This video starts with a broad view of the Milky Way. We close in gradually on a fuzzy blob in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar). This is one of more than 150 globular star clusters that orbit the centre of our galaxy. The main image of the cluster used here comes from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile and the final detailed view of the centre from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
In the late afternoon hours of September 25, 1973, a rare set of weather conditions spawned an historical tornado outbreak across north-central Kansas. Although millions of dollars in damage and severe flooding scarred the lives of thousands, miraculously, only 5 lost their lives. Two small towns were nearly destroyed as was a trailer park in Salina. Five other towns took direct hits from F-3 twisters. A girl was born in a hospital basement as her mother took shelter. Dramatic movie films and still photographs of tornadoes were made that day, in an era when storm chasers were much fewer and using film cameras. I saw my first tornado then. I filmed it and several funnels that spun over the plains. These and other recordings as well as new interviews with witnesses will be included. Also, this was 1973 and the turbulent issues of the time were the war in Vietnam, the Equal Rights Amendment, the occupation of Wounded Knee and the brewing Watergate scandal. Hindsight of these things and more will be added to bring life to the chase. Psychologists will discuss storm trauma and meteorologists will explain the unique aspects of this outbreak.
Disasters can bring out the best in people. In a way, they show a side of us that remains more hidden in daily life. In a word: Kindness. Through your kindness, the story of the unique people, place and time of “That Seventies Storm” will be told. Your pledge dollars will pay for the gear, travel and legal costs of the movie production. It is a small budget for a big project. Anything more than this humble funding goal will only make the story better and allow for wider distribution of the documentary. None of the money goes to me, but into the production. In return, you may receive a wide range of rewards: Signed movie posters, digital movie downloads, movie t-shirts, signed movie DVD’s, credits in the finished movie, dinner with the producer, tickets to a tornado chase or even a song written and recorded just for you!
I’ve got to go catch a tornado or two now… You’re invited to come along!
A large tornado heads northeast after jumping over Salina, Kansas, dropping down north of New Cambria, throwing some farm equipment across interstate 70 and hitting some rural homes near Niles. Sirens in nearby Solomon wail for a short time, but the twister is miles from hitting the town. Though the storm produced an EF- 4 tornado southwest of Salina, the twister in this video was eventually rated an EF-1 with winds nearing 100 mph.
More tornado video to come from this historic day in Kansas!