Droplet-Shaped Bubble From Anti-Ballistic Missile Launch In Urumqi, China

[Photo credit: Getty Images]
A commercial pilot flying a Cargolux 747 from Hong Kong to Baku has shot this photo of what is believed to be a secret Chinese anti-ballistic missile test. Flying over the Himalayas on July 22nd the flight crew saw a series of unusual lights and vapor trails climb into the night sky. The alleged Chinese test is noteworthy because it is so close to the North Korean ballistic missile test over the Pacific confirmed by the United States today. China has not commented on the photos or verified any testing operations. What started unexpectedly with an unusual bright spot on the horizon quickly changed into a droplet-shaped bubble that rapidly grew in size and altitude. Normally missile tests and space launches are well documented in international NOTAMs or “Notices To Airmen” via a number of media outlets used by commercial and military flight crews and air traffic control. It is important information since it not only avoids the extremely remote possibility that an aircraft may be hit by part of a vehicle used in a launch test.