Alert reader and Facebook addict Jessica Gibbins demands to know why I haven’t posted anything about the mystery rocket off the coast of California. Well, mainly because I’m not a journalist and don’t know how to research anything. And also because my book just got published, and I was drunk as an owl when it happened.
You judge me all you want. Anyway, two days later, the story has been replaced by Stewart Vs. Maddow and the G-20something and the Garfield creator’s startling revelation that he’s still drawing Garfield comics, but I’m still going to get to the bottom of this story for Ms. Gibbins.
Here’s all I know – I saw a news story saying NORAD or the Pentagon or NASA or whoever’s supposed to be able to explain mystery rockets, were all at a complete loss. I skimmed a few news stories in which the spokespeople for various government agencies shrugged and said, beats the hell out of us.
But a few news stories isn’t digging deep enough to get to the truth, so I’m going to briefly skim a few more. I will look for articles from varied news sources right now as I’m typing this, and see what they say.
First. CNN was where I read the story in the first place. The part at the beginning where the rocket scientist or something says, for crying out loud it’s an airplane contrail at a weird angle what’s wrong with everybody? That wasn’t there the first time. They’ve added that since they first published the story saying no one knew what it was.
Then CNN later posted this interview with an MIT professor who says, that’s so obviously a missile he can barely stand it. Then a follow-up article in which the Pentagon is suddenly super duper sure it’s an airplane contrail, just like the guy they added into the beginning of their original story.
On over to the Fox News website, where they start us off the same way, with an article about a mystery rocket, then two stories – here and here – in which they state very firmly, it’s a plane. What I don’t see over here at Fox News is an MIT professor who’s sure it’s a missile. Okay, so maybe the MIT professor is nuts, I’m going to watch and see if he turns up anywhere else.
Let’s try the Huffington Post – pretty much the opposite of Fox News, minus about a trillion dollars. Pretty much the same thing, mystery rocket then an article about how it’s clearly a plane.
Okay, so maybe overseas. What’s BBC think about it? Same way. Except they sound smarter telling us about it.
So, according to every credible news source except the voice of an MIT professor, it’s extra super definitely an airplane contrail. That’s great news, because “mystery rocket” sounds so scary and unstable. I’m glad to hear that it was just a normal airplane.
Of course, I’m not too glad about the two day gap in between “we have no idea where that rocket came from” and “Oh, good news it’s obviously an airplane.”
It’s like asking Oliver North a question in the hearings from the eighties, watching him lean back and whisper with five attorneys for a half an hour, and then lean forward and say, “I know absolutely nothing about that.” Seems like a long time to talk with five attorneys about nothing.
And two days seems like a long time to wait to come up with “airplane.”
If it’s a mystery rocket the Pentagon didn’t know about, that’s worrisome. But if you’re the Pentagon, and two days ago you didn’t know what the hell the airplane was, I find that a little worrisome, too.
Kind of like the old Roswell gag – the Air Force guy goes straight to the press – I’ve never seen anything like this obviously alien craft in my life! Some trucks and helicopters arrive. Then we get a picture of a guy holding up – holding up – a weather balloon that looks like a kite, and saying, “I have no idea what I was thinking it’s so obviously a weather balloon.”
Conspiracy or not – poorly handled in both incidents. Pentagon officials and Air Force officers should keep mentally handy a list of harmless things that can be in the air and explain weird, flying things. Like, I don’t know. Airplanes. Then when something like this happens, whether it’s an airplane or something freaky you don’t want to tell anyone about, you can cough up a reasonable answer instead of standing there with your eyes bugged out, looking guilty.
Honestly what do you tell a cop when he pulls you over? You can’t just stare at him and lock up – say something. Something cool and innocuous. The most terrifying thing about this story is how awkward and anti-social the Pentagon has become.
There you go, Ms. Gibbins. Anyone else out there wants me to google something for them, just go ahead and let me know.