Tall Tales From The Field

The Ultimate Rush?

I get a rush whenever I visit Eureka Dunes at Death Valley National Park. But last week I received what was possibly the ultimate rush. As I was setting up camp at the base of the dunes, I noticed something low in the air coming at me really fast.  I’ve seen fighter jets from the nearby China Lake Naval Air Station at Eureka Dunes and Death Valley before but this encounter was almost more than I could handle. This jet flew right over me, no more than 100 feet above me!!  I could not only hear it but I could literally feel the thrusts of  its engines. It almost knocked me to the ground. I was standing next to my truck which I used to prop myself up.

For a second, I thought this jet was going to crash on top of me. It was wobbling slightly as it came right over me. My heart was pounding as I watched it fly past me and put on an aerial show.  The jet flew vertically into the sky, paused for a moment, and literally dropped out of the sky. I’ve seen Blue Angel Pilots do this maneuver but I was witnessing this as if the pilot was putting on a show just for me. I wish I knew the jet would be coming so I could have photographed it better or even produced a video. I spent the rest of the day looking for jets but they never appeared.

My camera wasn’t quite prepared for this display but I managed to sort of capture it.  The images below hopefully give you an idea of what I saw and felt.   More normal images of Eureka Dunes and the fall colors from California’s Owens Valley and The Eastern Sierras to follow soon.

 

Eureka Dunes from 10 miles away in a remote section of Death Valley National Park

Eureka Dunes, some 700 feet high, from 10 miles away in a remote section of Death Valley National Park

 

Real picture of jet, a bit blurry as it was probably travelling in excess of 500 mph

Real picture of jet, a bit blurry as it was probably traveling in excess of 500 mph

 

I inserted an image of a jet into this pic I took from my campsite. The jet came around the sand dune in a tight turn and headed towards me!

I inserted an image of a jet into this pic I took from my campsite. The jet came around the sand dune in a tight turn and headed towards me!

 

This is the path it took as it came towards me.

This is the path it took as it came towards me.

 

The jet went straight up into the sky. You can barely see it

The jet went straight up into the sky. You can barely see it

 

It went straight up and straight down. What a RUSH!

It went straight up and straight down. What a RUSH!

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14 responses

  1. Wow! How very disconcerting (to say the least). Well captured.

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 11:49 AM

  2. Insanity!! I had a pair of fighter jets buzz me in a remote valley of WA, no more than 300 ft above and I thought I was being attacked. It happened so fast!! Cool how those moments escape the camera:)

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 11:58 AM

  3. Was it possibly a drone? I can imagine that it could have felt thrilling and yet scary.

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 12:37 PM

  4. What an incredible experience. I wonder if you’ll ever see it again.

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    • I’ll probably see those jets out there again but probably not that close. I also didn’t think they were allowed to fly in a national park.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 3, 2015 at 3:36 PM

  5. You must have a good heart condition, to experience that, nevertheless you captured it, great image

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM

  6. Some guy feeling his Wheaties! 😉

    Like

    November 3, 2015 at 7:19 PM

  7. I know the feeling! We had one fly overhead at Palouse Falls in Washington State… alarming and thrilling all at once. Great post!

    Like

    November 4, 2015 at 10:56 AM

  8. We have seen the Blue Angels many times and it is always exciting. But, to have one perform just for you must have been thrilling – and loud.

    Like

    November 5, 2015 at 3:13 PM

  9. Merci for visiting 24/7 in France, author of “Solitary Desire-One Woman’s Journey to France” (video http://youtu.be/xG_YTa5sDac & wishing you a bonne semaine!

    Like

    November 15, 2015 at 11:52 PM

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