SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8 (UPI) — A mystifying light that illuminated part of the California sky on Saturday — causing some confusion and panic — was revealed to be a Navy missile test.
Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted a test of an unarmed Trident II missile from an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, the USS Kentucky, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.
Cmdr. Ryan Perry of the Navy’s Third Fleet said that the test was part of a scheduled, on-going system evaluation test.
“Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities,” Perry said in a statement, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The luminous incident led people in San Diego to begin calling law enforcement agencies and news organizations to report anything from flares and comets to nuclear bomb explosions. The light was visible from as far away as Nevada and Arizona.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded by saying that the light seen in Orange County was “confirmed through [John Wayne Airport] tower to be a Naval test fire off the coast.”