Naval missile test off California creates streaking light
LOS ANGELES — A bright, colorful light that streaked across the California sky, startling residents and leading to a flurry of calls to law enforcement, turned out to be an unarmed missile test-fired from a Navy submarine off the coast Saturday evening, officials said.
Kevin Stack was walking to dinner with his young son in northeastern Los Angeles when he was stopped in his tracks by what he thought was an especially intense light from a police helicopter — except that it was completely silent.
'It intensified then shot across the dark sky, leaving a green trail,' said Stack, 41.
'Then it fizzled and appeared like a dying dot on an old television screen.'
Stack's 5-year-old son, Blackstone, was under no illusions about what he had just seen.
'It was an alien,' Blackstone said.
Not quite, said Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman. Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted a missile test at sea from the USS Kentucky, a ballistic missile submarine, Perry said in a statement.
The launches are conducted on a frequent basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system and that information about such test launches is classified prior to the launch, he said.
The lack of information about the streak of light just after sunset led to panicked calls to police and lit up social media as people posted photos and video of the celestial sight. Julien Solomita just happened to be shooting some video footage in a Los Angeles neighborhood when his group saw something odd up above.
'It was very wild watching this in the sky,' he said in an email to The Associated Press. 'I can't really say what I thought it was because I've never experienced anything remotely close to it.'
The light was visible for hundreds of miles.
By Christopher Weber