1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    A YouTube user by the name of "scumline" posted a video yesterday (Jan 22, 2013) titled: "fireball u.f.o. missle over orange county , california",

    with the description:
    And he later added the comment:
    Unfortunately this was picked up by some alternative news sources, who missed the comment about it being a couple of years ago and was described as happening on "Monday Night", example:

    It clearly is a rocket lauch, and it's not an uncommon sight in Southern California. Rockets are launched quite often from Vandenberg Airforce Base. The rockets (in this case a converted minuteman missile) do not go over any populated area, they go out over the sea. The rocket trails are visible from hundreds of miles away.

    In fact, this rocket is from September 22, 2005, a video of which was filmed from Lancaster, CA, which is about 80 miles to the north of South Orange County:

    If you compare this 2005 Lancaster footage with the "new" footage from scumline (which he described as "a couple of years ago", you can see they are basically identical, if you account for them being viewed from slightly different angles.

    Here the top image is from the confirmed 2005 lancaster video, the middle image is the same 2005 image stretched out, and the bottom image is the "new" video.


    And when considering the lower sections, it seems almost certain it's the same trail. The distortions are due to wind shear, which gives a kind of fingerprint of the atmosphere on that date. The lower coloring (due to passing though the sunset portions of the atmosphere) also matches as a time stamp fingerprint.


    Where the trails seem not to match is due to the viewpoint, Lancaster vs. South Orange County.

    And if that's not enough, here's a photo from Sept 22, 2005, taken from Huntington Beach in Orange County. It shows the same trail as in the "new" video.


    And another from Borrego Springs, which has a similar view angle to South Orange County.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  2. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Is it so bright, because it so high (altitude), and the sun is hitting the trail, even though the sun has dipped below the earth's (sunset) shadow ??
  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes. The easiest way to tell the difference between a plane's contrail and a rocket/missile trail is that a contrail is all the same color, as it is at a constant altitude. But a rocket trail at dusk is white at the top where it is in sunlight, and has a spectrum of colors lower down as it passes though the atmosphere, as it's travelling more vertically.
  4. jvnk08

    jvnk08 Active Member

    Really cool! I'd love to see a launch in person some day.