(ABC News) - Let it not be said Elon Musk doesn't know how to grab people's attention.
The SpaceX founder captured much of the Southwest portion of the country's attention by accident on Friday night when his company launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.
The rocket was carrying 10 low-orbit satellites from Iridium Communications. The launch went exactly as planned.
Well, except for all the fears of an alien invasion.
Hundreds of people in Southern California called authorities in fear of what the bright, white streak and expanding cloud in the sky could be. The Los Angeles Fire Department went as far as to warn, "mysterious light in the sky is reported to be as a result of Vandenburg Air Force Base launching rocket to put satellite into space."
Musk joked about the UFO fears on Twitter, reveling in the chatter.
Nuclear alien UFO from North Korea pic.twitter.com/GUIHpKkkp5— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2017
Of course, he also took the opportunity to promote his next launch, because what kind of billionaire businessman would he be otherwise.
If you liked tonight’s launch, you will really like Falcon Heavy next month: 3 rocket cores & 3X thrust. 2 cores return to base doing synchronized aerobatics. 3rd lands on droneship.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 23, 2017
But more than stoking fears, the launch gave people a chance to fill up their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.