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It's a Missile! It's Iron Man! Or is it Just an Airplane?

The path of US Airways flight 808 (via FlightAware)
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After plenty of interesting and amusing speculation, it could be time to file this fleeting mystery as solved: A new, straightforward theory might explain what that "missile" was that was spotted over Los Angeles Monday night.Could it be that what the CBS chopper's camera caught was actually just the contrail from a US Airways flight from Honolulu to Phoenix? So goes the detective work of "Time to Think" blogger Liem Bahneman, who studied which aircraft were in the area at that time, and used a Newport Beach webcam to see the same flight at the same time make a similar contrail 24 hours later.

The Pentagon is endorsing this theory as well, after denying yesterday that it was any military operation. Contrail Science "says such optical illusions are possible when seen from certain angles and under certain conditions," notes USA Today.