[Photo] Fighter jet flies between sea twisters

Each time we receive a weird photo we always wonder whether the image is genuine or photoshopped. Some images are so accurately edited that it is extremely difficult to prove that they were doctored by post-processing softwares.

But, this is not the case.

The image (whose quality is poor because it’s a scan of a print) in this post has been taken well before Photoshop became so famous (we have had a printed copy of this photograph since the mid 1990s). It was taken at Giglio Island, by a photographer who then sold prints of it to aviation enthusiasts who happened to visit his store.

It depicts an Italian Air Force F-104 Starfighter flying over the Tyrrhenian Sea while two sea twisters (tornado) have formed near Giglio Island.

Since the island is quite close to Grosseto airbase, most probably the plane belonged to the local based 4° Stormo (Wing).

It must have been a tense couple of minutes for the badass pilot aboard the missile-with-a-man-in-it.

Image credit: Author’s archive

Enhanced by Zemanta
About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I really like to think it’s authentic – but the use of Photoshop was commonplace for designers and design students WAY before the mid 90’s.

  2. According to wikipedia the F104 wasn’t withdrawn from service in Italy until 2004, so that doesn’t help rule out photoshoping (and photos were being manipulated well before computers were around to do the job).

    • First, F-104 was withdrawn from service in Italy on Jul. 27, 2005. I’ve shot thousand images of the F-104 with the digital camera and edited them. The point is that the image was taken and printed in 1990s. Photo manipulation has been around since photography was born but 20 years ago or more doctored photos were not so frequent among amateur photographers.

  3. Here in Ohio off Lake Erie, we get water spouts in the spring and fall regularly. I have flown around them several times. Its like flying in a box with the cloud cover above and water below. The water spouts move slowly in relation to aircraft so it’s not a big deal.

    Photoshop may have been available before the nineties, but the resolution to manipulate a photo like this would have been impossible to do at that time with such. Given this is not all that rare for pilots around bodies of water, I would think the photographer just had a great opportune moment to get a great shot.

  4. they say they own the printed copy since mid 90s, so i think is impossible to have photoshopped it (even if in the 90s was for sure possible made photo edit, but sure only in professional way)

Comments are closed.