[Update] Download the Google Earth files used to make some of the images below, and judge for yourself (or show your friends).  There’s a video to show you how.

CBS News chopper, filming the sunset on Nov 8th, 2010, catches this video of what looks like a missile, although moving suspiciously slowly. I’d estimate this is around 5:16PM, the sun is below the horizon.  Low clouds are in shadow.

They cut to an earlier shot (note it’s just above the wispy  clouds). Zooming in the tip of the contrail appears to be flickering. The flickering only shows up a for a few seconds. Insert shows sunlight reflecting off a plane, and reproduced with similar scale and background.  The actual lighting conditions would be different, with the sun reflecting off the lower portions of the plane.

Here’s an example of light reflecting off a small area of a jet. This is in real time. As light reflects off different areas, it can appear to be flickering.

The chopper continues to film the object for several minutes. It does not move much (unlike a missile).

They zoom in on whatever is making the trail. It’s very far away, so you can’t make it out.

Later, they notice the object is no longer leaving a trail, and appears as a dark dot above the old trail, which is now being spread out by the winds.

They zoom in on this dark dot, and you can see it looks a bit like a contrail left by a high altitude plane that’s far away.  Still too far away to make out the actual plane. 

Earlier, at 5:19, Rick Warren takes this image from his 10th floor balcony in Long Beach.  Note these are the same clouds, so it’s taken from a similar position. The wider part of the trail is obscured.

He took several more photos, at different zoom levels, but all from the same position. You can clearly see the plane as it stops leaving a persistent contrail.

By aligning the building on the horizon, we can overlay these images to see the path the plane takes.

Adding that to the wide shot, we can draw a line showing how the plane moved though the sky. It does not match the contrail, as that has been blown south by the wind. The angle is greatly exaggerated by perspective. That dark line on the left is the shadow cast by the contrail.

Using Google Earth, we can position the virtual camera in the same place that Richard Warren took his photos from. Compare this with the previous photo.  It matches exactly.

Then we add in the exact radar track of Flight UPS902 from Nov 8th, 2010, obtained from FlightWise.com

Then we can overlay the composite Warren photo, showing that the observed flight matches the radar track exactly. The timing matches too, at 5:19 UPS902 was right at the top of the sunlit contrail on the right.

We can do something similar with the CBS footage. Because it was taken from a moving chopper it’s a lot harder to align, but we can use the cloud levels, and features within the contrail itself (click image for larger version)

You can see the CBS footage contains shots from a few minutes before Rick’s first shot (which matches the most vertical looking trail). Note the extreme change in angle of the trail over the ten minutes of CBS footage. That would be impossible if it were firing away, but makes perfect sense if the trails are parallel and horizontal.

Rick was kind enough to supply the original images, which included a later shot and several intermediate shots. The timestamp on the image was used to verify the position on the radar track. At 5:19:04, flight UPS902 was exactly where Rick photographed it (Another proof that the contrail is horizontal is that it is always evenly lit as the sun goes below the horizon, a vertical contrail would have a dark base and bright top)

Using the ten images, we can provide a rough animation of the flight of the jet.

This is the exact path of flight UPS902 (as recorded by Los Angeles ARTCC) as it approaches the area from Hawaii.

Later another Nov 8th image was found, from a web cam at LAX. This was taken at about 5:17 (the web cam clock is a bit off, you can check that yourself). 

The camera moved around a bit, but by taking a daytime shot from the same web cam, we can set up a virtual camera in Google Earth in the same position.

The night image is scaled and aligned with the day image, then using the same camera position, we can see where the plane was. It matches the radar track exactly. Since this triangulates the plane in 3D space, and in time, it proves that the object was flight UPS902.

(Image from “timewstr” of AboveTopSecret) On GOES weather satellite, this shows the trail forming around 5:15 to 5:30, then being blow to the south, exactly as is suggested in by the photos. The trails move 20 miles in 15 minutes, so winds are 80 mph


This gives us the angle of the contrail, and we can add one in to Google Earth, at around 5:19, and see that when viewed from Long Beach curvature of the earth makes it look exactly like the “missile” trail.

Flight UPS902 was an MD-11, a three-engine plane that can leave a contrail that looks like it’s coming from one engine. Notice that when reduced to scale, the plane itself is barely noticeable, and certainly not when it’s as blurred as the CBS footage.

The next day, Nov 9th 2010, Tom Carroll, a retired engineer from Rockwell’s Space Division took this photo of a similar contrail in the same spot in the sky.  This does not happen every day, just when the weather was right.  The Nov 8th contrail was particularly dramatic, and the news chopper just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

References:

Time Center Speed Altitude Lat Lon
11/9/10 1:15 KZLA 506 390 32.7297 -121.2994
11/9/10 1:16 KZLA 506 389 32.7678 -121.1292
11/9/10 1:17 KZLA 506 389 32.8058 -120.9617
11/9/10 1:18 KZLA 511 390 32.8478 -120.7967
11/9/10 1:19 KZLA 511 390 32.8833 -120.6294
11/9/10 1:20 KZLA 516 390 32.9228 -120.4647
11/9/10 1:21 KZLA 516 390 32.9597 -120.2956
11/9/10 1:22 KZLA 516 390 32.9989 -120.1286
11/9/10 1:23 KZLA 516 390 33.0356 -119.9622
11/9/10 1:24 KZLA 516 390 33.072 -119.7931
11/9/10 1:25 KZLA 516 389 33.1081 -119.6244
11/9/10 1:26 KZLA 511 390 33.1442 -119.4583
11/9/10 1:27 KZLA 511 390 33.182 -119.2947

  224 Responses to “Los Angeles Missile Contrail Explained in Pictures”

  • Unbelievable that anyone would go to so much trouble to “explain away” what was obviously a missle launch. It makes one wonder why, if it was a plane, all of which are closely monitored in an area such as LA, no one can say which plane. The previous long list of comments — which seems to have disappeared — contained a lot of good arguments to the contrary. Why are those posts being suppressed now?

  • There is no way that the contrail could be completely perpendicular to the plane. If the wind was coming from that direction it would be running diagonal to the direction of the plane.

    How can the wind be perpendicular but yet the contrail still follows the plane? Makes no sense. It have have been a plane but your explaination doesn’t fit.

  • Great info as always, Uncinus.

  • Brian- would it help to visualize the problem if you consider that the plane and the contrail “feel” no wind at all? If you could look directly behind any aircraft regardless of wind the trail it created would always appear straight back. If the wind was directly perpendicular to the plane and it was 200 kts it would still trail diectly behind the aircraft. This fact is hard to visualize.

  • ElPaso, the other posts are listed on, the left, or did you mean the overflow site.

    Could you explain what I got wrong above?

  • Good work Uncinus. Its a shame so many people can’t see logic and common sense in the obvious.

  • Brian, imagine the air like a river, and the plane a boat. You can’t just point at the other side, you need to aim upstream, and any trail you leave will be swept downstream.

  • “Unbelievable that anyone would go to so much trouble to “explain away” what was obviously a missle launch.”

    Why are people so ignorant and stubborn? The only thing obvious here is that you took a small, incomplete amount of information, interpreted it with your biases, and made an easily false conclusion.

  • Unbelieveable that anyone who thought it was a missile launch would not go to some length to show what missile, fired by whom, from what, why it was not picked up in radar, and how they did such a perfect job disguising it as an aircraft.

    Debunking a hoax is not “so much trouble” – it is a valuable public service!

  • Anyone who lives near the space coast in Florida can tell the difference between a contrail of a jetliner or military jet, and that of a missle. Since there are numerous missle shots from the Cape, both shuttle launches and military launches, you get where you can recognize a “missed shot” or a “shot in action”.

    Notice, that the “explainer” here shows ONE shot that has the barely visible light of a jet’s engines in one picture. However, pictures of this contrail clearly show a wide “fan-out” fuel-burning fire, typical of missles. Also, as in missle shots, as the missle enters the stratosphere and above, there’s no water vapor nor other atmospheric elements to create a contrail, so seconds (maybe 90-120) after launch…the missle exhaust becomes clear with nothing other than space to disperse the heat of the exhaust. Again, a jet…uses oxygen out of the air, which equals contrails at the highest levels (think B-52)…whereas a rocket uses internal oxygen, which equals NO contrail as it gets out of the atmosphere (look up shuttle launch videos if you have any doubt).

    This is CLEARLY a missle launch…and please, don’t try to explain it away! The U.S. will, eventually, come clean on this, and the real issue is WHY did it happen when it did? G20 conference, exercises in the China sea by U.S. military and it’s allies…and China’s newfound strength militarily plus it’s simultaneous downgrading of the U.S. debt rating from AA to A+…THAT is the real story. China is flexing it’s muscle, and the U.S. Government is scrambling to minimize the damage and denying it to avoid showing its embarrassment over the incident.

  • I’ve not seen this “fan-out”, can you give a link and time? I suspect though that it’s the sun. Do you mean this:

    Because that the contrail illuminated by the setting sun. You know how sometimes clouds are red after sunset?

    You know what a missile trail looks like 120 second after launch? It looks nothing like this. It’s pencil thin, and a smooth curve. like:


    http://www.air-and-space.com/20061214_VAFB_Delta-II_NRO.htm

    If it’s a missile launch, then why does it follow the path of flight 902, down to the minute?

  • I see validity in your arguments. However, how can you explain the difference in speed though? If it were a missile wouldn’t it travel much faster? How about the absence of any ground or sea based launch observers? Since there is clearly a commercial aircraft that matches the track and went through at the same exact time wouldn’t they have witnessed it as well. I have seen two large launches from the air and they are absolutely unmistakable as being launches, by the speed alone even, not withstanding the obvious difference in appearance. There’s just too much evidence against this being a launch and too much evidence supporting an aircraft.

    Regarding the US government: recently they openly admitted to several of the nuclear missiles going off line. I don’t know the circumstances of that entirely but if they either elected to admit that voluntarily or were admitting to it under pressure wouldn’t you think they would have had a hard time keeping as actual launch under wraps?

    How about the accidental shipment of a few nuclear weapons across the country that occured a few years ago?

  • Florida resident – most jet engines do not have “barely visible light of a jet’s engines ” – the combustion is entirely encased within the engine.

    Even if you could look straight up the exhaust (which I have actually done!) you would not see any flame because several sets of turbines and stators get in the way.

    The only time you see a flame from a jet engine is when it is in serious trouble, or has afterburner is engaged – which is when raw fuel is dumped into the exhaust and ignited. Afterburners are extremely wasteful of fuel, and AFAIK the only civil airliner to use it was Concorde – which is no longer flying.

    Believe the hoax if you must, but your statement that anyone who has seen a lot of shuttle launches knows the difference is clearly based on at least 1 false premise.

  • Florida resident wrote:

    “Also, as in missle shots, as the missle enters the stratosphere and above, there’s no water vapor nor other atmospheric elements to create a contrail, so seconds (maybe 90-120) after launch…the missle exhaust becomes clear with nothing other than space to disperse the heat of the exhaust. (look up shuttle launch videos if you have any doubt).”

    This person is not a rocket scientist, I am , having launched dozens of rockets from Vandenberg AFB. Florida doesn’t explain how the Space Shuttle leaves a “contrail” starting from ground level all the way up to 150,000 feet, but no jet airplane does? Because IT IS NOT A CONTRAIL!!! It is a smoke trail from the Solid rocket booster exhaust. Only solid rocket motors leave this type of large smoke trail, liquid rocket motors don’t. The SRB exhaust smoke is why you see a trail for the space shuttle from ground level all the way up to the 150,000 foot altitude where the SRB’s burn out, even though at this high altitude where there is no water vapor to form a contrail. Solid fuel ICBM motors burn all the way up to 700,000 feet which is well into outer space, they leave a (smoke) trail the entire way.

    Then on the other hand liquid fuel rockets like the Falcon might leave a short visible contrail passing through the Stratosphere if conditions are right, this only lasts for maybe 20 seconds of flight. I will have to find a video of one. Solid rockets can create contrails also, you just cannot see them with all the smoke they put out which hides the contrail.

  • Saturn V launch (liquid fuel), contrail only from 1:19 to 1:30, only 11 seconds long, not 120 seconds like Florida thinks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGHAJNLcClk&feature=related

  • Very nice! Please keep posting.

  • Atlas (liquid fuel) contrail, 2:00 to 2:20, 20 seconds total not 120 seconds like Florida mistakenly claims.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGHAJNLcClk&feature=related

  • It’s a pity nature made both clouds and smoke white. It’s been the source of much confusion.

  • “The next day, Nov 9th 2010, Tom Carroll, a retired engineer from Rockwell’s Space Division took this photo of a similar contrail in the same spot in the sky.”

    That ain’t no contrail. That there is a bonified chemtrail. Cain’t you see he done shut off his sprayer in a couple of spots up there?

    Gee whiz, they shoot off a missle one day, and try to cover it up with a chemtrail the next day. What will they come up with next?

  • “That ain’t no contrail. That there is a bonified chemtrail. Cain’t you see he done shut off his sprayer in a couple of spots up there?”

    Nope, I caint. All I can see are gaps in the trail caused by varying atmospheric conditions. In this case, it’s likely that the plane encountered some dry spots (areas of the atmosphere that are unsaturated). I can see how you would believe that a pilot is flicking a switch (or the “nozzle” is clogging up) but, I see no evidence for that.

    I have yet to see any evidence that “chemtrails” exist.

    It’s a hoax.

  • ;-)

  • Oh, Sorry…I thought you were an actual chemmie. My apologies. I get it now. Your post isn’t as over the top as you may have believed.

    :)

  • They have a retired General on Fox, being replayed on Prisonplanet, stating that it was a missile…. I am going to be really upset if I get bombed because someone didn’t take the time to realize this was a contrail… :(

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/general-mcinerney-“i-am-absolutely-certain-that-is-not-an-aircraft”.html

    @Zeke, Facts is correct, that comment may have been funny, but many are serious about it and write the same. )))))))))

  • Its a fake plane, hologram, chemtrail…. launched by a submarine… new technology!!! Government stops at nothing. ;)

  • So, here’s the logic being used:

    “retired general says it is a missile, based on the CBS footage” = “It’s definitely a missile”
    “The pentagon, everyone else, and the track of flight 902″ = “irrelevant disinformation”

    It’s unfortunate that people resort to appeals to authority only when authority agrees with them. The general’s reasoning is obviously wrong, being based on the assumption that the contrail start at ground level. Ten second in Google Earth will show that flight paths go down to the horizon. With that knowledge, the rest of his argument is irrelevant. I’d be happy to explain it to him in more detail.

  • You are absolutely correct… If there is a possibility that his hypothesis is wrong, it should be thrown out… The fact, as you stated, that the flight path goes down the horizon should make anyone throw out that idea. Also, it is a shame that the journalism is so trashy around the world these days, going for publicity…

  • Uncinus – why are you surprised by that?? :)

  • It was aliens, this is the start of the war of the worlds.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UAeSsvHhTg&feature=player_embedded
    Have fun with this one.

  • I’m a little surprised that someone of his experience would make such a mistake. I suppose it’s a factor of the 24 hour demand for news forcing him to act in a certain way.

  • Oh that’s embarrassing…. RT just disappointed me by allowing this to air on TV…. Someone needs to link this to RT so they know by calling that contrail a missile, they end up looking like a tit… And that woman is looking like the sprinkler lady…. xD Great laugh before I go to sleep for the day.

  • I have got to remember to buy stock in Alcoa!

  • All this “Chinese Missile Launch” nonsense has me wondering if the US government is taking advantage of this contrail hysteria which fell into their lap to gin up hatred against China? The Pentagon has not definitely said it was UPS 902, they have left it open ended, then you have a retired General saying 100% it’s not an airplane.

    After all right now China is kicking out butts left and right, the dollar is being devalued because China holds so many dollars and they are really upset about that of course, maybe this is our government being opportunistic to “rally Americans around the flag” and deflect the blame for our poor economy to China when actually all the blame belongs on the corruptocrats in DC.

    It wouldn’t be the first time Washington staged or inflated a false flag attack (ie. Gulf of Tonkin) to increase support from Americans against a foreign country, to me this is the only explanation where all the puzzle pieces fit.

  • After studying all the evidence on this site that plainly shows it to be UPS902 it really blows my mind how people can still not understand that it wasn’t a missile, and continue to leave comments such as Elpaso2010′s and brian’s.
    This whole hyped non-event demonstrates perfectly how a preconceived notion can blind a person to facts and logic, and how conspiracy theories get started.

  • Interesting story, and it only falls down because the Govt line is that there was no missile launch at all, let alone a Chinese one. So it is difficult to see how they can be accused of “staging or inflating” it when they are denying it!

  • Well, I see the Pentagon refusing to definitely say it was UPS 902, and some of their surrogates saying it was a Chinese missile, as just one of a series of event used to sway public opinion against China. The feds cannot come out and say China did it because China didn’t, they would get egg all over their face, so they get the maximum effect out of it that they can by having a nebulous explanation and letting others fill in the blanks for them. How else can you explain a two star general and former fighter pilot claim 100% it’s not an aircraft, and has never seen this type of contrail? He has to be lying. Same for the Pentagon, they are lying about not being sure what made it. How do you explain those lies?

  • I think the general simply fell for an optical illusion. I would hope he realizes it by now.

    The pentagon is simply a big organization. Nobody gave the order to “find out exactly what plane this was”. And I think with good reason – it’s obviously a plane, and demonstrating which one it is is just a task for nerds like myself.

    Only the conspiracy theorists really find it suspicious.

  • Uncinus, here’s another good video demonstrating the sun’s glare off the fuselage of an aircraft. I don’t know if you can use it, but here it is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v3J6MSkTgs

  • I looked up that generals record, and he is a “Top Gun”, he flew hundreds of missions in Vietnam, flew the F-104 Starfighter which killed 20% of it’s pilots, had 4000 hours flying jet fighters. I say it’s impossible he has never seen this type of contrail. As I have thought about it over the past few days, even a land lubber like me has seen these type of contrails before. He compared it to a Trident missile, they don’t do a “course correction” like he claims, nor fly under power for 15 minutes. He is not stupid, I don’t think he “fell for an optical illusion”, unless he is going senile.

  • Timothy says: “their [the Pentagon's] surrogates saying it was a Chinese missile” – what surrogates, where and when? and what makes them a surrogate?

    2 star generals are not immune to not knowing what they are talking about – neither are fighter pilots. If you think he is telling the truth then why not other military staff who say exactly the opposite – http://www.examiner.com/christian-worldview-in-national/pentagon-says-california-missile-was-a-jet-contrail-finally

    what evidence do you have to support your statement that anyone is lying?

  • You say “He compared it to a Trident missile, they don’t do a “course correction” like he claims, nor fly under power for 15 minutes. He is not stupid,…”

    You just said he was wrong about it being like a Trident missile!

    you have said he is wrong, and he is right – which is it??

  • I don’t think he was lying. He said:

    McInerney: This is not an airplane because of the plume, and the way you see that plume, airplanes do not con at sea level or 5000 feet like that. I spent 35 years flying fighters and NEVER saw an airplane con like that. That is a missile, launched from a submarine and, if you can see, it goes through a correction course and then it keeps a very smooth trajectory, meaning the guidance system has now kicked in, it’s going about 45 degrees away from you, that’s why you’re not seeing a lot of vertical …

    Hanitty: General, are you 100% certain?

    McInerney: Sean, I’ve watched that film ten times, watched 15 other trident films, SM3s, Surface Missile 3s, and … launchers, I am absolutely certain that that is not an aircraft.

    See, he starts out with the optical illusion. Then everything leads from there. Remember, he’s just basing it on the limited excerpt from the CBS tape – the bits chosen to look most dramatic.

    Hanlons Razor:

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

  • I never said the general is telling the truth, I said he is either knowingly lying or gone senile.

    Also how can the Pentagon with a trillion dollars worth of radars, computers, spy satellites, and other resources determine it was “not a threat” but not know it was UPS 602? But a couple of geeks with a couple of PCs can figure it out?

    You are making the argument our government and it’s officials are grossly incompetent, I suppose I could believe that also.

  • Mike,
    I never said what the general said is right, where did I say that?

  • I only had to watch the film twice to plainly see it was an aircraft, especially during the closeup. After 10 views a much more experienced aviator than me still thought it was a missile? I say impossible. Does Hanlon’s razor include gross incompetence or senility?

  • Oh and I figured out it was an aircraft while watching that film before the Pentagon or any other expert said it was an aircraft.

  • Yes, but it also includes regular brain farts. Sometimes people make mistakes, especially when they are reduced to mere commentators on Fox News.

