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I’ll make this one short and sweet for a change and allow the pictures to do most of the talking here. On June 25th, 2020 a nasty surprise sandstorm hit this area of Nevada west of Las Vegas. I opened my front door to see it coming at me over the mountains from California like a wave breaking over them and let me tell you it was fierce.

But then, just as suddenly as it began it was gone.

It was also quite unusual that nobody seems to have seen it coming. If they did they certainly didn’t bother to tell anybody about it. I was curious as to how this sandstorm just flared up out of nowhere so I checked out the cameras on the fire watch website for California and what I saw made me curiouser and curiouser still.

So I went through the remote cameras that I could get to work, and those were very few. Many of the cameras around the event were turned off, turned away from it, or were otherwise inaccessible. But I did find a few working cameras and I went back in time in their memories going frame by frame. This is what I found.

It certainly got my attention so I looked a little more and I found this.

That’s a beautiful sunset isn’t it?

It would be if it wasn’t for one little problem, you can barely even see the setting sun. But there it is reflected in the metal on the radar antenna because the camera was facing southeast from the vicinity of Mt. Whitney.

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The picture above is of the setting sun that day.

Something else obviously caused that spectacular display so I looked around at some of the other archives in other camera locations and it began to get even odder. And no less frightening either.

You can clearly see that the camera was aimed at 240 degrees facing south by southeast. Not north by northwest toward the setting sun. This was no sunset this was a massive release of energy and it blew that sandstorm right in our faces. This is what it looked like to the thermal image detectors in the cameras that search for hot spots for the Forest Service and report the fires to Rangers before people see most of them. Especially in remote areas such as this and at night.

That looks like one big ass fire ball from where I’m sitting. But that is not really conclusive is it? So I looked further, being the naturally curious type that I am, and I found some even stranger pictures. The thermal image indicated on the map took on a different aspect altogether when I panned out, and again when I zoomed in for a closer look.

And this was taken later, after dark. There are hot spots all over the map. WTF?

But those aren’t the most disturbing pictures I found. Not even close. I found these pictures.

I’ve taken a lot of pictures of some strange light related phenomenon before but that pool of light rising up on the left side is something new to me.
Here you can see the camera is aimed directly at the “storm.”

I did manage to catch one of those hot spots on a camera after dark and it’s clearly a large fire but nobody could be seen fighting it during the time that I watched it burning.

But this one is easily the strangest picture of them all as it captured the remnants of the earlier event in infrared as it wafted across the Lake Tahoe region quite some many miles to the north by northwest. And rather quickly too it seems if you look at the times and compare them it was approximately only 1:17:00 later. It was pretty windy that day but I didn’t think it was that strong.

Regardless of how strong the wind was or wasn’t that does not explain what the hell that cloud is or why it shows up in the infrared photograph. The map does show that the camera was looking at a green spot and that is the thickest part of the cloud that appears to be moving west.

Which then takes us back to my first question. What the f*k was that all about?

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