Mysterious craft photographed at airfield near Beeline Highway

Mysterious craft photographed at airfield near Beeline Highway. (WPEC)

Palm Beach County is a long way from Area 51. But a satellite photograph, allegedly taken by Google Earth, seems to show a high tech airplane or spacecraft at Pratt and Whitney's airfield off the Beeline Highway.

Pratt and Whitney is not commenting on this

Nor is Lockheed Martin. The other company that's been involved in developing a hypersonic craft.

Conspiracy theorists are delighted.

The Google Earth image shows a fascinating, futuristic, befuddling shape.

The photo is spreading on the Internet and a wave of excited speculation is taking flight.

Could this be a new jet or shuttle of some kind?

The most imaginative readers are asking, is this design using alien technology?

On Thursday, CBS 12 News went to the location in question.

Pratt and Whitney have a facility in Palm Beach County.

Security is tight and you can't see it from the road but there is a private airfield attached to the complex.

We brought some questions to former aerospace engineer, Charles Huber, now a science teacher at Boynton Beach Community High School.

We showed him the picture too.

"The hypersonic vehicles are meant to go five times the speed of sound, to do that they'd to have a certain shape and the aircraft that I saw is consistent with a vehicle that could go five times the speed of sound. Sharp edges pointy like a dart for instance." Huber said.

Huber worked for the Department of Defense and was involved in several top-secret projects over the course of his career.

"If this was some super-secret thing, I would think that they wouldn't leave it out in the daylight like that, such that anybody could photograph it,"'Huber added.

Whatever the thing is, you can't just fly the SKYTEAM 12 drone or a helicopter over that complex to get a better look.

It's restricted airspace.

What about sonic booms? Would folks around that area hear the thing?

Charles Huber says not necessarily because it wouldn't reach top speed until it's at top altitude, nearly in space, and it's a slow speed-up.

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