    I’d wager 90% that he was just stupid in this instance. If he knew it was a contrail then he would know that it would quickly be debunked. Hence any anti-China sentiment would only linger in the conspiracy crowd, who don’t greatly influence military procurement.

  • Oh and I figured out it was an aircraft while watching that film before the Pentagon or any other expert said it was an aircraft.

    Yeah, me to. But I’m an odd contrail expert, and you are a missile launch expert. Those areas of narrow expertise don’t hold much sway, so their opinions take a while to filter up. Delayed until they are requested. Only requested when it is felt it is required. I’m sure plenty of people in the pentagon knew it was a contrail. But the press officer did not, so he had to wait for the wheels to turn.

  • The General made his statement AFTER the Pentagon said it was a contrail, the missile story had already been mostly debunked. Maybe he is getting Alzheimers.

  • Timothy – my apologies – I misread what it was you were trying to say – you are saying that the General is deliberately winding up the conspiracy story by spreading a false story about it being a missile, and why would he do that othe than as a conspiracy in the Pentagon to increase public opinoin against the PRC?

    I sometimes need to read more carefully!

    AFAIK 1 general saying it is something it isn’t is not a conspiracy – AFAIK Generals are just as prone to being mistaken about casual observations as anyone else.

  • Well,

    General McInerney is the founder of Government Reform Through Technology, a consulting firm that works with high-tech companies. GRTT conducts business with federal, state, city and local governments to help them introduce advanced technology into the public sector.

    So, you could argue that he’s trying to stoke fears of a need for a comprehensive missile shield, or something.

    I still think he was just being stupid.

  • If he was an average general I would agree with you, but he is an experienced fighter pilot with thousands of hours. Someone like that would instinctively know this is a contrail, you cannot blame a “brain fart”, it’s like studying a red traffic signal and saying it is green. He has definitely lost the edge and is going senile.

  • I disagree. This was a very unusual straight line contrail that was at least 80 miles long, and viewed, head on, from 150 miles away via a 20x zoom from a stationary helicopter.

    How often does that come up? Such a long contrail is rare in itself, then it has to be head on, then viewed from 150 miles away. And you don’t use a zoom lens while flying a jet.

    He was confusing a close up view of a missile launch with a distant head-on view of a 80 mile long contrail 150 miles away.

  • I agree with Steve. The Pleidian explanation is the best one. The lady goes into such intricate detail, she couldn’t have possibly made it up.

  • WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE IN LA WHO SAW THE BIG LOUD ROCKET.

  • brendan:
    Yes, what about all these people? Where are they? Are you referring to specific reports?

    I would like to see or hear these reports.

  • I have seen numerous posts as well as the newscaster for RT quoting that ” what many of us saw” was something that looked much like a missile. I have been combing internet posts on facebook and youtube looking for any eyewitness accounts and at least three or four say they saw and heard something “loud and scary”. Go look for yourself… it might take you all day… that’s how long it took me, but I did research, a lot. This is very disturbing.

  • 1,620 facebook posts i looked through on fox news page, surprisingly the only group who wasn’t in denial about this whole thing, as well as 260 posts I looked at on the daily show page, and another hundred or so comments I looked through on you tube, though the eyewitness account from the person who commented on youtube was the most vivd and convincing. Go look for yourself.

  • You don’t happen to have a link to that Youtube comment (or at least to the video) ?
    Or to the “loud and scary” comment ?

    I am on work and not able to do your research all over again …

  • “Oh and I figured out it was an aircraft while watching that film before the Pentagon or any other expert said it was an aircraft.”

    I suspected it was a contrail the first time I saw the video. However, I’ve watched a lot of sunsets and sunrises and have seen this countless times.

  • I should add that when the video was zoomed and showed the “hot glowing exhaust,” I thought, “That’s just sunlight reflecting off the aircraft.” It’s simply amazing to me that this turned into a controversy.

    And, consider this, LA is really busy airspace. You’ve got planes going into and leaving LAX, John Wayne, Ontario and a few others all the time. Yet not one pilot or passenger has come forward, to my knowledge, to say they saw anything unusual.

    Lastly, consider the series of photos. The object leaving the contrail is clearly headed inland. If it was a missile, where did it come down?

    As for a retired general being paid by Fox saying something stupid or lying on Hannity, what else is new?

  • “a lot of people saw….”

  • “a lot of people saw….”

    A lot of people believe they saw….

    And from what I can tell, there are a LOT of people who like to pretend that they understand things that they clearly don’t understand, and apparently never will.

  • A lot of people saw it ON TV. That’s a news report from the next day.

  • brendan,

    I can’t find any eyewitness report (and nothing about “noise” or “loud”) in the comments of that video.

    And I’m sure you don’t mean the sentence from the RT producer, do you? He might refer to the helicopter video as well. A lot of people saw the video, obviously.

  • I think it would be educational to compare video of the jet contrail with video of an actual rocket path taken from a similar perspective. The difference in speed of the two events would be much more clear if you could see them side by side or overlaid in real time. Would not convince the believers, but others would find it interesting.

  • I’d love to be the pilot of that flight, talk about an unknown celebrity!

  • Maybe he/she will choose to come out of the closet at some point, and what would be a better place to do so than this very site ?
    :-)

  • This event made it on the pilot boards the same day and many of the conversations went back and forth but I didn’t see anyone say they were flying that plane. UPS drivers tend to be older and I doubt they frequent the gossip boards too often.

    airlinepilotforums dot com

  • Impressive work. Thoroughly convince me by explaining a couple of things:

    1. How is it that what appears to be the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, nose to tail, doesn’t appear to change in your montage ( photo #10 ) of the Warren photographs? If instead we’re looking up at the wing span and not the fuelage, I’d say the UPS pilot was in an steep emergency high bank turn.

    2. The original tape from the news chopper that I saw was labeled with a circular reference to the approximate location of the vehicle sighting. This must have been based on the pilot’s statement that the location was northwest of Catalina Island, approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles. Assuming a local chopper pilot knows where he is and where he’s looking, how do we explain that at no time was the flight track of AWE 808 or UPS 902 north of Catalina Island and the closest appoach of either craft would have been about 35-40 miles south?

  • Suntour & JFD – The pilot probably wouldn’t know they were leaving a contrail – lousy rear vision on those jets!

    Sataying Arrive – if I understand your 1st question correctly you can’t actually see the vehicle at all at that range – all you are seeing is a longer or shorter contrail depending upon atmospherics. Check out the 24th photo of an MD-11 contrail at various resolutions.

    Can’t comment on your 2nd question sorry – will leave that for someone who knows.

  • Yes, you can’t see the plane at all at that distance (150 miles), just the contrail, and that’s rather blurry. The plane would occupy about one pixel on the CCD of the camera.

    On 2, the pilot knows the direction he is looking in, but for something so unusual as a 100 mile long contrail viewed from 150 miles away, he’s in unfamiliar territory.

    We already know he mistook it for being vertical. Given that, it’s perfectly natural he would place it much closer than it actually was.

  • Thanks….that about does it then. I was mistakenly thinking the aircraft was visible by having forgotten the distance offshore at the 5:19 mark.

    To satisfy myself though I did some calculations (actually I used a handy little aviator’s program). Turns out an airspeed of 568 mph at a compass heading of 67° with an 85 mph wind at 140 °, would result in a ground speed of 598 mph on a bearing of 74.8°. Pretty close to the FlightAware log for UPS 902. My only concern now is for the chopper pilot’s compass reading skills.

    Don’t know how or why someone would become engrossed in studying contrails but, that being the case, here’s a little story for you. A couple of years ago I was driving my mother-in-law home from a doctor’s appointment. She has Parkinson’s, a terrible disease. Anyway, she was unusually quiet, staring out the window at the sky, and to break the ice I asked her what she was thinking.

    Without turning her gaze she said, “Oh nothing…just looking at all the entrails.”

  • So General McInerney, Jane’s in London, and a cameraman who flies that area every day are all fooled by a contrail? Amazing that a General is “100%” certain and he has seen jets and missile launches for how long??

  • Senility must be contagious: http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-san-francisco/expert-says-no-doubt-it-was-a-missile-off-the-california-coast

    Doug Richardson, is the editor of Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, the British-published defense industry authority. Jane’s military publications date back to 1898, and are acknowledged for its expertise in the field. Richardson examined the video for the Times of London and said he was left with little doubt that what some insist was a contrail from a jet was in fact a missile. Richardson said it could have been a ballistic missile launched from a submarine.

    “It’s a solid propellant missile,” he told the Times. “You can tell from the efflux [smoke].”

  • Many people though it was a missile originally, before more information emerged. Even Patrick Minnis, NASA’s lead contrail scientist, was initially fooled.

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

    “I assumed it was a missile,” said Minnis, a contrail expert in the Science Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

    Then he got a call from an Associated Press reporter and told her, yes, it sure looks like a missile.

    “She responded with links to two different blogs that compared it to older aircraft contrail pictures, and indicated that the blog authors thought it was an aircraft contrail,” Minnis recalls. “I had not really thought about that aspect previously and, at first glance, the video showed what looked like a missile launch. Once the idea that it was an aircraft contrail entered my head, I had to pay closer attention, because aircraft contrails are part of my job description.”

    So he gets new information, and like any scientist with new information, he re-evaluates his initial assessment:

    Minnis said that while he can’t prove the contrail came from an airplane, it is the “most likely” scenario based on his research.

    “Later, while viewing some blogs, I found that the contrail corresponded remarkably well with flight AWE808, which flew from Hawaii to Phoenix; it showed the change in course to the northeast at the same location, further confirming my conclusion.”

    No doubt McInerney and Richardson have also by now come to the same conclusion (and I’d be happy to explain it to them if they have not). Only the more hard-core conspiracy theorists still insist it was a missile, and even they are gradually coming around, like this post this morning:

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread631078/pg7#pid9952677

    It takes a very big man to do what I am about to do.
    You may wanna listen up cuz u might not hear it
    again for a very long while

    After very careful scrutiny of the pics of Rick Warren
    in a photo editor I have come to a new conclusion.
    The pics are authentic indeed. I found no traces
    of tampering or overlaying all the way down
    to the pixel level. Other than a few anomolies
    which I could attribute to shutter speed and/or
    digital imaging flaws they are flawless.

    My sincerest apologies go out to Rick Warren
    and Contrail Science. From the evidence I saw
    in the original pics, their work on the flight path
    of UPS902 was flawless. I will have to say
    good job to them.

  • It was clearly a controlled demolition.

