updated 6/6/2009 11:58:21 PM ET 2009-06-07T03:58:21

Investigators in Texas say a flying object that narrowly missed a Continental Express plane last month may have been a large model rocket.

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The jet's pilot and co-pilot spotted the object and a long white vapor trail shortly after they took off from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport on May 29. The plane was bound for Greenville, S.C.

Pilots spotted the object at roughly 16,000 feet. It was about 5 feet to 7 feet long.

Liberty County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ken DeFoor told the Houston Chronicle that no model rocket clubs reported having launches that day, and that a permit would be needed to launch a rocket that high.

Another Continental plane narrowly missed a probable model rocket after leaving the airport last year, also around Memorial Day. That plane was flying about 4,750 feet.

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