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Updated on May 10, 2011

By: Wayne Brown

Have you seen that commercial about the cell phone use where every situation ends with someone asking, “Really?”  I especially like the segment where the guy drops his into the urinal and has to fish it out and the guy beside him stares and goes, “Really?”  Well, now that you’ve the jest of where I am coming from on the matter I am about to discuss, hang on to those thoughts…you’ll probably need them.


You might remember a UFO incident that occurred a few days back out in the Los Angeles area. There was report of an unidentified flying object sighted rising up into the sky about 35 miles west of Los Angeles, just north of Catalina Island.  A traffic reporter helicopter recorded footage of the sighting and soon it was all over the wires.  Amazingly, this was roughly the third or fourth UFO sighted in the greater LA area this year.  There seems to be a lot going on in the sky around Los Angeles.


The frenzy of the media firestorm set off an inquiry with the FAA, NORAD, the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force and well as untold other agencies within the federal government.  No one, absolutely no one in our government had any information whatsoever to share which related to this incident.  I really never thought much of it until I saw the video captured by the helicopter.  At that point, I became convinced that the phrasing I had used earlier which related to the government agencies not having “anything to share” on the topic.  In fact, I must say that I was a bit disconcerted at how easily they blew the subject off as if it were some prank.


I was even more convinced that government officials had more information than they were willing to share when they began to openly speculate about the occurrence.  In essence, some of them began to nourish the disinformation side of the equation voluntarily.  The speculation ran the gambit from “it was an aircraft” to the unbelievable notion that it was an “optical illusion”.  In fact, in the end the conclusion offered tended to combine the two notions.


The optical illusion conclusion was driven by the findings of the FAA stating that at the exact time of the sighting a U S Airways 757 was approaching and transiting over Los Angeles at high altitude.  Apparently, the contrail was created by the aircraft.  Since the aircraft contrail could be sighted off toward the horizon, it appeared to be rising into the sky as it cruised from the far horizon of vision to overhead.  This accounted for the object in the air and the contrail.  The erratic pattern of the contrail is simply explained as the wind currents pushing the water vapor of the contrail as it is stirred up in the atmosphere.


As I said, I viewed the video and then I listened to the explanation as offered above.  You know what my response was?  That’s right, I could not help myself.  I said, “Really?”  Apparently, someone believes that you and I are really stupid if they expect that we are going to follow that explanation hook, line, and sinker.  Oh mind you, there will be some who say, “Well, that clears it up for me” and to that I say, “Really?


Let me say this, if you have not yet viewed the video, I suggest you go to and take a gander so that you can evolve your own conclusion.  With that said, here are some things that I just cannot swallow on this offering.  First, while a 757 does often create vapor or contrails in the sky at cruise altitudes, the aircraft has two engines, not one.  In this case, we obviously only have one contrail coming from the craft.  Secondly, as you view the video, watch closely, near the end you will notice that you can actually see the “afterburner” flame at the far point of the contrail.  Even 757 aircraft with one engine shut down and the other creating a contrail in the atmosphere do not have an afterburner flame emitting from the tail of the engine that is running.  Thirdly, you have to look closely at the contrail and how it appears in the sky.  The trail is somewhat dark as if there is more of a “burning” going on that just a condensation of moisture into the air.  Notice the high altitude contrails of transiting aircraft and you will see they are rather bright white in appearance.


Finally, notice the pattern of the vapor trail.  There are points in it marking the rapid movement of the body that is creating it.  There is a distinctive indication of “wobble and spin” as if to say that the craft is making highly erratic course changes or it is operating at unstable levels inducing wobble into the flight path.  This can be characteristic of a missile in flight especially if it is continually homing on a target and reorienting itself by the millisecond. It also could be strong indication of a missile which has lost its guidance and is rapidly becoming unstable in flight.  Either way, it is not characteristic of an aircraft in flight by any means.


So, in the final analysis, what was it?  I cannot buy that it was an aircraft of any type either in existence or in the experimental stages.  Given that it was, I have serious doubts that the government would be flying it over the LA metro area.  It certainly could have been a missile and most likely was a missile based on the afterburner flame visible in the video and the erratic high speed flight path.  It was also a relatively large missile, possibly in the class of an SA-7 handheld launcher missile but likely a bit larger.  Obviously it did not explode over LA and it apparently did not crash in Arizona thus it must have climbed high enough into the atmosphere to burn itself up or enter low space orbit.


