Balmy January Skies

wpid-wp-1421279995000.jpeg    I sent the plane up for a low-res trip above the ranch neighborhood last weekend. This is the centrecam aircraft with the camera looking down and backwards today. Although it can mount on skis, it’s still currently on wheel landing gear. In this configuration the propellor is very low to the ground and you can hear it sucking a few small rocks into the propellor and launching at least one of them right through the tailfin. The river in view is the Missippi.

It was around 18 degrees during the flight and upon landing I discovered the Prius needed a jumpstart, so I had to hoof it a ways back home to get help. Anyone else out there have trouble with needing to jumpstart their Prius a lot?

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From Ice To The Sky: A Study Of The Frozen Mississippi

The river ice from an 80 foot altitude. (Hot food after a chilly flight, click on this photo to reveal and support a great downtown restaurant)

 

The ice again from 20 feet overhead.

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          After several days of temperatures well below freezing, the Mississippi River has frozen over in St.Cloud. Absent of snowcover, it was a great opportunity to photograph and study the pattern of freezing on the river. The water on the East side of this portion of the river is generally last to freeze and first to thaw. Due to the uneven and unpredictable pattern of freezing river water, it is considerably dangerous to wander onto the river ice, especially under snowcover. It is notable that the white areas are not snow, but artifacts of the crushing ice formation.

          These images were gathered for science and safety, so I was not concerned with the nose wheel that drops into camera view. This particular airplane is the only one I use which takes off directly from the ground. Recently fitted with wheels to do video flights, it was last flown with skis during the winter of early 2009 to document the construction of the Granite City Crossing bridge

Makes A Unique Holiday Gift…Stop By Paper Collector And Select From A Large Collection Of Prints.

 Most Flight Flash images are available on request at Paper Collector Gallery. 5×7, 8×10 and 13×19 sizes available.

Chasing Rainfall

 

9/26 Melissa – stop with the sneaky sabotage….my media is to protect me…does it need to go back up?!? What are you trying to accomplish? YOU HAVE TO REPORT BACK AN ACTION PLAN OTHERWISE I’M GOING AHEAD WITH THE PLAN WE SPOKE OF….Read…

Hi Melissa,

I honestly am very sorry. I couldn’t avoid freaking out because we just can’t go back to square one. Trust me on this. We just need to have something that works. I am open to suggestions. If I am doing something wrong, just tell me. I’ll explain why this is not helpful for either of us…example number one- Diego’s attack. I’ll get back to this.

Maybe I misunderstood exactly what you meant. I thought you intended to back to our Mexican standoff. It’s very important that you know I see you as a very serious threat to me. That side of the story is extremely complicated and stressful. I just don’t want to go back to being forced to live in fear. That note abruptly ended my 5 week stretch of newfound happiness that all of this would soon be over.

If you hadn’t caught on..I follow rules for communicating to you. I try never to say mean things, to be supportive, to avoid the blame game, etc. I have very conflicted feelings that I suppress, but sometimes frustration boils over, and I am sorry. I am trying to address the side of you that is thoughtful, smart and nice. I know that you would prefer to be isolated right now and we were working in that direction, but we obviously encountered a stumbling block very specifically because of our resolution NOT to respond to the stolen videos.

I understand why you have reservations to stand by my very serious response. The blog I wrote was chemotherapy…very destructive…to the CULT. Melissa, I didn’t post that because that was the “friends” thing to do. I had every right to post that in spite of your objections because it is very true. Obviously that move was a display of faith and trust. If we don’t address the video, the alternative is that you quietly have my back. That explains the change in tone that my letter writing took….trying to culture enough trust to eventually talk about this. You are asking to have it both ways….Melissa we have to find a middle road.

Do you realize why my media is very loud in the first place? It is to expose them and hold them accountable…but also very strongly to protect me from YOU. If you are positioning yourself for more attacks…they have got to go back up. If Filipe is manipulating you to attack me…explain to that file person why that is not a very good idea.

I am very passionate about my life, story and purpose. We don’t live forever, after all. You have all day to do whatever you do. I work, so my time is very precious.  I have worked incredibly hard and dilligently to help shape a proper and truthful ending to our extremely ugly story. Yes, I know, this is not a story but our lives. Yes, you came home, and we finally sort of made our peace. That was part of the proper ending. Unfortunately it really didn’t turn out to be that cut and dried. I try to spare you of how I REALLY feel. That’s why I talk to you, because in finding that peace, there’s no need for all of those bitter words and feelings.

