Thursday, November 11, 2010

Conspiracy Theorists Continue to Flog "Mystery Missile"

The so-called "mystery missile" photographed off Los Angeles on Monday (see previous Blog entry) was quickly identified as an aircraft contrail by responsible investigators, but apparently it has morphed into a "mystery" that's too good to give up. No matter that has explained the phenomenon in great detail, no matter that earlier instances of "contrails scares" have been identified and explained not only in California, but elsewhere in the world, going back as far as 1950, no matter that the exact flight responsible for the contrails has apparently been identified - it was UPS flight 902 from Hawaii to the Ontario Airport in California (see - an earlier hypotheses that it was U.S. Airways Flight 808 from Honolulu to Phoenix doesn't match the track as well as the UPS flight), no matter that a nearly-identical contrail from that same daily flight was recorded exactly 24 hours later on a webcam in Newport Beach - irresponsible and irrational conspiracy theorists simply will not let the "mystery" die. This story has apparently reached critical mass, so like Roswell, the JFK assassination, etc., it no longer matters what the facts are. The facts are out in plain view for all to see. But conspiracy theorists reject facts that are public and demonstrable, and substitute their own.

For example, an article in today's conspiracy-oriented publication The Los Angeles Times proclaims "Puzzling lack of answers to 'Mystery Missile' " (,0,1077349.story?page=1 ) . In a piece worthy of Erich von Daniken, the Times reports "Military and aviation authorities deny any knowledge of a scheduled launch off the coast of L.A. The Pentagon says only that it is looking into a report of an 'unexplained contrail' left by an aircraft." Well, if the Pentagon says only that it might be a jet contrail, then they're obviously covering something up. "Some aerospace experts who reviewed the footage said the size of the plume hinted that it was a government operation." (More uninformed "experts" blubbering nonsense.) "It can't belong to anyone but the military," said Marco Caceres, an analyst with Teal Group Corp., a Fairfax, Va.-based aerospace research firm. The appearance of such a massive rocket contrail near military bases that are known for regularly testing missiles is unlikely to be a coincidence, Caceres said."

Meanwhile, the comments on various internet Blogs, forums, etc. weighs in heavily in favor of the "they won't tell us the truth" persuasion. The favorite explanations are an "accidental launch" from some U.S. ship, or else a Chinese or North Korean submarine. Here's a high-octane conspiracy page about the supposed "mystery missile":

And in the classic manner of UFO-contagion, Contrail Hysteria is now spreading to New York City. A CBS helicopter there filmed a "bizarre, glowing red-hot streak in the sky — right at sunset Wednesday — moving briskly behind the Manhattan skyline." ( ). And that one isn't even very impressive, as it's horizontal not vertical, but hey, it's glowing a fiery red color at sunset -ooooh!  Soon, "Mystery Missiles" will be sighted everywhere, and conspiracy tales about them will abound.


  1. The Conspiracy theories continue to proliferate. Now Doug Richardson, the editor of Jane's Missiles and Rockets (who should know better), says that it might have been a Standard interceptor, the anti-missile weapon which is fitted to the US Navy's Aegis guided-missile cruisers as part of the American missile defence program. "It's a solid propellant missile, you can tell from the efflux [smoke] but they're not showing enough of the tape to show whether it's staging [jettisoning its sections]."
    ( )

  2. It seems that the human psyche has always had a need to believe in something bigger than itself. Life would ultimately be meaningless if there was “nothing new under the sun.” Because of this people really don’t want to believe the truth, even when the facts are irrefutable. When people take this position they run the risk of becoming victims to the vultures who are more than willing to swoop in and fan the flames of conspiracy and hysteria. There’s always a buck to be made or ratings to be gained. Shame on the mainstream media for this one.

  3. Mystery Missile now attacking Queens, New York:

    Help! Enemy submarines are everywhere!

    Wait - this plume is WEST of New York City - meaning that enemy submarines have now figured out how to operate on land!!


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