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General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics => Weather Photography => Topic started by: GregJ on June 12, 2018, 11:51:56 PM

Title: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 12, 2018, 11:51:56 PM
I have to share this with my WxForum friends….  The other night my dedicated night cam caught a very controversial image….  This appears to be a missile launch from NAS Whidbey just north of us.  Here is the main pic…

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/WhidbeyMissile.jpg)

Here is a cropped/zoomed in focus of the top of the plume…

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/Missile.jpg)

To the naked eye, there is no doubt that this is a missile launch over a populated area.  I really didn’t want to go public with it until I had corroborating evidence that it was what appeared in this image.  I did this with the local news and a respected meteorologist in our area.  Here is the link to that article:  http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/06/was-there-unannounced-missile-launch-on.html (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/06/was-there-unannounced-missile-launch-on.html)

Meanwhile (as expected) my life has been turned upside down.  About 4,000 notifications on Twitter today before 6:00pm, FB is non-stop….  I have had requests for the image from as far away as London...  The hits on my website are non-stop....

So…  The latest theory is that it was an Airlift NW helicopter flying over my house, which it did....  Just like it has on many other nights and never made an image like this….  What do you think?  Camera settings: 3.5/20 seconds/1600 iso.  Sebectec Canon software.

Compelling evidence is that there were no reports of loud noise on Whidbey....  Other than that, I am parking it as a "mystery"....

Thought I’d share,
Greg


Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: PaulMy on June 13, 2018, 12:30:35 AM
Wow, quite a story.  Another great capture Greg, and the mystery continues!


Enjoy,
Paul
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: ValentineWeather on June 13, 2018, 04:48:37 AM
My first though was a SAM whether accidental launch or test.  My second thought airplane contrail with light hitting it just right with the long exposure.  ;)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: gwwilk on June 13, 2018, 06:04:55 AM
I think Greg has mastered Photoshop. :shock: :twisted: ;)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Intheswamp on June 13, 2018, 07:48:39 AM
Greg, it is very easy to explain.  The object you see is the teleport tube of the USS Enterprise XIII as the ship is beaming Spock III up from a research mission.  Easly...

Btw, nice capture...somebody's squirming uneasily and the black SUVs will start being a more regular occurrence around your property, at the grocery store, riding down the road, etc.,.  Nothing to be alarmed about, just SOP.   :shock:
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: SLOweather on June 13, 2018, 10:02:22 AM
It's not Greg's secret any longer. Google nas whidbey launch and look at the hits showing his image.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 13, 2018, 10:21:50 AM
Yep....  I knew when I decided to go public with this, it would be quite an event....

5,000 hits on my site yesterday
63,000 impressions on my Twitter account in the last 24 hours...
Lectures from my wife for ever releasing this thing....  :oops:  (That's the tough one)  :lol:
A Coast Guard boat sitting in front of my place for several hours yesterday....  (call me paranoid)

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/DSC03471.JPG)


If you are on Twitter, it's probably worth a visit...  There are a WIDE variety of "interesting" comments out there...  It is entertaining....

Greg
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: PaulMy on June 13, 2018, 10:22:35 AM
Quote
So there you have it, sadly this wasn't anything more exciting than a helicopter flying in a straight line in the wee hours of a quiet Sunday morning on the picturesque Puget Sound. Above all else, this photo serves as another reminder that sometimes there is much more to an image than what immediately meets the eye.
OK let's do a survey:  Missile launch or Helicopter?

One thing for certain, our Greg is the forum's "hits" leader...

Paul
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 13, 2018, 10:35:19 AM
Thought I'd share this....  This is the distribution of the last 500 hits on my site....

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/Hits.JPG)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Aardvark on June 13, 2018, 11:04:33 AM
If we stop hearing from you,  I guess we will know why you have suddenly disappeared.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: ValentineWeather on June 13, 2018, 11:29:50 AM
Quote
So there you have it, sadly this wasn't anything more exciting than a helicopter flying in a straight line in the wee hours of a quiet Sunday morning on the picturesque Puget Sound. Above all else, this photo serves as another reminder that sometimes there is much more to an image than what immediately meets the eye.
OK let's do a survey:  Missile launch or Helicopter?

One thing for certain, our Greg is the forum's "hits" leader...

Paul

If you don't add contrail/vapor trail the survey is FAKE.   [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: ValentineWeather on June 13, 2018, 11:34:36 AM
I should say airplane with no wings contrail/vapor trail.  :lol:
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Intheswamp on June 13, 2018, 12:09:28 PM
Yep....  I knew when I decided to go public with this, it would be quite an event....

