Monday, December 31, 2007

OT: The long road to Ottumwa for John McCain

It's a bit hard to believe the Iowa caucuses are just a few hours away. What's a caucus?, See Mike M's expert explanation over on Pittsblog. I figure nobody in Iowa is reading here, but I just wonder at the large number of candidates in the mix. It will get thinned out pretty quickly I figure. Without a doubt, every candidate has some unique story of how they wound up thinking they could be president someday.

If asked I bet most people would know about John McCain's history as a prisoner of war for over 5 years. Yet the most amazing piece of his bio comes from before that began. Anyone who has spent a week in the Navy over the last 40 years has seen the video below which is the classic training video on shipboard firefighting. The circumstances were pretty tragic when in 1967 onboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal the accidental launch of a rocket from one aircraft parked on the flight deck hit another fully armed aircraft at the other end of the ship. I suspect this video is why I just can't watch anything labeled 'reality TV' to this day. Nothing staged here.

Most of the video is really about the heroic if sometimes ill-trained fire fighting efforts that eventually saved the ship. What is often overlooked is that the plane that was 'hit' by the rocket at the center of this was John McCain's. If you saw the full actual film (vice the youtube resolution) you would see then-Lieutenant Commander McCain literally climbing out over the fuel probe in the front of his plane seconds before the cascading explosions from the bombs on his plane cooked off and that would kill most everyone on the flight deck at the time.

So that is not meant to be a political comment really, and I doubt many Iowans read this blog anyway.... but between that and the 5+ years he was a prisoner of war, after having been shot down no less, you just have to wonder why the man is alive. One way or the other, the video is one of the more amazing real-time videos of a disaster as it took place.



2 Comments:

Blogger Richmond K. Turner said...

Oh man, I can't even count how many times I watched that film. At least 8 times, but probably more. That one , along with "Synthetic Line Snap Back" and the "Stern to Burn, Baby!" videos are all classics. Thanks for helping me relive my misspent youth.

Monday, December 31, 2007 3:25:00 PM  
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