Neither the Navy nor the Air Force claimed to have even fired a missile.  No claims laid even if it was an accident.  Since military missile firings normally require the coordination of more than one person, it is probable that the military would have trouble covering up such an accident and would not even try, although news of it would be quite upsetting to the public.  Missiles can be fired from fighter type aircraft by a single pilot but even those missile types would not compare with this size in this sighting.


That leaves a couple of other possibilities.  One would be that a couple of idiots finally found a way to build a missile in their barn and they decide it would be fun to fire it and see if it works.  When it did work as you see in the video, they peed in their pants and ran inside to hide.  As funny as that might sound, I just can’t quite swallow that one either unless the two were former scientists from WhiteSandsMissileRange.


The final possibility is the one we do not like to think about.  It brings thoughts to us that we do not want to have.  It is the same feelings we experienced in the moments after the reality of 9-11 set in.  The moments when we realized that it was possible that someone could launch an attack inside the borders of our country.  Those feelings are understandable and they certainly are not emotions that government agencies want the public to experience.  They do not bode well for the officials running our government.

At the same time, this is not a subject that we need to stick our heads in the sands and embrace some hair-brain explanation that stretches the limits of the imagination to embrace.


The incident which occurred off of California could have been an attempted firing of a missile in the hopes of downing a large commercial aircraft operating in and around the skies of Los Angeles.  LAX is a strong target because it does process large passenger carrying aircraft on a regular basis.  This incident could have been a dry run not necessarily holding a particular aircraft in its crosshairs but mainly just looking at what the reaction would be then contemplating the odds on getting away with the scenario once the decision was made to carry it out.  It also could have been a real firing aimed at an aircraft but the missile went ‘rogue’ and lost its tracking ability and flew off into oblivion.  Only time will tell.


On that basis, I would hope that agencies within our government are going far beyond the explanations offered to get to the bottom of this situation.  If such an incident should occur in the future as a result of a missile firing on a commercial aircraft, it would be absolutely devastating for the commercial airline industry in America.  Neither the industry nor the American people can afford to suffer such consequence.  The agencies of our government must give credence to this recent occurrence and treat it as a serious potential threat to our borders and our welfare.  Otherwise, we may find ourselves watching missiles down aircraft on television and saying, “Really?”



© Copyright WBrown2010.  All Right Reserved.



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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Spirit Whisperer...I normally take the "2+2=4 approach" and if that fails, then I begin sniffing around for the rats. There's a rat in this one, no doubt. It came and went way to fast and the government simply shrugged it off publicly. I will have to check out the YouTube reference. Thanks much! WB

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      I stopped over to see what you write about because I was so impressed by your comments on RealHousewife's hubs. I was not disappointed because see you are a man who does not follow the crowd but you use your mind to come to your own conclusions. I think you would be very interested in Zeitgeist and you can view their videos on YouTube. Voted up and awesome mainly because you are not afraid to question.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Granny's House...This situation reeks with the liklihood that TWA 800 might also have been shot down by such a missile off the east coast on climb out of New York. In the end that one was explained by static electricity in an empty center wing tank. For my two cents, I surely don't believe the 747 has had to fly with that configuration over that number of year before there was an just doesn't play well with me. Something went down in LA that no one is talking about but they are sure praying that they can keep it from happening again, I'll surely bet. Thanks for your comments! WB

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      There is now a movie about the incident that happened over Cal. back in 1942. It is a true story told by the people who witnessed it. The military tried to say it was a weather balloon. If it was a weather balloon then why was our government trying to shoot it down? And why could they not


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Old Poolman...everything inside me wants this to be nothing but everyone was too quick to brush it aside and act as if it were nothing...something smells! WB

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      8 years ago

      Keep in mind that if you attempt to protect the borders you will get sued by the feds like we were in Arizona. This was a contrail, there are no illegals crossing the border. Hmmmmm, I wonder what the next lie will be that they shove down our throats?

      Interesting hub, thanks for doing this.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @saddlerider1...Yes, one does not like the role of alarmist but I thought this situation was dispensed with far too quickly and with little concern. North America needs to be sure that our military is guarding our borders and keeping security at the highest level. Situations such as this raise questions that need good answers. WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Scary thoughts indeed Wayne if it was a foreign country firing off a missile in your country. If they can do that then one has got to ask, Security where is it? why is it being kept so hushed. Frightening scenario for sure. Many questions unanswered by the Feds as usual.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @kathryn1000...That's as viable as anything yet offered! LOL! WB

    • kathryn1000 profile image


      8 years ago from London

      Perhaps it was George Bush's Guardian Angel having a test flight!!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Micky Dee...same as the BO..."not available for comment". WB

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Where were Dick Cheney and GW?

      I haven't seen them since this report.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas know, I'm not quite sure what is wrong with the picture but immigration on the southern border does not seem to be anything this administration or the previous ones for that matter properly addressed. I will at least give Bush credit that he began the process of fencing the border which is at least adding an impediment to the process. There is nothing positive about illegal immigration on either side of the just expands the welfare state. I think the government has always lied to some degree to the public but it became more rampant and more apparent with the JFK assasination and has steadily increased as more and more times the public bought the explanation. I hope we ended that era with the last election. WB

    • Austinstar profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      When did our military stop being our homeland security? and start being the world police? and why can't we secure our borders? What's WRONG with this picture?

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Amy Becherer...Thanks much..I appreciate your kind words. As we saw on 9-11, we are far more exposed on a daily basis that we care to think about. When our government creates agencies like "Homeland Security", it leaves us with false impressions of security. Events such as this possibly show the true fabric of our security. If a rogue element can fire a missile 35 miles from downtown LA, what can they bring us across our southern border considering the current level of security there. WB

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      You can bet your bottom dollar that the blase' attitude of the government tells far more than any truth forthcoming. Beyond that, is anyone's guess. Reminds me of the SNL parody, "Really? Oh Really". Wayne, well put together...tying the commercial into this real life event and ending on that note created a very entertaining, yet intelligent piece of writing.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @rkhyclak...I just a bit too bothered as to how this item surface and how quickly it was dispensed as unexplainable thus "don't worry about". Something is rotten in Denmark! Thanks. WB

      @eovery...I can handle that explanation if someone wants to offer from official circles. At the same time, I am not so sure we can tolerate such acts...terrorism is terrorism...regardless of who does it and for what reason. Of course we have almost conceded the southwestern area of the United States to illegal activities, so why not ignore rogue missile firings as well! WB

      @Tom Whitworth...Right on, Tom. My gut tells me that more is known about this than is being shared. My gut is pretty good most of the time on those calls. WB

      @CheyenneAutumn...Yes, it seems they put a lid on the discussion rather quickly. Actually, the media amazes me on legs. They are usually good at giving legs to something that has none...not in this case. Thanks much. WB

      @Austinstar....In a word, "no". We may see something take place downstream where we, as a public, go "hey, remember when..." but I don't believe there will be any plausible explanation delivered...really! WB

      @TimBryce...That could be a viable explanation, Tim. More or less a retaliation for the exercises the U.S. conducted with South Korea a while back. If that is the case, we may be in a game of cat and mouse that could escalate or maybe we should just ignore it and it will go away. Get Hilary on the phone...negogiations are in order! WB

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It was probably a North Korean submarine conducting maneuvers off of Catalina Island. What other explanation could it be?

    • Austinstar profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Very interesting. Do you think we'll ever know the truth? Really?

    • CheyenneAutumn profile image


      8 years ago

      Wayne - I live in Los Angeles and it has been pretty quiet here about this what ever it was...I am glad you posted this. I am learning more from you then anyone out here.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      If there's one thing that come's naturally fo our Federal Government it's a cover up and this is a prime example!!!!!!!!!

    • eovery profile image


      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      I wonder if a sub from some other country got close and sent a missile off to show us that we have security issues.

      Note, a plane leaves at least two trails, one from each engine.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • rkhyclak profile image


      8 years ago from Ohio

      I think it's scary as hell...even more so that our government would even offer up an explanation such as an "optical illusion." We're not idiots and hiding the fact that it could be a threat is dangerous and stupid. So yeah, I agree with you..."REALLY?"


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