Today it seems anything can launch a social media conspiracy. Take for instance, an odd-looking cloud that appeared near Lazy Mountain, Alaska on Thursday, April 7 at about 7 AM.
The ghoulish looking cloud with finger-like trails caused conspiracy rumors to spread on the internet. People thought it was anything from a meteor or a Russian missile to a plane crash. Rescue teams that went to the site found nothing suspicious.
“Not sure what but it looked cool,” wrote one Facebook user.
“Could it be a satellite? It’s so strange,” another person commented.
“Looks like a meteor. I wonder where it landed,” a third chimed in.
So, what was the cause of the odd-looking cloud?
“Further investigation revealed that a large commercial jet was flying in that area around the time that the photos and videos were taken. The aircraft was contacted and reported normal flight operations on its way to JFK airport in New York,” Alaska State Troopers wrote on Facebook.
They believe the finger shaped cloud was the result of jet exhaust and the rising sun combining in the atmosphere. When images were examined more closely, the cloud appeared to show the commercial jet in its formation.
“Troopers believe that the photos and videos showed a contrail from the commercial jet combined with the rising sun, which together caused the unique atmospheric sight. We greatly appreciate the numerous Alaskans that reported the suspicious sight this morning to law enforcement,” the troopers added.
However, commenters tried to poke holes in the theory even after the explanation was given.
“The old swamp gas reflecting light from Venus story,” one man wrote.
“Mermaid and Barnacle Boy could have come up with a better story than this,” another said.
Meteorologist at the National Weather Service, Eddie Zingone, backed up troopers saying, “it was just a very vivid contrail. First of all, how thick it is on one side, the bottom left part is much thicker, which is what we expect.”
Hopefully these explanations put ideas of conspiracies to rest. We’ve had enough drama for one year!