Blue Angels Fly By Grand Tetons

Blue Angles promotional shot; US Navy Photo

The Blue Angles flying among the mountains. Note, this is a promotional shot from the Navy, the mountains in the photo are unidentified, and probably are not the mountains mentioned in the story.

Jim Macdonald raised this story today, found in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. "Angels draw crowds, roar over Jackson Hole"

The Blue Angles buzzed through Jackson Hole yesterday so that they could capture some promotional photographs of the squad with the Grand Teton Mountain range as a backdrop. Quoted from the article:

The squad had been scheduled to fly over the valley at 11:50 a.m. but weather delayed the visit. Clouds shrouded the mountains, which the Navy hoped to use as a backdrop for a promotional photograph. A photography jet accompanied the squadron.

Further in the article, as it relates to the park.

Some had worried the squad would be an unnecessary intrusion over Grand Teton National Park, where regulations recommend no flying within 2,000 feet of the ground.

Bishop said he didn’t think the jets were offensive and the pilots did not push the throttles on their 16,000-pound-thrust engines.

We've already had a couple of comments about this story this morning. One fellow described the sound of the jets as the sound of freedom, a sound he'd love to hear while hiking in the parks. I happen to think that while the military plays an important function in our government, the intrusion of military jets into the quite nature of National Parks is unnecessary. How do you feel?


Does freedom have a sound?

I don't like it...even with the throttles down, the sounds of the engines would still be powerful enough to disturb the wildlife. But I guess the Navy feels harming animals isn't as important than a stupid photo-op.

I'd be curious to learn how much this photo-op cost the Navy. Perhaps they could make a like donation to Grand Teton, which could use some extra funding.

Beyond that, though, don't forget that there's a commercial airport within the park boundaries, so it's not the most quiet place to start with.

It is quite obvious that you were never issued a service number.
And you never served.........You have no voice!!
SOG2 USS Morton DD948

FYI, I also blogged (not web-zined) a bit about it.

I probably won't be chiming in the rest of the day - my grandpa is very ill in the hospital, and I'm traveling to Minneapolis tomorrow. However, I would like to chime in more soon enough.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

Wow...if you really believe that only those who have served in the military have the right to voice an opinion? When did the fascists take over?

Where have you been hiding your head in the sand Mookie?

Must of been the later part of the 70's when I was standing atop Echo Rock on the side of Mount Rainier when out of no where a jet came screaming up Russell Glacier.
Scared the crap out of me as I felt the sound push me around.
I gripped the rock so as to not fall off the world.
The pilot waved to me from the cockpit, I waved back.
Later I ranted about the incident at some Rangers, who already knew all about it.
It was quite the experience which I now remember fondly and I will never forget.
I think it is wrong for any flights of any type at any altitude to venture into one of our National Parks.

not needed in the parks, if they want to see the park, do it from the ground up.


Wow! I've never played in the NFL, but wow do I have opinions on pro football! Never played pro baseball either, nor have I served in Congress, been POTUS, driven in NASCAR, taught school, been governor or mayor, directed a Hollywood production, been a woman, a catholic priest, a queer, or a muslim terrorist, gotten a hummer in the Oval Office, owned a restaurant, or been a lawyer, but I could go on for hours with opinions on any and all of them. The ship you named and allegedly served on is a US Navy ship, but your parochial, closed-minded, un-evolved stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears-and-scream-'shut-up' attitude makes me wonder which side you were really on. I think the countries where a person can't express opinions are more like North Korea. China. Syria. Iran. Hitler's Germany. (Oh, I have opinions on them too, but have never actually lived in them or served in their governments.)

It is quite obvious that you were never issued a service number.
And you never served.........You have no voice!!

"Death to the West and all dangerous free-thinking peoples!"

Your Komrads aboard the Al-Morton
-Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Ill, Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

I've had the displeasure of seeing military jets fly through the gorge of Grand Canyon, fly under the Chesapeake Bay bridge, and through Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. It's disgraceful -- the same attitudes that brought us the military academy mistreatment of women over the years... there's no honour in such behaviour. It just demonstrates that these people can't be fully trusted. When they sign on the dotted line and swear to uphold and protect the constitution and laws of this great land, there's no wiggle room -- no "yuk yuk lookie what I did" -- no "I was just following orders" excuses.

Yes I served, so wipe that nasty thought off your frontal lobe. Drop and gimme 20 while you're at it.

-- Jon

While hanging out in Death Valley, on occasion an f16 will come over a mountain and buzz the valley floor. Although it is very exilerating to watch, I wouldn't want to see that happening on any kind of a regular basis.

Interesting reading through this, I live in Jackson and yes I saw the Blue Angels do a flyby around 2:50pm Mountain time. We have a few flybys a year by the military mainly because the VP has a house here. The main concern of these flyby's is the safety of the people in the mountains, because the "sound of freedom" can cause rock debris and slides. Luckily and thankfully because of forewarning of the Blue Angels nobody was hurt. That I have heard.

As to Tom
"It is quite obvious that you were never issued a service number.
And you never served.........You have no voice!!"

I have a 4-dig MOS number and your comment is grossly out of place.

The SOG units where a great help in forming the special forces of today, thank you.

Does freedom have a sound. Yes you got to make a stupid remark about the Navy and there sound of the engines noise. U.S. men have died all over the world to protect us and others. There sound is great. Did you know that thunder and lighting is louder than the Navy Jets? God made that noise too and the animals have heard it for many years and there doing fine. Freedom cost and people like you don't understand it. You should be proud of the Navy and all our military. If not leave, you won't find a better place to live on God Earth than the USA.

USA Love it or Leave it!!

I'm going to be up there in the Tetons in 6 more weeks and perhaps I'll feel differently about the Blue Angels making a couple of passes thru the park at that time.

Now, my thoughts are how wonderful it is that we live in a country that we can have such a variety of beauty and freedom. How anyone can worked up in a lather over the Blue Angels making a couple of flyovers is beyond me. There are much worse things, IMHO. We could have car bombs or suicide bombers exploding all around us and killing and maiming us every day, instead, or having leaders that dictate what we can or cannot do.

Things could be so much worse than a half dozen jets flying around for 20 minutes thru a National Park. I think there are some that take our freedom for granted and lose sight of the bigger picture, as well as what our military has done for us, also. Surely, it's not really *that* horrible that the Blue Angels shared their beauty and performance with a few lucky folks for a few minutes in their lives this past Wednesday? I know I sure would have been thrilled to have been a witness to the moment.

Mookie, what animals were harmed? Could you be a bit more specific, please?

I have no idea if any animals were harmed. However, studies done in Yellowstone have shown that the noise pollution from snowmobiles have changed feeding patterns for moose and deer, and may show a decrease in offspring the following year. Someone made the comment above saying that thunder is louder than a fly-by and the wildlife don't have a problem with that. I'm no biologist, but I would say that the noise produced by thunder is something the animals have adapted to over their lifetime, and even know when the storms are coming and are able to prepare for them. I've witnessed fly-bys several times (and have been awed and inspired by them, to be sure) but the noise grows very quickly into a roar -- not something the wildlife would be able to prepare for. And when they hear it, does it scare them into unnatural behavior? Do they bolt into oncoming traffic? Would that, along with a hiker coming up a trail, scare a bull moose into charging? I don't know, and I doubt anyone knows; I'm just bringing up the point that I don't think the benefit of a photo opportunity offsets any potential disturbance of the wildlife. Besides, there are so few places left in the United States where one can go to get away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life, get away from cars, planes and exhaust fumes, and find some time in the peace and quiet of the outdoors. I know if I was trying to enjoy some time on the trails in Grand Teton while the jets roared overhead, I would be a tad annoyed at the break in my solitude.

Having said all that, considering all the other problems the NPS has in regards to funding, mismanagement, and illegal activity within park boundaries, jets flying over the Tetons really is small potatoes, and not really worth a bunch of time arguing about.

It would have been a lot easier and cheaper to use photoshop. Who'd be able to tell the difference?

Wish I coulda been there to see the "best of the best" fly over....
Lot less intrusion than smelling stinking, disgusting, leftist college punks and hippies who come into our place of business on a regular basis.
I've seen the Angels, and these are fine American gentlemen!
I'd like 'em to fly over a peak I am on ANYTIME!!

Jeremy is absolutely right...smelly spoiled leftists who seem to abound on today's college campuses don't even deserve to be in the same room as these fine gentlemen....
And I can't belive there are so many leftists in this blog who aren't grateful for their freedom that men such as the Angels have granted them thru the years.
As far as I am concerned, those military men and women who guard our freedom can fly over at any damn altitude they wish in our parks...and when they travel terra-firma, THEY should NEVER have to pay fees!!
God bless America, and our fine warriors who defend her!

As far as I am concerned, those military men and women who guard our freedom can fly over at any damn altitude they wish in our parks

As far as the LAW is concerned, they cannot. Of course, the military industrial complex and the "conservative" party in power often feel they are above the law.

The issue here is not left/right. The issue is that our military, like a fascist regime, views itself as being above the law. Additionally, the Blue Angels has an abysmal safety rating (10% fatality rate), and were an airplane to crash in a national park, it would be catastrophic and expensive. Also consider that the Navy's budget (not including the Marines) for the Blue Angels (about $20 million a year) and the cost of the planes themselves ($22 million EACH) are used for "recruitment" purposes. That money could fund several Yosemites and Grand Canyons.

Jeremy and Sandi, why is it that you have to label people with childish insults who disagree with you. Sure, we all have differences of opinion about the subject matter discussed above. My uncle was a flight instructor in WW II, and would prefer the silence of the woods in the National Parks after serving horrendous years of war. I never heard him despise anyone who had a difference of political opinion then his, nor did I ever hear him speak vehemently against anyone who opposed the war, or the bloated war machine which us taxpayers who are overly burden with. Please zip up the trash talk, don't forget there were alot of hippies that fought in Viet Nam (and probably in Iraq too)....and died...Geo. Bush wasn't one of them. So, watch your spiel!

"...smelly spoiled leftists who seem to abound on today's college campuses don't even deserve to be in the same room as these fine gentlemen...."

Actually they do.
It is the narrow-minded naive condescending American bigot spouting such drivel which does not deserve.
I did not come home (or to this blog) after 4 years in SE Asia to read or listen to this adolescent drivel...

The idea that the U.S. military is protecting anyone's freedom is an absolutely absurd notion but firmly ingrained in much of the culture. These Bozo's were not even able to protect their own headquarters in DC much less the largest city in our country. What they are good at, though, is attacking weaker countries that don't possess nukes i.e. Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan yet still manage to get their butts kicked anyway. To look at the U.S. military as a savior of anything is to be blind, stupid and ignorant of the reality at hand. After wasting nearly $2 trillion dollars and maiming and killing thousands of Americans, Mesopotamians, Afghanis not to mention incurring the anger and enmity of the world's second largest faith, what does this vaunted military have to show for its efforts? NADA. ZERO. ZIPPO! I just laugh at the silly and stupidly sincere sentiments of people like Sandia and Jeremy. How blind you must be!

The bigger point, relevant to this website, is that continued support of the current stewards of the national parks, is linked to support of the same people who control the military, the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, which is and will continue to be a hand puppet of the military-industrial complex. In the hands of these people the parks are nothing more than backdrops to be used when convenient to promote their warped agenda. If you think that the Congress is gonna step and make it right you're really dreaming my friends.

Ultimately I think that the parks should be turned over to other entities so that they can be treated with the respect and funding they deserve. A continuing faith in the Federal leviathan to do what is right and moral has long ago disappeared and any further trust is misplaced and naive. It is also proabaly dangerous to your health and well-being.

Your libertarian logic leaves idiots in ashes. You're awesome!

Ok, blog censors, why can HurlGurl call someone a bigot and I can't call someone a homophobe? Guess I have to be more indirect, ya? Passive voice makes all ok? libs are so funny!!
Fact is, the Blues will fly anywhere they damn well please because MOST Americans (ones who aren't whacked-out enviros) know that THUNDER makes a helluva lot more noise than jets...the lil animals will be just fine...LOL!!!
So...get over it...we patriots love to see our military perform and think it'a a dang fine use of our tax dollars (that's why air shows continue to attract huge crowds)...nuthin is more awesome than seein a fighter comin' in low and fast over a ridgeline in the backcountry! I watched 2 bighorn look up and not even flinch when an F/A-18 flew low at ~ 100 ft over the Inyo National Forest.
Oh, and Frank...pssst...the Blue Angels have an impeccable safety record...never have had an accident while performing a show since 1946 until the one this year...I would say narcissistic "wow, look at me" climbers die much more wise up and move to Canada...(your writing reflects your disdain for America)...I'll gladly pay your one-way moving expenses.

Staci, not a "impeccable record" and sorry to say...with sadness. April21, 2007, Lt. Commander Kevin Davis was killed when his F/A-18 crashed in a wooded residentail area near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort , S.C., and another crash in 1999 near Pensacola, Florida. In the sixty year history of the Blue Angels there has been 29 fatalities involving there flight program. Most unfortunate, but the nature of there extremely dangerous work. So, check the records Staci and it's avaiable to the general public. Now, zip the trash talk!

Don't even bite on that one Frank. What Staci totally misunderstands is that true patriotism is love of country not love of the government, but what do you expect from repeated generations that have been meticulously indoctrinated by mandatory attendance in government run schools? We as a society will reap what we sow.

Again I return to the sage of Baltimore H.L. Mencken: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Staci, for your information, the Blue Angels do not have a "impeccable flight record"...sorry to say...with much sadness. On April 21, 2007 Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis was killed while flying his Blue Angel F/A-18 that crashed near a wooded residential area not far from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., and in 1999 there was another Blue Angel crash in Georgia. Since the sixty year history of the Blue Angels there has been 28 fatalities involving there flight program. Most unfortunate, but it symbolizes the extreme danger and nature of their work. So, please get the facts straight and zip up the trash talk.

| "...consider that the Navy's budget (not including the Marines) for the Blue Angels (about $20 million a year) and the cost of the planes themselves ($22 million EACH) are used for "recruitment" purposes. That money could fund several Yosemites and Grand Canyons."


Have you stopped to consider that without our military, we wouldn't have any Yosemites or Grand Canyons to enjoy? What is your freedom worth? How much do you think it should cost? At any rate, national parks like Yosemite and the Grand Canyon have become so commercialized that I doubt one could walk more than a mile in solitude without bumping into someone else along the trail.
When you take hikes in the wilderness, you like to take pictures saying "I was here"... why shouldn't the military have the same right? Last time I checked, the people serving in the military are citizens too.

Don't tell me that there are people out there that DON'T bend the law every once in awhile to suit their needs or purpose. For example... late for an appointment, speeding, stopped by a law enforcement officer... "but officer! "... : )

Don't tell me that's different... the LAW is the LAW.

My vote goes for letting the Blue Angels in and kicking the airport OUT.

A fairly happy ending to this story as far as I'm concerned (though they managed one shot that they might use, but not what they wanted).


Clouds thwart Angels in Teton photo shoot

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World