There’s another rule that I try to follow. In spite of my feelings I don’t threaten to throw you in the dark. You need to acknowledge if this is all about Diego’s destructiveness, he wins if we break…period. I am extremely passionate about what happened…righting the wrongs, seeking justice, exposing the corrupt, contrasting the best in people to the very worst… I really look forward to writing this book. If you knew my life, it would be obvious to you too why I should write it.

Melissa, we need to make a choice, address the stolen video, or continue our attempts to be diplomatic as this story winds down. I don’t have all of the answers, I just know that we can’t go back to fighting…because that image of us is a complete lie that was forced upon us….and I will never accept it. That would be tolerating abuse. Melissa…when we took our blogs down, it was obvious to Diego that we were coordinating and ended our fight. The videos appeared a few days later because he wanted us to start the fighting again…and reclaim his win. It is very obvious. He spent 5 years with the express mission of destroying us both. By us ending our fight we effectively cut off his dick. It’s really that simple.

Your healing is very important too. I caution you from allowing Felipe from having to much influence on you over this…until you figure out what he is really up to. I think I’ve written before that you have some responsibility to come clean to more people that I was the good guy throughout this and acknowledge that you have been absolved from your involvement in the cult smear campaign….to accept the narrative that you weren’t an accomplice. THE PURPOSE OF THIS is to reduce my risk of danger and  the minimization of the potential risk for you to be manipulated to attack me again. It should be a line that people are not able to cross…hold your ground. Maybe you don’t entirely agree with that, maybe that’s another need to work some things out. I hope you aren’t upset by my very strong dislike of Felipe. I am extremely uncomfortable that he is intentionally invading spaces that are within my circles. It was an extremely bad idea to bring that infection anywhere near here. Don’t allow him to break your heart. Just play it safe. Be warned he has expressed agreement to the concept of hitting a woman back. I am serious. That’s the depth of his cold arrogance and stupidity.I am sorry, but do you have any friends who are looking out for you like I am?  Please don’t blame me for feeling strongly against his behavior.

I am very very serious why I consider you a threat and you kind of missed the opportunity we had to talk about this. To reassure me against continued attacks. I don’t want to list why…that would be breaking the no blame game rule. But I will say that at least I always try to warn you before I take an action.

Every once in a while there is an uptick in EOF activity on my page, and there is reason to think that you are still coordinating with Jessica. I feel the person who stalked us from Bangkok should try to be identified for security reasons. Every time I see this activity it generally means something us up….especially when Deb checks in…so I often wonder what is happening behind the scenes. There has definitely been an uptick in the hunt for information specifically related to you. I haven’t checked the EOF page in a few weeks. He writes way to many blog posts and I am so busy as it is.

I am working 50 hours….I am so behind in my projects. I am super excited for hoversled and the additions and improvements.

I am sorry that I “inconvenience” you from time to time but the damages to my life have been measurably severe. This years the EOF probably cost me $3000 for missed work, the damage and delays to the Hoversled once projected out will probably be in the millions. I am not joking.

So, conclusion. We have to make a decision of what to do about the video. These are words that came from your mouth if you didn’t want anything to do with it, you shouldn’t have participated in the smear campaign in the first place. As I said, I want you to be absolved of blame but that requires that we agree on a plan. If you make the video disappear somehow, we don’t really have much to talk about until my book comes out and I want to have your blessing as to its content.

Dont try to shape this thing about “harrassment” when it has throughout been about diplomacy…and malicious libel is certainly the most insideous form of Harrsment….or attempt to silence.

Are you saying you need some space? If so, do you understand my dilema? The video has to be addressed or we have each other’s backs. I need to have your input. Can you understand?

We can’t go back to playing the “I don’t even know if you got the message” game. Some times my notes are blablabla…but also at times critically important. This post isn’t even password protected because I don’t know if you remember the password. Just another reason we can’t go back until we are free and clear of each other’s lives.

I am trying to be nice…but you are responsible for the content of that video.

