#UFO Conspiracy Follows Naval Missile Launch

People look at the night sky using night vision goggles during an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) tour in the desert outside Sedona, Arizona February 14, 2013. Picture taken February 14, 2013. Mike Blake/Reuters

West Coast skygazers and revelers looking up into the heavens on Saturday night may have seen something a bit supernatural: a strange radiant light beaming through the night sky, stretching across the entire Golden State and as far east as Arizona.

Speculation started orbiting on the Internet immediately, with photos and videos trending under the hashtag #UFO. People began calling authorities, wanting answers. Could it be aliens? A celestial, cataclysmic occurrence? A sign of end times?

Neither, it seems. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, the beam was caused by a Navy submarine that had shot off an unarmed missile. The Navy Strategic Systems Program fired off the missile as part of a routine test, according to a spokesperson. In a statement, Third Fleet Commander Ryan Perry said: "Each test activity provides valuable information about our systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities."

No word on whether the missile test was related to the scheduled rerouting of nighttime flights leaving and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport this week. According to Reuters, night flights are being rerouted from LAX because the military has activated airspace just west of the airport for the next week.

The Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately return a request for comment.

Some witnesses to the fantastical event thought that it may have been part of the Taurid meteor shower, which happens annually. But experts shot down that idea, saying the light would have been coming from a different direction. So, UFO hopefuls, looks like you'll just have to watch some more X-Files re-runs.