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Cameraman who filmed “mystery missile” describes spectacular sight

November 9, 2010 |  3:06 pm


The KCBS helicopter cameraman who captured the footage of the "mystery missile" launch offered more details about the dramatic video he shot Monday evening.

Pentagon officials said they continue to look into what they have called an "unexplained contrail." Each branch of the military has denied involvement.

Cameraman Gil Leyvas shot video of a luminous point hurtling through the sky followed by a long vapor trail. He said he was aboard the television station's helicopter shooting footage of the sunset over the ocean about 5:15 p.m when he noticed the spiral-shaped vapor trail and zoomed in to get a better look.

The onboard camera showed a plume twisting up from the horizon and narrowing as it climbed into the sky near Catalina Island, about 35 miles west of Los Angeles, he said.

"Whatever it was, it was spinning up into the sky kind of like a spiral," and was easy to distinguish from condensation trails from jets, he said. "It was quite a sight to see. It was spectacular."

-- Tony Barboza