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

Getty Images
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Almost 680,000 children in the United States were victims of abuse in 2013. And state and local governments aren’t doing enough to report abuse and investigate it, an independent report finds.
 

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Critic Kenneth Turan says Going Clear and The Hunting Ground are among the films that “blew people away” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
 

AFP/Getty Images
January 27, 2015 | NPR · A series of military confrontations and growing tensions between Western Europe and Russia means armed conflict in northern Europe seems plausible — and shows how ill-prepared the region is now.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Critic Kenneth Turan says Going Clear and The Hunting Ground are among the films that “blew people away” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
 

January 26, 2015 | NPR · From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
 

NPR
January 26, 2015 | NPR · Now that the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods has made more than $100 million at the box office in just three weeks, NPR’s movie critic Bob Mondello has a modest musical proposal.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
January 26, 2015 | NPR · Ezra has a voice that can float high and delicate, but it can also wade deep. His debut album, Wanted On Voyage, is named for the words inscribed on Paddington Bear’s suitcase.
 

Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
January 26, 2015 | WQXR · Hear the CSO and its charismatic conductor Riccardo Muti in a program showing the muscle and subtlety of the of orchestra in music by Scriabin, Debussy and Mendelssohn.
 

AFP/Getty Images
January 26, 2015 | NPR · Greek songman Demis Roussos lived an enormously colorful life, from his start as a prog-rock pioneer to being held captive by Hezbollah terrorists. He died Sunday at age 68 in Athens.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab