[Important update here, indicating that the flight path was actually not north of Catalina Island, even though it appeared to be. -- P]
World Net Daily (yes, I know, but just be patient) has a wealth of links to more information on that weird contrail I told you about last month. Following the various links, I found a series of photos that captures something very close to what I saw — but from a different vantage point, in Long Beach. Here are two of the photos from different times:
There are more in the extended entry.
My perspective was closer to the contrail, from the hill in between this photographer and the contrail. If you look at my contemporaneous descriptions of the contrail (and review the other photos and discussion in the extended entry), you will see that this photo and others match my description of a “weird, band of translucent blue that faded into the bright orange” contrail headed into the sea:
The blue was about the same hue as the ocean . . . It almost looked like an effect of lighting — like a dark, curved spotlight, or a rainbow without color. You had the impression that you could see through it (which is why I called it translucent).
I located this photo (as well as others in the extended entry) by reading this fascinating analysis by a blog calling itself Contrail Science. The author claims that the blue band is actually a shadow from the contrail. He gathered together evidence from numerous different sources to argue that the flight was left by flight UPS902. (Note that this is different from the argument made by Corky Boyd that the flight was US Airways Flight 808.)
I have my doubts about this conclusion, mainly because the plume of exhaust was clearly being blown to the south, and when I saw it, it was north of Catalina Island — yet the flight path supposedly took the plane directly over Catalina Island. If the plume was being blown to the south, I would have seen it south of Catalina Island. But it was definitely to the north.
In the extended entry, I have more photos from the Long Beach photographer. I have also gathered together the full original descriptions I provided to you over three different posts, including diagrams and comparative photographs.
I uploaded these photos from a link found at the Contrail Science blog. At the end of his fascinating entry, there is a link to a zip file of the original photos by Long Beach photographer Rick Warren. Some of Mr. Warren’s photos were published by ABC News, but they published only one that clearly showed the weird blue band to the left. Here are four of the photos I uploaded, including the two from above, showing the progression of the darkening of the blue band on the left:
I have more of these photos from earlier in the evening below, but first, I think it is interesting to compare these images to my descriptions at the time. We’ll start with my first entry, titled Did I See the Aftermath of a Missile Launch off the Southern California Coast Last Night?:
I assumed it was an airplane contrail, with a bright orange trail leading into the sea somewhere north of Catalina.
What I found interesting, though, was that if you traced it back away from the sea towards land, it became a sort of ghostly translucent dark blue color. I had never seen a color like that before on a contrail and it got my attention.
It certainly seemed to trace back overhead. I can’t say that it actually went overhead because I didn’t go outside to look at it.
From inside the house, the trail traced from the ocean up to the roof of the porch, and disappeared behind the porch roof.
Based on the trail, I assumed that it was a plane that had flown over the vicinity of Long Beach/San Pedro out into the Pacific, or vice versa.
I showed you the path of the plume in the next entry, titled A Graphic Representation of the Path of That “Missile”:
Because I don’t think words describe it well, I tried to roughly draw for you what I am talking about, using an old sunset picture from the back of our house. What I have drawn below does not accurately represent the colors I saw, as will be clear from my explanation. But the picture does show the approximate shape and location of the contrail from my vantage point:
Imagine that the white part near the ocean is a bright orange contrail, exactly as you saw in the video. The black part is the approximate curvature of that weird, band of translucent blue that faded into the bright orange. The blue was about the same hue as the ocean, but it did not look anything like the sort of vaporous trail you normally see from a contrail — as, for example, a normally white contrail turning bluish/black in the minutes after sunset. That is not what I saw. Rather, the band I saw looked very even and smooth, with none of the wispy nature you normally associate with a contrail. It almost looked like an effect of lighting — like a dark, curved spotlight, or a rainbow without color. You had the impression that you could see through it (which is why I called it translucent).
Imagine that the top of the picture is where our porch roof starts; this is where I lost the trail, as I was inside the house. (I actually saw less of it than is indicated in the picture, because this picture was taken outside, and you can’t see as much of the sky from inside the house, which is where I was when I saw the contrail.)
Then DRJ directed my attention to a photo of the aftermath of a missile launch, and I compared and contrasted that photo with my observations in a post titled Hopefully Final Word on the Missile? Airplane off the Coast of Southern California:
Take a look at this picture:
This is remarkably similar to what I saw. The translucent blue was a darker shade, and its shape was more even. The end of the contrail at the horizon was bright orange and not white. But otherwise, this is remarkably similar to what I saw: an attention-getting blue color on the upper left, that connected to a more conventional-looking contrail to the right at the horizon.
I’m still willing to believe it may have been a plane, but the fact that the pictures I saw so closely resemble a known missile launch gives me pause.
The blog entry above makes a good argument that it is, in fact, an airplane contrail. As I indicate above, I do not necessarily agree with his analysis of which flight it was. I intend to send the author a link to this post, and ask him how whether he believes that the evidence from my posts fits his theory.
Mainly, I am just pleased to be able to finally pass along pictures that resemble what I saw. Here are some more of Mr. Warren’s photos from earlier in the evening. You can see the bright orange contrail and the emerging ghostly blue band to the left: