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Zig Zag Contrail (with picture)

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posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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This picture was taken in Idaho on May 17th, 2011. I had forgotten all about it until a recent visit into my photo collection. I had never seen anything like this before. Have you?



Can anyone explain:

What is it caused by?
What is the purpose?
How its formed?

Is there something that zig-zags in midair or is this a spiral effect that appears to be zig-zagged?

I'd like to try and figure out what generated it & why its over a populated area. Many thanks.




posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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My guess is a bird.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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Well, no known earth machine would leave a trail such as that in the sky...

Leads me to believe it is the crazy winds at high altitude that are responsible...



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: Bloomoon

Hard to understand the trajectory, but could it be from a missile launch corkscrewing?



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:27 PM
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Fighter jets can perform hard banking maneuvers but I doubt wind would cause a swerving pattern to end up with perfect 90 degree angled zig zags...very interesting find. Hopefully some experts can shed some light.


edit on 9-5-2014 by DrumStickNinja because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Bloomoon

I found this one were there at the same time are some clouds that could indicate "wind" creating the wierd pattern.



The same from a different angle.




edit on 9-5-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-5-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: DrumStickNinja

"perfect 90 degree angles..."

Did you pull out a protractor?



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:37 PM
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It's more than likely strong cross winds.

2nd



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:38 PM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: Bloomoon

Hard to understand the trajectory, but could it be from a missile launch corkscrewing?


Over a residential area? That doesn't make me feel any safer.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:39 PM
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haha ok so relative to 90 degrees






posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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I will say that your pic. seems to have a center line so the zig zag is in both directions from the center line.

Another thing to take in to concideration is the height, as it looks like sharp turns at a distance but more likely they are not that sharp.
edit on 9-5-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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originally posted by: iamhobo
It's more than likely strong cross winds.

2nd


Okay, then why aren't the other clouds streaked? Could it be because they're at different elevations? It just seems odd to me that the contrail is zip-zagged and the other clouds are in poofy formation as if there is no cross wind.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: Mianeye

Looks like it has something to do with vertical wind shear. Different wind speeds, one above the other. Where they meet you get a horizontal rotation of air. That accounts for the wavelike clouds. Apparently the contrail gets distorted by the effect as well.

cloudappreciationsociety.org...



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Mianeye

Looks like it has something to do with vertical wind shear. Different wind speeds, one above the other. Where they meet you get a horizontal rotation of air. That accounts for the wavelike clouds. Apparently the contrail gets distorted by the effect as well.

cloudappreciationsociety.org...





I would normally agree with you on most things, but this particular cloud line looks way too sharp in the zig zag pattern to have been done by wind sheer.

Is there any plane or other that could account for that type of pattern? Such as a stunt plane doing some sort of "power slide" maneuver for lack of better terminology?



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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If you have a hard time understanding how that can happen, you might have a hard time understanding this, too:






edit on 9-5-2014 by ScientiaFortisDefendit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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Looks like the work of a mouse to me



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:17 PM
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It's interesting looking, that's for sure.

My guess would be cross winds, but it's a strong zig-zag - The edges look pointed, it's not just like it's been blown by wind.

Strange.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:18 PM
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It could have been a jet doing barrel rolls. I once went up with a pilot in an F4 and we did lots of barrel rolls. And if you look at it, it isn't real uniform. I suspect it may be a combo of wind sheer and some pilot having fun making the passenger puke.

ETA: Especially the bottom pic. It looks more like a roll caused the initial contrail.



edit on 9/5/14 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:20 PM
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originally posted by: VoidHawk
Looks like the work of a mouse to me


I'll gladly make the source image available. Let me figure out how and where to upload it to, in order to preserve pixel integrity. Its not shopped. Taken with a motorola milestone x2.

first picture
second picture five seconds later

That should put to bed any theories that its photo shopped.
edit on 2014 5 9 by Bloomoon because: added links to photos.



posted on May, 9 2014 @ 03:31 PM
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Good lord, people. It is a contrail at the border of two different air density/temperature layers, which has waves, like water. Air and water behave similarly, ya know, with respect to fluid dynamics. The peaks of the "waves" contain crosswinds and are dragging the contrail sideways.



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