Real or Fake: Blue Angels perform “Hand of God?”
The United States Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron is known for pulling off some spectacular aerial feats.
At speeds reaching nearly 700 MPH, these acrobatic aviators perform loops, rolls, inverted flybys, and, according to a popular internet image, a maneuver called “The Hand of God”:
But this image isn’t a photograph of the Blue Angels performing a stunt called “The Hand of God” — or even a photograph at all.
This is actually a piece of digital artwork created by Alexander Zienko and posted to the website Deviant Art in March 2015 under the title “Aviahand.”
Although some viewers may have mistaken this digital artwork for a photograph at first glance, Zienko accompanied his post with the tags “digital art,” “drawings and paintings,” “illustrations,” and “conceptual.”
The Blue Angels is the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, with aviators from the Navy and Marines. The Blue Angels are stationed at NAS Pensacola & NAF El Centro.
The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the establishment of the team on April 24, 1946, as a recruiting tool for the Navy.
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The name was picked by the original team when they were planning a show in New York in 1946. One of them saw the name of the city’s Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker Magazine.
The team’s first air show Craig Field, Jacksonville, Fla., on June 15, 1946.
The fastest speed is about 700 mph (just under the speed of sound). The slowest is about 120 mph.