I took this picture in a place called Warminster during a training exercise. Two Harriers came over head unexpectedly – one after the other and they fired missiles into the hillside in front. You will notice the one missile has hit and the other is still en-route (dark streak).
It took some effort to concentrate and focus – fortunately my camera was out and in hand. I wasn’t sure whether to duck or take a picture as the noise with a low level flight like that is real scary, its just like a flash of shadow overhead and everything is shaking (or seems to be). I can’t imagine being on the receiving end. I was friendly with an Iraqi guy who survived many days bombing from the Americans in the first Gulf war. You wouldn’t be completely sane after that, the stress would be incredible. There was some kind of lull in the fighting and he escaped on a bus, driving over people who were lying in the road – both dead and alive. Ahmed said that he had been conscripted and all he ever wanted was to be a hair dresser. When people see so much stuff on TV and in the movies they loose track of reality and what the images represent.
There is a very disturbing video on utube that shows something of the reality – see “news reporter bombed on camera” – I choose not to link here as its a very unpleasant scene that just keeps getting worse until I had to switch it off – but you can see it if you type that search term in. There is also some kind of up-beat video that you can see (1990 – 1991 Gulf War – also on utube) with music and little funny scenes on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Obviously two different perspectives from people who have been on two different ends of the process.
In the above picture, the jets have already streaked out of sight (Harriers hug the hills), but you can see the spot from where the second missile was fired(just starts as a black streak in the sky).