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Old 02-02-2023, 05:08 PM   #1
MtnMike
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Default Space Shuttle Columbia

It was Saturday February 1, 2003 at 8:45 am. I was inside cooking breakfast at our home near Tyler, Texas. At around 8:50 I heard a loud Boom that rattled all of our windows in the house and I thought an Oil Lease nearby must have had a Tank explode, I stepped outside the front door looking for smoke and heard the strangest crackling sound overhead and looked up to see a Contrail with flaming debris falling to the east. I thought then that an Airliner had exploded or collided with another plane. I went back inside and saw that Fox News was reporting that NASA had lost contact with Space Shuttle Columbia over Texas. It then hit me what had just happened and the shock of the disaster began setting in. In a few minutes I had a Cell Phone call from a Deer Lease Member that I was a Member of near Lake Nacogdoches. He said he thought an airplane had collision had occurred as debris was raining down on the property. I explained to him what had happened and advised him to mark locations of debris(mostly the Ceramic Tile Heat Shield) and contact the Sheriff Dept. For the next several months NASA, Military, many other Volunteers blanketed our 1000 acres collecting debris and taking it to the Nacogdoches Airport to an empty airplane hanger. Something I will never forget!
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:11 PM   #2
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Some years later in 2011 or 2012 during a drought in Lake Nacogdoches one of the Shuttle Wheel assemblies was discovered that had fallen in the lake. It was a very large piece of the Shuttle.
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:12 PM   #3
texan16
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Was at a coaches conference and had just walked out of a meeting room at old Floyd Casey Stadium when we heard the "Boom". Was another hour or so before we finally realized what it was that we had heard. Very sad day for sure......
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:16 PM   #4
IvoryRoot
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A buddy and I were fishing in POC and we heard a boom. We asked each other if we heard that and saw on the tv when we got back to our room that the shuttle had exploded that morning around that time. We assumed thatís what we had heard.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:18 PM   #5
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I was following my English pointer near Ballinger when I heard it. I thought it was a plane breaking the sound barrier. I just kept on quail hunting. I didn’t learn what really happened until I got back to the cabin.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:33 PM   #6
Greenheadless
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I was fishing Fayette County reservoir that morning.

I remember hearing the boom, crackles and pops, but didn’t register what was going on. Found out late when we got home.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:43 PM   #7
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Co-worker and I were settling in for our shift on one of the draglines that Texas Utilities/Luminant had operating about 6 miles north of Henderson when we heard the 'boom' above the noise of the machine. We shut down, thinking something had broken on the dragline. Called in and told the boss what had happened and that we were going to look around. In just a few minutes, he came up and told us what had happened with the shuttle. Another minute or two and we all started smelling an awful smell. Somewhat chemical, petroleum, and something burning, that lingered for fifteen minutes or so before it went away. Listened to the news the rest of the day.
My sister-in-law, from Longview was at a women's bible study in Nacogdoches that morning. None of them knew anything about the tragedy at all. When they let out around noon, she went to get in her car and found a piece of heavy fabric on the hood, laying up on the windshield of her car. Not to be a litterbug, she put it in the trunk of the car and went home to Longview. When my brother got home, she told him what she had found. My brother immediately panicked, fearing that the FBI would be knocking on their door any minute. Reporters had been warning all day not to touch, pick up, or remove anything that might be associated with the shuttle. Poor sister-in-law
hadn't heard anything about any of this. They immediately drove back to Nacogdoches, to the Sheriff's office and turned it over to them with a lot of apologies.
Ten years later I had my first heart issue where they put a stent in. Low and behold, the doctor who did the procedure, and who is still my cardiologist today, is the person who took the pictures that have been seen around the world, Dr. Scott Lieberman.
February 1, 2003, just like September 11, 2001, are days I will never forget.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:51 PM   #8
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I was 9 years old sitting with a friends grandpa in the deer stand. Remember the sound and the stand rattling. I looked at him and he thought it was a pipeline the blew. We found out the truth when we got to the house. A hunt I'll never forget.
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:01 PM   #9
hpdrifter
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Just walked out of work, heard boom, looked up and saw the gray trail.

Couple days later, just outside Kerens, a group knocked on door and asked permission(think they were going to anyway) to search property.

I said "tear it down". he looked very inquisitively at me and said what?
I said "go ahead". Nothing here.

It's kinda strange..the reported timeline.
Our work place wouldn't let you "out of the door" until end of shift time, 8:00am.
They opened the doors and I got about 15 yards from the door and hear the boom.
Couldn't have been more than 8:01AM
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Old 02-03-2023, 12:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpdrifter View Post
Just walked out of work, heard boom, looked up and saw the gray trail.

Couple days later, just outside Kerens, a group knocked on door and asked permission(think they were going to anyway) to search property.

I said "tear it down". he looked very inquisitively at me and said what?
I said "go ahead". Nothing here.