  • Here’s what Conspiracy Central (it does what it says on the can) makes of this topic:

    http://forum.concen.org/showthread.php?tid=35507

  • Very impressive research. I commend you for bringing truth to this “conspiracy”. Good job ContrailScience.com!!

  • Great job explaining this LA contrail.

    There is some speculation that Google Earth has captured some Aurora contrails: photos and placemarks are posted in this thread:

    http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1381948&page=1

    It would be interesting to see your opinion on this is a blog post.

  • This was a very well-researched and well-presented explaination. Thank you, uncinus.

  • Another thought…

    This reminds me of a verse from the Bible:

    “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.”
    - Proverbs 18:17

  • Uncinus;

    Well done, my friend! Now I know where to turn for information when the hard core chem trail conspirators persist and continually invade my website. :)

  • Yet another fighter pilot General claims it was a Chinese missile:

    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=230425

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–
    FROM JOSEPH FARAH’S G2 BULLETIN

    Experts: Mystery contrail was from Chinese missile
    ‘Muted response’ was decision ‘made by the president himself’

    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted: November 19, 2010
    8:00 pm Eastern

    © 2010 WorldNetDaily

    Contrail was recorded in this image by KCBS-KCAL in California

    Although the U.S. Defense Department and North American Aerospace Defense Command have speculated publicly that the unidentified contrail of a projectile soaring into the skies off the California coast – and recorded by a KCBS television crew – came from a jet and posed no security threat to the U.S., several experts are raising provocative and disturbing questions about the government’s official response, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    Two governmental military experts with extensive experience working with missiles and computer security systems have examined the television video and conclude the mysterious contrail originating some 30 miles off the coast near Los Angeles did not come from a jet – but rather, they say the exhaust and the billowing plume emanated from a single source nozzle of a missile, probably made in China.

    They further suggest the missile was fired from a submerged Chinese nuclear submarine off America’s coast, and point out that the timing of the alleged Chinese missile shot coincided with an increasing confrontation between the U.S. and China, and was likely meant to send a message to Washington.

    Indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration documents that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, the night of Nov. 8.

    “The question that still must be answered is why NORAD’s muted response was simply that North America was not threatened, and later our government approved the lame excuse that the picture recorded was simply an aircraft leaving a contrail,” said retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Cash.

    A former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and commander of an F-15 squadron and an F-16 wing, Cash was assigned to NORAD as an assistant director of operations at the Cheyenne Mountain complex near Colorado Springs, Colo., and is fully knowledgeable of NORAD procedures.

    “There is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star general in minutes, and passed to the president immediately,” he said.

    Even more ominously, cautioned Cash: “We must question the timing of this shot across our bow. The president was abroad being diplomatic, which means trying to placate China which is becoming overly concerned with our handling a totally out-of-control deficit in spending.”

    __________________________________________________

    So now we have two really stupid generals? It makes me lean more towards political snow job. Just like “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.” Or “A Spanish mine blew up the battleship Maine”.

  • Yet another fighter pilot General claims it was a Chinese missile:

    http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=230425

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–
    FROM JOSEPH FARAH’S G2 BULLETIN

    Experts: Mystery contrail was from Chinese missile
    ‘Muted response’ was decision ‘made by the president himself’

    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted: November 19, 2010
    8:00 pm Eastern

    Contrail was recorded in this image by KCBS-KCAL in California

    Although the U.S. Defense Department and North American Aerospace Defense Command have speculated publicly that the unidentified contrail of a projectile soaring into the skies off the California coast – and recorded by a KCBS television crew – came from a jet and posed no security threat to the U.S., several experts are raising provocative and disturbing questions about the government’s official response, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    Two governmental military experts with extensive experience working with missiles and computer security systems have examined the television video and conclude the mysterious contrail originating some 30 miles off the coast near Los Angeles did not come from a jet – but rather, they say the exhaust and the billowing plume emanated from a single source nozzle of a missile, probably made in China.

    They further suggest the missile was fired from a submerged Chinese nuclear submarine off America’s coast, and point out that the timing of the alleged Chinese missile shot coincided with an increasing confrontation between the U.S. and China, and was likely meant to send a message to Washington.

    Indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration documents that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, the night of Nov. 8.

    “The question that still must be answered is why NORAD’s muted response was simply that North America was not threatened, and later our government approved the lame excuse that the picture recorded was simply an aircraft leaving a contrail,” said retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Cash.

    A former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and commander of an F-15 squadron and an F-16 wing, Cash was assigned to NORAD as an assistant director of operations at the Cheyenne Mountain complex near Colorado Springs, Colo., and is fully knowledgeable of NORAD procedures.

    “There is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star general in minutes, and passed to the president immediately,” he said.

    Even more ominously, cautioned Cash: “We must question the timing of this shot across our bow. The president was abroad being diplomatic, which means trying to placate China which is becoming overly concerned with our handling a totally out-of-control deficit in spending.”

    ———————————————————————

    So now we have two highly qualified avaitors who are so stupid they cannot tell a contrail from a missile launch? I smell a political snow job, like “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction”, or “A Spanish mine sunk the battleship Maine”.

  • The ironic part of those who believe this is just another gov’t conspiracy and media cover-up….
    …..is they use media and gov’t sources as evidence to bolster their arguments, to ultimately argue that this is a gov’t and media cover-up.

