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Heartbreaking Discoveries of Shuttle Explosion in Hemphill (TX)
kfdm ^

Posted on 02/01/2003 8:12:19 PM PST by chance33_98



Heartbreaking Discoveries of Shuttle Explosion in Hemphill

Reported by News Department February 1, 2003 - 7:31PM

HEMPHILL, Texas (AP) _ Among the chunks of metal littered across eastern Texas following the space shuttle's explosion were some heartbreaking discoveries: an astronaut's charred patch, a helmet, some human remains.

The shuttle Columbia broke apart in flames 200,000 feet over Texas on Saturday morning, leaving a 500-mile swath of debris across several counties. All seven astronauts were killed just minutes before they were to glide to a landing in Florida.

Mike Gibbs, an X-ray technician at Sabine County Hospital, was driving on Farm-to-Market Road 2971 Saturday and feared an object in the two-lane dirt road was an astronaut's remains.

Apparently, he was right. Gibbs said he and his friend saw what appeared to be a charred torso, thigh bone and skull with front teeth intact.

"I wouldn't want anybody seeing what I saw," Gibbs said. "It was pretty gruesome."

Fire trucks arrived shortly and blocked the road as authorities collected evidence. A hearse left the area Saturday evening.

Billy Smith, the emergency management coordinator for Jasper, Sabine and Newton counties, confirmed that body parts were found near apparent shuttle debris in Sabine County.

The remains found in Sabine County have been turned over to the FBI, officials said.

"We don't know where the remains are being taken," Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox said.

Residents across eastern Texas reported finding chunks of metal and other shuttle parts atop roofs, in yards and on parking lots. A compact car-size piece of debris fell into Toledo Bend lake, said Maddox. A charred astronaut's patch was found in San Augustine County. A flight helmet landed on James Couch's property near state Highway 103 and F.M. 1751 in San Augustine County, The Lufkin Daily News. He kept guard on the helmet. Authorities were searching a 500-mile swath but said the debris could be spread over a region three times larger.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; nasa; spaceshuttle

1 posted on 02/01/2003 8:12:19 PM PST by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98
Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Archive
2 posted on 02/01/2003 8:25:23 PM PST by petuniasevan (RIP Columbia crew - you were the "Right Stuff")
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To: petuniasevan
BUMP
3 posted on 02/01/2003 8:29:32 PM PST by bootless (STS-107 - "I knew you were brave.")
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To: chance33_98
driving on Farm-to-Market Road 2971 Saturday and feared an object in the two-lane dirt road

The KFDM 'news staff' better check their facts: FM (Farm-to-Market Roads) in Texas are well-paved state highways with wide rights-of way; none that I know of are "two-lane dirt". (I should know; a FM Road runs in front of my home...)

BTW, I am very glad we live just slightly north of the debris track. I expect that finding shuttle parts (or worse) in your yard would be quite traumatic.

One of the most poignant scenes I saw on TV today was that scorched Columbia shoulder patch lying in the grass. Just think: that patch was on an astronaut's shoulder a few hours ago...

4 posted on 02/01/2003 8:33:16 PM PST by TXnMA ((No Longer!!!))
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To: chance33_98
How awful but there will probably be more in the days to come. This is such a sad time.
5 posted on 02/01/2003 8:34:01 PM PST by Texas Mom
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To: chance33_98
Lord receive them. I hope it was quick.
6 posted on 02/01/2003 8:35:09 PM PST by pttttt
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To: chance33_98
KRLD reporting that military guarding shuttle remains are unarmed. Soldiers are out in the dark woods (new moon tonight) without weapons and have no means to stop souvenir hunters. Some are being recalled after complaining and replaced by LEO's. Also heard on KRLD that President Bush declared Texas a disaster area in order to give relief to local emergency personnel.
7 posted on 02/01/2003 8:37:22 PM PST by CedarDave (We gave peace a chance, what we got was 9/11)
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To: chance33_98

A video image of a helmet that dropped into a yard in Norwood Community, Texas from the space shuttle Columbia is seen Feb. 1, 2002. Many parts of the shuttle, along with human remains, were found in the area. NASA (news - web sites) officials later removed the helmet. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

8 posted on 02/01/2003 8:39:36 PM PST by Semper911
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To: Semper911
Damn Sad.
9 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:03 PM PST by chance33_98 (Freedom is not Free)
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To: Semper911
My husband insists that the crew does not wear helmets on re-entry and landing, only for EVA activities.

I don't know if he's right. I am a space fan, he's a space fanatic, and has plenty of space in his cranium for space lore.
10 posted on 02/01/2003 8:53:46 PM PST by ChemistCat (We should have had newer, safer, better, more efficient ships by now, damn it.)
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To: chance33_98
I'm having flashbacks to the Challenger blowup. Today was a very sad day.
11 posted on 02/01/2003 8:57:35 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: ChemistCat
That's a flight helmet. They wear these on take off and landing. The EVA helmets are much larger and intended to protect the wearer from a vacuum environment. In other words, someone was wearing that this morning.
12 posted on 02/01/2003 8:59:17 PM PST by Redcloak (Join the Coalition to Prevent Unnecessarily Verbose and Nonsensical Tag Lines, eh)
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To: ChemistCat
Since the Challenger disaster they do wear their suit and helmet during ascent and re-entry in case of a rapid decompression.
13 posted on 02/01/2003 9:00:03 PM PST by dc-zoo
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To: dc-zoo; Old Student; Redcloak
Well, dear, guess you were wrong....

I usually get such PLEASURE out of saying that to my husband, but today....none.

