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The Military

Mystery Missile Launched Near LA 858

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the he-did-it dept.
J. L. Tympanum writes "CBS News is reporting the launch of an unidentified missile off the coast of California. No one wants to take credit for it." The article has visuals taken from a CBS affiliate's helicopter, and a Navy spokesman said it wasn't theirs.
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Mystery Missile Launched Near LA

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:48PM (#34175918) Journal
    A Google van was dispatched to get street view data of the Moon.

    *ominous voice* Phase II has started ahead of schedule ... but it's still in Beta.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:49PM (#34175932) Homepage

    Slim Pickens was seen straddling the missle, waving his hat, and proclaiming "YEEEEEEHAWWWWW".

    The War Room could not be reached for comment, as there was a fight going on at the time.

  • Hmmm .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:52PM (#34175954) Homepage

    So, the two likely scenarios would be: 1) The US test firing something, but nobody knows who or what just yet because it is being kept secret. 2) Someone else firing off missiles off the coast of the US to demonstrate a point.

    I consider 1) likely, and 2) just downright scary.

    • Re:Hmmm .... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by The Pirou (1551493) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:59PM (#34176072)
      'Test' firing and attempting to keep a secret immediately off the coast of LA don't jive. If they were attempting to TRULY keep it a secret they would've performed tests elsewhere. Sabre rattling, or something else, it wasn't your first scenario.
      • by n9hmg (548792) <n9hmgNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @03:00PM (#34177138) Homepage

        'Test' firing and attempting to keep a secret immediately off the coast of LA don't jive

        You're right. They boogie. The difference is subtle. Very acute observation.

    • Re:Hmmm .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:03PM (#34176160) Homepage Journal

      Has anyone looked at the NOTAMS for that day?
      If it was a government launch then a NOTAM must have been filed to clear the air space.
      They would not risk an accident that would take out an airliner full of people.

      I tried to look but found nothing listed.
      As to a demonstration that the US can launch ballistic missiles from a sub... Well yea that has been proven for about the last 50 years. And you can bet your bottom dollar that you do not just pop off long range missile with out telling Russia and China that you are going to do it!
      That could be bad...
      BTW Subs do not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles "ICBMs". They launch Sub launched ballistic missiles "SLBMs"

      At this point the fact that nobody is saying anything and it is getting so little press really scares the daylights out of me.
       

    • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:06PM (#34176200)
      3) New Navy seamen ordered to get the Captain his mid-day meal and presses the "Lunch" button.
    • Re:Hmmm .... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NatasRevol (731260) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:37PM (#34176762) Journal

      I want to know one thing.

      Where did it land?

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:52PM (#34175956) Journal

    No one wants to take credit for it? Okay.

    I'll take credit for it. If found please return it. Thanks.

  • QE3 (Score:3, Funny)

    by NapalmV (1934294) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:53PM (#34175968)
    They're testing the "dollar cluster bomb" for the Quantitative Easing 3 phase. Bernanke reckoned that helicopters were not good enough.
  • by mp3LM (785954) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:55PM (#34176018) Homepage
    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/e3gf3/a_missile_was_launched_off_the_california_coast/c14zqpm [reddit.com]

    NOTAM for LA. KZLA LOS ANGELES A2832/10 - THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS ARE REQUIRED DUE TO NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION ACTIVATION OF W537. IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, ALL NON-PARTICIPATING PILOTS ARE ADVISED TO AVOID W537. IFR TRAFFIC UNDER ATC JURISDICTION SHOULD ANTICIPATE CLEARANCE AROUND W537 AND CAE 1176. CAE 1155 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1316 & CAE 1318 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. CAE 1177 WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR OCEANIC TRANSITION. W537 ACTIVE, CAE 1176 CLOSED. SURFACE - FL390, 09 NOV 20:00 2010 UNTIL 10 NOV 01:00 2010. CREATED: 08 NOV 20:52 2010
  • by the_one_wesp (1785252) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @01:57PM (#34176044)
    Lt. Chillders had his woman down there, demonstrating how to "launch a missle," and somehow, through some "unknown act" the big red button got pushed.
  • Mythbusters (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tr3vin (1220548) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:02PM (#34176128)
    Missile firing off the coast of California? Gotta be the Mythbusters. This week's myth was that you could easily build and fire a missile near the US without being caught. Myth confirmed!
  • Engage! (Score:3, Funny)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:03PM (#34176150)
    "It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that," speculated Ellsworth.

