do any of the global warming theories predict more UFO sitings?

  69. Carrick said

    J Ferguson:

    Interesting observation on another blog noted the odd tendency of people who find media reports in their own expertise to be unreliable at best and often totally wrong, to believe what they read in areas outside their expertise. Why?

    That’s an excellent point. It’s how Y2K became a looming disaster and (in my opinion) how the “C” in CAGW got inserted.

    Try and get somebody like James Annan or even Michael Tobis to defend any of the IPCC content addressing the catastrophic consequences of AGW—they won’t ’cause they can’t….

  70. j ferguson said

    Y2K was a godsend for a friend who got yanked out of retirement, paid a whole lot and spent 18 months fixing old Cobol. The problem with the C in CAGW is that they want to fix the world. Maybe in ten years we can take on the Universe.

    It would be wonderful if some of the people you mention would deign to explain their positions. One of the delights of Dr. Currie’s blog is that she seems inclined to explain things. What a gift to some of the rest of us.

  71. Eric Anderson said

    “Interesting observation on another blog noted the odd tendency of people who find media reports in their own expertise to be unreliable at best and often totally wrong, to believe what they read in areas outside their expertise.”

    This is a very pervasive phenomenon, and one very much worth paying attention to. Perhaps someone else described it earlier, but the recent observation owes its wings to Michael Chrichton. He called it the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.

    Incidentally, on a related note, there was a Texas A&M study a few years ago looking into the issue of how effective global warming advocates were in getting the important message out. They came to the surprising conclusion that the more people learned about global warming: (i) they less concerned they were about it, and (ii) the less personally responsible they felt for it.

    Just in looking at my own experience I can now see through all kinds of nonsense reporting and information about global warming/climate change/climate disruption far better than I could have five years ago. There are probably a lot of news stories or scientific-sounding statements that I would have just accepted at face value a few years ago, but now, having studied the issues in a lot more depth, it seems almost everytime I see a climate-alarm-related news story or scientific paper I can see huge flaws/contradictions/caveats/exceptions all over the place.

    Of course, just like everyone else I’m not immune to the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, so when the topic turns away from climate science or other areas where I have some decent amount of knowledge, to, say, economic affairs somewhere in Europe or political strife somewhere in Africa, I tend to just accept it at face value — I don’t have enough knowledge to identify the things that aren’t true.

    At least being aware of the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect, however, in areas where I don’t have expertise I at least know I should take what I’m being told with a grain of salt. I’d like to think I’m being sophisticated, but I’m probably not much more sage in my approach than what my grandmother would have uttered from her homespun wisdom: “There is always another side to the story.”

  72. j ferguson said

    Eric Anderson,
    A not-so-good effect of skepticism especially directed at the media is that one comes to disbelieve everything found there. The phrase “Scientists say” or “Experts say” is almost sure to trigger my quick conclusion that whatever it is most probably is nonsense.

    This cannot always be the case, but I suspect it is more frequently than not, so it’s a reasonable reaction.

    Oliver Manuel points us to Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the effect that government participation in science and academia could have. One such effect which I suspect Ike hadn’t considered is the effects of continuing support of “science” done by incompetents. There’s nothing like spending someone else’s money to make one lose contact with what’s important.

    I’ve been reading Charles Mackay’s 1850 book “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.” He goes on at length about the activities of the alchemists over a period of hundreds of years, men who devoted their lives to trying to discover methods for converting base metal to gold, and finding the Elixir of Life. It appears that in the beginning, these guys were serious but as time went on the group mostly consisted of charlatans.

    Suppose you’d commenced a career in paleo-climatology, for example, and now found proof of the concept inaccessible. Here you are with a career premised on the worthiness of the idea, yet it clearly cannot be made to produce reliable information on past conditions. What would you do?

    Some of our heroes go into denial and/or become charlatans. Others apparently suffer remorse and disappear. Anyone heard from Briffa lately?

    One of Mckay’s more comforting observations was that the public became much quicker at dismissing fakes as time went on and their careers were much curtailed. I suspect we might be at the threshold of such public sensitivity – driven by the continuing nonsensical and insupportable predictions of impending doom.

