Saturday, March 21, 2015

You Fuck With The Bull... 5/30/2013

I wrote this shortly after I found out about Bettes and crew rolling their rig courtesy of the monster El Reno F3/F5 which as it turns out after final analysis of the data they drove right into. I guess my ultimate point was to chastise Bettes for the hippocracy of the moment he found himself in against words he himself uttered the season before about chaser safety and behavior beginning to erode on the road.

It was of course written well before we learned about the loss of Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and chasing partner Carl Young.

Out of respect to them, I decided to put my little "rant" aside. My righteous indignation wasn't going to change the situation. For some reason, I didn't push the "delete" button on the whole entry. And looking at it today? I'm glad I didn't.

To read it after the fact? It may seem a bit snarky and self serving but still very pertinent.

We are not omnipotent. 

If we take chances, if we place ourselves in harm's way regularly, harm will eventually come to us.

Call it Odds, call it Karma... Whatever.

In the end and in hindsight? Both teams were victims of bad decision making. and once they realized that, it was too late to turn back. And this was a group that was known for its safe chasing behavior. 

You would never label Tim Samaras a "careless" chaser.

But, he always knew there was a chance that one day, he wouldn't come home.

And so? this is the primary reason I'm now posting this two years after the fact. To remind all of us we need to be continuously mindful of the risk this hobby presents to us.

I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable 2015 chase season.


Best,

-Neil
03/21/2015   



You get the horns.

An old saying that certainly applies here.

The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes and his "Tornado Hunt 2013 crew came upon this reality yesterday afternoon, May 30th 2013 when the tornado they were "chasing" just outside of El Reno Oklahoma decided
to take a left turn right in front of them causing their vehicle to be "tossed" (their words) some 200 yards off the roadway rolling several times and ending up in a field adjacent to the road they had just been driving on.

As you can see, the vehicle sustained some mighty tough injuries. Fortunately for Bettes and his crew in the vehicle, they all walked away from this with only minor injuries with cuts and broken bones being reported.

They were lucky. Very, very lucky.


And this is the same Mike Bettes who two years ago, had this to say:



Man! Talk about being beaten over the head with your own words. Which of course, puts Mr. Bettes into just a bit of a hypocritical light. I call BS on you Mr. Bettes. Your mishap served to reinforce every negative stereotype that has been placed on storm chasers and it is us, the responsible ones that will pay the ultimate price and end up being looked at with wary eyes in the future. No amount of on-air "Mea Culpa" will bring back the hard earned respect that many chasers worked on to maintain and give this hobby some credibility.

So, I'm going to ask you Mr. Bettes, to go on the air and with the same flourish, the same gusto, the same highly polished and promoted means by which Tornado Hunt 2013 was aired to TWC's audience and tell them:

"We screwed up. and don't let our mess be representative of all storm chasers. There are very good chasers who do this as a hobby and not for financial gain and are intelligent enough to maintain a safe distance from the storms they are chasing. 

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