Tuesday, November 9, 2010

By definition, a UFO

There was a bit of excitement off of our western coast, yesterday.  A traffic helicopter over Los Angeles shot footage of what looks like, for all intents and purposes, a missile launch taking place in the ocean off California.  Not an especially far-fetched transpiration, especially given the amount of naval activity in the area.  The problem is this...no one in the military or at NASA knows anything about it.  In fact, Pentagon officials admit to being stumped as to how to explain what is on the video.  According to said officials, all missiles in the US inventory have been accounted for at this time.  Plus, they assure us that a missile test would never take place so near a populated area, certainly not our second most populated city.  I know the deal about trusting statements from the government or the military, but this is what we have to go on right now.
So what is it?  No one seems to know, it's flying, and it's almost certainly an object as radar at LAX picked it up.  By definition, that is a UFO.  Now one thing needs to be made clear when tossing that term around: this does not mean aliens or extra-dimensional visitors.  Just the opposite, really.  The craft in the video is obviously propelled by a form of chemical combustion, not the kind of thing to expect from sophisticated visitors.  However, it is rather interesting to note that Catalina Island, roughly the area off California where the "missile" was spotted, has long been a hotbed of UFO sightings.  Not only UFOs, but USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects) as well.  So many sightings have been reported in the area that it has long been speculated that either the aliens or our navy have a secret base under the sea in that location.

As if this writing, about 5pm CST, the leading theory on the strange "missile" is that it was all an optical illusion.  The traffic copter spotted an airliner at an odd angle, making its contrail appear far larger than it really was.  Experts who have reviewed the tape do suggest that the object is moving a bit too slow to be a missile.  This would make for a thoroughly dissatisfying, Scooby-Doo ending to the mystery, but as Occam will tell us, those are usually the most likely ones.  Not always, but usually.

Unless it was someone who built one really kick ass model rocket.  If that's the case, my hat goes off to them.


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