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A screaming comes across the sky

November 9, 2010 |  1:00 pm

Los Angeles got Pynchonian on Monday when an unidentified "missile" wass launched from somewhere west of Los Angeles. Video of the event shows a bright contrail zooming across the sky. Our sibling blog L.A. Now reports:

A KCBS news helicopter spotted what appeared to be a missile traveling through the sky northwest of Catalina Island, about 35 miles west of Los Angeles....

Officials with the Defense Department, the Navy and the Air Force said they did not have any details on the object or its launch site. Pentagon officials said that initial indications were that the military was not involved.

"We are aware of the unexplained contrail reported off the coast of Southern California yesterday evening," according to a statement Tuesday from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, which operates the U.S. and Canadian missile warning system. "At this time, we are unable to provide specific details but we are working to determine the exact nature of this event.

Or as Thomas Pynchon wrote in "Gravity's Rainbow":  A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Video: CBS news report of sighting. From YouTube via commando602