A television news station in San Diego is saying they would have never reported an unexplained object was a missile if a former U.S. diplomat hadn’t said it was.
The story of a missile launch, reported by CBS 8 in San Diego November 9, was picked up internationally and had everyone from tech bloggers to military experts weighing in.
Eventually a regular guy…not a journalist…(im shaking my head right now) thought it would be interesting to check the flight logs to see what may have been in the air during that time.
He realized a flight matched. A webcam aimed in that direction showed an almost identical video to the one recorded by CBS 8 from a different angle.
I contacted CBS 8 about a week later to see how a plane got turned into a missile sending a ripple through the blogoshpere causing the stirring of every conspiracy theorist with internet access.
The first person I talked to was John Chadwick. He’s an assignment editor at CBS 8. He said originally, a partner station shot the video and didn’t think it was newsworthy and passed the video to them.
Chadwick said it wasn’t a story until CBS 8 night editor Les Waldron got a hold of the recording.
“Once he got the video, he realized the full potential of what we had here,” Chadwick said by phone.
And that’s when it became a missile. Maybe.
Waldron said they only reported it as a missile because a former U.S. diplomat Robert Ellsworth told them it was when they reviewed the recording with him.
Waldron said they couldn’t get a hold of any Department of Defense contacts after hours. They eventually got put in touch with Ellsworth, the one person they could get a hold of. He says Ellsworth told them definitively it was a missile.
I had some questions for Les:
Why didn’t you report it as an unknown object?
“That’s how we handled it. We said look we have an object that we saw. We didn’t go and report ‘Hey it’s a missile’ until we went and talked to this guy who had every reason to be considered an expert in his field. He’s the one who initially said ‘Yep that looks like a missile to me,’ so we went with that. We’ve been saying mystery missile-object all along really,” he said.
How’d you guys get the video?
“Los Angeles called me and said ‘Listen, can you get us somebody in the Navy or something to talk to….We’ve got this strange this that looks like a missile launch.’…They eventually chose not to air but we ran with it.”
If the one person you did get a hold of wasn’t Ellsworth and it was someone else who said, “No that’s not a missile,” would you have reported it differently?
“Well, you know, thats a real counter-factual sort of a thing. It’s a hypothetical ‘what-if’ situation. That’s not how it worked out. I suppose if somebody had said to us right off the bat ‘Well, gee no, that’s hooey. That’s a contrail,’ we would probably have gone with that…We don’t like make up stuff and report it. We got the answer that we received and we reported what the expert said.”
Ignore the flight logs, the practicality of shooting a missile over the United States, the fact that no news reporter is trained to spot missiles and any other possibility. CBS 8 was convinced it was a missile – and they’re still convinced.
“That’s what it looks like. To everybody. Contrails are contrails right, but have you see the video. It certainly looks like a missile launch,” Waldron said.
I got an email response a few days ago from Marcella Lee, the reporter who did the story:
“We showed it to several people, including Ambassador Ellsworth, whom I interviewed in my story, and no one even questioned that it might not be a missile. The original story aired Monday at 11pm. The next day, when more military officials and the government weighed in, the theory that it was a plane was proposed.”
No one questioned huh.
Well, someone has to get to the bottom of this. I’m calling Ellsworth.