November 9, 2010

SO IF SOMEBODY’S LAUNCHING MISSILES OFF OUR COASTS, AND IT’S NOT US, then it’s a threat to national security no matter what the Pentagon says. Plus, from the comments: “While it may have been a launch by the U.S. military, it raises the specter of the greatest single threat to the survival of the United States; namely, an EMP Attack that might kill all except 30 million Americans.”

Most likely explanation — something we did, or are okay with because it was an ally, or some sort of optical illusion making a jet contrail (perhaps from a high-performance military jet) look like a rocket launch. However, all other explanations are far from benign. And while an EMP attack probably wouldn’t be as bad as One Second After, it wouldn’t have to be nearly that bad to be very bad indeed.

UPDATE: A lengthy exposition of the contrail theory, with numerous photos.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader objects that an EMP attack wouldn’t kill anyone, because it would only destroy electronics. Well, not exactly. If the damage were as bad as set out in One Second After, with the electric grid destroyed and transport almost completely paralyzed, then it would kill a lot of people. That’s pretty much a worst-case scenario, and as John Walker noted in this post I linked a while back, the damage probably wouldn’t be nearly that bad, which isn’t to say that a lot of people wouldn’t die.

MORE: A confused response from NORAD. Well, that’s comforting.

STILL MORE: Reader Larry Rachman writes: “Sounds like those aliens from that faked oil rig explosion are finally heading home. Godspeed.”

As long as it’s not the BLUE HADES getting out of hand. If the Benthic Treaty fails, we’re in for it.

Meanwhile, reader Cliff Beach writes:

Hi Glenn. Thanks for your help in finding (for me) a great AM radio that works in the mountains. But on to the real stuff.

I was in missile defense for 22 years (US Army). I was the chief evaluator for a major missile defense system when I worked for ATEC. Here’s my take for what it’s worth.

I have no idea if this was a missile. Didn’t see it. I have seen plenty of contrails that look like missile launches. I have seen plenty of missile launches as well.

However, the US military knows whether this was a missile shot or not. We have satellites in orbit that have both physical and software filters that constantly search for the signature of burning missile fuel. There are only a few suitable fuels for ballistic missiles, and their burn leaves a chemical signature. The signature travels at the speed of light, which means that the burn signature hits the satellite sensors in a bit more than one tenth of one second. It takes the satellite the same amount of time to process that burn signal, and about the same amount of time to return a radio signal to ground stations that it has detected a launch (of course jets have no such signature, so the false positives are very low, like nil). In just a few more seconds, the satellite or any ground radar stations that get a hit will have calculated the impact area, with a CEP (circle error probability) of a few tens of kilometers, the size which shrinks quickly as the ballistic arch is further refined.

So if this was a missile, the DoD knows it was within a few seconds. If they say they don’t know what it was, they are either lying (if it was a missile, unlikely) or they are doing their darndest to figure out which jet it was, and how to get that out to the public. They know the shit storm they will create if they put out easily contradicted information. Adding to the belief that it is unlikely DoD is withholding info is the fact that DoD has no pubic relations staff sitting around ready to confirm that a passenger jet was flying in the sky near our west coast. They probably have not the foggiest idea how to absolutely confirm that jet A caused contrail B seen by public C and ensure it is believed by conspiracy theorists D, E, and F. Given that we are at war in two different countries, and threatened by many more, I’m personally really glad we don’t have that kind of staff sitting around waiting to explain away something that is a daily, no, hourly, occurrence.

Indeed.

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