Sunday, December 12, 2010

Was Contrail Off West Coast China Displaying Naval Power?

You may recall that on November 8th of this year a KCBS/KCAL news helicopter captured video of a contrail off the coast of California. That video was played nationally on Fox News Channel and there was much speculation as to what the source of the contrail was.

The response from the Defense Department and NORAD was that what we saw was simply from a commercial jet and that there was no threat to the United States. But the FAA reports that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, on that evening and the neither the DOD or NORAD has identified the jet in question.

Several “experts”, including noted physicist Michio Kaku have made the rounds of the networks to explain how it was a jet and convince the public that any resemblance to a missile contrail was simply an optical illusion.

However, retired U.S. Air Force officers Lt. General Thomas McInerney and Brig. General Jim Cash say that without question the contrail seen just a few miles off the West Coast of the United States was a missile, likely launched from a Chinese missile submarine.

General Cash, who was assigned to NORAD, as a Command Director initially and later as the assistant Director of Operations for NORAD, knows how the system works. He says that in his “opinion there is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star General in minutes, and passed to the President immediately. That is the way the system works, and heads fall if there is a failure. This is one of the most important tenets of National Defense and its sole purpose of protecting the American people. Even the smallest failure in this system gets intense scrutiny at the highest level”.

General McInerney, who served as an Air Force Assistant Vice-Chief of Staff and has 35 years experience as a fighter pilot, was interviewed by Sean Hannity about the incident where he stated, “That is a missile – it’s launched from a submarine, and you can see it go through a correction course, and then it gives a very smooth trajectory meaning that the guidance system has now kicked in, it’s going at about a 45 degrees away from you that’s why you’re not seeing a lot of vertical velocity… I’ve watched that film 10 times, I’ve watched 15 other Trident films, SM 3… Standard missile threes, and T Lam launches…. I am absolutely certain that that is not an aircraft.” The plume, which is very clear in the video, would seem to indicate a single rocket motor and not a multi-engine commercial airliner or other jet.

If Generals Cash and McInerney, who between them have more than 60 years of experience in the United States Air Force, are correct then President Obama ordered that this event be covered up. It would also seem that the media has decided to play along, as we have not heard or seen anything more about this story since the first couple of days after the footage aired.

Considering the lack of response by the Obama Administration over the past 2 years to missile launches by Iran and North Korea, it is not surprising that the Chinese would have no fear of reprisal if they wanted to demonstrate their military capabilities to the world. It is hardly a secret that China has been patiently building a modern “blue water” navy. It was fairly well known that they possessed attack subs on par with the Russian Akula Class. It appears that U.S. military and civilian intelligence were less well informed about Chinese missile submarines.

What the American people witnessed on November 8th was very likely a warning and a message from the Chinese government- a literal shot across our bow. It was notice that, just as the United States Navy can put carrier battle groups and submarines in the waters that China considers it’s sphere of influence, they too can project naval power within range of our coastline.

Moreover, this incident was a message to the United States and our allies that, contrary to what we may have been led to believe, we are not the last superpower. You can be sure that South Korea and Taiwan got the message, as did President Obama and the U.S. Navy. This may explain why the recent joint naval exercises between the U.S. and South Korean navies in the South China Sea were moved further south, so as to avoid provoking the Chinese- not the North Koreans.