2015 California Missile Test

2015 California Missile Test

Updated Nov 11, 2015 at 02:58PM EST by Ari Spool.

Added Nov 11, 2015 at 02:12PM EST by Ari Spool.

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The 2015 California Missile Test refers to a United States military procedure which involved the unannounced launch and detonation of a missile off of the Southern California coast. The procedure, which occurred at night, was seen by many citizens in the area, and inspired a large wave of commentary, photographs, and videos on social media.


On November 7th, 2015, the United States Navy launched a Trident II (D5) missile from a submarine positioned off of the coast of Southern California.[1] The Trident II D5 is a long-range anti-nuclear missile, created by Lockheed Martin to be deployed as a part of a counter-strike action against a nuclear weapon.[2] Each Trident II D5 costs about $37 million dollars, according to Encyclopedia Astronautica.[3] After it launched, the missile's boosters emitted a bright blue-white light until it was detonated.

Loren Thompson, a military analyst with the Lexington Institute, told the Los Angeles Times that even though the test was a very large and public affair, that it was kept secret until after the fact so that foreign powers would be less able to collect information about the missile's trajectories, speeds, and other characteristics.[4]

Online Reaction

Residents all over Southern California filmed the missile's flight, but were unaware of what it was. Many referred to it on social media as a UFO or an alien spaceship, and many people took amateur photographs and videos of the event and posted them online. There were thousands of posts on Facebook and hundreds of videos uploaded to YouTube.[5][6]

Users began using the hashtag #AliensTakingOverEarthParty to refer to the event, and it was tweeted over 37,000 times in 24 hours after the launch. In addition, there were more than 350,000 tweets using the word aliens that day, up from a daily average of approximately 25,000.[7][8]

な Follow Rey Of Sunshine WhatisRey #AliensTakingOverEarth Party They're trying to tell us something. We should listen Don't vote for trump 陊ゾ悶 RETWEETS LIKES 2,544 2,048 3:05 AM - 8 Nov 2015 aubrey な Follow osnapitzvk it's our party we can do what we want #AliensTakingoverEarth Party RETWEETS LIKES 956 938 2:47 AM-8 Nov 2015 Follow #AliensTakingoverEarthParty on its lit ayy Imac ayy Imao ao mao ayy Imao ayy lmao ayy mas® :3 Lntis RETWEETS LIKES 267 285 "t ,e, e'. 】 四.st, 10:45 PM-7 Nov 2015

Midday on November 9th, 2015, a Facebook user named Teshawn Michael Stafford posted several pictures on his Facebook profile of a deformed, miscarried cow fetus.[9] The pictures were then re-uploaded to a Facebook page titled Gianna Peponis, where the poster claimed that after the missile launch was seen, she heard a scream and went to her California backyard, where she took photographs of an unknown creature she found.[10] The pictures went viral with the misappropriated information, including being reported on in the Inquisitr and the Daily Mail[11][12] and a highly upvoted post on /r/WTF.[13]

Teshawn Michael Stafford added 6 new photos. November 9 at 1 :01 pm . I still got this and Sara Burks feet are in one of the photos +2 Share 2 people lke this. 52 shares online. so random girl has the same exact pics. November 9 at 1:22pm Sara Burks Yeah this was in our yard. It's not an alien, pretty sure it's a baby deformed cow. It's crazy the stories that can be made up and that people can steal your stuff and use it, it makes me mad. But it shows how arrogant people can be for a Ittle fame lol November 9 at 1:25pm Sara Burks I'm trying to figure out how to report this lady for copyright but I dont think it's worth it. The news contacted us when we posted it November 9 at 127pm AT&T 836 PM く asearch photos. There Removing The Alien Pics Off Facebook, Make It Go Viral! lds Like Comment Share O Write a comment.. News Feed Requests Messenger NotificationsM Gianna peponis Aerospace/Defense-4,506 Likes November 9 at 11 :22am . | R Like Page- So I found this in my back yard during that strange light in the sky the other night... This is so crazy... I'm afraid of the government to some extent.. If something happens to me please be my voice... 216 Likes 329 Comments 359 Shares Like Comment Share
Left: Stafford's original facebook post; Right: One of Peponis' reposts of the photos

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