 

 

 

 

March, 2016

 

Hi my name is Steven Sohlstrom and I writing this to address a group (identity of which is not known to me) that took interest in the ongoing saga between myself and the end of fear organization. Apparently, a debate was sparked by the film which I made to expose what Jessica and Diego did to Melissa and I. A healthy debate is always a good thing when arriving at an objective opinion when sorting out the truth. As a person with a journalism and news background, I both respect and encourage such debate. I am unaware of the identity of this group and blind to any ongoing discussion. I can be contacted directly. I stand behind the film I made.

Unfortunately, the rebuttal to my film is not a private apology by the eof, or acceptance of accountability, but a very public smear campaign. Going beyond that, lives are being hurt, reputations damaged, and finances obliterated in the continuing “puppetry” that continues to distract from an ever expanding crime of exploitation. My wish to the sympathisers of the EOF is to demand that it stop. My film is real, I stand behind it and I also stand against the continuing victimization of Melissa who will be fortunate if she even has enough money left to find her way back to the United States, or ever even to get word that she is still loved and supported back home. The most important factor is always Melissa’s safety.

In the midst of this, I am thankful for the great amount of empathy expressed for our story, as well as the public affirmation that the eof has a definite pattern in the human wreckage they leave behind. I know this from close insiders and even Jessica’s ex. However, I am also concerned that in many instances, the smear campaign deflects from the very simple fact that our story is real, and can never be excused by a campaign to “embarrass” the victims involved. Melissa and I were very greatly effected by the trauma of physical and emotional abuse that was imposed on us by Jessica and Diego. I have volunteered a lot of very personal and painful information which the public was never entitled to know. I have stated that the events which have harmed me not only happened well after the EOF assumed full and direct control of Melissa’s life, but that each instance was directly related to specific and vicious attacks that were made to deflect my efforts to empower her safe return. It has been a very ugly and costly battle. It has been fought in the name of unconditional love and human value.

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The insidious accusations they made in an effort to silence me were completely dismissed in the court of law, and I emerged an advocate for victims of domestic abuse. My deliberate mischaracterization by the EOF is incredibly hypocritical and shameful in a world where victims of domestic violence are very real and the crime no laughing matter. It is very well known to everyone in our families that I was a victim of repeated and increasing domestic abuse. Melissa is forgiven unconditionally and is not to blame as the lies and secrets Jessica and Diego were force-feeding her weekly completely overwhelmed her emotionally. She could never explain to me what was happening to her because Jessica and Diego demanded secrecy. She was sucked into a myth that I can’t help but suspect they still trap her in today by anger and guilt…it is crucial that she understands she is not to blame. The very idea that it is impossible for her to come back is an easy sell…but that is a terrible and abusive lie. I still love you dear. I could not have possibly abandoned you knowing what I knew.

It might be an obvious mistep by the EOF that she is exploited in this regard as a weapon to deter the truth and it is a huge betrayal to Melissa on their behalf. If you are reading this you may be very well aware of her full identity. Jessica and Diego are notorious for giving the worst imaginable advice….they are not thinking of her, they are thinking of themselves and their pocketbooks.

One of the main contributors to the insanity to our story is the absence of dialogue between Melissa and I. For better or worse, that is a major contributor to how this story has continued. Information is power. You cannot control a person without control their freedom to communicate. That’s brainwashing 101. There are a lot of theories that might explain how/why this has occurred, but they simply aren’t answerable until Melissa and I eventually communicate. There is a game at foot that the EOF can simply manipulate Melissa to refute our story. (Ironically because of this one way flow of lies from multiple sources, Melissa couldn’t possibly even know that she is reinforcing a completely  false narrative and her own disempowerment. She has become the “pawn of choice” in many different occasions and it is demeaning.  I’m not even certain if this trauma has become real in her mind or no or weather it will leave an insurmountable scar. To the public who are rightly incensed by the ugly truth that our abuse was motivated mostly by greed, there will never be justification for how she was taken advantage of or how my life was harmed in the process. The only way to rebuild as victims is to bravely tell or story and LOUDLY at that! There are others that may wonder whether or not she has ever been released from their emotional control. Content in her life at the moment or not, it doesn’t justify her exploitation, and the script may quickly flip when she suddenly runs out of money or becomes aware and conscious of their deliberate betrayal. (Update: This prediction proved quite accurate in 2/2018) This story may be far from over but hopefully she comes home soon.

