SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Just before sunrise a mystery smoke fills the sky over southern Utah, now many people are wondering - what was it? ABC 4 discovers it has an explosive answer.
Was the sky falling? Were we under attack? The mystery in the sky appeared to have a glow and a clear trail of smoke. Thursday morning people in southern Utah who saw it had a tough time describing it.
"Just kind of looked up it was like a white fluffy mark," said Bridget Whitehorse, witness from Montezuma Creek.
Was it a bird or plane? We know it wasn't Superman. But if you remember the 1978 movie, where Superman chased down a flying missile, you’ll understand how Superman and Thursday's mystery smoke shared a similar job.
"What people are seeing is the contrail of a Juno missile," said Drew Hamilton, White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office.
Thursday morning an army missile range in New Mexico launched two missiles. One called Juno, the other called a PAC 3. Juno was the target. And just like Superman, the PAC 3 was sent to the hunt Juno down and destroy it.
"The lighting conditions happened to be very good to take that rising sun light and bounce it off and back down to earth and where everyone could see a beautiful light show," said Hamilton.
People as far away as Phoenix and Los Angeles could see the smoke the missiles left behind. Those who did are now glad they know what it was.
"Kind of an eerie feeling not knowing," said Whitehorse.
And they're grateful it wasn't something the man of steel needed to stop.
If you missed the smoke Thursday morning, there's a good chance you'll have another opportunity. The army missile range in New Mexico launches these test target missiles at least once a year. So you may want to keep an eye on the sky.