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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ...

Was that a rocket that took off from the Medford airport Sunday night, because it sure seemed like it was.

— Heather, Medford

No, Heather, it wasn’t a rocket, although anyone who happened to be close to the airport at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday could be forgiven for having similar suspicions considering the aircraft’s extremely steep takeoff, orange-glowing afterburners and the thunderous sound that accompanied it.

According to an airport spokesperson, the aircraft in question was an F-18 fighter jet, although which model is unknown. While it’s not uncommon for F-15s to come roaring into Medford from Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base in Klamath Falls, local F-18 sightings are relatively rare, the spokesperson said.

The airport spokesperson said it was unknown where the jet came from or where it was headed. Witnesses reported that after a southbound ascent that seemed to be 70 degrees or steeper, the F-18 made a sharp U-turn and appeared to streak north at a high rate of speed. Safe travels, Maverick.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.