It was not a weather balloon or an unidentified flying object (U.F.O.) that streaked across California's night sky on Saturday, Nov. 7. The Unites States (U.S.) Navy confirmed that it was a scheduled missile launch by their third fleet and it was just not announced to the public.
The mysterious light caught people's attention as it streaked across the sky a little after sunset and emitted a bright light which intensified before disappearing as a little dot. Reports of the mysterious light were all over social media and it has been discussed with speculations ranging from astronomical events, U.F.O. sightings and military activities. It turns out that the few who believed the light to be a rocket or missile were correct. To be more specific, the U.S. Navy test launched a Trident II D5 missile.
"Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities," U.S. Navy Third Fleet Commander Ryan Perry said. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided Trident II D5 missile that was launched was unarmed and testing of the Trident II D5 is a frequent and repeated occurrence.
"The Trident II D5 is the latest generation of the U.S. Navy's submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles," Lockheed Martin, the Navy's missile contractor wrote in their website.
While some are still unsatisfied with the Navy's explanation, experts believe that the secrecy of the operation was undoubtedly a good move to preserve for the nation's own security. "Knowing in advance that a Trident was going to be tested would give prying eyes... the ability to gather valuable information... in finding ways to defeat this type of missile," Military Analyst Loren Thompson said.
It is possible that the test is the reason why nighttime flights bound for and leaving the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have been restricted beginning Nov. 6 until Nov. 12 since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the military airspace near LAX has been activated.