5,000 hits on my site yesterday
63,000 impressions on my Twitter account in the last 24 hours...
Lectures from my wife for ever releasing this thing....  :oops:  (That's the tough one)  :lol:
A Coast Guard boat sitting in front of my place for several hours yesterday....  (call me paranoid)

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/DSC03471.JPG)


If you are on Twitter, it's probably worth a visit...  There are a WIDE variety of "interesting" comments out there...  It is entertaining....

Greg
Those are the wrong antennas for a Coast Guard boat...
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: ValentineWeather on June 13, 2018, 12:22:36 PM
Looks like CIA to me.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: chief-david on June 13, 2018, 12:30:59 PM
It has to be a rocket.

I added you to my twitter weather list.

You are being watched. CIA, FBI, NSA, NASA, Secret Service, DPRK (now that is a twitter that is fun to read) NORAD, and every other acronym known to civilians.

Interestingly-this article popped up as a discussion on another forum.

Quote
People who overestimate their political knowledge tend to believe conspiracy theories
Posting just because I'll be amused to watch the discussion. Not that there's anyone here this would apply to. 

http://www.psypost.org/2018/06/peopl...theories-51447

People who overestimate their political knowledge are more likely to believe conspiracy theories
By ERIC W. DOLAN June 11, 2018

People who overestimate their understanding of political issues are more likely to believe conspiracy theories, according to new research that appears in the European Journal for Social Psychology.

“Conspiracy theories about government actors and institutions are widespread across the political ideological spectrum,” remarked study author Joseph A. Vitriol, a postdoctoral research associate at Lehigh University. “These beliefs attribute outsized influence to hidden actors or clandestine groups who are perceived as the root cause of an important world event, action, or outcome.”

“Because conspiracy beliefs often preserve discredited assumptions or serve as a basis for dismissing information that challenges one’s worldview, they are often difficult to correct (as is true for many political misperceptions) and can therefore undermine the ability for citizens to effectively and ethically engage in the political process.”

“Indeed, these beliefs are not constrained to the politically disengaged or the uninformed. Instead, conspiracy theories are commonly endorsed and propagated by actors at the highest levels of political power and, as a result, are consequential for public policy,” Vitriol said.

“In short, conspiracy beliefs are important influences on citizens’ political judgment and behavior. This can undermine the ability of elected officials to address problems in society with evidence-based public policy and governance. By investigating the psychological underpinning of conspiracy beliefs, we are better able to understand how these beliefs form and spread. We are also better able to identify strategies for informing or educating the public and combating the influence of false and fabricated information on political psychology and behavior.”

(more at the link)

Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Intheswamp on June 13, 2018, 03:10:09 PM
Looks like CIA to me.
If we had a shot of the rear of the boat we could tell if it was trailing an ELF antenna for sending data to a submerged submarine...I'd say it was black ops if there was.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: WeatherHost on June 13, 2018, 03:12:14 PM
I ain't no Twit.  Ain't never gonna be a Twit.

That's a .....    weather balloon ....  yeah, that's it.

Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: chief-david on June 13, 2018, 03:15:34 PM
(http://d13ezvd6yrslxm.cloudfront.net/wp/wp-content/images/WarGames-Trailer.jpg)

(http://triosdevelopers.com/jason.eckert/blog/Entries/2008/10/6_Entry_1_files/shapeimage_1.png)

Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: WeatherHost on June 13, 2018, 03:28:47 PM
'Greetings Professor Falken .....  '

'Hello Joshua'

Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 13, 2018, 03:39:34 PM
We are at the entrance to Hood Canal...  Just to the west of us.  That is where Bangor is.  We have Trident subs going up and down there all the time.  We also have these CG boats around frequently....  Most of the time they are just going by.  The timing of this boat coming up and just sitting out in front of our place for that long is rare....

Greg
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: WeatherHost on June 13, 2018, 03:55:19 PM
We have Trident subs going up and down there all the time.

Well, there you go.  May not have come from the base at all.

Just sending a load of fresh Lobster up to the space station.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Jstx on June 13, 2018, 04:52:26 PM
Yep....  I knew when I decided to go public with this, it would be quite an event....

5,000 hits on my site yesterday
63,000 impressions on my Twitter account in the last 24 hours...
Lectures from my wife for ever releasing this thing....  :oops:  (That's the tough one)  :lol:
A Coast Guard boat sitting in front of my place for several hours yesterday....  (call me paranoid)

(http://www.skunkbayweather.com/DSC03471.JPG)


If you are on Twitter, it's probably worth a visit...  There are a WIDE variety of "interesting" comments out there...  It is entertaining....

