• Houston UFO

Houston UFO (Photo : MUFON)

Many California residents reported seeing white cone of lights in the skies on Saturday, mistaking it for UFOs. However, the military explains it was just the government conducting secret missile tests.

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The missiles were launched by the U.S. Navy off the coast of Southern California, reports LA Times. Such events places Pentagon in a bind, says Loren Thompson, military analyst of Lexington Institute.

That's because if such tests would be conducted, local aviation officials must be warned ahead and be provided with vital information such as time and location of a test to make sure there are no aircraft in the area. However, as much as possible, secrecy is needed to prevent potential adversaries, whom Thompson identifies as Russia and China, from monitoring the missile launch and flight.

Thompson adds that the type of weapon that the Navy launched on Saturday further stressed the need for secrecy. The Navy tested the Trident II (D5) missile which provides the Pentagon with ability to prevent a nuclear attack.

Had the Navy made the information available in advance, then Russian sailors in a submarine in the Pacific would have the ability to gather vital data of the D5, the military expert points out. These includes the missile's trajectory, speed, electromagnetic emissions and other real time data which could provide adversaries with insights into the D5's potential vulnerabilities. Thompson says the vulnerable phase is during the first stage of flight, or the boost phase.

Besides mistaking the white lights for UFOs which residents used as hashtag when they posted video on social media, some California residents also thought the lights came from a comet. Since one such clip was posted by YouTube Julien Solomita on his YouTube channel, it has garnered over 3.6 million hits.

However, SirPiplup clarified on the comments section of the YouTube posting that just because the hashtag UFO was used, people interpreted it as an alien space ship with extraterrestrials inside. It simply means people have not identified what that object is, he adds.