Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a trident missile! Lucky photographer snaps incredible shot of a missile over the San Francisco skyline

This photographer got more than he bargained for when a Trident missile came into view while he was snapping pictures of the San Francisco skyline.

San Francisco

San Francisco

The incredible photographs show a Trident D5 ballistic missile launched by the USS Kentucky off the coast of Southern California at approximately 18:00 (PST) on Sunday 8 November.

Landscape photographer Abe Blair, 36, from Truckee, California, was there to photograph the San Francisco skyline and, as he had no idea of the missile launch, his first thought was that he’d snapped a UFO!

Abe, who was perched high above the iconic Golden Gate Bridge at the time, said: “It was absolutely incredible.

Trident D5 ballistic missile launched over San Francisco

Trident D5 ballistic missile launched over San Francisco

“My friend Justin and I decided to stick around and shoot some night images and play with some new techniques with our cameras.

“Then, all of a sudden, it happened!

“We both yelled ‘what is that?’ and ran to our cameras to compose ourselves and try to capture what we thought was a UFO as it headed right towards us!

Trident D5 ballistic missile launched over San Francisco

Trident D5 ballistic missile launched over San Francisco

“Just as we got our cameras reset it banked left our over the ocean and this unreal blue and white cloud just expanded bigger and bigger.

“Over the next minute we watched it go and either leave our atmosphere or burn out – I’ll never forget it.”

Abe’s pictures brilliantly capture the missile ascending from the horizon during its initial boost phase – with glorious San Francisco shimmering in the distance.

Talk about a money shot!

Talk about a money shot!

He managed to capture the missile using his Nikon D810 with a 17mm lens.