Mystery missile launch off Los Angeles: WTF?

UPDATE, 8pm: U.S. Navy admiral weighs in
FoxNews’ Shepherd Smith interviewed Ret. Navy Admiral John Stufflebeem, who posited three possibilities: 1) a U.S. government agency, 2) “a private rocketeer,” or 3) “something sinister.”

Stufflebeem stated that NORAD has sophisticated sensors scanning the visual and infrared spectrums, and if a launch doesn’t trigger alert thresholds, it must not be big enough to do us any damage. He also stated that atmospheric conditions (e.g., extra water vapor) could make the contrail look much bigger than it otherwise might look.

Smith was dubious, and suggested that the Government did launch something, but didn’t want to admit it. Stufflebeem replied that it doesn’t do any good for the Government to hide a launch — but that it may have been a classified-program launch. He didn’t speculate about what “something sinister” could be.

UPDATE 6pm: Was it an airplane exhaust contrail, instead?

More than 12 hours after a KCBS news helicopter videotaped a missile exhaust plume rising over the Pacific Ocean, some 35 miles off Los Angeles, the Department of Defense has no official explanation regarding who launched the missile or why:

“Nobody within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

Lapan said that “all indications” are that the Defense Department was not involved within the mystery object, and that the contrail might have been created by something flown by a private company.

Normally any missile test would require notification so that mariners and pilots could be warned or air space closed, but that may not have been done in this case, Lapan said.

“It does seem implausible, and that’s why at this point the operative term is ‘unexplained,’ ” he said. “Nobody … within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is.”

Missile tests are common off Southern California. Launches are conducted from vessels and platforms on an ocean range west of Point Mugu. (Thanks to AP via Navy Times).

Given the compartmenting of information in high-level “black” defense programs, it’s possible — but unlikely — a test launch could occur without the public-facing DoD staffs being notified.

If it’s not a hush-hush U.S. launch, nor a start-up’s commercial launch, then who could be responsible for launching what’s being called an ICBM from the ocean near our second-largest city? Could the Chinese — who are outraged over the Fed’s QE2 actions to devalue the dollar — possibly have moved a “boomer” close to our coast, without being shadowed by our satellites or attack subs, with the specific purpose of warning the Obama administration not to continue its destructive financial policies?

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