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Relativity strikes back

Libya, April 26, 2011

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It was a particularly active night in Misrata. Windy, cloudy and every 15 minutes or so....boom!

We were too far from the city center to feel the blasts, but remembering each time that the blast was on or next to someone's house is difficult...

Silence. The bombardment stopped.

The distant roar of a jet. Fadl and I look up standing outside our bank/home/office. He sees it first.

"There it is. Between the clouds."

"I see one too. There — between those clouds — two. No. Three — in formation."

All we could see were the lights high in the sky, between small holes in the cloud cover, moving quickly. No wonder the bombardment stopped. NATO planes all over the skies.

"Steve, look! Three more — they're all over the place!"

A larger break in the clouds opens right above us, and I see five or six, all moving in formation in a north-easterly direction. It was the way I imagined a huge World War II bombing strike to look.

They sure seemed to be moving fast. You could tell by how quickly they disappeared behind the wind swept cloud cover. Clouds moving decidedly southwest.

A cloud break opens up wide enough to put on display a formation of NATO jets flying in a perfect Big Dipper formation.

“Ummm…Fadl…”

Stars, not planes. We sat in the parking lot laughing at ourselves for a good five minutes. It was a much-needed laugh.

It also was not the first time, nor the last, that Libya would remind me to keep more than one point of reference.