posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 05:27 PM
For what it's worth, as someone who has been studying and observing (some might say "obsessively") meteors and fireballs for nearly 15 years, I
would say that it's a contrail.
As multiple posters have already pointed out, meteor trails/trains quickly become distorted due to high altitude winds, and plunging down through
layers of atmosphere with different wind speeds/directions. Contrails on the other hand, since they tend to stay within layers of atmosphere tend to
keep their basic shape for much longer than meteor trains.
Since there is no evidence of the former behavior, that suggests contrail rather than meteor.
As was also previously pointed out, there are many examples where contrails have been misidentified.
cloudbreak - regarding your reservations about the apparent "trajectory".
Bearing in mind that the earth/atmosphere is curved/spherical. try to imagine how the contrail from an aircraft that happened to be continuously
producing a contrail would look if:
#1 the aircraft maintained a constant altitude/heading throughout the time you could see it.
#2 you first saw it as it came over the horizon, it passed directly overhead, and it disappeared over the horizon exactly opposite to where it
Got that mental picture of a long contrail, arcing over head from horizon to horizon?
Now, mentally "rub out" the middle section of contrail, leaving just a bit before you reach the horizons on each side.
Can you see how those remaining bits of contrail would appear very much like the bit of contrail we are discussing in this thread?
Actually the same problem telling which way a trail is going applies to meteors as well - people who are not knowledgeable about the subject often
make the same or simillar basic errors.