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

AFP/Getty Images
December 4, 2016 | NPR · Some are in an uproar over President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call to Taiwan’s president. Yet the Chinese leadership has shown no interest in escalating the matter.
 

AFP/Getty Images
December 4, 2016 | NPR · In a surprising move, John Key said it was the “right time” to leave politics. Key, who spent eight years as leader of his country and his party, says he will formally step down on Dec. 12.
 

December 4, 2016 | NPR · Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II discusses news that the Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
 

Arts & Life

December 4, 2016 | NPR · In the early 1970s surrealist icon Salvador Dalí published a lavish cookbook called Les Dîners de Gala. Decades later, the book is being republished for a new and much wider audience.
 

December 4, 2016 | NPR · Lauren Graham is the fast-talking Lorelei Gilmore, on Gilmore Girls, a role she recently reprised on Netflix. She tells NPR’s Ailsa Chang about her memoir, Talking As Fast As I Can.
 

December 4, 2016 | NPR · The Red Car, the latest novel by Marcy Dermansky, features a protagonist who’s haunted by a former boss. NPR’s Ailsa Chang speaks with Dermansky about the fantastical and dark novel.
 

Music

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
December 4, 2016 | NPR · The score for the new film, which stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy grappling with the death of her husband, was written by 29-year old English composer Mica Levi (a.k.a. Micachu).
 

Getty Images
December 4, 2016 | NPR · A Canadian police department jokingly said they’d punish drunk drivers by making them listen to Nickelback. That got us thinking: What song would you pick as punishment? We asked, you answered.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 4, 2016 | NPR · The Minneapolis singer and rapper spent her early life deep in the Pentecostal church — and shut away from secular music. When she moved to Houston, Texas, everything changed.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab