Mysterious 'halos' appear in the Afghan desert

Mysterious 'halos' appear in the Afghan desert

zarticle-0-1B03C0AE000005DC-861_634x414There have been conflicting explanations as to exactly what they are and  how they’re formed, but the halo-appearing visual effect that have been  forming at night over helicopters have been named after two Allied  soldiers killed in action (KIA), as reported by The Daily Mail (of London, England) on July 26, 2013.

Called one of the most “beautiful things you’ll ever see in a war zone,” photojournalist Michael Yon has taken a number of photographs of Allied helicopters in the Afghan Theater of Operations showing what appear to be angelic halos which Yon has tagged the Kopp-Etchells Effect.

The naming of the visual effect is in tribute to Corporals Ben Kopp (U.S. Army) and Joseph Etchells (British Army) who were both killed in combat in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province of  southern Afghanistan during the Summer of 2009.

Click here for slideshow.

Prior to their deaths, both men have multiple combat tours of duty in the south central Asian nation.

At the time of their deaths, the fallen heroes were just 22 and 21 years old, respectively.

There has been no definitive explanation what causes the Kopp-Etchells Effect, but theories range from “a result of static electricity created by friction as materials of dissimilar material strike against each other” to “the extreme speed of the blades moved dust particles so fast that they burned up like meteors in the atmosphere.”


T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.

Facebook Comments

Disqus Comments