Saturday night, many of us here in the Bay Area and beyond were puzzled by a strange light in the sky.
As it turned out, of course, this was the unarmed Trident II D5 missile, launched by the U.S. Navy from the Pacific Test Range north of Los Angeles.
I read the missile was so bright because at the time of the launch (apparently at 6 p.m.), when the missile reached high enough in the sky, the setting sun glinted off the missile, reflecting off the rocket and its plume.
Record calls flooded dispatches, with people reporting possible danger, even a UFO!
Apparently, because of heightened public awareness, the military decided to de-classify this otherwise classified launch. The military keeps the tests secret to thwart adversaries monitoring the missile flight, such as the Russians. I guess that cat’s out of the bag.
I witnessed the missile launch, and I’m wondering if anyone here in Martinez did as well. I saw it, by chance, as my wife and I were driving back home from up north. It was so bright I actually pulled off the road to watch it. It excited both my wife and I, not because we thought it was an alien space craft, but just because anything that looks like a rocket in the sky, shining bright over what appeared, at the time, to be San Francisco itself, can be very puzzling. We went to bed that night, still wondering what it was that we saw.
You can imagine, I’m sure, our surprise when we were awakened later that same night by a loud noise above our home.
I went out onto our porch to investigate, and there was a helicopter hovering near our home, shining a bright light down onto the city, around the downtown area. At first, I thought someone may have escaped from the county jail, but have yet to hear anything on the news about an escape.
I also wondered if perhaps the helicopter was landing in the field over at the high school, as it sometimes does when the hospital needs a heli pad. But I did not see it land.
I watched for a few minutes, in my stocking feet, before returning to the warm bed. And a few minutes later, the sound receded. It sounded like it went west, over our hills.
Was there a jail break? Surely PG&E wouldn’t be out in a helicopter inspecting something at so late an hour. And I’d hope it wasn’t something at the refinery. It must have been around midnight! Surely a medical helicopter wouldn’t shine such a light down into Martinez. What was the cause?
I’ve run into a few friends who both heard and saw the helicopter, but none of us have any answers. I’m hoping the Tribune or some other news outlet could provide us with information.
What can I say? It’s a small town and not much happens here for us old folks, so when something curious does happen, we need to know! Makes life exciting.
Enjoying your paper, and would appreciate any further news on the “mysterious Martinez lights.”