A vertical streak of light has illuminated the sky above Whidbey Island, which has a naval air station, on Tuesday morning. The lens of a powerful night camera spotted at 3.56am local time (11.56am GMT) an unidentified object which has the same shape of a missile, above Whidbey, north of Seattle in the US state of Washington.
Greg Johnson of Shunk Bay Weather, the author of the snaps, said: “My night camera picked up what clearly looks like a very large missile launch from Whidbey Island. “I really wanted more information before I shared this with the public.”
He said to have contacted a number of experts, including Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society. Despite suggestions that the photograph shows a missile however, the naval air station on the island maintains that it doesn’t actually have the ability to launch missiles of this size. “There’s a lot of speculation around here,” said spokesman Tom Mills. “But it’s definitely not a missile.”
Neither Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society or Professor David Shultz of the University of Manchester’s Center for Atmospheric Science believe that the photo shows a meteorological event.
Professor Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington also said the object looked just like a missile launch. ‘This feature does not look like a meteor, nor are there any meteor reports for the area that I could find online’, Professor Mass wrote on his blog.
‘The lightning networks did not show a strike in that area’, he said.
‘I have never heard of rocket launches from Whidbey Island Air station in Oak Harbor. And checking online, I can not find any discussion of this feature’, he wrote.
However, according to automotive website The Drive, there was an air ambulance helicopter flying in the vicinity of Skunk Bay when the image was taken.
In all, there are 17 active duty squadrons and 3 Ready Reserve squadrons based at NAS Whidbey Island. The air station also maintains a Search and Rescue Unit that flies two Sikorsky MH-60S Nighthawks. With the addition of the MH-60S, Navy Search and Rescue provides 24-hour day and night maritime, inland and mountainous rescue support for Department of Defense personnel and the greater Pacific Northwest community. The SAR Unit provides 15-minute alert coverage Monday through Thursday from 0800-0200 or last plane on deck, Friday 0800-2200 or last plane on deck and 30-minute alert coverage at all other times of the year. Additionally, SAR has organic SAR Medical Technicians on all missions it performs. NASWI SAR primarily serves military aircrews, but missions to help civilians in distress are often approved and executed.
Over 50 tenant commands are at NAS Whidbey Island to provide training, medical and dental, and other support services, including a Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) for Whidbey’s staff and student Marine Corps personnel. The base also continues its longstanding role as a center of activity for Naval Air Reserve operations and training in the region.
In November 2017, Whidbey Island Navy officials confirmed that one of their fighter pilots running routine maneuvers above the sky’s of Okanogan, County, WA. was involved in a publicity stunt drawing an image of a large penis above the sky’s above Okanogan and Omak, WA. Navy officials said, “the Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable.” This however, spawned controversy around the world. Reporting on this stunt was made all around the United States as well the around the world, with newspapers such as BBC reporting on the incident. The local paper the Omak Chronicle, stated that local residents had noticed the image above the sky’s of Okanogan and Omak and had reported it to local officials. The local 911 dispatch center had received several calls about the image and reporting to various newspapers had been reported by local residents with some complaints.