As it was with the discovery of penicillin, disc brakes, and the salad shooter, a blogger lead the way in solving the mystery missile contrail:
On his blog "Time to Think," Liem Bahneman on Wednesday pinpointed America West Flight 808 as the likely cause -- backing up an explanation offered by a senior military official to Fox News Channel that the contrail caught on video by a news helicopter “was more likely caused by an airplane than anything else."
Bahneman wonders if he is the first to call it: "I did a lot of extrapolation of what flights could be at the right position (off the coast) at the right altitude (for contrail formation) and came down to two possibilities: UPS Flight 902 (UPS902) or America West Flight 808 (AWE808)."
He concluded: "As I was researching tonight (24 hours later), I realized that today's (Tuesday's) AWE808 current position (at around 4:50 p.m.) was almost the same as it was the day of the incident. I quickly pulled up a Newport Beach webcam and found that (apparently) AWE808 was making an identical contrail, 24 hours later!"
Bahneman cited another blog, ContrailScience.com, which lists a wealth of other details about jet airplane contrails. The blogger behind that site agreed with Bahneman, telling FoxNews.com that "the plane is flying directly TOWARD you, so it starts below the horizon. The contrail at the horizon is far away, maybe 50-100 miles behind the plane, and has been spread out by the wind, creating the illusion that it's closer."
So, the same plane leaves the same contrail every day and it's taken years for anyone to notice? I wonder if medicinal marijuana might have played a part in that. A case maybe of "Oh look, they're shooting the rockets at us again, and wow, doesn't that cloud look like a unicorn?"