Very few details are surfacing about the mysterious missile launch seen Monday evening from a point just off the southern coast of California. The Pentagon said Tuesday it was trying to determine if in fact a missile was launched and, if so, who might have fired it.
Officials say they are investigating a video posted by CBS News that shows an object shooting across the sky and leaving a large vapor trail, called a contrail.
"Nobody within the Department of Defense that we've reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from," Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.
Lapan said that it seems that the Department of Defense was not involved with the mystery flying object, and that the vapor trail might have been created by something flown by a private company.
Usually, any missile test would require notification so that mariners and pilots could be warned, but that does not seem to be the case here, Lapan said.
"It does seem implausible, and that's why at this point the operative term is 'unexplained'," he said. "Nobody…within the Department of Defense that we've reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is."
The North American Aerospace Defense Command issued a statement jointly with the U.S. Northern Command saying that this is not the work of a foreign military launching a missile against out country.
"We can confirm that there is no threat to our nation, and from all indications this was not a launch by a foreign military," the statement said. "We will provide more information as it becomes available."