Missile or UFO? That was the question on every Californian's mind over the weekend after a bright glowing mass was spotted shooting through sky. Social media lit up when people up and down the coast weighed in—Seth Rogen and Lena Dunham among them.
Before long, officials attempted to pacify the outcry of an extraterrestrial sighting by explaining that the "UFO" was only a Navy missile launch off the coast. Now, the Pentagon has released a photo album on the United States Strategic Command's Flickr account that document the evening of the launch.
Upon further inspection, there's a lot going on here: first of all, STRATCOM has an active Flickr account? Turns out they do, and with over 22 pages of photos dating back to 2013. Still, doesn't it seem a little desperate to release photographic evidence?
There's also an odd discrepancy with the dates of the photos. In one, the caption reads, "A trident II D-5 ballistic missile is launched from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) during a missile test at the Pacific Test Range, Nov. 7, 2015," but the Flickr date says it was taken April 16, 2012.
While we're not exactly sure what this all means (they probably just messed up the publish date), it's fun to let the conspiracy theories continue.