Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mysterious Bright Light over Los Angeles Was Missile Test

A Trident missile the Navy tested off Los Angeles Saturday night is shown from the Fourth Street bridge over 110 Freeway in Los Angeles. Photographer Preston Newman was on a photo shoot at the time. — Preston Newman Photography, on Instagram at @Newman_Photos

The U.S. Navy’s USS Kentucky (SSBN-737), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, launched an unarmed Trident missile as part of a test over the weekend in the Pacific Ocean. The Pentagon released a statement late Saturday confirming the scheduled test flight of the Trident II (D5) missile in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of southern California. The exercise, conducted by Navy Strategic Systems Programs, was “part of a scheduled, ongoing system evaluation test. Launches are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system. Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities,” it stated.

The Kentucky is armed with 24 UGM-133 Trident II ballistic missiles, along with Mk-48 torpedoes. Each of the missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp. measures more than 44 feet long and 6 feet wide, and has an operational range of more than 7,400 miles.

“The missile was not armed. Strategic Systems Programs does not routinely announce missile testing,” it continued. “Information regarding the test launch of Trident II (D5) missiles is classified prior to the launch.”

The statement was apparently designed to curb speculation on social media that the object was a meteorite or even an unidentified flying object, or UFO.

The National Weather Service in Hanford, California, said it received numerous reports from curious observers about the strange light.

It’s not clear if the test has anything to do with flight restrictions issued for Los Angeles International Airport for the coming week.

Nighttime flights into and out of the Los Angeles airport are to avoid passing over the Pacific Ocean just the west of the airport because the U.S. military has activated airspace there, Reuters reported.

The FAA and the military did not disclose the nature of the activities taking place near the second-busiest U.S. airport.

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