Missile-like metal tube is reported over Hilo Airport
HILO » The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating sightings of an object resembling a missile flying over the Hilo Airport area Tuesday morning, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
Reports gave opposite descriptions of its direction and widely varying estimates of its size.
The largest estimate was about 12 feet long, and the smallest was one foot. One report said it was headed over the airport's main runway, but another said it was headed north from Hilo, away from the airport.
Civil Defense official Lanny Nakano said the federal agencies classified the sighting as unconfirmed. The FBI and TSA did not return requests for comment.
Nakano, reading from notes from another Civil Defense official, said it was seen at 10:18 a.m. headed away from the airport.
But an eyewitness, who asked that his name not be used, told the Star-Bulletin he saw it heading from the Civic Auditorium area to the Keaukaha area, which would take it over the main runway.
That witness saw a silver tube with no markings or fins, trailing "vapor" that quickly dispersed.
"The noise was super-loud," he said.
Police also interviewed about a half-dozen witnesses who saw or heard it, said police spokeswoman Chris Loos.
Loos and the nameless witness said there were plane flights before and after the object was sighted, but the object did not appear connected to their presence.
At Pohakuloa Training Area, 30 miles to the west, spokesman Bob McElroy said there were no military exercises using missiles.