A trail of fire from a Peacekeeper missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday evening was seen by hundreds of Los Angeles area residents who swamped phones at Griffith Park Observatory.
Officials at Vandenberg said the missile was fired at 8:15 p.m. to Kwajalein Island, 4,000 miles downrange in the South Pacific. Coast Guard Petty Officer Eric De Jager said, "Several vessels at sea called in reporting strange lights in the sky."
The missile was sighted from as far away as Sacramento, San Diego and Las Vegas said Air Force Capt. Stephen Hill. At the observatory, one staffer said he alone had handled "50 to 60 calls, and they came in from Lancaster to the San Gabriel Valley."
A KCAL-TV Channel 9 cameraman reported he filmed a light streaking across the sky from Monterey Park about 8:30 p.m.