Greg

Greg,
That's the USCGC 'Sea Lion' watching you.
It's one of the "Marine Protector" class of WPB's (patrol boats), 87' long, displaces 91 tons, 25kt top speed. 74 boats, laid down from 1999 to 2009.
They haven't unlimbered the M2 .50cal's, so you're OK.
Several of them are assigned to guard the USN sub base in Bangor, WA.
USCGC Sea Lion   WPB-87352   Bellingham, WA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Protector-class_patrol_boat

(Some of my kids are Coasties, but not on these 'small' boats; soon leaving the West Coast with a PCS.
I've seen local boats in this class for many years, hail them on the VHF, got boarded a couple of times for 'inspection', etc. I've seen them anchored having diving exercises from them too.
I got a serious lesson in 'not taking pictures of military assets' (USN) by a crewmember/guest once while cruising around. They have some heavy surveillance optics in use, the better to watch you   :shock:.)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Intheswamp on June 13, 2018, 05:03:40 PM
I ain't no Twit.  Ain't never gonna be a Twit.

That's a .....    weather balloon ....  yeah, that's it.
I just got this eerie phone call...  I agree, I agree,...it was a weather balloon!!!!!   (http://www.free-smileys.com/files/shocked-smileys/842.gif) (http://www.free-smileys.com/files/anxious-smileys/906.gif)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: WeatherHost on June 13, 2018, 06:01:55 PM
Now y'all knows why I ain't never posted my whereabouts nowheres'

Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: DaleReid on June 13, 2018, 06:02:40 PM
Really, guys, settle down.

If the Gov were dumb enough to send something classified off near where hundreds of folks live, especially with the  inherent danger of sideline damage, they really aren't worried about who could see it.

I'm anxious to find out what this really is, if we ever find out.

To think that Greg  has attracted attention because of the weather web cam or security camera, then our military has a lot to worry about.  You can't be at fault for taking pix from either public or your own property.  The only reason they'd be worried if there were something nefarious going on, and they were going to do it again.  A simpler thing would be to turn off all the power in the area just before the next launch.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 13, 2018, 06:26:46 PM
Breaking News......   :lol:

I'm now ready to declare the "Skunk Bay Missile Crisis" done! The pilot of the Airlift NW helicopter just reported that his searchlight was retracted and pointing straight down. This would explain the unique light signature.  It was fun and full of intrigue while it lasted.

Also...  I now think the Coasties were just trying to get a selfie from my webcams....   :lol:

Greg
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: DadCooks on June 13, 2018, 06:41:40 PM
Relax folks, it's just a resupply ship going to our military base on the dark side of the moon.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Jstx on June 13, 2018, 07:53:32 PM
Really, guys, settle down.

If the Gov were dumb enough to send something classified off near where hundreds of folks live, especially with the  inherent danger of sideline damage, they really aren't worried about who could see it.

I'm anxious to find out what this really is, if we ever find out.

To think that Greg  has attracted attention because of the weather web cam or security camera, then our military has a lot to worry about.  You can't be at fault for taking pix from either public or your own property.  The only reason they'd be worried if there were something nefarious going on, and they were going to do it again.  A simpler thing would be to turn off all the power in the area just before the next launch.

Dale,
You sure can get in hot water just innocently snapping pictures of a Navy base.
I was intercepted while cruising the Corpus Christi channel in front of (the former) Naval Station Ingleside *.
As I had glanced towards the Naval Base while traversing the wide entrance, I noticed large signs with 'prohibited activities' posted, but thought little of it.
A passenger (niece) on my powerboat sitting forward, unbeknownst to me, began snapping pictures; as I was busy navigating the transition from southbound in the GICW channel to westbound in the CC channel.
As we passed across the large entrance to the Ingleside Mine Sweeper Base, the pier side security detail noticed this picture taking (from about a mile away). They tried to hail me on the VHF, which I couldn't hear over the engine noise, and then dispatched an armed patrol boat to intercept. This boat swung in off my starboard quarter and hailed me to halt, which I did (at idle speed to maintain steerageway in the wind and current).
They then came adjacent to the quarter and interrogated me about 'taking forbidden pictures', which I denied since I had no idea what niece had been doing. They were not amused. Finally, as word got around the crew, niece fessed up; and after looking over her camera, they allowed us to proceed down to Corpus.

*Naval Station Ingleside was a huge boondoggle in an improbable location for minesweeping. It cost taxpayers many billion$ of dollars to build from scratch (took years), equip and man.
It was active status for about a decade and a half, then was BRAC'ed.
Then it was sold off in pieces to oil companies for about $98 million total, losing about 5-10-20 billion dollar$ in value. An almost complete waste of tax money.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Station_Ingleside

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: DaleReid on June 13, 2018, 11:21:31 PM
Well, I quoted information that is commonly circulated by and for photographers.

In your instance, the PHOTOGRAPHY PROHIBITED sign applied the moment you entered those waters, but likely would not have been challenged if you were outside that sign.  It's sort of like the guys sneaking onto the base near China Lake to photograph the stealth fighter when it was being tested.  The government had bought up some farms, the story goes, to give a bigger buffer, and the guys trying to get the shots not only knew it, but went on land that was marked as a government reserve, which does not qualify as public space.

When we visited the Trinity site on the White Sands test range some very stern looking chaps informed us that until we arrived at Trinity that photography was forbidden, and I believed them since we were on a test range, government reserve, etc.  Once we got there (and there wasn't a hell of a lot to take pictures of as we drove there) we saw signs and the guys with Geiger counters told us we were free to take pictures inside the fence, but if we drove to the McDonald site we'd not be allowed.

When the B1 was revealed for the first pull out, Jane's Aircraft (I believe) hired a guy in a 172 to fly over during the speeches and got some pix from above which showed far more than they figured anyone could see from the bleachers.  Indeed, it was a major give away, but there apparently was no permanent or temporary no fly zone (rumor had it that a screw up made them forget to have the FAA declare it off limits to private aircraft) and they got some interesting pictures.

Anyway, there are a lot of places that get fenced off to prevent too much photography.  Oh, Groton where the subs are built was another spot my brother in law found across the bay which was open for viewing by interested folks, but it was far away enough to be pretty useless from the angle.

Interesting story, one gets a bit weirded out when the boat comes up and hails you to pull over.

 
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Jstx on June 14, 2018, 12:17:25 AM
Well, I quoted information that is commonly circulated by and for photographers.

In your instance, the PHOTOGRAPHY PROHIBITED sign applied the moment you entered those waters, but likely would not have been challenged if you were outside that sign.  It's sort of like the guys sneaking onto the base near China Lake to photograph the stealth fighter when it was being tested. 
...

Well, pretty sure that if I had actually entered "those waters" things would have been somewhat worse. Maybe they treat water a little different than land. The ROW regs/rules changed a while back, with a 300 yard (IIRC) vessel standoff from military and commercial shipping now enforced in all/most waters. If I'm passing a Navy or CG vessel in a channel I always radio request permission to overtake, just to be sure of intent. Offshore, just stay way clear.

They stated that taking pictures of NS Ingleside from 'anywhere' was verboten. I think that's how the sign was worded too. I didn't feel like arguing with them.
Seems pretty well a practically unenforceable rule given the location and vessel traffic, but they have to go through the motions, and catch a few fish.
It's a constrained channel in front of the NS there, a spoil island opposite, with a major crossing just east with the GICW. They basically made a harbor with some jetties sticking out.
I think part of the open NS 'entrance' way appears to the left on that picture. There's a mapping link at the Wiki link given, map sucks but the satellite view is awesome.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Intheswamp on June 14, 2018, 09:15:04 AM
Relax folks, it's just a resupply ship going to our military base on the dark side of the moon.
Delivering pizza's?
*Cheese* pizza...
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: 92merc on June 14, 2018, 09:25:27 AM
Aren't there a Sasquatch sightings around there?  He was probably just taking a ride in his UFO back home.  :-)
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: GregJ on June 14, 2018, 09:17:56 PM
To add some closure to "Skunk Bay Missile Crisis" I thought I'd share this.  I did a quick review of how it went down for me on my "blog".  At the end of it I have a link to Professor Cliff Mass's blog that gives a detailed description of how this all came down from a scientific perspective with a little humor.....

https://skunkbayweather.blogspot.com/2018/06/skunk-bay-missile-crisis-over.html (https://skunkbayweather.blogspot.com/2018/06/skunk-bay-missile-crisis-over.html)

Greg
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: DaleReid on June 14, 2018, 10:13:38 PM
Boy, that is one well collimated beam!  Little apparent scatter and almost no divergence all the way down.
Kudos for figuring it out.  Ocham's razor once again comes through.

Funny, even well trained science minded folks who inhabit these reasons still held out that something weird was going on.

Goes to show we all can be fooled or want to believe something that is a bit more exotic than what it really was.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: kaymann on July 05, 2018, 12:57:36 PM
I thought for sure it was a Port-a-Potty some kids lit up with pre Fourth of July fireworks :-)

Seriously I am shocked it is a helicopter - wow never would of guessed.
Title: Re: Possible Missile Launch?
Post by: Old Tele man on July 05, 2018, 01:16:58 PM
I thought for sure it was a Port-a-Potty some kids lit up with pre Fourth of July fireworks :-)
Ye olde Ballistic Outhouse!?! "...to the moon, Alice!"