How old did you say that fossil was, professor?
Blow Sky High Raid
There are many fossiliferous rocks in North Africa containing remnants that might have been in that rock of Moffitt's. Perhaps he saw a small nautiloid or a plant impression in his rock sample. Libya has fossils of a wide variety: clams and fish, whales, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles (as big as 8 metres long), horses and elephants. There have been portions of fossils from the dinosaur Spinosaurus found in Libya too (a forty foot long carnivorous dinosaur with six foot long spines along its back) . It is clear that the North African desert lands were not always arid and were once, a very, very, very, very long time ago, well populated with 'critters'.
more about the real fossils of Libya check out (fairly technical content):
One cannot talk about sand dunes without mentioning R.A. Bagnold. (yes, the very man who founded the Long Range Desert Group upon which the Rat Patrol may be loosely based). Bagnold is probably the most widely quoted reference on sand formations. He was in the deserts of North Africa well before the war and his many skills were far-reaching. Not only did he research and write definitive works on aeolian deposits of the desert, he also invented and redesigned a number of devices (including the sun compass) that allowed his later-created military 'machine' to so effectively travel in the wartime desert and do the job they did so well.
short biography of Bagnold may be accessed at:
to be missed! A super report about Bagnold and his
instrumental role in the creation of the LRDG may be read at:
Chase of Fire Raid
episode mission briefing
for more about the Khamseen, see Meterology)
The surface of sand is often rippled into small roughly parallel ridges. These sand ripples form with their long axes at right angles to the wind, just like their much large counterparts, the linear dunes (there are other differences as well). Assuming Moffitt's mentioned 'surface pattern' meant sand ripples, then one assumes that the direction of the ripples over the buried dump ran perpendicular to the ripples created elsewhere in the area by the prevailing Khamseen winds. How exactly this came to be isn't clear to Suncompass, but no matter. Ripples make an interesting texture overlying the desert, and clearly Moffitt found them a useful indicator when seeking a buried fuel dump.
for more about ripple, dune, and desert feature formations see http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/deserts/eolian/
Between a rock and a hard place
The Holy War Raid
designed and authored by Suncompass (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Page updated May 17, 2003