No I did not see it but I have seen launches at Vandenberg AFB before and when they launch a rocket it goes up FAST! (It's always very cool when they reach the upper atmosphere) The "Mystery Missile" in this video goes up very slow. Also when there is a launch from Vandenberg AFB you can see them from hundreds of miles away yet this one can only been seen from L.A..
Lots of questions...
UPDATE: The blog Closing Velocity has a good point.
As seen in their report, the local CBS station puts the missile launch very close --- if not within --- an important, immense Navy test range (Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division), bracketed by Naval Air Station Point Mugu on the coast NW of LA and Navy-owned San Nicolas Island 75 miles off the coast.
San Nicolas and Point Mugu have been key launch sites for several recent missile defense tests, including the historic first missile intercept by the Airborne Laser (target launched from Point Mugu) and this Aegis BMD test from last year (ballistic missile launched from San Nicolas):
When I was a Road Runner Shuttle driver I would often pick people up from Point Mugu NAS and they would tell me about the range and what was done there. When I asked whats to prevent some guy from taking his ship/plane into the area they would always tell me that the area is very heavily monitored that if someone were to go there they would know instantly.
If a hostile launch occured from within the Sea Range, they couldn't have picked a worse spot to a) be monitored or b) put a thumb in our eye:
Sea Range is the largest and most heavily instrumented air / sea range in the United States. The Range Operations Center hosts and monitors complex full battle group Fleet exercises involving aircraft, surface ships, and submarines.
Even if the launch did not occur in the restricted area its close enough to that area not be noticed by the various assets that monitor the area.
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: ContrailScience.com has an a credible theory on why this may have been an airplane. Excerpt.
Firstly that the trail is vertical – it’s not, it’s a horizontal trail, at around 32,000 feet (about six miles).
This contrail is no more vertical than the road is, and nor are the power lines at 45 degrees. Everything is horizontal – it’s the just the angle you are viewing it from. All of these show horizontal contrails.
Secondly there’s the misconception of direction, that it’s flying away from the viewer, when it’s actually flying towards the viewer. This is because the “base” of the contrail seems wider than the tip. Perspective tells the brain that this mean the base is closer. But actually you can see the base has been greatly spread by the wind. Since it’s still so far away the effects of perspective are greatly diminished, meaning the actual width of the contrail is what is creating the illusion. Imagine is a plane with a 100 mile long spreading contrail were coming towards you; what would it look like? It would look exactly like this.
Thirdly there’s the idea that it goes all the way down to the ground. Now that might be true if the Earth was flat, but the Earth is round, and things go beneath the horizon eventually, no matter how high they are. A plane 200 miles away but five miles up is always below the horizon.
As I said earlier when Vandenberg AFB launch a rocket it goes up very fast and is seen for hundreds of miles by millions of people. This is moving very very slowly to be a missile. Also, so far all we have is ONE video angle of this if this was a real ballistic missle launch it would have been seen, not to mentioned, photographed by millions of people.
Here is HQ video of this and notice how it all changes after the 49 second mark.