A rocket, man? Mystery vapour trail sparks speculation

PUBLISHED: 17:32 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:42 15 September 2020

A  mysterious vapour trail was seen rising into the air east of Cromer. Picture: Paul Welander

A mysterious vapour trail was seen rising into the air east of Cromer. Picture: Paul Welander


Questions have been raised after a mysterious vapour trail was seen rising into the air in north Norfolk.

Paul Welander, from Norwich, was at Cromer Hospital where he works as a minor injury unit nurse when he saw the baffling but beautiful sight off to the east.

Mr Welander, 47, said it happened at about 6.30pm on Saturday, September 12, and it took about 10 minutes for the trail to make its way from the horizon to its peak.

He said: “I have no doubt it was some kind of projectile being fired into the sky. I think it was something shot off into space - I know it takes about 10 minutes for rockets to get from the ground into what you would class as space.

“It’s difficult to gauge how far away it was, but I couldn’t see a black dot or anything else at the top, so that and the speed suggests it was quite some distance away.”

Mr Welander said several of his colleagues were also fascinated by the sight.

He said: “The trail was quite a beautiful thing to look at - the sun was reflecting off it and it was causing shadows.”

Mr Welander said he was keen to find out what was behind the phenomenon, and speculated it may have had a connection to Elon Musk.

The American engineer and entrepreneur’s company SpaceX has sent scores of small satellites into orbit as part of a project called Starlink.

The Starlink satellites were visible over Norfolk earlier this year.

Paul Wilis, who also saw the trail from East Runton, said he tried to get a better look through his telescope.

Mr Willis said: “It appeared to be an aircraft rather than a rocket but it wasn’t clear. I would expect it to be a Typhoon travelling vertical after take off from one of the Lincolnshire airfields. There was a much smaller plume as well that appeared shortly after but it only went a quarter of the distance up.”

Mr Welander said: “I was surprised that there didn’t seem to be anyone else on Twitter inquiring as to what it was.

“There will be somebody out there who knows something. Some official agency has sent something up there.”

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