"It could be a test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a submarine . . . to demonstrate, mainly to Asia, that we can do that," Ellsworth said. We used to rattle the saber toward the Soviets by such means during the Cold War. But, he emphasized, that is purely speculation and we should wait to hear from the Pentagon for concrete answers. The problem is, however, the Pentagon doesn't seem to know anything about the launch, so for now the mystery missile remains a mystery.