As quoted in the article below, Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and international security at MIT, states "Its not an aircraft contrail. That I'm confident of. It looks like a big missile..."
The Christian Science Monitor lends the most "scientific" insight into this mystery:
California 'mystery missile' ignites debate: Friend, foe or faux
A mysterious missile launch from California or an optical illusion?
That's a question the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) is trying to resolve – and the blogosphere is hotly debating – after CBS News in Los Angeles aired what appeared to be a rocket launch from the Pacific Ocean just north of Santa Catalina Island, taken at sunset Nov. 8.
The "mystery missile" video, shot from a helicopter operated by local CBS affiliate KCBS, shows what appears to be an arcing plume of engine exhaust rising into the sky west of Los Angeles. Speculation about its source ranges from an airliner, whose contrail is giving the illusion of rocketry, or a missile itself.
About the only thing unambiguous about the event is that the go-to agencies either with jurisdiction over launches or with fingers poised over launch buttons – the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Defense Department – said, in effect, "It wasn't us.
Others lean toward the rocket-launch explanation, which if true and not from a US source, would have serious national-security implications.
"It's not an aircraft contrail," says Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology, and international security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also in Cambridge, Mass. "That I'm confident of. It looks like a big missile, but who knows what a contrail looks like from long range."
It's hard to know for sure, he acknowledges. But the contrail had features reminiscent of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, similar to the US Navy's Trident II.
After reviewing the video, he noted twists to the contrail that could have been caused by wind. But, he adds, it also is consistent with a twisting maneuver that solid-fuel, long-range missiles perform to control their speed and range.
The contrail "has the spirals you would see in an advanced solid-rocket missile," he says.
So. If this was indeed a missile, who launched it and why was it launched?
It remains a mystery and it probably will stay that way. However, one has to wonder what exactly our government knows about this missile and at least one source has questioned the possibility of this having been a Chinese missile intended to send the U.S. a message (Did China Send a Shot Across America's Bow?).
This may have absolutely nothing to do with prophecy watching; however it is unusual, and these are unusual times in which we are living. Again, like most unusual news items, this is probably worth watching for any further developments.