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GeorgeGee's avatar

Whom do you think is launching mystery missiles near Los Angeles?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4925points) November 9th, 2010

Serious question. A large missile was seen launched about 35 miles west of Los Angeles. The Navy and Air Force deny any involvement.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/09/national/main7036716.shtml

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27 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Missiles? It’s plural now?

YARNLADY's avatar

I heard the Air Force has not denied it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Excellent, @crisw… and the most likely explanation.

flutherother's avatar

@crisw Phew! I think you have just prevented a Third World War.

cockswain's avatar

Take us back to Defcon 5.

bob_'s avatar

It could be the case that it was the military, but not everybody knew. It would not be the first time.

Nullo's avatar

@cockswain “Defcon 5” is the lowest Defense Condition, not the highest.

cockswain's avatar

Yes, because there is no threat. That is what I meant in context of the link provided by @crisw . Thanks though.

CMaz's avatar

I did it. Trying to take out Southern California.

GeorgeGee's avatar

There will always be someone saying “nah, that’s just swamp gas,” but there’s video of this “launch,” and it sure looks like the flame of a rocket engine up there firing away, not a commercial jet contrail.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GCgDKNEwyY

And it’s consistent with the recent “show of force” the US has been putting on with Nuclear missle submarines SURFACING in several Asian ports.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/ssgn-726.htm
Keep in mind that these have traditionally been super secret subs that NEVER surface in public.

YARNLADY's avatar

@GeorgeGee I agree, the video they showed on the news today looked far more like a rocket than a jet, and I have seen both.

lillycoyote's avatar

@ChazMaz I thought it was some Californians who were angry because they’d been so certain that Jerry Brown’s governor days were over a long, long time ago. I thought they might be trying to take him out, in an over-the-top California kind of way.

CMaz's avatar

Funny thing about Jerry Brown. All those years ago he wanted to block the boarder better.
Suggesting that we put military bases along the border.
Predicting the problems we are now having. :-)

flutherother's avatar

@crisw It seems the Pentagon have now accepted your explanation

GeorgeGee's avatar

Smells like a cover-up.

crisw's avatar

Amazing how some people can tun everything from vaccinations to artificial sweeteners to contrails into a vast conspiracy theory!

flutherother's avatar

@crisw Here is another odd looking contrail

lillycoyote's avatar

@GeorgeGee What exactly do you think “they” might be covering up?

And here’s a link to Contrail Science, which came from link @crisw provided with a more detailed explanation of the “science” and mathematics behind this thing; why what makes it “look” like a missile launch has a lot to do with perspective and angle of view. The first part of the author’s discussion is regarding a similar incident that occurred in January but it’s been updated with information about this incident, including, at the end, a few very important point made by an actual rocket scientist.

GeorgeGee's avatar

I gave a reference earlier, in case you missed it.
July 5th, 2009, North Korea launches seven long range missiles, source: Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/04/AR2009070400061.html
On September 28, 2009, Iran launched long range missiles.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33041226/
On June 28th 2010, the US 7th fleet put on a “show” to intimidate China and North Korea. They simultaneously surfaced three nuclear missile-equipped subs, the USS Michigan in Pusan, the USS Ohio in Subic bay, Phillipines, and the USS Florida, by Diego Garcia. These are “Ohio” class subs each of which carries 7 Tomahawk missiles each with multiple warheads capable of taking out multiple cities on distant continents. Prior to this event, these subs have never surfaced in public, they are always on the move under water. And in case you’d like a very reputable source for this, check out the webpage of the commander of the 7th fleet:
http://www.ctf74.navy.mil/imagery/2010/06.htm
On July 24th, North Korea reacted to the intimidation attempt by declaring war. Who says? Reuters says.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66M10I20100724
While you haven’t been noticing, this show of force has been continuing back and forth between the US and a number of countries it has differences with. Launching a missile west of Los Angeles is small change compared to some of these events, but it is consistent with recent history, and it reminds certain other countries that we have the wherewithal to take them out whenever we care to. Why would you be surprised if the air force says “Missiles? what missiles?” They’re COUNTING on your ignorance of current events and assume that you will accept the explanation that it’s just swamp gas… or contrails… or whatever. In other words, don’t worry your pretty little head and let the big boys handle international policy.

lillycoyote's avatar

@GeorgeGee Oh, please, really, I saw your previous link. It’s link to something that was secret and no longer is, or you wouldn’t be able to provide such a nice, informative link. All those things you link to are public knowledge. It’s all saber rattling that depends on each party knowing what the other party is up to, what it’s all about. And if Reuters, and MSNBC and the Washington Post knows about it, it isn’t really a secret is it? You’re talking about things that have been well documented by the press. You’re talking about back and forth shows of force that each of the participants have not only acknowledged, but announced as a show of force. What would be the purpose of the U.S. military launching a missile off the coast of Los Angeles and then denying responsibility for it? What are they covering up?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Quite simply they stand to gain by saying “missle, what missile?” Even faced with video evidence of a missile launch, a simple denial (“there was no missile”) is adequate to make many people ignore it, probably including you. Let’s suppose for a moment they said “We are muscle flexing, trying to intimidate Iran, North Korea and China, and reminding them that we have ICBM missiles pointed at their heads.” Then you might get groups of protesters in Washington DC saying “Stop Provoking War!” and other such troublesome things. Maybe you missed Kenneth Lay’s remarks before the collapse of Enron. If he told the truth (It’s a house of cards that’s about to collapse!) investors would have run for the doors, but again, the great masses are happy with a bald faced like saying “everything is rosy” and few bother to try to find out what’s really going on.

cockswain's avatar

@GeorgeGee So it is possible. Does this mean it is likely? Is it practical or reasonable to believe this is true and spread the “news”?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Is it likely that a missile was launched? Sure, testing and muscle flexing go on fairly regularly, and the current trend in muscle flexing that I documented above makes it all the more likely in this time frame. What makes this incident unusual is that it was caught on video. I believe that was unintentional and embarrassing to those who gave the authorization. I think they were perhaps afraid of being called irresponsible doing this so close to a major population center.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@GeorgeGee I somewhat disagree.

While missile tests and launches do happen frequently enough that they are no longer front page news in our papers or the lead story on television, when they are planned they are also generally announced so that the right people will be sure to notice… and will know that it’s a planned event.

There is still enough suspicion around regarding sneak attacks that no one in a responsible position in the US military is going to fire off a missile without an announcement.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Well it would certainly be nice if every action was carefully considered in advance, minimizing negative impact, panic, and so forth but one needn’t look very far to find many exceptions to that objective. For example a secret mission last year by the Department of Defense flying the Air Force-One plane, accompanied by an F-16 fighter, low over the Statue of Liberty and various New York buildings last year. The purpose? To get some nice publicity photos. The White House gave approval and they notified the FAA, but many people were out of the loop and panic ensued as New Yorkers once again believed they were under attack.
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/lowflying_planes_near_statue_o.html

Shuttle128's avatar

There is literally no difference, physically, between airplane contrails and rocket plumes. Both are clouds formed from water vapor in the exhaust of a fuel burning engine.

I’ve lived in Florida all my life within spitting distance of Cape Canaveral so I’ve seen quite a few rocket and shuttle launches. In every launch the vehicle is easily viewable and slightly separated from the plume and exhaust. The rocket exhaust is usually visible as a bright spot, usually white or light blue in color, to the rear of the vehicle. In this case the vehicle appears to be reflecting light from the sun, as the color is that of the setting sun and there doesn’t appear to be a vehicle and separate bright spot like in most launches. You’ll also notice that in the video the bright reflection is not constant like an engine exhaust would be.

Just from viewing the CBS video I’m fairly certain that this is an airplane contrail and not a rocket plume.

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