According to the Department of Public Safety, the spectacle in the sky on Thursday morning over Lazy Mountain was a unique combination of contrails from a passing jet, atmospheric conditions, and the rising sun. Photos circulated on social media, as people in the Mat-Su Valley wondered about what appeared to be a strange trail of smoke with dark portions that appeared to be debris from something.
“The Alaska State Troopers and our partners at the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center investigated the Lazy Mountain photos and video that were reported to the Alaska State Troopers and have also been circulating across social media this morning. There have been no reports of overdue aircraft or ELT activations indicating an aircraft crash. A rescue team on a helicopter flew a mission around the Lazy Mountain area this morning and located nothing suspicious and there were no signs of crashed aircraft.”
There have been no reports of any audible impact, either, but plenty of speculation on social media, along with some political jokes on the Must Read Alaska Facebook page, including one that said “It’s Biden’s winter of death coming for us.”
“Further investigation revealed that a large commercial jet was flying in that area around the time that the photos and video were taken. The aircraft was contacted and reported normal flight operations on its way to JFK airport in New York. 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,” Troopers wrote. “We greatly appreciate the numerous Alaskans that reported the suspicious sight this morning to law enforcement.”
A contrail is a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, usually seen as a white streak across the sky.
Photo credit: Sarah Langguth