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"Ask yourself how a jet can be seen leaving no contrail or a very short and short-lived contrail in the same sky as another large aircraft or pair of planes leaving broad white lingering plumes. Then ask yourself why formations of “commercial jets” are suddenly appearing far from airports and air navigation beacons – only to vanish, then return weeks later. Airline pilots flying back-and-forth grid-patterns, making head-on passes and crossing in X-patterns would quickly lose their licenses. Commercial aircraft prominently display their airline logo, "colors" and registration numbers. Photo-identified KC-135 and KC-10 spray aircraft are modified Boeing 707s and DC-10s. While they can be mistaken for airliners, air force tankers are usually painted all white or silver, and carry no large identification markings. Zoom video shots show no windows in the fuselage – a feature not especially appreciated by “passengers”. "In Texas, Mark Steadham’s landmark study used Flight Explorer software to identify all aircraft leaving ‘trails over Houston during the winter of 2000. Steadham found that the plumes left by identified commercial airliners lasted on average 22 seconds before dissipating. Plumes left by multi-engine military aircraft in the same airspace at the same time lingered four to eight hours. Experienced commercial pilots, military personnel and other qualified observers say the phenomena they are often observing are not normal contrails."
..... the DC-8 aircraft as an in situ sampling platform. It will carry a wide variety of gaseous, particulate, radiative, and meteorological instruments.
Originally posted by Gmoneycricket
It is water and ice laced with jet engine exhaust.
Originally posted by ProudBird
Contrails are even classed in the "genus" of cloud types: "Cirrus Aviaticus"