Mystery solved over what caused strange lights to appear in Hawaii skies

Image courtesy: Tim Clark
Image courtesy: Tim Clark

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Information released Wednesday explains the mysterious lights in the Tuesday night's sky.

It was a part of a missile launch from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai.

The Missile Defense Agency says the zigzags, or contrails, are the result of the crystallization of rocket propellant in the atmosphere.

But even though the case has been cracked, a lot of questions remain.

"Was it a missile launch that gone array? Did something happen to the missile? Because you never saw any explosion or anything…all of a sudden it just disappeared," said Dean Harvest from Wahiawa.

The United States Department of Defense says a live target was not planned for this particular test.

It was the first flight test involving components of a new missile defense system, the same components as the system aboard U.S. Navy ships.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard got a first-hand look at the launch from a military base in Virginia.  She called it "the control room."

"The launch went off successfully without a hitch and reached 100-percent of the objective that were set out for it," she said.

"It also highlights the importance of Hawaii in the Asia-Pacific region and our role in keeping Hawaii safe and keeping our people safe," Gabbard said.

Gabbard recently included an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act to covert the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai from a test site to a full-time operational site for the defense of Hawaii.

"Having these capabilities not just in the region but literally in our backyard is a good thing and it's a good sign of our being able to protect Hawaii's people from any type of threat that occurs in the future," she said.

Some who witnessed Tuesday night's light show just wish they had known about the test beforehand.

"Something like this where there was a large inquiry by the public, I don't think they should have held off until this morning," Harvest said.

The system will be deployed to Romania by the end of next year and Poland by 2018.

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