Author Topic: Mystery Launch?  (Read 31114 times)

Offline Commander Keen

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #100 on: 11/10/2010 05:51 PM »
I'm glad to see that wisdom has largely prevailed on this site (unlike the commenters on other sites...yikes).  It is indeed a jet contrail.  Space (orbital or suborbital) launches around sunset or twilight look quite different, and they are visible just about *anywhere* in Southern California, not confined to a small band of observers in and around Orange County.  They look something like this:



That is the noctilucent cloud that I was talking about!  Big difference.  In addition, other people have watched the skies the next day and saw similiar features.  It is a jet contrail so we can finally put this to bed.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #101 on: 11/10/2010 06:18 PM »
If it was a missile, how come the pilots of AWE808 didn't see it?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #102 on: 11/10/2010 06:38 PM »
If it was a missile, how come the pilots of AWE808 didn't see it?


It missed?
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Offline hop

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #103 on: 11/10/2010 07:57 PM »
If it was a missile, how come the pilots of AWE808 didn't see it?
or the crew and passengers of dozens of other airliners and private aircraft that were passing through the area around the same time. This is one of the busiest bits of airspace in the world (see http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KLAX ). A contrail from a space launch or large missile would be visible from many flights in the area.

The fact that there isn't a flood of cell phone video of this event from many different angles is a pretty conclusive indication that specific geometry was required to make it look special.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #104 on: 11/11/2010 01:43 PM »
It would be nice of CBS to put up a proper full length video so one can figure this out.

It would be, wouldn't it?  It's certainly a high ratings video as it stands, ain't it?

I think not...

... therefore I am not!

That was truly excellent.  Don't worry.  I shall be using it without attribution at my earliest convenience!  Elliot Carver has always been one of my favorite philosophers.

So you're believing a camera-wielding traffic reporter over people who have seen launches?

Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?  It still looks to me like it goes behind the "upper" cloud bank in the video.  But I don't know what it is.  I do know that this is a UFO:

http://www.dalefield.com/earth/warmer.html
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #105 on: 11/11/2010 08:49 PM »
The story will disappear in a day, and the only thing left will be a few kooks with conspiracy theories. Those kooks will post about this for years.

It's been surprisingly persistent so far.

I'm encountering dozens of people in a couple other forums I frequent absolutely convinced it's a missile. A couple come up with partially supportable reasons, but most just settle for deriding anyone who thinks the US would not lie about an event they normally brag about (seriously - google "Trident test" or "Minuteman test" or "missile defense test" or "NROL launch." Secrecy about details is common. Denial of the very fact of a launch sits somewhere between extremely unusual and outright unprecedented).

A few other pieces of evidence in support of it being an aircraft I've come up with:

 - Russia and China have made no comments about not sharing information about a test that could potentially be mistaken for a nuclear attack. My understanding is such information sharing is the norm.

 - If it was another nation's missile that for some reason the military isn't using as a call for policy change, the military is strangely calm and collected. For example, my cousin who is an officer in a Minuteman maintenance squadron is bantering about the contrail video on the family email list instead of being stuck on base on alert with instructions not to talk to civilians, Obama made no changes to his recent trip itinerary, and there's no swarms of P-3's dropping sonobuoys off the California coast looking for the culprit.

 - An aircraft contrail in the right place appears in satellite images starting prior to the reported filming:
http://weblogs.dailypress.com/news/science/dead_rise/2010/11/nasa_says_mysterious_contrail_caused_by_plane_not_missile.html

 - The above link also points out a lack of the usual concerned 911 calls following actual rocket launches, supporting limited perspectives from which it appeared like a rocket.

- I think John Pike of Global Security already pointed out that if it was so secret to be worth not just avoiding admission, but lying about, there's almost no conceivable reason to launch within view of the largest city on the West coast instead of Kwajalein or a similarly remote location.

 - A longer video that reveals several things:
http://weblogs.dailypress.com/news/science/dead_rise/2010/11/nasa_says_mysterious_contrail_caused_by_plane_not_missile.html

1.) The plume thins out substantially and becomes short-lived 40 seconds in, indicating flight through drier air (well, or a staging event) and explaining why it wasn't noticed as it passed directly overhead.

2.) An increasing angular rate, suggesting it's getting closer, not arcing downrange and moving further away.

3.) Darkening as the contrail passes into the earth's shadow, effectively proving the east-bound trajectory and supporting the level-flight. A climbing, west-bound missile would definitely stay in the sunlight.

Also, assuming it was 35 miles away when filming started, as blindly guessed by CBS based on the distance to Catalina Island, over two minutes of flight at 39,000 feet and at a 757's cruise speed, the viewing elevation from the ground would change from 12 degrees to 23 degrees, explaining why viewers of the 20 seconds of video CBS originally provided did not perceive it getting closer.


I would have expected better from the guy from Jane's - seeing a plume in high-contrast lighting and assuming with no other reasoning this indicated particulate condensate from a solid-fueled rocket.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #106 on: 11/11/2010 09:57 PM »
I understand that the video was 10 minutes long, ie that the plume was filmed for 10 minutes. There is no missile in the world that burns for 10 minutes without staging, and probably not for 10 minutes including all stages without achieving orbital velocity.

Offline CessnaDriver

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #107 on: 11/11/2010 11:37 PM »
An interesting illusion, one I have noticed myself as I fly the same airspace off and on over the years, makes you look twice sure.


The real story for me has been the human perceptions of it afterwards.

Oh well, what you gonna do?

This illusion will keep happening again and again of course, so I think it will sink in in time for those that think something sinister or secret was occuring.

« Last Edit: 11/11/2010 11:38 PM by CessnaDriver »

Offline robertross

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #108 on: 11/16/2010 11:48 PM »
The story will disappear in a day, and the only thing left will be a few kooks with conspiracy theories. Those kooks will post about this for years.

Yup, including NASA...  ;)

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/mystery-contrail.html
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #109 on: 11/17/2010 12:18 PM »
Yup, including NASA...  ;)

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/mystery-contrail.html

Please note that the site actually debunks the conspiracy theory.  Isn't that the kind of thing you would prefer that NASA do?

Offline robertross

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #110 on: 11/17/2010 12:39 PM »
Yup, including NASA...  ;)

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/mystery-contrail.html

Please note that the site actually debunks the conspiracy theory.  Isn't that the kind of thing you would prefer that NASA do?

The 'winky' was used to play on the 'The story will disappear in a day...' comment  :)
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #111 on: 11/17/2010 01:22 PM »

The 'winky' was used to play on the 'The story will disappear in a day...' comment  :)

you mean Chris is going to mod it out of existance  :o
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #112 on: 11/17/2010 02:31 PM »
you mean Chris is going to mod it out of existance  :o

I wish.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #113 on: 11/17/2010 03:26 PM »
You mean Chris is going to mod it out of existance...

What UFO?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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