The Madeleine Brand Show for November 10, 2010

Imaginary Missiles

Mercer 11921


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a secret missile?

Yesterday Californians were abuzz with the news of an unidentified missile launched somewhere off the coast. Theories ranged from the standard - extraterrestrials - to the more menacing - Chinese nuclear-powered submarines shooting ballistic missiles off Zuma Beach.

Now it looks like the mystery rocket was most likely the contrails of a jet that only looked vertical thanks to an optical illusion. But Steve Proffitt says rational explanations never get in the way of good old fashioned wild speculation. And yesterday's speculation was about as wild as it can get.

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