For those of you who appreciate the love story and the show of undaunted support of Melissa, particularly in the situation of being unable to assess her safety, and all of the sacrifice involved, a true hero has emerged as a result of their ugly and sophomoric attacks. Sorry if that hurts a little Diego, but heroes are born of action, the choices they make, and the sacrifice and persecution they endure without compromise. She told me that “I was her Jack”…and that proved an accurate prediction as  well but I would have preferred the  Icy Atlantic over what I ended up facing….I never invited Diego to be a part of my life story. Melissa could have warned him that he was dealing with a very principled, accomplished, and tenacious person. She certainly tried very hard to warn him that we were unbreakably in love and he refused to respect that. As stated in the film…it became about submission. They became relentless. She could have also warned him that we both agreed that there was something very uncommon and serendipitous about our love. We were a perfect pairing in every way we could think of…perfect balance…selfless and complete in our commitment to one another. A perfectly reinforcing relationship with little to no disagreement for what we wanted together for out futures. We never bored of one another’s company and there was never mistrust of insecurity…(at least before the EOF became the “third partner”  in the relationship as  she warned me of that potential problem) We laughed and held each other continually. We each gave continually and wholeheartedly to one another and we understood one another. The lies and the myths the eof still use to string her along to her doom could never possibly change that.

Melissa has done so much damage to the EOF by promoting our story I am apt to be quiet and just let her do her thing. Maybe it is her revenge for what they have done.  …well dear, empower yourself but be careful. Take any opportunity you can to get away. Don’t fall into the hands of other predators who may be waiting to take advantage of you again. Don’t play yourself as a victim. Be proud and strong if you can say you are a survivor.

I can’t help but have confidence in the public’s ability to spot a clear motive by the eof to bury the truth and twist a trail of deception until there becomes an end to her usefulness. I appeal to the public sensibility to help everyone find a satisfactory resolution with the respect for Melissa’s well being and safety. I encourage the public to not tolerate her further abuse and give her unconditional support and encouragement to come home. Do not buy into the charade. Ask questions, demand answers…and the truth.

How do we move forward? That was only ever for Melissa and Steven to decide together. Not Jessica and Diego.

Steven Sohlstrom

(Mielcita – si eso leas, llamame tan pronto como possible 8/17/17)

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The great lie that our relationship was abusive was ever only a hipocritical outrage.

Scroll Down This Page For Postings Through June, 2011. For Additional Amazing Aerial Photos, Click Through The Archives From May 2011 And Before.

     I hoped that the combination of heavy rain and a break in the clouds would result in an incredible rainbow today so I scrambled the airplane to Whitney Field. Unfortunately, the rainbow never materialized. The weather turned hot, muggy and hazy today, and later, I spent an hour of flying at the amazing Boomerville Lodge.

A special thanks to everyone who came to Paper Collector Gallery for the Sizzling Summer Art Crawl, The St.Cloud Times, Star Tribune, and the new businesses and people supporting the effort to make aerial photography more affordable and accessible in Minnesota.

 

Extreme Weather Re-Cap For St.Cloud And Central Minnesota, 2011

Support Flight Flash and bring innovative news and views to Minnesota and your community.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IMAGES AND VIDEOS  IN THIS REPORT, (EXCEPT RADAR AND SATELLITE) WERE PRODUCED BY FLIGHT FLASH.

       WEATHER RE-CAP 2011. Spring in St. Cloud gave an unusual hint that things to come might be on the line of the unexpected – or maybe even extreme. An April snowfall christened the city with a beautiful, albeit unseasonable layer of snow crystals that completely vanished within hours.

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       Days after the actual snowfall, Flight Flash (RPNS) produced this screen test to chronical weather in the local media…It was only an experiment and my friend Kaylene stepped up to be the on-camera reporter.

       In the moments we began to film this, the first wave of terrible storms were beginning to unfold throughout the South. The laptop radar captures a view of  this data. We used the images to train how to spot tornadoes from the national radar mosaic. Little did we know, we were studying what was about to become one of the biggest outbreaks of tornadoes in history. This left an unforgettable urgency to document and promote weather safety in the St.Cloud area.

       A month later, a small storm followed by a display of heat lightning reminiscent of 4th of July fireworks, paid our city a visit in May. At the same time, only an hour away, Minneapolis was recovering from a tornado touchdown that claimed one life.

       Then, on the first day of summer (June 21, 2011), rain fell on our city to such an extreme that it flooded several streets…and it wouldn’t be the last time this year.

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       The sky hadn’t finished. Not much more than a week later on July 1st, a very serious wind storm dropped a weak tornado in the Waite Park area, and pushed winds into the North side of downtown St. Cloud where dozens upon dozens of trees were pushed flat. The fact that these trees blocked many routes to the St.Cloud Hospital made the situation that much more serious, and our city went directly into action.

 

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Compare an image of Whitney Field only a few weeks before as a thunderstorm approached…

…and then 3 weeks later as it became the city’s compost site for downed trees.

       In St.Cloud, it seemed the worst of summer storms had to be behind us for 2011, but the weather was unrelenting. Rains continued to bring flooding that swelled the Sauk River, and endangered some of our young citizens and rescue personnel. For 3 days in a row, rescues and the recovery of a swamped rescue boat on the Sauk River held our attention in the news. The oppressive heat index which pressed beyond 100 degrees for a few days in these weeks probably drew people to the river to cool down in spite of the apparent danger.

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       Then came lightning! An intense electrical storm wrought fury in the St.Cloud metro…sending 6 to the hospital and alerts of fire from lightning scrambled firefighters to the rescue. This video captures St.Mary’s Cathedral in downtown St.Cloud receiving a direct strike from lightning.

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       The math…a simple calclulation determining distance by speed of sound, supports that the lightning bolt in the video did in fact strike the Cathedral. This video by the RPNS for WJON.

       The very next day on August 2, an early morning storm focused it’s energy again on Central Minnesota and winds more than 60Mph again destroyed trees and did damage in our area. This satellite image shows the cell expanding upward directly over the St.Cloud area.

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       Interestingly, our busy and diverse summer weather comes a year after Mn set the national record for the number of tornado touchdowns. It also came on the 125th anniversary of the 1886 tornado that did history-changing damage to our community, and weeks after storms that brought unimagineable devestation in the South. This post is written in reflection of the events this year that took lives, changed landscapes, and won’t be forgotten in our country nor in our own city and surroundings.

       Meet Steve of Flight Flash and view a large collection of his aerial photographs at Paper Collector Gallery during the Sizzling Summer Art Crawl on August 19-20 in Downtown St. Cloud, right across from the historic Stearns County Courthouse in the heart of St.Cloud.

Check out this post from the Flight Flash archives: It was June 17, 2010 and we were the first to spot and report a weak tornado that hovered over the Buffalo, Mn area that day. https://flightflash.com/buffalo-storm-spotting

Support new business in Minnesota: www.SohlstromWeddingVideos.com

Heat, Humidity, Storms and Flooding…An Aerial View Above Waite Park.

Another summer in Central Minnesota to remember. This flight on July 21st reveals the Sauk River (in Waite Park) at flood stage. Even after a string of rescues, and  a sunken rescue boat recovery in the news last week, I encountered 3 teens swimming dangerously in these waters…again, without life jackets. They finally exited the water just before the rapids became dangerously strong. This view reveals the river beside Parkwood 18 with the quarries in the background.
Here’s a video from the archives above the same location: flooding on the Sauk from just last spring…

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Sauk River 8

A recent file photo (7.8.11) of the Sauk River near to where the rescue call was made.
 

On Tuesday afternoon, as the Sauk River approached flood stage in St.Cloud, a report that a woman was spotted clinging to a tree in the swift flowing waters of the Sauk sent rescue teams into action. Upon her retrieval, it was learned that up to 7 more members of a group who had gone tubing that day were unaccounted for. The rescue effort immediately intensified.

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The news service provided this video report for www.WJON.com

Exclusive extra – THE RISK TO RESCUERS: On a sidebar to the rescue of 8 teeneagers from the flooded Sauk River, 2 kayakers also risked their lives to assist them (A civilian and an off-duty firefighter). The kayakers eventually drifted downstream into the rescue staging area where the Sauk enters the Mississippi. Having slipped past a rope dropped down to catch them, the Zodiac watercraft eventually retrieved them as they were pulled into the swollen Mississippi.

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Support growing businesses in Minnesota: www.SohlstromWeddingVideos.com

Final Space Shuttle Launch, Continuing Legacy

          Some near to me know that for over a year, I have badly wanted to attend the final space shuttle launch. I couldn’t be there in person today…but experienced it by CNN and NASA Tv in HD over the internet. It was a great experience…and Atlantis passed overhead near to Mn during it’s initial orbit.

          I’m very thankful to have been present as a television viewer. I thought the launch would be scrubbed due to weather but the Shuttle beat the odds this morning…even after a countdown hold at 31 seconds likely confused many spectators. What happened was that computers wrongly sensed that the fueling gantry hadn’t fully retracted seconds before launch. It was only a matter of verifying that it had actually retracted by taking a look through launch pad video cameras before continuing with the countdown.

          A few minutes later, the countdown re-commenced…and everything was go. The main engine’s fired, and then the solid rocket boosters…there was no turning back at this moment. Atlantis lifted away, and cleared the tower.

The N.A.S.A. Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) The largest building in the world by volume. Rockets from the Saturn V to the Space Shuttle have been assembled in this structure prior to transportation to the launch pad.

          I have been transfixed with the space program from an early age. I experienced the first Shuttle launch with NBC commentator Tom Brokaw in 6th grade from elementary school. Visited Kennedy Space Center several times on family road trips…seeing Challenger ready on the launch pad for one of it’s flights…and knowing the indelible feeling of one of those dreaded historical moments…I was walking down the hallway of Tech Highschool after lunch when I first heard a mention that the space shuttle had exploded. I couldn’t believe it…and didn’t until I saw it with my own eyes on cable TV in the library some hours later. I’ll never forget that day.

          The loss of the Columbia and her crew is immeasurable as well. With the help of an early smart phone, I knew of them passing directly overhead one evening not long before their fateful re-entry, but could not see them through a cloudy sky.

          Today is a time to reflect on how our successes in leaving our Earth, almost like achieving flight for the first time, is an endeavor that has inspired our age, and has propelled us forward where reality touches our dreams.

           I was very fortunate to have viewed a shuttle launch. At Cape Canaveral in 1998, my brother Jeremy and I (who a few short years later found himself sharing lunch with none other than Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13, at the South Pole…) ventured down to witness the launch of  John Glenn’s return to orbit aboard the shuttle.

          For those who are a part of our younger generation, John Glenn has a very important place in history. He isn’t the first American astronaut in space, but he is the first American in space to orbit the planet…believe me, there is a big difference. It is the difference between launching straight up into the air (suborbital), and falling back down…compared to achieveing a startling speed in a rocket (about 5 miles per second!), that allows an astronaut to be propelled completely around the world…with no chance of falling back down to Earth unless that speed is reduced and re-entry can occur.

          Well, John Glenn hadn’t returned to space since his only spaceflight in 1962…and I definitely sensed an appreciation to experience this historic launch. My first,last, only…ever space shuttle launch experience.

          The good news is, for the only shuttle launch I attended in person, I did bring my Super 8mm film camera. Yes, filmed in B&W, but that was my tone in that day. Film was on the verge of ending. The chemistry and mechanical reality of cellulose as cinema was begining to fade, and, if you know my story…I pretty much had to represent.

          Beyond that, I’ll share some of the science and my observations.

          Shortley, you’ll see the film I photographed that day. Note: The 747 jet you see in the video is AIR FORCE ONE with President Bill Clinton arriving to view the launch.

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          I rehearsed the movements of the camera a dozen times prior to the launch….I wasn’t gonna mess this up! The opening shot is in slow motion. After the initial lift-off, I switch to normal speed. An initial suprise – the solid rocket boosters are incredibly bright…not easy to look at. It’s not something you can notice on TV. You need to be there and witness it with your own eyes.

          Then the sound…where is it? It depends on how close you are to the launch pad. Anderson Cooper attended the final launch from the press area which is quite close to the pad…about 5 miles away. I like how he shared the same reaction…wow, those boosters are bright! He felt the powerful rumble of liftoff. At the John Glenn launch in 1998, I was more than 8 miles away…and the rumble was only a very delayed noise where I was. Truly, my impression on that day was…where is the sound? After a great delay, it was a very quiet thunder.

          What is amazing, however, was speed and distance. In the film clip…notice when the camera is stationary…and then realize the relative speed the shuttle is moving through the frame. Then, consider that this is a view from below.  The shuttle is accellerating spaceward with incredible momentum. The scale of speed is truly amazing to recognize.

          My final observation as I could still see the Space Shuttle during John Glenn’s second historic launch – the shuttle was at an incredible speed and distance from Cape Canaveral…70 miles downrange, moving more than 3000 mph…but I could see it with my own eyes, glowing like a star. It was incredible…nothing less that I expected, but more than I ever dreamed a moment like this might be. It’s hard to see, but in the last seconds of the film, the Solid Rocket Boosters have seperated and are tumbling away.

          The Shuttle program has been a star to our country all of these years…it has represented what we’ve been, have become, and what we’ve dreamed, and accomplished…the inspiration it brought our generation is that will be missed as we realize we have to let it go.

Join the mission live by clicking this link >>>http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ustream.html 

NOTE: Take the opportunity to view this shuttle in orbit with your own eyes. You can look up into the night sky and see it pass by. In orbit it is only a few hundred miles overhead and will appear as a quickly moving star. Use this link to find it! Experience history right where you are.

>>>http://www.n2yo.com/<<<

Storm Slams The Neighborhood, Trees Down.

          I have to admit, I didn’t like the feeling of driving up my street this morning to do this flight. Thankfully, no homes were badly damaged, but the number of trees down and volume of visible debris was unsettling. As this damage began to occur, I was in front of my largest window that became white with the blinding wind, rain, and hail…unsafe…I raced downstairs to warn my house residents that we needed to get to the basement…but as it turns out I was home alone.

As this event began to unfurl, I was studying the radar, trying to pull up satellite images, and wondering what this storm would bring. When a report over emergency radio came that an experienced storm spotter had seen a funnel cloud in the area of 94W and 23. I didn’t doubt it for a moment. It was go time. Scanning the sky to the South, the clouds looked dark and ominous, but typical of a large thunderstorm. When I stepped outside clutching my hand-held scanner in the light wind-driven rain, the air told a different story. There was certainly unconcentrated cloud rotation at low level just to the NW, almost overhead…definitely a cause for concern. I went back inside to get the rest of my gear.

Moments later, the downburst hit. The intense rain poured through my open windows as I worked to close them…and then hail appeared, it was pea or nickel-sized. That was the cue I was trying to discover by satellite. We were under a super-cell high enough to freeze rain on a day when the heat index was unbearably hot. That was even more cause for concern.

I now became worried for my other house occupants who I feared were asleep on the second floor. Reaching that level, I heard an alarming sound. The balcony door facing the storm was holding back a strong wind…and when it does this it lets an erie vibration roar as some air slips through. It was screaming with a loud intensity that I’ve never heard to be this powerful before. During these moments trees were toppling in our neighborhood.

          Scrambling my gear to cover this storm, I headed out into the wind and rain, but only a block away from my house I hit a deep puddle that caused my car to stall. I spent the next 20 minutes there scanning the sky, and listening to reports on radio that we were in a tornado warning, and that there were trees down on 9th Ave and 6th Ave N…restricting access to the hospital.

          When my car started again, I moved into the damaged area, and was taken aback at what I discovered. Along with magnificent trees that withstood the years of history in our town, and were now toppled into the street, I found  vehicles that had been crushed…emergency services that had gone into action…and a good samaritan with a chain saw went directly to work to free our busy 9th Ave from a tree that was obstructing traffic.

          When I returned home, I found there was neither electricity nor internet. Hours later…I feel we were very lucky to be spared from the ultimate dangers a storm like this can bring.

          In the above photo, there are two trees down. One is easy to see, the other not as much. (Frame left and frame right)  Hester Park has several trees down and is perhaps the epicenter of damage. Only 24 hours before, I was there doing a helicopter training flight. Change can come so fast. This image was captured in a dawn flight approximately 12 hours after the event.