  73. kim said

    Yes, JF, Mackay has called this one. I’ve long said this episode in the history and philosophy of science may well inoculate us against an even more virulent strain of the disease. But then I consider that the pathophysiology was described a century and a half ago, and we are smack in the middle of the most life-threatening infection yet.

    And in an era of magnificent communication. What’s up with that?

  74. kim said

    Well, the quick communication simply allows the panic message to spread more quickly through the herd. And I have to believe the quick communication has stopped the herd on the brink of the cliff.

    Suppose the Canadian government had not seen fit to send the Hockey Stick to every Canadian household, significantly including that of Mrs. McIntyre. Where would we be now?

  75. Paladin said

    Here’s a blog link to a photographer who captured a webcam of a commercial flight at the same time/next day, which looks an awful lot like the shot of the “missile”. I was convinced it was a missile until I saw this picutre. Go to and judge for yourselves.

  76. […] Hide the Incline! « the Air Vent […]

  77. Derek said

    Regarding commonly misinterpreted observations.

    Please see post 41, in this thread.

    I simply ask everyone, have you ever seen a thermal image of an actual greenhouse. ?
    What does it show.?

  78. Derek said

    BUMP – Any responses to my post 77 here, please.

  79. agesilaus said

    “Glenn Beck said today that he has spoken to military experts about the mystery contrail from a few weeks ago and he says it’s definitely not a plane, but rather a two stage missile. He just wants to know where it came from, and he has a theory. Beck postulates that this missile was possibly from a Chinese sub off the coast of California, perhaps as a show of force to the world, but even more so to President Obama.”

    Today from Hotair RSS feed

  80. agesilaus said

    Link didn’t go in above

  81. inwaldo2 said

    Just Crazy…

  82. kuhnkat said

    A question for the experts here.

    All standard aircraft have transponders. If an incoming aircraft did NOT have its transponder functional there should have been an extra bit of communication with Air Traffic Control. Has any of this been documented? It is the only way I can think of that the aircraft would NOT have been tracked and matched to the contrail almost immediately.

    Of course NORAD, or whatever passes for our Air Defense now, should be able to track anything in our air space ESPECIALLY with no transponder, and, if not identified, should have had a large response. So, what happened?? Saying that this was just another aircraft is saying we have no Air Defense Command worthy of the name. Either they did not track it, showing extreme incompetence, or they knew what it was and knew it wasn’t something they should respond to. In the second case why couldn’t they simply tell us what they knew???

  83. kuhnkat said


    I was wondering what the explanation is for what you originally interpreted to be a jet or rocket nozzle? As at least one report I read stated, do you think it was just a reflection off of polished metal??

  84. Jeff Id said

    #83 Kuhnkat,

    I think the glare must have been off the polished metal. The thing is though that from the original video, I studied it pretty thoroughly for diffusion and the glare effect before writing this post. You can tell by my updated post that the glare is at the top of the contrail, there is a little separation of the dot from the contrail and the contrail has diffused already. I’m not sure the original video is the same as the video that I found later because the original disappeared. Unless someone did some fancy video editing, this top picture and surrounding clouds is proof to my eye that the thing was a plane.

    As to your previous comment, I’m not an expert on which equipment airports have available but airports operate primarily from transponders. These systems wouldn’t pick up an object with no transponder. I’m fairly certain that large airports would have active radar as well but the range may not be that great. Why would an airport need something beyond 15 miles for instance? But I really don’t know. Norad and shore defense radar would though, which is why the military should have been able to be quick and clear with their message. I wonder why they weren’t…

  85. kuhnkat said

    Jeff Id,

    Yes, large airports operate primarily from transponders which was why I asked. A scheduled flight into the LA area would be talking to ATC’s and would be immediately flagged as not having a working transponder so they could make extra air space to prevent close calls. An aircraft approaching the LA, or any large airport area, without a transponder and without contacting ATC would be considered a danger to air traffic and be open to large fines, arrest etc. It is odd that they would not be looking for a large aircraft flying without a transponder.

  86. Tracy said

    Yeah the conclusions from all the others are very much interesting, i really enjoyed the video very much.

  87. […] […]

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