November 9, 2010 | 11:50 am
The mysterious projectile spotted Monday off the Southern California coast has Defense Department officials scratching their heads. Was it a missile? Who may have launched it and where did it come from?
Military officials said the unidentified object captured on video by television station KCBS does not pose a threat to the nation, but the lack of a clear explanation has only fueled speculation online.
By midday "missile" was among the most popular topics on microblogging site Twitter, where users posted all sorts of explanations for the luminous point hurtling through the sky some 35 miles off the Pacific coast.
The object appeared to have been launched at sea, which prompted speculation that it had been launched by a U.S. Navy vessel.
However, Navy officials contacted by local news stations said they were unaware of a missile launch in that area. Contacted by ABC News, a Navy official said today they were still looking into the report, but, a preliminary check indicated it was not a Navy asset.
U.S. Northern Command said it's investigating. They say there was no launch last night from Vandenberg Air Force Base which is a regular launch point for the testing of missiles.
"NORAD and USNORTHCOM are aware of the unexplained contrail reported off the coast of Southern California yesterday evening," the agency said in a statement. "At this time, we are unable to provide specific details, but we are working to determine the exact nature of this event. We can confirm that there is no indication of any threat to our nation and we will provide more information as it becomes available."
What do you think it was?