Rocket contrail
The contrail left behind by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch looked like a giant fish in the skies over Southern California. (Elon Musk via Twitter)

The bloom of exhaust that blossomed in Southern California’s skies during Friday evening’s liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket sparked jokes and jitters — with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk joining in.

Was it an alien visitation? A North Korean rocket attack? A stunt involving Santa’s sleigh?

Folks who were following the launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base at sunset knew full well what it was: a rocket booster’s contrail, catching the last rays of sunlight high above the California coast.

But for a while there, it was a mystery to unaware residents in Los Angeles, San Diego and other locales in between. Such displays, including the infamous “Norway Spiral” of 2009, often spark UFO reports. Here’s a sampling from Twitter showing how Friday’s UFO sighting played out:

Don’t fall for the Deep State’s War of the Worlds sideshow to distract from The Storm!

Big thanks to @elonmusk and @SpaceX for the hilarious alien debate that ensued between my family once we saw your rocket in the sky tonight

You are finally admitting you’re an alien?

If you liked tonight’s launch, you will really like Falcon Heavy next month: 3 rocket cores & 3X thrust. 2 cores return to base doing synchronized aerobatics. 3rd lands on droneship.

People freaking out about what turned out to be a SpaceX launch while collectively shrugging over the Pentagon releasing footage and actually suggesting there are real UFOs is so 2017.

This content was originally published here.