    Just because, you know, we outsourced all our missile manufacturing to China and we just weren't that sure it would work.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:04PM (#34176180) Journal
    GUYS, I want you to KNOW, it is NOT the location of my secret evil lair. Or ANyone else's. THere IS noevil Lair. really. Don't come searching. Please. The squid are causing enough problems. I mean. Ignore that.
  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:06PM (#34176212) Homepage

    An expert named Brian on the seesat-l list [satobs.org] says:

    This pops up every once in a while. Seen it myself.

    It's an airliner leaving a contrail that's being lit by the setting sun.
    It appears to be going straight up because it's coming straight towards
    the observer from over the horizon.

    If we had a time, direction, and location of the viewpoint it would
    not be difficult to determine which flight it was.

    The contrail more than likely also shows on satellite weather imagery.

    As many of us here know who have observed known missile launches, this
    thing is moving WAAAAAAAAY too slow.

    • by DrugCheese (266151) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:29PM (#34176614)

      Brian is wrong. Maybe he didn't view the video but it's very clear cut that it is NOT an airliner.

    • by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:39PM (#34176788) Journal

      Just from looking at the picture [cbsnews.com] I know that's not right.

      Parallax on the contrail tells me the object is receding.

      So it started in the lower-left corner of the picture.

      Which means the helicopter taking the picture was above the contrail.

      I'd be willing to bet that no helicopter has ever viewed a contrail of significant length from above.

    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:49PM (#34176978)

      I think I found it:

      http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/goeswest-lzw/california/vis/ [nasa.gov]

      Start at
      1011081945G11I01.tif 08-Nov-2010 15:03 506K
      and watch the contrail go south across the coast through
      1011082200G11I01.tif 08-Nov-2010 17:23 484K

    • by bughunter (10093) <bughunter@noSPaM.earthlink.net> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:50PM (#34179676) Journal

      As many of us here know who have observed known missile launches, this
      thing is moving WAAAAAAAAY too slow.

      Seconded. As an engineer for various companies that do such things, I've witnessed launches from San Nicholas, from Vandenberg, Kwaj, Alaska and Hawaii. There are several things visually wrong with the snippets of video I've been able to find online:

      1: The contrail is too "solid" looking. It lacks the crazy dispersion that a rising plume sees almost immediately as the launch vehicle passes thru different layers of the atmosphere. Winds move at different speeds and at different directions in the different layers, immediately shearing a rocket plume. Contrails, however, generally stay in the same layer, and remain continuous for much longer. Sometimes very long.

      2: The lighting is too uniform. An ascending plume from a launch just after sunset shows a "rainbow" of colors from sunlight refracted through the atmosphere and from grazing incidence reflection from the ocean. This plume shows none of that.

      3: Its moving far, far too slowly. Even a suborbital missile that will travel only 600 or so miles moves faster on ascent. They move startlingly fast across the sky.

      These clues tell me that it was an aircraft moving horizontally, not a missile moving vertically. The perspectives involved with very long objects in the sky can be very deceiving. You can't trust your eyes.

      No one is questioning the appellation "missile" -- the first question asked should be, "What was it?" -- not "Whose missile was it?"

      I wager that within hours, NOAA or someone will release a satellite picture showing the plume as a lateral contrail originating from the West.

  • Seems clear... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KingAlanI (1270538) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:07PM (#34176228) Homepage Journal

    Seems clearly likely that the US military knows exactly what it is and doesn't want to talk about it. (Maybe it's high up enough that even the local commanders don't have a full picture)
    Considering how this country often goes apeshit over fake or small threats, hell hath no fury like the US facing an actual incident. :P

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:07PM (#34176240)

    The State Department getting a diplomatic communication from China or Russia that just says, "Don't fuck with us."

  • by trelayne (930715) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:15PM (#34176370)
    This isn't the first mystery missile that has been launched near a coast that has baffled military and intelligence experts. It happened 12 months ago off the coast of Canada where THREE missiles were seen. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/28/ufo-newfoundland-dnd.html [www.cbc.ca] http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jjl6k8NB7mE [youtube.com]
  • Not a mystery. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SETIGuy (33768) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:33PM (#34176688) Homepage
    I believe the term they are looking for is "secret" or "classified".

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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