Thanks, DC & Red.
14 posted on 02/01/2003 9:02:17 PM PST by ChemistCat (We should have had newer, safer, better, more efficient ships by now, damn it.)
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To: dc-zoo
Since the Challenger disaster they do wear their suit and helmet during ascent and re-entry in case of a rapid decompression.

Do you know if it's thought that it would have made much of a difference in the Challenger explosion ?

15 posted on 02/01/2003 9:06:28 PM PST by garbanzo (Free people will set the course of history)
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To: Semper911
God bless them all, and their families. And God help any "souvenir hunter" who tries to raid their memories.

BTW, the quote in my tagline came from a child's message to the crew at one of the memorial sites: "I miss you all. I knew you were brave."

16 posted on 02/01/2003 9:10:22 PM PST by bootless (STS-107 - "I knew you were brave.")
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To: TXnMA
My in-laws live on a FM road in a farming community just north of Hillsboro. It is a two-lane dirt road, so maybe the one referenced in the article is, as well.
17 posted on 02/01/2003 9:23:40 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (Democrats ARE an evil terrorist organization!)
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To: garbanzo
Debris recovered from Challenger showed that some astronauts survived the explosion and survived through the descent to Earth. They were then killed instantly upon impact with the water.
18 posted on 02/01/2003 9:33:32 PM PST by nhoward14
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To: garbanzo
I guess I better also point out that there are dissenting viewpoints that suggest they did survive the explosion but would have gone unconscious within seconds due to lack of oxygen. The detail in dispute is if the cabin maintained pressure long enough. Once the cabin hit the water it was severely smashed such that it was impossible to determine its integrity in the air.
19 posted on 02/01/2003 9:40:52 PM PST by nhoward14
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To: nhoward14
They were then killed instantly upon impact with the water.

Which I guess was sort of what I was getting at - unless there is some way of guiding the remnant down gently, I don't see the point of keeping the astronauts alive and conscious until the impact. I guess it would be important in cases where decompression didn't lead to complete destruction of the craft but I don't know how many scenarios would lead to that result.

20 posted on 02/01/2003 11:13:48 PM PST by garbanzo (Free people will set the course of history)
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To: Thud
ping
21 posted on 02/02/2003 6:03:38 AM PST by Dark Wing
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To: chance33_98
The remains found in Sabine County have been turned over to the FBI, officials said.

By law, the county coroner where the body was found should take control of the body and perform the autopsy [?] and identification. They went through this same turf battle in Florida after Challenger.

22 posted on 02/02/2003 6:08:36 AM PST by snopercod
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To: garbanzo
Do you know if it's thought that it would have made much of a difference in the Challenger explosion ?

Yes I know, and no it wouldn't have. It might have kept the Challenger Astronauts alive until they impacted the ocean, that's all.

23 posted on 02/02/2003 6:12:33 AM PST by snopercod
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To: nhoward14
Judy Resnick turned on the emergency suit oxygen for the Smith and Scobee. She was sitting in the seat behind them, and during the recovery, the LEH O2 valves on the backs of their seats were found in the "ON" position.
24 posted on 02/02/2003 6:15:53 AM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
At 207,000 feet and 12,500 mph, once the vehicle started to disintergrate, there was no suffering on board. It was very, very quick as in "they never knew what hit them".
25 posted on 02/02/2003 6:19:46 AM PST by bogeybob
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To: dixiechick2000; TXnMA
I think some FM roads in TX remain dirt roads. The roads have numbers in order to locate for emergencies but don't have hard tops.

The area is "piney woods."

I live about 30 miles south of Hemphill.

What appears to be a female leg was found by young children.

26 posted on 02/02/2003 6:22:46 AM PST by lonestar ((Nelson Mandela has a thinking problem))
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To: lonestar
Was the leg not burned?
27 posted on 02/02/2003 6:28:43 AM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
It was described "from top to heel" by the mother of the children who found it. A lot of body parts were being found and were being taken to Lufkin for "storage and identification."

I'm not good at links but try this:

http://www.southeasttexaslive.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6905490&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=481650&rfi=6

It's the Beaumont Enterprise.

28 posted on 02/02/2003 6:49:10 AM PST by lonestar ((Nelson Mandela has a thinking problem))
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To: lonestar

29 posted on 02/02/2003 7:58:07 AM PST by chance33_98 (Freedom is not Free)
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To: chance33_98
Here's the Nacogdoches paper if you're interested.

http://www.dailysentinel.com/

30 posted on 02/02/2003 9:49:11 AM PST by lonestar ((Nelson Mandela has a thinking problem))
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To: Semper911
would love and direction to where the best known pic is of THIS HELMET...this is a Renassiance moment type photo imo


by that I mean in all our past a helmet was used in conquest and exploration , in this helmet ,it survived
as surely as a brass TexMex spanish originated helmet
is held in some Native American local.

and yet regardless a helmets quest or duty ,it's command
and bearer is always Earth based or earth buried.

but that's just me this day :)
31 posted on 02/02/2003 9:58:15 AM PST by cactusSharp
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To: lonestar
Oh, no! Those poor children. Bless their hearts! What a horrible thing to have to live with, especially for the young.
32 posted on 02/02/2003 10:02:34 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Democrats ARE an evil terrorist organization!)
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To: chance33_98
bump for later
33 posted on 02/02/2003 10:45:53 AM PST by Rebelbase (Rock with Celtic roots at http://www.sevennations.com)
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To: Rebelbase

Ed Rohner, the A. L. Mangham Jr. Regional Airport manager, left, and J.D. Redfield, right, stand over a large ball of wreckage that had been pulled from the runway after the shuttle explosion Saturday February 1, 2003 in Nacogdoches Texas.

34 posted on 02/02/2003 11:13:49 AM PST by VRWC For Truth
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