U.S. military officials say last night's sightings of a mystery bright white light shooting through Southern Californian night skies was not a UFO, or even an unexpected meteor shower as some social media postings theorized.
Social media lit up as people posted a flurry of videos and photos online and law enforcement agencies received hundreds of panicked calls.
This morning U.S. military officials say there is no need to panic, the light was from a planned, but not very publically announced missile test.
They say the Navy Strategic Systems Programs held a missile test flight at sea from USS Kentucky, a ballistic missile submarine. The missile was not armed.
A Pentagon spokesman said "The tests were part of a scheduled, ongoing system evaluation test. Launches are conducted on a frequent, recurring basis to ensure the continued reliability of the system. Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities."
Witness Matt McKee who posted a video online of the light says, "At first, it looked like a gold shooting star. It went from gold and small, burning for a few minutes and turned into this blue spot light. Like at an event held at night -- not like shooting out at us, but a white bright light. What was weird, the tail was light and wide and it got bluer and bluer. Then it just burned out and went away."
The Los Angeles International Airport had issued a statement earlier in the week, which based on the panic calls and on-line theories, which ranged from UFO sightings to alien attacks to a meteorite bombardment, obviously did not pick up much traction.
"The military airspace to the west of LAX will be active for one week, creating traffic route limitations and requiring LAX to temporarily deviate from over-ocean operations," read the much unread statement.
The military tests will continue until Thursday, November 12.