SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A bright light streaking across the sky captured the attention of several Bay Area residents early Tuesday, but it was not a UFO.READ MORE: Pleasanton Police Arrest 3 Teens After Attempted Armed Robbery at Stoneridge Mall
The Navy issued a statement saying it was conducting missile tests off the California coast.
“Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted scheduled Trident II (D5) missile test flights at sea from an Ohio Class SSBN, in the Pacific Test Range offthe coast of California,” the statement said. ”This morning, there were two missiles launched.”
The Navy said such tests were vital to maintain its readiness. One launch took place at 3:30 a.m. PST and a second at 6:20 a.m. A submarine off the coast launched the Trident II D-5 missiles — a three-stage missile with a 4,000-mile range.
Navy spokesman John Daniels said residents likely saw stage one, which lasts about a minute, and possibly part of stage two.
“All missile test flights were conducted from sea, flew over the sea, and landed in the sea. At no time did the missiles fly over land,” the Navy statement continued. “All missiles are tracked from multiple sources from launch until final impact in the ocean. The missiles were not armed.”
But for the hours before the statement was issued, the bright light had led to an active debate on social media.READ MORE: Giants Lose Home Run Leader Brandon Belt to Broken Left Thumb