It's kinda strange..the reported timeline.
Our work place wouldn't let you "out of the door" until end of shift time, 8:00am.
They opened the doors and I got about 15 yards from the door and hear the boom.
Couldn't have been more than 8:01AM

You know I think you are right!! I think it was 7:59 AM Central Time when all that happened!!
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Old 02-03-2023, 07:22 AM   #11
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I was a patrol Sgt at Nacogdoches Police Department. It was crazy for a solid 4 months.
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Old 02-03-2023, 07:43 AM   #12
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[ATTACH]Name:  Thank you.jpg
Views: 347
Size:  166.2 KB[/ATTACH]Name:  Quilt.JPG
Views: 348
Size:  158.9 KBI was blessed to assist in the search and recover through my volunteer Fire Department (Deer Park). I made three trips, logged a many hours in the woods, located, tagged and recovered many things. Everything was documented with photos. I will say that some things brought tears to my teams eyes. Something I will never forget! Attached is one of my shirts worn that is now sewn in a quilt for me by my daughter.
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Old 02-03-2023, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecuss View Post
[ATTACH]Attachment 1118612[/ATTACH]Attachment 1118613I was blessed to assist in the search and recover through my volunteer Fire Department (Deer Park). I made three trips, logged a many hours in the woods, located, tagged and recovered many things. Everything was documented with photos. I will say that some things brought tears to my teams eyes. Something I will never forget! Attached is one of my shirts worn that is now sewn in a quilt for me by my daughter.

Iíve still got the same shirt


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 02-03-2023, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenheadless View Post
I was fishing Fayette County reservoir that morning.

I remember hearing the boom, crackles and pops, but didnít register what was going on. Found out late when we got home.
I was on Fayette that day also.
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Old 02-03-2023, 08:31 PM   #15
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I went in a date with my now wife the night before it exploded. She’s impressed there I can remember the date. I guess she forgot it was the night before the explosion but I’ll never tell her. She’s hard to impress after 20 years but remembering that did. ��
Sad day for sure. I still remember the boom shaking my house.
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Old 02-03-2023, 08:38 PM   #16
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Youth conference. Accepted Christ there. The 2000s have been wild....so far
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Old 02-04-2023, 04:25 AM   #17
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I was in Nac at SFA then. Debris covered the campus and I had a buddy whose land was covered as well. I've held one of Columbia's tiles in my hand. Like Steve said, the next few months were ridiculous! But I was also proud of the team and leadership on display in Nac. They represented us well.

Cannot believe it has been 10 years.
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Old 02-04-2023, 05:07 AM   #18
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More like 20-years ago. But anyway..... I was out south of Quanna on a hog hunt when it happened. Didn't know what I'd heard for several days after that.

As I recall, those tiles came off and people died because NASA switched to a more "environmentally friendly" adhesive.
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Old 02-04-2023, 05:27 AM   #19
Hogmauler
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Sad day for sure. We were in college station and I think we were watching the reentry on T v when it broke up.
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Old 02-04-2023, 07:08 AM   #20
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My lease on Angelina river just 5m from Douglas had Lots of stuff scattered all over..I was not there at time..was at home...They flagged stuff all over...most picked up...by them...we found stuff missed years later...
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Old 02-04-2023, 07:28 AM   #21
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i was in Florida when it lifted off and got pictures of it.

i was on the hiway in Texas when it made its re-entry and exploded, got pics of it also.

sad, sad day for sure.
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Old 02-04-2023, 08:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJP51 View Post
More like 20-years ago. But anyway..... I was out south of Quanna on a hog hunt when it happened. Didn't know what I'd heard for several days after that.

As I recall, those tiles came off and people died because NASA switched to a more "environmentally friendly" adhesive.

Your recollection is wrong. A large chunk of ice broke off the booster, punched through the tiles on the leading edge of the wing.



I was on the Fire department at that time, several weeks later we got a call to recover a tile, it was located between Burleson and Joshua. Had to document location and deliver to Joshua FD. I was skeptical at first, but the numbers on the tile proved me wrong. Still canít believe it travelled that far from the scene.

I was shocked, as big a piece as it was, how light it was.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:14 AM   #23
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I was working for the Forest Service and was assigned to FEMA. I spent 6 weeks flying back seat in a Bell 206 L Model helicopter grid searching over East Texas. We were based out of the airport in Lufkin. We found some debris.

I spent three more weeks marking drop spots for fire crews from all over the U.S. who were doing ground searches.

One of my co-workers was leading a team of DPS troopers who found one of the Astronauts. He said they immediately pulled back an a FBI forensics team was sent in. Very somber and respectful.
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Old 02-04-2023, 05:03 PM   #24
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was in my Polaris ATV that morning on a ranch we owned near Lampasas. Beautiful morning as I was driving around. I hear something loud and stop and look up into the sky - it looked like a massive shooting star with streaks of fire like a sparkler kids light on the 4th.

So I head back to our house and go inside and tell my wife what I saw - had no idea until they came on TV talking about the event - I will never forget that day

pieces of it were found all around Central Texas as I recall
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Old 02-05-2023, 05:45 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kry226 View Post
I was in Nac at SFA then. Debris covered the campus and I had a buddy whose land was covered as well. I've held one of Columbia's tiles in my hand. Like Steve said, the next few months were ridiculous! But I was also proud of the team and leadership on display in Nac. They represented us well.

Cannot believe it has been 10 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJP51 View Post
More like 20-years ago. But anyway..... I was out south of Quanna on a hog hunt when it happened. Didn't know what I'd heard for several days after that.

As I recall, those tiles came off and people died because NASA switched to a more "environmentally friendly" adhesive.
Yup, I fat-fingered the keyboard... 20 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckshot-73 View Post
Your recollection is wrong. A large chunk of ice broke off the booster, punched through the tiles on the leading edge of the wing.



I was on the Fire department at that time, several weeks later we got a call to recover a tile, it was located between Burleson and Joshua. Had to document location and deliver to Joshua FD. I was skeptical at first, but the numbers on the tile proved me wrong. Still canít believe it travelled that far from the scene.

I was shocked, as big a piece as it was, how light it was.
I believe it was actually a chunk of foam that broke off the main external fuel tank that hit the left wing, impeaching the integrity of the leading edge heat tiles.
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