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Published on Dec 4, 2006
UPDATE: Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and fellow chaser/researcher Carl Young were killed Friday, May 31s in the EF-3 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. RIP and prayers to their family.
In June of 2003 Tim Samaras made history by deploying a special probe in the path of an approaching tornado in Manchester, South Dakota. He was within only about 100 yards of the twister when he anchored the probe, called Hardened Insitu Tornado PRobe (HITPR), into the ground. It was a direct hit; the quarter-mile wide tornado passed right over it. The probe itself was rigged with seven cameras and caught the action from all angles. Even TOTO (Totable Tornado Observatory), which weighed 500 pounds, was blown to smithereens when chasers attempted to deploy it in the early 80s...the twister didn't even come close to it and it was STILL destroyed. The Dorothy contraption in the movie "Twister" was based on the same concept as TOTO: place it in the twister's path & cross your fingers; censors would be released into the funnel and record valuable data. TOTO sits in some museum, now.
My summary is very basic. If you go to National Geographic's website and type in his name, you can read much more info about him and the probe.
Credit: TIM SAMARAS. I want to make it very clear that HE is the one who gets (and deserves) the credit for this footage. Giving proper credit is very important to me, as a resource for vintage/groundbreaking tornado clips.