Wednesday, September 15, 2010
9/11 contrail explained.
No - it wasn't aliens - or "chemtrails" or fighters on patrol on the anniversary of 9/11 - but rather a NASA high altitude research aircraft that caused the "mysterious" contrails over the Houston area Saturday.
Houston Airport Systems spokeswoman Marlene McClinton told Local 2 that NASA's WB-57 is a high-altitude aircraft, operating out of Ellington Field.
"It is taking air samples between 45,000 and 51,000 feet," said McClinton.
According to McClinton, it was a normal operation, but due to atmospheric conditions, the contrails were extremely visible.
Many callers said the plane looked like a big commercial passenger plane with the NASA oogo on it.
"It was just circling," said Cindy Hamilton who lives in Friendswood.
She saw the plane around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
"It would go north and just circle back to the south. I was just concerned because of what day it is. Seeing the plane brought back memories," Hamilton said.
Karon Wisdom saw the plane in Channelview circling for hours.
"Because its 9/11, everyone's keeping their eye on the sky," she said. "I thought either someone was watching out for us on the Gulf Coast, or something weird was happening."
NASA officials said the aircraft was testing out a new instrument and that "they have made several flights this week. It's unfortunate for the atmospheric conditions that made it very visible on 9/11."
Officials said it was nothing to be alarmed about.
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Posted by Steve Douglass at 7:17 PM