It was 2004 when I took this picture. I was shooting with my Sony Alpha A-100 at the time. We were on vacation in Maine and had been revisiting some of our old stomping grounds from when we used to live in that beautiful state. We’d driven up past Moosehead lake on the eastern side and were looking to see some moose. We stopped and asked where was a good place to watch for them as the sun went down and were directed to a bog that was outside of the nearest small village in the back woods. We drove there while the sun was still up a ways, parked, and just enjoyed the beautiful serene scenery.
As the sun went down, the fog started to crawl over the face of the bog, getting ever closer and close. It was eerie. But it was so quiet and peaceful that you felt butterflies in your stomach…or at least I did in mine. We never saw any moose on that particular evening, but it was worth it to just be out at this place and to soak in nature at its very best.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1967 when a fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam killed 134 service members. The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket.
During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal was often stationed off the coast of North Vietnam, conducting combat operations. On the morning of July 29, the ship was preparing to attack when a rocket from one of its own F-4 Phantom jet fighters was accidentally launched. The rocket streaked across the deck and hit a parked A-4 Skyhawk jet. The Skyhawk, which was waiting to take off, was piloted by John McCain, the future senator from Arizona.
Fuel from the Skyhawk spilled out and caught fire. The fire then spread to nearby planes on the ship’s deck and detonated a 1,000-pound bomb, which killed many of the initial firefighters and further spread the fire. A chain reaction of explosions blew holes in the flight deck and had half the large ship on fire at one point. Many pilots were trapped in their planes as the fire spread. It took a full day before the fires could be fully contained.
Hundreds of sailors were seriously injured and 134 lost their lives in the devastating fire. Twenty planes were destroyed. It was the worst loss of a life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II. Temporary repairs were made to the ship in the Philippines before the Forrestal headed back to Norfolk, Virginia. It was repaired and put back into service the following April, but never returned to Vietnam.
John McCain narrowly escaped the fire and, afterwards, volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany. Just three months later, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken prisoner. He was not released until five-and-a-half years later, in 1973.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The shape of ancient Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun.