Videos and pictures of a ‘UFO’/’mysterious object’ spotted over Florida on February 10 had gone viral, sending the netizens into a frenzy. However, much to their disappointment, the object turned out to be something else.
According to reports, a Trident missile was launched off the Florida coast and had a re-entry area to the east of Ascension Island, with a total downrange travel distance of around 5,200 miles.
Range ~8400 km. This is less than usual, but close to (~500 km short of) the infamous failed British Trident-II test of June 2016.@nukestrat @wslafoy @mhanham @ArmsControlWonk pic.twitter.com/MS7lSNLs24
— Dr Marco Langbroek ? #Vaccinate (@Marco_Langbroek) February 8, 2021
A Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test had taken place over the Atlantic Ocean. In the absence of any other details on the test, it is unclear whether the launch took place from a US Navy or a UK Royal Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine.
The Trident SLBM, with thermonuclear warheads, has been developed by the US defense giant, Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation.
Alerts were issued to aviators and maritime vessels ahead of the launch. The missile’s trajectory appeared to be similar to the one from the launch by the Royal Navy in the Atlantic in June 2016.
The 2016 test was controversial because it failed after the missile had gone off course, in the complete opposite direction, instead of heading towards the US mainland. It was blown up midair over water using the self-destruct feature.
On Wednesday, the missile’s comet-like trail had lit up the evening sky across the Florida state from the Treasure Coast to Southern Palm Beach County. Those who spotted the light quickly turned to social media, sharing spectacular visuals.
#Mysterious object in the sky over South #Florida tonight. Getting many calls and emails. Around 6:30pm. This video is looking east from Brian Goodale in #HobeSound. Even seen in the Bahamas pic.twitter.com/vuBvJHVMjg
— Steve Weagle (@SteveWeagleWPTV) February 10, 2021
The '#UFO' seen from the #Florida coast today, was a #Trident-II SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) test. The launch occured from a submarine in the Atlantic.
See my blog post from two days ago here:https://t.co/rlw0dqWuiO
— Dr Marco Langbroek ? #Vaccinate (@Marco_Langbroek) February 10, 2021
— Chris Escobar (@ChrisEscobar) February 10, 2021
An astronomy and physics lab coordinator at Florida Atlantic University Eric Vandernoot told RT that it was the altitude of the object in the night sky which made it visible from the Bahamas to northern Florida. The expert highlighted that this supported the theory that it was a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
SLBM Trident II has an operational range of over 7,500 miles (12,000 km) and forms an integral part of the US and UK nuclear deterrent arsenal. As per experts, the indicated range of the current test is about 8,400km. While the earlier tests in the Atlantic typically had a range near 9800 km, in one case even 10,600 km, hence the test falls short of a typical one by about 1500 km.
The area used for the launch, as per experts, is the same as that for the September 10, 2013, March 2016, and June 2018 Trident tests. They speculated that the target area near Ascension Island and shorter-range indicate that it might be a British Royal Navy test in which case, the SLBM may have been launched from a Vanguard-class submarine.
However, nobody is sure; neither is there any confirmation from any of the navies yet.