Friday, January 29, 2010

'There's a cover-up of something'

French missiles or just toy rockets? Mystery deepens in Newfoundland
Toronto Star: Were those mysterious bulletlike objects seen in the sky off the coast of Newfoundland missiles?... Resident Darlene Stewart was planning to take a picture of the sun going down around 5p.m. But to her shock she saw the objects in the sky above Fortune Bay and called her neighbour, Emmy Pardy. Stewart took pictures of the mysterious objects.

'It was grey and silver on colour. It looked like an oversized bullet with a trail of fire behind it,' Pardy told the Star. There was no sound of an airplane's engine, she said, and three of the objects were visible for about 15 minutes.

An RCMP officer initially confirmed to Pardy in two telephone conversations that it was indeed a missile, she said. 'He said the military was made aware of this,' Pardy explained, adding he told her a missile or missiles were launched from nearby St.-Pierre-Miquelon, which is French territory. But the RCMP later referred inquiries on the matter to the federal government, which said there was no missile and no evidence of anyone firing a rocket near the area.

Liberal Senator George Baker told the Star there's no way the objects were models fired by locals. They were too large -- one witness Baker spoke to said they were at least the size of an 18-wheeler.

Globe and Mail: 'That's a missile. Of course it's a missile. The question is, whose missile?' said Robert Huebert, associate director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary...

Dr. Huebert speculated it could have been a misfiring intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a submarine- or sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which veered badly off course and travelled slowly enough to linger over the Newfoundland skyline for minutes. France, Russia and England are all testing new models of those missiles, he said.

'Generally they're so fast, so high, you'd never see it,' Mr. Huebert said. 'Unless it was having a malfunction. There could be something going wrong with it that wasn't allowing it to go supersonic.'...

As speculation ran wild Thursday, governments provided more denials than answers... 'We confirm that no French military activity took place at the time of the incident...' a French embassy statement said. 'There was never a rocket launched,' added Dimitri Soudas, the exasperated spokesman for Prime Minister Steven Harper... 'We have confirmed that there were no planned exercises off the Eastern Seaboard,' a Defence department spokesman said yesterday. 'We did not see a threat to the security of Canada.'

Ms. Pardy rejected the denials, saying, 'It seems like there's a cover-up of something.'

Image source here.