The bright trails of two missiles on a collision course lit up the early morning western sky Thursday, prompting concerned calls to police and TV stations across at least five states.
The glowing cloud-like formation could be seen in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah. ABC affiliate KTNV posted pictures of the strange sight above the Las Vegas Strip.
The Associated Press reported the contrails were from a Juno ballistic missile fired at 6:30 a.m. from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M. That missile was then intercepted by an advanced version of the Patriot missile that lifted off from the White Sands Missile Range.
In Saguache County, Colo., someone called 911 at about 6:40 a.m. to report a possible plane crash, according to ABC Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.
An official at North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, told KMGH that there were no reports of any crashes in southern Colorado. A spokesperson for White Sands Missile Range said the missile testing went as planned and that no debris strayed outside of New Mexico.
In 2010, a “mystery missile” was spotted off the coast of Southern California by a TV news helicopter. The Pentagon denied launching any missile. Many experts believe the “missile” was an optical illusion of an airplane’s contrails.