portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts

NORAD Scrambled Fighter Jets to Intercept Contrail

Fox news also has the story...

 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,71697,00.html
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- Fighter jets scrambled in an unsuccessful attempt to investigate a contrail of unknown origin first seen over the Caribbean and later reported over the midwestern United States, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled the jets soon after unverified reports were received around 4 p.m. Wednesday that the contrail, seen near the Turks and Caicos Islands, was headed northwest toward the United States, said Lt. Cmdr. Curtis Jenkins, a spokesman for the Colorado Springs-based group.

A contrail is a white trail of condensed water vapor that sometimes forms in the wake of an aircraft.

The jets were scrambled from more than one base and more than one location, he said, though he did not know how many jets or from how many locations.

Commercial airline pilots later reported the contrail over Florida and then over Indiana, after which no more sightings were reported, he said.

The jets attempted to intercept and identify the source of the contrail, but no visual or confirmed radar contact was made, he added.

"I don't know that anybody was predisposed to think it might be some thing or the other," he said. "We don't even know that it was a thing. It was just simply reports of contrails. We don't even know that it was the same one. We had reports from different places and NORAD did its job and tried to find out."

NORAD is coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration and is continuing to investigate the reports, he added.

homepage: homepage: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/Central/11/28/contrail.scramble/index.html

stealth bomber? 28.Nov.2002 21:28

tonda

sounds like a steath bomber/recon flight run, and someone forgot to tell NORAD

Or a spoofing test 28.Nov.2002 23:58

P. Tarquinius Constans

During the '50s and '60s, when nuclear-armed bombers were still the most-likely Armageddon scenario, the Air Force would occasionally sequester a group of fighters, move them out of the country and then send them unannounced over the U.S., particularly via the southern coast, for the purpose of seeing how far they could get before being detected and intercepted.

Such "spoofing" flights may have given rise to some of the UFO reports which were common at the time.

This could be another example of such a test. In fact, after 9/11, one would expect that keeping track of NORAD's performance would have a heightened priority.