Pentagon calls mystery missile ‘unexplained’


Richard Moore

Pentagon calls mystery missile ‘unexplained,’ cannot rule out threat

  • NewsCore 
  • November 10, 2010 3:42AM

  • THE Pentagon said a missile launch off the southern coast of California remained “unexplained” and that its mysterious origins meant that it was not possible to rule out any threat to the homeland.

    Earlier yesterday, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and NORTHCOM (United States Northern Command) officials told Fox there was no threat.

    However, Pentagon Spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan would not confirm that because the military does not know what the missile was or where it came from.

    Col Lapan added that the incident did not appear to be a regularly scheduled test, as no warnings to mariners or airmen appeared to be issued ahead of its launch.

    The contrail was caught on camera by a KCBS news helicopter at around sunset Monday evening, approximately 50km out to sea and west of Los Angeles.

    The missile appeared to be launched from the water, and not from US soil, Col Lapan added.

    The military was trying to solve the mystery using the video from KCBS as there was no indication that NORAD and NORTHCOM were able to detect it independently.

    According to Fox News, NORAD and NORTHCOM would only say they were aware of the launch.

    However one unnamed senior defense official added: “There was no threat to the homeland.”

    A navy spokesperson previously told KCBS that no navy activity was reported in the region.

    A sergeant at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County said a Delta II rocket was launched from the base last Friday, but insisted there were no launches since then.

    On viewing the footage, former deputy defense secretary Robert Ellsworth speculated on KCBS that the launch could be a show of military muscle.

    “It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine … to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that,” Mr Ellsworth said.

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