Hey Orange County Residents: What Is This?

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of odd contrails in the sky, and today I got some pictures with my phone. Here’s what the path looks like at the start of their flight:

I’m pretty sure airplanes don’t take off at a 45 degree angle. So it’s a missile test of some kind, right? Or a military jet? Here’s the middle of the path:

And here’s the end of the path as it flies out over the Pacific Ocean:

I’ve enhanced this photo so you can see another odd thing: the black trail ahead of the contrail. The missile, or whatever it is, is following the exact path of some earlier missile without the slightest deviation. I don’t doubt the precision of our armaments, but this seems almost creepily accurate.

Also: it’s coming from the south, so it’s not something out of Vandenberg. Do they test missiles from Camp Pendleton? Does anyone know what this is?

UPDATE: The black trail is the shadow of the contrail. I’ve never seen that before, so that’s pretty interesting. The airplane/missile/UFO is still a bit of a mystery, though. The betting money in comments is that this is an ordinary commercial jet flying out of San Diego, and the steep angle of ascent is just a trick of perspective. That seems really unlikely to me. I never saw anything like this until about a month or so ago, and since then I’ve seen it several times. And anyway, San Diego is just too far away for this. Maybe something out of Ontario? Or March air base? Or a new aircraft carrier floating around on Lake Elsinore?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate