A Tale of two quotes:
'But Doug Richardson, the editor of Jane's Missiles and Rockets, examined the video for the Times of London and said he was left with little doubt.
"It's a solid propellant missile," he told the Times. "You can tell from the efflux [smoke]."
Richardson said it could have been a ballistic missile launched from a submarine or an interceptor, the defensive anti-missile weapon used by Navy surface ships.
'But John Pike, a defense expert who is director of GlobalSecurity.org, said he believes he has solved the mystery.
"It's clearly an airplane contrail," Pike said Tuesday afternoon. "It's an optical illusion that looks like it's going up, whereas in reality it's going toward the camera. The tip of the contrail is moving far too slowly to be a rocket. When it's illuminated by the sunset, you can see hundreds of miles of it ... all the way to the horizon.
"Why the government is so badly organized that they can't get somebody out there to explain it and make this story go away. ... I think that's the real story," Pike added. "I mean, it's insane that with all the money we are spending, all these technically competent people, that they can't get somebody out there to explain what is incredibly obvious."'