Southern Colorado was caught up in confusion today after an unexpected vapor trail was spotted in Saguache County. As KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports, nothing actually ever landed in Colorado.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Colorado State Patrol says a hunter near Del Norte first spotted and reported what he believed was a plane crash. The US Army operated White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico later confirmed the contrail seen by the hunter was part of a weapons test. Debris from it landed on base land. White Sands spokeswoman Monte Marlin says morning conditions were just bright enough to offer a glimpse of the operation.


…It captured the light. Illuminated the contrail. There are ice crystals as it goes through the layers of the atmosphere. And it catches those ice crystals which kind of act like little prisms and created a very sparkly show.

Marlin says the range has conducted 14 similar weapons tests since 1998, and they regularly work with the FAA and local governments to avoid potential confusion. The high altitude test was also visible in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.

 

Comments are closed.

News

Tommy Trenchard for NPR
August 30, 2014 | NPR · NPR producer Nicole Beemsterboer reflects on 10 days in Liberia: children losing parents, young men risking their lives to collect bodies, and the smell of chlorinated hand-washing water everywhere.
 

Discovery Channel
August 30, 2014 | NPR · Networks like the Discovery Channel have been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with fake “documentaries” about everything from mermaids to mythical monster sharks.
 

NPR
August 30, 2014 | NPR · It’s hard enough being homeless, but for women there are extra dangers and challenges. One D.C. woman who has lived on the streets for decades shares some of what she’s learned.
 

Arts & Life

Redferns
August 30, 2014 | NPR · What makes an essential rock song? Musicologist Greil Marcus argues that it’s not the stature of the performer, but the degree to which a song tells the story of rock ‘n’ roll itself.
 

Discovery Channel
August 30, 2014 | NPR · Networks like the Discovery Channel have been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with fake “documentaries” about everything from mermaids to mythical monster sharks.
 

Ozy.com
August 30, 2014 | OZY · A mobile bookstore, loaded with translations of Portuguese classics, drives around selling books to tourists and locals alike. The van, called Tell a Story, plans to start traveling throughout Europe.
 

Music

Redferns
August 30, 2014 | NPR · What makes an essential rock song? Musicologist Greil Marcus argues that it’s not the stature of the performer, but the degree to which a song tells the story of rock ‘n’ roll itself.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 30, 2014 | NPR · The tuba was the first bass instrument in jazz, until it was replaced by the string bass. For nearly 50 years, Bob Stewart has been trying to carve out a new niche for his instrument in modern jazz.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 30, 2014 | NPR · As a student at Princeton, D’Amato was mentored in his songwriting by professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab