UPDATE: Sandstorm at Al Asad

Strategy Page has most of these, now, as well, plus a few more. The additional ones at Strategy Page were also in the email I received, though I didn’t post them. This message must be making the rounds.

The additional photos are taken at a lower resolution (though even the bigger ones aren’t all exactly the same size), so I’m wondering if two or three different individuals may have taken them. For instance, in the first photo on my post the guy in the blue shirt half-way down the embankment looks like he might be taking a photo with a digital camera using the viewscreen.

One thing that’s weird is that the date and location appears to have been cut and pasted into the message. The whole thing is sort of a mess, in fact:

I don’t doubt that these photos are authentic. I’m just wondering if the time and/or place is correct or if someone just slapped some text onto some cool pics and circulated them. The Strategy Page post says they were taken by a civilian contractor supporting the US Army.

In any event, they are quite something to behold.

UPDATE: Snopes has more on these. It calls them true, though it doesn’t know the exact origin of the photos yet. It points out an aritcle on the the sandstorm, and has a link to a BBC page with more.

And Blackfive mentions them, as well.


  1. I received that same set of E-mails and I was in Al Asad for that sandstorm and have pictures of my own, I will have them available shortly, I just need to get back to the States to do it. the location is correct. Al Asad, in western Iraq close to Baghdadi

  2. These photos are real. I was here for this storm. It was quite an adventure watching this awesome sandstorm roll in. The date, time and place are correct. I’m not sure of the speed of it’s approach, maybe a little slower than 60mph but quite a magnificent specticle to behold. Thanks to KBR and the opportunities they provide, I was witness to this spectacular event. Thanks KBR.

  3. I am currently at Al Asad and I was here for the storm, all the info you have is correct but doesnt do the storm justice, I have video of it i could try to upload it to you if you would like.