Mysterious light in the sky explained

SOUTHERN UTAH – A strange light in the sky was seen across Washington County and beyond Saturday night. The origin of the light appears to have been a naval firing test out of California.

The light appeared around 7 p.m. and began to fade about 10 to 15 minutes later. During that time, the St. George Communications Center confirmed it had been slammed with calls from people wondering what it was.

One call to the dispatch center mistook the light for a possible plane crash on state Route 59.

The light, described as a blue, smoky object by some, is the result of a naval fire test off the coast of California, according to Fox 13 News, which cited a Tweet from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

#OCSDPIO: Light seen in OC sky was confirmed through (John Wayne Airport) tower to be a Naval test fire off the coast. No further details,” the Sheriff’s Department tweeted.

The San Diego Union-Tribune also confirmed Saturday night’s event was a naval test.

According to the California newspaper, Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted a scheduled Trident II (D5) missile test flight off the California coast.

According to naval spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry, of the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet, the missile was not armed, and the military tends not to announce missile tests ahead of time.

The light was seen over parts of California, Arizona and on into Utah and threw social media into a frenzy as people tried to identify what the light was. Many called the light a UFO, which isn’t far off, as it was an unidentified flying object.

Initially, the light was thought to be a part of a meteor shower, according to

Known as the Taurids meteor shower, the event will create flashes of light as the meteors streak across the sky. The meteor shower is expected to reach its peak by Wednesday night, according to the article.

Brad Kitchen, St. George Regional Airport operations supervisor, said he wasn’t aware of any aircraft in the sky that would cause the aerial anomaly. However, he noted airport officials were aware of Nellis Air Force Base conducting some exercises in the desert, though they aren’t sure what kind.

“I have heard that they are doing some kind of operations out there, but whether it’s related to that light, I don’t know,” Kitchen said.

St. George News Assistant Editor Cami Cox contributed to this article.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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  • Ronnie Keith November 8, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Do you realy expect us to believe a missile lunched off the coast of California, can be seen in Utah? We have grown to expect the the government to lie to us about this kind of thing. But they must realy think we are stupid. At least they did not say it was a weather balloon. I have no idea what it was maybe some kind of experiment out in area 51, or Nellis. But it is obvious they do not want us to know what it realy was…

    • Brian November 9, 2015 at 8:24 am

      A little math can easily clear this up. A Trident II missile will reach an altitude of 93 – 249 miles during its boost phase (and 750 miles for a full range flight). See for details. Let’s use the lowest figure. 93 miles is 491,040 feet. Using Pythagoras’s theorem and the radius of the earth, we can calculate that the rocket will be able to be seen by someone roughly 863.6 miles away ( We’re roughly 370 miles (as the crow flies) to the Pacific Ocean. So even if the missile was launched from 100 miles off the coast, and was tilted away from us, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be visible from southern Utah. No conspiracy.

  • SteveSGU November 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    My question is this: If a submarine was testing a missile launch from out at sea, why would they aim the missile over the Los Angeles basin and then send it to Utah and beyond? Where did this missile end up?? Why wouldn’t they test it over the ocean, away from population centers and air traffic??

  • Bender November 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Ronnie Keith and SteveSGU – lemme guess, Donald Trump supporters?

  • .... November 8, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    LOL ! Wow those first two posters need to get a life..

  • NotSoFast November 9, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Sounds to me like a simulated missile attach interception test. (hum) Lets see, Who would loft a bird from off the coast to our homeland? Think about it. Put down your i phone- quit reading your Facebook messages and watching porn and get connected to reality. Don’t bother asking the White House, No one there gives a C______.

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