Cultural Studies

Download Aereality: Essays on the World from Above by William L. Fox PDF

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By William L. Fox

Photos AND A STORY

PART 1: Out West
1 Targeting
2 Earthworks
3 The Pit . . .
4 . . . and the Stack
5 The Horizontal City
6 The Angels of Mulholland Drive
7 Surveillance

FLYING WEST TO EAST

PART 2: again East
8 Time Flies By
9 The 11th of September Trail
10 The Vertical City
11 floor Truth

FLYING NORTH TO SOUTH

PART three: Down Under
12 Mount Kosciuszko: 2,228 Meters (7,310 Feet)
13 Pennyroyal
14 Lake Eyre: forty nine toes less than Sea Level
15 Lake Eyre: 4,500 ft Above Sea Level
16 Alice Springs
17 Over Canberra . . . and l. a.

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Restricted areas denote the existence of unusual, often invisible, hazards to aircraft such as artillery firing, aerial gunnery, or guided missiles. Penetration of restricted areas without authorization from the using or controlling agency may be extremely hazardous to the aircraft and its occupants. —Federal Aviation Authority As we round the Pilot Range, I look out my window and to the south spot Lemay Island, another mountain peak. What I’m seeing is only the few hundred uppermost feet of what is, in fact, a much larger mountain, most of which is buried in several thousand feet of accumulated silts and salts on the flat.

The entire aircraft floats down to earth. What’s not to like? Mike puts us on a course heading east-northeast, toward Floating Island, a peak that rises nine hundred feet above the salt flats and marks the end of the Bonneville Race Track. It “floats” because it is sometimes surrounded by water, but most often just appears that way due to the prevailing mirages created by the hot air hovering just above the even hotter ground. qx6 1/13/09 12:58 PM Page 23 T A R G E T I N G 23 acts as a mirror line.

Our last leg will head west back to Wendover, the fourth side in our boxing the Great Salt Lake Desert. The most obvious feature of Wendover from the air is the enormous X formed by the runways that were built in 1942 as ten thousand-foot-long concrete strips eighteen inches above grade—just high enough to avoid flooding during the largest imaginable spring storms. They were one of the deciding factors for Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets when he was scouting a location from which to train his crews in the fifteen specially “silver-plated” B-29s forming the 509th Composite Group, the squadron that was designated the atomic bomb group.

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