Mysterious skywriting portends inevitable doom?

Ransom Riggs

That's what the conspiracy theorists would have us think. But the real meaning of yesterday's mysterious sky-message, which appeared over West L.A. at about 1:30pm, is apparently a secret. (For those of you who can't quite make the already-blurring-just-forty-seconds-after-it-appeared message, it reads "Get ready to get real LA.") Five minutes later, it was gone with the wind.

Lacking solid evidence that the message portends apocalypse, here are some fun facts about skywriting:

  • This is actually a variation on skywriting known as skytyping, which explains why it looks a bit like the product of a dot matrix printer.
  • Five planes flying in formation created the message, and the oil-and-exhaust mix that makes the smoke is controlled by one trigger on one of the planes.
  • The message is about five miles wide and 1,500 feet high.
  • A typical skywritten message costs about $1,000, and lasts between 10-15 minutes, depending on weather conditions.
  • The first skywriting was done in the 1930s, and were advertisements for Pepsi-Cola.

If any of you have information about our doom, as portended in the sky, please let us know.