  • So, China fired a missile as a show of their might, and then they never admit to it?! Where did the “missile” go? Why was it never seen on any RADAR screen? Why wasn’t there ANY military response at the time?! People can just sneak up to our shores, fire a missile, and everyone stands around twiddling their thumbs?! Riiiight….

    Sorry, the General is mistaken.

    It’s obviously a persistent contrail.

  • “So now we have two highly qualified avaitors who are so stupid they cannot tell a contrail from a missile launch?”

    Just as there are thousands of ordinary folks out there who can’t tell a persistent contrail from a “sprayed line of poison chemicals in the sky”. People make mistakes. It’s not “stupid” to make the mistake, but it is stupid spread ones conclusion as fact without understanding the details.

    Sorry, the site that this story came from doesn’t impress me. It looks like any other conspiracy site. Designed to get an emotional response from the lunatic fringe…and it’s succeeded.

    World Daily Net is NOT a respectable news source.

    From Wiki

    WorldNetDaily (WND) is an American web site that publishes news and associated content from a U.S. conservative perspective.[1] It was founded in May 1997 by Joseph Farah with the stated intentions of “exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power”[2] and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.[3]

    I smell an agenda!

  • Excerpt from the bulletin:

    “Madsen, who today is an investigative journalist, said …”

    So this man is not a “governmental expert” anymore, and it is certainly not too far fetched to assume some personal interest in this story. See the Wikipedia page about “Wayne Madsen”.

    Apart from the “ad hominem”, there is no indication that the “experts” reviewed anything except the original video. Did they look into any of the facts collected here ?

    Remember, even a NASA expert changed his initial assessment (see post about “Minnis” further up) after digging into these facts.

  • The only problems I have with these analyses is basically, 1) the images show distinct segments of trails behind the vehicle in question, similar to multiple stage separations.

    2) The contrail explanation leaves me to wonder why, if the flight path is horizontal, its appearance is not similar to a uniformly distributed trail, but decreasing in width, and the vehicle in question appears to diminish in size toward the end of the sequence, showing it is moving away from the point of observation, not inbound as the explanation diagrams indicate, as an incoming flight UPS902?

    Clearly, no jet aircraft immediately begins leaving visibly defined contrails upon launch, except that it would be from an elevated pad at 6 miles in elevation where conditions are favorable.

  • It’s because you are seeing 100 miles of trail from a very narrow angle. Slight differences in the trail along its length due to different regions of wind shear are greatly exaggerated.

    The older parts of the trail are wider because the wind has spread them more.

  • Is this plane coming towards you?
    …or is it going straight up ?

    see the confusion ?

    http://www.airliners.net/photo/Emirates/Boeing-777-21H/0718260/

  • Clearly a V-tol 777…;)

  • Boy, lots of slick info here to debunk the whole rocket theory??? why?? who cares that much to make sure all of this info is out there? Step back and ask yourself that question..

    It was a cloud seeding rocket to make it rain..

    plain and simple they have been doing it for over 50 years everywhere.. If your dumb enough to believe any of this fluff then you deserve to be lied too.
    This whole shill site is just put in place to cover up the whole creepy weather modification program that goes on right under your noses and in your face.

    I know, I know, i am wearing a tinfoil hat and live in my Moms basement because I know how to read, and can go online and read what our own Governments disclosure to the public about its own weather modification programs on its own sites, and know basic 4th grade science. please let the flogging begin..

    http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/foundations/aircraft/

  • cloud seeding is NOT the same as supposed “chemtrails”.

    Cloud seeding involves the shooting of ice flares of silver iodide directly into rain clouds- often from the ground.

    It does not involve any persistent trail. It does not take place at 30k feet or higher.

    It is not secret. Its been done for decades. Its usually done by private-for hire- companies such as:

    http://www.weathermodification.com/

    nor does the fact that cloud seeding takes place change the physics of the atmosphere that dictate that under certain conditions a contrail will persist, spread and cover the sky in a cirrus cloud.

    …but that is NOT cloud seeding as is practiced deliberately in this country and around the world for the last 50yrs.

    So…what is your point?

    What exactly is a lie on this site?

  • @”look up”,

    even on the AboveTopSecret site, almost no one is adhering to the rocket hypothesis anymore. They turned the evidence over and over, but could not find a hole. Read this thread for example:
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread631078/pg7#pid9952677

    And a multi-stage rocket for cloud seeding? I’d like to see anything that provides the slightest hint of something like that.

    Since you are writing about expected flogging, … would you like to be flogged ? ;-)

  • Look up wrote:

    “Boy, lots of slick info here to debunk the whole rocket theory??? why?? who cares that much to make sure all of this info is out there? Step back and ask yourself that question.”

    concerned citizens everywhere – that is who.

    Those who are distressed by the hoax being perpetrated upon their fellow human beings – the hoax that causes unnecessary paranoia. A hoax that may lead to dome poor duped sucker taking violent action to fix something that doesn’t exist.

    Debunking this rubbish is a public duty that I am proud to be a part of, and a much higher achievement than perpetrating a tissue of lies upon fellow human beings.

  • “It was a cloud seeding rocket to make it rain..

    http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/foundations/aircraft/

    The link does not work, and why would someone want to make it rain 100 miles out over the Pacific Ocean?

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