August 23, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

Star Wars Canyon: where enthusiasts go to watch fighter pilots practice

By Ivan Mejia

Los Angeles, May 21 (efe-epa).- Just as if they were coming to watch the famous "Star Wars" spaceship fighters - the X-Wing or the Millennium Falcon - aviation enthusiasts flock to so-called Star Wars Canyon in California to watch US fighter pilots train in warplanes "under the radar" and just a few meters over their heads.

The chasm is located in the mountains in Death Valley National Park, in the Mojave Desert, a well-known area where pilots have trained for air combat since World War II.

There, dozens of admirers of the skill of US military pilots can enjoy the thrill of watching something that's quite difficult to witness elsewhere in the country: dozens of combat aircraft roaring just overhead each day.

A 65-year-old retired military man calling himself "Rodney" told EFE that aside from "enthusiasts" of the low-flying aircraft, he and many others who take photos and videos of the planes going through their training maneuvers are also there to "support" the men and women who fly them.

Rodney said that four years ago, just as winter was ending, he traveled from Arizona to view the training in Rainbow Canyon (the site's real name) from the so-called "Father Crowley View Point" that overlooks it.

"Some of the scenes in the first 'Star Wars' films were filmed at the end of the canyon, in Panamint Valley," Rodney said, regarding the reason why people refer to the canyon by the name of the films conceived by George Lucas.

"Some people say that when the planes nosedive into the canyon it really sounds like some scenes in the Star Wars movies," he said.

That is what attracts tourists, retired military members and professional photographers from Tuesday through Friday, which are the days when most of the military training takes place, to see the fighters and get the feeling that they're in one of the space opera films, the latest of which - "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" - will hit theaters on Dec. 20.

"It's really interesting that some Star Wars fans come to hear the different sounds and see the planes fly inside the canyon because it reminds them of the epic scenes in the film," Rodney said.

Some of the people on hand also monitor the radio band on which pilots communicate with each other and with air traffic control in the zone, which is reserved exclusively for military planes.

The canyon is 8 kilometers (5 miles) long and 1,500 meters (about 4,900 feet) wide, and it takes only seconds for super-powered fighter jets to traverse that distance. Thus, people must be ready with their video and other cameras to get their shots.

Thomas Blahak, 33, a tourist from Slovakia who came to Panamint Valley with three friends, admitted that "the hair on the back of my neck stood on end when the planes flew so close to the rocks."

"It was a positive sensation and we've been lucky, because we saw a B1 bomber flying," he added.

Also to be seen in the canyon on training maneuvers are F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-35 fighters stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, in the Mojave Desert, and at Nellis AFB in Nevada, as well as at the Navy's "China Lake" and Lemoore bases, among others.

News history
Australia vs US basketball match comes under probe scanner

Sydney, Australia, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Australian authorities said Friday they would probe allegations that some basketball fans were duped into buying...

Google deactivates hundreds of YouTube channels linked to Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, USA, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Google reported Thursday that it had disabled 210 YouTube channels that were part of a coordinated attempt to post...

Buenos Aires street museum once again shines with original intensity

By Carmen Herranz

Mexican human rights commission condemns attacks on journalist

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) on Thursday condemned the attacks by "individuals and authorities" on...

London Zoo carries out annual weigh-in

Animals at the London Zoo are measured and weighed annually to ensure their well being.

Duke, Duchess of Sussex under intense scrutiny

By Laura Sanfelix

Author laments African nations' disparate literary success

By Maria Angelica Troncoso

Children's chorus revitalizing indigenous language in Panamanian capital

By Maria M. Mur

Affleck, Koreeda to fight for Audience Award at San Sebastian Film Festival

San Sebastian (Spain), Aug 21 (efe-epa).- The latest films by Casey Affleck, Hirokazu Koreeda, Makoto Shinkai and Steven Soderbergh will be screened at the...

Singapore Night Festival lights up city district

The Singapore Night Festival is set to open from 23 to 31 August and will feature installations and exhibits around the Civic District.

Mammoth fossil 13,000 years old reveals rich paleontology of west Mexico

By Mariana Gonzalez

Son of immigrants travels US delivering crosses for shooting victims

By Jorge Mederos

Breathtaking spots offer tourists birdseye views of Uruguay's capital

By Sarah Yañez-Richards

Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo admits payment to rape accuser

Washington, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Attorneys representing soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledged that the Portuguese striker paid $375,000 to a woman...

Hungarians revel in a sea of fragrant blooms

Hungarians reveled in a sea of colour and fragrant blooms to marks the 50th Debrecen Flower Festival.

The winery that uses music as its the star ingredient

By Joan Mas Autonell

Colombia, victim of lucrative exotic animal smuggling

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

Graffiti festival lights up giant facades in Moscow

By Fernando Salcines

Brazilian gov't mining policy threatens Amazon, indigenous leader says

By Maria Angelica Troncoso

The farm caring for Israel's abandoned animals

A voluntary facility in Israel, The Freedom Farm, is a refuge for animals that have been ejected from the food industry, abused or abandoned. The site has...

Spain's Battle of Flowers floats prepare for parade

By Miguel Ramos

Young faces of Aceh celebrate Indonesia’s independence

Indonesian students in elaborate, colorful costumes walked in a parade during celebrations on Sunday marking the 74th anniversary of Indonesia's...

Indonesia marks independence anniversary with pole race, dancing

Indonesia celebrated its 74th anniversary of independence from the Netherlands on Saturday, a milestone marked with official celebrations, traditional...

"Easy Rider" star Peter Fonda dies

Washington, Aug 16 (efe-epa).- US actor and filmmaker Peter Fonda, who became an international star in 1969 with "Easy Rider," died Friday at his home in...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.