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Sidebar…third weather story in a row I was completely drenched in rain…I had to laugh a little as a metro bus rolled past and sprayed me with water in one of the closing shots…would have loved it more if the camera was fully enclosed, and I could have filmed the “splash”…

for additional coverage: visit www.WJON.com

Approaching Storm Over St.Cloud

As seen on www.WJON.com. The sky was an intriguing blend of calm air and sunshine on the East side of this small approaching storm today, so I knew it would be a great opportunity to send the plane up hoping to catch a new aerial weather image. Although expecting turbulent downdrafts at any moment to bring my flight to an end, suprisingly, I was able to continue flying in relatively calm skies until only moments before the storm arrived. (North Jr. High is in the center-left foreground)

Yes, I fight crime and fly.Why doesn’t Steven more readily go on the defensive to address some of the defamation more aggressively? If you follow the dynamics of the story, compare it to a surgeon trying to remove a tumor from a human heart. She is being used as a weapon and human shield. Steven is doing his best to defend Melissa and build her self esteem and empowerment in the midst of these extraordinary circumstances. I wouldn’t be speaking about any of our private business if the eof hadn’t made the public attacks. The violence issue is not a he said-she said at all. There is plenty of video evidence to prove it. I documented it for my own legal protection. Revealing some of the what I’m hiding to protect her (including her identity) would be utterly devestating to her. Basicly, she’d experience what the eof has done to me which I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Keep in mind, she is also a victim and not to blame.

It takes two to fight. Even when we were together when things suddenly became highly unusual after months of harmony, I refused to fight with her. Not even her parents could understand what was wrong. It’s not like she was able to openly express it to me. We never had anything to fight about that was evident to me, the conflict stemmed from her secret world with Jessica and Diego where their predatory opportunity was very easy to see. Is she free now? Think about it. Their motives are plainly on the table.

This is where it is so blatently clear that Jessica has no concern for Melissa’s well being because she feels that assigning blame to someone other than herself gets her off the hook. I hope this abuse of Melissa is as plain for the public to see. As stated in the film they were relentless about this, even though neither of us were to blame for anything…and they knew I was safeguarding Melissa’s well being at her own direction. Jessica’s promise for the $2,500 was to heal her, not create a festering scar of selfish opportunism.

Now, with the truth coming out, Jessica is toast…and I would suggest not being within arm’s reach of Melissa WHEN she figures everything out. I think we both agree that she is a very intelligent woman. That is the point of her isolaton and control isn’t it: to prevent her from finding knowlege beyind the lies, making an informed decision, and from having a healthy self esteem? That was the point of the lies to scare her, that I’m alcoholic for instance (honey, you’re not gonna like this one, I’m not an alcoholic any more than you would be)

Now the last thing Jessica wants Melissa to discover is that she and Diego, not Steven are responsible for possibly the greatest heartbreak in her life, all of the tears and anguish, (the motive : more than just money) and the last thing she’ll ever want is for her to know Steven was waiting faithfully for her to come back home all of this time (why else would she be encouraged not to read the emails?)….even the court and the State of Minnesota gave us that unlikely miracle, the second chance that we were still free to be together. That just doesn’t happen every day. Serendipity as we already claimed together. “Meant to be” was what one of my counsellors said that was helping me process the destruction that the eof inflicted on me personally. Noble and heroic others have said. It is an extremely delicate situation and the object is to help Melissa make it back home safe. Im doing the very minimum I can. I’m only telling the truth.

I’m sure it is clear that I fight this with practically both arms tied behind my back. I am even giving a pass to Melissa for now if she could have done something to prevent all of this (such as communication). It is almost like this is a game for them. I am intimidated to even go to the police to make a report of the eof’s ongoing crimes, and even a formal complaint against the officer who arrested me. The complaint could amount to a criminal charge on eof for witness (victim) intimidation, on top of making false statements to police (a felony) and using the legal system for a private vendetta. Those are just the criminal charges. They are open to be all-but fillet’d in civil court for the character assasination which is as plentiful as a rotten buffet, and they are very mistaken if they think what they are doing is legal…just pretend I didn’t try to warn you Diego. I’ve never imagined a more stupid and deluded group of people and in a phrase that I learned from Melissa, are really drinking a little too much of their own cool-aid. How apropos when speaking of a cult.

It isn’t Valentine’s Day anymore, and the next broadcast should be very interesting.