Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.
Claim: Photograph shows a formation of jets spelling out 'USA' over Randolph Air Force Base.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, 2002]
Anyone that loves photography will appreciate the precision of the photo. As the jets are probably moving at around 400 mph and you being just right to get the shot at that instant. And that is a hard formation to stay at as the ones in the "S" are just a little graduated degree behind the next one and staying that way to maintain the formation.
It is a great photo of an Air Force training squadron flying in a never-done-before "USA" formation over the control tower "Taj Mahal" (HQ building) of Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Origins:Randolph Air Force Base,
located just outside of San Antonio, Texas, may be the "Showplace of the Air Force," an Air Education and Training Command site where innumerable pilots (and pilot instructors) have been trained as members of the world's premier air force, but this photograph of jets in formation over the base's "Taj Mahal" building is not a genuine testament to their flying skill. It's a simple cut-and-paste digital manipulation.
The public affairs office at Randolph AFB told us that they'd seen the picture and everyone thought it was marvelous, but not only was it a manufactured image, it didn't even represent any type of jet formation flying that ever took place at Randolph.
The picture is, however, a nice updating of a familiar old postcard image which depicts the same type of formation flying over the Taj Mahal, only with biplanes instead of jets (and which may reflect a similar fly-over staged for the 1935 film West Point of the Air):