Watch: Mysterious South China Sea Missile Launch Came Dangerously Close To Commercial Airliner
An unknown foreign military in southeast Asia has reportedly test launched an SLBM, or submarine-launched ballistic missile, which appears to have endangered a nearby commercial aircraft full of people. Stunning video taken from a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 as it flew over the South China Sea just as the unidentified submarine launched the missile shows the airliner remarkably close. The Drive reports that it was likely a test of either the Chinese or South Korean military, but not even the precise date of the event has been confirmed at this point:
Twitter user @jchovernut, a pilot for U.S.-based airline Allegiant Air and a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s submarine community, posted the video, seen below, online on Tuesday. “They were over the South China Sea & were issued a last-minute hectic call from ATC: ‘turn left 90 degrees immediately!!,'” according to one Tweet accompanying the video.
A fellow Airline Pilot friend just sent me this from one of his colleagues at a foreign airline. They were over the South China Sea & were issued a last-minute hectic call from ATC: “turn left 90 degrees immediately!!” Chinese sea launched ballistic missile from a PLAN Submarine! pic.twitter.com/Zf1lf1zCu3
— Captain Overnight (@jchovernut) May 24, 2022
That a commercial aircraft was so close to an SLBM launch that a passenger could get rare, crystal clear video of the projectile as it shot out of the submarine is unprecedented.
The pilot who posted the original clip further described, “To their bewilderment, they spotted a SLBM emerging from the sea below their previously intended flight path!! PLAN Missile Submarine launch with very little regard to Commercial Air Traffic in the area!! That would’ve been me on the ‘delivery end’ of that Missile 30 years ago!”
China in particular has been known over the years to conduct unannounced missile launches which creates last-minute flight delays.
However, The Drive admits that the location and timing of the video cannot be verified at this point, with a statement from Cathay Pacific also saying it can’t confirm any details of the event or the passenger that filmed it.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) did announce that it would be conducting drills in the South China Sea between May 19 and May 23, which coincided with U.S. President Joe Biden’s visits to South Korea and Japan, but did not mention any planned live-fire missile launches,” the report notes, speculating on possibilities.
A number of observers have asserted that China’s PLA Navy launched the missile…
The Chinese Navy (🇨🇳) launched a SLBM from the South China Sea.
Very concerning that the test was conducted below a commercial flight path, and that nearby aircraft received very late (just minutes before the launch) notice of the test. pic.twitter.com/MselZ8VfhA
— Aerospace Intelligence (@space_osint) May 26, 2022
Further, on the possibility that Pyongyang might be behind it, given the recent spate of ballistic missile launches which have caught the West’s attention: “On May 7, North Korea did test a submarine-launched ballistic missile, but in the East Sea, hundreds of miles away from the South China Sea,” The Drive writes.
“In 2017, the crew of Cathay Pacific flight flying north of Japan observed a portion of a North Korean missile test. However, it is unlikely that this video shows that previous incident, as the airline said at the time that what the aircrew saw was parts of the missile falling back to Earth, not being launched.”
Thus the above video clip could mark a significant first of an airline observing a full launch and flight path from the ocean’s surface into the atmosphere, and was able to catch it all on film at a close proximity.
Fri, 05/27/2022 – 12:30